Nigar BayramgiziNigar Bayramgizi 14 SEPTEMBER 2020 27 views 5 min. read

10 things I wish I knew before going to Slovakia

27 views 5 min. read

Central Europa… I think everyone wishes to visit this region at list once in life. But, there is one country which I recommend to visit specifically. It is Slovakia with its spectacular nature, admirable culture, great castles, and magnificent cities such as Bratislava, Kosice. Briefly, there are numerous best places to travel in Slovakia. And as before every trip, you will think is it safe to travel to Slovakia? According to my little observation, there are no danger issues in Slovakia. Certainly, the most important threat to safety is COVID19 in the whole world. But, the state has done proper works for the health security for both locals and foreign visitors. So, you can choose your travel direction as Slovakia by taking your safety measures. But, certainly, before going, it is important to know things about Slovakia. I will cover the most interesting of them below. But, first, where is Slovakia?

Let’s clarify it: the country is situated in Central Europe. The landlocked state is embraced by Poland, Austria, Hungary, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic. Its land breaks up into eight zones: Zilinsky, Kosicky, Bratislavsky, Presovsky, Nitriansky, Bankobystricky, Trenciansky, and Trnavsky. Slovakia capital is Bratislava, and this is also mentioned as the biggest city in the country. The old names of this city maintain in itself Pressburg, Presporok, or Istropolis. Everyone who wants to travel Slovakia should know that Bratislava is very close to Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic. We can see it when checking where is Slovakia? There is only 60 km between the Austrian capital of Vienna and the central city of Slovakia. Thus, Slovakia can be a great beginning for the European tour. After a little information about Slovakia capital, I would like to start to discuss important to know things about Slovakia for you to consider before going to Slovakia.

1. Train

railway station of Slovakia

Before planning your travel to Slovakia, first, you should take notes about transport. One of the interesting things about Slovakia is that you can plan your trip easily by using the local train system. The railways create a great connection in the whole country. “Bratislava-Zilina—Kosice”, “Bratislava-Zvolen-Kosice”, “Bratislava-Cervena Skala-Margecany” are the main directions of the train network among the places to visit in Slovakia. Train travel is quite affordable with a cost of around 5 euros per 100 km. There are express trains called IC and EC. While IC is considered within the country, EC is used for international trips. Also, there are a lot of historical trains which can make your travel to Slovakia very amazing. Their great examples are Vychhylovka Railway and Ciernohronska Railway. On the other hand, if you still think is it safe to travel to Slovakia, the train network could be an appropriate answer because this type of connection maintains in itself a fewer hazard.

2. Castles and Palace 

Castle in Slovakia

One of the interesting things about Slovakia is that you can find numerous mysterious castles and palaces there. In my list, Bratislava castle comes the first. It was installed on the Little Carpathians, and the Danube River is seen from there. Its panoramic view of Austria, Bratislava, and Hungary make the castle among the best places to visit in Slovakia. Also, you can get acquainted with Primatial Palace in Slovakia capital. You can add the Hall of Mirrors in this Palace to the list of important things to know about Slovakia.

Another admirable example is the neo-Gothic Orava Castle. It is not only one of the most wonderful castles in the country but also famous for being the home for the 1922`s silent vampire film, Nosferatu. It is among the Slovakian castles which are the UNESCO – listed 900 year – old Spis Castle. If you get the opportunity to visit the castles at night, you can feel yourself in a fairytale, and undoubtedly it will make your travel to Slovakia unforgettable.

3. National Parks 

People in Slovakia

This information about the places to visit in Slovakia can be very useful for families with children. In Slovakia, you can visit 9 national parks located in the north-central region of the country. They are the great options in the list of the best places to visit in Slovakia:

- The high Tatras popular with the largest ski resort in a Central Europe

- Jasna, Slovak Paradise with Dobrinska Ice cave

- The smallest parks in Slovakia: Pieniny, Little Faltra National Park, Poloniny, Slovak karst

Here I would like to mention the special beauty of Slovak paradise. It is full of ravines, gorges, chasms, meadows, and waterfalls. Narrow canyons, wooden bridges, high ladders, and iron chains are essentials of a wonderful adventure in Slovakia.

