The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » Slovakia » 15 Best Places to Visit in Slovakia

15 Best Places to Visit in Slovakia

Slovakia, in Central Europe, borders the Czech Republic , Poland , Hungary , Austria , and Ukraine , and is a vibrant mix of leisurely cafe culture and winding streets, and picture-perfect towns with rugged castles, Gothic churches, and sprawling lush forests.

Known for its spas and geothermal waters, you can relax in an aqua park, or take to the mighty Carpathian Mountains and indulge in a whole host of winter sports. Follow us as we take you on a journey through this fascinating undiscovered country, with stops at spa towns, protected villages, open-air museums, collapsed volcanoes, frozen lakes, and much more.

Lets explore the best places to visit in Slovakia :

1. Bratislava


The largest city in Slovakia, as well as being the capital, Bratislava lies on the River Danube and borders both Austria and Hungary. Come here for a trip to the imposing Bratislava Castle, perched on a plateau above the city and originally built in the 10th century. The city is located in an area of lush vegetation so there are a wealth of parks, open spaces, and lakes in and around Bratislava, including Rusovce Lake, although if you choose to venture there, be forewarned, it is also famous as an area for nudists!

If you head into Old Town in Bratislava be sure to take a ride around on the tourist train that will give you a whistle-stop tour of the city so that you can take in the history and culture from the comfort of a seat. Bratislava is also known for its eclectic music scene, from underground clubs that feature up and coming experimental artists, to its annual Bratislava Music Festival and jazz festival known as Jazz Days.


The region of Liptov is considered by many locals and one of the jewels in the crown of Slovakia, and as such it is one of the most visited areas of the country. The largest ski resort in Slovakia, Jasná, is found in the Liptov region, and if you enjoy winter sports then there are a wealth of trails here for all different abilities to try, including both skiing and snowboarding options.

If you prefer water to snow then you can visit Aquapark Tatralandia, one of the largest water parks in all of Central Europe, where all the water comes from thermal springs, said to have healing properties. For those interested in the local folklore, a trip to the sleepy village of Vikolínec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-do, and you will find log houses, a quaint wooden chapel, and a folklore museum.

3. Slovak Karst Caves

Slovak Karst Caves

Slovakia is home to almost 2,500 caves, and more are being discovered as time goes on, with some 400 having been explored to date. The entire Slovak Karst region of caves has UNESCO World Heritage Site status, and if you like spelunking then you can’t miss a trip to one of the spectacular caves in the region.

If you want to see one of only three Aragonite caves in the world then you should head to Ochtinská Aragonite Cave. If you are feeling brave, you can also visit a section of Domica Cave that features boat rides on a river known as the River Styx, the river in Greek mythology that passengers had to cross to reach the Underworld.


The charming city of Košice was named the European Capital of Culture in 2013 and has a cosmopolitan feel to it that expertly mixes the old with the new. Explore the Old Town where you will find medieval architecture and many of the buildings here are protected.

For a fine example of Gothic style, head to St Elisabth Cathedral, built in the 14th century, as well as the St Michael Chapel that also dates from the same period. If you like culture then you can spend an afternoon in the East Slovak Gallery that pays tribute to Slovak art, or the East Slovak Museum to learn more about the history of Slovakia.


Come to the town of Levoca if you are a fan of Renaissance architecture, which the city has in abundance, including the Roman Catholic Church of St James whose claim to fame is that it has the highest carved wooden alter in Europe. The Old Town is still encircled by the original town walls, and has been named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the town square you will find the Old Town Hall which is now a museum for those who want to learn more about the region, as well as the iron cage that still sits in the square with the rather alarming name, ‘The Cage of Shame’ which was used in days gone by to punish criminals.

6. Pieštàny


Known predominantly as a spa town, come to Pieštàny for some rest and relaxation as you bathe in the medicinal thermal waters as well as the sulphuric mud, said to cure a number of ills. The spa is located on the aptly named Spa Island and features a range of treatments and baths that make use of the geothermal properties created by mineral deposits from the surrounding mountains.

In addition to the spa itself, there are hiking trails and exercise areas, and if guests want to experience the local flora and fauna they can walk through the park area on Spa Island and take in the fountains and statues, and there is also a Social Centre that features galleries and museums.

Žilina, Stranik Hill

Found near the borders of the Czech Republic and Poland, the city of Žilina has a pretty historic centre famous for its quaint churches as well as the spectacular views of the surrounding Mala Fatra Mountains. For art lovers, there is the powerhouse Museum of Art Žilina which features both classic and contemporary pieces that give an insight into the folk traditions of the region.

If you want to experience more of the local scenery, then head for Žilina Dam where you will find walking and running trails, skating and cycling paths, and even volleyball and basketball courts. You can even try your hand and paragliding at the nearby Stranik Hill.


The city of Trencín near the border with the Czech Republic is historic region known for the dominating yet beautiful Trencín Castle that lies atop a rock and which is medieval in style and is split into two sites, the upper and lower parts of the castle.

The city also features a traditional town square which faces Baroque buildings and churches, and visitors can spend an afternoon exploring the winding streets that lead off the square and are home to boutiques, galleries, and local arts and crafts shops perfect for stocking up on souvenirs. Not just offering a glimpse of the past however, a large music festival, said to be the most popular in Slovakia, is held every year in the city.


Well loved in Slovakia due to its status as a holiday resort, this city in the north of Slovakia is also known as an entry point to the High Tatra Mountains via the Tatra Electric Railway that begins in Poprad. The city is also known for its historic centre that features Baroque and Renaissance architecture in the form of the Church of John the Baptist and the Renaissance Bell Tower.

To take in all that the city has to offer head to the Aqua City Poprad where you can enjoy the thermal waters and the local saunas, as well as a whole host of other fun activities such as water tobogganing and playgrounds. For those looking for something more energetic, there are biking paths all over the city and you can even use these to indulge in another favourite activity in the city – roller-skating.

  • 10.  Stará Lubovna

Stará Lubovna

This city is perhaps best known as the home of the famous Stará Lubovna Open Air Museum, also known as the Museum of Folk Architecture, which encompasses the nearby Lubovna Castle as well as traditional smaller dwellings and picturesque period houses.

Many of the dwellings are made from logs and visitors can tour the site to learn about life in Slovakia at the beginning of the 19th century. As well as the log cabins there are also working buildings such as blacksmith’s, a water mill, and a village school so that visitors can earn about the local crafts of days gone by, as well as a Catholic Church also made entirely of wood. At Lubovna Castle there are views across the city from the preserved observation towers as well as a dedicated on-site museum and tours provided for visitors.

  • 11.  Banská Štiavnica

Banská Štiavnica

The town of Banská Štiavnica is nestled in a caldera that was the result of a collapsed volcano that now forms the Štiavnica Mountains. The town has an abundance of picturesque ancient buildings, including two castles known as New Castle and Old Castle. Built into the side of the volcanic scenery for which the town is famous, is The Cavalry, a large complex that is mostly Baroque in style and features over twenty chapels and churches that dot the area and in which visitors can view lovingly restored murals and frescoes.

Also of note in Banská Štiavnica is the town square, named the Holy Trinity Square due to the statue of the Holy Trinity, and the square comes alive with markets and events throughout the year such as music performances and folk dancing.

Spiš Castle

The region of Spiš lies near to the border with Poland, and is most famed for the mighty Spiš Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates from the 12th century. The castle has its origins in the Romanesque style and is made of stone with fortifications to protect it from marauders, and the site is now open to the public who can tour the building which also features the castle museum. For those interested in history, the museum is not to be missed and even has medieval torture devices on display.

  • 13.  Slovak Paradise National Park

Slovak Paradise National Park

One of nine national parks in Slovakia, Slovak Paradise National Park is the perfect place to take in the local flora and fauna, and has forests, lush park lands, and chilly caves. There are over 300 kilometres of hiking trails to choose from for hikers of all levels of fitness, and bird watching and cycling are also popular pursuits in the park.

There are also canyons, ravines, lakes, and gorges in the park as well as the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site Dobšinská Ice Cave, which is basically an area of frozen water inside a cave, and one of the few caves in the region that is open to the public.

  • 14.  Bardejov


Bardejov, located in the foothills of the Beskyd Mountains is a UNESCO World Heritage Site largely due to its preserved medieval town centre. History buffs and architecture fiends will enjoy visiting the town square which still features traditional burgher houses in period styles, as well as the town hall, a mix of Gothic and Renaissance architecture that now operates as a museum, also the oldest museum in the entire country.

The fortifications of the town and the original city walls dating from the 15th century also still stand and have been lovingly preserved for visitors to explore.

  • 15.  Slovak Carpathians

Slovak Carpathians

The Slovak Carpathians form a mountain range that runs through Slovakia and the neighbouring Czech Republic, and consists of the mighty White Carpathians on the Slovak side, including the White Carpathians Protected Landscape Area.

The Carpathians are mainly forested and are perfect for those who enjoy communing with nature as there are opportunities for rambling, hiking, and climbing in the region. In the upper regions of the Carpathians there are nine ski resorts to choose from with skiing and snowboarding opportunities that run throughout the winter season.

15 Best Places to Visit in Slovakia:

  • Slovak Karst Caves

Bratislava, Slovakia

©Rudy Balasko/500px

Right in the heart of Europe, Slovakia is a land of castles and mountains, occasionally punctuated by industrial sprawl. More than a quarter-century after Czechoslovakia's break-up, Slovakia has emerged as a self-assured, independent nation. Capital city Bratislava draws visitors to its resplendent old town and tankard-clanking drinking culture. But Slovakia shines brightest for lovers of the outdoors. Walking trails in the High Tatras wend through landscapes of unearthly beauty, with mirror-still glacier lakes backed by 2000m peaks.


Must-see attractions.

Spis Castle, Spissky Hrad, Spis region, East Slovakia

Spiš Castle

Eastern Slovakia

Crowning a travertine hill above Spišské Podhradie village, this vast, Unesco-listed fortification is one of Central Europe's biggest castle complexes…

Bratislava, Slovakia - May 05, 2016: Danubiana museum of modern art by the river Danube in Bratislava, Slovakia.; Shutterstock ID 419807902; Your name (First / Last): Gemma Graham; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Cities Guides app image downloads - Bratislava

Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum

The windswept location of this world-class art gallery is as invigorating as the works on display. On a promontory jutting into the Danube, the…

Orava Castle

Orava Castle

The sight of Orava Castle, roosting on a forest-cloaked hilltop, sends a chill down the spine. Vampire aficionados may recognise its stern silhouette from…

Taking in the lovely view from Tomasovsky lookout in Slovensky Raj, The Slovak Paradise National Park ( Narodni park Slovensky raj ).

Slovenský Raj National Park

Slovenský Raj's rocky plateaus, primeval forests and interlacing streams form some of Slovakia's most picturesque hiking terrain. Treks often involve…

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA - MAY 7, 2016: Main Square of Bratislava (Hlavne namestie) is one of the best known squares in Bratislava. The square is located in the Old Town and it is the center of city.; Shutterstock ID 425043109; Your name (First / Last): Gemma Graham; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Cities Guides app image downloads - Bratislava

Hlavné Námestie

The nucleus for Bratislava's history, festivals and chic cafe culture is Hlavné nám (Main Sq). There's architectural finery in almost every direction,…

Church of St. Elisabeth, Bratislava, Slovakia

Blue Church

Dedicated to St Elisabeth of Hungary in 1913, the early-20th-century 'Blue Church' is a vision in sapphire and powder-blue. From its undulating arches and…

Museum of the Slovak Village

Museum of the Slovak Village

This picturesque recreated village – Slovakia's largest skanzen (open-air museum) – showcases over 120 faithfully reconstructed 19th-century dwellings in…

Vrátna Valley

Vrátna Valley

Limestone pinnacles and thick forest conspire to make Vrátna Valley one of Slovakia's most majestic areas to hike or ski. A scenic road winds south from…

Latest stories from Slovakia

Filter by interest:

  • All Interests
  • Adventure Travel
  • Art & Culture
  • Beaches, Coasts & Islands
  • Food & Drink

visit slovakia

Wildlife & Nature

Apr 11, 2019 • 5 min read

Slovakia’s most visually striking national park, the High Tatras, turns 70 in 2019, and it's high time you turned your head in the direction of this…

visit slovakia

Mar 28, 2019 • 5 min read

visit slovakia

Dec 15, 2015 • 4 min read

in partnership with getyourguide

Book popular activities in Slovakia

Purchase our award-winning guidebooks.

Get to the heart of Slovakia with one of our in-depth, award-winning guidebooks, covering maps, itineraries, and expert guidance.

Slovakia and beyond

St Martin's Cathedral, Coronation Church, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, Europe

Download GPX file for this article

  • 3 Other destinations
  • 4.1 Terrain
  • 4.2 History
  • 4.3 Ethnicities
  • 4.4 Climate
  • 4.5 Holidays and festivals
  • 6.1 By plane
  • 6.2.1 From the Czech Republic
  • 6.2.2 From Germany
  • 6.2.3 From Austria
  • 6.2.4 From Poland
  • 6.2.5 From Hungary
  • 6.2.6 From Ukraine and Russia
  • 6.5 By foot
  • 7.1.1 Discounts and tickets
  • 7.3 By taxi
  • 7.4.1 Driving
  • 7.4.2 Parking
  • 7.4.3 Renting
  • 7.5 Hitchhiking
  • 7.6 On foot
  • 9.2 Banking
  • 9.3 Tipping
  • 10.1 Slovak food
  • 10.2 International Cuisine
  • 11.1.1 Soft drinks
  • 11.1.2 Mineral waters
  • 11.1.3 Hot drinks
  • 11.2.1 Beers (pivo)
  • 11.2.2 Wines (víno)
  • 11.2.3 Spirits
  • 11.2.4 Others
  • 12.1 Cultural events
  • 12.2 Music events
  • 16.1 Police
  • 16.2 Road safety
  • 16.3 Outdoor safety
  • 16.4.1 Bears
  • 17 Stay healthy
  • 18.1 Culture
  • 18.2 History
  • 18.3 Societal relations

Slovakia ( Slovak : Slovensko ) or the Slovak Republic ( Slovenská republika ) is a country in Central Europe . The main reasons to visit Slovakia are its natural beauty, vivid history and great opportunities for relaxation (and due to the small size of the country, it is quite easy to combine all three).

Slovakia has nine national parks, which cover a relatively large portion of the country and feature the tallest part of the Carpathian Mountain Range, the High Tatras , which offer great opportunities for mountain and winter sports as well as great vistas. Geologically, a sizable part of Slovakia is made out of limestone, which in combination with many springs and rivers has resulted in formation of numerous caves (12 open to the public, several of which are UNESCO listed) and the beautiful rocky formations, canyons and waterfalls of the Slovak Paradise and Slovak Karst . Even outside these areas, there are some beautiful landscapes, and all of Slovakia is covered by thousands of well-marked hiking trails.

For history lovers, Slovakia has the highest number of castles and chateaux per capita in the world, ranging from simple ruins to well-preserved habitable castles with furnishings, so if you are a fan of medieval history, look no further. There are also numerous Gothic and Baroque cities and towns across Slovakia, including the capital. There are also well-preserved examples of wooden folk architecture, including churches made entirely out of wood and the tallest wooden altar in the world.

There are numerous mineral and thermal springs in Slovakia, and around some of these world-famous spas have been built that offer great curative therapies or just simple relaxation. You can also chill out, swim and sunbathe at the shores of several local lakes and pools or try AquaCity waterpark if you are feeling more adventurous. In particular, Bratislava boasts a lively nightlife as well and is a popular partying destination.

Regions [ edit ]

visit slovakia

Cities [ edit ]

  • 48.144722 17.112778 1 Bratislava — capital and the largest city of Slovakia with a beautifully restored historical centre full of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance churches, houses and palaces, cobblestone streets, fountains, pleasant cafes and lively and cosmopolitan atmosphere
  • 48.735278 19.145278 2 Banská Bystrica — was one of the most important mining towns of Hungarian part of Austro-Hungarian Empire; beautiful restored square, many churches, castles and museums and memorial of the Slovak National Uprising
  • 48.716667 21.25 3 Košice — metropolis of the east, second biggest city of the country with the easternmost situated Gothic Cathedral in the World, the oldest European coat of arms, a great historical city centre with the Cathedral Complex, numerous churches, palaces and interesting museums.
  • 48.314722 18.0875 4 Nitra — the oldest Slovak town, with beautiful castle and number of fairs
  • 49.05 20.3 5 Poprad — the entryway into High Tatras
  • 49.133333 18.683333 6 Rajecké Teplice — very peaceful spa town surrounded by magnificent Mala Fatra National Park
  • 48.894167 18.040556 7 Trenčín — one of the most beautiful Slovak towns with a castle lying above the city overlooking the historical centre and the river Váh
  • 48.37775 17.586211 8 Trnava — old Slovak town with the highest number of churches (12) and well preserved baroque architecture
  • 49.216667 18.733333 9 Žilina — Fourth biggest city with a well preserved historical city centre influenced by German architecture and unique museum of the tinker´s culture located at the Budatín castle

Other destinations [ edit ]

visit slovakia

  • 48.908333 20.4 1 Slovak Paradise National Park — Slovenský Raj consists of deep ravines and canyons created by the water cascading in waterfalls through the limestone.
  • 49.166667 20.133333 2 High Tatras — Vysoké Tatry is the biggest national park in Slovakia and a centre of winter sports and hiking.
  • 48.579 20.544 4 Slovak Karst National Park - Slovenský kras , known for its cave systems, part of UNESCO world heritage
  • 49.022778 20.590556 5 Levoča — magnificent medieval pearl of the Spis region surrounded by town walls with a unique renaissance town hall, burger´s houses, numerous churches and St. James Cathedral where the biggest gothic wooden altar of the world is situated
  • 48.782222 18.586111 6 Bojnice — the most visited castle in Slovakia, almost intact with beautifully preserved interiors.
  • 48.583333 17.833333 7 Piešťany — the most famous spa town in Slovakia
  • 48.998889 20.753056 8 Spiš castle — one of the largest castles in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • 49.295 21.275833 9 Bardejov — is a spa town in North-Eastern Slovakia that exhibits numerous cultural monuments in its completely intact medieval town center and is one of UNESCO 's World Heritage Sites.

Understand [ edit ]

Slovakia is a modern democratic country and is a member of the European Union.

Terrain [ edit ]

Much of the central and northern part of Slovakia is rugged and mountainous. Gerlachovský štít at 2,655 m (8,711 ft) in the High Tatras is the highest peak. The Tatra Mountains in the north, shared with Poland, are interspersed with many scenic lakes and valleys. These areas experience lower temperatures and traditionally people here lived off sheep grazing.

The lowlands are in the south with the lowest point of the Bodrog River being 94 m (308 ft) above sea level. The soil here is much more fertile, especially the area between Small Danube and Danube, and was more agricultural. The weather is gentler and especially summers can get surprisingly warm.

History [ edit ]

The area that is present-day Slovakia has been settled since the early Paleolithic era. Before the inward migration of Slavs and Huns, the most important cultures were the Celts and Romans. To this day, artefacts and evidence of the presence of these cultures can be found.

The Slavic tribes that invaded the area in the 5th century created a succession of influential kingdoms here. During this era, lasting until the 10th century when the Great Moravian Empire disintegrated, Slavs adopted Christianity and many medieval fort castles were built, ruins of some of which remain to this day.

visit slovakia

In the 10th century, Slovakia became a part of the Kingdom of Hungary, which, after 1867, formed an union with the Austrian Empire and became the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy . This union, lasting until 1918, was a great influence on the shaping of the entire region. It was a multinational state with many cultures living together, and forms a common cultural history shared by many Central European nations.

In 1918 the Slovaks joined the closely related Czechs to form the republic of Czechoslovakia. Interbellum Czechoslovakia was also a very diverse state with big ethnic minorities including Hungarians, Jews and German-speakers. There were even more native speakers of German in this country than there were ethnic Slovaks. During World War II, Czechoslovakia briefly split, with the Czech regions being occupied by the Nazis and Slovakia becoming a puppet state that collaborated with the Nazis under the leadership of Father Jozef Tiso. Following the chaos of World War II, Czechoslovakia became a communist country within the Soviet-ruled Eastern Bloc. Soviet influence collapsed in 1989 and Czechoslovakia once again became free.

For many years overshadowed by their north-western Czech neighbors, political representatives of Czechs and Slovaks decided to strike out on their own. The Slovaks and the Czechs agreed to separate peacefully on 1 January 1993 and Slovakia became a country in its own right. This is known as the Velvet Divorce . Both countries remain close culturally and there is a high level of political and economic cooperation between the two.

Historical, political, and geographic factors caused Slovakia to experience more difficulty in developing a modern market economy than some of its Central European neighbors, but now it boasts one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and has been a member of the European Union and the NATO since 2004. This rapid economic growth has led to Slovakia being dubbed he Tatra Tiger , and it is now widely regarded as having advanced to developed country status, having been recognised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as an "advanced economy" since 2009. Slovakia is now a member of the Schengen agreement, and the country adopted the Euro on 1 January 2009.

Ethnicities [ edit ]

There are some similarities between the Czech and Slovak cultures but the two nationalities remain distinct. One of the most striking differences is that while Czechs are largely atheists, Slovaks are largely Catholics, like their Polish neighbours.

Slovakia was a part of the Hungarian empire for almost a millennium, and a strong Hungarian-speaking minority of 9.7% remains, concentrated mostly in southern Slovakia. Historic German populations were uprooted and expelled after World War II but their historical influence remains.

In the eastern part of the country, there are many Romanis and some Rusnacs/Rusins and Ukrainians. There are also some Czechs, Poles and still some Germans living in Slovakia.

Climate [ edit ]

Slovakia has a temperate climate with sunny hot summers and cold, cloudy, humid and snowy winters. The climate is continental, with four seasons, and while the overall climate is mild, there is a considerable temperature difference between summer and winter months.

It is generally warmer in southern regions and the lowlands, where summer temperatures can climb above 30°C (86°F) on hotter days, and where rain is more common in winters than snow, which usually melts in a few days.

Northern, and especially mountainous regions have a colder climate, with summer temperatures not exceeding 25°C (77°F). Especially in the mountains, snow is common in winters and it can get quite cold, with temperatures dropping as low as -20°C (-4°F).

In the mountains, the weather can change dramatically in a matter of minutes and it can rain or snow even in summer. Take appropriate equipment and don't underestimate the weather.

Holidays and festivals [ edit ]

Slovakia is a predominantly Catholic Country, so major Christian holidays are observed, as well as some other holidays. Unless indicated otherwise, these days are public holidays and banks and most amenities and shops will be closed:

  • Slovak Republic Day - 1 January - Czechoslovakia split into two on the 1st of January, so New Year's Day is a national holiday. It is traditionally celebrated by sleeping until midday.
  • Epiphany - 6 January - Celebrates the arrival of the Three Magi into Betlehem. Shops and banks are closed.
  • Mardi Gras period ('Fasiangy') - this is not a national holiday, but rather a festival season. Some villages will hold a traditional market with food and drinks offered, and there might be a march through the city in masks, and numerous balls, dances and carnivals are held. 6 January till Ash Wednesday (February or March).
  • Religious people will go to mass, and it might be the only time when it is likely to see people in traditional clothing in some villages; however, this is increasingly less common. Everyone will be dressed up, though.
  • Throughout Slovakia, kraslice are prepared, which are egg shells adorned with ornaments and painted over with colours. These, along with sweets and money, are given to boys, who visit friends' and neighbours' houses, where it is their job to make sure the women will be healthy and prosperous the following year by spraying them with water or perfume and beating them with a willow wand adorned with ribbons. It is called oblievacka and sibacka . It tends to involve copious amounts of alcohol, food and wet T-shirts, and is not taken seriously by anyone. Its popularity has declined, however. If you are female, do not wear clothes you like when venturing outside on Easter Monday as you might have water thrown or perfume sprayed at you. If you want to protest this clearly barbaric tradition, make sure to do so in waterproof clothing.
  • International Labour Day - 1 May - This is celebrated by not working.
  • Day of Victory over Fascism - 8 May - Celebration of the end of World War II in Europe.
  • International Children's Day - 1 June - Not a national holiday, but children might have time off school and various activities will be organised for them, and they usually get treats.
  • St. Cyril and Methodius Day - 5 July- feast of the arrival of the great Christian missionaries to Slovakia (in 863). They translated the Gospels into the Slavic language spoken at the time, devised a new alphabet to write Slavic-specific sounds and translated the liturgical texts (like the Missal and the Psalms) thus enabling a Slavic tongue to be the fourth liturgical language to be accepted by Rome (after Hebrew, Greek and Latin). St. Cyril also wrote the first poem in the Slavic language, Proglas, underlining the importance of a written language for every nation.
  • Slovak National Uprising Memorial Day - 29 August - Holiday to commemorate uprising against Nazis during World War II.
  • Constitution Day - 1 September - Children love this one as school starts one day later.
  • Day of Blessed Virgin Mary - 15 September - A patron saint of Slovakia.
  • Vinobranie This is not a national holiday, but a festival that celebrates the wine harvest, usually held in October in wine-making regions. Cities cooperate so it is held on different weekends in different places and you can visit several. This includes open air markets selling street food, drinks (especially young wine), and various handicrafts.
  • All Saints Day - 1 November - This is a day to remember those that have passed away. Halloween is not celebrated in Slovakia, and this is quite a serious religious holiday. All shops are closed and many people go to cemeteries to light a candle for their loved ones.
  • Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day - 17 November - Commemorates the student demonstration that brought about the end of Communism.
  • St Nicolaus' Day - 6 December - This is not a national holiday, but is seen as a start of the Christmas period. Traditionally, St Nicholaus leaves some sweets (if the child was good) or coal/onion (if the child misbehaved that year) in their shoe overnight (surprisingly enough, most children get sweets, not onion). Celebrations are held in towns, where someone dressed as St nicolaus (think Santa Claus) and his helpers angels/devils help him distribute sweets among crowds of eager kids. Christmas markets open and Christmas lights are turned on.
  • Feast of St Lucy - 13 December - Not a national holiday, but many traditions are connected with this day, varying by the region. For example, you can take 13 pieces of paper, leave one blank and write names of 12 boys on the others if you are a girl. One is burned every day until Christmas Eve, what remains is a name of your future husband (blank = single forever).

visit slovakia

  • Christmas - Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day (24-26 of December) are national holidays. In Slovakia, Christmas is mainly celebrated during Christmas Eve, when a traditional family dinner is held, after which presents are opened. As Christmas Eve is meant to be a fast in the Christian calendar, no meat is eaten that day. A traditional dinner starts with a thin wafer, eaten with garlic (for health) and honey (for happiness and prosperity). This is followed by a soup (either mushroom or cabbage soup), and a main of fried carp and special potato salad. Many varieties of Christmas cakes (e.g. gingerbread) are also eaten. Traditions differ, however.
  • Silvester - 31 December - New Year's Eve is not a national holiday, but is widely celebrated, mostly by partying. At midnight, people toast the New Year with a glass of champagne. Many cities will have a firework display to celebrate New Year. Fireworks and drunk people abound.

Talk [ edit ]

visit slovakia

The official and most widely-spoken language is Slovak . Slovaks are very proud of their language, and thus, even in Bratislava you will not find many signs written in English outside of the main tourist areas. In some parts of the country, especially in the east, dialects are used which may sound quite different from the codified language. However, understanding the official language should rarely be a problem and attempts to speak Slovak will be appreciated.

Slovak is written using the same Roman characters that English uses, with some added accents or diacritics, so Western travellers won't have any trouble reading signs and maps. While some words are tongue twisters, the knowledge of the alphabet including the letters with diacritics will go a long way as Slovaks pronounce every letter of a word with the stress always on the first syllable (it may be on the second syllable in some eastern dialects).

Czech and Slovak are mutually intelligible, yet distinct languages. At first, one might think they are dialects of each other — older people in both countries tend to understand the other language better than younger people who were born after the breakup of Czechoslovakia .

