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Lietavská Svinná-Babkov, Slovakia
Lietavská Svinná-Babkov, Slovakia by Adam Gavlák on Unsplash.

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Slovakia Travel Notes

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Venture off the beaten path to find Slovakia's hidden treasures. From picturesque villages to tranquil lakes, explore the land for a real Slovakian experience.

About Slovakia

Slovakia is known for its natural beauty, rich history, and cultural heritage. Its mountains are good for skiing, and its famous castles are a must-see attraction.

Slovakia also has numerous spa resorts and outdoor activities to enjoy, as well as UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore.

With its diverse attractions and warm hospitality, Slovakia promises an unforgettable travel experience for adventurers, history enthusiasts, and nature lovers alike.

Countries neighbouring Slovakia: Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Austria.

Travel Map Mapping Slovakia

Map of Slovakia

Map of Slovakia

Slovakia, formerly a part of Czechoslovakia, became an independent republic on January 1st, 1993.

Slovakia Overview

Slovakia, officially known as the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country located in Central Europe.

Slovakia is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the south-west, and the Czech Republic to the north-west.

Capital and Largest City

The capital of Slovakia is Bratislava, which is also its largest city.

Situated on the banks of the Danube River, Bratislava is the political, cultural, and economic center of Slovakia.

Culture

Slovak culture is influenced by its rich history, with elements of both Slavic and European traditions.

The country has a diverse cultural heritage, including folk music, dance, and traditional crafts.

The Slovak language, part of the Slavic language group, is the official language, but Hungarian is also widely spoken; particularly in areas with a significant Hungarian minority.

Economy

Slovakia has a mixed economy with a strong industrial base, particularly in the automotive, electronics, and machinery sectors.

The automotive industry, in particular, is a major driver of the Slovak economy, with several international car manufacturers operating production plants in the country.

Other important sectors include manufacturing, services, and tourism.

Geography

Slovakia is characterised by its mountainous terrain, with the Tatra Mountains forming a significant portion of its northern border with Poland.

History

Slovakia was part of the former Czechoslovakia until 1993 when it peacefully split from the Czech Republic, becoming an independent nation.

Since then, Slovakia has undergone significant economic and political reforms, transitioning from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented one.

It joined the European Union in 2004 and adopted the euro as its currency in 2009.

Politics

Slovakia is a parliamentary democratic republic with a president as the head of state and a prime minister as the head of government.

The National Council of the Slovak Republic, a unicameral legislature, is responsible for enacting laws and overseeing the government.

Political parties play a significant role in the country's political landscape, with several parties representing diverse interests and ideologies.

Tourism

Slovakia boasts a variety of natural attractions, including national parks, mountains, caves, and thermal springs.

The High Tatras National Park is a popular destination for hiking, skiing, and mountaineering, offering stunning landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Additionally, Slovakia is home to numerous historical sites, castles, and charming medieval towns, such as Spišská Kapitula and Banská Štiavnica.

Visiting Slovakia

Slovakia is a country with a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and a growing economy, making it an increasingly popular destination for travellers and investors alike.

Explore Bratislava

Bratislava Castle

Start your exploration with a visit to this iconic hilltop castle offering panoramic views of the city and the Danube River.

Bratislava City Museum

Dive into the city's history and culture at this museum, housed in the Old Town Hall.

Danube River Cruise

Enjoy a scenic cruise along the Danube River, taking in the city's skyline and picturesque landscapes.

Old Town

Wander through the charming cobblestone streets of the Old Town, home to historic landmarks like St. Martin's Cathedral, Michael's Gate, and the Primate's Palace.

Slovak Cuisine

Indulge in traditional Slovak dishes like bryndzové halušky (potato dumplings with sheep cheese) and kapustnica (cabbage soup) at local restaurants.

High Tatras National Park

Hiking

Head to the High Tatras, Slovakia's spectacular mountain range, for hiking adventures amidst breathtaking scenery.

Trails vary in difficulty, catering to all levels of hikers.

Štrbské Pleso

Visit this picturesque mountain lake surrounded by stunning peaks, offering opportunities for leisurely walks and photography.

Tatra Wildlife Park

Explore the park to observe native wildlife, including brown bears, lynx, and chamois, in a natural habitat.

Winter Skiing

If visiting during winter, enjoy skiing or snowboarding at one of the area's ski resorts, such as Tatranská Lomnica or Ždiar.

Košice

East Slovakian Museum

Learn about the region's history and culture at the East Slovakian Museum, housing extensive collections of art, artifacts, and archaeological finds.

