It will seem surprising, but in recent years, the increase in the number of tourists in Slovakia is due to the sporting events held in this country. This means that Slovakia is still an unknown country for most tourists. Meanwhile, Slovakia has everything that tourists need – a thousand-year history, a large number of medieval castles and fortresses, the amazing nature of the Tatras and Carpathians, numerous thermal resorts and excellent ski resorts.
Geography of Slovakia
Slovakia is located in Central Europe. In the west, Slovakia borders on the Czech Republic and Austria, in the north – on Poland, in the east – on Ukraine, and in the south – on Hungary. The total area of Slovakia is 49,000 square kilometers, and the total length of the state border is 1,524 km.
A significant part of the territory of Slovakia is occupied by mountains. East of Bratislava is the Danube Lowland. The entire north of the country is occupied by the Carpathian Mountains, near the border with Poland are the Low and High Tatras. The highest peak in Slovakia is Gerlachovský Štit (2,655 meters).
The main rivers in Slovakia are the Danube, Vah, Hron and Ipel.
According to itypejob.com, the capital of Slovakia is Bratislava, where more than 470 thousand people live. On the site of modern Bratislava, human settlements have existed since the Neolithic.
The official language in Slovakia is Slovak, which belongs to the subgroup of West Slavic languages of the Slavic language family. The Hungarian language is widely spoken in southern Slovakia.
More than 60% of the population of Slovakia consider themselves Catholics belonging to the Roman Catholic Church. Another 6% of Slovaks profess Protestantism, and 4.1% are Orthodox Christians.
According to computerminus.com, Slovakia is a parliamentary republic in which the head of state, according to the Constitution, is the President, elected for 5 years by direct universal suffrage.
Legislative power belongs to the unicameral parliament – the National Council of the Slovak Republic, consisting of 150 deputies.
Climate and weather in Slovakia
In general, the climate in Slovakia is continental. Although Slovakia is a small country, the weather there can be noticeably different in the north, where mountains predominate, and in the flat south.
The warmest region of Slovakia is Bratislava and the south of the country, where in summer the temperature can rise above +30C. In winter in Bratislava, the daily air temperature ranges from -5C to +10C.
In the mountains of Slovakia, snow lies in winter all the time, until April. Summer in the north of Slovakia is mild, with an average temperature of +25C.
Rivers and lakes
Several large (by the standards of this country) rivers flow through the territory of Slovakia – Vah (403 km), Hron (298 km) and Ipel (232 km). Slovak rivers are of great interest for rafting enthusiasts.
Lakes in Slovakia are popular summer holiday destinations for Slovaks and foreign tourists. The largest of them are Velké Gintsovo Pleso, Zemplinska Shirava, and Strbske Pleso. There are over 180 mountain lakes in Slovakia.
History of Slovakia
Ancient people on the territory of modern Slovakia lived in the early Paleolithic era. Roman legions came to Slovakia in the 6th century AD. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Slovakia was invaded by Germanic tribes and Goths. Around the end of the 8th – beginning of the 9th centuries, Slavic tribes settled in Slovakia, and the Principality of Nitra was formed, which then became part of Great Moravia, and later – part of Hungary.
Under the blows of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, the Kingdom of Hungary broke up into three parts, and in 1526 Slovakia became part of the Holy Roman Empire.
Only after the end of the First World War, Slovakia gained independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and united with the Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia was formed).
In 1939, Slovakia, as well as the entire territory of Czechoslovakia, was occupied by German troops.
After World War II, the Communist Party came to power in Czechoslovakia. In 1968, the troops of the Warsaw Pact countries suppressed the attempts of the leadership of Czechoslovakia to build “socialism with a human face”, and instead of Alexander Dubcek, Gustav Husak began to lead the country.
In 1998, the Communist Party lost power in Czechoslovakia, and, in the end, in January 1993, this country broke up into two independent states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In 2004, Slovakia was accepted into the NATO military bloc, and in 2009 it became a member of the European Union.
