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Welcome to Slovakia

Discover the land of contrast and diversity. Enjoy the countryside, beaches, and unique diversions in the city.

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Travel Information

Handy tips for planning your Slovakia trip, including advice about transportation, weather, currency, and airports.

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Destination Overview

Slovakia, the young and multicolored heart of Europe that offers diverse nature. In Slovakia, nothing is further than couple of hours away!

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City Guides

Learn about Slovakia and its charming regions.

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Things To Do

Activities

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Spas and Mineral Springs
People knew about the mineral springs in Slovakia since the time immemorial and soon discovered their medicinal effects. Many of these springs gave rise to spas and some of them became important international therapeutic centers with the most recent and modern equipment for therapy of varied diseases and health problems.

Water Fun
Slovakia – a country of hills and mountains. Many of the rivers and streams that flow through it are considered to be a paradise for both experienced and less experienced lovers of boats, kayaks, canoes and rafting.

If you are looking for wide open expanses of water, there are reservoirs in beautiful mountainous surroundings, which offer the thrilling experiences of water sports and, for anglers, bountiful catches of fish. Interested in water-skiing or windsurfing? Many people cannot resist the challenge to race across the water with the wind in their hair or peacefully plow the water and enjoy the power of wind. Explore more deeply by snorkeling or scuba diving. The quiet enigma of the watery world fascinates them and they long to be observers of its beauty. Deep lakes, crystal-clear tarns, mysterious underground caverns, just dive and listen.

Aquaparks & Thermal Swimming Pools
Slovak aqua parks are well equipped and they constantly invest in extension of their areas and new attractions. The wide offer of services will address not only families with children and young people but also seniors. In addition to outdoor and indoor swimming pools, the aqua parks offer also toboggans, wellness services, saunas, whirlpools, fitness, sports facilities, and playgrounds for children, adrenaline attractions and a wide choice of catering facilities and bars.

Sports
For lovers of the elegant sport, as golf surely is, there are 4 golf courses here. Playing on a course with championship parameters will enhance your experience as a player. If you enjoy watching for deer or other game, or you want to observe the gracefulness of roe deer or the perfection of flying birds, the Slovak mountains will captivate you with their abundant wildlife. Or take pleasure in sitting quietly with a fishing rod on a riverbank or beside a lake. You will find places there that regularly produce good catches and record breaking fish of various species.

Cross-country Skiing
Alongside with downhill skiing, cross-country skiing is also becoming still more popular. Well maintained cross-country trails of various levels of difficulty and length can be found in several ski resorts (e.g. Štrbské Pleso, Tatranská Lomnica, Skalka, Tále, Osrblie, Šachticky, Donovaly, Jasná).

Dog Sleigh
One of the most favorite winter sports is the traditional dog sleigh race that has good conditions and a long tradition in Slovakia. Several international competitions regularly take place in various parts of Slovakia.

Downhill Skiing
Thanks to skiing possibilities they offer, The High Tatras are well known also abroad. But not everybody knows that in winter there are good conditions for skiing in almost the whole territory of Slovakia. Skiers can find more than 1,000 ski lifts and 30 cable ways in almost 100 ski centers.

Freeride in Slovakia
The resort of Jasná in the Low Tatras is undoubtedly the top resort for freeride snowboarding & freeskiing.

Hang-gliding
Historians say that in Slovakia hang-gliding was established earlier than paragliding. What is the difference? For hang-gliding you need a rigid wing.

Ice Skating
Skating has a long tradition in Slovakia and even nowadays it counts among very popular sports. Indoor ice-skating rinks, public skating rinks and open-air ice areas offer an opportunity to enjoy skating experience in the winter season.

Paragliding
Paragliding is one of the youngest air sports which are able to provide people what the nature cannot provide them - flying. The feeling of the free flight is very intense and cannot be compared to anything else. Slovakia, thanks to its mountainous surface, offers very good conditions for this beautiful sport.

Ski Mountaineering
The number of ski mountaineering fans is growing in Slovakia. It is a mixture of ski touring, high-mountain skiing and mountaineering. Its developing base of members is founding clubs and the number of races is also increasing.

