Bratislava may be the biggest and best-known city in Slovakia, but the second biggest, Košice, in the eastern part of the country, has just as much history and character. Visit Košice and you’ll discover a sprawling metropolis centred around Hlavná Ulica, the main thoroughfare and the street with the largest concentration of historic monuments in all of Slovakia.
This underrated city is also home to the oldest marathon in Europe (Košice Peace Marathon) and it was voted the European Capital of Culture in 2013.
Located write on Hlavné námestie square, the Gothic Cathedral of St Elisabeth is the largest church in the country, with an area of 1,200 square meters and a capacity of 5,000 people. As you can imagine, St Elisabeth Cathedral is quite the sight to behold and an absolute must-do when you visit Košice. Don’t forget to look up at the medieval gargoyles flanking the cathedral on the outside.
Košice is also a great base for exploring smaller destinations nearby like Komárno, a medieval town situated at the confluence of the Danube and Váh rivers. Travellers come to Komárno to see the 16th-century fort, to visit the Museum of Danubeland, and to bathe in the popular thermal swimming pool, which is fed by two nearby hot springs.
Located 30km from Košice is Jasovská jaskyňa cave, a UNESCO-listed cave in Slovak Karst National Park that was once inhabited by the Neolithic man. Take a tour of Jasovska Cave and you’ll see its unique dripstone formations and a colony of bats that live there.
There are regular flights to Košice International Airport from various European cities including London, and the airport is an easy 15-minute drive from the city centre.