Slovakia – a Fascinating Combination of Culture and Beautiful Nature
Although Slovakia is still a destination unknown to many, the country offers the opportunity for a varied holiday, both for sightseeing and culture, and for nature adventures. Slovakia is a versatile and affordable travel destination for holidaymakers interested in history and culture, tourists who appreciate delicacies and adventurers who enjoy nature.
Slovakia is one of the unknown gems of Europe
According to countryaah, Slovakia has been overshadowed by Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. Despite its small size, the country surprises the tourist with its diversity, in Slovakia you can find stunning mountain scenery and untouched nature, atmospheric villages and small towns, historic castles and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Slovakia, which became independent from Czechoslovakia in 1993, is still a relatively new state that is developing and renewing at a tremendous pace. The capital of a country of about 5.4 million inhabitants is Bratislava on the Danube.
Due to its diversity, Slovakia is especially suitable for tourists who want to see different destinations and experience a wide range of experiences during their stay. In Slovakia, for example, you can easily combine a city break in Bratislava with a hiking trip in the Tatra Mountains. Slovakia is not a beach destination, but there are plenty of spas in the country and the lakes offer both swimming and water activities.
There are many culturally and historically interesting sights in Slovakia, not all of which are located within the borders of Bratislava. In Slovakia, it is definitely worth exploring the countryside and small towns, for example on a rental car. Each village and town has its own characteristics and traditions, for example in music, costumes and dance. Small festivals and traditional festivals are held all over Slovakia throughout the year.
Land of castles and caves
In small Slovakia, there are many castles, mansions and ruins of historic fortresses. One of the most famous castles in the country is Spiš Castle, founded in the early 13th century and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other popular castles include Bojnice Castle, Bratislava Castle, Squirrel Castle and Trenčín Castle. During the summer, various festivals, theater performances and concerts are held in the castle areas.
For tourists interested in history, architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the wooden churches found in the mountainous areas of the northern part of the country offer interesting sights. Nine wooden churches built in the 16th and 17th centuries are World Heritage Sites, in addition to which there are other wooden churches in the area.
In addition to castles and wooden churches, one of Slovakia’s highlights is the country’s caves, some of which have also been inscribed on the UNESCO list. There are as many as 6,000 different caves in Slovakia, but about ten are open to the public. The most significant caves can be found in the Slovenský kras mountain range in southern Slovakia near the Hungarian border. The finest caves in the area are, for example, the Domica Cave and the Dobšiná Ice Cave. Ochtinská Aragonite Cave, on the other hand, is known for its unique aragonite formations.
There are many beautiful nature sites and national parks in Slovakia.
The unspoilt nature of Slovakia charms
Short for SVK by abbreviationfinder, Slovakia is a paradise especially for those tourists who are looking for natural peace and untouched nature. The country has rugged mountains, deep valleys and lush forests.
There are nine national parks in Slovakia, each with its own specialties. One of the most famous national parks in the country is the Tatra National Park in northern Slovakia, whose landscapes are dominated by the peaks of the Tatra Mountains and mountain lakes. The national park also has a unique flora and fauna.
Other popular national parks include Slovakia’s largest national park, the Nízke Tatry, which is particularly attracted to the region’s caves, and the Slovenský raj National Park, where you can see ice caves, waterfalls and lush forests.
The climate in Slovakia is mild and the summers are quite warm. However, winters are cold and humid, which is worth considering when planning nature trips. The climate and temperatures vary greatly from region to region and the coldest is in the mountains and highlands.
Combine a visit to Slovakia with other destinations
Slovakia is located in Central Europe and the location of the country is ideal if you want to visit more than one country during one holiday. Slovakia shares a border with Austria , Hungary , the Czech Republic , Poland and Ukraine .
The capital, Bratislava, is only about an hour’s drive or train ride from the Austrian capital, Vienna, and many combine a visit to Bratislava with a Vienna holiday. You can also travel between Vienna and Bratislava by boat cruising along the Danube.
