Košice: other places to be visited
ZOO Košice is the largest ZOO in Slovakia (its area covers almost 290 hectares). It was established in 1979, and it is situated approximately 10 km from the city centre. Staff of the ZOO breeds more than 800 pieces of more than 150 animal species. The ZOO is aimed at Euro-Asian fauna. Its particularity is linked to an effort to provide the animals an environment similar to their usual biotope.
Botanical Garden that is owned by the University of P. J. Šafárik in Košice, is the largest one in Slovakia. It was established in 1950 and its area covers approximately 30 hectares. It offers a few interesting parts – e.g. collection of ca. 1,200 cactuses and succulents, greenhouses with carnivorous plants and orchids, open air exhibitions with water plants – and in total, it contains approximately four thousand plant species. Since August 2002, the Botanical Garden was recognized as an officially protected area. The visitors can enjoy several specialized exhibitions every year, for instance a popular one is the exhibition of tropical butterflies that are kept in the greenhouses.
For those who prefer quiet and calm environment, the city parks are the right places. The largest urban park of the city, so called City Park, was created in the 19th century. It is situated directly next to the city centre, and it separates the centre from the main railway station and bus station in fact. Other large park is situated in the City part Barca. The interesting point is that it was recognized as a protected area, since some rare plants vegetate there. In the Moyzes’s Street that is parallel with the Main Street, one can walk in an alley park that has a longitudinal shape. A nice and interesting pine grove is located between the City part Západ and the City part of Košice Government Programme.
Obviously, there are other quite large parks, groves and forests in the peripheral city parts of Košice. Čermeľ Valley, Bankov Hill and Anička should be mentioned at least. The Čermeľ Valley is a part of the largest woodland park that is situated in the surroundings of Košice. It also includes so called Alpinka Recreation Area that is popular among the families with children in particular. Another popular place is the Bankov Hill. It has a character of recreation area, too, and it is a place where plenty of barbecue parties are held every summer. Next to the Hornád River that flows through the city, in the outskirt of the city territory, a recreation area called Anička Recreation Area is located. Several entertainment attractions for children (for instance a merry-go-round, horse rides) as well as several sport facilities (for instance mini golf, boats or swimming pool) can be found there. An observation tower called Hradbová Watchtower is situated on the top of Hradbová Hill. The tower was built in 1987, and one can see whole Košice Valley (Košická kotlina) from its top, since it is more than 21 meter high.