Few people visit Kosice or eastern Slovakia. In fact, not many tourists go anywhere other than the capital Bratislava. So it’s not surprising if you have no idea where to stay or which are the best hotels in Kosice. I spent a few weeks in the city when I was trying to get a visa for Ukraine (which never eventuated) so I have a bit of experience of Kosice’s neighbourhoods and the best areas for a short stay.
A few thoughts on Kosice
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 stonewashed 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 few 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.
Kosice Neighbourhoods: Where to Stay
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. Kosice is one of the cheapest cities in Europe so you can definitely find a good deal if you book an apartment.
The Best Hotels in Kosice
Kosice is a small city and as such, the best hotels are in the city centre, the old town. My experience and recommendations are below.
Central Neighbourhood: Stare Mesto
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. Typical sights you would see in the old town include the Immaculata statue, musical fountains, St Elizabeth’s Cathedral, Pushkinova Street Synagogue, the Old Town Hall and the Lower Gate.
The long main street and the little side streets in the old town is where you’ll find most of the top-rated cafes, restaurants, bars and breweries. This is the area where you’ll find the best hotels in Kosice and you can’t go wrong with one of these picks:
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.
Convenient Neighbourhood: Kosice Train Station
Like most main train stations, Kosice Train Station isn’t in the nicest area but in the case of Kosice, 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. The main issue with staying in this neighbourhood is the lack of decent places to eat and things to do in the evening.
Kosice train station area has the most budget hotels and cheap apartment accommodation so if you don’t mind staying slightly away from the main touristy area then this is a good option. And even then, we’re only talking about a 10-minute walk to St Elizabeth’s Cathedral and the sights in that area.
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: Hipster Kosice
The northern section of the old town is the closest you’ll come to a hipster neighbourhood in Kosice. It’s worth considering staying around Tabacka Kulturfabrik, an art and cultural centre with concerts and good food.
In this neighbourhood, you’ll find Dobre Bistro, a modern cafe with vegan and gluten free meals for less than €10 per meal. There is the National History Museum and a bit further away is Park Komenskeho. Even further is Kosice’s Botanical Garden if you want to experience some nature within the city.
SD Urbankova 2 – For €20 you can stay in a clean and comfortable hostel, 15 mins north of 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.
South of the Old Town: Steelpark and Steel Arena
South of the historic old town is Steelpark. This area has recently been redeveloped to include the very popular Science and Steel Works Museum, Creative Industry Kosice and the Kulturpark. It’s a group of buildings where you’ll find all kinds of activities suitable for kids and families. It’s mostly targeted to locals but you might find some events of interest and the museum is one of the best in Kosice.
Not far from here is Steel Arena, Kosice’s largest arena. If you are seeing a sporting event or concert in this area, I would still suggest staying in Stare Mesto or near the train station and getting the tram to the arena.
I hope you found this guide useful and you enjoy your stay in Kosice. Leave a comment if you have any questions about the different neighbourhoods, the best hotels in Kosice and things to do and see.
This post contains affiliate links for the accommodation recommendations.