Open Air Museums
For a vivid impression of the folk culture and daily life of rural Slovakia, visit outdoor folk architecture museums. Their collections of original wooden dwellings with genuine furnishings will carry you back to times long past.

Gardens & Zoos
In addition to exotic wild beasts, friendly monkeys and song-birds, native species of Slovak wildlife like bears, marmots and chamois can also be seen in Slovakia’s zoological gardens. Or take pleasure in the beauty of exotic trees. Relax in exquisite surroundings full of flowers and ponds. You can find peace and contentment in Slovak arboretums. Discover the beauty of tropical flowers, bonsais, well-known and less traditional plants, and some very unusual kinds of trees in the botanical gardens of Slovakia.

Caves
Slovakia boasts an unusually varied scale of different karstic phenomena. Water that penetrates into the entrails of limestone mountain ranges and plateau is the force, which created an extra rich underground world.

Art
Throughout history Slovakia has been a crossroads of trade and cultures. The legacy of this can be seen in the priceless collections displayed in Slovakia’s museums and galleries. If you enjoy performing arts, you should attend on of Slovakia’s world-class productions. You can appreciate the performances of top class opera soloists, the mastery of musicians and the excellence of dancers. At galleries and exhibitions, you can enjoy collections of valuable Gobelin tapestry, precious works of ancient and modern masters, plastic art works, valuable sculptures and graphic arts.

Arts

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Theatre & Opera

Slovak National Theatre
The Slovak National Theatre, one of the country’s most important cultural institutions, was established in 1920. Today it comprises drama, opera and ballet sections, each with its permanent professional company, with a central scene shop providing sets for all productions.

Andrej Bagar Theatre
The theatre of Nitra was created in 1950 and since 1979, it has been bearing the name of the important Slovak actor, director, teacher and organizer of dramatic arts – Andrej Bagar. Since 1992 it has been using one of Slovakia´s largest and most modern theatre buildings.

Slovak National Symphony Orchestra
The Slovak National Symphony Orchestra was formed in 2002 as an independent and exclusive orchestra comprising top musicians from the various orchestras in Bratislava, including most of the principals from the Slovak Radio Symphony, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Cappella Istropolitana and the Slovak National Opera Orchestra.  

Architecture

Nový Most (the New Bridge) in Bratislava
The first asymmetrical suspension bridge and the second of this kind in the world, this interesting landmark of Bratislava was announced “the building of the century”.

The Building of the Slovak Radio in Bratislava
Not far from the center of Bratislava, in the street Mýtna ulica, the building of the Slovak Radio, called the Pyramid, has been attracting attention for several years. It was referred to as “the building of the century” because its construction took a very long time.

The Courtyard of Europe in Komárno
The Courtyard of Europe is the name for the unique architectural work of the architects from the Atelier Europe in Komárno. The buildings in the new square with a surface of 6,500 m2 are stylistically designed and they represent historical architecture typical for particular parts of Europe.

Freedom Square in Bratislava
This is a monumental square with a large green space and the biggest fountain in Bratislava. The influential architecture around the square evokes memories of building socialism while evoking respect and nostalgic and the same time.

The Bridge of Mary Valerie in Štúrovo
The most recently reconstructed bridge connects Slovakia and Hungary. It was reconstructed after 57 years´ time which was not very positive in terms of friendship of these two states.

The Slovak Agricultural University in Nitra
The avenue Trieda Andreja Hlinku in Nitra offers a view of the complex of buildings of the Slovak Agricultural University. It ranks among the most successful works of modern Slovak architecture.

K. Gallery - Gallery of applied arts and industrial design
The K. Gallery is a gallery presenting applied arts and design. It features a permanent exposition of works of the worldwide-known architect and designer Borek Šípek.

Galleries

Ardan Gallery
Ardan Gallery is one of the first private galleries in Slovakia. Since its foundation in 1991 more than 120 artists have displayed their works in premises of Ardan Gallery.

Art Center Gallery of the Town Cultural Center in Senec
The Gallery of the Art Centre features two exhibition halls.

Bratislava City Gallery
The Bratislava City Gallery (BCG) was set up on January 1, 1959. Next to the Slovak National Gallery it is the second largest art collecting institute in Bratislava.

