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Kosice is the second largest city in Slovakia, with a population of over 250,000.
Kosice has had a colourful history with its ever changing medieval and modern rulers of Hungarians, these days hardly imaginable Turks for a while, Czechs and nowadays Slovaks. Serving its part as a center of what may best be described as a frontier of Slovakian hill country, Hungarian lowlands and Ukrainian/Russian/Soviet East, it has become a predominantly Slovakian city in what was then Czechoslovakia after its emergence in chaos of reconciliations after the First World War.
Best season to visit may be the blooming and lovely spring of late April/May, though damp weather may occur unforseeably for a week or two regardless of a season. Kosice has a continental climate with hot and relatively humid summers and cold winters. Summer (July-August) temperatures may rise up to 30+ degrees Celsius with stretches of rainy weeks and 15 degrees at max, while winter (December-February) weather is mainly freezing with stretches of weeks with significant snowfall and temperatures of max -10 Celsius.
You can fly to Košice from Bratislava, Vienna or Prague. Turkish Airlines is recently starting direct flights to Košice from Istanbul as of May 2016. Low-cost airline Wizzair is serving Košice from London Luton Airport, Doncaster/Sheffield and shortly from Bristol.
Prague: 8h, 3 night trains a day. Night train with bunks (a 3 or 6 bunk choice) available for those in a rush.
Moreover there are many daytime connections with change at Žilina.
Be aware that Horehronec train follows a different and slower path, via rural central Slovakia, and the journey lasts for 7½h. But it also offers fairly spectacular nature scenes especially at section between Brezno and Margecany. Journeys on many Slovakian trains may be interrupted after 100km off the starting point while you remain within your ticket validity dates.
Budapest: 3½h, 2 IC trains a day
Kiev: 21½h, one night train a day
There's no suitable train connection from Poland.
Given the efficiency and value of the train system, you shouldn't need to use the bus system very much. Eurolines coaches come to here from numerous European cities, and bus is the the most efficient way of reaching the nearby town of Levoca.
Kosice has a small and compact city center, and is mostly navigable by foot. If you are staying outside the center, the tram system is cheap and efficient. With good bus and tram connections around the whole city, transport is easy to handle. You can get practically anywhere and fast on public transport and all the main sights of the city are within walking distance unless you stay in the outskirts.
What to see
Most of Košice's attractions are along the main pedestrianized street, known as Hlavná ulica (Main Street), Námestie Maratónu Mieru (Peace Marathon Square, the north end of Hlavna), and Námestie Osloboditeľov (Square of the liberators, at the southern end of Hlavna) at various parts.
Main Street. The Main street of Košice is the biggest historical area in Slovakia, where most of the sights worth seeing are located. With its unique atmosphere it creates the heart of the town. In the past, it used to be a medieval square and the whole town started to grow from this point.
St Elizabeth's Cathedral. This remarkable medieval monument was built in the High Gothic style. The present cathedral stands on a site formerly occupied by a parish church, which was destroyed by fire around year 1370.
St. Michael's Chapel (Kaplnka sv.Michala). The chapel probably comes from the first half of the14th century and had always been a part of the parish church. It was built as a cemetery chapel in the centre of a cemetery inside the city walls stretching from the Cathedral to the South on the island of the Čermeľský potok in the place of the present park in the (Main street). The outer decoration is Gothic, the turret is fitted in the roof structure.
Saint Urban's tower. Originally a Gothic prismatic campanile with a pyramidal roof dating back to the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries. The bell, which was installed in the tower, was dedicated to St. Urban, the patron of wine-prowers, which was cast in a mould by the bell founder Frantisek Illenfeld of Olomouc in 1557.
The State Theatre. The theatre was built in a new-baroque style during the years 1879-1899, according to the projects of A. Lang and A. Steinhardt, where a former theatre building, built in 1788 - 1790, was situated. Originally before that a town-hall building was standing here. The interior of theatre is richly decorated with plaster ornaments, the stage is lyre-shaped.
The Immaculata Statue is the most beautiful Baroque-style sculptured monument in the City. It commemorates the plague from the years 1710 -1711 and is dated from 1720 - 1723. It is a 14 m high column on the stone base with sculptures of Josef, Sebastian and Ladislav.
Palaces of Kosice. Kosice is the city which has the highest number of palaces in Slovakia and all of them are worth seeing. Perhaps the most important palace is the Former Town Hall, which is the oldest of Košice's council offices.
Beggar's House - For an interesting story you may look up the Beggar's House which is one of the historical houses on Hlavna. On forefront, at top of the house you will see a statue of a guy with a hat thanking/begging for alms.
Museums and galleries
East Slovak Museum was established in 1872 and it is one of the oldest and most significant museums in Slovakia. From the architectonic point of view, the buildings of the museum itself are very interesting historical sights.
Muzeum Vojtecha Lofflera, 20 Alzbetina ulica. Likely interesting for the more art inclined traveler after seeing the usual government sponsored touristy stuff.