Since the territory of Slovakia was under Hungarian influence for centuries, there is a significant Hungarian -speaking minority of 9.7%. Most of the Hungarians live in southern regions of the country and some of them speak no Slovak. Other Slovaks however normally do not speak or understand the Hungarian language.

English is widely spoken by younger adults who grew up after the fall of communism, but rarely by older people who grew up under communist rule. Older residents, as well as people working in the tourism industry, may know some German and Russian. People born between 1935 and 1980 will have learned Russian in school, though few Slovaks will appreciate being spoken to in Russian as this language has some negative connotations due to the Soviet domination. Due to significant tourism growth in the north and east of Slovakia, English is becoming more widely used and you may try Polish . Other Slavic languages, especially Russian, Serbian, Croatian, and Slovene may also work. In the east Rusyn, an East Slavic language closely related to Ukrainian, is spoken. It is also intelligible with Russian to some extent.

Get in [ edit ]

Slovakia is a member of the Schengen Agreement . See Travelling around the Schengen Area for more information on how the scheme works, which countries are members and what the requirements are for your nationality. In summary:

  • There are normally no immigration controls between countries that have signed and implemented the treaty.
  • There are usually identity checks before boarding international flights or boats entering the Schengen Area. Sometimes there are temporary border controls at land borders.
  • A visa granted for any Schengen member is valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty.

Recognised refugees in possession of a valid travel document issued by the government of any one of the above countries/territories are exempt from obtaining a visa for Slovakia (but no other Schengen country, except Germany and Hungary ) for a maximum stay of 90 days in a 180-day period.

You should have ID with you anyway, but to avoid hassle, make sure to keep an ID on you in border regions.

If you need a visa, always apply at an embassy beforehand. There is no chance you will get a visa at a Slovak border, no matter how you enter or what your nationality is.

By plane [ edit ]

visit slovakia

The alternative is Vienna Airport ( VIE  IATA ), which is just 37 km (23 mi) from Bratislava. It provides a more convenient way of getting to Slovakia by the major airlines, but can be more expensive. It also receives a much greater number of long-haul flights. Direct buses to Bratislava's main bus station depart from the airport hourly. Alternatively, you can take a taxi which will cost around €70.

Smaller international airports are:

Other options include airports in Prague ( PRG  IATA ) and Budapest ( BUD  IATA ). You can also fly to Kraków ( KRK  IATA ) or Katowice ( KTW  IATA ) if you want to go to the Tatra Mountains . Buses from Kraków run to several Slovak towns around the Tatra mountains and Orava.

By train [ edit ]

From the czech republic [ edit ].

As parts of former Czechoslovakia, the trains between the Czech Republic and Slovakia are frequent. EC trains operate every two hours from Prague to Bratislava and Žilina . There is one daily train from Prague to Banská Bystrica , Zvolen , Poprad and Košice . All these cities have a direct overnight sleeper car connection from Prague.

Cheap tickets SporoTiket Evropa can be bought at the Czech Railways e-shop , at least 3 days in advance. The price begins at €15 for seat or €26 for couchette. An e-ticket is valid only on the train indicated on the ticket.

If you want greater flexibility or cannot buy in advance over the Internet, you can get a significant discount at a railway station if you buy a return ticket called CityStar . Such international return ticket is valid for one month on any train (and cannot be bought over the Internet at all).

From Germany [ edit ]

There are two-hourly daytime and one overnight train from Berlin to Bratislava. Cheap tickets can be bought at the website of the German national railway , even though the night train is now marketed by the Austrian national railways as Nightjet . Tickets start at €39 depending mostly on demand. Early bird tickets are only valid for the precise train you book. Nightjet trains have further connections from other German cities to Vienna from where you can change onto local trains for the 60 km (1 hour) trip to Bratislava.

From Austria [ edit ]

visit slovakia

Hourly regional expresses operate from Vienna to Bratislava. You can use the EURegio ticket for €16 – a return ticket valid 4 days.

From Poland [ edit ]

There is an overnight through car from Warszawa to Bratislava via Czech territory. Direct train connection from Poland is very poor, a bus is generally a better alternative. There are only few local trains going just over the border line – one train Zwardoń (PL)–Skalité (SK). There's no international passenger traffic at Nowy Sącz – Prešov (since Dec 2010) and Lupków - Medzilaborce line (since Dec 2009).

If you really want to travel from Poland by train, prepare for a full-day trip with a lot of train changes. It's cheaper to buy Polish ticket only to border point (Skalité Gr.) and then buy a Slovak domestic ticket at conductor (€1.30 surcharge).

From Hungary [ edit ]

There are EC trains from Budapest to Bratislava running every two hours and two IC trains a day from Budapest and Miskolc to Košice . Unlike trip from Poland, it wouldn't be cheaper to buy the Slovak section at conductor. Instead, there is a bilateral return discount of 60% (i.e. a return ticket is cheaper that a one-way ticket).

From Ukraine and Russia [ edit ]

There is a daily direct sleeper car from Moscow , Kyiv and Lviv to Košice, Poprad and Bratislava. The journey is very long – 2 nights from Moscow and Kyiv and 1 day and night from Lviv – because of state of the rail network in western Ukraine, the lengthy customs process at the border as well as the break of gauge between Ukraine (Russian broad gauge) and Slovakia (standard gauge).

It is much cheaper to buy a Ukrainian or Russian ticket only to the Ukrainian border station Chop , then buy a ticket from Chop to the first Slovak station Čierna nad Tisou , and then buy a Slovak domestic ticket from the conductor (€1.30 surcharge). But then you have no berth reservation for the Slovak section and you have to change to seat car in Chop.

Another option is to buy a CityStar ticket in Russia (or Slovakia were its prices are cheaper) which can be however is valid only for group up to 5 members. CityStar ticket than servers as one-month valid two-way ticket between the stations and is offered with a discount for each next passenger on the ticket. Of course you have to buy berth ticket additionally as well.

By bus [ edit ]

Among many others, there are regular services from Vienna, Prague and Budapest to Bratislava; and from Uzhhorod , Ukraine to the eastern Slovak town of Michalovce and from Kraków , Poland through Zakopane , Poland to Poprad.

Taking a bus from Prague to Bratislava is slower but cheaper than train if you buy a ticket in advance, e.g. at Student Agency [dead link] , Slovak Lines [dead link] , or using the common bus reservation system AMSBus .

Buses from Poland and Ukraine are the best option, they are faster and more frequent than trains.

From Budapest the travel is 4 hours, the bus stop for 5 minutes at Györ and in a small restaurant in the road.

By car [ edit ]

Slovakia has a highway network connected to neighboring countries.

By foot [ edit ]

  • There's a pontoon ferry accessible to car-drivers and pedestrians between Angern an der March (Austria) and Záhorská Ves (Slovakia). 05:00-22:00.

Get around [ edit ]

visit slovakia

CP offers an exceptionally useful website and smartphone app with integrated timetables for all trains and buses in Slovakia, including all intra-city and inter-city transports, even indicating from which lane your bus will depart. It is also useful for international travel from/to Slovakia.

Train is by far the best option to travel across Slovakia, provided you don't have a private vehicle. Frequent fast trains connect all important cities, but there are less local trains, even at main lines. For local transport a bus is generally a better alternative. Trains are fairly priced, with the prices competitive with buses, and cheap by western standards. They are reliable and clean.

Opt for an InterCity service if you want Western-style comfort; IC trains link Bratislava, Žilina, The High Tatras and Košice and have compulsory reservations. These can save you from the crowds: ordinary trains do get crowded, usually on Fridays and Sundays or around holidays. Watch out for pickpockets at major stations and steer clear of money scams. Also, sporadic robberies occur to sleeping passengers travelling the overnight longliners.

Most train services within country is provided by ZSSK [dead link] , other train operators are Leo Expres and Regiojet both offering long distance trains and Regiojet also regional trains between Bratislava and Komarno .

Discounts and tickets [ edit ]

  • Internet tickets by ZSSK [dead link] - with 5% discount can be bought using credit account. Internet tickets in electronic or printed form for domestic trains are valid on the selected train and date or on any next train (though you lost your seat reservation) on the same route on the first day of validity (except all IC trains and Ex 1502 Chopok train). Tickets bought at stations are valid for any one journey on the given route within a specified time period (usually one or two days, depending on the distance), and thus very flexible. Some international tickets can only be bought at stations - if you can't find station using ZSSK website, try using target country language (Wien instead of Vienna; Praha instead of Prague etc.)
  • Free transport [dead link] - children under 16 years of age and seniors over 62 years of age regardless of citizenship or residence status; and students under 26 years of age and pensioners under 62 years of age (including ill health retirement) who are citizens or permanent residents of EU member states. You need registration at train company; do not forget photograph sized 2x3 cm (up-to-date, unused, professional, sharp and bright enough, depicted from the front, without any headwear or background).
  • Klasik Railplus by ZSSK [dead link] - costs €35 offering 25% discount from a standard domestic fare for one year. Worth it if you plan to spend more than €140 of the standard fare in a year (approximately five return tickets Bratislava - Košice). Do not forget photograph sized 2x3 cm for registration. Can be combined with 5% discount using credit account.
  • Leo Expres and Regiojet long distance trains - they're cheapest when booking in advance online and are tied to a specific train and time.

Bus connections are usually slower than trains, but can get you where trains cannot, and some private companies also offer discounts for travellers with a foreign ISIC card (state-run companies do not, unless you're a Slovak citizen). Tickets for long-haul routes- 100 km+ (including to/from the Czech Republic or within the Czech Republic) can be bought from AMSBus after compulsory registration (English version is also available). The travel from Bratislava to Nitra is a rare example of a route where buses are significantly faster and cheaper than trains.

Buses are punctual, and it is therefore advisable to arrive at the bus station in advance, the time specified in the timetable is the time it leaves the station. Most tickets are bought directly from the driver, so you will probably need cash. Though the bus driver will give you change, especially for shorter (cheaper) journeys, it is advisable to have some smaller denominations. You can expect to pay a small extra fee if you are carrying a big bag.

Turancar , Student Agency and Slovak Lines are good examples of private bus companies which are pretty reliable, comfortable (as they use new buses often with on-board entertainment LCD screens), running on time and offering student discounts for foreigners with ISIC. journey planner includes local transport schedules of various cities and towns.

By taxi [ edit ]

Ride-hailing is available in Slovakia and the following are the most anticipated providers:

  • Bolt . Includes many towns. ( updated Jul 2020 )
  • Uber . Works in Bratislava. ( updated Jul 2020 )

The road network is extensive and in an overall good condition. Most major roads (especially in the Western parts) are two lane and in good repair, however the majority of the minor roads are one lane, and maintenance standard of this can vary from good to rather bumpy. Along major routes and highways fuel stops and restaurants ( odpočívadlo or čerpacia stanica ) are quite frequently and in smaller towns, you'll most likely find small kiosks ( stánok ) or fruit or cheese stands ( ovocný stánok for fruit, stánok so syrom for cheese) next to the road, presenting local delicacies at low prices. The driving style in Slovakia is, especially compared to countries in Western Europe, more aggressive and of lower standard. One should be aware of other cars speeding, which is quite frequent, and overtaking on your side of the road, especially in the more mountainous areas of the country.

Driving [ edit ]

Vehicles drive on the right side of the road and the speed limits are in general 50 kmh (31 mph) in a village/town, 90 kmh (56 mph) outside build-up areas and 130 kmh (81 mph) on motorways. However trucks and cars with caravans/trailers are limited to 80 km/h (50 mph) outside build-up areas or on motorways and motorcycles are limited to 90 km/h (56 mph) on motorways.

Wearing seatbelts in cars and vans is compulsory and children aged 11 or younger or lower than 150 cm must be placed on the rear seat.

Headlights must be switched on when driving at all times, regardless of weather conditions or whether it is a night or day, so switch them on.

In winter, snow and ice is common on the roads, and winter tires are recommended. In extreme weather some minor mountain roads might require snow chains.

Slovakia has a zero tolerance policy towards alcohol. Do not drink and drive. If nothing else, then because the penalties are severe.

Wearing helmets is compulsory for both driver and passenger on motorcycles of any size, and goggles must also be worn by the driver of motorcycles with engines larger than 50cc.

Police presence is frequent on the roads, and especially the major roads, in both marked and unmarked vehicles.

If you intend to drive on the motorways please note that vehicles must show a mandatory sticker ( vignette ) covering road toll, in the upper right corner on the car's windshield (mandatory location as this is mostly checked by fixed electronic camera system). The vignette can be purchased from most petrol stations and is valid for ten days (€10), for a month (€14) or longer. Please note that the vignette is compulsory on all motorways from the point of entry, and if you are caught without one you will be subject to a fine. If you are renting a car, it most likely is included in the rental, but remember to check or inquire when renting/booking.

If you understand Slovak, many private radio stations include a great traffic coverage as a part of their news, which will inform you about any obstructions on the road, car accidents, traffic jams and even police presence so it is certainly worth tuning in. There is also a website called Stellacentrum , where you can find general information about traffic and police patrols (they even inform, where the police patrols actually are).

Parking [ edit ]

Most places offer free parking, however in the central areas of the bigger cities, there may be fees for parking. In the cities outside of Bratislava, the most common method for paid parking, is a closed area, where you enter and receives a slip from a machine. On the way out you'll have to return the slip and pay to a person. The person most likely do not speak English, but if you look confused enough he or she will hand you a handwritten note with the amount. Try to pay the exact amount with cash, and avoid paying with large bills, as these places rarely have much cash at hand. In central Bratislava you can find places, where you have to get a parking slip from a vending machine and pre-pay for your parking. The slip then has to be placed behind the wind shield of the car and must be visible from the outside.

Renting [ edit ]

Renting a car is a convenient, efficient and relatively cheap (prices start at approx. €65/day at car rental chains with free mileage) way to explore Slovakia, especially if you intend to visit more remote areas, where train and bus services may be more sporadic. Don't expect neither GPS nor road map to be included and remember to check if highway vignette (see above) is included; it most likely, is but not always. Ask when booking and if it is not, then they can most likely easily include it without any handling charges.

Hitchhiking [ edit ]

Hitchhiking in Slovakia is best done by asking around at gas stations. It used to be that most people only speak Slovak (and possibly understand other Slavic languages) so it was difficult for foreigners who don't speak Slavic languages. However, nowadays most of the young people speak English and almost as many speak German.

Keep in mind that trains and buses in Slovakia are cheap for Westerners, and (apart from extremely rural areas where people are generally less wary of hitchhikers) it might take a while for someone to pick you up. You can find some offers if you travel from Slovakia and into Slovakia as well on specialized web pages. The biggest hitchhikers page in Slovakia is [dead link] . There you can find offers in English, German, French, Polish, Czech and Hungarian language and it is free.

On foot [ edit ]

visit slovakia

There is a long tradition of hiking and mountain walking in Slovakia, and it is an extremely popular sport. Most people you meet will have gone on a hike at least once in their life, and many do so regularly, and can give you advice about the most interesting local trails. The trail network is also very well maintained. The quality and efficiency of the sign-posting system is unique in European (and probably World) context.

Every route is marked and signposted, different trails being given a different colour. There are four colours used - red, blue, green and yellow. Longest and most sternous trails are usually marked red, and it is possible to traverse from north-eastern Dukla Pass all the way to the west (Bradlo, near Bratislava ) along the Slovak National Uprising Heroes trail (750 km) along one such red-marked path. However, the trails are numerous, suitable for various levels of fitness, and many lead through beautiful scenery. In towns, you will usually see a signpost, with arrows pointing in different directions, marking the colour of the path and the average walking times to the nearest set of destinations. All you need to do is to follow the colour, there will be a mark every hundred metres or so, and consists of a 10-cm-by-10-cm square three-section mark where the edges are white and the chosen path's colour in the middle.

visit slovakia

It is also possible (and highly recommended) to purchase 'tourist maps' of smaller Slovak regions. These are based on sets of former military maps, have a very good resolution (1:50000) and can be purchased from most kiosks, information centres and book stores for bargain price of between €1.50-2.50. These are published by the Slovak Tourist Club (KST), which maintains all the trails, and show all the marked trails in the area, including the average walking times, which makes route planning very easy and efficient. You can also use hiking websites such as Freemap Slovakia (based on OpenStreetMap data) or HIKING.SK .

See [ edit ]

visit slovakia

Slovakia combines all the typical features of a grand European history with highly attractive nature and a traveller-friendly modern atmosphere. Its fairly small capital Bratislava may not have the majestic sights you'll find in some other Eastern European capitals, but it has an energetic vibe to it, a lovely Old Town, Bratislava Castle and endless options to have a great time. The city as a whole is a quaint mix of 18th-century rococo and concrete Communist building blocks. An afternoon coffee in one of the countless street cafés along the famous Danube river is an absolute must and a good chance to people-watch and absorb the ambience. For a touch of grandeur, take a river tour down to Devin Castle , an excellent example of Slovakia's record-high number of castles and chateaux . Some of them are little more than a pile of stones hidden in a deep forest, others are luxurious baroque mansions or citadels in the middle of towns. Other worthwhile examples are Spiš Castle (one of the largest castle sites in all of Europe) and the 19th century Bojnice Castle , a favourite tourism destination for the Slovaks. Almost equally popular is the beautiful Orava Castle near Dolný Kubín , high up on a rock overlooking the Orava river. Other good picks for large historic city centres include the old towns of Košice , Trnava and Levoča . Banská Štiavnica is a fabulously preserved medieval mining town and one of the country's World Heritage Sites. Where Banská Štiavnica mined for silver ore, the smaller but equally well-preserved medieval town of Kremnica was built above gold mines and boasts the oldest still-working mint in the world.

If you love nature, Slovakia will be great for you. Large parts of the country are covered with dense forests and the abundance of wildlife includes brown bears, wolves, and lynxes. The Tatra Mountains , more specifically the High Tatras , are a prime attraction and offer impressive mountainous panoramas as well as great opportunities for skiing and other outdoor sports. In the large karst areas throughout the country there's an impressive number of caves . A dozen or so are accessible for tourists. The Ochtinská Aragonite Cave near Rožňava stands out, as it is one of the only three aragyonite caves in the world. Together with other caves of the Slovak Karst , it is listed on UNESCO's World Heritage list. If you enjoy hiking, try the Slovak Paradise National Park , famous for its beautiful canyons and ravines with many waterfalls and rocky formations. For a more relaxing encounter with Slovakia's natural environments, head to one of the many mineral springs and spas . Piešťany is one of the best-known ones, but your options are countless.

visit slovakia

If you get the chance, travel a bit through Slovakia's countryside. It's dotted with historical villages, sometimes seemingly untouched by time, and often a good way to catch a glimpse of the country's folk traditions. The hamlet of Vlkolínec is considered a prime example of folk countryside architecture, but Čičmany and Brhlovce are lovely villages too.

Historic churches are impossible to miss, as you'll find them in every village, town and city. Especially well-known are the many wooden churches in the northern and north-eastern parts of the country.

Buy [ edit ]

Money [ edit ].

Slovakia uses the euro , like several other European countries . One euro is divided into 100 cents. The official symbol for the euro is €, and its ISO code is EUR. There is no official symbol for the cent.

All banknotes and coins of this common currency are legal tender within all the countries, except that low-denomination coins (one and two cent) are phased out in some of them. The banknotes look the same across countries, while coins have a standard common design on the reverse, expressing the value, and a national country-specific design on the obverse. The obverse is also used for different designs of commemorative coins. The design of the obverse does not affect the coin's acceptability.

Until 2009, the official currency was the koruna ("crown", sk) which can still be exchanged by the National Bank of Slovakia at a rate of 30.126 sk to €1.

Banking [ edit ]

Automatic teller machines (ATM, "bankomat" in Slovak, pl. "bankomaty") are widely available in Slovakia except in smaller villages, and obtaining money there should not present a problem. In most of small villages you can gain money at local postal offices (cashback). Credit cards and debit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Visa Electron, Cirrus Maestro are widely accepted both in shops and restaurants in bigger cities.

Tipping [ edit ]

Tipping is not compulsory in Slovakia, but in practice it is common in establishments where you sit in (cafes and restaurants), where rounding up the bill or leaving around 10% tip is common. The tip is given directly to the waiter (i.e. tell him/her how much to give you back), not left on the table in most establishments. Tips are not included in the bill, if there is a percentage shown on your bill, this is usually the VAT. Tip is added to the bill and should be handed to the waiter while you pay, before you leave the table. Tipping is not compulsory, so if you are not satisfied with the service, don't feel obliged to tip! You will not be hassled if you don't.

Tipping is not common in over-the-counter establishments, bars or for other services.

Eat [ edit ]

Slovak cuisine focuses mostly on simple and hearty recipes. Historically, what is now considered genuinely Slovak has been the traditional food in the northern villages where people lived off sheep grazing and limited agriculture - in the harsh conditions many crops don't grow, and herbs are more accessible than true spices. Therefore, the staple foods mostly involve (smoked) meat, cheese, potatoes and flour. This does not make the food bland, however, and much of it is quite filling and flavoursome, though can be a bit heavy. As no strong spices or truly exotic ingredients are used, sampling local wares is a safe and rewarding experience.

Some dishes are authentically Slovak, many others are variations on a regional theme. A lot of cheese is typically consumed, out of meats pork and poultry products are the most common, with some beef and game dishes, most common accompaniments being potatoes and various types of dumplings. Since Slovakia is a land-locked country, fish and seafood options are limited (carp is served at Christmas, trout is the most common fish). Soups are quite common both as an appetiser and, as some are quite filling, as a main dish.

If you are a vegetarian , the variety of food in the cities should be decent. However, when venturing out into the countryside, the offer may be limited as vegetables are mostly considered a side and/or eaten mostly raw or in salads. Also, be aware that even though some dishes will be in the vegetarian section of the menu, this merely means that they're not predominantly meat-based and still might be prepared using animal fats or even contain small pieces of meat, so make your requirements clear. Fried cheese with ham or Cesar salad(!) are good examples. Still, almost every restaurant in the country will serve at least the staple choice of fried cheese (the normal, non-ham variety) with fries, which is a universally popular. There should be a good selection of sweet dishes as well, with pancakes, dumplings filled with fruits, jams or chocolate and sweet noodles with nuts/poppy seeds/sweet cottage cheese most common. Seeking out the nearest pizzeria is also a good and accessible option mostly everywhere.

The main meal of the day is traditionally lunch, though this is changing especially in cities due to work schedules, and dinner is increasingly becoming the main meal there.

In all but the most exclusive restaurants it is not customary to be shown to your table by the staff. So when you enter, do not hang out by the door, but simply pick a table of your choice and enjoy. Once you are comfortably seated, waiting staff will be over shortly to give you the menu and let you order drinks.

Again with the possible exception of the most exclusive establishments, there is mostly no dress code enforced in restaurants and informal clothing is fine. Hauling yourself into a restaurant for a well-deserved meal after a day of hiking/skiing in your sporty clothes might attract a few frowns, but you certainly won't be turned away. Generally, anything you would wear for a stroll in town is perfectly fine. You don't need a jacket or closed shoes and in summer shorts are also acceptable.

Slovak food [ edit ]

visit slovakia

Bryndzové halušky is a Slovak national dish made out of potato dumplings and a special kind of unpasteurized fermented sheep cheese called 'bryndza'. This meal is unique to Slovakia and quite appetising (and surprisingly filling), and you should not leave Slovakia without trying it. Please note that while this dish will usually be listed in the vegetarian section of the menu, it is served with pieces of fried meaty bacon on top, so if you are a vegetarian make sure to ask for halušky without the bacon. Halušky can be found in many restaurants; however, the quality varies as it is not an easy dish to prepare. If you at all can, seek out an ethnic Slovak restaurant (this can be harder than it sounds), or at least ask locals for the best place in the vicinity. In the northern regions you will also find authentic restaurants called 'Salaš' (this word means sheep farm in Slovak and many take produce directly from these), which serve the most delicious and fresh variety. Sometimes, a variety with smoked cheese added on the top is available. A separate dish called strapačky might also be available where sauerkraut is served instead of bryndza, but it is not as typical (this will also come with bacon on top).

A salaš will usually serve also other typical Slovak dishes, and many will offer several varieties of sheep cheese to buy as well. They are all locally produced, delicious, and well worth buying if you are a cheese fan. Verieties include bryndza (primarily used to make 'Bryndzové halušky', but it is a soft spreadable cheese which is very healthy and often used as a spread), blocks of sheep cheese (soft and malleable, delicious on its own or with salt), parenica (cheese curled in layers into a small peelable roll, sold smoked or unsmoked) and korbáčiky (this word means hair braids in Slovak, and korbáčiky are threads of cheese woven into a pattern resembling a basic braid). Some of these cheeses are available to buy in supermarkets as well but these are mass-produced and not as good.

visit slovakia

Most other dishes are regional, and their varieties can be found elsewhere in Central Europe. These include kapustnica , a sauerkraut soup typically eaten at Christmas but served all year round in restaurants. It is flavoursome and can be mildly spicy based on what sausage is used. Depending on the recipe it may also include smoked meat and/or dried mushrooms.

Various large dumplings called pirohy can be found and depending on the filling can be salty or sweet. Fillings include sauerkraut, various types of cheese or meat or simply fruits or jam. They closely resemble Polish pierogi.

Goulash is a regional dish made with cuts of beef, onions, vegetables and squashed potatoes with spices, which is very hearty and filling. Depending on the thickness it can be served as a soup (with bread) or as a stew (served with dumplings). Goulash can be sometimes found outdoors during BBQs or at festival markets, where it is prepared in a big cauldron, sometimes with game instead of beef - this is the most authentic. A variety called Segedin goulash also exists, which is quite distinct and prepared with sauerkraut. Goulash can be quite spicy.

Apart from kapustnica and goulash, which are more of a main dish, other soups are quite popular as an appetiser. Mushroom soup is a typical Christmas dish in many parts, and there are several soups made out of beans or bean sprouts. In restaurants, the most common soups are normal chicken and (sometimes) beef broth, and tomato soup and garlic broth (served with croutons, very tasty, but don't go kissing people afterwards) are also very common. Some restaurants offer certain soups to be served in a small loaf of bread ('v bochníku'), which can be an interesting and tasty experience.

Other typical streetfood includes lokše, potato pancakes (crepes) served with various fillings (popular varieties include duck fat and/or duck liver pate, poppy seeds or jam) and langoš , which is a big deep fried flat bread most commonly served with garlic, cheese and ketchup/sour cream on top. A local version of a burger is also common, called cigánska pečienka (or simply cigánska). This is not made out of beef, however, but instead pork or chicken is used and is served in a bun with mustard/ketchup, onions and sometimes chilies and/or diced cabbage. If you are looking for something sweet, in spa cities such as Piešťany , Trenčianske Teplice or Rajecké Teplice you will find stands selling spa wafers , which are usually two plate-sized thin wafers with various fillings. Try the chocolate or hazelnut ones.

Especially in the western parts, lokše can be found in a restaurant as well, where they are served as side for a roasted goose/duck ( husacina ), which is a local delicacy. The village of Slovenský Grob, located near Bratislava, is in particular known for its restaurants that serve goose meat.

Other foods worth trying are chicken in paprika sauce with dumplings ( 'paprikáš' ), Schnitzel (' rezeň ' in Slovak, very common dish. 'Čiernohorsky rezeň' is a variety that is made with potato dumpling coating used instead of batter and is very good) and sviečková (sirloin beef with special vegetable sauce, served with dumplings; it is, however, originally a Czech dish). From the dessert section of the menu, try makové šúľance (small potato rolls sprinkled with poppy seeds and sugar) or parené buchty (plum dumplings; sometimes other fruit is used, but plums are traditional); this is a good and quite filling dish on its own as well. These meals are usually served as a main course even in most of the restaurants - as a matter of fact, in Slovakia, it is very common to eat sweet dishes as the main course.