Central Slovakia Gallery - Praetorium
The former Praetorium's building is the third exhibition area of the Central Slovakia Gallery. Between 1970 and 1993 it was the main seat of the gallery, nowadays it houses temporary exhibitions.

Danuniana
The framework of its impressive architecture is formed by its unusual location on the borders of three neighboring countries, Slovakia, Austria and Hungary, but above all by the superb contrast of the wide expanse of water, open air and the endless banks of a dam. This architecture evokes the shape of a Roman galley bound in the shallows of a river and its diversity provides the opportunity to put on a wide variety of exhibitions.

Dezider Milly Gallery SNM
Housing an exhibition of the Slovak National Museum / Museum of Ukrainian Culture in Svidník, the gallery located in an 18th century Baroque manor house was open to the public in 1983.

Eastern Slovakia Gallery
The East Slovak Gallery was founded in 1951 as the first regional gallery in Slovakia. It is focused on documentation of fine art in East Slovakia. However, at its exhibitions it also presents works of art by artists from the whole Slovakia. Nowadays, it registers more than 6,400 pieces of art.

Exposition of Works by Dominik Skutecký
The permanent exposition of works by internationally-acclaimed Slovak artist Dominik Skutecký (1849 – 1921), who spent the main portion of his life in Banská Bystrica, is the second permanent exposition of the Central Slovakia Gallery in Banská Bystrica.

Gallery of Nitra
Nitra Gallery, founded on January 1st, 1965, has started its exhibitions with a show of Nitra´s artists, both contemporaneous and past. Its activities of exhibition, collection and education surpass local level in their importance and caused the institution to be recognized as being one of district (1968) and regional importance (1972).

HIT Gallery
HIT Gallery is focused on the youngest generation of contemporary art. Its ambition is to establish an easily accessible forum, a platform enabling young artists to present themselves in a public space and to contact professional, as well as wider audience with actual trends of contemporary art.

Humenné Municipal Gallery
The Humenné Municipal Gallery focuses on work of artists native of the Upper Zemplín region, as well as on works of amateur and naive artists. The gallery features two expositions - in the local Culture House (Dom kultúry) and the amphitheatre's building.

Ján Koniarek Gallery in Trnava
The Ján Koniarek Gallery bears the name of the founder of Slovak sculpture Ján Koniarek, who was born on January 30, 1878 in the village of Voderady and died on May 4, 1952 in Trnava. The gallery was established on June 1, 1976, while since April 1, 2002 it has been managed by the Trnava Self-governing Region.

Komart Gallery
The gallery focuses on geometric abstraction of Central European artists in particular. It also cooperates with the Milan Dobeš Museum, the first private museum of modern art in Eastern Europe.

Kysuce Regional Gallery
The Kysuce Regional Gallery was founded in 1981, with its seat being located in the Town House on Hlinkova Street in the town of Cadca. It has a branch in the manor house in Ošcadnica.

M. A. Bazovský Gallery
The city of Trencín is no doubt one of the most remarkable cultural and historical centers of the Považie region. This is partly thanks to a local gallery that bears the name of the prominent Slovak artist M. A. Bazovský. Visual arts enthusiasts should not therefore miss out on an opportunity to visit this city, where history and modern arts are joined together.

Master Pavol’s House - Spiš Museum SNM Levoca
The exhibition is located at the square in the burgess house no. 20 whose facade catches one’s eye with the motive of a seashell. Life and work of Master Pavol of Levoca, one of the greatest late-Gothic masters, is presented.

Medium Gallery
Founded in January 1991, the Medium Gallery is a part of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (Hviezdoslavovo námestie square), where it also has its seat. Its exhibition activities are therefore an important part of the artistic and education plan of the academy.

Michael's Courtyard Gallery
The Michael's Courtyard Gallery was founded on December 12, 1995. It is located in the basement area of the former Jesenák's Palace on Michalská ulica (Street) no. 3 in Bratislava. The antique vaults and brick walls give a special feeling to the area that is frequented by both artists and numerous visitors.

