Imagine you’re a backpacker, say, a thousand years ago – would you like to come to Central Europe? See beautiful cities, quaint villages, beautiful architecture, forests and wild animals. Not too bad, huh? Well, still pretty easy. You can come to places like Košice, Cieszyn, Olomouc, Pécs and see architecture and places that have been around… many since Roman times. OK, let’s go to Košice. Košice is the biggest city in eastern Slovakia. A place that is closer to Hungary, Ukraine, Poland and even Romania or Czech Republic than to the country’s capital – Bratislava. This distance causes quite a big cultural difference compared to the metropolis and makes the city unique. Here we are at the impressive Gothic cathedral of saint Elizabeth – – one of the most renowned buildings in the city and the pride of Košice. From the top you can see a great panoramic view of the entire region. And inside is the beautiful altar of saint Elizabeth. As you can tell by the Gothic structure – pretty massive, showing to the power of the city during the Middle Ages. We’re on our way up to the top of the tower of saint Elizabeth’s cathedral. Should be quite impressive. I love these old staircases. Seems to be the thing to do – once you reach the top, you’ve got to give the bell a ring. There’s an urban legend in the city that below this column are the bones of saint Valentine. Whether that’s true or not, nobody knows but it adds a little spice to the city. Košice is not just a pile of old buildings, bricks and monuments. The city is famous for its street art throughout the whole of Central Europe A long walk is all you need to discover one of many masterpieces of urban art. – and if you were going to recommend something about Košice – your own personal best of – what would you recommend to guests? – we have really nice girls. Just go to the centre of the city and look. We have guests from, I think, every country in this world, because we have a lot of people from Australia, America, Chinese people, Korean people. Downstairs, on the bar it’s usually the locals, because we have a good beer and upstairs every guest here is not local. We have 2 rooms upstairs, 1 big room – there are only beds, 1 living room, there is something like emergency bed, when we are full. We have up to 3 private rooms and if you want some luxury we have 4 apartments. Another good thing about Košice is its nightlife: it’s full of students, plenty of things to do, lot of places to go, whatever you’re in for – nice beer, good wine, good restaurants, plenty of options to choose from all night long. The centre of Košice favours the early bird. Even in the morning a lot of attractions await travellers. You can pop into one of the local cafeterias and wake yourself up with a dose of caffeine, or you can go to a special vegetable market located in the heart of the city. The citizens of Košice love sport. No wonder the city was given the honourable title of European capital of sport in 2016. Košice has been home for the oldest marathon in Europe for over 90 years now. In the former Eastern block countries you can find buildings like these behind me nearly everywhere. From Vladyvostok to Berlin they all kind of look the same. They were built under communism to accomodate all the workers and people during the process of urbanization and industrialization that happened during that time. Not the prettiest things most would say. But, here in Košice, you can find a diamond among the rough we might say. Here they’ve got a lake, go water-ski, canoeing, rafting, swimming, have a picnic – why not. Would you say this is like socialism with a human face? You decide. When you think about visiting Slovakia I’m sure your first idea is Bratislava. But you’d be missing out on a whole lot more. Come east, all the way over to Košice , the 2nd largerst city in the entire country. And the good thing is you can get here easily from places like Prague, Cieszyn, Olomouc, Bratislava and Budapest. Direct lines and connections all the way through. It’s a shame we have to go. But at least I know we can get back here pretty easily. As a traveller, you kind of always wonder what the situation is with tipping in each country. Most places around Central Europe, you don’t really tip for a beer or a coffee, but if you go to a restaurant, have a meal where the service is exceptional, be prepared to go about 10%. It’s a little bit different in Czech, where you just kind of round up from whatever the bill is. But that will do you. Remember, if you get a good waitress, good server, tip them right. That’s my tip. When you’re out in Košice, the next nearest place? It’s gonna be Cieszyn. Have a click there, you can see it before we get there. Or maybe, head down to Olomouc just after. And then complete your tour down in Hungary, in Pécs.