Slovakia Travel Guide
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Slovakia is a small country located in the heart of Europe, bordered by the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, and Austria. With its rich history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant culture, Slovakia is a hidden gem that offers something for everyone. From the charming capital of Bratislava to the breathtaking mountains of the High Tatras, Slovakia is a country that's waiting to be explored.
Slovakia is a land of contrasts, where mediaeval castles sit atop rolling hills and modern cities are surrounded by pristine natural beauty. The country is home to a wealth of historic sites, including ancient castles and monasteries, and museums that showcase its rich cultural heritage. At the same time, Slovakia offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures, including hiking, skiing, and rafting in its stunning national parks.
Whether you're interested in history, culture, or nature, Slovakia is a destination that's sure to leave a lasting impression. Whether you're looking for a relaxing vacation or an action-packed adventure, this guide will help you make the most of your trip to Slovakia. From practical information on transportation and accommodations to detailed descriptions of the country's most iconic sights and activities, this guide has everything you need to plan the perfect trip. So pack your bags and get ready to discover one of Europe's most fascinating countries.
Slovakia has an excellent transport system that makes it easy to get around the country, whether you're travelling by air, train, bus, or car. Bratislava, the capital city, is served by M. R. Štefánik International Airport, which offers regular flights to and from major European cities
For those travelling within the country, trains and buses are a convenient and affordable option. There is also a good network of roads, making it possible to rent a car and explore the country at your own pace.
The train system in Slovakia is fast, efficient, and affordable, with regular services connecting major cities and tourist destinations. If you're travelling within the country, trains are often the best option, as they are comfortable and offer scenic views of the countryside. There are also a number of overnight trains that connect Bratislava with other cities in Europe, making it easy to travel to Slovakia from other parts of the continent.
Buses are another popular option for travel within Slovakia, with regular services connecting major cities and tourist destinations. They are a convenient and affordable alternative to trains and are often the only option for reaching more remote areas. When travelling by bus, it's important to book your tickets in advance, as services can get busy during peak travel periods. If you're planning on driving in Slovakia, it's important to be aware of local traffic laws and regulations and to carry an up-to-date map or GPS system. Overall, getting around Slovakia is easy and convenient.
Slovakia offers various accommodation options to suit every budget and travel style. From luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels, there's something for everyone in this charming country. In the major cities, such as Bratislava and Košice, you'll find a range of modern hotels, many of which offer easy access to local attractions and public transportation.
If you're looking for a more authentic experience, consider staying in one of Slovakia's many charming guest houses or bed and breakfasts. These smaller establishments offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere and are often run by local families who can provide valuable insights into the local culture and customs. Many of these properties are located in charming historic buildings, providing an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding area.
For those travelling on a budget, hostels are a great option, offering dorm-style or private rooms at a fraction of the cost of hotels. Many hostels are located in city centres, making them convenient for exploring local attractions and meeting other travellers. In addition, there are also a number of camping grounds and holiday parks scattered throughout the country, providing a perfect base for those who enjoy outdoor adventures and exploring the great outdoors.
If you're looking for a unique accommodation experience, consider renting a traditional Slovakian cottage or chalet. These properties are often located in rural areas and offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Some even come equipped with their own hot tubs or saunas, providing the ultimate relaxation experience after a day of exploring.
Overall, Slovakia offers various accommodation options to suit every taste and budget, from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels and everything in between. Whether you're travelling for business or pleasure, you're sure to find the perfect place to stay in this fascinating country.
Food and Drink
Bryndzové halušky: small potato dumplings served with sheep's cheese and bacon
Slivovica: a type of fruit brandy, often made from plums
Kapustnica: a hearty soup made with sauerkraut, potatoes, and sausage
Borovička: a type of gin made from juniper berries
Pirohy: large dumplings filled with various fillings such as mashed potatoes, cheese, or sauerkraut
Kofola: a popular Czech and Slovak soft drink, similar to Coca-Cola
Klobása: a type of sausage, often grilled and served with mustard and bread
Černý Bečva: a type of dark lager beer, brewed in the eastern part of the country
Vyprážaný syr: deep-fried cheese, typically served as a snack or as a side dish
Frankovka: a type of red wine, grown in the southern part of the country
Guláš: a type of stew made with beef, onions, and paprika
These traditional foods and drinks are widely available in restaurants and bars throughout Slovakia, and are a great way to experience the local cuisine and culture. Whether you're looking for a hearty meal or a refreshing drink, there's something for everyone in Slovakia's rich culinary scene.