Mikuláš Galanda Gallery
The gallery's exposition was set up in 1991, after the artist's legacy, both documentary and artistic, was donated to the gallery by his wife Mrs. Mária Galandová. The exhibits on display present the life and works of M. Galanda (1895-1938), who is one of the founders of modern Slovak visual arts.

Municipal Gallery Rimavská Sobota
The Municipal Gallery in Rimavská Sobota collects, conducts research and presents contemporary works of art.

Naive Art Gallery
The Gallery is located in the newly-reconstructed Schaubmar's Mill in the town of Pezinok - Cajle no. 255 from 1767, which is both a cultural and technical monument (the mill contains revitalized mill technical equipment originally from 1913). It is also part of the Slovak National Gallery.

Nova Gallery
Established at the end of 1990, Nova Gallery today is the oldest private gallery in Slovakia. Its exhibition space is located right at the Michael Gate in the center of Bratislava. The principal aims of Nova Gallery are the presentation of the most significant trends in today's creative art.

Open-air Gallery of Fine Art Ceramics in Beladice
A neoclassical manor house, which is located in an extensive and quiet park in the village of Beladice - Pustý Chotár a mere few kilometers outside Nitra, is home to an extraordinary gallery.

Orava Regional Gallery
The Orava Gallery with 7,500 pieces of works of art is one of the most important public galleries in Slovakia.

Peter Michal Bohún Gallery
The second largest gallery in Slovakia features permanent exhibitions of works by P.M. Bohún, gothic, baroque works, as well as pieces of art from the 19th and 20th centuries, with also short-term exhibitions taking place on a regular basis.

Beaches

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Bratislava's City Beach
Every summer for the past few years, the south bank of the Danube opposite Bratislava's old town has been transformed, with the help of a couple of hundred tons of sand and a few potted palm trees, into a beach. This year, sponsored by telecoms company T-Com, the beach has opened for business again. 

Liptovská Mara
By volume of water, Liptovská Mara is the largest reservoir in Slovakia. There are excellent conditions here for leisure and family relaxation, as well as for active holidays. It is often called Liptova mirror or Liptova Sea.

Culture

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Habits and Customs

Removing Shoes When Entering a Home
When entering a Slovak home the residents change their shoes in the entrance hall and offer some house slippers to the guests as well. In many households it is considered as misbehavior if you walk into the house with outdoor shoes on.

Offering Liquor to Guests
To offer the guests a tot of slivovica (a strong, colorless alcoholic beverage primarily made of distilled fermented plum juice, often referred to as plum brandy) or similar distilled liquor (spirits) is considered a demonstration of hospitality and respect and if there is not a cogent reason, it is impolite to refuse such an offer. This is especially true when the residents offer homemade liquor.

Meetings
When meeting/welcoming, the acquaintances shake hands. Close friends or family members usually kiss once on the cheek or both cheeks and hug slightly. When introducing strangers it is polite to shake hands, in a more informal atmosphere also to give a peck (fleeting kiss).

Dining In Slovakia
It is a custom to eat three times daily, whereby the most is consumed usually in the lunch time between 11:30 and 1:30. The dinner consists of soup and a main course, and sometimes a dessert as well. For supper warm meals are served often, as well, generally between 6 and 9pm.

Speech Formalities
It is a habit in Slovakia to use the formal second person plural “vykanie” in official relations and meetings. The informal “tykanie” is uses in families and among friends, eventually with close colleagues (it is similar to being on a first name basis with someone).

Handicrafts

Bee-keeping and Honey-picking
Honey was the favorite sweetener of the Slavs and mead was mentioned in the first written documents about the Slavs. Honey-picking or picking honey from wild bees, on the territory of Slovakia is historically proved from 5th century by many surnames and preserved names of places. Bee-keeping developed from honey-picking. It meant replacing tree trunks with colonies of bees closer to people’s dwellings where they were enclosed with fences or sheltered.

From the half of 19th century, frame beehives started to be used from which honeycombs were taken out while the bees stayed alive. Various kinds of beehives were built. Some of them were decorated; others had a shape of a figure. Such kinds of beehives can be seen in the museum of bee-keeping in Králová pri Senci. Traditional Slovak mead can be tasted or bought at every historical fair. This “wine of wines” is appreciated not only for its sweet flavor, but also for its favorable effects on the human body.