In some parts of the countryside, there is a tradition called zabíjačka , where a pig is killed and its various meat and parts are consumed in a BBQ-like event. This is a lot more historic celebration than you are likely to find it in mostly modern Slovakia, but if you have an opportunity to attend, it may be an interesting experience, and the meat and sausages are home-made, delicious and full of flavour. If you can find home-made jaternica (pork meat and liver sausage with rice) or krvavničky (similar to hurka, but with pork blood) on offer elsewhere, they are both very good. There is also tlačenka (cold meat pressed together with some vegetables, served similar to ham), which is served cold with vinegar and onion on top, and can be bought in supermarkets as well. Various other type of sausages and smoked meats are available commercially.

A thick fried slice of cheese served with French fries (vyprážaný syr s hranolkami) and a salad is also a common Slovak dish. It is served in most restaurants, and worth trying out, especially the local variety made from smoked cheese ('údený syr'/'oštiepok') or 'hermelín' (local cheese similar to Camembert). This is not considered a substitute for meat.

There is a good variety of bakery products, including various sweet pastries - try the local fillings of poppy seeds and/or (sweet) cottage cheese ( tvaroh ). Strudel (štrúdla) is also popular, try the traditional apple and raisins filling or fancier sweet poppy seeds and sour cherries version. For something savoury, try oškvarkový pagáč , which is a puff pastry with little pork cracklings. Local bread is excellent, but please note that some of the several varieties are sprinkled with caraway seeds. You may or may not like this! Baguettes and baguette shops/stands are very common and you will be able to choose from a variety of fillings.

For dessert, visit the local cukráreň . These establishments, though slowly merging into cafes, exclusively specialise in appeasing your sweet tooth and serve a variety of cakes, as well as hot and cold drinks and (sometimes) ice-cream. The cakes resemble similar fare in the Czech Republic or their Viennese cousins. The selection is diverse and on display, so just pick one you like the look of, perhaps a ' krémeš ' (a bit of pastry at the bottom, thick filling of vanilla custard, topped with a layer of cream or just chocolate) or ' veterník ' (think huge profiterole coated in caramel), selection of tarts etc.

When you are shopping in the supermarket, remember to pick up Tatranky and/or Horalky , two brands of similar wafers with hazelnut filling and lightly coated in chocolate that the locals swear by.

International Cuisine [ edit ]

Italian restaurants and pizzerias are extremely popular in Slovakia, and have become ubiquitous. Even if you don't go to an ethnic Italian restaurant, there will be a pizza or pasta dish on almost every restaurant menu. Italian (and generally Mediterranean) ice cream is also very popular.

Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine is also becoming more common everywhere, and kebab/gyros (a bun with sliced bits of meat) stands are very common.

In bigger cities, you will find a selection of ethnic restaurants including Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Italian, French and many others. Moreover, as mentioned above, many Austrian, Czech, Hungarian and Polish dishes with a Slovakian twist are commonplace.

Fast food establishments can be found in Slovakia as anywhere else in the world, McDonalds (colloquially referred to as "mekdonald" or "mekáč") can be found in many bigger and smaller cities. However, due to the other food being relatively cheap in comparison to the Western prices of fast foods, this is not usually considered the truly budget option. A food in a cheaper restaurant will cost 1-1.5x the price of a meal combo (sometimes even less) and might prove a better value. Still, these establishments are reasonably popular, especially with the younger generation.

Drink [ edit ]

visit slovakia

Non-alcoholic drinks [ edit ]

For non-alcoholic drinks try these:

Soft drinks [ edit ]

Mineral waters [ edit ].

Mineral waters are some of the best in the World, come in numerous varieties and each has unique positive health effects (e.g. getting rid of heartburn, improving digestion etc.) depending on the type of minerals naturally found in the water.

There are many types available from shops and supermarkets, for example, Budiš, Mitická, Slatina, Rajec, Dobrá Voda, Zlatá studňa, Fatra etc. Others are only available directly from the many natural mineral springs common all across the country. As these are true 'mineral' waters, they will invariably contain minerals, and the taste will differ according to the brand/spring. If you don't like one, try a different brand! You may also try mineral waters with various flavourings, ranging from raspberry to 'mojito'.

In contrast to what you might be used to, sparkling water is the default option, so if you prefer still you might have to look for this specifically. The level of carbonation is marked by the label. Dark blue or Red label usually indicates carbonated ones ("perlivá"), a green label indicates mildly carbonated ones ("mierne perlivá") and white, pink or baby blue indicates those without carbon dioxide ("neperlivá"). Due to the excellent local choice and quality of the water, international brands are not as common.

In restaurants, serving a free glass of water is not a part of the culture, so remember that if you ask for one it is quite likely that you will be brought (most likely sparkling) mineral water instead (and charged for it).

Hot drinks [ edit ]

  • Coffee . Out of hot drinks coffee is available everywhere, mostly in three varieties (cafes in cities will offer more) - espresso, 'normal' coffee which is served medium-sized, small and black and Viennese coffee which is 'normal' coffee with a dollop of cream on top. Cappuccinos are quite common as well. Coffee is served with sugar and cream/milk on the side. ( updated Dec 2023 )
  • Hot chocolate . Hot chocolate is popular as well. ( updated Dec 2023 )
  • Tea . Tea rooms are quite popular as a place to chill out in major cities. These usually have a laid-back, vaguely oriental ambiance, and offer a great variety of black, green, white and fruit teas. Schisha might be on offer as well. A part of this culture spread to the other catering establishments, most of which will now offer a choice at least between fruit and black tea. Note that black tea is served with sugar and lemon in Slovakia, serving of milk or cream is not common. ( updated Dec 2023 )
  • Hot apple . Some places may offer a beverage called 'hot apple', which tastes a bit like softer hot apple juice. ( updated Dec 2023 )

Alcoholic beverages [ edit ]

Drinking is very much a part of the Slovak culture and some form of alcohol will be served at most social occasions. However, the locals mostly hold their liquor well and being visibly drunk is frowned upon, so be aware of your limits. Note that some locally brewed spirits may be stronger than what you are used to, and that the standard shot glass in Slovakia is 50ml , which may be more than you are used to if arriving from Western Europe. If you order double vodka, you will get 1dl of it! Alcohol in general is cheap compared to Western Europe or the US. There are no special shops, and alcoholic beverages can be purchased in practically any local supermarket or food store. You can legally drink and purchase alcohol if you are 18 years or older, but this is not very strictly enforced. You still might be IDed in some city clubs if you look very young, however.

Beers (pivo) [ edit ]

For beer (Slovak: pivo ), there is a great variety of excellent local brews that are similar in style and quality to Czech beers (which are also widely available), and beer is mostly the local drink of choice. Try out the Zlatý Bažant , Smädný Mních , Topvar and Šariš . Šariš is also available in a dark version that is thicker and heavier on your stomach. If the local tastes are not satisfactory, "Western" beers are sold in the bigger restaurants and pubs.

Wines (víno) [ edit ]

Slovakia has also some great local wines (Slovak: víno ), many similar to Germanic Riesling styles. There are several wine-growing regions in the south with centuries worth of tradition, including the area just outside Bratislava. If you can, try to visit one of the local producer's wine cellars, as many are historical and it is a cultural experience in itself. You might also be offered homemade wine if you are visiting these areas, as many locals ferment their own wines. The quality obviously varies. Every year at the end of May and beginning of November, an event called Small Carpathian Wine Road [dead link] takes place in Small Carpathian Wine Region (between Bratislava and Trnava ), where all the local producers open their cellars to the public. Buy a ticket in the nearest cellar and you will receive a wine glass and admission into any cellar in the region, where you can sample the best produce from the previous year.

There are also sweeter wines grown in Southeastern border regions called Tokaj . Tokaj is fermented out of the special Tokaj grape variety endemic to the region (part of which is in Hungary and part in Slovakia) and it is a sweet dessert wine. Tokaj is considered a premium brand with a worldwide reputation and is arguably some of the best Central Europe has to offer. Other Slovak wines might not be widely known outside the region but they are certainly worth a try. Around the harvest time in the autumn, in the wine-producing regions, a young wine called burčiak is often sold and popular among the locals. As burčiak strengthens with fermentation (as it becomes actual wine), its alcohol content can vary quite wildly.

Spirits [ edit ]

Slovakia produces good spirits . Excellent is the plum brandy ( Slivovica ), pear brandy ( Hruškovica ) or herb liquor Demänovka . Czech Fernet , a type of aromatic bitter spirit is also very popular.

In some shops you may try a 25 or 50 ml shot for very little money, to avoid buying a big bottle of something of unknown flavour, then decide whether to buy or not to buy. International brands are also available, but at a price premium (still cheaper than in most Western countries, however).

If you are a more adventurous type, you can try some homemade fruit brandys that the locals sometimes offer to foreigners. Slivovica is the most common, but also pear brandy, apricot brandy, or raspberry brandy can be found. Drinking is a part of the tradition, especially in the countryside. If you are visiting locals, don't be surprised if you are offered home-made spirit as a welcome drink nor that the host may be quite proud of this private stock. The homemade liquors are very strong (up to 60% alcohol), so be careful. If Slivovica is matured for 12 or more years, it can become a pleasant digestive drink.

Others [ edit ]

In winter months, mulled wine is available at all winter markets and mulled mead is also common. A mixed hot drink called grog , which consists of black tea and a shot of local 'rum' is very popular, especially in the skiing resorts, and it really warms you up.

Do [ edit ]

visit slovakia

  • Visit the nearest chateau/castle - many of them are hundreds of years old, some preserved in a habitable state with period furnishing. Many guided tours are offered as well.
  • Go hiking! The entirety of Slovakia (except for the flatlands) is covered with hundreds of miles of extremely well-marked hiking trails, that, especially in the national parks, lead though gorgeous landscapes. Get the idea here .
  • Visit one of the traditional wooden churches, they're unique to the region. These might not be readily accessible without a car, however.
  • Go spelunking - caves are interspersed around Slovakia and as many are open to general public they are some of the most accessible in the world. Many are UNESCO listed, including Dobšinská Ice Cave (in the Slovak Paradise), and Ochtinská Aragonite Cave, Domica, Jasovská Cave and Gombasecká Cave (all in the Slovak Karst)

visit slovakia

  • Visit a local festival - in the early spring 'Fašiangy' (Mardi Gras) is celebrated, especially in the countryside, and in early autumn the end of the harvest period is celebrated in wine-producing regions. The centre of the town will usually be closed and a traditional market will be available, mostly with local produce and handicrafts for sale and plenty to eat and drink. In bigger cities, similar Christmas markets open during the Advent season.
  • Ski and snowboard in the mountains, especially the High Tatras and the Low Tatras . Smaller ranges are also very suitable for cross-country skiing
  • Navigate down the rivers Váh or Dunajec on a raft through picturesque gorges. For a more gentle ride, raft down the Small Danube.
  • If you're into railway history or would like to spend a day romantically, Slovakia offers a number of phased-out railway tracks, which were once used for transporting wood, but now transport only tourists in cosy steam trains through forests and valleys. The best-preserved of them all is ČHŽ near the town of Brezno . Some normal routes that are still used by passenger trains offer stunning views as well - try for example the train from Margecany to Banská Bystrica, which runs through the Slovak Paradise.
  • Slovakia offers many excellent spas. If you enjoy stinking mud and are willing to pay for it, the best, most famous (and most expensive) spa is located in Piešťany . Important spas are also in Trenčianske Teplice , Rajecké Teplice , Bardejov , Dudince and Podhájska.
  • If the above is too sedate for you and you'd welcome some water slides and fun, try water parks in Bešeňová , Liptovský Mikuláš , Poprad , Turčianske Teplice , Oravice , Senec . Significantly cheaper are classical open-air pools, some of the best ones are in Veľký Meder and Štúrovo .

Cultural events [ edit ]

  • Comics-Salón - A event dedicated to Japanese Anime & Manga, Fantasy and SciFi and its fans, but not only them! Great atmosphere, friendly folk and lots of fun awaits you there. The roots of this event stretch back to 2004, when it was held in "Súza" for the first time. Now, once every year early in September Bratislava enjoys the rush of fine individuals from all over Europe to participate in this unique event. For the past 2 years, the location was moved to "Istropolis" exhibition halls due to space constraints.

Music events [ edit ]

  • Pohoda Music Festival . One of the biggest Slovak music festivals, critically acclaimed and recognised on European scale. Yearly in July in Trenčín . Hosts mostly alternative music.  
  • Grape Music Festival . Another great smaller alternative music festival. Yearly in August in Piešťany .  

Sleep [ edit ]

There is a wide range of accommodation available in Slovakia. These range from AquaCity, based in Poprad, through to budget priced rooms in rental chalets.

The most luxurious hotels can mostly be found in major cities such as Bratislava and Košice and in the major tourist destinations like the High Tatras or the spa towns (the situation here is unique as the price of the hotel usually includes some of the spa procedures). These hotels offer Western style comfort and prices.

There will be at least one hotel available in every major town or tourist area, but the quality varies. Some of the mid-range hotels were built during the Communist era in the corresponding architecture style, which might make them look less appealing from the outside, though the interiors might be perfectly adequate.

Budget hostels are mostly concentrated in the major cities, and you can expect typical hostel prices as in the rest of (Central) Europe. If you are venturing outside of cities, there are numerous mountain huts available for short-term rent in the mountain areas. Especially in touristy areas there will be many private rooms available for rent, look out for 'Zimmer Frei' signs. This typically does not include breakfast.

When hiking, official maintained mountain cabins offer cheap accommodation for hikers on trails in all of the national parks and a lot of the national conservation areas. They have a limited number of beds (if any) and generally limited capacity, so for the more frequented places during the high season an advance booking might be necessary and is recommended. If you don't manage to book a bed, you might be allowed to still stay overnight, sleeping on the floor in designated areas. Either way, you will probably want to bring your own sleeping bag. The facilities, due to the location, are limited, but there will be a shared toilet and possibly a shower. There's usually a kitchen that serves several hearty hot dishes and a number of drinks at pretty reasonable prices.

It is only legal to pitch a tent in Slovakia outside national parks and protected natural zones (where should be signposts but there might not depending on how and where you enter these), but camping is reasonably popular in summer. Camping grounds in Slovakia (non-exhaustive list) :

Learn [ edit ]

A number of Slovak language courses and/or private tutors should be available in most major cities.

There are several excellent centers for higher education in the country, with courses offered in English. This includes Comenius University in Bratislava , Slovakia's oldest and most prestigious university, along with Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice , Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica and the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. More information about studying in Slovakia can be found here [dead link] .

Work [ edit ]

Slovakia is a member of the European Union, so if you are a citizen of another member state, you can legally reside and work in Slovakia without restrictions. The most popular website for job listings is

Most embassy offices will advise European Citizens as well. Average salary in 2023 was €1327 a month.

If you are from outside the EU, you will need a visa to work in Slovakia, and it's best to contact your and/or Slovak embassy for more information. Teaching English as a second language is a popular work option. Note that unless you are applying for certain positions in international firms and similar organisations where English/German might do, you will probably need a working knowledge of Slovak for most other jobs.

Stay safe [ edit ]

A silver-coloured Slovak police car with a blue-yellow pattern

Slovakia is a very safe country, even by European standards. As a visitor you are unlikely to encounter any problems whatsoever. Violent crime is especially uncommon, and Slovakia sees less violent crime per capita than many other European countries.

In case of an emergency , dial 112 , the universal European emergency number. You may also dial 150 for the fire brigade, 155 for an ambulance, and 158 for the police.

When visiting cities , exercise the same caution as you would in any other European city - use common sense, be extra careful after the dark, stay aware of your surroundings, keep your belongings in sight, and avoid drunks and young men. Pickpockets can sometimes be found in bigger crowds and at major transit stations.

Attitudes towards LGBT travellers are fairly tolerant, especially so in the Bratislava region. In other parts of the country you might get weird stares for open displays of homosexuality, however, you are at no real risk of violent crime. Nevertheless, exercise caution, especially so due to the 2022 Bratislava terrorist attack, which unfortunately inspired more open displays of hostility - but also empathy.

Attitudes towards other races and ethnicities (i.e., not white) are generally very tolerant for much of the population. You might be stared upon if very "foreign-looking," but this is often simple curiosity. Nonetheless, the situation can differ in places with high support for neo-Nazi groups and movements, which can mostly be found in rural and central Slovakia. Hate speech and racist behaviour may happen. Still, violent crime is very rare and the most "passionate" display of hostility is usually shouting racist remarks, as most Slovaks keep to themselves.

Police [ edit ]

A police car in the town of Levoča

The Slovak police you'll see in the street consist of two different police forces - state police and municipal police.

The Slovak Police Force , or the state police, deals with the majority of crimes, whether infractions or felonies. The emergency number to reach state police is 158. Old state police cars can be recognized by their green-yellow stripes on the side. New cars, however, use a pattern and colors similar to that of Czechia, the UK or Germany.

Municipal police forces usually deal with traffic and are not equipped to deal with felonies. Their uniforms and cars can differ from municipality to municipality, and not every municipality may have a police force. The emergency number to reach the local municipal police force is 159.

Road safety [ edit ]

Rural roads can be poorly lighted and can get very narrow and tricky to drive, especially in the hilly and mountainous parts of the country.

If you plan to drive you must not be under the influence of alcohol. Penalties can be very severe if caught.

Outdoor safety [ edit ]

A mountain rescue helicopter on a snowy hill

Outdoor safety is one of the few things taken extremely seriously in Slovakia.

When visiting mountainous regions of Slovakia, especially the High Tatras , it is customary to let hotel personnel know where exactly you are going and when you'll return. The Mountain Rescue Service is called in case you don't return.

The relative small area and height of the High Tatras is very deceptive - it is steep and difficult terrain with unpredictable weather, especially during spring and autumn. Never hike alone and use proper gear.

The Mountain Rescue Service is a good source of additional and up-to-date information. Take all warnings seriously. In the event of an emergency they can be contacted by dialing 18300 or the universal 112. Make sure your medical insurance coverage includes mountain activities before you venture forth, as a rescue mission in inaccessible terrain may well prove expensive.

Wild animals [ edit ]

A baby wild boar in a pile of autumn leaves

Slovakia is blessed with a variety of species rare in some other parts of the continent; bears and wolves still live in the country in relatively high numbers .

Despite the constant coverage in local media, bear attacks are statistically infrequent, and deadly attacks extremely rare. The possibly most dangerous animal in Slovakia (and likely much of Europe) is the wild boar . Unlike bears, they do not stray from humans and will happily attack you.

Bears [ edit ]

Most bears are encountered in remote areas, however they can also be seen in the urbanized areas of High Tatras and also other towns and villages in the northern and central part of the country. Bears may feed on corn, oat and other agricultural plants. For this reason, use only track roads or paths when biking or hiking through fields. It may also be illegal to roam freely across fields even if not fenced.

A bear will usually avoid you if it knows you're there, so the best way to avoid this is by making your presence known by talking loudly/singing/clapping etc., especially in an area where it can't readily see you from a distance. Of course, this has limited usage during strong wind or near loud water streams.

If you see a bear, do not run, but leave the area slowly in the opposite direction. Do not approach bears and never approach bear cubs even if they seem to be alone or injured - bear mothers are extremely protective . If possible, wait until they leave the area or return back. You may also dial 112 in case the situation is dangerous.

Stay healthy [ edit ]

visit slovakia

No vaccination is necessary to visit or stay in Slovakia, although if you plan to visit countryside areas, a tick vaccination is recommended. Hepatitis A and B vaccination is also advisable as with all European countries.

Despite its many issues, the standard of healthcare is relatively high, but the language barrier might be a problem as not many doctors speak English. However, this should not be a problem in major towns, which have a Fakultná nemocnica .

The huge majority of foods and drinks are perfectly safe, and the hygiene standards in Slovakia are the same as elsewhere in the European Union .

Tap water is drinkable everywhere - according to one study, water used as tap water in the Bratislava-Vienna region is the cleanest in the world. If you prefer mineral waters, you can choose from a multitude of brands, since Slovakia has quite possibly the highest number of natural mineral water springs per capita.

The High Tatras might not be the biggest or tallest mountain range, but some trails may feature strenuous climbs, and rocky terrain, and the weather may prove unpredictable. Take proper gear, do not overestimate your abilities, and use common sense.

If you decide to swim in the local rivers/natural pools/lakes, as many locals do, remember that unless expressly stated otherwise, these activities are not supervised by a lifeguard, and you are doing so at your own risk.

Ticks can be found in the countryside forests and also sometimes in larger parks, and in some areas they may carry tick-borne encephalitis . When going hiking try to avoid thick undergrowth and always check all over your body when you return (ticks tend to seek warm spots), as ticks reside in bushes and tall grass. Remove the tick as soon as possible, by gently wiggling it out of the bite by its head (never break off or squeeze the body as the head will stay lodged in the skin and might become infected). Do not touch the tick at any stage with bare hands, use tweezers and latex gloves.

There are no over-the-counter drugs sold in Slovakia in supermarkets or drug stores, you will need to head to a pharmacy even if you just need an aspirin. Even in smaller cities, there should be one open 24/7. Look out for the nearest green cross sign - even if this particular pharmacy is closed, a sign in the door will point you towards the nearest open one. If you need a specific medicine, make sure you have your prescription ready as many drugs require it.

Respect [ edit ]

An old European street with parked cars

Slovaks are friendly and peaceful people living in a free, democratic state. There is not a single issue that would provoke real hostility or trouble. Usually the worst thing that can happen is that you would be thought a bit boorish and have the history explained to you over a beer. However, it pays to be respectful and sensitive when discussing certain topics.

Culture [ edit ]

Slovaks are quite hospitable, and if they invite you into their home, expect to be well looked after and offered a variety of food and drinks. If you are invited in for lunch, expect a 2-3 course meal just as for dinner, as lunch is traditionally the main meal of the day. It is considered polite to bring a small gift for the host, such as a bottle of wine or good spirit, a box of chocolates, or a small bouquet of flowers, but never give money as it would be felt that you are trying to pay for the hospitality.

Most people do not use their outdoor shoes inside for hygienic reasons, so take your shoes off in the hallway when entering somebody's home. Don't worry, they will find you a spare pair of slippers to keep your feet warm.

When dining in a restaurant with the host's family, it is customary for them to pick the bill. This might not happen, but don't be surprised if they do.

When being introduced to or meeting someone, even of the opposite sex, and even for the first time, it is not uncommon to kiss each other on the cheek once or twice (depending on the region) instead of shaking hands. It is not common between two males, but is quite normal for women. Do not be alarmed, and remember that this is not a sexual gesture.

Remember that Slovakia is a separate nation that has been independent since 1993, when Czechoslovakia split into the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic. For most of its history it was a part of other multinational states, especially the Austrian Empire, Austria-Hungary and lastly Czechoslovakia. Therefore, some people may be sensitive when it comes to nationality issues. There is no hostility or resentment when it comes to the Velvet divorce that split Czechoslovakia, and the two nations remain very amicable, if not having some rivalry in soccer and ice hockey. Do not refer to Slovakia as a part of another state and you should be fine.

Slovakia's position during World War II was quite complex, and this topic is best avoided when speaking to nationalists. Similarly, the decades of communism left its mark on the country and this can be a sensitive topic like the Slovak State during World War II. Slovakia, while formerly a part of the Soviet bloc, has never been a part of the USSR or the Russian Empire. Many Slovaks still harbour much resentment against Russia due to the decades of Soviet rule and domination. You should avoid being overly enthusiastic about Russia even if you are the most ardent Russophile in the world, as doing so may arouse strong emotions among the locals.

Societal relations [ edit ]

The relations with the Roma minority are sometimes quite strained and some people may hold strong views on the subject. It's best to educate yourself about the situation of minorities in Slovakia before getting into any kind of conversation or debate.

Like in many Central European countries, the use of the Nazi salute is a criminal offence . Denying, approving of or justifying the Holocaust or other crimes against humanity committed by either the fascist or communist regimes of Europe is also a criminal offence and punishable by up to 3 years of imprisonment.

Despite the rise of neo-fascism in the 2010s, the majority of the population condemns any behaviour or remarks that even remotely resemble fascist views or opinions. Unfortunately, the seriousness of the topic is flouted by much of the younger generation, especially due to the poor quality of the education system. As such, you might be able to get away with remarks or opinions that would never be tolerated elsewhere. Do not come into Slovakia with such expectations, however.

Connect [ edit ]

The international calling code for Slovakia is +421.

You may dial emergency numbers from any phone for free. The universal European emergency number is 112. You may also dial 150 for the fire brigade, 155 for an ambulance, and 158 for the police. Dial 18300 for the Mountain Rescue Service or 18155 for the Air Rescue Service.

Slovak phones operate on the GSM standard , which covers practically all of the country. Mobile network operators use the 900 and 1800MHz GSM frequency bands, which might not be compatible with some US phones operating on 1900MHz.

Cellular network coverage of the three major networks (Slovak Telekom, Orange, and O 2 ) is mostly excellent throughout the country. 4G (LTE) is available in the huge majority of the country, including the countryside, with some 5G coverage primarily in urban areas.

They all (along with some virtual operators, biggest of which are Funfón and Tesco Mobile) offer a variety of prepaid cards with various "pay as you go" schemes (some market research is advised, if you want the best deal) and incentives. If you have an unlocked phone, these are easy to pick up in any phone shop, or you can purchase a cheap phone with a prepaid card included.

There are still some phone boxes available, but with mobile phones now commonplace, they are declining in number. Also note that you might need to purchase a prepaid card to use some of them.

Wi-Fi and broadband can be found more or less everywhere, and there will be an internet cafe/gaming room available somewhere even in smaller towns. Also, hostels, pubs, cafes, and some public institutions such as libraries or government buildings offer (free) Wi-Fi.

Cope [ edit ]

All foreign embassies are located in the city centre of Bratislava.

A list of embassies in Slovakia with contact information can be found on the EmbassyPages website . If your home country does not have an embassy in Slovakia, the nearest embassy can probably be found in Vienna ; it is readily accessible by train, boat, bus, car, or even bike, from Bratislava.

visit slovakia

  • Has custom banner
  • Has mapframe
  • Maps with non-default alignment
  • Maps with non-default size
  • Has map markers
  • Articles with dead external links
  • Go listing with no coordinates
  • Drink listing with no coordinates
  • Do listing with no coordinates
  • Outline countries
  • Outline articles
  • Country articles
  • Has Geo parameter
  • Central Europe
  • All destination articles
  • Pages with maps

Navigation menu

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

Slovakia Travel Guide

Last Updated: September 1, 2023

An aerial view of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, featuring historic buildings and plenty of greenery

Slovakia is a Central European country known for its dramatic mountainous landscapes, medieval history, and stunning architecture. As a land-locked country, it’s been part of numerous empires and governments throughout its history, all of which have left their own unique influence on the region.

I’ve visited Slovakia several times over the years and I’m always amazed at how much is packed into such a small country (as well as how few people visit beyond the capital). While Bratislava gets plenty of attention, the country as a whole sees a fraction of the crowds compared to its neighbors.

But their loss is your gain!

Slovakia is filled with beautiful rivers, lakes, national parks, tiny towns, and castle ruins. And compared to its neighbors it’s also quite affordable. It’s the perfect place to hike, road trip, and escape Europe’s summer crowds — all while on a budget!

This travel guide to Slovakia can help you save money, plan your visit, and make the most of your trip to this underrated gem!

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Slovakia

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Slovakia

An aerial view of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, featuring historic buildings and plenty of greenery

1. Explore Bratislava

Bratislava is Slovakia’s capital and largest city. Bordering both Austria and Hungary, its position on the banks of the Danube make it an obvious point of entry for most travelers. Don’t miss the city’s Old Town and Bratislava Castle. There’s also an eclectic music scene here.

2. Visit Košice

Košice is the second-largest city in Slovakia, dating back to the 13th century. The city center encompasses the historic part of town and has the largest number of historical monuments in the country. Be sure to visit the 13th-century St. Elisabeth Cathedral.

