Slovakia. Travelling and vacationing in nearby Slovakia.

Slovakia

Slovakia is a country in the center of Europe. It is a unitary parliamentary republic. It has no access to the sea. The state borders with five countries. The inhabitants speak Slovak. Most of them practice Catholicism.

The state consists of several regions, divided into dozens of districts. Agriculture plays a major role in the economy. Production in the area of Bratislava is growing rapidly. In recent years the flow of tourists has increased. The country is one of the most successful European countries in the production of cars.

Population 5,455,000 people Territory of Slovakia 48,845 sq km Located on the continent of Europe Capital of Slovakia Bratislava Money in Slovakia Euro (EUR) Domain zone .sk Country phone code 421

Resorts in Slovakia (ski, thermal)

There are a lot of resorts in the country. Many of them can easily compete with the best world resorts. Recreation areas are quite comfortable and well equipped. Popular resorts: Skalnate Plesso, Jasna, Strelske Pleso, Krompahi, Podbanskie, Ružomberok and others.

The country is also famous for its healing springs, many of which are on par with the world famous analogues. Widely known is the oldest resort of Trenčianske Teplice. The well renowned Bardejovske Kupele, Vyšného Růžbánky, Pestany, Lubovňské Kupele, Sliač and other spa towns, which are situated all over Slovakia, do not let it down.

The climate in Slovakia: Temperate. Cool summers. Cold, cloudy, damp winters.

Attractions in Slovakia

The land of Slovakia is a country for traveling. Wherever the tourist route takes you, there is bound to be something noteworthy that you can’t ignore. The natural scenery, from the valleys to the ancient Tatra Mountains, impresses with its beauty and harmony. The rich nature reserves, parks and pristine nature are the main attraction of Slovakia.

The history of the country is closely intertwined with the modernity. Every city in the country is a unique place, bearing the traces of bygone eras. Bratislava, Nitra, Banská Štiavnica, Prešov, Bardejov, Košice, Trnava, Levoča and many other cities can be proud of their priceless historical and architectural monuments. Hundreds of castles, fortresses, architectural and religious buildings are worth seeing.

Landscape of Slovakia:: Rocky mountains in the central and northern part. Lowlands in the south.

Hotels

The country has long been known for its resorts, and the tourist destination is constantly evolving. Each year the republic is visited by a large number of tourists who need to be provided with places to stay. For this purpose, there are quite a few hotels in the country. As a rule, they all meet the declared “stardom”.

At the choice of visitors can stay in “Akademia”, “Choc”, “Dalia” or “Swiss House”. Accommodation will be comfortable in the hotels: “Travertin”, “Vierka”, “Zuberec”, “Maria” and “Pansion Svorad”. Welcoming staff and good service in the hotels: “Dixon”, “Gabcikovo” and “Janosik”. Convenient accommodation is offered in hotels: Alessandria, Barbakan and Drevenica.

Slovakia has resources such as: : Lignite and lignite, small quantities of iron ore, copper and manganese ore, salt, arable land.

Leisure

Tourists who have been to Slovakia know one thing – when you come to the country, there is no time for boredom, because traveling around the country is fascinating and there is no better way to spend your free time. With so many places to see, you won’t have to think about how to pass the time.

Tourists don’t always come to visit Slovakia. The republic is also popular for its resorts. Vacationers at resorts can rest assured that their time is taken care of. No matter what resort the tourist is at, there is sure to be a full range of entertainment suitable for all ages and temperaments. “Delicious” to spend time will help cozy establishments, where visitors will be offered a choice of wonderful dishes.

Money in Slovakia: The national currency is the Slovak krone. It first appeared in 1939, but in 1945 it was replaced by the Czechoslovak krone. In 1993 the Slovakian krone was given a second “life” and again became the national currency of the republic. Since 2009, the euro was introduced instead of the krone, which is currently the official means of payment in Slovakia. The Slovak krone is now completely withdrawn from circulation.

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Museums

Almost every city of the republic has a museum, often more than one. There are many museums in the country. All of them are interesting and informative. In Slovakia there are unusual and curious exhibitions of the Balneological Museum, the Mining Museum or the Museum of Water Mills. There are whole villages-museums, in which the exhibits are the residential buildings. You can see a similar exposition when you visit Lubovňanský skazen.