Košice Old Town

Explore the city's charming Old Town, featuring well-preserved medieval architecture, narrow streets, and lively squares.

St. Elisabeth Cathedral

Visit this Gothic cathedral, the largest church in Slovakia, located in Košice's historic centre.

Local Delicacies: Sample regional specialties like goulash, potato pancakes, and local wines at traditional eateries.

Spiš Castle and Slovak Paradise National Park

Dobsinska Ice Cave

Marvel at the stunning ice formations within this UNESCO-listed cave; accessible via guided tours.

Slovak Paradise National Park

Explore this natural wonderland of limestone gorges, waterfalls, and lush forests.

Don't miss hiking the famous Suchá Belá Gorge trail.

Spiš Castle

Discover one of the largest castle complexes in Central Europe, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Travel Tips

Accommodation

Stay in a mix of hotels, guesthouses, or chalets, depending on your preferred level of comfort and proximity to attractions.

Transportation

Rent a car or utilise Slovakia's efficient public transportation network, including trains and buses, to travel between destinations.

Weather

Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly, especially if planning outdoor activities in the mountains.

Getting to Slovakia

Flying to Slovakia

There are few direct international flights into Slovakia from the West, although you can change planes in Prague (Czech Republic) and then fly on to Bratislava.

Alternative routes are to fly into Vienna (Austria) and then take a short bus ride to Bratislava; or fly into Krakow (Poland) - if your destination is the Tatras mountains, or Northern Slovakia.

Driving in Slovakia

Like Hungary, you need to drive with your headlights on at all times of the day, or risk getting a fine.

As much of Slovakia's population lives in rural areas, the countryside should also be visited if you have the time to get out of Bratislava.

Around Slovakia

The Carpathian Mountains stretch into the west of Slovakia.

Central Slovakia

Central Slovakia, with its rugged landscape and breathtaking scenery, is probably the most beautiful part of Slovakia.

It also has some of the most interesting towns in the country, such as Kremnica and Banska Bystrica.

Eastern Slovakia

There is surprisingly a lot to do and see in Eastern Slovakia, which has many wonderful towns, such as Bardejov and Levoca.

There are a few surprises too - for example the Andy Warhol Museum in the village of Medzilaborce, the open air museum in the Dukla Pass, and the spectacular Slovensky Raj.

Western Slovakia

There's more to Western Slovakia than just the capital, Bratislava.

Map of Bratislava

Map of Bratislava

Trencin and Nitra are beautiful towns, and Bojnice is an excellent day out.

There are also a lot of castles to explore in the area, and then there's the wine growing region near Modra.

Slovakia Tourism

Tourism in Slovakia has grown since the end of Communist rule.

In the early 1990s more than half a million tourists a year were visiting Slovakia for its well restored historical cities and numerous mountain ski resorts.

Kosice

Also known as Kaschau in German and Kassa in Hungarian, Košice is in the eastern part of the Slovakia; on the Hornad River, near the southern border with Hungary.

Slovakia's second city has plenty to offer the traveller, with many fine restaurants, bars and lots of tourist attractions.

The Gothic cathedral of St Elizabeth dates from the 14th-15th century.

City of Kosice

Slovakia's second largest city lies in the valley of the river Hornad in the Košice basin, encircled by the spurs of the Cierna Hora mountains to the north and the Volovske vrchy hills to the west.

Founded in 1241, Košice has been held at times by the Austrians, Hungarians, Turks, and Russians.

Attractions in Kosice focus around the pedestrians-only main square.

Getting to Kosice

Located about six kilometres south of the Košice city centre, Kosice International Airport is the second largest airport in Slovakia. Bus no. 23 runs between the airport and downtown.

Hotels in Kosice.

Trencin

Only 110km from Bratislava (on a good motorway), Trencin is a must visit if you've booked yourself on a cheap flight to Slovakia for a long weekend.

The castle and the historical centre of Trencin are reasons enough to make the short trip away from Bratislava.

The Slovaks

Slovakian Culture

The Slovak people are extremely proud of their culture and of their traditions, which are kept alive today through food, music, poems, dance and song.

There is a rich folk tradition in Slovakia, historically influenced by foreign rulers and the minorities from Slovakia's neighbouring countries.

Slovakia Travel Guides

Bratislava (Bradt Travel Guides) Eastern Europe

Slovakia Travel Guides - Slovakia Maps.

Weather in Europe:
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