3. See Banská Štiavnica

This well-preserved UNESCO medieval town sits in a valley formed after an ancient volcano collapsed. Be sure to visit the open-air mining museum, where you can walk more than a kilometer underground (10 EUR, an additional 15 EUR for a tour in English).

4. Hike Slovak Paradise National Park

Slovak Paradise National Park boasts over 100 kilometers (62-miles) of hiking trails, passing through canyons, meadows, and more waterfalls than you can count. The hiking isn’t difficult, but you must navigate narrow passages, climb steep ladders, and use chains above ravines.

5. Take a wine tour

Not far from Bratislava lies Modra, which is the place to go for wine tours and tastings. Look out for the annual Modra Wine Cellars Day, when many of the wine cellars in the area organize a day-long tasting for visitors. Expect to pay at least 40 EUR for a tour.

Other Things to See and Do in Slovakia

1. visit the slovak karst caves.

There are almost 2,500 caves in Slovakia — and only 400 of them have been explored. In the southern Slovak Karst region, there are plenty of options but if you want a truly unique experience, visit a section of Domica Cave where you can take an underground boat ride on the River Styx (trip to Hades not included). Admission including the boat ride is 9 EUR. Other caves worth checking out are Dobšinská Ice Cave, Harmanecka, and Gombasecka.

2. Go rock climbing

Head to the mountains around Terchová in the north or Slovenský Raj in the east for some world-class rock climbing. You’ll find beautiful gorges that you can climb for free thanks to the ropes and ladders already in place. If you’re new to rock climbing and would rather do a guided trip, expect to pay around 80 EUR per person.

3. Run the oldest marathon in Europe

The Košice Peace Marathon is the oldest marathon in Europe (and the second oldest marathon in the world). Held in Košice each year since 1924, the city is completely overtaken by the event as thousands come to take part, watch, and celebrate. The marathon happens on the first Sunday in October. If you want to run the race yourself, registration is 37 EUR. Be sure to book your accommodation far in advance as the entire city fills up.

4. Relax in a thermal cave bath

For a uniquely Slovakian experience, visit the Parenica cave bath at the Sklené Teplice spa. Located in Central Slovakia, these natural hot springs have been in use for centuries. The water is a constant 42°C (107°F) and is perfect for relaxing (especially if you’re visiting in the winter). Bath visits last 20 minutes and are included in your stay at the spa, which costs around 70 EUR per night.

5. Tour the Nedbalka Gallery

The Nedbalka Gallery in Bratislava has a spectacular award-winning design that resembles the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and is a stark contrast to the more traditional medieval buildings that make up the city’s Old Town. The gallery, which was heavily remodeled in 2012, spans five floors and is home to over 1,000 works depicting Slovak culture. Admission is 5 EUR and includes a coffee or tea at the gallery’s café.

6. Hike the smallest alpine mountain range in Europe

The most famous national park in Slovakia, High Tatras is located in the north of the country along the border with Poland . Stretching 53 kilometers (33 miles), it’s the smallest alpine mountain range in Europe. If you want to reach the peak of the High Tatras, Gerlachovsky Stit, you need to hire a mountain guide as the ascent is extremely challenging and not to be attempted alone. If you don’t want to hike (or want an easier option), Lomnicky Stit is slightly lower and far more accessible thanks to the cable car to the top. During the winter, there are several ski resorts here. Round-trip cable car tickets are expensive at 59 EUR, however, you can hike up part way and then take the cable car for half price.

7. Explore an ice cave

One of the most popular caves in the country is Dobšinská, an ice cave located near Dobšiná in Central Slovakia. Discovered in 1870, the caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the first caves in Europe to be lit by electricity. The cave spans over 1,500 acres and is full of all kinds of stunning natural ice formations. Admission is 9 EUR for a 30-minute visit.

8. Visit the Old Market Hall (Stará tržnica)

Each Saturday between 9am-3pm the Old Market Hall in Bratislava hosts its weekly market where you can buy food and goods from regional farmers and producers. There’s also a children’s theater performance and book fair every Saturday. The current building dates to 1910, however, there were medieval fortifications here dating back to the 16th century. In addition to foods and produce, the market also hosts cultural events, music performances, two cafes, a brewery, and a cooking school. The Old Market Hall also hosts an annual beer festival (called Salón Piva) where you can sample the locally produced beer.

9. Go hiking

Slovakia is one of the best countries in Europe for hiking. There are hundreds of trails, including dozens of long-distance routes as well as easy, moderate, and challenging day hikes. Some hikes to check out are Rysy Mountain, near the border of Poland (20km, 10 hours); Kriván, considered Slovakia’s most beautiful mountain (6km, 4 hours); and Popradske Pleso, a picturesque alpine hike (4km, 2 hours). If you’re going hiking in the mountains, be sure to check the weather in advance as conditions can change rapidly. Always make sure you have the proper gear and plenty of water too.

10. Hit the slopes

The Tatra mountain range rivals the Alps when it comes to beauty. However, when it comes to skiing, there are fewer skiers and cheaper prices in Slovakia (lift tickets are upwards of 75% cheaper than in neighboring Austria). Some ski resorts to visit are Jasná Nízke Tatry (Liptovský Mikuláš), Relax Center Plejsy (Krompachy), Tale (Bystra), and Malinô Brdo (Ružomberok). Expect to pay around 49 EUR for a lift pass, however, you can find passes for as little as 8-16 EUR in places like Moštenica, Zliechov, and Skorušina.

Slovakia Travel Costs

An aerial view of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, featuring historic buildings and plenty of greenery

Outside of Bratislava, budget hotel rooms start around 25-40 EUR per night. In Bratislava, expect to pay closer to double that.

Airbnb is a budget-friendly option available around the country with private rooms starting at 25 EUR per night. For an entire home or apartment, expect to pay at least 50 EUR per night.

For anyone traveling with a tent, camping is available around the country. Wild camping is legal but be sure to double-check as it is illegal in certain protected areas (no camping in the High Tatras or national parks, for example). You’re also not allowed to camp in forested areas and should use caution when lighting fires as this is generally prohibited. Official campgrounds are scattered around the country with basic plots for two without electricity costing 14-16 EUR per night.

Food – Slovakian cuisine is based on three main staples: pork, cabbage, and potatoes (much like many of its neighbors). Polish and Hungarian influences abound, so expect lots of soups, sauerkraut, breaded meats, and dumplings. Lunch is the main meal of the day, with soup being the most common main course. A popular local delicacy is jaternica , a blood sausage made with pig’s blood and buckwheat. Halušky (soft ptato dumplings) and schnitzel are two other popular traditional choices.

For an inexpensive meal of traditional cuisine, expect to pay around 7-12 EUR. Fast food (think McDonald’s) costs 5-7 EUR for a combo meal. Thai and Indian food can be found in a couple of the larger cities in the country, costing 8-13 EUR for a main dish.

If you want to splash out, a three-course meal of traditional cuisine costs around 20 EUR, including a drink.

Expect to pay between 1.50-2.50 EUR for a beer and about the same for a latte or cappuccino (if you buy beer at the grocery store it’s just 1-1.50 EUR). A glass of wine generally costs around 2.50-4 EUR.

If you are planning to cook your own food, a week’s worth of groceries costs around 20-35 EUR for basic staples like pasta, rice, seasonal produce, and some meat. A medium-sized bag of pasta is less than 1 EUR, fresh buns (like croissants) are around .50 EUR while a loaf of bread is around 2 EUR. Cereal is around 1.50 EUR while a large bag of potato chips is 1.50-2 EUR.

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, Bratislava has tons of options. Beyond the large supermarkets (which have things like soy meat and alternative kinds of milk), there are a handful of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants around the city, including Šmak (vegan sushi), Vegan Kiosk (vegan burgers and wraps), and La Donuteria (vegan and non-vegan donuts).

Other suggested places to eat in Bratislava include U Sedliaka (traditional Slovakian food), Mezcalli (Mexican food), and Next Apache (a small cafe that sells used books).

Backpacking Slovakia Suggested Budgets

If you are backpacking Slovakia, my suggested budget is 45 EUR per day. This assumes you’re staying in a hostel dorm, cooking all of your meals, doing free activities like walking tours and hiking, limiting your drinking, visiting some cheap attractions like museums or galleries, and using public transportation to get around.

On a mid-range budget of 105 EUR per day, you can stay in a private Airbnb apartment, eat out for most of your meals at budget-friendly restaurants serving traditional cuisine, go out for some drinks, take some guided tours, visit more paid attractions like the caves, and take the occasional taxi to get around.

On a “luxury” budget of 200 EUR, you can stay in a hotel, eat out at any restaurant you want, rent a car, drink as much as you want, and see as many castles and museums as you can handle! This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in EUR.

Slovakia Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Slovakia is one of the cheaper Central European countries and it’s easy here to travel on a budget. That said, if you’re looking for ways to trim your expenses, here are my favorite ways to save money in the country:

  • Take a free walking tour – Bratislava offers a handful of free walking tours which are a great way to get familiar with the city and its culture on a budget. Be Free Tours is the most popular tour company. Just be sure to tip your guide at the end!
  • Ride Flixbus – Flixbus is a budget-friendly way to get around the country (as well as the region). They have Wi-Fi, electrical outlets, and decent enough seats for overnight and long-haul bus journeys.
  • Cook your own meals – Book accommodation with a kitchen so you can cook your own meals. Buying your own groceries may not be as glamorous as going out to eat, but it does save money.
  • Get outdoors – The easiest way to keep active and save money is to get outdoors and explore Slovakia’s national parks. Most don’t charge an entry fee. Nature fills your days and avoids slimming your wallet!
  • Wild camp – If you really want to save money in Slovakia, bring your tent as wild camping is legal. You can pitch your tent on almost all public land throughout Slovakia. Just avoid national parks and forests.
  • Stay with a local – Staying with a local via Couchsurfing is a great way to not only save money, but you’ll also connect with a knowledgeable local who can help you better understand the country and its people.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle – The tap water in Slovakia is safe so bring a reusable water bottle to avoid single-use plastic. A filtered bottle like LifeStraw ensures your water is safe and clean. It’s perfect for anyone planning to hike or explore the country’s national parks.

Where to Stay in Slovakia

The hostel scene in Slovakia does not disappoint. Most have reliable Wi-Fi, kitchens, and are clean and modern. Here are some of my favorite places to stay in Slovakia:

  • Hostel Folks (Bratislava)
  • Wild Elephants Hostel (Bratislava)
  • The Ginger Monkey (High Tatras)
  • Happy Bull (Kosice)
  • Nitra Glycerin Hostel (Nitra)

How to Get Around Slovakia

An aerial view of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, featuring historic buildings and plenty of greenery

Public transportation – For public transportation around cities, the fare is generally proportional to the duration of the journey. For example, in Bratislava, a 30-minute ride costs 0.90 EUR while a 60-minute ride costs 1.20 EUR. Day passes are available in most of the cities for around 4.50 EUR.

Bus – Flixbus is the most budget-friendly option to explore the country. The bus from Bratislava to Košice costs 22 EUR for the 6.5-hour journey. For Bratislava to Budapest, Hungary, the 2.5-hour bus ride ranges from 12-26 EUR while the one-hour trip from Bratislava to Vienna, Austria can be done for 9 EUR.

Trains – Trains are more expensive than buses and don’t reach as many destinations in the country. However, they’re a lot quicker. Bratislava to Poprad takes around 4 hours and costs 15 EUR. The 5.5-hour journey to Košice costs 18 EUR. The 2.5-hour trip to Budapest, Hungary costs 10 EUR while the 90-minute ride to Vienna, Austria costs 5 EUR.

Budget Airlines – There are no domestic flights around Slovakia.

Car Rental – Car rentals can be as low as 25 EUR per day for a multi-day rental. You need an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) to rent a vehicle.

When to Go to Slovakia

Slovakia has four distinct seasons. The summers are sunny and hot and see the biggest influx of visitors. July-August is the most popular time to visit, with daily highs around 27°C (81°F).

During the shoulder seasons, you avoid both the heat and the crowds. The best months to visit are between May-June or September-October, especially if you’re hiking. There are cooler temperatures and, in the fall, you get to see the leaves change. Expect temperatures around 20°C (68°F).

Winter is cold and snowy with temperatures dropping below freezing so I’d only visit if you plan on doing some winter sports, such as skiing.

How to Stay Safe in Slovakia

Slovakia is a very safe country to visit; it’s the 19th safest country in the world. Violent crime against tourists is virtually nonexistent. Pickpocketing can occur, however, especially in high-traffic areas such as Bratislava’s Old Town. Keep your valuables safely tucked away when in public just to be safe.

Solo female travelers should feel safe here, though the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.).

If someone strikes up a conversation with you trying to sell something or if young children approach you, be on alert — their friend may be reaching for your wallet while you’re distracted.

If you’re worried about getting scammed, read this post on common travel scams to avoid.

If you rent a car, don’t leave any valuables in it while you’re hiking or overnight. Break-ins are rare but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you’re hiking here (especially doing alpine hiking in the mountains), make sure you let your hostel/hotel staff know just in case. Always bring a first aid kit as well as basic gear like a flashlight, raincoat, and extra food just in case.

If you experience an emergency, dial 158 for assistance.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID. Forward your itinerary along to loved ones so they know where you are.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Slovakia Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!
  • BlaBlaCar – BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing website that lets you share rides with vetted local drivers by pitching in for gas. You simply request a seat, they approve, and off you go! It’s a cheaper and more interesting way to travel than by bus or train!

Slovakia Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling Europe and continue planning your trip:

The 6 Best Hotels in Copenhagen

The 6 Best Hotels in Copenhagen

The 6 Best Hotels in Florence

The 6 Best Hotels in Florence

The 7 Best Hotels in Madrid

The 7 Best Hotels in Madrid

The 6 Best Hotels in Vienna

The 6 Best Hotels in Vienna

The Best Walking Tours in Barcelona

The Best Walking Tours in Barcelona

How to Be a Digital Nomad in Europe

How to Be a Digital Nomad in Europe

Get my best stuff sent straight to you, pin it on pinterest.

  • Where To Stay
  • Transportation
  • Booking Resources
  • Related Blogs

15 Top-Rated Things to Do in Slovakia

Written by Diana Bocco Updated Feb 15, 2022

Once part of Czechoslovakia, this mountainous, somewhat sparsely populated country has much to offer visitors. Known for its national parks, scenic hiking trails, and hundreds of caves – some of which are UNESCO-protected sites – Slovakia is a dream destination for outdoor lovers . History buffs and foodies will be equally pleased to visit, however, as there's a wealth of opportunities to jump right into exploring and tasting delicacies.

Slovakia's open-air museums offer a unique chance to discover the folk traditions of the country, while a visit to Bratislava will give you a chance to experience a vibrant city touched by a dark history.

Whether you're almost ready to go or just trying to get inspired, here's a list of the top things to see and do in Slovakia.

1. Get Your Fill of Fairy-Tale Castles and Palaces

2. try alpine skiing with a twist, 3. visit open-air museums, 4. indulge your taste buds, 5. discover nature at slovak paradise, 6. walk the streets of bratislava, 7. hike the high tatras, 8. climb up to the largest fortified castle in europe, 9. visit an old mining town, 10. go deep into the dobšinská ice cave, 11. discover communist-time slovakia, 12. explore little-known špania dolina, 13. discover forgotten and hidden bunkers, 14. lose yourself in the slovak karst national park, 15. marvel at the traces left by old aristocracy.

Bojnice Castle

Slovakia is home to more than 100 castles – some still standing in all their glory, some in ruins, and many somewhere in between.

A popular filming stage for historical and fairy-tale movies, the 12th-century Bojnice Castle started life as a fortress, and over the centuries became a stunning Romanesque royal residence with Gothic and Renaissance touches. Bojnice stands on a hill that overlooks the town and is one of the most visited castles in Europe .

Another stunning example is the neo-Gothic Orava Castle, considered one of the most beautiful castles in the country and famous for being the location used in the 1922 silent vampire film, Nosferatu .

Devin Castle, just outside Bratislava and near the border with Austria, has been partially reconstructed and now houses exhibitions of the Bratislava City Museum . The ruins of Strecno Castle, Blatnický Castle, and Brekov Castle are popular sights along limestone cliffs and hiking routes in Slovakia.

Many castles, palaces, and manor houses in Slovakia allow overnight stays for an experience you will never forget and a chance to feel like royalty for a night.

Freshly groomed ski slopes in Tatranská Lomnica, Slovakia

With so many snow-covered peaks around, it's no surprise that Alpine skiing is very popular in Slovakia. In many ski resorts around the country, however, sports aficionados are combining their love for sliding down slopes with climbing up. Known as uphill skiing , the practice requires people to walk up the snow-covered slopes before they slide back down at full speed. This requires special bindings added to the skis to avoid sliding, more or less transforming the skis into long snowshoes.

Both the Low Tatras and the High Tatras mountain ranges are popular skiing destinations. The largest ski resort in the country , with 49 kilometers of marked trails, Jasná is located in the Low Tatras. Tatranská Lomnica, in the High Tatras, has the steepest slopes in the country and separate, higher trails for advanced skiers.

Also in the High Tatras, Štrbské Pleso is a popular destination for its night skiing and cross-country trails.

The Museum of the Slovak Village

There's no better way to learn about the cultures that shaped a nation than through living museums, where history truly comes alive, and you get a chance to step back in time.

The largest ethnographic open-air exposition in the country, the Museum of the Slovak Village is a stunning example of traditional folk architecture. Home to 129 buildings – including everything from a firehouse and a church to a village store and a pub – and technical objects, the museum helps visitors understand what life was like in rural Slovakia in the 19 th century. Agricultural exhibitions, whole-day events, and live shows are held here year-round.

Surrounded by mountains and lush green meadows, the Cicmany Village is famous for its hand-painted log houses , while the rock dwellings of the Brhlovce village date back to the 16 th -century Turkish raids and were originally used as hiding places.

Traditional Slovak potato dumplings with sheep cheese

Like its closest neighbors (Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic), Slovak cuisine relies heavily on just a few staples : potatoes, lots of cheese and dairy products, wild mushrooms, and sauerkraut. Luckily for foodies, Slovaks have figured out a way to combine these few ingredients into some mouthwatering dishes. So if potatoes sound boring, don't worry – here, you'll get a chance to taste Bryndzové halušky (potato dumplings with sheep cheese) and Lokše (potato pancakes).

Potatoes are often also added to stews and goulashes, and there are so many types of mushroom soups available, it would take you weeks to try them all. Of all Slovak traditional sweets, perhaps the most famous is Trdelník, a type of grilled dough topped with a walnut and sugar mix.

Ladders and waterfalls at Slovak Paradise National Park

The Slovak Paradise National Park might not be the largest park in Slovakia, but it's certainly one of the most famous and should be at the top of the places to visit while in the country. A whopping 19 nature reserves, over 350 caves, and hundreds of canyons and gorges are located within the park.

Most visitors arrive here for the 300 kilometers of hiking trails , famous for their difficulty and their rugged paths that often include hanging bridges, ladders, and plank walkways . The 15-kilometer-long Prielom Hornádu route is particularly popular, partly because of its uneven terrain, which must be navigated by holding on to chains, climbing precarious ladders, and crossing footbridges; in winter, the creek beds freeze and can be crossed using snowshoes rather than using the bridges.

Another famous trail is the one leading to the 75-meter-tall Zavojovy waterfall, which can only be reached after navigating a not-for-the-faint-of-heart vertical metal ladder and bridge suspended in mid-air.

Street in Old Town Bratislava with Bratislava Castle in the distance

Slovakia's capital is a small city of just half a million residents, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot to see and do here. In fact, Bratislava is well known as a great destination for art and history lovers , a great place for foodies to visit, and a photographer's dream.

The city is home to two palaces (the Rococo Presidential Palace and the Primate's Palace and its famous Hall of Mirrors), the ruins of Devin Castle, a bridge topped by a flying saucer-shaped observation deck, and a number of quirky statues that pop out of sewers or top their hats at passersby.

Sitting at the top of an isolated rocky hill, the Bratislava Castle is the city's most prominent sight and one of the most visited tourist attractions . Visitors can tour the gardens and discover the collections at the Slovak National Museum branch housed inside the castle.

Other main photo destinations in the city include the aptly named Blue Church; the 14 th -century complex of buildings that make up the Old Town Hall; and the 1,000-year-old Hviezdoslavovo Square, surrounded by prominent buildings and structures.

Hiker in the High Tatras

The High Tatras are a massive mountain range and the tallest range in the Carpathian Mountains in northern Slovakia – a chain that's home to tall cliffs, alpine habitats, and over a hundred mountain lakes.

With an elevation of 2,655 meters, Gerlachovský štít is the highest peak and a favorite among hikers and climbers because it's relatively easy to climb with a certified mountain guide, and hikers don't seem to experience altitude sickness as they normally would at this elevation. Lomnicky Stit, at a close 2,634 meters high, is a more popular destination because it can be partially ascended via cable car.

Above all, the High Tatras are famous for their rugged hiking trails surrounded by limestone mountains and pristine alpine lakes. Most trails close in either September or October, as the mountains receive a lot of snow and become impassable after that. The Kriván trail is one of the most picturesque – it takes you up through mountain paths for stunning views over the park, and it's one of the few long climbs (about 7.5 kilometers) that doesn't require a guide.

In winter, the Tatras are a prime destination for Alpine skiing.

Spis Castle

The ruins of 12th-century Spiš Castle sit upon a soft, rolling hill and cover an area of over 41,000 square meters, making it the largest castle complex in Europe . Spiš is a UNESCO World Heritage site that started as a simple Romanesque stone castle and kept growing and expanding over the centuries.

By the 14 th century, a two-story palace and a basilica had been added, and an expansive wall built around the land, doubling the size of the complex. The castle was partially destroyed by a fire in 1790 and never inhabited again after that, although certain sections have been restored, and more are under reconstruction.

Today, the castle houses an exhibit of torture devices once used at the castle, as well as artifacts from the Spiš Museum, which include archaeological and ethnographic displays. The kitchen washroom and armory of the castle have also been restored, offering a unique peek into the life of 18 th -century royalty.

View of Banska Stiavnica and the Old Town Square

UNESCO-protected Banská Štiavnica is a preserved medieval town that sits on an ancient volcano. The Celts were already mining for silver ore in the area as far back as the 3rd century BC, and the town's popularity as a producer of silver and gold only grew from there. By the 15 th century, the town was building fortifications to protect its mines, and by the mid-1600s, they were using the newly discovered gunpowder in the mines.

To help with mining and prevent flooding, a complex system of artificial water reservoirs and over 100 kilometers of interconnected channels and tunnels were set up – today, many of them have been transformed into recreational areas perfect for swimming. And while mining has long been abandoned in Banská Štiavnica, visitors can don helmets and headlamps to head down into the Earth at the open-air mining museum to explore a 17th-century mine.

While in town, make sure you don't miss the Old Town Square, home to a number of medieval buildings, as well as a plague column, a mineralogical museum, and a town hall dating back to the 14 th century.

Dobsinska Ice Cave

Located near a mining town inside the Slovak Paradise area, the Dobšinská Ice Cave is a UNESCO Heritage site. Reaching the cave requires a hike up a hill to an altitude of over 900 meters, then a slow descent into the mountain itself. Only the first 500 meters of the cave (out of the almost 1,500 meters in total length) are open to the public between May and September, and visitors must stick to designated pathways and stairs at all times.

If you're looking for things to do on a hot summer afternoon, this is it. Inside, the cave stays at a temperature of around 0 degrees Celsius all year long, with ice covering walls, ceilings, and floors. In some areas, the thickness of the ice is estimated to be over 26 meters .

Because the cave can only be visited as part of a guided tour, you're guaranteed to catch sight of the most stunning natural formations here, including ice stalagmites, semi-frozen waterfalls, and colorful swirls of light on the icy walls.

Relics of the old Czechoslovakia border in the Iron Curtain zone

Czechoslovakia was under the rule of the Communist Party from 1948 to 1989 – a time where there was no freedom of the press, homes were regularly bugged in the search for traitors, religion was abolished, and common items like toilet paper and sugar were often hard to come by. Slovakia and the Czech Republic split and became separate countries in 1993, just a few years after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the return of democracy.

Communism shaped and changed the two nations forever, and visitors can get a glimpse of what life was like "back then" by searching for communist-era architecture in Bratislava; visiting an underground bunker; stopping by former concentration camp Sered (today a museum of the Holocaust); and visiting the Museum of Slovak National Uprising in the town of Banska Bystrica, which played a key role in the resistance against Nazis.

In recent years, the Iron Curtain border zone (which starts in the Nordic countries and ends in Turkey) has become a popular trail and cycling route , and a number of companies offer tours (or bike rentals) for those who want to see part of it up close and personal.

Špania Dolina

A well-kept secret mainly enjoyed by the locals, tiny Špania Dolina (which has only 200 permanent residents) is a former mining town filled with Renaissance buildings and well-preserved 17th-century wooden houses that once belonged to the miners that called the town home. The town's stunning white church rules over the view as you approach Špania Dolina.

Surrounded by the Staré Hory and Veľká Fatra mountains in central Slovakia, Špania Dolina offers plenty of options for outdoor pursuits, including hiking trails, cross-country skiing, and mountain biking.

A trail that starts right next to the town square takes visitors to the educational Mine Trail, which offers information about the history of the town and great panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. There's also a Copper Museum in town if you want to learn more about the history of mining in Špania Dolina.

Bunkers in Bratislava

Eastern European countries have a long and complicated military history that includes Nazi invasions, Soviet takeovers, and bloody conflicts that extended for well over a century – and Slovakia is no exception.

An unusual result of this is a massive number of now-abandoned concrete bunkers scattered across fields or hidden in cities. In Slovakia, the largest conglomeration of bunkers is right in Bratislava, spread on a large field on the right bank of the river Danube.

Built in the 1930s to defend the country against Nazi Germany, the bunkers were never actually used. The largest of the bunkers, known as B-S 4, is now a museum showcasing original machine guns and firearms, an engine room, and plenty of photographs and documentation. Volunteers conduct tours on Saturdays during the warmer months.

Nearby bunkers B-S 6 (that originally house a soldier crew) and B-S 8 (the most heavily armed in the back defense line) can also be visited. B-S 8 is located near a military cemetery, where memorial services and special celebrations are held to honor those fallen defending their country.

Woman standing on a wooden path through a rocky canyon in Slovak Karst

The Slovak Karst is one of Slovakia's most unique national parks. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is famous for its caves (over 700 of them are spread throughout the park's massive karst plains and plateaus). Stunning Domica cave is part of a large complex of caves that extends across the border into Hungary, and can be explored through guided sightseeing tours.

The park also attracts adventurers that want to hike unique trails that feature wooden paths and bridges, castle ruins, small waterfalls, and amazing gorges. There are a total of over 500 kilometers of cycling trails and hiking trails within the park.

Historic manor-house chateau Appony in Oponice, Slovakia

Slovakia was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy empire – and reminders of this are present everywhere today in the form of magnificent chateaus and palaces. A good example of this is the historic manor-house chateau Appony in the village Oponice. Originally built in the 16th century as a fortified chateau, it has gone through significant changes over the years, including a major reconstruction in the 1840s.

The towns of Topoľčianky, Mojmírovce, and Belá also have plenty to offer in this regard. For example, the Baroque-classical Manor-house Mojmírovce dates back to the 18th century and once belonged to Hungary's house of Hunyadi,

More Related Articles on


Discovering Slovakia: The historical capital city of Bratislava is a great starting point to discover the country. Before you make any plans, take a look at the must-see attractions and things to do in Bratislava for some tips.