Ancient archeological findings, many of which are centuries old, are on display at the Museum of Prehistoric Times. For those who are interested in engineering, inventions and their implementation, surely a visit to the Museum of Engineering will leave a lot of impressions. Besides there are many galleries, exhibition halls, ethnic, cultural and national museums and centers.

Transportation

The transport system of the state is quite modern and well developed. The republic uses the traditional transport by air, road, rail and water. Air transport is used mainly for overseas trips. Besides the capital’s airport, which is located a few kilometers from Bratislava, the airports of Poprad-Tatras, Košice-Bartsa and Žilina perform international transportations. Domestic flights take an insignificant share of the traffic.

To travel around the country it is convenient to use the bus. Almost every point in the country is covered by bus routes. One can also take a cab or rent a car. Water transport is largely developed and connects several neighboring countries, in addition, there is access to the sea by canal.

Standard of living

The basic sphere for the economy of the republic is mechanical engineering, light industry. The production of high-tech products is highly developed. Well developed resort and tourist destination. The economic and political situation in the state is stable enough. The level of unemployment depends on the region. Some regions have a high percentage of unemployment and a slightly worse economic situation.

The standard of living is relatively high. The infrastructure is modern and developed. The country is comfortable and convenient to live in, and the prices of most products, real estate and education are low. Citizens of the country are friendly and the level of security is quite high.

Cities of Slovakia

In the central part of Europe is located state of Slovakia. The capital of the republic is a city with a rich history – Bratislava. The capital, like many cities in the country, is an ancient, beautiful city. The population of the main city is about half a million people.

Major cities include: Prešov, Trenčín, Košice, Trnava, Banská Bystrica, Nitra, and Žilina.

Relatively large towns in the country are: Bardejov, Galanta, Šalya, Čaťa, Trebíšov, Hundlová, Hlohovec, Topolčany, Snina, Senica, Humenné, Dolny Kubin, Levice, Michalovce, Partizanske, Ružomberok, Převidza and others.

Slovakia is an inconspicuous country in the heart of Europe, but very attractive for tourists

Slovakia - the country in the center of Europe

Slovakia is the youngest country in Europe. The state received full independence only in the early 90s of the twentieth century. For a long time, being in the shadow of other powers (Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia, etc.), Slovakia does not want to play an important role in the economy or politics of the continent. Remaining a thing in itself, it has preserved the tourist infrastructure it has nurtured for a century.

They come here for the delightful nature, miraculous mineral springs, clean mountain air, cheerful disposition of the Slovaks and excellent cuisine, which absorbed the best traditions of several nations at the same time preserving its identity. Despite the fact that it is difficult to find world-famous architectural or painting masterpieces in Slovakia, every city, every village is filled with warm and cozy atmosphere, a unique European charm.

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The undoubted advantage of traveling to one of the most inconspicuous countries in Europe should include a very modest prices at a high level of service. Domestic travel companies often sell winter ski tours to Slovakia. The country offers tourists the most colorful and memorable beauty all year round.

We also recommend reading the article 10 the cheapest ski resorts. From it you will learn what are the cheapest ski resorts in Eastern Europe and in Russia, including: Harrachov, Kopaonik, Abzakovo, Prielbrusye and others. The article gives an overview of the most budget places in Eastern Europe, where prices are 2-3 times cheaper than in the West.

A Schengen visa will open the way not only to Slovakia, but to all of Europe. 35 euros is not too much of a price to pay for freedom of movement around the whole continent. The visa center charges 12 euros for its services. The processing time is 10 days.

Regular tourist visa entitles you to visit Slovakia and all Schengen countries for 90 days per year. Quite enough for an interesting and eventful vacation.

The way

You can get to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, by bus, train or plane. You may get from Moscow to Bratislava by train during a day (return ticket – 300 euros), by bus during 48 hours (ticket – 200 euros).

A round-trip air ticket from Moscow to Bratislava (with connection in Prague) costs 330 euros. If you get from the Czech capital to the destination point by bus (4 hours trip, 24 Euros round trip), then the cheaper way is as follows: Moscow-Prague (change in Riga) and back – from 185 euros, the way to Bratislava and back – 24 Euros. All in all 209 euros. Buses to the Slovak capital go directly from Prague airport. There are no extra costs.