Lace-making
Lace became the typical adornment of clothes, accessories, handkerchiefs and other decoration objects on the territory of Slovakia where it was given its characteristic features. Bobbin-lace-making for sale spread on the Slovak territory in the second half of the 16th century. It was brought there by the Croatian colonists and also by the Czech and German miners.

At the end of the 19th century lace-making became the source of income in rural areas, too. In this period the Hungarian state founded lace-making workshops and schools in the original centers (Staré Hory, Kremnické Bane, Hodruša, Špania Dolina and others). Today one can find lace-making in Špania Dolina where laces can even be bought.

Medicinal Oil Making
Medicinal oil making used to be a specific Slovak craft and the Slovak oil makers, who made and sold medicinal oils, traveled all over Europe and Russia.

Medicinal oil makers were most prosperous in the period between the first half of 18th century and the second half of 19th century. The best-known oil makers were those from the Turiec region. Less known were oil makers from the Liptov, Orava and Spiš regions as well as from the area of Trencín.

Mountain Sheep Farming (Salašníctvo)
Central and northern Slovakia is known for typical high mountains and impressive mountain meadows. And where there are mountain meadows, there are sheep and shepherds, dogs and sheep-folds, and simple sheep farms.

Mountain sheep farming was introduced in Slovakia area with Valachian settlers coming primarily to central Slovakia in the 15th century. Mountain meadows and mountainous areas in general were unsuited for breeding other animals, and crop yields were largely behind what could have been harvested in the lower, more fertile parts of land. However, sheep and goats were perfectly fitted in such environment. That was why sheep farming, i.e. breeding sheep for wool, milk and milk products such as cheese, bryndza and žincica, developed in those areas.

Pottery
Ceramics-making from baked clay belong to the oldest occupations in Slovakia and for archaeologists, the fragments of ceramics are a lead to dating particular cultures.

The oldest written document about pottery dates from the year 1416 and is from Pozdišovce. The first pottery guild on the territory of Slovakia came into existence in Bardejov in 1475. The development of pottery was connected with practical needs of the countryside households for various kinds of dishes.

Tinkering
Tinkering was a specific Slovak craft and Slovak tinkers, who made their living by mending the kitchen ware, tinkering, making and selling products from tinplate and wires, traveled all over Europe and Russia.

The origins of this occupation, which involved a lot of traveling, date from the 18th and 19th centuries. Tinkers came from the poorest regions of isolated settlements. The cradle of tinkering was the environs of Trencín and the region of Kysuce. Tinkers sometimes left for two or three years. The apprentices were called džarek. Some tinkers became rich entrepreneurs. Tinkers created their own folklore which included, apart from songs, an interesting dance called drotáricek, known especially in the Kysuce region.

Wine-growing
The first vineyards on the territory of Slovakia were founded by the Romans and the unique archaeological findings of the wine-grower’s knives date from the 7th century.

Various customs are connected to the wine-growing tradition; e.g. decorating the statue of St. Urban, the patron saint of wine-growers, with vine twigs, customs connected to vintages, pouring wine onto the ground for the souls of the dead before the toast, etc. Gradually wine-growing became more important and wine became an important commercial and export article. It is said that racianska frankovka (Frankovka of Raca) was drunk and appreciated at the court of Maria Theresa.

Wood Carving
The wood carving craft, which involves decorating wooden objects by carving, engraving, sawing, sharpening, beating, burning and other techniques as well as making various objects of art from wood, became one of the most exquisite crafts in Slovakia.

In the past, wood carving was in many cases only secondary to other crafts (such as manufacturing of agricultural tools, woodturning, wooden-spoon making, carpentry, wheels and trolley manufacturing) as well as to the complementary work of shepherds, millers, miners, beekeepers, gingerbread makers, farmers and wood-cutters, who drew their inspiration from their surroundings and religious traditions.

Events

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Arts & Crafts

Radvansky Jarmok Fair (September)
Renowned Radvansky jarmok fair in Banská Bystrica is also called the fair of all fairs. The fair, where folk crafts dominate, became famous also due to the fact that the best-known highwayman Juraj Jánošík used to visit it in the past.

