One Day in Kosice, Slovakia: Top 10 Things to Do

Often overlooked in favour of Bratislava, Košice is one of Europe’s hidden gems. It has a gorgeous old town, culture and history in spades and became famous as the European Capital of Culture in 2013.

I’ll level with you; there isn’t a ton of things to see in Košice. However, there is more than enough to occupy you for 24 hours.

So what are the best things to do in Košice in one day?

As I spent three nights here, this is where I can help. Hit the ground running with my guide to Slovakia’s second city.

gnarled gothic stone sculpture of a devil under the foot of an angel

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gnarled gothic stone sculpture of a devil under the foot of an angel

LOCATION: Košice is the largest city in eastern Slovakia and is located close to the border with Hungary

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Slovak. Many people speak English

CURRENCY: Euro (€)



GETTING AROUND: Košice is very walkable


WHERE TO STAY: Boutique Penzione Slovak

Is One Day in Košice Enough?

As most of Košice’s main sights are clustered around its historic centre, you can cover a lot of ground in one day.

I visited Košice as part of an Eastern and Central Europe itinerary and stayed for three nights. This allowed me to see the city’s highlights in a relaxed day, take a day trip to Bardejov and visit some of Košice’s excellent bars and restaurants.

What to Do in Košice in One Day

disused tram line running through centre of the broad pedestrianised main strett in kosice

Košice’s historic centre is a treasure trove of medieval bastions, Art Nouveau curves, Gothic towers and flamboyant Baroque sculptures. You’ll find many of Košice’s architectural showpieces in and around Main Street (Hlavná ulica).

Without stops, walking from one end of Hlavná to the other should take you no more than 15 minutes. From north to south, here are the sights you shouldn’t miss.

The Immaculata

ornately carved stone column with virgin mary with crown on the top

The Baroque Immaculata sculpture, also known as the Plague Column, was created by Simon Grimming in 1723. It was erected as a symbol of gratitude to the Virgin Mary for Košice surviving numerous plagues and wars, notably an epidemic in 1709–10.

Hlavná nam

pink chery blossom in a small park in kosice

Many of Košice’s architectural delights are assembled along Hlavná nam, a delightful long, rectangular plaza with flower gardens, fountains and cafes. Although the famous musical fountain was undergoing restoration when I visited, the cherry blossom was in full bloom.

University Church of the Holy Trinity

dog and people walking in front of baroque exterior of the holy trinity church in kosice

Also known as the Premonstratensian Church or the Jesuit Church, this Baroque jewel was commissioned in 1641 by Princess Sofia Bathory of Transylvania in reparation for the execution of three Jesuit priests. Following the expulsion of the Jesuits from Košice in 1773, the Church of the Holy Trinity fell into the hands of the Premonstratensians.

Košice State Theatre

ornate cream brick exterior of kosice state theatre under a blue sky

Designed by the architect Adolf Lang, the National Theatre hosted its first performance in 1899. Considered one of Europe’s most beautiful theatre buildings, its exterior has Neo-Baroque and Art Nouveau elements.

Urban’s Tower

tall white rectangular bell tower with pitched tiled roof

Urban’s Tower was originally a Gothic city bell house but was rebuilt in 1628 in Renaissance style. It takes its name from the so-called Urban Bell, blessed by St. Urban, patron saint of winemakers. Now that’s my kind of saint.

St. Elisabeth’s Cathedral

ancient bronze church bell in front of st elisabeth cathedral in kosice

This is the easternmost Gothic cathedral in Europe and Slovakia’s largest cathedral. More about this later.  

St. Michael’s Chapel

women and child kneeling down by fountain in front of st michaels curch in kosice

This chapel, located close to St. Elisabeth’s Cathedral is an example of High Gothic style. It sits in a lovely park that was once a city cemetery (St. Michael is the patron saint of the dead).

The City Coat of Arms

bronze coat of arm of the city of kosice held by an angel

You’ll find the oldest coat of arms in Europe in front of the city’s Lower Gate. It was awarded by King Louis the Great of Anjou in 1369 and this bronze sculpture features an angel holding the Košice coat-of-arms between its outstretched wings.

fresco of christ taken down from the cross

If there’s one must-see attraction in Košice, it’s the 14th Century Cathedral of St. Elisabeth. It is famous for its beautiful main altar and a rare Gothic double spiral staircase.