Slovakia is a country with rich cultural traditions and folk customs. Slovaks are very proud of their culture and cherish the traditions of their ancestors. Each Slovak region has its own typical folk costumes and customs. Slovak folk culture is known for its dances, music and songs.
Every summer, many Slovak cities host folklore music festivals, some of which have already become international.
Cuisine of Slovakia
Slovak cuisine is unique. She was greatly influenced by Austrian and Hungarian cuisines. The main products of Slovak cuisine are pork, poultry, cabbage, potatoes, flour, cheese, onions, and garlic.
Traditional Slovak dishes are cheese dumplings, draniki (potato pancakes), pasta (pasta) with potatoes, breaded cheese, schnitzel, and cabbage soup.
The traditional alcoholic drink in Slovakia is slivovitz (plum vodka). Beer is also very popular in Slovakia.
Sights of Slovakia
In Slovakia, curious tourists will find a large number of interesting sights. The top ten attractions in Slovakia, in our opinion, include the following:
- Dobshinskaya Ice Cave
- Boynitsky castle.
- Spis Castle.
- Vlkolinets village.
- Cathedral of St. Elizabeth in Kosice.
- The building of the Slovak National Theater in Bratislava.
- Bratislava castle.
- Grassalkovich Palace in Bratislava.
- New bridge in Bratislava.
- Trencin castle.
Cities and resorts in Slovakia
The largest cities in Slovakia are Bratislava, Kosice, Presov, Zilina, Banska Bystrica, Trnava, Nitra, and Trencin.
Every year in Europe, the ski resorts of Slovakia are becoming more and more popular, combining beautiful nature and excellent skiing infrastructure. The most famous of them are Strbske Pleso, Liptovsky Mikulas, Tatranska Lomnica, Smokovec, Jasna, and Podbanske.
There are 1,470 mineral and thermal water springs on the territory of Slovakia. Resorts have been built near many of them. The most popular of them are Piestany, Smrdaky, Sliac, Sklenne Teplice, Trencianske Teplice, and Luchki.
From Slovakia, tourists most often bring dolls in folk Slovak costumes, giant shepherd flutes (“fujara”), shepherd’s hatchets, ceramics, glassware and porcelain, wine, chocolate, and sheep cheese.
Public institutions in Slovakia are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00.
Grocery store opening hours:
Large shopping centers and supermarkets in Slovakia are open from 07:00 to 20.00.
Banks are open:
Mon-Fri: 08:00-15:00 (or 17:00)
Restaurants, cafes and bars are open seven days a week from 10:00 to 22:00.
Ukrainians need to obtain a visa to enter Slovakia.
Slovakia is a member of the European Union, and therefore the euro is used as currency on its territory.
All major credit cards are accepted – American Express, MasterCard/Cirrus, Visa/Plus, etc.
Ukrainians who want to import (or export) to Slovakia an amount of 10 thousand euros or more must enter it in the declaration.
The rules for the import and export of goods and products to Slovakia are the same as in other EU countries.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Embassy of Slovakia in Ukraine:
01901, Kiev, st. Patorzhinsky, 14
Phone: (044) 272-03-10
272-32-71 email: [email protected]
Embassy of Ukraine in Slovakia:
81101, Bratislava, ul. Radvanska, 35, Slovakia
Phone: (8 10 4212) 5920 2813
Fax: (8 10 4212) 5441
2651 mail: [email protected]
Fire service – 150
Ambulance – 155
Police – 158
Unified emergency telephone – 112
The difference with Ukrainian time is -1 hour. Those. if in Bratislava, for example, in the summer it is 9:00 am, then in Kyiv it is 10:00 am.
Tipping in Slovakia is not mandatory, but this practice exists in restaurants and hotels (10% of the bill).
No special vaccinations are required to enter Slovakia.
Slovakia is one of the safest countries in the world. Slovaks are very friendly, welcoming and helpful. However, this does not mean that tourists in Slovakia do not need to watch their belongings and money. In this country, as in other European countries, pickpocketing and theft from cars also happen.
We recommend skiing in Slovakia on specially equipped ski slopes. They are safe and have a well-developed infrastructure.