The European Folk Craft Festival - ELRO (July)
The European Folk Craft Festival in Kežmarok is the most important and the greatest presentation of folk crafts in Slovakia.

Literature

Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava - BIB (every odd year in autumn)
The Biennial of Illustrations is the most important competition and exhibition of original illustrations of children’s and youths literature and is one of the greatest of this kind in the world.

Film, Theatre & Performance

Artfilm (June)
Likewise most of the big spa towns in the world, Trencianske Teplice has its own film festival called Artfilm.

Divadelná Nitra, Nitra Theatre Festival (September)
The international theatre festival in Nitra is a presentation of the best works of the last theatre season of the Slovak and Czech troupes, but also a show of plays of various European theatre troupes. It is the greatest show of dramatic art in Slovakia.

The Middle-European Festival of Humor and Satire Kremnica Gags (August)
Kremnica Gags is a unique festival of good humor and satire with the participation of the top theatre, cabaret and music groups, as well as soloists, from Slovakia and abroad.

The Summer Shakespeare´s Festival (July, August)
The Summer Shakespeare´s Festival is an open-air theatre show of works of this most significant world playwright. It is held in the unique scenery of the Bratislava Castle.

Fabulous Castle (June)
“Fabulous Castle” in Bojnice is the biggest fabulous theatre festival in Central and Eastern Europe. In the month of June, the Castle of Bojnice suddenly turns into a magical place, full of weird creatures and famous fairy-tale heroes.

Roman Games in Rusovce (September)
Do you dream of the magnificence of the Ancient Rome? You do not have a time machine? There is nothing simpler than that. Just visit ancient Gerulata (in the Bratislava borough Rusovce) in September. History will be revived there for one day.... There are not enough words to describe it. You have to experience it!

Music Bratislava Jazz Days - BJD (October)
The international jazz festival BJD is one of the greatest events of this kind in central Europe. It regularly welcomes the best-known jazz stars.

Bratislava Music Festival – BHS (November/December)
Bratislava Music Festival (BHS) is the most important and most prestigious music festival in Slovakia. It was first organized in 1964, and since 1973 it has been Slovakia's only member in the Brussels-based European Festival Association (EFA).

The Music Festival Bažant Pohoda (July)
The music festival Bažant Pohoda, organized every year in Trencín, is the greatest open-air festival in Slovakia and it belongs among the greatest in central Europe.

Trencín Musical Spring (Trencianska hudobná jar - April, May)
Go to hear the beautiful sound of the cello. On black and white keyboards there are running magical fingers. High tones of the basset horns and beautiful song of the violin announce you that spring is in full swing. And if you like classical music don’t miss Trencín’s Musical Spring.

Heritage, Folklore & Folk Markets

The Folklore Festival Polana (July)
The international festival of folklore and traditional culture named the Folklore Festival pod Polanou is one of the most successful events in the Slovak tourism. It belongs among the three Slovak festivals organized under the heading of C.I.O.F.F.

The Folklore Festival Vychodná (the first weekend in July)
The greatest folklore festival in Slovakia the Folklore Festival Vychodná, is the top show of the best home and foreign folk ensembles and traditional folk culture.

The Jánošík´s Days (August)
The international folklore festival the Jánošíkove dni is an original festival and has already been announced the tourist attraction of the year twice.

Salamander Days (September)
Salamander Days in Banská Štiavnica remind the former fame of the most beautiful mining town in Slovakia, inscribed in the List of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of the UNESCO. The Days are concluded by a carnival procession.

The International Folklore Festival Myjava (June)
In the civil year, the International Folklore Festival Myjava is the first one of the three Slovak Festivals organized under the heading of C.I.O.F.F. (the greatest world folklore organization). It is a show of folk art of the western Slovakia region.

The Zamagurské folklórne slávnosti Festival (June)
The festival Zamagurské folklórne slávnosti is a show of folk singing, dancing, games and customs of the region of Zamagurie in the picturesque natural scenery of the Pieniny mountain range in the north of Slovakia.

International Folk Costume Dolls Festival (June)
International Folk Costume Dolls Festival, the only event of its kind in Slovakia, presents dolls in traditional folk costumes typical for participating folklore ensembles. It has been held annually since 1997 in the first week of June and takes three days.