I loved the carved stone pulpit and the stained glass windows wrapped around the main altar. Its expressive 15th-century frescoes were revealed during restoration of the cathedral in 1892.

carved stone pulpit in kosice cathedral

If you’re game, you can scale the cathedral’s 60-meter-high northern tower for views over Košice’s historic centre (I didn’t).

elaborate art nouveau exterior of slavia cafe in kosice slovakia

You could easily spend the best part of your day in Košice café hopping. Locals and visitors have patronised the Art Nouveau Café Slaviá for over a century.

It’s a great spot for people-watching or to just watch the world go by.

art nouveau exterior of jakab palace in kosice

This romantic city palace was built close to the train station in 1899 by Peter Jakab, a local brick baron. In 1945, it served as the residence of Edvard Beneš, the Czechoslovak president.

Jews were allowed to settle in Košice from 1840 and in the era of the first republic of Czechoslovakia, every fifth inhabitant of the city was Jewish. The Moorish-style Orthodox Synagogue on Puškinova Street was built in 1929 to accommodate this expanding population.

exterior of synagogue in kosice with three tall arches and gold hebrew lettering

The partially-restored Old Jewish Synagogue on Zvonárska Street dates from the late 19th Century and is used for cultural purposes.

cream brick exterior of old synagogue in kosice
people walking along narrow cobbled street lined with pastel coloured low buildings

Although I was a little underwhelmed by Hrnčiarska, it is lined with art studios and traditional workshops, earning it the nickname Crafts Street. It’s close to the Executioner’s Bastion and the Mikluš Prison.

alley with a canopy of brightly coloured umbrellas

Nowadays, any Instagrammable city worth its salt needs an Umbrella Alley. Even though I’m not a fan of The Gram, this courtyard is very camera-worthy.

You’ll find it just off Hlavna (number 21).

street art in kosice of a sea creature wearing a crown

I was delighted to discover that Košice has a thriving street art scene.

This was the brainchild of Street Art Communication, which aimed to introduce street art to Košice. At the last count, there were 30 murals in the city.

bronze statue of a marathon runner on a plinth

The city’s status as the home of the oldest marathon in Europe – and the second oldest in the world – is celebrated by this statue of a runner by Arpád Račko, together with the names of the winners. If you fancy your chances, the Košice Marathon takes place on the first Sunday of October each year.

bar and brewery tanks at hostinec in koscice

After a busy day in Košice, you’ll be ready for a slap-up meal and local brew.

Founded in 1542, Hostinec is Slovakia’s oldest restaurant and serves tasty local food washed down with their craft beer. For the record, I downed a pint of Košickí majstri.

Na zdravie!

pint of beer in a tankard

Getting to Košice

Košice is easily accessible by train with direct services to Budapest (3 hours 45 minutes) and Bratislava (4 hours 40 minutes). The city’s train station is ten minutes on foot from the Old Town.

You can check train times and prices here.

Where to Stay in Košice

Boutique Penzione Slovak

I stayed at this beautifully designed guesthouse located above an Argentinian steakhouse. I loved the yummy breakfasts cooked to order and its location, a minute from Hlavná.

bedroom in boutique penzione slovak in kosice with king size bed and table and chair
bathroom in boutique penzione slovak in kosice


City Residence Apartment Hotel

This highly-rated apartment hotel is in the heart of Košice and has attracted stellar reviews from other travellers. The largest apartment has a private sauna and there’s a roomy studio apartment that is perfect for solo travellers.


Boutique Hotel Slávia

Do you fancy staying within spitting distance of the best coffee and cake in town? Then book a room above the landmark Café Slaviá.

Other travellers love this 4-star boutique hotel and you can’t get much more central.


Thank you for reading my suggestions for what to do in Košice in 1 day

I hope that it helps you have the best day there. Košice is 100% worth visiting.

If you have found this guide helpful and are planning broader travel in Slovakia, take a look at my other guides:

Happy travels!

large bronze bell sitting at the top of an empty street in kosice slovakia
bridget coleman the flashpacker 2

About Bridget

Bridget Coleman has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.

Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.

To get in touch, email her at or follow her on social media.

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