Last Updated on April 23, 2023 by gregor
In this blog post, we will highlight the best things to do in Slovakia and provide you with valuable tips to help you plan your trip.
Slovakia may not be a well-known tourist destination, but it has plenty to offer for those who are willing to explore its hidden gems. With a rich cultural heritage, natural wonders, and medieval towns, Slovakia is a treasure trove for those looking to discover a lesser-known corner of Europe.
26 Best Things to Do in Slovakia, Best Places in Slovakia, Top Attractions
Why Visit Slovakia?
- Slovakia is home to stunning natural scenery, including the High Tatras mountains, national parks, and pristine lakes.
- The country is steeped in history, with many medieval towns, castles, and fortresses that offer a glimpse into the country’s past.
- Slovakia is an affordable travel destination, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers.
- The country has a rich culture that is reflected in its traditional cuisine, folk music, and festivals.
Where is Slovakia?
Slovakia is a landlocked country located in Central Europe, bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, and Austria and the Czech Republic to the west.
When is the Best Time to Visit Slovakia?
The best time to visit Slovakia is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is warm and sunny, and outdoor activities are plentiful. However, if you prefer fewer crowds and lower prices, the shoulder seasons (May to June and September to October) are also great times to visit. Winter sports enthusiasts should visit Slovakia between December and March when the ski resorts are in full swing.
How to Get to Slovakia?
Slovakia is easily accessible by air, train, or bus. The country has two main international airports, Bratislava Airport, and Kosice Airport, both of which have regular flights to major European cities. You can also travel to Slovakia by train or bus from neighboring countries, such as Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.
Best Things to Do in Slovakia
Hiking in the High Tatras
- The High Tatras mountains are a hiker’s paradise, offering some of the most spectacular scenery in Slovakia. With more than 600 kilometers of hiking trails, visitors can explore the mountains on foot, taking in breathtaking views of glaciers, waterfalls, and crystal-clear lakes.
Explore the Medieval Town of Banska Stiavnica
- Banska Stiavnica is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts a wealth of historical and cultural attractions. The town is famous for its rich mining heritage, which is reflected in its Gothic and Renaissance architecture.
Visit the Gothic Spiš Castle
- Spiš Castle is one of the largest castles in Central Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle dates back to the 12th century and offers visitors a glimpse into Slovakia’s medieval past.
Relax at the Thermal Baths in Rajecke Teplice
- Rajecke Teplice is a spa town located in the north of Slovakia, known for its thermal waters and luxurious spa resorts. Visitors can soak in the thermal baths, enjoy a relaxing massage, or indulge in a variety of wellness treatments.
Discover the Traditional Folk Culture in Vlkolinec
- Vlkolinec is a small village located in the heart of the Slovakian countryside, renowned for its traditional folk culture and picturesque wooden houses. Visitors can stroll through the village, sample local delicacies, and learn about the region’s unique cultural heritage.
What are the Top Attractions in Slovakia? Best Places to Visit in Slovakia
Bratislava Old Town
The historic center of Bratislava is a charming mix of medieval and Baroque architecture, with narrow alleys, grand palaces, and cozy cafes. Visitors can explore the city’s many landmarks, such as St. Martin’s Cathedral, Michael’s Gate
Orava Castle is a majestic fortress located in northern Slovakia, perched atop a hill overlooking the Orava River. The castle dates back to the 13th century and is one of the most impressive medieval castles in the country.
Slovak Paradise National Park
Slovak Paradise National Park is a nature lover’s paradise, with more than 300 kilometers of hiking trails, pristine forests, and crystal-clear rivers. Visitors can explore the park’s many waterfalls, gorges, and canyons, including the breathtaking Sucha Bela gorge.
The Spis Region is a historical region located in the eastern part of Slovakia, home to many medieval castles, fortresses, and churches. Visitors can explore the region’s rich cultural heritage, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Spiš Castle.
Devin Castle is a medieval fortress located on a rocky cliff overlooking the Danube River, just a short drive from Bratislava. The castle dates back to the 9th century and has played an important role in Slovak history.
What are the Best Slovakia Tours?
High Tatras Hiking Tour
- This tour takes visitors on a guided hike through the stunning High Tatras mountains, with plenty of opportunities to take in the panoramic views and learn about the region’s history and culture.
Bratislava City Tour
- This tour takes visitors on a guided walking tour of Bratislava’s Old Town, with stops at major landmarks such as St. Martin’s Cathedral, Michael’s Gate, and the Slovak National Museum.