Across the Borders: Bratislava's close foreign neighbor, Vienna, is just one hour away and filled with lots of things to see and do. Check out our article on the Attractions & Things to Do in Vienna for ideas and tips to plan a visit. Heading to the Czech Republic instead? Prague is just a few hours away, and traveling between the two cities is quick and easy, as you'll find out in our Prague to Bratislava: Best Ways to Get There article.

instagram logo


21 Most Beautiful Places in Slovakia: The Ultimate List

With more than 120 castles – the biggest number of any country in the world per capita – nine national parks, and eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, small but mighty Slovakia is one of the most culturally rich and naturally diverse European countries.

Whether you’re into hiking or history, castles or churches, modern cities or medieval small towns, this is the perfect destination for an adventurous holiday.

Here are 21 of the most beautiful places in Slovakia to visit.

Orava Castle, one of Slovakia's most beautiful locations and a must-visit in Slovakia.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.

Most beautiful cities in Slovakia

1. banska bystrica.

Dusk falls over the church towers in Banska Bystrica, one of the most beautiful places in Slovakia to visit.

Lying in the Hron River valley in central Slovakia, Banská Bystrica is an ancient mining town of Gothic buildings and Renaissance-style castles flanked by spectacular mountains. It’s also the first of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites to feature on this list.

Host to more than 14 museums, three castles, and 10 churches and cathedrals, Banska Bystrica’s charming city centre is in almost perfect harmony with the landscape of rolling green hills and forests. It’s little wonder why this is considered one of the most beautiful places in Slovakia.

There is no shortage of experiences on offer when visiting Banská Bystrica: In winter, the city is the jumping-off point for a number of ski resorts, while in the warmer months, visitors can enjoy a dozen outdoor activities including cave touring, nature valley sightseeing, and mountain hiking.

  • Get there: Train (3 hrs) or bus/car (2 hrs) from Bratislava.
  • Where to stay: Hotel Kuria .

2. Bratislava

City view of Bratislava and the Danube river from Bratislava Fortress.

Bratislava might not get as many accolades as its sister Danube river cities of Vienna and Budapest , but Slovakia’s capital city is beautiful in its own way.

The biggest city in Slovakia, Bratislava is relatively modest in size, and can quite easily be explored in a day . Highlights include the regal St. Martin’s Cathedral, the pretty Art-Nouveau Blue Church, and the 18th century Primatial Palace. This being the capital, there is no shortage of restaurants serving national Slovak cuisine and trendy coffee shops in between.

In true Slovak style, Bratislava’s crowning jewel is its castle, Bratislavský hrad, which dates back to 907 AD. From the grounds of Bratislava Castle you get a magnificent panorama of the city, Danube, and quirky UFO Tower. On the opposite bank of the river, the maze of colourfully painted apartment blocks in Petrzalka is a playground for urban photographers.

  • Get there: Fly into Bratislava International Airport, or bus/boat from Vienna.
  • Where to stay: LOFT Hotel .

Kosice, an underrated city in Slovakia.

Located near the Hungarian border on the river Hornád and known as the second-largest city in Slovakia , the first documented mention of Košice – or Cassa Villa as it was called back then – was in 1230. Interestingly, this was the first town in all of Europe to bear its own coat of arms.

Today, Kosice is not only the industrial centre of Slovakia but also eastern Slovakia’s cultural and economic capital. The sightseeing options are endless: from wine and beer tastings to hiking, cultural tours , and watching an opera in the majestic State Theatre.

St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral, the biggest Catholic church in Slovakia, dominates the city centre and is surrounded by colourful buildings and a row of leafy parks. Slovakia’s Kosice region is known as Europe’s easternmost boundary of Gothic architecture, and St. Elizabeth’s is a very fine example of a traditional Gothic church.

  • Get there: Train (6.5 hrs) or flight (50 mins) from Bratislava.
  • Where to stay: Vila Terrasse .

Trencin city and castle, an essential stop on any Slovakia travel itinerary.

Trenčín is a small city in western Slovakia, positioned close to the Czech Republic border on the banks of the river Vah. It has a long history that goes back to Roman times, and today is best known for being home to Slovakia’s third-largest castle, Trenčiansky hrad.

From its rocky roost, Trencin Castle commands some of the most beautiful views in the country. It holds many historical treasures within its walls, including inscriptions from 179 AD.

Trencin’s historic centre, the Mariánsky hrad district and Town Monument Reserve stretch out below the fortress and contain the city’s most beautiful restored buildings and churches. The Nativity of the Virgin Mary church and its 16th-century covered staircase, the Neo-Baroque Piaristic Church of St. Francis Xaverský, and the 1913 Trencin Synagogue are among the highlights.

One of the best places to visit in Slovakia for live music, Trencin comes to life in summer, when the city plays host to a program of classical events. Pohoda , the biggest music festival in Slovakia, is also staged here.

  • Get there: Train from Bratislava (1 hr).
  • Where to stay: Hotel Elizabeth .

The main square in Trnava, a beautiful city in Slovakia.

Pretty Trnava is a paradise for history buffs, art lovers and wine connoisseurs . Just a short bus ride from Bratislava, it offers a different kind of city experience plus an opportunity to sip your way through one of Slovakia’s many wine regions.

There are multiple vineyards on the city fringe, including the popular Mrva & Stanko, which offers wine degustations inside its underground brick cellars. Every September, Trnava hosts the Open Wine Cellars Day , when you can hop between underground pivnica and learn about local winemaking traditions.

Visit at any time of year to take in Trnava’s impressive architecture. Hlavná Street is straight from a picture book, with its pretty Rococo and Baroque buildings. This high concentration of churches gives this city the nickname ‘Slovak Rome’, so you definitely don’t want to miss the ecclesiastical architecture either. The 14th century St. Nicholas Basilica is one of the city’s most preeminent churches, with a fabulous Gothic style interior.

  • Get there: Bus from Bratislava (45 mins).
  • Where to stay: Penzión Elements .

Architecture in the city of Zilina.

North-western Slovakia’s Zilina region hugs the Polish and Czech borders. It’s known throughout the country for its industry, yet its location in the Western Carpathians makes it a popular destination for tourists as well.

The region’s biggest city and cultural hub, also called Žilina, is something of a hidden gem. Mariánske námestie is one of the prettiest town squares in the country, lined with flagstone and ringed with rows of charming pastel houses.

Over the river, Zilina’s 13th century castle, Budatínsky hrad, is one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions. It has a tower for wonderful city views, and a sprawling park where you’ll find walking and biking trails that hug the banks of the Vah.

  • Get there: Train from Bratislava (2 hrs) or Trencin (1.5 hrs).
  • Where to stay: Penzión Central Park .

Beautiful places in Slovakia: Small towns & villages

A traditional painted house in Cicmany village, Slovakia.

Containing the world’s first folk architecture reserve founded in 1977 , Čičmany is a small village in Zilina region. It’s widely known as ‘the painted village of Cicmany’ because of its many houses built of dark timber, each decorated with intricate traditional patterns using white lime paint.

The name of the town is derived from the Slovak word čičman , meaning a lumberjack who sings while he works. The tradition of building wooden cottages dates back to at least 1272.

In the winter seasons, the village serves as a popular ski resort called Javorinka. The rest of the year is filled with costumed folk dance performances, local folk music, and art. In addition to preserving the village’s vernacular architecture, Cicmany’s Považie Museum also arranges the traditional festivals held here throughout the warmer months.

  • Get there: Car/bus from Zilina (45 mins) or car/guided tour from Bratislava (2 hrs).
  • Where to stay: Kaštiel Čičmany .

8. Banska Stiavnica

Banska Stiavnica, a historic town in Slovakia.

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, the historic town of Banská Štiavnica in central Slovakia enjoys one of the most impressive locations in the entire country. Nestled in a caldera formed by an ancient volcano and enveloped by beautiful nature, it’s a fairytale come true.

Banska Stiavnica has a long history and rich history tied to the silver mining industry. More than 60 water reservoirs called tajchy were built around the town between the 15th and 18th centuries to power the mines. Today, they serve a new purpose as man-made lakes for swimming and kayaking.

Learn about the history of mining at the Open-air Museum, where you can join an immersive guided tour of a 1.5-kilometre-long tunnel. Like many Slovak towns of the same ilk, Banska Stiavnica boasts pastel-coloured buildings and darling churches. In fact, its preserved medieval town centre is considered to be one of the most important in all of Slovakia.

  • Get there: Car/bus from Banska Bystrica (40 mins) or car/guided tour from Bratislava (2.25 hrs).
  • Where to stay: Penzión Kachelman .

9. Spania Dolina, one of the most beautiful places in Slovakia

Spania Dolina, the most beautiful town in Slovakia, surrounded by autumnal foliage.

Špania Dolina is a picturesque village of not more than 200 residents in central Slovakia. Surrounded by the Staré Hory and Veľká Fatra mountains, this former mining village is now the Monument Reserve of Popular Architecture, with all the houses made from stone and wood.

Considered one of the most beautiful villages in Slovakia, it’s characterised by unique miners’ houses plastered with mud and painted with lime. Learn more about their legacy at the Museum of Copper.

Once mined for their copper and silver, the hills around Spania Dolina are now the perfect setting for day hikes. Discover amazing views of the town and wooden churches and chapels, such as Kaplnka. Another popular trek is to Harmanecká Cave, formed from 220 million-year-old Middle Triassic Gutenstein limestone.

  • Get there: Car/bus from Banska Bystrica (15 mins).
  • Where to stay: Pension Klopačka .

An impressive church in Levoca, a small town in Slovakia.

Located in the eastern Prešov Region, the historic town of Levoča is famous for housing the highest wooden altar in the world. Fashioned in 1517 by woodsmiths from the Master Paul of Levoča workshop, it stands at 18.6 metres tall – a scale befitting Slovakia’s second-largest church, the Basilica of St. James.

Although around 15,000 people call Lovoca home, it’s still known as a quiet, even sleepy town – unless of course there is a festival happening. The biggest annual celebration is the Indian Summer in Levoča Festival, an international music festival that pays tribute to Spis county’s position at the European crossroads of art and culture.

Levoca itself has featured on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2009. Small enough to tour by foot, the historical centre has a pretty town square, old town hall, and several museums. A short drive east of town, the 12th century Spiš Castle is one of the biggest fortresses in Central Europe.

  • Get there: Car/bus from Kosice (1 hr).
  • Where to stay: Žeľeni domčurik .

11. Bardejov

Cute houses in the Slovakian town of Bardejov.

In the Šariš region of north-eastern Slovakia, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies the spa town Bardejov. The town was first mentioned in the year 1247, and to date, its town centre remains fully intact. Standing on the cobbled square, you can almost see exactly what life looked like during early Renaissance Europe.

Although the sights are incredible, Bardejov’s real beauty lies in the fact that it hasn’t been spoiled by droves of tourists. Whether you’re looking to relax in the mineral water springs, take a walk through the open-air folk architecture museum, or witness Slovakia’s best-preserved medieval fortifications, Bardejov is definitely one of the best places in the country to visit.

  • Get there: Car/bus from Kosice (1.5 hrs).
  • Where to stay: Hotel Pod Bránou .

Beautiful castles in Slovakia

12. bojnice castle.

Bojnice Castle, one of the best places to visit in Slovakia.

Indisputably the most iconic fortification in Slovakia, Bojnice Castle or the ‘Castle of Spirits’ has served as the backdrop for many fairytale films. You’ll no doubt recognise its picture-perfect turrets from pop culture. Romanesque with a touch of Gothic and Renaissance, it was erected in the 12th century and originally made from wood.

Visit the wonderful castle museum, and take a stroll through the expansive castle grounds among the 700-year-old Linden trees.

  • Get there: Car/bus from Banska Bystrica (1.5 hrs).

13. Devin Castle

Devin Castle, an easy day trip from Bratislava.

An easy day trip from the capital , Devin Castle might not be the most conventionally beautiful castle in Slovakia, but it is one of the most historically significant. You only need to look at its strategic location to see why: Perched high over the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers, it was the perfect lookout spot for spotting encroaching enemies.

The 200-metre-high rock offers panoramic views all the way out to neighbouring Austria and is particularly beautiful at sunset . Tour the grounds of the 9th century fortress – one of the oldest in Slovakia – and visit the cave museum, where a number of artefacts from the period are on display.

  • Get there: Bus/taxi from Bratislava (20 mins).

14. Orava Castle

Orava Castle on the river, viewed from above.

Considered by many to be the most beautiful castle in Slovakia, Orava was built in the 13th century when Slovakia was still part of the Kingdom of Hungary. Like Devin, it enjoys an elevated position above a river – this time a lime spur more than 100 metres high nestled in a tight bend of the river Orava, which flows into the Vah.

Hauntingly beautiful from the outside, the castle’s interior chambers are a treasure chest. The Orava Museum is one of the oldest in Slovakia and exhibits period furnishings, weaponry and archaeological finds.

  • Get there: Car/bus from Zilina (1 hr).

15. Budatin Castle

Budatin, one of the best castles in Slovakia.

Located in the north-western part of Slovakia where the rivers Kysuka and Vah become one, the medieval Castello di Budatín or Budatin Castle was built on the spot where a much older fortification stood to guard an important trading route to Silesia. Today it falls within the boundaries of the beautiful Slovakian city of Zilina, making it easy to visit when exploring the city.

The castle’s four-story tower is its oldest part, built during the 13th century.

  • Get there: By foot from Zilina (30 mins).

16. Smolenice Castle

Smolenice, one of the most beautiful castles in Slovakia.

Nestled on the eastern slopes of the Little Carpathian Mountains near Smolenice, Smolenický zámok (the Smolenice Castle) was originally built in the 15th century and destroyed shortly thereafter during the Napoleanic wars. Since then, it has seen yet more destruction as a result of World War II. Now owned by the Slovak Academy of Sciences, it has been completely restored.

The castle is now used as a convention centre and hosts science exhibitions, conferences and seminars. Because of its fairytale-like appearance, Smolenice Castle now also serves as a popular wedding venue. Guided tours are available during the summer months between June and August.

  • Get there: Car/bus from Bratislava (1 hr).

17. Sklabina Castle

The ruins of Sklabina Fortress in Slovakia.

At 626 metres above sea level on a hill beyond Sklabinský Podzámok village lies the ruins of a once-majestic fortified castle known as Sklabiňa. The first documented mention of this castle was in 1242, when it was noted to have been built on the site of an older settlement.

Eerily beautiful, Hrad Sklabiňa is one example of a partially destroyed Slovakian castle that still bears the scars of war. After burning down in 1436 and enduring multiple modifications and additions, the last habitable area of the castle, known as the manor house, was destroyed for the last time by enemy troops in 1944.

However, neither the castle nor its enthusiasts have given up hope yet – festivals and events are organised in support of raising the funds needed to restore the beautiful Sklabina Castle to her former glory.

  • Get there: Car/bus from Zilina (30 mins) or Banska Bystrica (1 hr).

Beautiful mountains, lakes & national parks in Slovakia

18. the high tatra mountains.

High mountains and wildflowers in Slovakia's High Tatras.

Part of the Carpathian mountains, the High Tatras are shared between Slovakia and Poland, forming a natural land border between the two nations. If you’re searching for pristine nature and stunning views, your nose will no doubt lead you to this northern frontier, where there are no fewer than 29 peaks towering higher than 2,500 metres.

Tatras National Park, the first cross-border national park in Europe, was established in the 1940s/50s to protect the area’s endemic flora and fauna. It’s one of the most beautiful spots in Slovakia for hiking , mountain biking and water sports. Towns including Tatranská Lomnica – with their cute cottages – add to the scenery and provide a convenient base for experiencing the landscape.

Slovakia might be a landlocked country, but the lakes and rivers within the Tatras make up for the absence of beaches. Zelene Pleso AKA ‘Green Lake’ is one such natural phenomenon. A popular hiking trail leads from the end of the cable car to the lake, taking around five hours in total. Some of the park’s most beautiful scenery lies on Štrbské Pleso, a glacial lake nicknamed ‘the puddle’.

For a more challenging hike, summit the highest peak on the Slovak side, Gerlachovský štít (2,655 metres).

  • Get there: Car/bus from Kosice (~3 hrs).
  • Where to stay: Hotel Lomnica in Tatranská Lomnica.

19. The Tokaj Wine Region

Tokaj wine region, a beautiful landscape of vineyards in Slovakia.

Swathes of Slovakia’s south-eastern corner are devoted to rolling vineyards. The Tokaj Wine Region (which continues over the border into north-eastern Hungary) is one of the most underrated in Eastern Europe. The countryside transforms from verdant green to shades of ochre and amber in the cooler months, offering stunning scenery year-round.

Travel through the 900-plus hectares of vineyards by car, hopping between cellars that celebrate the region’s Roman-era vine-growing traditions. The climate and soils in Tokaj are perfect for raising particular varieties of grapes that make naturally sweet wines – be sure to sample Tokajský výber, the region’s world-famous dessert wine, while you’re there.

  • Where to stay: Chalupa Esencia .

20. Slovak Paradise National Park

A river bridge in Slovak National Paradise, one of the most beautiful nature spots in Slovakia.

Situated in Eastern Slovakia and protecting the Slovak Paradise mountain range since 1890, Slovak Paradise National Park is another of Slovakia’s nine national parks. To give you an idea of the park’s size, there are a further 11 natural nature reserves and eight nature reserves situated within its borders, taking in an estimated 300km of hiking trails and 350 caves. Unfortunately, only one of these caves, known as the Dobšiná Ice Cave, is open to the public

With 40 mammal species, 4,000 species of invertebrates, and 65 endangered species, Slovak Paradise National Park is one of Slovakia’s most important landscapes. If you find beauty in the great outdoors, it’s an experience not to be missed.

  • Get there: Car/bus from Kosice (~1.5 hrs).
  • Where to stay: Penzion u Šimona in Hrbok.

21. Poloniny National Park & Dark Sky Park

Sunset in Poloniny National Park in Slovakia.

At the Polish and Ukrainian borders in northeastern Slovakia, belonging to the eastern Carpathian Mountains, Poloniny National Park was created in 1997. Almost 80% of the park is covered with thick forest where the ridge line above the trees is populated with alpine meadows. In local language this translates to ‘poloniny’, and is how the national park got its name.

The park is also home to four churches originally built between the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as the last traditional wooden house in the whole region to retain an original thatch roof. Also within the reserve, Poloniny Dark Sky Park is the first of its kind in Slovakia. One of the last places in the country that’s free from light pollution, it’s a top destination for stargazing – the Milky Way can be seen from here without the aid of a telescope.

  • Get there: Car/bus from Kosice (~2.5 hrs).
  • Where to stay: Bilovoddya Hotel in Sil village.

Slovakia trip essentials

  • Use Discover Cars to find the best price on a rental car in Slovakia.
  • Find the best hotel deals in Slovakia on .
  • Search for the best city tours and day excursions in Slovakia on Viator .

Discover more beautiful places in Europe

  • Beautiful places in Slovenia
  • Beautiful places in Hungary
  • Beautiful places in Croatia
  • Beautiful places in Montenegro
  • Beautiful cities in Romania
  • Beautiful places in Turkey
  • Beautiful places in Portugal
  • Beautiful Italian islands
  • Beautiful Italian cities
  • Beautiful Spanish cities & small towns
  • Beautiful cities in Spain

One Comment

Prešov is one of the most beautiful cities in Slovakia, I know the country really well and always prefer to spend a night in Prešov, when I am in this region. My other favourites are Košice, Banská Bystrica and Banská Štiavnica. Bratislava is not the most interesting choice.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Subscribe to future posts

Create an account

Start your adventure today.

Already a member? Login

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Slovakia

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Slovakia

Quick navigation, about slovakia.

  • Best Places to visit

Best Things to Do

Great adventure trips, slovakia’s outdoors, travel costs, travel safety, best time to visit, how to get around slovakia, best places to stay, useful travel tools, visa requirements when travelling to slovakia, interesting facts about slovakia.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

Join our newsletter

Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

Take our Slovakia travel trips and plan your unforgettable expedition into this underrated country punctuated by mountains, castles, and historic cities.

Europe is one of the most-visited continents in the world, housing countless must-see destinations. Not into bumping shoulders with tourists every step just to get from A to B? Find far lighter crowds and standout destinations in Slovakia, an underrated gem right in the heart of Europe. This little country boasts mountainous expanses that rival any other outdoor destination and towns and cities rich with history. Rock climb, hike, sightsee, bike, ski, and swim off the beaten path while you travel Slovakia!

Disclosure: This post contains references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you buy one of these products or services. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page .

Bratislava Castle The Clouds Slovakia Danube River

Bratislava Castle The Clouds Slovakia Danube River

Slovakia is a self-assured nation born of the 1993 split of Czechoslovakia. Peacefully parting ways with the Czech Republic, each country embraced their own cultures and traditions to better define the two regions as separate entities. As a country that packs enticing topography, deep history, and distinct culture into one little package, it won’t take a long trip to get a feel for why other travellers are missing out by missing Slovakia.

Travellers to Slovakia often come to explore the splendid Old Town of Bratislava, the war-scarred fortresses, the impressive mountains, and the stately castles. For a trip that mixes outdoor adventure with cultural discovery, this is the place to be! While Bratislava will be most traveller’s jumping-off point, the far-north High Tatras mountain range cannot be left off the adventure traveller’s list. Košice provides a charming break en route to the Tokaj wine region in Slovakia’s sparsely-populated east. There’s lots to see, but this travel guide to Slovakia will show you how easy it is to see it all.

Best Places to Visit

When you step out of the plane, train, or automobile that brought you to Slovakia, odds are high that you’ll find yourself in Bratislava. This city of around 425,000 has been the capital since Slovakia became independent, and it’s a colourful blend of styles. Expect to find Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture all in one walk as you explore each castle and palace. Communist influence contrasts starkly with the ornate styles of earlier periods, with blocky apartment buildings harking back to the influence of the Communist Party of Slovakia.

While you’ll be cruising the gorgeous Old Town and perusing cafes and shops during the day, it’s impossible to ignore the raucous nightlife once the sun goes down. Bachelor parties from Vienna often target Bratislava to take advantage of the ever-flowing taps and rowdy bars. If you’re keen to be social, Bratislava will deliver.

Bratislava was also mentioned on The Broke Backpacker as one of the best places to visit when  backpacking in Eastern Europe .

High Tatras

We’ve talked about the High Tatras mountain range in detail, but you simply can’t plan an adventure travel trip to Slovakia without visiting these peaks. The High Tatras range is actually known as the smallest alpine mountain range in the world, but don’t let that deter you. The highest point of the range, Gerlachovský štít, reaches 2,655 m high. Mount Kriváň, Slovakia’s most iconic and recognizable peak, reaches 2,495 m high.

The High Tatras range is part of the larger Carpathian range that sprawls over the border between Slovakia and Poland. This region is home to ski resorts, over 600km of marked hiking trails, and cozy mountain towns to enjoy. Long-distance hikers love the 72.0 km Tatranská Magistrála trail that connects the mountains from east to west. Mountain bikers and snowshoers flock to the trails. Rock climbers can try their hands at unique routes. All that to say, this is where the action’s at if you’re looking to get outdoors!

Those visiting the High Tatras can make Štrbské Pleso, Starý Smokovec, or Tatranská Lomnica their home base.

Gerlachovsky stit hishest point in the High Tatras

Gerlachovsky stit hishest point in the High Tatras

Slovak Karst Caves

Get on top of the world, and then get below it! Some of Slovakia’s most incredible natural attractions are the karst caves tucked along the border with Hungary. These caves are a UNESCO World Heritage site, recognized for their otherworldly scenery. Seriously, it feels like you’re in a movie down here.

There are seven components to the entire site, four of which are in Slovakia. While all of the designated cave areas are worth seeing, we definitely recommend heading down into Dominica Cave to take an underground boat ride on the River Styx. Don’t worry, you won’t be headed to Hades.

Designated as the 2013 European Capital of Culture, Košice is the second-largest city in Slovakia and the hub of the eastern side of the country. While only populated by some 240,000 people, Košice is packed with museums, galleries, exhibitions, and theatres. The architecture around the city is to die for, especially the dramatic St. Elisabeth Cathedral. Take a stroll down the pedestrian-only main street, where churches, aristocratic palaces, and modern boutiques line the sidewalk.

Košice also provides a great home base for those looking to explore the quiet eastern end of Slovakia. Most visitors to the idyllic Tokaj wine region will use this city as their gateway.

Slovakia boasts plenty to do for the adventure traveller and the casual tourist alike. To start building out an itinerary, here are some of our favourite things to do in Slovakia.

Get into those mountains! While we’ve covered the High Tatras, there are also great hiking routes in the Mala Fatra Mountains, which are conveniently just a couple of hours outside of Bratislava. While we’ve got a collection of route guides to help you find your way in Slovakia, some of our favourite hikes in the country include Mlynická Dolina to Furkotská Dolina Loop, Zelené Pleso, and Mount Rysy.

If you’re not looking to gain major elevation, a casual walk to explore the Garden of Janko Kráľ in Bratislava is lovely. Since 40% of the country is forested, you’ll find plenty of spots for a nice nature walk out in the woods without needing to scale a mountain. One of the top outdoor destinations in the country is Slovak Paradise, a national park that combines 19 different nature reserves, over 350 caves, and countless canyons and gorges to explore.

Halic Castle Galicia Lucenec Slovakia

Halic Castle Galicia Lucenec Slovakia

So we’ve got mountains, we’ve got snowy winters… All we need is skis! Slovakia has a smattering of ski resorts, the most popular being Jasná Nízke Tatry–Chopok (perfect for advanced skiers and freeriders), Tatranská Lomnica (great for beginners), and Park Snow Donovaly (ideal for families with children). If you prefer cross-country to downhill, try Ski Mlynky. One of the most popular snow sports in Slovakia right now is “uphill skiing,” which is essentially the same as alpine touring. Skiers will use skins and detachable heel boots to climb up the hill, then shed their skins and lock in to descend.

Of course, snowboarders are more than welcome at the resorts of Slovakia. Most resorts open in December and remain open through the end of April.

Mountain Biking

There’s a thriving mountain biking scene in Slovakia, so those looking to explore on two wheels should feel right at home. Trails range from beginner to advanced and you’ll be able to find trailheads quite close to Bratislava. Some of the top-rated trails in the country include the Včelín Biely Kríž – Malý Slavín Bratislava Loop from Bratislava hlavná stanica (a mouthful), the Sandberg – Rozhladna Devinska kobyla Loop from Devínska Nová Ves, and the Forest Path Loop from Košice.

If you’re wanting to travel light, you can rent mountain bikes at shops throughout the country.

Cultural and Historical Exploration

Once you’ve tired yourself out on the trails, come back to the cities and towns of Slovakia to experience what makes this little country so special. Castles both pristine and in ruin are a true highlight here, and a day or two spent castle-spotting is a must. There are over 100 castles dotting the hills of Slovakia, the lovely 12th-century Bojnice Castle being one of the most visited castles in Europe. The neo-Gothic Orava Castle is one of the most beautiful in Slovakia and was used as a filming location for the 1992 silent film Nosferatu .

Once you’ve had your fill of castles (if that’s ever possible), pop into local museums to catch glimpses of Slovakia’s rich history. Our favourites are the Bratislava City Museum, the Museum of Clocks, the Slovak National Art Gallery, and the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum in Bratislava.

Planning your perfect Slovakia trip? Booking a guided or self-guided tour can take the stress off, allowing you to soak up the scenery while your accommodations, transport, meals, and activities are looked after. We add more adventure tours all the time, so check back soon to see what incredible trips we’ve added in Slovakia!

Hiking Slovakia

Hiking Slovakia

Slovakia is a small, landlocked country in central Europe. It’s bordered by Poland to the north, Austria to the southwest, Ukraine to the east, and the Czech Republic to the northwest. Much of the northern reaches of the country are covered with forested mountains. The central regions see a transition from the Ore Mountains to the lowlands of the Danube. Rural countryside dominates the east, where wine regions intertwine.