From the south of Slovakia it is only a short trip to the Hungarian capital Budapest , while to the north you can combine a holiday with a visit to Krakow or Katowice in Poland.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN SLOVAKIA
Visiting Slovakia and Bratislava is easy to combine with other destinations, such as Vienna, Austria.
The easiest way to get there is through Vienna
The largest airports in Slovakia can be found in Bratislava and Košice. However, there are no direct flights from Finland to Slovakia and there are flights to the country’s airports from only a few destinations where a change would be convenient when flying from Finland.
The easiest way to get there is by flying to Vienna, where there are direct flights from Finland. From Vienna, you can continue to the Slovak side by rental car or public transport.
In terms of accommodation, Slovakia is an affordable destination. In the capital, Bratislava, there is plenty of choice in terms of accommodation, from five-star hotels to standard chain hotels and more modest accommodations. You can easily get a good hotel for less than 100 euros per night, and even the highest quality hotels in the city can grab a night for less than 150 euros.
In smaller cities and rural areas, the price level is usually even lower. In inns and hostels, the price of one night is only twenty at its cheapest. Spa hotels across Slovakia offer higher quality accommodation and are also more affordable.
Rent a car or use the public
If you plan to visit several destinations across Slovakia during your stay, a rental car is a convenient way to fold the distances. There are also train connections between larger cities and smaller places are usually reached by bus. Buses are often cheaper than trains, but also a slower option.
Bratislava has efficient and affordable public transport, so it is not worth renting a car for a city break. The city’s public transport network is made up of bus, tram and tram routes. Tickets can be purchased from stations, kiosks, vehicles, or through the app.
Bratislava is the most famous travel destination in Slovakia.
The capital Bratislava is for many the first contact with Slovakia. The city of more than 400,000 inhabitants is beautifully located along the Danube. Bratislava is a fascinating destination especially for holidaymakers interested in culture, history and architecture.
Bratislava’s most interesting sights include the Old Town with its beautiful buildings and Bratislava Castle. Nový most, or the New Bridge, for example, is also worth a visit, as the bridge’s UFO observation deck offers great views of Bratislava.
Lovers of good food and drink will also enjoy Bratislava, as the city has numerous atmospheric cafés and restaurants that pamper you with delicious food and affordable prices. You should also take local beers and wines to the test.
Located in eastern Slovakia, with more than 200,000 inhabitants, Košice is the second largest city in the country, dating back to the 13th century. Throughout its history, Košice has played a significant role in the region and is a center of both trade and culture.
The number one attraction of the city is the old town with its historic buildings, several churches and beautiful squares. Košice can be conveniently traveled from Bratislava, for example, by train or, inexpensively, by bus from the Hungarian side of Budapest.
Bardejov is one of the oldest towns in Slovakia and its historic Old Town is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the Old Town that offers the most tourist attractions and its center is the Radničné námestie Square, where you will find the Old Town Hall and the Church of St. Egidius, one of the most spectacular buildings in the city.
One of the finest and most interesting places to visit in Slovakia is Spiš Castle in the village of Spisske Podhradie. Founded in 1209, the castle is located on a high hill and although it is now mostly in ruins, it is still an interesting attraction. The castle, which was added to the UNESCO list in 1993, has a colorful history.
Spiš Castle is open to visitors daily during the summer season. A ticket that covers admission to all open areas of the castle costs adults just under ten euros. The castle also offers great views of the surrounding areas.
THE BEST OF SLOVAKIA
Due to its small size, Slovakia has many castles and their ruins.
The most interesting national parks
- Tatra National Park
- Slovenský raj or Slovak Paradise National Park
- Nízke Tatry or Low Tatras National Park
- Malá Fatra National Park
- Polonony National Park
The most fascinating castles
- Spiš Castle
- Museum visits
- A visit to the parks
- Fast-paced nightlife