Orava Castle and Spis Region Tour
- This tour takes visitors on a journey through the beautiful Spis Region, with stops at medieval castles and fortresses, including Orava Castle.
Slovak Paradise National Park Tour
- This tour takes visitors on a guided hike through the stunning Slovak Paradise National Park, with stops at waterfalls, gorges, and canyons.
What are the Best Day Trips from Slovakia?
- Vienna is just a short drive or train ride from Bratislava, making it an easy day trip from Slovakia. Visitors can explore the city’s many cultural and historical attractions, including the Hofburg Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the Vienna State Opera.
- Budapest is another popular day trip destination from Slovakia, with its stunning architecture, thermal baths, and vibrant nightlife. Visitors can explore the city’s many landmarks, including the Buda Castle, the Fisherman’s Bastion, and the Hungarian Parliament Building.
- Krakow is a beautiful medieval city located just a few hours’ drive from Slovakia, known for its historic Old Town, Wawel Castle, and the famous Wieliczka Salt Mine.
What are the Most Popular Things to Do in Slovakia with Kids?
- Slovakia has many aquaparks and water parks that are perfect for families with kids. Some of the most popular include Tatralandia, Aquacity Poprad, and Besenova.
- Dino Park is a popular theme park located near Bratislava, with life-sized dinosaur models, interactive exhibits, and a playground.
- Zoo Bratislava is home to more than 150 species of animals, including tigers, giraffes, and bears. Visitors can take a train ride through the park, enjoy a picnic, or attend one of the many animal shows.
What Can You Do in Slovakia for Free?
Visit the City Parks
- Slovakia has many beautiful parks and gardens that are free to visit, including Br atislava’s Horský park, which offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
Explore the Old Towns
- Many of Slovakia’s old towns and historic districts are free to explore, including Bratislava’s Old Town, which is filled with charming cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and historic landmarks.
Hike in the Mountains
- Slovakia is known for its beautiful mountains and hiking trails, and many of them are free to access. Visitors can explore the stunning High Tatras, the Low Tatras, and the Slovak Paradise National Park, all of which offer breathtaking views and beautiful scenery.
Visit the Museums
- Many of Slovakia’s museums and galleries offer free admission on certain days of the week, including the Slovak National Museum and the Bratislava City Gallery.
What are the Best Slovakia Sightseeing Tours?
Bratislava Castle and Old Town Tour
- This tour takes visitors on a guided tour of Bratislava’s iconic castle and charming Old Town, with stops at major landmarks such as St. Michael’s Gate, the Slovak National Museum, and the Bratislava City Gallery.
High Tatras Scenic Tour
- This tour takes visitors on a scenic drive through the stunning High Tatras, with stops at major attractions such as the Strbske Pleso Lake, the Tatranska Lomnica ski resort, and the Belianska Cave.
Devin Castle and Danube River Cruise Tour
- This tour takes visitors on a journey through Slovak history, with a visit to the stunning Devin Castle followed by a scenic cruise along the Danube River, taking in the sights of Bratislava from the water.
Is Slovakia Worth Visiting?
Absolutely! Slovakia is a beautiful and diverse country with something to offer everyone. From stunning natural landscapes to rich cultural heritage and vibrant cities, Slovakia is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, historical landmarks, or just a relaxing getaway, Slovakia has it all.
What is Slovakia Famous for?
Slovakia is famous for many things, including:
- Its stunning natural landscapes include the High Tatras mountains, the Slovak Paradise National Park, and the Danube River.
- Its rich cultural heritage, includes medieval castles, fortresses, and churches, as well as traditional folk art and music.
- Its delicious cuisine includes hearty soups, stews, and dumplings, as well as local wines and spirits.
- Its industrial and technological advancements include the production of cars, electronics, and other high-tech products.
How Do You Spend a Day in Slovakia?
There are many ways to spend a day in Slovakia, depending on your interests and preferences. Some popular options include:
- Exploring Bratislava’s Old Town and iconic castle, taking in the sights and sounds of this charming city.
- Hiking in the stunning High Tatras mountains, enjoying the panoramic views and fresh mountain air.
- Visiting the stunning Orava Castle, learning about the castle’s rich history, and taking in the beautiful surroundings.
- Relaxing in one of Slovakia’s many thermal spas, soaking in the healing waters, and enjoying a relaxing massage.
How Many Days in Slovakia is Enough?
