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The biggest city in eastern Slovakia (the second largest in the country) and the European Capital of Culture in 2013, Kosice is a combination of pretty and gritty and often referred to as "The City of Peace". Sitting on the Hornad River in the eastern region of the Slovak Ore Mountains, it is close to Hungary's border. It is the cultural and economic hub in the Kosice Region with 3 universities and a plethora of museums, galleries and theatres with a flourishing culture scene, offbeat bars and a stunning Gothic cathedral.
The crossroads of historical and modern Europe, the city centre has Slovakia's longest promenade and the best-preserved historical district. It is the gateway to 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 4 national parks, the Tatra Mountains and the internationally known Tokaj wine region where you will find cellars built some 400-600 years ago. There are more palaces in the city than anywhere else in Slovakia to check out; some have become cafes, some bookshops or museums. The museum buff will definitely wet their pants if they meander through the Lower Gate Museum that is entirely underground and housing the original gateway into the city. You can take a pious moment or two at Slovakia's largest church, St Elizabeth Cathedral or talk to the animals at Central Europe's biggest zoo.
For the budding architect into gawking at buildings there are Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau styles to wrap your mind around, whilst the buzzing long main street that is a pedestrian zone is the best people watching domain as you sip an espresso at one of the many cafes or restaurants sitting amidst quirky boutique shops.
When you really want to escape your laptop or if your brain is on overload, take a 2 hour drive out of the city to the gnarly limestone caverns of Slovak Karst National Park or check out the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art in Medzilaborce.