Carpathian Mountains

You’ve probably got it down by now that if you’re looking for adventure in Slovakia, you’re going to head north to the mountains. Slovakia’s mountain ranges are more impressive the further north you go, and this is where you’ll find the best hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and snowshoeing in the country. The Carpathian Mountains actually reach down into central Slovakia before giving way to flatter grounds.

The popular High Tatra range, where one of Slovakia’s most popular national parks lies, is part of the Central Western Carpathians. The Ore Mountains lie farther south, an important economic feature (judging by the name, you can probably guess why).

Outside of the mountains, most of Slovakia is lowland that leads towards the Danube River along the southern border. All of Slovakia’s smaller rivers drain south towards the Danube, which is a vital connector through Central Europe (and a fun spot for a river cruise!).

Bratislava dominates the western lowlands, and the eastern, while sparsely populated, host a wine region that sprawls into Hungary.

Good news! Slovakia won’t break the bank for travellers. While other, more well-known European destinations require some serious splurging (looking at you, Scandinavia, France, and Switzerland), Slovakia retains a factor of affordability due to its underrated travel status. While it’s not on par with known budget destinations, it’s a great way to experience the charm of Europe without draining your savings. We’ll talk about costs in USD for consistency.

Accessible to those in Europe but overseas for many travellers, flights to Slovakia vary greatly in cost depending on where they’re departing from. Travellers from North America should budget anywhere from $700-$1000 for flights depending on where they’re flying out of. Travellers in Europe could enjoy flights as cheap as $100 or less!

Popradske pleso. High Tatras Slovakia

Popradske pleso. High Tatras Slovakia


Where you rest your head each night can be one of your best budgeting tools. Expect to spend about $50 per night for a midrange single-occupancy hotel (more like $80 or $90 for two people) or about $40 per night for a budget hotel or hostel. High-end hotel rooms can be booked for north of $300 per night.

Daily Expenses

While the cost of your day-to-day in Slovakia can be highly variable, expect to budget anywhere between $40 and $90 per day for food, travel, and sightseeing. If you’re planning a special excursion, we recommend choosing a provider beforehand and budgeting according to their costs.

Restaurant meals start at about $10, with lunch often being cheaper. Beer is exceptionally cheap here, with pints flowing for as little as $1.50. Expect fast food meals to come in around $6 and a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant to run about $35.

Tips and Gratuities

Travellers from heavy-tipping countries, take note! Tipping in Slovakia typically happens at a much smaller percentage than you may be used to. 10 percent of the bill at a sit-down restaurant is plenty. When you pay, tell the server how much you want to pay, not how much change you want back. Take care not to say “thank you” until you’ve received your change back or the server may take it as a sign that you don’t want change.

Tipping hotel staff is not expected, but it’s nice if they went above and beyond for you. In taxis or shuttles, rounding up to the nearest euro is sufficient.

Slovakia is a considerably safe destination, with little for travellers to worry about beyond basic safety practices. You’ll likely find people to be generally courteous and polite.

There are a few local scams that specifically target tourists. First of all, although it might sound like a good time, beware of good-looking strangers inviting you to a specific bar. This is a common scam where foreigners are charged for overpriced drinks all night. While you might still enjoy your evening, your wallet will take a bigger hit than necessary.

Additionally, some taxi drivers will attempt to overcharge tourists, especially in Bratislava. Ensure you’re in an official cab (have the bar or hotel call a cab for you if you’re unsure), and insist on paying what the meter reads.

Another common scam involves strangers slashing your tires and then offering you help when you notice. If you see you have a flat tire and someone offers help, be suspicious. Keep an eye on your belongings, as theft is nearly always an objective in these situations.

Besides those specific scams, simply practice the same vigilance you would anywhere else. Keep your wallet and purse secure, especially in crowded areas, take care at ATMs, don’t travel in flashy jewelry, be wary of assertive or aggressive strangers, take care when travelling at night, and keep an eye on your drinks at the bar.

Travellers heading into the mountains should consider hiring a guide. If not, ensure you’re well-prepared with maps, GPS routes, proper clothing and footwear, and contacts off the trail who know where you’re going and when to expect you back.

Skiing Slovakia Jasna Nizke Tatry Chopok

Skiing Slovakia Jasna Nizke Tatry Chopok

Most travelling to Slovakia come between June and August when the warm summer weather is at its best. If you’re keen to explore the cities, hike, swim, or bike, summer is the perfect time to make the trip. If you’re more interested in skiing, December through February are ideal.

The busiest season in Slovakia is July and August, so be prepared for potentially heavier crowds around tourist attractions should you choose to visit during the summer.

In line with much of the rest of Europe, Slovakia boasts a well-connected public transport system that makes getting from A to B quite easy. In addition, other modes of transport and the small size of the country make it easy to navigate.

Not many travellers will fly across Slovakia. While you certainly could book a flight, taking the train is generally the more popular option. Most domestic flights serve to cover the ground between Bratislava and Košice. This route is run by Czech Airlines.

Trains are the easiest (and most scenic!) way to travel through Slovakia. The route between Bratislava and Košice is the most popular in the country, but you can also take the train to the north or south ends of the country.

We recommend buying tickets online in advance, as navigating the train system on the fly without any knowledge of Slovak can be hit or miss. The most popular train lines are Intercity (IC), or Eurocity (EC). You can purchase tickets online through Slovak Railways .

Slovak Karst Caves Slovak Karst Caves

Slovak Karst Caves Slovak Karst Caves

With an impressive network of bus lines spidering through the country, it’s impressively easy to reach even seemingly remote towns by bus in Slovakia. We recommend paying close attention to timetables , as weekends, evenings, holidays, and the size of the town served all affect how often buses run.

If you prefer total control over your travel plans and the flexibility to move around without a schedule, renting a car might be the best way to get around Slovakia. Rental cars can be arranged in Bratislava, Košice, and Poprad. You may need an International Driving Permit to drive in Slovakia, so we recommend touching base with a rental car company in advance to check.

Highways in Slovakia are kept in good shape, but you may find potholes, cobblestone streets, and narrow lanes in cities and towns. Take care. Additionally, know that winter tires may be mandatory in the snow, and you’ll not be permitted to drive with any alcohol in your system. Speed limits in Slovakia may feel fast to drivers from some countries- you’ll see drivers easily exceeding 130km/hr on the highway. Keep out of the passing lane unless passing and note seasonal reductions in speed limits.

When you travel to Slovakia, you’ll have a few choices of where to rest your head each night.

For those on a budget, hostels are available. Check out Hostel World for locations throughout the country.

Camping isn’t as popular or easy in Slovakia as it is in some other European destinations, as wild camping or random camping is prohibited. You’ll need to book a designated campsite , some of which offer nice facilities and spaces for campers or other larger vehicles.

Most travellers to Slovakia will stay in hotels, which are safe bets across the country. You’ll be able to find a hotel room in most places you end up.

St.Elisabeth Cathedral Kosice Slovakia

St.Elisabeth Cathedral Kosice Slovakia

Booking Accommodation

These are some of our most-used websites to book hotels on: , , , and . For long-term rentals or more unique listings, check with .

Booking Flights

Trying to snag the best price possible? Check out Skyscanner or CheapOair . Those waiting for the cheapest time to book flights should download the Hopper app.

Train Tickets and Car Rentals

Book train tickets with Slovak Railways .

To score a deal on your car rental, check Economy Bookings . Leaving your car at the terminal? Try using Airport Parking Reservations to save some cash on airport parking.

Planning on getting out and about? Of course you are. For warm winter threads suitable for the hill or trail, some of our favourites are Arc’teryx , Patagonia , and Helly Hansen . For those needing trail running and hiking gear, check Salomon and the Running Room . And if you plan on doing some hiking and backpacking, gear up through MEC or MSR .

We recommend choosing your gear ahead of time and bringing it with you, as quality outdoor gear is not very widely available in Slovakia.

Slovakia is part of the Schengen zone, a group of countries in Europe with standardized visa requirements. You can find a list of countries whose nationals are required to apply for a visa prior to travelling to Slovakia on the Schengen Visa Info website , but always check with your local travel authority to confirm. Depending on your country of origin, you may need to apply for a visa just to change planes in the Schengen area. For quick reference, citizens of Canada and the United States do not require visas. Tourist visas are normally valid for 90 days.

No matter where you fall in terms of your visa, you’ll always need a valid passport issued within the last 10 years and valid until 3 months after your departure date. Certain criminal convictions can prevent your entry to Slovakia, so it’s good to check ahead to make sure you’re eligible for entry.

Tokaj wine region vineyards

Tokaj wine region vineyards

Want some fun facts to share with your newfound Slovak friends? Here are some interesting claims to fame for Slovakia.

  • Slovakia boasts the highest number of castles per capita in the world. There are 180 castles and 450 chateaux within its borders.
  • Even more impressive than the number of castles is the number of caves in Slovakia: 6000 of them!
  • Bratislava is the only capital city in the world that borders two other countries (Hungary and Austria).
  • The geographical middle of Europe is in Slovakia, close to a village called Kremnické Bane.
  • You can stand in awe of the tallest Gothic wooden altar in the world here. It’s the altar of St. Jakub.
  • The oldest toy ever discovered was dug up near Košice: a 3000-year old wheeled pushcart.

Frequently Asked Questions about Slovakia

Nobody hops on a plane without a few questions first! Hopefully these answers to frequently asked questions about travelling to Slovakia help you plan your perfect trip.

What language do Slovaks speak?

Well, Slovaks speak Slovak. Slovak is similar to literary Czech, but the two languages are distinct. You’ll likely also come across German, Hungarian, and Czech speakers while travelling through Slovakia. Many Slovaks know some English, especially younger generations, but it’s not as reliably spoken as in some other European countries.

How should I travel around Slovakia?

Trains and buses are the best way to travel within Slovakia. They’re well-connected, affordable, and allow you to appreciate the fantastic scenery.

Is Slovakia cold?

Sometimes, yes! Slovakia enjoys pleasant summers and chillier winters. If visiting between November and March, expect some occasional below-freezing temperatures and snow, especially closer to the mountains.

Vysoke Tatry Strba Tarn Lake

Vysoke Tatry Strba Tarn Lake

Is Slovakia dangerous?

Slovakia is not especially dangerous for travellers. Exercise the same common-sense safety practices you would anywhere else.

Does Slovakia use the euro?

Yes. You can pay using the euro in Slovakia, which was adopted as their currency in 2009.

What is the food like in Slovakia?

Slovakian cuisine is similar to other Central European nations, focusing on meat and dairy. Slovakian food was born of a need for high-energy, affordable, quick meals for peasants, herders, and labourers. Lovers of leafy greens should prepare themselves: vegetables are not as plentiful or diverse in Slovakian food.

Expect dishes like pork dumplings, pierogies, cabbage soup, bread with meats or jam, and goulash soup. While in Bratislava, you’ll be able to find more popular chain restaurants and fast food if you look for it.

Top Destinations

Tour activities, top regions, get travel inspiration and discounts.

Join our weekly travel newsletter

Touropia Logo

Touropia Travel

Discover the World

10 Best Places to Visit in Slovakia

By Alex Schultz · Last updated on October 3, 2023

Lying right in the center of Europe, Slovakia is a delight to explore. Crumbling castles and medieval towns can be found tucked away among its stunning scenery, with lots of interesting historic sights and cultural landmarks for you to discover.

Due to its strategic location, the country has been conquered and ruled by everyone from the Mongols and Hungarians to the Ottomans and Czechs; it was only in 1993 that the nation of Slovakia came into being for the first time.

Map of the best places in Slovakia

Map of the best places in Slovakia

Despite its youth, the country’s rich culture and heritage shine forth wherever you go, with plenty of local traditions and customs for you to delve into. While its many historic towns and villages are captivating to explore, Slovakia is also blessed with some gorgeous scenery. Plan your trip to this undiscovered Central European travel destination with our list of the best places to visit in Slovakia.

10. Orava Castle

Orava Castle

Set upon a craggy hilltop amid a verdant forest that tumbles down its steep slopes, Orava Castle certainly looks impressive, as rolling hills lie off in the distance, and the Orava River runs below its imposing cliff face.

One of the most beautiful castles in the whole of Slovakia, Orava Castle was built all the way back in the 13th century, although earlier wooden palisades and fortifications once occupied its prominent outcrop.

As each generation added its own touches and additions, the castle boasts a variety of architectural styles, with Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance features all evident. Its museum houses some wonderful old artifacts and archaeological findings that document its rich history. Throughout the many centuries that it has stood atop the bluff, the Orava Castle has never been conquered; it’s easy to see why once you pass through its many gates, walls, and defenses.

9. Vlkolinec


One of the only remaining folk villages in the whole of Central Europe, Vlkolínec is full of impressive architecture, with traditional log houses lying next to a beautiful Baroque chapel and an antiquated old bell tower. A very quaint and charming place to visit, the tiny village is set in an idyllic spot amidst forest-clad hills and fields, with mountains seen in the distance.

As such, there are many great hikes you can do in the surrounding area. Besides that, there is not all that much to do other than take in the peaceful, laidback atmosphere and marvel at the fine folk architecture.

8. Bardejov


With a delightful historic center for you to explore, the well-preserved medieval town of Bardejov is certainly worth a visit if you have the chance; it’s hard to imagine a more picturesque place.

Life in the small town revolves around its beautiful marketplace, just as it did all those centuries ago. A number of fine Gothic and Renaissance townhouses surround the elegant Church of St. Aegidius, which lies at its heart.

There is also a splendid old synagogue for you to check out, as well as a small Jewish quarter, which is sadly all that remains of the town’s once-thriving Jewish population. Located in the northeast of the country, with the Beskyd Mountains all around it, the town is surrounded by some fantastic 14th and 15th-century fortifications, with several interesting wooden churches scattered around the surrounding countryside.

7. Slovak Paradise National Park

Slovak Paradise National Park

Encompassing a wide array of wild and rugged landscapes, the Slovak Paradise National Park is a breathtakingly beautiful part of the country to explore; deep canyons, valleys, and rivers cut through the endless forests on show.

The scenery is absolutely stunning wherever you go; amid the dense undergrowth, you can find sparkling waterfalls and deep rocky gorges, with the astounding Dobsinska Ice Cave just one of its main attractions.

Due to all of the amazing natural sights found in the park, it really is a treat to explore, and a myriad of paths and trails snake through the glorious Solvak Paradise mountain range. At times, you need to cross flimsy bridges that sway precariously to and fro, and clamber up steep ladders that hug the cliff face. The hike through the Sucha Bela Gorge is particularly challenging, but the beauty makes it well worth the effort.


Over the centuries, Kosice has been ruled by everyone from the Hungarians and Turks to the Czechs and Slovaks. As such, there is a myriad of amazing monuments, statues, and cultural landmarks for you to check out.

Slovakia’s second-largest city has a wealth of great things for you to see and do, with fantastic bars, restaurants, and shops found alongside its many art galleries, museums, and theaters.

While its thriving arts and culture scene is certainly worth exploring, no visit to Kosice can be complete without taking in all the fantastic sights and architecture found in its spectacular old town. Besides its stunning 14th century cathedral, there is a huge array of churches and palaces to see. Many people use Kosice as a base from which to explore the plethora of astonishing sights that dot the east of the country.


Lined with beautiful old townhouses, Levoca’s historic main square certainly is spectacular, with a glorious Gothic church and 15th-century town hall lying at its heart. Levoca is full of incredible historic sights and cultural landmarks, with lots of magnificent architecture scattered around town; you’ll see Baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic features.

While its gorgeous main square is the highlight, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied for a day or two. The surrounding region is awash with amazing sights should you want to visit Spis Castle or the scenic Tatra Mountains.

With a very laidback feel to it, Levoca is the perfect place to visit if you’re after a quiet getaway. When in town, a peaceful stroll up to the Church of Marianska Hora is a must for the fantastic views and its important spiritual significance.

4. Spis Castle

Spis Castle

Overlooking the town of Spisske Podhradie from on top of a hill, the vast ruins of Spis Castle cover a vast expanse of territory. As such, it should come as no surprise to learn that it is one of the largest castle complexes in the whole of Central Europe. Wandering around its many walls, fortifications, and towers is an amazing experience, and the mind boggles at the sheer size and scale of everything.

Once the major center of power in the surrounding region, Spis Castle is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Slovakia. It’s easy to see why once you approach the castle and see its impressive features for yourself.

Despite its ruined state, the remains of the castle still defiantly look out over the surrounding countryside and dominate the scenery with its commanding presence.

3. Banska Stiavnica

Banska Stiavnica

Lying at the center of what used to be an enormous caldera, Banská Štiavnica is a fascinating city to explore. Much of its fabulous wealth derives from the rich mineral deposits that were once found in the ground around the town. The former mining town has a magnificent historic center, with lots of lovely churches, palaces, and museums.

Wandering around town, you’ll pass many amazing historic sights and cultural landmarks. In addition to all this, Banská Štiavnica also has two fantastic castles for you to visit, while the open-air mining museum is well worth checking out; it takes you deep underground to see what life in the mines was really like.

2. High Tatras

High Tatras

As they are home to the tallest mountains in the country, the High Tatras make for some unforgettable hiking and rock climbing, while in winter, there are loads of great slopes and pistes to ski down.

The majestic mountain range really is a sight to behold; its jagged peaks rise up imperiously towards the heavens, and sparkling alpine lakes and meadows can be found tucked away among its many slopes and valleys.

Occupying an important place in the national psyche, the High Tatras are almost a national symbol, and the snow-capped Mount Krivan is the most distinctive peak. Due to the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, the mountain range lends itself perfectly to all different types of outdoor activities. There are plenty of paths and trails for you to hike, cycle, or ski along, and the views are simply out of this world.

1. Bratislava


The nation’s capital and largest city, Bratislava has many different sides to it, and that is in part what makes it so fascinating to explore. At the historic heart of the city, one can find a magnificent hilltop castle and a range of medieval and Gothic buildings, with some fine Baroque palaces on display.

Step out of the old town, and you’ll find communist-era concrete blocks lying alongside the Danube River that courses through Bratislava, while even further out, you’ll come across picturesque farms, fields, and villages.

Among this mesmerizing mix of old and new are loads of fantastic bars and restaurants for you to try, with more upmarket boutiques and trendy cafes springing up every year.

As it boasts an ever-changing array of things for you to see and do , Bratislava never gets old. But if you should ever feel the need for a change of scenery, then both Vienna and Budapest lie nearby.

Share this post:

best places to visit in Central Europe

21 Best Places to Visit in Central Europe

tourist attractions in Europe

25 Top Tourist Attractions in Europe

Best Things to do in Bratislava

17 Best Things to do in Bratislava, Slovakia

Regions of Europe

6 Most Beautiful Regions of Europe

Things to Do in Helsinki

27 Top Attractions & Things to Do in Helsinki

visit slovakia

22 Top Things to do in Belgrade, Serbia

Most Beautiful Places in Europe

25 Most Beautiful Places in Europe

visit slovakia

7 Best Boutique Hotels in Dublin

visit slovakia

18 Top Attractions & Things to do in Monaco

Regions in Finland

6 Most Beautiful Regions in Finland

Voices of Travel logo

Best Of Slovakia Itinerary: 8 Days In Slovakia

  • Post author: Nicoletta
  • Reading time: 60 mins read
  • Post last modified: February 8, 2024
  • Post comments: 14 Comments

Slovakia itinerary 8 days

Welcome to Slovakia, a central European  country full of surprises  and treasures. I’m from Slovakia, lived there for the first 18 years of my life, and visited places on this itinerary multiple times . I was thinking about what would make you visit this awesome country, so I’ve picked the highlights and created this 8-day itinerary through Slovakia for you.

It’ll show you the most beautiful places , bring you closer to the culture and traditions , you’ll get to taste local food , and enjoy some hiking trails in my favorite place – The High Tatras Mountains.

Are you ready to experience one of the most beautiful European countries? Let’s get started.

✈ Travel Resources For Your Trip ✈

Here are some of my favorite travel resources I use for my travel adventures.

Overview Of The Slovakia Itinerary & Map

Here is an overview of this itinerary for Slovakia with a map for your reference. Save it and navigate the country during your road trip.

How To Get Around Slovakia & Make This Itinerary

The best way to get around Slovakia is by car . There are also trains and buses , but they aren’t reliable. Trains often have significant delays and will only take you to major cities in the country. Buses will get you almost everywhere, but it takes a long time , so you would lose a lot of time.

Having a car will get you to all the hidden gems in Slovakia and allow you to visit what you want.

So, if you want to make this itinerary through Slovakia, rent a car in Bratislava for 7 days . Do so on day 2. of this itinerary. You’ll return it in Bratislava on day 8 .


visit slovakia

Rent A Car Via Discover Cars – best prices and big selection of car rentals. PRO TIP: Check ratings of the company you choose before booking ( ratings can be off ). Go on Google, see ratings of the car rental company, then book on Discover Cars.


The day before you start our itinerary, arrive in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The flights to Bratislava are usually more expensive. I recommend flying to nearby airports and then  taking a train  or a bus to Slovakia, Bratislava.

The nearest and most accessible airport near Bratislava is the  Vienna Airport . The flights are cheap, so you can fly to Vienna, take a direct bus or train, and travel to Bratislava.

Alternatively, if you are in the  Czech Republic , visiting Prague , you can easily  take a train or a bus to Bratislava . The connections are great and affordable.

PRO TIP: My favorite bus and train company in Central Europe is Regiojet . So check their rates for connections to Slovakia.

➡ Book a train to Bratislava via Trainline (best rates).

➡ Check out bus connections to Bratislava via Busbud.

Slovakia itinerary 8 days Bratislava

Where To Stay In Bratislava: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

Check in to your accommodation in Bratislava in the evening and enjoy the first impressions of the Slovakian capital.

VIP APARTMENTS – budget-friendly apartments ARCADIA BOUTIQUE HOTEL – mid-range hotel GRAND HOTEL RIVER PARK – luxury hotel

Travel Itinerary Planning Services

1. day: bratislava.

Let our itinerary start in Bratislava. We will kick the tour off with the  sightseeing of the Slovakian capital . Below, I’m giving you some quick facts about Bratislava and things to do.

Quick Facts About Bratislava

Located at the  border with Austria  (15 15-minute drive) and  Hungary , Bratislava is the only capital in the world close to the borders of 2 countries.

The  Czech Republic  is also not that far away, only 45-minute drive from Bratislava, so we might say that the Slovakian capital stands at the border of 3 countries.

The city’s name has not always been Bratislava. It only  adopted this name in 1919 . Before, the town was called  Pressburg .

Only in 1993 Bratislava became an  independent capital  of the Slovakian Republic. Back then, Slovakia used to be  part of Czechoslovakia . Czechoslovakia was a centralized country, and the main capital city was Prague .

Bratislava and UFO Restaurant

Sightseeing In Bratislava

🔅 Bratislava Castle 🔅 Michael’s Gate 🔅 St. Martin’s Cathedral 🔅 Bratislava Old Town 🔅 UFO Restaurant & Viewing Point 🔅 Danube River Promenade

🔅 Bratislava Castle

Under  Queen Maria Theresa , Bratislava Castle became a  famous royal seat . It was built in the 9th century and followed almost every architectural style. It used to be a  Gothic castle . In 1562, it was reconstructed as a Baroque castle and later became a Renaissance castle. 

🔅 Michael’s Gate

It’s the only Gate that has been preserved from the medieval city walls . On the top of the tower, there is a statue of St. Michael and the dragon . The building hosts an exposition of weapons .

🔅 St. Martin’s Cathedral

Not only is it the largest church in Bratislava , but also one of the oldest ones . Back in the times of the Kingdom of Hungary, the church was used for coronation purposes .

🔅 Bratislava Old Town

Stroll through the old town’s streets and enjoy good Slovakian food (such as bryndzove halusky). Get an ice cream at – Ice Saloon Luculus . I also have a little game for you here – while walking through the town, try to find an icon of Bratislava on the street: waterman .

🔅 UFO Restaurant

Visit  UFO  for  amazing views  of Bratislava Castle, the entire city, and its surroundings. I love this restaurant. It’s a perfect place for a  date night . You  can only visit it for the views  and don’t have to eat if you don’t want to. Or  have a cocktail  with stunning views of the Slovakian capital at the start of your road trip.

🔅 Danube River Promenade

Walk on the Danube promenade. It’s a beautiful  romantic walk , and you can do so with a visit to the UFO.

Bratislava Guided Tour

Join this guided tour of Bratislava to learn more about its history and the local culture with a local.

Where To Eat In Bratislava

  • Best ice cream – Ice Saloon Luculus in the Old Town of Bratislava
  • Buchtaren – to try traditional Slovakian dish ‘Buchta’
  • Bratislava Flagship – for traditional Slovakian cuisine

Buchta is kind of like a giant dumpling , a traditional Slovakian dish . It’s usually sweet, but here, they also make savoury ‘buchta’. You have to try, it’s super delicious.

After seeing Bratislava today, you can go to the Bratislava Flagship for a traditional Slovakian lunch or dinner.

👉 READ ALSO: 20 Best Day Trips From Bratislava


Good morning to Bratislava. I hope you slept well. Today, we are heading off on a real Slovakian adventure. We’ll drive north to explore some unique places.

You’ll drive through the highway initially and then follow smaller roads, which also very nice. We will first stop in a traditional picturesque Slovakian village .

Distance Bratislava ⇒ Čičmany: 1 hour & 55 minutes by car (175 km/108 miles)

On the way to Čičmany, you can visit one of the most beautiful castles in Slovakia . It’s located in Trenčín city . You can stop there for a good cup of coffee (there are some great coffee shops), or a donut on the main square.

Visit Trenčiansky Castle and then continue to Čičmany.

Here in  Čičmany village , the houses are built from black timber, decorated with traditional patterns, painted in white lime on each of these houses. It’s a perfect  showcase of Slovakian folk art .

Locals started to paint their wooden houses with white lime as it helped preserve them. As they loved the design, they eventually painted almost all the houses here.

Slovakia itinerary 8 days Cicmany

Park your car and enjoy a nice walk through this small village. You can get some coffee and food at a local restaurant . Then continue your journey to Rajecká Lesná . You have driven the longest ride for today. The next 2 stops are very close to Čičmany, so you don’t have to hurry up.

Distance Čičmany ⇒ Rajecká Lesná: 16 minutes by car (15 km/9 miles)

Rajecká L esná

I’ve brought you to this small Slovakian village to see the carved wooden Bethlehem . Jozef Pekara, a Slovakian carpenter, carved this Bethlehem, and it took him 15 years to finish it.

He began the construction and carving process back in 1980. As we know it, Bethlehem displays the birth of Jesus Christ and captures Bethlehem’s atmosphere, from where the story comes.

This wooden Bethlehem has all together 300 figures , and many of them are animated. It’s a gorgeous artwork that you shouldn’t miss in your Slovakian itinerary. You can buy the tickets on the spot. 

It’s 8.5 metres long, 2.5 metres wide, and 3 metres high, making it one of the largest carved Betlehems in Europe.

After this small excursion, let’s drive slightly further to finish the day at the local thermal Spa .

Distance Rajecká Lesná ⇒ Rajecké Teplice: 14 minutes by car (16 km/10 miles)

Rajecké T eplice & Thermal Spa

You’ll end the day in the Spa town of Rajecké Teplice . Enjoy the evening in the thermal baths , go for a walk around the nearby Swan Lake, and soak up the atmosphere.

You can also stay at the Aphrodite Palace that’s connected to the thermal baths.

FUN FACT: Rajec , apart from being a town, is also Slovakian mineral water that comes from this region. If you want to try, you can get it in any supermarket.

Where To Stay In Rajecké Teplice: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

PENSION FLAMM – budget-friendly apartments WELLNESS HOTEL DIPLOMAT – mid-range hotel APHRODITE PALACE – luxury hotel with thermal spa


I hope you had a lovely relaxing time yesterday at the Spa and you’re ready to drive further north to one of the most beautiful Slovakian regions. Its name is  Liptov , and it offers many beautiful nature spots and typical Slovakian villages.

