Slovakia Trip Report, Part 2

Old Oct 3rd, 2017, 08:34 AM
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Slovakia Trip Report, Part 2

Part 2. Kosice

Traveled first from Budapest to Kosice (pronounced “Koh-shee-tsa”), the 2013 European City of Culture. From the train station, it is an easy 10-minute walk (through the park to your right as you exit the station) to the pedestrian zone called the Hlavna (pronounced Glavna); no need for bus or taxi. The Hlavna refers to both the main street and square and underwent significant restoration in preparation for 2013. (In more outlying areas of the city, however, some buildings are still awaiting restoration.)

The central core area around the cathedral contains many historical buildings that have been restored, art galleries, numerous restaurants and cafes with outdoor terraces, etc., without the crowds, traffic, and noise of Budapest or Vienna. The main sights are the cathedral (largest in Slovakia), State Theater (an impressive building but unfortunately no tours), and the former Jewish synagogue (tours can be arranged but I don’t think it is open on a daily basis). Also a couple of museums (East Slovak Museum, worth a visit), and the Rodosto (Rakoczi) Museum, in honor of Hungarian patriot Ferenc Rakoczi who lived in the area and is buried in the cathedral; the Miklus Prison and Executioner’s Bastion are part of this complex. I walked around the grounds (several buildings) which is free, but did not go in to any of the buildings.

A portion of the old city wall still exists on Hradbova Street (it looks rather derelict, so I did not realize at first what it was). The park had some sand sculptures on display with the theme of various comic book characters, as well as the ubiquitous memorial to the Red Army for liberation in 1945.

I checked with the Tourist Info office about tours of the area (Spis castle, national park, wine region, etc.) but they claimed that they did not know of any. So if you want to get outside the city, best to rent a car or inquire about bus service. Because of my reliance on the train and short time available, I did not get outside the city.

On the negative side, I was pestered regularly by Roma people (both adults and children) in Kosice begging for money. Just beware, the Roma population is a sensitive issue in Slovakia. Some earn money as street musicians and performers, and I don’t mind giving money if I like them, but no one likes being hassled for money while walking on the street.
garybear is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2017, 03:58 AM
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Thanks for the warning about the Roma people.

Did you visit Bratislava?

Sounds like it is better to rent a car in order to see more sites.
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Old Oct 9th, 2017, 09:19 PM
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My comment about the Roma was not intended as a "warning" and I now wish I did not make it. I am sure that I encountered many honorable Roma people who do not beg for money and did not even know it. I did not intend to start a social issues discussion here and will not respond to any other comments on this issue.
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Old Oct 9th, 2017, 10:29 PM
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We have taken quite a few day trips to Slovakia, though mostly in the western part of the country to tour castles and ruins, though we won't turn down the opportunity to take in a local festival, either! Spišský hrad is on our list, and it sounds like Košice would be a perfect add-on for an overnight.

Thank you for sharing your travel report.
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Old Mar 25th, 2018, 04:30 AM
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I would recommend Ko?ický zlatý poklad (there is a translator on the right)
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