One of the largest cities in Slovakia, Košice lies in the country’s far east, not far from its border with Hungary. It was first mentioned in 1230 and in 1369, it became the first European settlement with its own coat-of-arms. Košice centres around a beautifully preserved historic core with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings.
Things to do in Košice
Spend an afternoon exploring the historic heart of Košice, which radiates around the main thoroughfare of Hlavna Ulica. Ornately decorated palaces and stately townhouses line the route while charming churches and traditional restaurants can be found in the side streets. Don’t miss the 15th-century Urban’s Tower, which houses a wax exhibition featuring notable figures from Košice’s past.
Adjacent to Urban's Tower is the Cathedral of St. Elizabeth, a monumental Gothic masterpiece that stands as the largest church in Slovakia. Dating from the 13th century, it features original frescoes, stained-glass windows and a spiral staircase leading to the King’s Oratory. From the 60-metre-high tower, there are magnificent views across Košice. Nestled just below is St. Michael's Chapel where services were traditionally offered in the Slovak language.
Comprising two medieval houses is the Mikluš Prison, which offers a fascinating insight into the Slovak penal system in times gone by. After 350 years as residential dwellings, the buildings were transformed into a prison in the early 17th century. In addition to seeing the executioner’s quarters, cells and torture chamber, you can browse a diverse range of artefacts in “The Centuries of Kosice” exhibit.
Getting around Košice
Košice International Airport is a 10-minute drive from the city centre and has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Regular trains connect from towns and cities across Slovakia to the Košice railway station while both buses and trams travel throughout the city.