Where to live?

It is not a problem to find an inexpensive accommodation in Slovakia. The problem may be the inappropriate level of the institution. Before booking a hotel, hostel or a room in a guesthouse, you need to study the offer very carefully, so as not to be disappointed upon arrival.

Grandhotel Praha - Tatranská Lomnica

Grand Hotel Prague, Tatranská Lomnica, High Tatras.

If you prefer to stay in a hotel, get ready to pay between 27 and 40 euros per night. On numerous booking sites you will find a cheaper offer. Most likely, this is an offer from the student hostels, which thus earn a little money. Such housing will not be comfortable and convenient in the location. In addition, you may be faced with the need to bring your own bedding. These prices refer to overnight accommodations in major cities of the country.

As for the small hotels in the mountains, picturesque villages and near natural parks, the night is not more than 20 euros. If your trip is planned for November or March, you can spend the night even cheaper – from 9 euros per room.

Slovak cuisine: what and where to eat?

Slovak dishes: what to eat

Slovak cuisine is a combination of German, Hungarian and West Slavic cuisine. But each dish here has its own accents and flavors. Of the richest selection of meat, vegetable and flour dishes, connoisseurs stand out a few:

  • Garlic soup is the most inexpensive dish that can be ordered at any colibe (ethnic food tavern). It is essentially a cheese soup in a crème broth with lots of garlic and croutons. The only disadvantage of this dish is the enormous appetite that comes with it!
  • Sour cabbage soup with smoked pork – it looks like our favorite borscht, but tastes different;
  • Spišska slutka – served in a “pot” of white bread. It contains meat and mushrooms stewed in a spicy sauce. Slovaks eat potato pancakes together with slushee. One dish is enough for two;
  • garlic doughnuts (longosha) – not too healthy dish, which no one can refuse. They are doughnuts soaked in oil, and the garlic filling gives them a piquancy and a special flavor;
  • Brynza dumplings, a kind of dumplings with cheese filling;
  • traditional desserts include plum cake and especially thin round waffles.
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Strong alcohol in Slovakia is diverse and unusual:

  • Tatran tea, a healthy non-alcoholic beverage, has nothing to do with it. These are herbal tinctures, the strength of which ranges from 32 to 72 degrees! The Slovaks themselves prefer the 52 percent variety;
  • borovicka – a local variety of gin, whose pine flavor is more delicate and aromatic than in the classic drink;
  • slivovica – Slovak moonshine, which tastes as pleasant as in the Czech Republic.

No one calls Slovakia a beer power, but the country’s beer market has its own attractions. From the most famous “Topvar” to the new-fangled “Urpin” and “Martimer.” Slovak beer tastes the closest to Austrian beer, which is not the worst in Europe.

At a traditional Koliba, lunch will cost from 5 to 7 euros (main course, salad and a large mug of beer).

In a street café you can have breakfast for 3-4 euros (coffee, pastry, cake or a portion of delicious millet porridge).

Paradoxically, a set at the local McDonald’s is more expensive than lunch at the colibe.

If you prefer haute cuisine, there are places in Slovakia where dinner can cost up to 150 euros per person. But in an average restaurant with a good reputation, your bill will not exceed 20-25 euros per person (dinner with local wine).

Even if you eat on your own, cook with products bought in supermarkets (in the markets you have to pay more), then you can save a little. Potatoes here are 0,6 euros per kilo, and a whole chicken “will cost” 5-6 euros.

The average daily budget for one person is 10-12 euros.

Why to go?

Bratislava is a city in Central Europe, the capital of Slovakia

Bratislava – the capital of Slovakia

No one goes to Slovakia for artistic or architectural masterpieces. Historical and cultural attractions here are modest, but still interesting and unusual. Every city in the country has a historical center, full of cozy cafes, small galleries and museums, the proud cathedrals and modest churches. The main advantage of the “inconspicuous country” – a warm and comfortable atmosphere of Europe, the absence of the frenzied rhythms of modern civilization, the measuredness. Nature is the main attraction of Slovakia. Mountains, caves, salty springs, forests – here you can breathe easy, really relax, sleep carefree. Even the ski resorts in the country offer the most simple and gentle slopes. Experienced skiers will be bored here, but beginners and amateurs will appreciate the Slovak mountains.