As our first stop, we head to a  traditional Slovakian village  with  local food and animals . Are you ready to experience how the Slovakian shepherds live?

Distance Rajecké Teplice ⇒ Salaš Krajinka: 1 hour by car (70 km/43 miles)

Salaš K rajinka

Experience the life of Slovakian shepherds in  Salaš Krajinka  (landscape sheds). You will learn how they treat the sheep and process the sheep milk by hand into the traditional Slovakian cheese –  bryndza .

Taste and  buy various types of cheese  at the local cottages and  eat some Slovakian dishes  at the local restaurant. This place is fantastic and perfectly reflects our Slovakian culture.

Slovakia road trip itinerary 8 days Salas Krajinka

After, we’ll continue and reach the  Low Tatras mountains  region, with spectacular nature and many highlights to see. One of them is the  Demänovská Valley  with its caves.

Distance Salaš Krajinka ⇒ Demänovská Cave of Liberty: 36 minutes by car (40 km/25 miles)

Demänovská Valley & Cave Of Liberty

Demänovská Valley   is one of the most visited places in Slovakia. Not only is it a great hiking and skiing region, but it’s also home to the  longest cave system in Slovakia .

We’ll visit one of the caves today. Come on a tour and watch the spectacular stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave. You’ll also see the karst ponds and the underground River Demänovka. Learn about the history and creation of this cave system on a guided tour .

Note that there are  time slots for the guided tour  inside the cave. It’s not possible to enter the cave individually. You can  book it on the spot .

See the time slots for the tour below:

You can only pay cash (EUR), they don’t accept card payments.

Demanovska Cave of Liberty

After you explore the caves, let’s head to our accommodation for the night. You can either stay in  Demänovská Valley  or drive to  Liptovský Ján  to sleep in a traditional Liptov chalet.

Distance Demänovská Cave of Liberty ⇒ Liptovský Ján: 16 minutes by car (17 km/10 miles)

Liptovský Ján

Drive to  Liptovský Ján.  It’s a charming place with the traditional atmosphere of the Slovakian region, Liptov. Liptov is my favorite Slovakian region – it also perfectly reflects Slovakian culture and traditions.

HOTEL RECOMMENDATION:  Stay at the  Hotel Liptovský Dvor   – it has many separate wooden chalets where you can spend the night. It’s a great experience.

If you want to stay in Demänovska Valley, I recommend booking Hotel Tri Studničky .

👉 READ ALSO: What To See In Slovakia In 3 Days


Good morning to the Liptov region. Let’s continue our journey on the Slovakian itinerary. We’ll leave the Low Tatras mountains and drive to Slovakia’s most beautiful spot – the  High Tatras Mountain Range .

It’s unique for its mountain lakes, unspoiled nature with many waterfalls, and incredible hiking trails. Our stop is called  Štrbské Pleso . It’s one of the mountain resorts in the High Tatras, where we stay overnight and enjoy the benefits of the Slovakian mountains.

Distance Liptovský Ján ⇒ Štbrské Pleso: 32 minutes by car (41 km/25 miles)

Štrbské Pleso, High Tatras

Let yourself have time to immerse yourself into the atmosphere of High Tatras fully .  Today, you’ll have a free afternoon to explore  Štrbské Pleso .  Walk alongside the Štrbské Lake, further up where the ski slopes are, with some local markets. Enjoy and relax.

You’ll have the  entire day in Štrbské Pleso , so if you want, you can explore other spots in the High Tatras in the afternoon.

Below, I’m giving you a few options for  activities within the High Tatras .

Strbske Pleso High Tatras

Best Things To Do In The High Tatras

High Tatras has 3 main towns you can visit:

  • Štrbské Pleso
  • Starý Smokovec
  • Tatranská Lomnica

I think Štrbské Pleso offers the most activities and best hotels, so I recommend staying here for 2 nights and making it your base.

From Starý Smokovec , you can head to Hrebienok , an excellent place with some activities. You can do some sliding on the hill .

In Tatranská Lomnica , you can ride a  bobsled in summer , which is much fun.

You’ll get the most out of High Tatras by staying in Štrbské Pleso, walking around its lake, and enjoying wellness at your hotel. The next day, choose to hike to one of the mountain huts.

PRO TIP: One of my favorite things is to take a train alongside the entire High Tatras mountain range . It starts in Štrbské Pleso and goes through Starý Smokovec to Tatranská Lomnica. It’s a pleasant journey, and it only costs 4 Euros for the entire day.

Where To Stay In HIGH TATRAS – Štrbské Pleso: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

APLEND LAKE RESORT – budget-friendly hotel WELLNESS HOTEL BOROVICA – mid-range hotel GRAND HOTEL KEMPINSKI – luxury hotel at the lake (best option)


Today, we are going on a fantastic hiking tour . Get a good breakfast to gain energy for the track.

We’ll walk through the forests and a rocky trail of High Tatras and visit a mountain chalet with a spectacular lake surrounded by rocks and mountains. The place is called  Popradské Pleso .

This hiking  trail is easy . You don’t have to be especially fit to reach our chalet destination.

Slovakia Travel Voices of Travel

Hiking Trail From Štrbské Pleso To Popradské Pleso

Hiking signs, High Tatras Slovakia road trip

Start in  Štrbské Pleso  town, from where head towards the Štrbské Lake (Štrbské Pleso). Just before the lake, you’ll have to turn right. Walk slightly further on the road until you reach a forest. This is where our  hiking trail starts .

You’ll walk to the  Popradské Pleso  – don’t worry, there is no way to get lost.  Hiking signs  on the way (see the photo) tell you how far your destination is and how long you still have to walk.

Just make sure you are checking ‘ Popradské Pleso.’  That’s your destination.

Distance hiking trail Štrbské Pleso ⇒ Popradské Pleso: approx. 1 hours on foot (5 km/3 miles)

Once you reach the Popradské Pleso , there is a chalet, a traditional Slovakian hiking hut , where you can get lunch and snacks . After, enjoy the walk around Popradské Lake. It has a path you can follow around.

After, let’s head back to Štrbské Pleso town. Enjoy your afternoon in the High Tatras,  relax , and soak up the local atmosphere.

Hiking Trails In The High Tatras

I’ve chosen the easiest hiking route to Popradské Pleso for you. But if you want to challenge yourself and want to hike further up to the mountains, you can also visit the following mountain huts as a day trip from Štrbské Pleso:

🔅 Terýho Chata (starting point is Hrebienok) 🔅 Zbojnícka Chata (starting point is Hrebienok) 🔅 Chata Pri Zelenom Plese (starting point is Tatranska Lomnica)

Take a train in the morning from Štrbské Pleso to one of the starting points, and you can enjoy these hiking trails, too.

Or check out other best hiking trails in High Tatras and choose the one you’d love to do.

Slovakia itinerary hiking High Tatras

👉 READ ALSO: 5-Day Itinerary For Hut-To-Hut Hiking High Tatras Slovakia


Good morning to the High Tatras. Take your time and have breakfast; today, we have a pleasant drive, visiting two beautiful things.

In the morning, we’ll stay in the High Tatras and visit the sidewalk atop the trees with spectacular views. The place is called  Bachledka Sidewalk on the top of the trees .

Distance Štrbské Pleso ⇒ Bachledka Tree-Top Sidewalk: 50 minutes by car (38 km/23 miles)

Bachledka Tree-Top Sidewalk

Park the car in the nearby parking place. Let’s enjoy the spectacular   tree-top walk   on a wooden trail. It’s  1.2 kilometers (0.7 miles) long , and on the top, you will get  stunning views  of the entire region.

Bachledka Tree Top Walk

Let’s continue our Slovakia road trip itinerary. We will now pass to another Slovakian region. We are about to visit one of the most beautiful Slovakian castles.

Distance Bachledka Tree-Top Sidewalk ⇒ Spišský Castle: 1 hour by car (66 km/41 miles)

Spišský Castle

Welcome to   Spišský Castle .  Its construction started in the 12th century. In 1780, the  castle was damaged by a fire , and since then, it has been regarded as a castle ruin.

Nevertheless, today, the castle ruin looks amazing and belongs to the largest ones in Central Europe. There is an  educational trail with 8 stations  to learn more about the castle ruins and surroundings.

Spišský Castle

👉 READ ALSO: 6 Fairy-Tale Castles In Slovakia

In the afternoon, we’ll continue our road trip to another picturesque Slovakian region, the  Slovakian Paradise  (Slovenský Raj). The village we’ll stay overnight in Slovakian Paradise is called  Podlesok .

Distance Spišský Castle ⇒ Podlesok (Slovakian Paradise): 30 minutes by car (36 km/22 miles)

Podlesok – Slovakian Paradise

You can get accommodation in the little village, Podlesok, in Slovakian Paradise.

I recommend you stay at the Autocamping Podlesok . They have chalets which you can book for a night. Alternatively, you can also go camping and sleep in a tent.

Tomorrow, we’ll do a beautiful walk through Slovakian Paradise , starting right here in Podlesok.

Slovensky Raj Podlesok Accommodation

👉 READ ALSO: Slovakia And Slovenia: How To Tell The Difference


Today, we’ll experience the authentic atmosphere of the Slovakian Paradise. It has forest walks, gorges, waterfalls, and stunning views. We’ll do a small hike through the Suchá Belá Gorge.

Suchá Belá Gorge

The Suchá Belá Gorge is  4 kilometers (2.5 miles) long walk.

You will  start in Podlesok , where you can leave the car and walk through the  Gorge full of ladders and waterfalls . When you begin,  follow the green hiking signs .

Once you reach the  end of the trail , you’ll return to Podlesok, where you started. On the  way back , you will  follow the red and yellow hiking signs.

Enjoy the spectacular walk through the ladders , next to this gorge’s waterfalls and green forests.

The entire walk will take you between 3 hours 30 minutes up to 4 hours of walking time.

In the afternoon, let’s get back to the car and drive slightly further to another highlight of Slovakia.

Distance Podlesok ⇒ Salaš Zbojská: 1 hour & 20 minutes by car (75 km/46 miles)

Salaš Z bojská

Salaš Zbojská is another  beautiful Salaš  you can visit during your Slovakia Road Trip and a great place to get  delicious Slovakian food . It is a quiet, charming place where you will soak up the real Slovakian atmosphere. You can also sleep here tonight.

Write them an email and  book accommodation .

Alternatively, just call them and book a room or a chalet. I recommend booking a traditional wooden chalet for the night.

The email address: [email protected] Phone number: +421 910 418 788

Get further information about Salaš Zbojská on their wbesite. Unfortunately, the website is only in Slovak language , that’s why I suggest you wirte an email or call for additional information.

Slovakia itinerary 8 days Salas Zbojska


Our Slovakia road trip is coming to an end. But we still have one great stop before  driving back to Bratislava .

In the morning, enjoy the last moments in Salaš Zbojská with its beautiful nature.

For breakfast , you have to try the local Slovakian national sweet bread:  BUCHTA . Here in Salaš Zbojská, they  bake fresh traditional Buchta  with various flavors, and they are one of the best in Slovakia.

Buchta Salas Zbojska traditional Slovakian village

Once you are ready, let’s hit the road again. We’ll visit one of the most significant cities in Slovakia –  Banská Štiavnica .

Distance Salaš Zbojská ⇒ Banská Štiavnica: 1 hour & 40 minutes by car (108 km/67 miles)

Banská Štiavnica

Banská Štiavnica  is one of the most beautiful Slovakian cities, famous for the  mining industry . It’s also called  Silver Town , as silver was the primary raw material mined here.

In 1762,  Maria Teresa established a University  in this city with a center for  mining technology  and science. It was the first University of that kind in Europe.

Walk through its cute streets and get some lunch.

After that, I recommend you visit the mine called  Štôlňa Michal . It’s a very cool experience, and you’ll learn how they used to mine here.

Slovakia itinerary 8 days Banska Stiavnica

In the afternoon, we’ll drive back to the capital of Slovakia , where we started our itinerary. Enjoy the most out of the beautiful nature around.

Distance Banská Štiavnica ⇒ Bratislava: 2 hour by car (174 km/108 miles)

This is the end of our road trip through Slovakia. Return your car to Bratislava and head to other destinations. You can make this Austria road trip itinerary , visit Budapest in Hungary, or follow my Czech Republic road trip .

Practical Tips For Visiting Slovakia

To help you plan your visit even more, I’ve got some tips for visiting Slovakia. See when the best time to visit is, what budget you’ll need for this itinerary, and whether the country is safe to visit.

How Many Days Are Enough For Slovakia?

8 days is the perfect amount to explore Slovakia. You’ll have time to immerse into the culture and traditions, go hiking in the High Tatras, and spend some time in beautiful thermal baths.

The minimum time to spend in Slovakia is 3 days . 10 days is enough to explore the highlights of the country.

👉 READ ALSO: How Many Days In Slovakia Should You Spend? Revealed!

Best Time To Visit Slovakia

The best times to visit Slovakia are May, June, September, and October. These months are less crowded , and locals are at school/work, so you’ll have the places for yourself.

The weather is usually great , and temperatures range between 18°C (64°F) and 23°C (73°F) these months.

If you want to go hiking in the High Tatras , visit the last 2 weeks of June until later September. Otherwise, the hiking trails will be closed.

Budget You’ll Need To Visit Slovakia

The budget for an 8-day Slovakian itinerary per person ( mid-range traveler ) is $760 . This is a very realistic budget for mid-range travelers who want to stay in nice hotels, rent a car to travel conveniently, and enjoy each location’s activities.

Here is a breakdown of this itinerary budget for each travel category:

So the total budget for a 8-day trip to Slovakia , without restricting yourself too much and enjoying everything the country offers, is $760 per person .

Budget Breakdown For Each Traveler Type

Here is a quick overview of a budget for every type of traveler:

➡ 8-day itinerary budget for backpackers and travelers on the budget: $420 ➡ 8-day itinerary budget for mid-range travelers : $760 ➡ 8-day itinerary budget for luxury travelers : up to $1100

NOTE: This is an approximate budget based on my calculations and spending following this 8-day trip in Slovakia. The budget will vary based on every traveler’s preferences .

Is Slovakia Safe?

Yes , Slovakia is a safe country to visit. It has been ranked #26 on the Global Peace Index , so it belongs to the safest countries in the world.

There is not much to be afraid of. If you want to feel extra safe, don’t walk outside at night alone to avoid scams.

In the High Tatras , there are bears that you should pay attention to. But I’m only telling you so that you know. The possibility of spotting a bear is not so high.

I’ve also answered some frequently asked questions about Slovakia, so check the answers below.

Is Slovakia A Cheap Country To Visit?

Yes , Slovakia is a relatively cheap country to visit. It belongs to one of the cheapest countries in Europe. As a budget traveler , you can plan to spend around $40 per day , and as a mid-range traveler , you’ll spend around $80 a day .

Is Slovakia A First World Country?

No. Slovakia is a second-world country . It used to be a puppet state of the Soviet Union and was influenced by the communist regime. The development of the economy and industries has been slower than in other Western countries.

Yet, the country has been thriving since 2000, when it joined the European Union, and the economy grew stronger after it also adopted the EURO.

Is It Easy To Travel Around Slovakia?

Yes , it’s easy to travel around Slovakia. You can take trains and buses, and the transportation is super affordable. The best way to get around is by car. It’ll give you flexibility and take you to places inaccessible by public transport.

How Many Days Do You Need To See Bratislava?

1 day is enough for Bratislava . You can easily explore the old town with the castle and walk alongside the Danube River within a day.

Spend 2 or 3 days if you want to make some day trips from Bratislava , such as visiting the Devin Castle, doing wine-tasting, or going hiking in the Lesser Fatra Mountains.

Wrap-Up: Slovakia Itinerary

This is my Slovakian itinerary for you. Put it on your travel bucket list , as it offers unique cultures, traditions, and places not many people have seen yet. I’m sure you’ll have a great trip. Take your time between the destinations, enjoy the scenery and everything this beautiful country offers.

If you have any questions, contact me at info(at) . I’ll gladly help you or design a customized travel itinerary for your trip.

Happy Travels!

More Tips For Slovakia Travel

Looking to visit more places in Slovakia? Check out my related articles:

What To See In Slovakia In 3 Days: Full Itinerary

20 Best Day Trips From Bratislava

6 Best Fairy-Tale Castles In Slovakia

How Many Days In Slovakia Should You Spend?

Slovakia And Slovenia: How To Tell The Difference

Best Hiking Trails In High Tatras Slovakia: With A Local

Hut-To-Hut Hiking High Tatras Slovakia: 5-Day Itinerary

voices of travel about me photo

About the author: Nicoletta  is a travel enthusiast and passionate language learner. While traveling, she loves to connect with locals using her language skills to learn about new cultures. Look for her skiing, hiking in the mountains, or exploring new destinations as she designs travel itineraries for her clients.

SLOVAKIA : Interested in more articles for Slovakia? Check out my Slovakia Travel Page :

Slovakia Travel Page

You Might Also Like

Read more about the article 13 Most Beautiful Places In North Macedonia To Visit [2024]

13 Most Beautiful Places In North Macedonia To Visit [2024]

Read more about the article Milan To Amalfi Coast: Ultimate Travel Guide [2024]

Milan To Amalfi Coast: Ultimate Travel Guide [2024]

Read more about the article 19 Unusual Things To Do In Florence In 2024

19 Unusual Things To Do In Florence In 2024

This post has 14 comments.

' src=

We had two days in Bratislava and loved it. So we do plan to get back and visit more of Slovakia on a return trip. Your road trip itinerary sounds like a great start for our travel planning. I love the variety in the sights we will find.

' src=

That’s awesome that you’ve been to Slovakia. Bratislava is just a ‘must to see place’ once you are there, but definitely not the highlight. There are many more beautiful corners in the country worth visiting. I hope you can get inspiration for your next trip, Linda ;).

' src=

I did a petsit in Slovenia and everybody kept asking me, “You mean Slovakia?” And then I was in Vienna and SO close to Slovakia. But I ran out of time and didn’t get there. Now that I read your article and see your very cool photos, I regret missing Slovakia even more! Eastern Europe is filled with hidden gems! Thanks for an inspiring article!

I am glad the itinerary inspired you, Barbara. I highly recommend you to come back. As you said, Eastern Europe has these hidden gems barely anyone talks about. That is why I want to show you guys more of these countries so that people can explore their beauty. Let me know once you travel to Slovakia :).

' src=

Thank you for a grand tour of Slovakia, its Old Town and cathedral in Bratislava, the capital, and around the country to see the villages, caves, castle ruins, and the gorge trail for a taste of Slovakian culture.

You’re very welcome, Carol 😉 :).

' src=

What a great itinerary. You’ve given me lots of mrs ideas. We are heading to the Tatras hiking and climbing next year and fancy exploring more

I am glad, Nicole. That’s amazing that you are going to High Tatras. If you love hiking, then I also recommend to go up to the Rysy Hut, Teryho Hut, or Zelene Pleso Hut. These are wonderful hikes, but more for advanced hikers :).

' src=

Really good guide! People just usually visit Bratislava for a day but clearly from this guide there is a lot more to the country!

Thanks Rob. Yes, there is a lot more and I want people to know about it. Bratislava only, doesn’t reflect Slovakia in a real picture :).

' src=

Thanks for this great itinerary! This roadtrip looks perfect! I think my highlight would be the cave of freedom.

Yes, these are the top things – Cave of Freedom and also High Tatras :).

' src=

Slovakia is a country I really do not know enough about. Apart from Bratislava, I have not heard of any of the other cities that you mention! When I make it to Slovakia, I would definitely want to do a road trip. The chalets in Liptovský Ján look so awesome, and are not expensive either. High Tatras will definitely be on my list too, thanks for the inspiration!

Thanks Medha, I am glad the itinerary inspired you. High Tatras is an amazing place, I am sure you will love it :). Let me know once you are there.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

visit slovakia

10 things you need to know before you visit Slovakia


Recently updated on June 12th, 2020 at 07:20 pm

If you’re planning to visit Slovakia, here are the top 10 Slovakia facts and things you need to know before you go. Sandwiched between the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary, Slovakia is still a fairly ‘undiscovered’ destination in Central Europe. Often mistaken for Slovenia (further south), Slovakia promises history, adventure and jaw-dropping scenery.

1.  It might be the geographical midpoint of Europe

Monument in Slovakia

There are at least five (and as many as eight) countries vying for the right to claim the midpoint of Europe as their own. It’s a contentious issue. Not only because there are different ways to calculate the geographic midpoint, but also because it has both symbolic and tourism implications.

Slovakia is up against the likes of Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland in the midpoint stakes. However, Slovak geographers consider Kremnica the geographical centre of Europe. And, they’ve marked the actual site with a boulder.

One Slovakian fact not in dispute is that Slovakia has the only capital city in the world bordering two countries. That’s right: Bratislava rubs shoulders with both Austria and Hungary. Fancy a cruise on the mighty Danube?  The Austrian capital of Vienna is only 60 km away – making Slovakia a quick, easy and intriguing stop on any European tour.

2. It has the world’s highest number of castles and châteaux

Spis castle

Slovakia has 180 castles and 425 châteaux – the world’s highest number of castles and châteaux per capita. Not bad for a country that is less than half the size of New York state.

Perhaps the most famous castle of all to include as a stop when you visit Slovakia is the UNESCO-listed 900-year-old Spiš Castle, just outside the village of Žehra.

3. It has some of Europe’s most jaw-dropping scenery

Mountain Landscape in Slovekia

Slovakia is incredibly beautiful. A testament to this fact is the country’s nine national parks and 14 protected landscape areas.

Visitors can take a cable car up to Lomnicky Peak in the High Tatras or float down the Dunajec River on a traditional wooden raft. For those more adventurous souls, there’s an opportunity to track bears and wolves in one of Europe’s last untouched wilderness areas, the Slovak-Moravian Carpathians.

4.  There are more than 1600 mineral springs

Another of our favourite things to know about Slovakia, is that the country is awash with underground springs. Slovakia has over 1600 officially registered springs. These include sources of pure, mineral drinking water and hot thermal baths.

Soak in the warm, therapeutic waters offered by the spa towns of Bešeňová or Piešťany. You could also choose to visit the village of Podhájska, where the water is said to have more beneficial effects than the Dead Sea. It’s so salty, you can even float. There is no better place to relax and forget about the outside world.

5. It has 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Spis Castle

In addition to Slovakia’s enviable collection of castles and châteaux, it also has an impressive number of UNESCO-recognised heritage sites. From the historic town of Banska Štiavnica to the country’s wooden churches and natural caves, there is plenty for history and culture buffs to explore.

Our pick? Bardejov is an almost perfectly-preserved medieval town, with its fortified city walls, old Burghers’ houses and the Gothic Basilica.

6. It’s home to natural caves and an underground river

Lighted pathway in caves

Go underground for another captivating fact about Slovakia. The destination is home to a staggering 6000 caves. Most of these can be found in the national parks of Low Tatras, Slovak Paradise and Slovak Karst.  

Our favourite spelunking tip? Head to southwestern Slovakia and visit the Domica Cave where you can cruise down the Styx River – Slovakia’s ancient and wondrous underground waterway.

7. Slovakia has the first folk architecture reservation in the world

Visit Slovakia to see the Cicmany traditional houses

Steeped in folk tradition, Slovakia enjoys a rich heritage of folk music and folk dancing. The best place to experience Slovakia’s cultural history is in the picturesque village of Čičmany – the world’s first protected reservation of folk architecture.

Admire the village’s intricately-decorated wooden houses, or step inside one and travel back in time for a glimpse into traditional Slovak village life. While you’re there, grab a coffee and check out the folk art, ornaments and trinkets. We can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon in Slovakia.

8. Slovakia’s national dish is Bryndzové Halušky  

Woman eating

At the top of the menu when you visit Slovakia? A hearty plate of Bryndzové Halušky .

Slovakia’s national dish combines small potato dumplings (similar to Italian gnocchi ) with a soft and crumbly sheep’s cheese called bryndza . The result is creamy, comforting and utterly delicious. Channel your inner Slovakian and finish it off with bits of smoked bacon, local sausage and chives.

RELATED CONTENT: Yummy local Slovakian dishes to sample on your next visit

9. E njoy the national drink , Borovička

Visit Slovakia to taste the local Borovicka

Slovakia’s national drink, Borovička , is sometimes referred to as Slovak ‘moonshine’ or ‘Revenge of the Forest’. Often mistaken for gin, Borovička is made from fermented ground juniper berries, which are steeped and distilled in a variable base spirit.

Some locals regard Borovička as an every day ‘preventative drink’, good for everything from arthritis and gout to a well-functioning digestive system. But be warned, at anywhere between 40% and 70% alcohol content, it might just put hairs on your chest.

1 0. Slovakia is easy to visit, affordable and a doddle to get around

Visit Slovakia and admire the tourist attractions in Bratislava

If you’re still looking for a reason to visit Slovakia, we’ve rounded up a few more hints, tips and Slovakia facts:

  • Although the official language of Slovakia is Slovak (similar to other Slavic languages like Russian, Polish and Czech), English is widely spoken and easily understood.
  • Unlike its neighbours (except Austria), which all use their own currencies, Slovakia retired the Slovak Koruna in 2009, and now uses the Euro – which is extremely convenient for anyone travelling through Europe.
  • Slovakia has a well-deserved reputation for being affordable. Slovakia is the seventh-cheapest country within the European Union (EU), falling in behind the likes of Bulgaria, Romania, or Hungary.
  • Shops in Slovakia do not stay open particularly late, close early on Saturday, and are definitely closed on a Sunday, so try to buy anything you need in advance.
  • Public toilets are often ‘pay toilets’, so be sure to have a few coins with you at all times.
  • Artist Andy Warhol had roots in Slovakia. His parents came from Medzilaborce, a town in north-eastern Slovakia, close to the border with Poland. As a result, Slovakia is now the unlikely home of the world’s second-largest collection of Andy Warhol’s works (after Pittsburgh in the United States).

Finally, Bratislava is a melting pot of history, architecture, tradition, culture, art, drinks, food and fabulous people. Of all the things to know about Slovakia, it’s that you need to visit, at least once.

Have you visited Slovakia? Which Slovakia facts and things to know would you share with first-time visitors to the country? Let us know in the comments below…


Want to hear more from us?

Sign up to receive inspiring travel articles, offers & news

" * " indicates required fields

Privacy Overview

Sign up for our emails.

Travel Guide Slovakia

Book your individual trip , stress-free with local travel experts

  • Travel guide
  • Travel Advice
  • Accommodation

Plan your tailor-made trip with a local expert

Book securely with money-back guarantee

Travel stress-free with local assistance and 24/7 support

Hungarians and Turks came to Slovakia for its natural resources, and so does the modern tourist. Broad, sprawling mountains mean good skiing and snowboarding, there's excellent caving in the Karst, and the rambling hilly midlands are a hiker’s paradise.

Where to go in Slovakia

Sharing borders with Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and Ukraine, Slovakia is landlocked, with high mountains in the north, low mountains in the centre, hills to the west, and the Danube basin to the south. The population is fairly diverse, with over half a million ethnic Hungarians , hundreds of thousands of Roma (Gypsies), and several thousand Rusyns in the east.

Bratislava is a badger sett of cobbled streets, low arches and tiny squares. It’s small enough to explore in a day, but big enough to hold your interest for a long weekend. In Central Slovakia is lovely Banská Štiavnica, a UNESCO-protected medieval mining town in a lunar landscape of dead volcanoes. East and north are the High Tatras, as decent a mountain range as any in Central Europe. They’ve long been the site of enthusiastic skiing, hiking and sonnet- writing. Heading east towards Ukraine is the wild, rocky Spiš region, home to medieval mammoth Spiš Castle and the twelfth-century walled town of Levoča. Continuing south, almost to the Hungarian border, you’ll find Slovakia’s second city, the lively town of Košice.