It really depends on what you want to see and do in Slovakia. For a basic overview of the country’s main attractions, a week or 10 days should be enough time. However, if you want to explore more off-the-beaten-path destinations or enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking or skiing, you may want to plan for a longer trip.
What are the Best Places for Shopping in Slovakia?
Bratislava’s Old Town
- Bratislava’s Old Town is filled with charming boutiques and artisan shops selling locally-made goods, including handmade pottery, jewelry, and traditional Slovak crafts.
Aupark Shopping Center, Bratislava
- This modern shopping center is home to over 200 shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, including popular brands such as H&M, Zara, and Mango.
Eurovea Shopping Center, Bratislava
- Located along the Danube River, Eurovea is a high-end shopping center featuring luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Gucci, as well as restaurants and a cinema.
Central Shopping Center, Nitra
- This shopping center in the city of Nitra is home to over 100 shops and restaurants, including popular brands such as Marks & Spencer and Deichmann.
What are the Famous Cities in Slovakia?
- Bratislava – Slovakia’s capital city and largest city, known for its historic landmarks, charming Old Town, and vibrant cultural scene.
- Kosice – Slovakia’s second-largest city, known for its stunning Gothic architecture, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage.
- Banska Bystrica – A historic mining town in central Slovakia, known for its beautiful old town and nearby ski resorts.
- Nitra – A charming city in western Slovakia, known for its medieval castle, beautiful parks, and rich cultural heritage.
Is Slovakia Better than Vienna?
It’s difficult to compare Slovakia to Vienna, as they are very different destinations with unique attractions and experiences. Vienna is known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and world-class museums and galleries, while Slovakia offers stunning natural landscapes, charming old towns, and a more laid-back atmosphere. Both destinations have their own unique charm and are worth visiting in their own right.
Is Slovakia a Walkable Country?
Many of Slovakia’s cities and towns are walkable, particularly the historic Old Towns and city centers. Bratislava’s Old Town, for example, is compact and easy to explore on foot, with many of the major landmarks and attractions within easy walking distance. However, some parts of the cities and towns may be hilly or have uneven terrain, so comfortable shoes are recommended.
Getting Around Slovakia
Slovakia has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses, trains, and trams, making it easy to get around the country. Visitors can purchase tickets at ticket kiosks, on board the bus or train, or online in advance. Taxis and car rentals are also available, although driving in Slovakia can be challenging due to narrow roads and heavy traffic.
Where to Stay in Slovakia?
Slovakia has a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference, including hotels, hostels, apartments, and guesthouses. Some popular areas to stay in Slovakia include Bratislava’s Old Town, the High Tatras mountains, and the spa towns of Piešťany and Rajecké Teplice.
Tips for Planning Your Trip to Slovakia
- Research the weather and plan accordingly, as Slovakia can experience extreme temperatures and weather conditions.
- Learn a few basic Slovak phrases, as many locals do not speak English.
- Consider purchasing a local SIM card or portable Wi-Fi device to stay connected while on the go.
- Check if any major festivals or events are happening during your visit, as these can affect hotel prices and availability.
Best Events in Slovakia
- Bratislava Coronation Festivities – A reenactment of the coronation of Hungarian kings in Bratislava’s historic Old Town, complete with a procession, music, and traditional costumes.
- Slovak International Air Fest – A spectacular airshow featuring acrobatic displays, vintage aircraft, and military demonstrations.
- Christmas Markets – Slovakia is home to many charming Christmas markets during the holiday season, including the markets in Bratislava and Banska Bystrica, where visitors can browse for handmade gifts and souvenirs, enjoy festive food and drink, and soak up the festive atmosphere.
- Slovak Food Festival – Held annually in Bratislava, this food festival celebrates traditional Slovak cuisine and features live music, cooking demonstrations, and plenty of delicious food and drink to sample.
- Pohoda Festival – One of the largest music festivals in Slovakia, the Pohoda Festival features international and local musicians performing across multiple stages, as well as art installations and cultural events.
- Tatry Ice Master – A spectacular ice-carving competition held annually in the High Tatras mountains, where visitors can watch talented artists create intricate ice sculptures.
Slovakia is a wonderful destination with plenty to offer visitors. From the stunning natural landscapes of the High Tatras to the charming old towns and vibrant cultural scenes of its cities, there is something for everyone in this beautiful country. Whether you are interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply relaxing in beautiful surroundings, Slovakia is definitely worth visiting. Just make sure to plan ahead, pack comfortable shoes, and don’t forget to try some traditional Slovak cuisine while you’re there!
Plan your Trip to Vienna?