Cities

For those who love city beauties and entertainment, Slovakia offers:

Bratislava

As any capital city, it is big and beautiful. Most tourists enter the country through the capital’s airport. For tourists of interest is the Cathedral of St. Martin – the place of coronation of several Hungarian kings (there was such a page in the history of the country). On the castle hill of the capital stands a strong fortified castle, which now houses the halls of Parliament and several exhibitions of the “National Museum. Among the exhibits is the oldest musical instrument on the planet (bone flute) found by archaeologists.

The historic center of the city is a pedestrian zone. Here tourists will especially enjoy the city sculptures (plumber, paparazzi, French soldier, city madman, “night butterfly” and others) installed in the busiest streets of the center.

Trencin

Trenčianske Hrad - A castle in Western Slovakia above the city of Trenčín

Trenčianski Grad is a castle in Slovakia above the town of Trenčín.

A small town not far from the Czech border. An ancient castle, town hall, miniature museums and cozy restaurants – tourists will have no time to get bored. Under the castle, on the steep rock, there is an inscription made by ambitious Roman legionaries, who defeated the Germanic tribes in the 2nd century.

Banská Bystrica

Banská Bystrica - town in central Slovakia, center of the Banská Bystrica region

The town has the status of “Slovak Switzerland”. It is all about the large number of credit institutions. Thanks to efforts of Turzo family, in 15th century Banská Bystrica became a center of European banking network. Today, tourists love the city for its picturesque landscape, the abundance of churches and monasteries, the museum of the National Uprising. The historical center with the indispensable town hall square and a lot of restaurants, a small brewery which produces beer brand “Urpin”, an old fortress, quiet and measured – this is not all the advantages of the city. The surrounding ski resorts contribute to attracting tourists all year round.

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Nitra

The ancient city of Slovakia, the medieval capital, the cradle of Christianity of the Western Slavs. The castle, old churches, chapels – even the industrial museum is unusual here. The main event is an agricultural exhibition, which brings together experts from all over Europe. For the average tourist at this time may be interesting to numerous cultural events.

 Mariánské Lázně Plague Column and Nitránský Chateau - National Cultural Heritage

Ski resorts

Slovakia is rich in mountains, so here are the Carpathians and the Tatras (Low and High). The country has always pleased skiers in Europe with long season (December to April), the simplicity of slopes and low prices. The most famous ski resorts in the country:

  • Jasna – almost 60 kilometers of slopes of different levels of complexity (there are a couple of “black”, which for Slovakia is a rarity). A weekly ski pass costs 145 euros (100 euros for children), one day – 30 euros (21 euros for children). If you buy ski passes online you can save a little money. A one-day pass is cheaper if you buy it at the resort after 13 o’clock. Not far from Jasna is the most famous water park in Slovakia “Tatralandia”. Thermal pools, Celtic sauna, amusement rides – all year round it is warm and fun. The ticket for 3 hours starts from 20 euros (for children from 9 euros);
  • Štrbské Pleso – the favorite resort of snowboarders and beginner skiers. Excellent infrastructure, a variety of slopes, guest houses, clean pine air – people come here to be recharged for a few years. The ski pass for a day starts from 28 euros, for a week from 138 euros.

In the ski resorts you can purchase a special card (GOPASS), which guarantees discounts on all services (ski elevator, equipment rentals, advice from instructors, etc.). The cost of the card – 2 euros.