St. Andrew Fair (November)
Ondrejsky jarmok fair in Ružomberok is one the few fairs in Slovakia held in late autumn shortly before Christmas.

Štúrovsky Jarmok Fair (October)
Štúrovsky jarmok fair is the biggest one in the new history of the region of Podunajsko. Stall-holders, entertainers and visitors come from both banks of the river Danube to take part in it.

National Holiday Fairs Bratislava Christmas Market (November, December)
Traditionally in December the Hlavné námestie square and the Františkánske námestie square in Bratislava become livelier with the splendid atmosphere of Christmas. The most beautiful part of the town is full of savor of various delicacies and Christmas carols can be heard. It is full of people and good humor.

Valentine´s weekend in a castle (February)
Love. Everyone desires it but only a few people are able to verbalize what it is. It is a treasure which they can’t hide, which is not possible to own. You have to fight for it. Is love a fight??? … Yes it is. A great one! Come and experience for yourself Bojnice Castle and celebrate St Valentine’s Day.

Bartolomejsky Jarmok fair (August)
The traditional Bartolomejsky jarmok fair in Ilava is a celebration of the summer, good harvest and St. Bartholomew because it is organized on St. Bartholomew´s day.

Historic Celebrations

Coronation Ceremonies (September)
Coronation Ceremonies in Bratislava are a magnificent three-day event during which the town lives in a medieval atmosphere with kings, queens, nobility, troubadours and thousands of eager visitors.

The Pilgrimage on the Mariánska hora in Levoca (July)
Mariánska hora (Marian Hill) in Levoca is one of the oldest and best known pilgrimage sites in Slovakia. The pilgrimage that takes place annually on the first Sunday in July may be traced back to the times when the Friars Minor, spreading Marian veneration, consecrated the chapel built on the hill to the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the end of the 14th century.

Spišské Trhy Fair (July)
Spišské trhy fair in Spišská Nová Ves continues the tradition of annual markets based on the privileges awarded by the king. At present its history is more than 50 years old and it is one of the oldest events of this kind in Slovakia.

The Traditional Trnava Fair (September)
The traditional Trnava Fair continues the traditions and values of the past and is organized as a memory of the successful market history of his oldest free royal town in Slovakia.

Sports

Dog-Sleigh Race (February)
This is a very interesting event whose unique atmosphere reminds Alaska during the Gold rush, known especially from the novels by Jack London. The Donovaly race is considered as the best quality race of this kind in Europe.

Special Interest

The International Festival of Ghosts and Monsters (April/May)
The International Festival of Ghosts and Monsters in the Bojnice Castle is the greatest of its kind in Slovakia with an original spooky but amusing atmosphere and a huge number of visitors.

St. Hubert Days (September)
The all Slovakia hunting festival St. Hubert Days in Sväty Anton is a source of knowledge and amusement for all lovers of nature and hunting from all Slovakia as well as from abroad.

Family

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Nature

Take your children to the nature on fresh air and make sure they get enough physical activities during the day. You will see that fresh air can exhaust them in such a way that in the evening, they will fall right asleep and won't even wait for their favorite story.

The ideal place is a family farm, which offers an exciting program for children – they can observe house work, the skillful ones can also join in themselves, care for horses or domestic animals and frolic as much as they like. Such a farm is, for example, in Marekov dvor in the Banská Bystrica region. The attractions of Ranch Nové sedlo by Nitra are horses and everything, which is related to horses.

Visit of a cave is a great way to spend free time also for a family with children. Unique karst structures can be found in the caves of Slovenský kras but you can discover underground beauty also elsewhere, for example in Driny cave in the West of Slovakia or in the Prešov region in the Zlá diera cave.

If you enjoy taking walks in nature together, Slovakians recommend a visit to Malé Karpaty – the lowest mountains near Bratislava, interwoven with undemanding trails and nice views (Velká Homola). For families equipped with bicycles, the ideal place is a lowland cycling route, which goes through the attractive region of Niva Moravy. Full of pretty corners, educational trails and at the same time not too demanding, that is also Manínska tiesnava.