Sights & Activities
Bratislava Castle: a large castle situated on a hill above the city, offering stunning views of the surrounding area.
Hiking: Slovakia is home to a number of beautiful national parks and nature reserves, making it a great destination for hiking and outdoor adventure.
Spiš Castle: one of the largest castles in Europe, located in the Eastern part of the country.
Winter sports: the High Tatras and other mountain ranges offer excellent skiing and snowboarding opportunities, with a number of ski resorts to choose from.
Orava Castle: a stunning mediaeval castle, perched high on a hill above the Orava river.
Spa treatments: Slovakia is famous for its spa towns, offering a wide range of thermal and mineral waters, mud treatments, and other health and wellness services.
High Tatras: a stunning mountain range, offering breathtaking scenery, hiking trails, and skiing opportunities.
Wine tasting: Slovakia is home to a number of wine regions, producing a range of red and white wines that are well worth trying.
Folk culture: Slovakia is known for its rich folk culture, with traditional music, dance, and costumes that are still an important part of the country's heritage.
These are just a few sights and activities to experience in Slovakia. Whether you're interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply soaking up the local atmosphere, there's something for everyone in this beautiful country.
Here is some practical information you should know before travelling to Slovakia:
Visa requirements - Citizens of certain countries may need a visa to enter Slovakia, while others may be able to enter visa-free for short stays. Check the visa requirements for your country and plan accordingly.
Currency - The currency used in Slovakia is the Euro (EUR). ATMs are widely available and credit cards are accepted in most establishments.
Language -The official language in Slovakia is Slovak. English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas, but knowing a few key phrases in the local language is always helpful.
Transportation - Slovakia has an extensive public transportation network, including trains, buses, and trams. Taxis are also widely available, but it's a good idea to check the fare beforehand and agree on the price before starting the journey. Renting a car is also an option, but be prepared to drive on roads with varying quality and conditions.
Accommodation - There is a wide range of accommodation options in Slovakia, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Book in advance, especially during peak tourist season.
Safety - Slovakia is generally a safe country to visit, but it's always a good idea to be cautious and aware of your surroundings, especially in busy tourist areas. Keep an eye on your personal belongings and be aware of pickpockets in crowded areas.
Health - No special vaccinations are required for travel to Slovakia. Make sure you have adequate health insurance coverage and carry any necessary medications with you.
Time zone - Slovakia is in the Central European Time Zone (GMT+1).
Power outlets - Slovakia uses the European standard plug, with two round pins. Make sure to bring an adapter if necessary.
By being aware of these practicalities, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to Slovakia.
Euros from Us
At Ramsdens, we believe that it is always a good idea to get your euros from us before you embark on your travels. Here are some reasons why:
Competitive exchange rates: Our exchange rates are regularly updated to ensure that they are among the most competitive in the market. This means you get more for your money, giving you more spending power on your travels.
Convenient locations: We have over 150 branches across the UK, making it easy for you to find a Ramsdens store near you. You can also order your euros online and collect them from one of our branches at a time that is convenient for you.
No commission fees: We don't charge any commission fees on foreign currency exchanges, so you can be sure that the exchange rate you see is the rate you get.
Expert advice: Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are always on hand to offer advice and guidance on exchanging your currency. Whether you need help deciding how much currency to take with you, or you want advice on the best way to spend your money abroad, we're here to help.
So whether you're planning a holiday, a business trip, or just want to make sure you have some euros for emergencies, make Ramsdens your first stop for all your foreign currency needs.