4. The first architecture reservation

first architecture reservation

Do you know that Slovakia has the first architecture reservation in the world?  It is the Village of Cicmany located in the Zilina District in the Zilina Region of the north of the country. This marvellous village is surrounded by the picks of the Strazov Hills and the Mala Fatra Mountains in the southern part of Rajec Valley, south-west municipality. In 1977 Cicmany village was proclaimed as an open-air museum for its unique folk architecture. Its timbered houses with white geometrical patterns attract everyone. There are the building of Radenov dom and the Gregorov dom which are full of exhibits. These historical items will help you to learn about the interesting things about Slovakia. It is interesting that people still live in some of these houses; in other words, it is not just a museum, but also the village like others. People of Cicmany are famous for their folk embroidery. Also, they raise heep and sell sheep cheese.  If you want to stay here, you can do it easily, because now they serve as hotels as well.

5. Caves

Slovakia Caves

One of the next interesting things about Slovakia is that there are more than 6000 caves all around the country. We can see most of them in the national parks of Low Tatras, Slovak Paradise, and Slovak Karst. As an example, there is charming Demanovska Cave of Liberty situated in Low Tatras in Demonovska Valley. Another one is Dobsinska Ice Cave located inside the Slovak Paradise (UNESCO Heritage site). If you want to include it to your list of places to visit in Slovakia, you should know that only the first 500 meters of the cave are opened to the public between May and September.

6. Food

wine table

While preparing for the Slovakian trip, everyone should get information about the local food. Potatoes, lots of cheese and dairy products, wild mushrooms, and sauerkraut are favourite ingredients in the Slovakian kitchen. Bryndzove halusky and lokse are the most popular dishes. If you have a concern that is it safe to travel to Slovakia about food, worry no more, because they prepare dishes with ingredients used by everyone in the world.

7. Springs

Slovakia Springs

It is also important to know about the mineral springs in Slovakia. There are more than officially registered 1600 underground springs. They include sources of pure, mineral drinking water and hot thermal baths. You can select to visit the village of Podhajska. Its water has beneficial effects, it is salty, and you can swim. The springs are suitable for drinking, and they help with different medical problems. For example, the spring in Lubovnianske kupele is good for sportspeople; the Smerdzonka spring is helpful for the skin. Also, there are Trencianske Teplice Spa, Piestany Spa, Sklene Teplice Spa, which can help you to relax.

8. Alpine Skiing

Alpine Skiing in Slovakia

Alpine skiing sounds very interesting, doesn`t it?. Because of many snow-covered picks around Alpine, skiing is very popular among visitors. The Low Tatras and the High Tatras mountain chains are very famous. Jasna Nizke Tatry, Tatranska Lomnica, Strbske Pleso, Donavaly Park snow, Relax Center Plejsky, Malino Brdo, Vratna are the great choice for winter sports lovers.

9. Folk Dance

Slovakia Folk Dance

If you are interested in folk music, the dances of different nations in the world, then you should for sure get the information where is Slovakia and plan your travel there. As a result of the region and living style, the local dances and costumes are very diverse and colourful. There are more than 100 folk groups with very spirited dances. Most time, they are accompanied by cymbalo, violin, and bass.

10. Lakes in Slovakia

Tatra mountains

If you are planning a romantic night, then beautiful lakes are a great option among the best places to visit in Slovakia. Liptovska Mara is the most suitable choice for a great day with your lover. Stbske Pleso is famous among people for its location in the heart of the High Tatras and beautiful scenery. One of the most popular domestic holiday destinations for nature lovers is Zelena Voda. You can also participate in nice jazz or electronic music events. We can continue this list with Velicke pleso, the Senecke Lake, Liptovska Mara, and many more.

If you are looking for a place full of adventure, peace, history, romance, amazing experiences, then do not waste your time, choose Slovakia as your next travel destination.

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Nigar likes reading and writing. She thinks people can travel anywhere, live different lives for a while, conceive new, strange feelings and obviously, increase knowledge, enhance worldview by reading. So, in her mind, it should be the main part of each person’s life. She tries to read at least 30 minutes every day, in any case. On other hand, writing is a main tool of self-expression for Nigar. She can explain herself much better both in personal and professional life in such way. Her inviolable dream is professional writing by getting from information, experience which she obtains when she travels, reads and lives. And she believes that when we can dream sincerely and transform our dreams to goals, we will achieve, one day, obviously.

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