Hotel Družba, Jasna

Hotel Druzhba, Jasna

Natural attractions

Nature of Slovakia is rich in beauty. Most tourists come here just to see picturesque mountain landscapes, waterfalls, geysers, caves. The list of all natural sites worthy of attention will be very long, but here is one of the most noteworthy:

  • Slovak Paradise, the name of the mountain range and national nature park. Gaps, landscapes, landscapes, numerous waterfalls – this is what tourists come here for. Let’s add the cleanest air and ice cave (Dobshinskaya), the largest in Europe. Admission is paid only in the cave (8 euros). All other attractions are completely free;
  • The Demänovská cave – a length of more than 8 kilometers (only a little more than 2 kilometers are open to tourists). In the cave lake you can swim (according to the legend anyone who dares to enter the lake will become 10 years younger), but so far nobody wanted. The reason is the big bats, which are circling above your head, and the very low water temperature (not higher than +4 degrees). Intricate stalactites and stalagmites, healing air, mysterious natural “influxes” – all this makes the cave the most visited object in Slovakia. The entrance fee is 9 euros;
  • Gerlian geyser – this water “volcano” erupts every 30 hours, throwing out an unimaginable amount of mineral water to a height of 20 meters. The spectacle gathers many tourists, but not everyone is lucky. The geyser has a “bad character” and sometimes “falls asleep” for 3-4 days.
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There are a total of 8 natural parks in Slovakia. Many of them are famous sanatoriums and treatment centers of European level. Treatment in them is not expensive (by comparison with Switzerland or Italy), but the efficiency of recovery is very high. People come here to treat lung diseases (asthma, frequent bronchitis, pleurisy, etc.), and allergies. Mountain air, pine forests, and mineral waters produce the major curative effect.

The cost of accommodation at such resorts – from 25 euros per person to get to the cheapest board is not easy, book a place a year! The usual price is 50-60 euros/day.

A week in the hotel (full board, medical procedures, doctor’s consultation) – from 340 euros per person.

Slovak Paradise - mountain range and folk park in eastern Slovakia

Slovak Paradise – a mountain range and national park in Slovakia

From Slovakia to other countries

Since visiting Slovakia requires a Schengen visa, it would be a sin not to take advantage of this circumstance and visit neighboring countries, especially since it is easy to do.

Vienna

Bratislava is separated by 70 kilometers from Austrian capital and the most beautiful city of the Old World. Buses run frequently, but you need to choose the one that offers the cheapest tickets. It is therefore necessary to find out everything at the bus station in Bratislava.

In Vienna, you can take a sightseeing streetcar (a rarity in Europe!) and ride all day to see the main sights of Vienna and listening to a story about the city in Russian (audio guide is included in the ticket price). The ticket, valid for 24 hours, will cost 9 euros (children – 5 euros).

Excursion bus on the same terms – 20 euros (children – 7 euros). Audioguides give only the most general information. For those who like details, a guide will come in handy – 15 euros. You can buy it at any kiosk in the bus station.

For the frugal ones: take food with you! A thermos of coffee, a couple of sandwiches and a bottle of mineral water in Bratislava – 6-7 euros. In Vienna the same set costs twice as much.

From Slovakia to another country - to Prague

Prague

By bus from Bratislava – 12 euros one way, travel time – 4 hours. By tourist bus with audio guide (24 hour ticket) – 18,50 euros. It is more expensive than in Vienna, but in Prague for the same money you get an hour cruise on the riverboat.

There is no need to take food with you, the prices in the Czech Republic are not different from the Slovak.

From the number of interesting places in Prague, you can run your eyes. There is everything: the magnificent architectural ensembles and historic streets, museums, historical sites. To visit some of them you will need to spend some money, but there are also many free attractions. Which ones? Read our article 8 sights in Prague with free admission.

Budapest

The bus to Hungary’s capital city takes 3 hours and the ticket costs 9 euros. A sightseeing bus is 16 euros. There is not everywhere an audio guide in Russian. It is better to have a printed guide – 9 euros.

Krakow

If you can not suffer a long bus travel, from Bratislava you can easily get in Krakow. The trip costs from 34 euros one way and takes at least 9 hours, including all stops in Brno, Olomouc, Ostrava and Katowice. It is better to travel by night bus and start exploring Poland’s ancient capital early in the morning.

Overnight accommodations in inexpensive Krakow hotels – from 17 euros. Excursion bus with an audio guide – 14 euros.

A visit to Slovakia is not only an experience of a new country, natural beauties, castles, museums and ski slopes. The location of the country guarantees you impressions of other European cities, which you may not have planned to visit. An inconspicuous and “humble” country holds a lot of opportunities for someone who has not yet “discovered” the Old World. Go ahead.

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