Top image: Spis Castle © RastoS/Shutterstock

Discover more places in Slovakia


Population 5.4 million

Language Slovak

Currency Euro (€)

Capital Bratislava

International phone code 421

Time zone GMT +2hr

Travel advice for Slovakia

From travel safety to visa requirements, discover the best tips for traveling to Slovakia

  • Culture and Etiquette in Slovakia
  • Eating and drinking in Slovakia
  • Getting around Slovakia: Transportation Tips
  • How to get to Slovakia
  • Sports and Outdoor activities in Slovakia
  • Travel Tips Slovakia for planning and on the go
  • Best time to visit Slovakia

Find even more inspiration here


Planning your own trip? Prepare for your trip

Use Rough Guides' trusted partners for great rates

Andy Turner

written by Andy Turner

updated 26.04.2021


Ready to travel and discover Slovakia?

Get support from our local experts for stress-free planning & worry-free travels.

  • Where to stay
  • Travel advice

Kinda Frugal

Kinda Frugal

18 Cheapest Countries To Visit in Europe All Year Round

Posted: March 14, 2024 | Last updated: March 14, 2024

<p><span>International travel does not have to break the bank. There are many options for affordable vacations within Europe without compromising the quality of your stay. Whether you’re after a lazy beach holiday or an adventure vacation hiking through a vast wilderness, many less-traveled European nations offer a cheaper alternative to the usual tourist hotspots.</span></p>

International travel does not have to break the bank. There are many options for affordable vacations within Europe without compromising the quality of your stay. Whether you’re after a lazy beach holiday or an adventure vacation hiking through a vast wilderness, many less-traveled European nations offer a cheaper alternative to the usual tourist hotspots.

<p>Nestled between the borders of Europe and Asia, Georgia has come a long way in the last twenty years. Voted the world’s #1 economic reformer in 2007 and consistently ranking well on the Ease of Doing Business index, it is a country worth investing in.</p>

Sitting quietly on the border between Europe and Asia, Georgia has something for everyone. Whether you are after a city break in the bustling city of Tbilisi or a quiet vacation among the vast wilderness and mountains, Georgia offers it at an affordable price. Excluding flights, a trip to Georgia can cost as little as $30 a day.

<p><span>Serbia has become increasingly popular as a holiday destination over the last few years, hosting over </span><span>five and a half million</span><span> foreign visitors in 2023. Belgrade’s capital city is a </span><span>gastronomic hub</span><span> with many restaurants, cafes, and bars. With prices </span><span>lower than most</span><span> in Western Europe, fine dining can be enjoyed without breaking the bank. You can pay anywhere from </span><a href=""><span>$5 to $12 for a standard meal.</span></a></p>

Serbia has become increasingly popular as a holiday destination over the last few years, hosting over five and a half million foreign visitors in 2023. Belgrade’s capital city is a gastronomic hub with many restaurants, cafes, and bars. With prices lower than most in Western Europe, fine dining can be enjoyed without breaking the bank. You can pay anywhere from $5 to $12 for a standard meal.

<p><span>Poland boasts two cities well worth a visit: Krakow and Warsaw. Krakow was voted the </span><span>European Capital of Culture in 2000</span><span>, while Warsaw is steeped in the history of World War Two. Warsaw is the </span><span>more expensive of the two</span><span> but is still affordable by European standards. </span></p>

Poland boasts two cities well worth a visit: Krakow and Warsaw. Krakow was voted the European Capital of Culture in 2000 , while Warsaw is steeped in the history of World War Two. Warsaw is the more expensive of the two but is still affordable by European standards. 

<p>With some of Europe’s lowest average property prices, Bulgaria is a perfect place for those wanting to own their own home. Whether exploring historical landmarks, indulging in delicious cuisine, or experiencing the vibrant culture, Bulgaria offers an enriching experience for expats looking to make the most of their time abroad.</p>

4. Bulgaria

Sofia, the capital city, is very affordable, with an average two-person vacation costing $916 . Sunny Beach is a must-visit for those after a good party, offering water sports , paintball , and an incredibly lively nightlife . Bulgaria is home to many affordable resorts catering to all tastes.

<p><span>Are you dreaming of a European getaway but worried your wallet might disagree? Fear not, travel enthusiast! Europe is brimming with affordable cities just waiting to be explored.</span></p> <p><span>From Portugal’s cobblestone streets to Hungary’s vibrant landscapes, there’s a budget-friendly destination for every kind of traveler.</span></p> <p><span>This post will take you through 17 affordable European cities that promise rich experiences without burning a hole in your pocket.</span></p> <p><span>So, if you want to explore the continent without breaking the bank, keep reading!</span></p> <p><span>1. Riga, Latvia</span></p> <p><span>Located on the Baltic Sea, Latvia’s capital, Riga, is a hidden gem that’s easy on your budget. It’s a delightful mix of old and new, with its stunning Art Nouveau architecture and a medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.</span></p> <p><span>You’ll love the vibrant food markets, buzzing nightlife, and rich city history. The picturesque parks and beautiful riverside make it perfect for leisurely strolls.</span></p> <p><span>Riga should be on your list next time you’re looking for an affordable European city with a unique charm!</span></p>

Hungary is one of many Eastern European countries that can be visited on a tight budget. Budapest is its bustling capital, though many other towns and cities are well worth seeing. The cost of a typical meal at a restaurant in Budapest is less than half the price you would pay in New York. A typical lunch in Budapest can cost as little as $9.

<p><span>The number of visitors to Albania </span><span>almost doubled</span><span> between 2022 and 2023, which is </span><span>expected to keep growing</span><span>. Lovingly named the Albanian Riviera, Albania has </span><span>some of the best</span><span> beaches in Europe in the summer. It is an excellent alternative to some of the more expensive Mediterranean countries. Tirana is incredibly affordable, with accommodation available for less than </span><a href=""><span>$25 a night.</span></a></p>

The number of visitors to Albania almost doubled between 2022 and 2023, which is expected to keep growing . Lovingly named the Albanian Riviera, Albania has some of the best beaches in Europe in the summer. It is an excellent alternative to some of the more expensive Mediterranean countries. Tirana is incredibly affordable, with accommodation available for less than $25 a night.

<p>Sitting on the Eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, Lithuania is one of the cheapest destinations in Europe. Its two major cities, Vilnius and Kaunas, are the most affordable cities in the European Union.</p>

7. Lithuania

As one of the cheapest countries to live in Europe, Lithuania is an excellent place for a budget-friendly vacation. Like its neighbor Latvia, much of Lithuania is covered in forests . Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is famed for its Baroque architecture and is home to many clubs, restaurants, coffee shops, theaters, and bars.

<p>As much as we’d all love to find a real-life Edward Cullens from the <i>Twilight</i> movies, the existence of vampires is still a mystery. Yes, even in Romania. Contrary to popular belief, Romania is not home to vampires, and this is merely a myth popularized through folklore, legends, and popular culture. Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula is one famous fictional work that contributed to this myth. Vlad III, or Vlad the Impaler, a ruler in Wallachia (now Romania), inspired the infamous Count Dracula, which probably led to people connecting Romania with vampires. Sadly, there are no bloodsuckers here!</p>

Romania is ideal for someone after an enjoyable cultural holiday. There are many cultural sites worth visiting, such as ancient churches, monasteries, and castles. The country is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites. Bucharest, the capital of Romania, remains a low-cost destination. If you’re willing to share, a room can cost as little as 70 Romanian Leu , or $15 .

<p><span>As the </span><span>8th most peaceful</span><span> nation in the world and one of the cheapest nations to visit in Europe, Slovenia is an ideal place for a reasonably priced European vacation. The old town of Ljubljana is picturesque, while the city comes alive at night. </span>Ljubljana offers numerous day trip options conveniently accessible through the city’s efficient railway and bus networks.</p>

9. Slovenia

As the 8th most peaceful nation in the world and one of the cheapest nations to visit in Europe, Slovenia is an ideal place for a reasonably priced European vacation. The old town of Ljubljana is picturesque, while the city comes alive at night. Ljubljana offers numerous day trip options conveniently accessible through the city’s efficient railway and bus networks.

<p>Montenegro is a hidden gem in southeastern Europe, offering an appealing Mediterranean ambiance among its one million inhabitants. This quiet Balkan nation is perfect for those who want an affordable lifestyle and beautiful weather. Its 183 miles of coastline boasts over 100 beaches. Rental prices are<a href=""> less than half</a> of the US, and most consumer goods are considerably cheaper.</p>

10. Montenegro

Lying on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, This quiet Balkan nation saw its tourist arrivals almost double between 2011 and 2021. Montenegro is an excellent choice for an affordable sunny getaway. If you enjoy blue seas and soft white sand, the Budva Riviera or the beaches of the Bay of Kotor are not to be missed. Accommodation in the Bay of Kotor can be found reasonably priced, from as little as $170 for seven nights .

<p><span>Croatia has it all, from Zagreb’s modern, urban nightlife to the history-steeped city of Dubrovnik. While prices have steadily increased, Croatia remains an affordable destination compared to Western Europe. A 15-day public transit pass for </span><a href=""><span>less than $30</span></a><span> can give you free rein in the city.</span></p>

11. Croatia

Croatia has it all, from Zagreb’s modern, urban nightlife to the history-steeped city of Dubrovnik. While prices have steadily increased, Croatia remains an affordable destination compared to Western Europe. A 15-day public transit pass for less than $30 can give you free rein in the city.

<p>One vocational explains why Prague is unique: “It is hard to surpass the charming cobblestone streets of Prague’s neighborhoods where tranquil baroque gardens serve as the backdrop of majestic gates and the soothing sounds of sonatas emanate from palace windows.” If you want a destination with your partner that you’re trying to impress, Prague rivals the romantic ambiance of Paris at a lower cost.</p>

12. Czech Republic

The Czech Republic, known as Czechia, is renowned for its stunning castles, interesting culture, and delicious beer. Prague may not be a budget-friendly destination, but it offers a more affordable option than many Western European cities . A traveler on a budget can expect to spend between $50 and $70 a night for food, accommodation, travel, and activities. The extensive public transportation networks mean travel within the country is easy and efficient.  

<p>This Mediterranean country is a big tourist destination but is also very affordable for retirees. It’s hard to believe a country so beautiful can be so affordable. For about $1,500 a month, you can retire in this island paradise.</p>

Cyprus has been a top-rated tourist destination for years , but it remains cheaper for tourists. There are plenty of options for accommodation under $50 a day, and food and drink remain affordable. The small city of Nicosia has plenty to keep you occupied, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants. 

<p><span>Bridging Europe and Asia, Turkey is a cultural treasure trove. But as a pivotal NATO ally, its military bases and politics have often clashed with U.S. interests. As you meander through its ancient ruins and bustling markets, you should be cautious about contemporary political matters. Make sure to follow any cultural practices and rules.</span></p>

A country of two continents, Turkey is split down the middle by the Bosphorus River , with Europe on one side and Asia on the other. Despite its popularity among tourists, it is still very affordable. A restaurant meal for two can cost as little as ₺200, just under $7 . A cup of Turkish coffee or tea tends to cost less than 50¢.

<p>Bordering Estonia, Latvia also shares a coastline with the Baltic Sea, which makes way for sprawling scenic beaches. Much of Latvia is made up of wooded areas dotted by lakes, which makes it a forest lover’s dream. Riga is the capital city of Latvia, which can provide a fun change of pace for travelers seeking a departure from all of the quiet nature.</p>

Latvia is a solid choice for someone wanting an affordable stay amidst beautiful landscapes. Over half of the country is covered in forest, perfect for an outdoor adventure holiday . It is also great for architecture lovers, as the city of Riga has the world’s highest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture.

<p>Much like Cyprus, this island in the Mediterranean is a magnet for retirees looking to relocate on a budget. Retirees can get a tan and interact with the tourists while living off $1,400 a month. In addition to the great year-round weather, health care is well below the U.S. average.</p>

Lying just off the tip of North Africa between Italy and Tunisia , Malta is perfect for an affordable vacation in a sunny climate. Malta is a proven tourist destination, hosting over five times as many tourists as its entire population . Being such a small country, booking a room in Valletta’s city center is unnecessary. The town of Floriana is only a short walking distance from Valletta and offers better prices .

<p>Even though Estonia has been linked with Russia as part of the former Soviet Union, culturally, it shares a closer kinship with its neighbor to the north, Finland. Settled on the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland, this European country is known for its rocky, scenic coastline and the capital city of Tallinn’s charming old town.</p>

17. Estonia

Estonia may be a good alternative if you can’t reasonably afford a Norwegian or Finnish getaway. Estonia is the northernmost non-Arctic member of the European Union and a very affordable tourist destination. If you’re working on a budget, you can comfortably stay in the capital city of Tallinn for around $50 a day .

<p>Slovakia, along with the Czech Republic, formerly made up the country of Czechoslovakia. In 1993, Slovakia became an independent nation after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Not only does Slovakia have an energetic nightlife scene and medieval castles in its capital city of Bratislava, but the pristine lakes and colorful mountains of the High Tatras are a sight to behold as well.</p>

18. Slovakia

If you like wine, you’ll love Slovakia. With its age-old wine industry and affordable prices, Slovakia offers an opportunity for a budget-friendly wine-tasting tour . There are also many UNESCO Heritage sites , such as the Dobšiná Ice Cave or Spiš Castle. The capital city, Bratislava, is affordable by European standards and is only a 90-minute train ride from the Austrian city of Vienna.

<p><span>If you want to make your money go further, sometimes it’s necessary to take the road less traveled. You don’t have to jet off to Paris or Rome for a taste of Europe’s culture and cuisine. Lesser-known European countries boast hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re drawn to Ljubljana’s medieval charm or the vibrant modernity of cities like Belgrade and Vilnius, these budget-friendly destinations offer something for every traveler.</span></p>

All Tastes Catered For

If you want to make your money go further, sometimes it’s necessary to take the road less traveled. You don’t have to jet off to Paris or Rome for a taste of Europe’s culture and cuisine. Lesser-known European countries boast hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re drawn to Ljubljana’s medieval charm or the vibrant modernity of cities like Belgrade and Vilnius, these budget-friendly destinations offer something for every traveler.

<p>Retirement is not just about taking a long-deserved break; it’s about embracing a new adventure in life’s next chapter. What better way to start this journey than in a coastal town, where the sea meets the sky in a harmony of tranquil living? This post sails through the 14 most enchanting seaside towns, handpicked for retirees who dream of quality living without <a href="">breaking the bank</a>. We’ve anchored downtowns that tick all the boxes for an ideal retirement haven – affordability, rich quality of life, top-notch healthcare, and delightful weather. So, let’s dive in and explore these seaside gems where your golden years can truly shine.</p><p class="entry-title"><a href="">14 Coastal Towns That Offer Affordable Retirement and Quality</a></p>

14 Coastal Towns That Offer Affordable Retirement and Quality

Retirement is not just about taking a long-deserved break; it’s about embracing a new adventure in life’s next chapter. What better way to start this journey than in a coastal town, where the sea meets the sky in a harmony of tranquil living? This post sails through the 14 most enchanting seaside towns, handpicked for retirees who dream of quality living without breaking the bank. We’ve anchored downtowns that tick all the boxes for an ideal retirement haven – affordability, rich quality of life, top-notch healthcare, and delightful weather. So, let’s dive in and explore these seaside gems where your golden years can truly shine.

<p>Retirement can be exciting for people who have worked hard and are ready to enjoy the good life. Many retirees want to make the most of their money and <a href="">enjoy the rest of their life</a> the best they can. For some, retiring abroad sounds like a fun adventure. Luckily, in some foreign locations, retirees can keep some of their hard-earned money in their bank accounts. Below are some of the best places for new retirees to settle down and enjoy their lives.</p><p class="entry-title"><a href="">16 Affordable Retirement Destinations Abroad</a></p>

16 Affordable Retirement Destinations Abroad

Retirement can be exciting for people who have worked hard and are ready to enjoy the good life. Many retirees want to make the most of their money and enjoy the rest of their life the best they can. For some, retiring abroad sounds like a fun adventure. Luckily, in some foreign locations, retirees can keep some of their hard-earned money in their bank accounts. Below are some of the best places for new retirees to settle down and enjoy their lives.

More for You

Crowned The King Of R&B, Chris Brown Has Amassed A 2024 Net Worth Of $50 Million

Crowned The King Of R&B, Chris Brown Has Amassed A 2024 Net Worth Of $50 Million


‘The dream of Paris is over’: US track and field star Emma Coburn to miss Olympics after breaking ankle

Joshua Dean, 45, died on Tuesday

Second Boeing whistleblower dies ‘suddenly’ in Oklahoma

Ghosts of the USA: The Most Haunted Places in America

Ghosts of the USA: The Most Haunted Places in America

The Texas Democrat vowed to keep running for re-election

US congressman and wife charged with taking bribes

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall sits in the front cockpit of an X-62A VISTA aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Thursday, May 2, 2024. The flight on the Artificial Intelligence-controlled modified F-16, is serving as a public statement of confidence in the future role of AI in air combat. The military is planning to use the technology to operate an unmanned fleet of 1,000 aircraft. Arms control experts and humanitarian groups are concerned that AI might one day be able to take lives autonomously and are seeking greater restrictions on its use. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

An AI-controlled fighter jet took the Air Force leader for a historic ride. What that means for war

Here's the true value of a fully paid-off home

Here is the true value of having a fully paid-off home in America — especially when you're heading into retirement

Deborah Ayorinde in Them: The Scare anthology series on Prime Video

Prime Video’s latest thriller series is a hit — and it’s 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

29-year-old ex-bartender now earns $100,000 working in AI without a college degree—here's how

29-year-old ex-bartender now earns $100,000 working in AI without a college degree—here's how

An anti-Israel agitator on Stanford University’s campus on Friday. The university has submitted the photo to the FBI.

Stanford Jewish students on taking photo of man with Hamas headband on campus: 'We were just in shock'

Best East Coast beach towns to live in

The best beach town to live in on the East Coast is not in Florida, based on data. See the top 25.

Actor reflects on ‘haunting’ moment where a role and real-life disaster unfolded

Actor starred in a film about a nuclear accident days before a real-life accident

Home Prices

House Prices Fall in Nearly Half of U.S. States

A Complete Guide to the Most Haunted Houses in Every State

A Complete Guide to the Most Haunted Houses in Every State

I Asked 4 Chefs What Their Favorite Fast Food Cheeseburger Was and Their Pick Was Unanimous

I Asked 4 Chefs What Their Favorite Fast Food Cheeseburger Was and Their Pick Was Unanimous

10 Tallest Anime Characters, Ranked

15 Tallest Anime Characters, Ranked

WSJ Opinion: Donald Trump's Presidential Immunity Claim

WSJ Opinion: Donald Trump's Presidential Immunity Claim

I quit my $376,000 dream job at Goldman Sachs to care for my mother when she got sick. I felt sorry for myself at first — but now I have no regrets.

I quit my $376,000 dream job at Goldman Sachs to care for my mother when she got sick. I felt sorry for myself at first — but now I have no regrets.

The 10 happiest places to live in the US

The 10 happiest places to live in the US

Tech trick: How to tell who’s calling when you don’t recognize the phone number

Tech trick: How to tell who’s calling when you don’t recognize the phone number


Krajina v srdci Európy vás prekvapí množstvom rozmanitých a výnimočných zážitkov, bohatou históriou, neobjavenými zákutiami, autentickou kultúrou i dynamickou súčasnosťou. SLOVAKIA TRAVEL je národná agentúra na podporu cestovného ruchu, ktorá doma a vo svete prezentuje Slovensko, ako prekvapivo krásnu a príťažlivú krajinu hodnú objavovania. Slovensko prekvapí Poďte ho zažiť aj vy.

Slovensko je zelená oáza Európy s výnimočným prírodným bohatstvom a netušenými krásami v každom regióne. Ale krásy a prekvapivé zážitky ponúka aj vo svojich mestách. Či je to dynamická Bratislava s unikátnou polohou alebo Banská Štiavnica, ktorá rozpráva tichom svojich uličiek alebo inšpiratívne Košice. Každé mesto je dôvodom na zastávku a príjemne strávený čas. Každé mesto Slovenska sebavedome ponúka množstvo atrakcií a výnimočných historických odkazov a atraktívnej súčasnosti. Vyberte si z ponúkaných zážitkov a nechajte sa príjemne prekvapiť. Ponukou na relax v ich okolí alebo expedíciou mestom so všetkými jeho dennými a večernými lákadlami. Slovenské mestá sú na vašich cestách príjemným prekvapením.

Múzeá a galérie

Pamiatky unesco, kultúra a pamiatky, aktuálne z regiónov, stránky plné krás slovenska.

V online publikáciách SLOVAKIA TRAVEL si môžete pohodlne listovať a navštíviť najkrajšie kúty Slovenska. Každá publikácia je pre vás jedinečnou ukážkou a najmä pozvánkou navštíviť prekvapivé miesta krajiny v srdci Európy a spoznať jej bohatú históriu a inšpiratívnu súčasnosť. Nechajte sa viesť kúpeľným svetom, zážitkami pri golfových jamkách, s delikatesou na tanieri alebo s pohárom plného slnka, alebo so zatajeným dychom žasnite nad krásami pamiatok UNESCO, alebo výhľadmi z našich hôr. Ste srdečne vítaní na stránkach našich online publikácií . Šťastnú cestu a dobrú chuť.

visit slovakia



    Pages full of Slovakia beauties. In the online publications of SLOVAKIA TRAVEL you can comfortably view and visit the most beautiful places in Slovakia. Each publication is a unique sample for you, especially an invitation to visit the amazing places of the country in the heart of Europe and get acquainted with its rich history and inspiring ...

  2. 15 Best Places to Visit in Slovakia

    Discover the best places to visit in Slovakia, a Central European country with rich culture, history, and nature. From the capital Bratislava to the spa town of Pieštàny, from the caves of Slovak Karst to the mountains of Košice, you will find a variety of attractions and activities for your trip.

  3. Slovakia travel

    Europe. Right in the heart of Europe, Slovakia is a land of castles and mountains, occasionally punctuated by industrial sprawl. More than a quarter-century after Czechoslovakia's break-up, Slovakia has emerged as a self-assured, independent nation. Capital city Bratislava draws visitors to its resplendent old town and tankard-clanking drinking ...

  4. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Slovakia

    2023. 2. Devin Castle. 2,908. Historic Sites. Located a few miles west of Bratislava. Devín Castle ranks among the most important archeological sites in Central Europe. Located at the banks of the Danube, where once the Danube and Amber Roads intersected, it watches over the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers.

  5. Slovakia

    Slovakia ( Slovak: Slovensko) or the Slovak Republic ( Slovenská republika) is a country in Central Europe. The main reasons to visit Slovakia are its natural beauty, vivid history and great opportunities for relaxation (and due to the small size of the country, it is quite easy to combine all three). Slovakia has nine national parks, which ...

  6. Tourism in Slovakia

    Tourism in Slovakia offers natural landscapes, mountains, caves, medieval castles and towns, folk architecture, spas and ski resorts . More than 5.0 million people visited Slovakia in 2017, [1] and the most attractive destinations are the capital of Bratislava and the High Tatras. [2] Most foreign visitors come from the Czech Republic (about 26 ...

  7. Slovakia Travel Guide (Updated 2024)

    2. Visit Košice. Košice is the second-largest city in Slovakia, dating back to the 13th century. The city center encompasses the historic part of town and has the largest number of historical monuments in the country. Be sure to visit the 13th-century St. Elisabeth Cathedral. 3. See Banská Štiavnica.

  8. 15 Top-Rated Things to Do in Slovakia

    Tatranská Lomnica, in the High Tatras, has the steepest slopes in the country and separate, higher trails for advanced skiers. Also in the High Tatras, Štrbské Pleso is a popular destination for its night skiing and cross-country trails. 3. Visit Open-Air Museums. The Museum of the Slovak Village.

  9. 21 Most Beautiful Places in Slovakia to Visit: The Ultimate List

    21. Poloniny National Park & Dark Sky Park. At the Polish and Ukrainian borders in northeastern Slovakia, belonging to the eastern Carpathian Mountains, Poloniny National Park was created in 1997. Almost 80% of the park is covered with thick forest where the ridge line above the trees is populated with alpine meadows.

  10. The Ultimate Travel Guide to Slovakia

    Mount Kriváň, Slovakia's most iconic and recognizable peak, reaches 8,186 ft high. The High Tatras range is part of the larger Carpathian range that sprawls over the border between Slovakia and Poland. This region is home to ski resorts, over 600km of marked hiking trails, and cozy mountain towns to enjoy.

  11. Travel in Slovakia

    Historical secrets and sightseeing. 425 chateaus and 220 castles make Slovakia a European rarity, with each of them hiding their own secrets. The whole world knows the story of the bloodthirsty Lady of Čachtice Elizabeth Bathory, and Spiš Castle is among the largest in the world. But more humble buildings also have their secrets.

  12. 10 Best Places to Visit in Slovakia

    Slovakia's second-largest city has a wealth of great things for you to see and do, with fantastic bars, restaurants, and shops found alongside its many art galleries, museums, and theaters. While its thriving arts and culture scene is certainly worth exploring, no visit to Kosice can be complete without taking in all the fantastic sights and ...

  13. Going to Slovakia? 11 of the best places to visit

    From the capital of Bratislava to Low Tatras National Park, these are 11 of the best places to visit in Slovakia, a country you should consider putting on your European travel list.

  14. Best Of Slovakia Itinerary: 8 Days In Slovakia » Voices of Travel

    Welcome to Slovakia, a central European country full of surprises and treasures.I'm from Slovakia, lived there for the first 18 years of my life, and visited places on this itinerary multiple times.I was thinking about what would make you visit this awesome country, so I've picked the highlights and created this 8-day itinerary through Slovakia for you.

  15. 10 things you need to know before you visit Slovakia

    Slovakia has 180 castles and 425 châteaux - the world's highest number of castles and châteaux per capita. Not bad for a country that is less than half the size of New York state. Perhaps the most famous castle of all to include as a stop when you visit Slovakia is the UNESCO-listed 900-year-old Spiš Castle, just outside the village of ...

  16. The best of Slovakia

    Slovak paradise. Wooden churches. Banská Štiavnica. Caves of the Slovak Karst. Bardejov. Spa Piešťany. Jánošíkove diery. Region of Liptov. If you want to say that you've been to Slovakia, you should visit at least three of the following cities - the most interesting cities, unique nature, spa and UNESCO sights that survived centuries.

  17. Slovakia Travel Guide

    It's small enough to explore in a day, but big enough to hold your interest for a long weekend. In Central Slovakia is lovely Banská Štiavnica, a UNESCO-protected medieval mining town in a lunar landscape of dead volcanoes. East and north are the High Tatras, as decent a mountain range as any in Central Europe.

  18. Top 10 Places To Visit In Slovakia

    Slovakia is one of Europe's hidden gems. Enjoy this travel guide across Slovakia's spectacular places. From the jagged High Tatras, to the mysterious Orava C...

  19. Nature and the countryside

    The largest karst area in Central Europe with more than 6,200 caves and chasms. Crystal clear glacial lakes, peaceful lowland rivers, a paradise for birds, the blue surfaces of water reservoirs. Sand dunes and pine forests, natural travertine, formations created by volcanic activity. Unbelievable diversity in such a small area.

  20. 18 Cheapest Countries To Visit in Europe All Year Round

    4. Bulgaria. Sofia, the capital city, is very affordable, with an average two-person vacation costing $916. Sunny Beach is a must-visit for those after a good party, offering water sports ...


    SLOVAKIA TRAVEL je národná agentúra na podporu cestovného ruchu, ktorá doma a vo svete prezentuje Slovensko, ako prekvapivo krásnu a príťažlivú krajinu hodnú objavovania. Slovensko prekvapí Poďte ho zažiť aj vy. Slovensko je zelená oáza Európy s výnimočným prírodným bohatstvom a netušenými krásami v každom regióne ...