Ahoj and welcome to Slovakia
The small state in the center of Europe is a land of superlatives. In Slovakia, for example, there are over 600 castles and palaces worth seeing, but only 5.4 million inhabitants. Therefore, Slovakia has the highest number of castles per capita on earth. Indeed there are many traditional villages and idyllic towns, but also the lively and modern Bratislava. The city borders on Austria and Hungary and is therefore the world’s only capital bordering two countries. Moreover, Slovakia is said to be the country with the world’s most beautiful women. If you are looking for the pure experience of nature, this country is exactly the right place. In fact, mountains, lakes, caves and wild landscapes and animals run through the whole country. The High Tatras are considered to be the smallest high mountains in the world in terms of area. In short, Slovakia has something for everyone, making it a great travel destination. I will definitely visit the country again.
Slovakia at a glance
All Info for your Trip to Slovakia
My trip through Slovakia lasted a week. An exciting week in which I got to know incredible landscapes, magnificent castles and lovely people. I started in the capital Bratislava, which in my opinion is completely underestimated. Devín Castle and Beckov Castle, two of Slovakia’s endless castle ruins, were my next destinations. After a stop at the Demänová Ice Cave, I reached the high mountains of High Tatras. I spent several days there, enjoying the beauty of the mountains on hikes. After a short detour to Spiš Castle, I hiked through the green gorges of the Slovak Paradise. I would have loved to spend more time in the country, as this week went by way too fast. I definitely recommend staying longer.
My Slovakia Highlights
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Travel Preparations for Slovakia
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The destination is set. You are going to Slovakia. Anticipation is spreading. Who doesn’t love to plan the upcoming trip?! I will help you and give you all the important information and tips for your travel preparation. Have fun planning your trip!
Best Time to Travel
I can’t give you a general answer about the best time to travel to Slovakia. Because it depends on how your trip should look like. What do you want to do? To which regions do you want to travel? In general, you can say that the main season lasts from June to the end of August. In the cities, the thermometer can reach values far above 30 degrees in summer, while it is usually much cooler in the mountains.
For active vacations and hiking in the Carpathians I recommend you to travel between May and September. But also April and October are suitable for hikers who want to have their space as much as possible. In winter it gets icy in the mountains and many ski slopes are waiting for you.
I traveled through Slovakia in July at that time. It was generally very hot, but in the mountains partly rainy and fresh. We also encountered many other tourists, including on the hiking trails in the High Tatras. Ultimately, it depends on where you want to go and what you want to experience. In any case, Slovakia is worth a trip at any time of the year.
Getting to Slovakia & Transportation
Thanks to the membership in the European Union, the entry for EU citizens is possible without any problems and with an identity card.
Entry by plane
There are several airports, but Košice is particularly relevant for international flights. Bratislava has a large airport, but its proximity to Vienna makes it uninteresting for international airlines. I also flew to Vienna at that time and took a bus from there towards Bratislava. For the flight search I always use Skyscanner* and so far I was always very satisfied with the bookings.
Entering by train
There are several train connections from European cities to Slovakia via Vienna or Budapest to Bratislava. In addition, there is also an overnight train from Berlin directly to Bratislava. The alternative is going to Vienna, from where there are hourly trains and buses to Slovakia. More information and timetables can be found on the Deutsche Bahn website.
Train travel in Slovakia
The country has a very good railroad network, so you can reach all regions by public transport. Train tickets are also very cheap in Slovakia. You can find more information and timetables on the website of the railroad company or in the app cp.sk.
Entering by bus
The cheaper alternative is to use long-distance buses that travel to Slovakia from several major European cities. For example, there are connections from Paris, Vienna, Budapest or Berlin to Bratislava.
Bus travel in Slovakia
The country has a very good bus network, so you can reach all regions by public transport. Bus tickets are also very cheap in Slovakia. You can find more information and timetables in the app cp.sk.
Entering by car
You are most flexible with your own car. The entry is possible without any problems via the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland or Hungary. However, you need a vignette for Slovakia, which costs 10 euros for 10 days and 14 euros for 30 days for a normal car. The road conditions in Slovakia are good.
Hotels & Accommodation
Tourism has arrived in Slovakia, so you will find many hotels, especially in the popular vacation regions. If you prefer it more authentic and simpler, I recommend one of the many Slovak private accommodations. These mostly family-run guesthouses can be found all over the country. Many of them stay away from the well-known online portals, so you’ll have to call ahead. In the off-season, however, you can also spontaneously search for accommodation on site. However, the easiest way is to book via Booking.com (see below). Due to the variety of hotels, you are sure to find accommodation in Slovakia that meets your needs.
If you want to stay in a mountain hut in the High Tatras, I recommend the – admittedly somewhat outdated – homepage of the Tatra region. There you can find the names and phone numbers of the mountain huts.
Travel Budget & Costs
First things first: In Slovakia, you pay with euros, so you don’t have to worry about exchanging currencies. In general, Slovakia is much cheaper than Germany, with the exception of groceries.
Rental car: 20 € to 25 € per day for a week
Vignette: 10 € for 10 days and 14 € for 30 days (included in the price for rental cars)
Gasoline: 1.40 € to 1.50 € per liter (as of December 2021)
Parking: 5 € to 10 € per day at popular attractions
Train: very cheap, example: fast train over 200 km for 10 €.
Bus: single trip in a city for 0,70 €
Hotels: 20 € to 40 € for 2 persons (depending on region, travel time and type of accommodation)
Food and Drinks
Supermarket: Approximately the price level of Germany
Restaurant: 4 € to 8 €
Beer: 1 € to 1,60 € for a half liter
Suchá Belá: 1,50 €
Castles: 4 € to 6 €
Caves: 6 € to 10 €
Food & Vegetarian
Slovakia Travel Guide
Last but not least, I would like to recommend a few travel guides. I personally like the hiking guide series. The books are small and handy, offer useful information about hiking and detailed descriptions of the hikes. I was able to discover great hikes that I would not have found without these books. Not only in Slovakia. The guidebook gives you additional tips and inspiration for your trip to Slovakia. The book is especially useful for individual travelers.
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