I’m not going to lie, Kosice is one of the strangest places I have ever stayed. Not just one of the strangest in Slovakia or in Europe but pretty much anywhere in the world.
I don’t even know how to describe it. Offbeat. Crumbling. Dated?
It’s like the city has remained in its own distinctive bubble for years, never changing, not influenced by outsiders. Kosice likes what it is and remains true to itself.
Fashion hasn’t changed, men are still in stone washed jeans and sneakers while women love short dresses and heels. Young and old seem to be coupled up with a baby on the way. Shops have a classic communist era feel and sleeper suburbs are still popular.
I know this sounds bad but I actually love Kosice. It’s a cute city with lovely people and a surprisingly diverse range of cafes and restaurants. Not to mention Kosice, and eastern Slovakia in general, is incredibly affordable. I liked the region so much I stayed a couple of weeks and recommend it in my road trip itinerary from Budapest to Krakow.
If you happen to be in eastern Slovakia, although I’m not sure why you would be, but if you are, stop by Kosice and have a look. The main street is pretty and the architecture is unlike anywhere else. If you can, plan your visit to include the Kosice Gourmet Festival, the Christmas markets or another event. Also worth a visit is nearby Spis Castle, the national parks, or go wine tasting at the Tokaj wineries.
Neighbourhood Guide: Where to Stay in Kosice
There are a few neighbourhoods you might consider when looking for a hotel in Kosice. Accommodation ranges from 4 star hotels, excellent value apartments and very cheap but highly reviewed hostels. I definitely recommend staying in an apartment as the standard is generally excellent and great value.
Stare Mesto is the Old Town and the most popular area to stay. If you’re only staying for a short time and want to see the main sights, this is the best location.
Luxury Apartments Kosice Centre – Not only are these apartments at an unbeatable location directly on the main street, Hlavna Street, but the apartments are spotless, newly renovated and highly rated. Starting at €69, it’s better value than a hotel as well as better located and you are supporting a small, family business by staying here. My top choice when staying in Kosice.
DoubleTree by Hilton – If you don’t mind staying in an international hotel chain, the DoubleTree by Hilton is the best hotel in Kosice with one of the best restaurants too. The location in the Old Town is perfect for sightseeing and exploring. I stayed here myself and it’s very nice. This is the best option if you’re looking for a high end hotel but it’s quite expensive for Kosice.
Kosice Train Station
Like most main train stations, Kosice Train Station isn’t in the nicest area but it’s not terrible. Kosice is a small city and if you’re arriving by train or bus this is a convenient location with easy walking access to the centre.
Apartmany Palackeho – This is a modern, clean, spacious apartment, located half way between the train station and the Old Town. Air-conditioning and free wifi is included and parking is very cheap if you are travelling by car. At €50 per night, this apartment is great value.
Boutique Penzion Slovakia – Another great option if you want to stay in a good value, modern apartment. The great thing about this pension is that it’s in an old, historic building that has been converted. You don’t often get to stay in this kind of building with an inner courtyard but they are typical of the region.
North of the Old Town is the closest you’ll come to a hipster neighbourhood in Kosice and it’s worth considering staying around Tabacka Kulturfabrik, an arts and cultural centre with concerts and good food.
SD Urbankova 2 – For €20 you can stay in a clean and comfortable hostel, 15 mins north of the Main Street. I know hostels aren’t for everyone and I personally wouldn’t stay here but if you’re on a budget, this is the best cheap hotel in Kosice.
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