A trip in a cable railway to one of the peaks of the can spare both small and big feet. The cable railway also goes to Geravy in the National Park of Slovenský raj.

Arboretum Mlynany invites for its unique collection of woody plants. A walk in this rare park is especially pleasant during the spring months.

Is your child one of the many, who enjoy fun around or in water? If yes, and you wish to please him, take him to a swimming pool or an aqua park and you can be sure that he won’t be looking forward to going home.

Water

Children are able to spend the whole day in water not only in hot summer days. In aqua parks, thanks to a number of various attractions and water entertainments, they never get bored. Thermal spas and summer swimming pools are also available.

Water areas offer some extra activities compared to aqua parks or swimming pools, for example rowing (Dunajské luhy), riding water bicycles etc.

Well and if you don’t feel like soaking in water but you enjoy hearing it splashing, you may be interested in a trip to Herliansky geyser near Košice. Water gushes from it only once in a certain period of time and therefore it is necessary to plan the time of visit.

City

The various summer cultural events, which take place in historic centers of Slovak cities, offer many entertainment possibilities for children as well as parents. Towers and castles organize castle festivities, where your child can also have his fun. But this isn’t nearly everything, which is offered.

If it seems to you that culture isn't attractive enough for children, then you certainly haven’t taken them to a puppet theatre. You have this opportunity in Bratislava, Košice, Banská Bystrica or in Žilina. The charming performances capture not only children viewers and they inspire many to imitate the play at home.

If your child nevertheless cannot keep still to sit and watch for some time, he needs to be engaged in some more interactive activities. Experts from the international house of art for children Bibiana know how to do that and they have various programs and activities planned for children. They know the child’s soul also due to the fact that the premises of Bibiana regularly host the world-known event Biennale of illustrations Bratislava.

Islands of nature in cities are found in Zoos, where the child’s soul can amuse itself with a new four-legged furry friend or will stand astonished under a huge tyrannosaur in the Dino Park. An escape from the urban environment is also possible at the bob-sleigh track in Bratislava or in Košice.

You can find a lot of activities for families with children at towers and castles. The most attractive ones traditionally include the International Festival of Ghosts and Bogeymen in Bojnice Castle. Interesting programs for children are also offered in Lubovniansky or Orava Castle.

Food

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Eat and drink your way in Slovakia

When in Slovakia, try some of the following specialties of Slovak cuisine: bryndzove halusky (potato dumplings with sheep cheese sauce), ostiepok and parenica (traditional smoked Slovak cheeses), hus s loksami (goose with potato pancakes), kapustnica (sourkraut soup), makovnik and orechovnik (poppy seed and wallnut’s rolls) etc.

Slovakia is known also for its fine local beverages: an array of white and red wines, including sparkling wines, Tokay wine, the sparkling, non-alcoholic drink Vinea, made from white or red grapes; excellent pilsner-style beers. Also be sure to sample the wide assortment of delicious pastries, tortes, ice cream, and other desserts available at Slovakia’s cafes, ice cream parlors, and sweet shops (cukraren). Slovakia is quite literally a dessert-lover’s paradise! A great way to sample the wine is to barge on a wine route. The Small Carpathian Wine Route links together the most notable regions under the Small Carpathians and welcomes visitors looking for excitement based on tasting of the fine local wines and specialties. Perfect time to enjoy roasted goose with potato pancakes washed down with local wine. Can it get better than that?

Wine
Slovakia, country that breathes with history and wine. The wine route sprawls from Bratislava along the southern slopes of the Small Carpathians, dotted with vineyards and wine-growing towns, villages and farmsteads. It leads you through the Small Carpathians region and guides you through the three charming wine-growing towns of Svätý Jur, Pezinok and Modra, the histories of which reach back as far as the 12th century.  

Beer
The tradition of beer brewing has strong roots in Slovakia. Dozens of brands, mainly from local micro- breweries, can be found across the land. The most famous brands in Slovakia are Šariš, Smädný mních (Thirsty Monk) and Zlatý Bažant (Golden pheasant) Beer is universal; in fact in Slovakia it has multipurpose use. Beer bath anyone? Let the benefits of beer flow through the entire body. Experience unique beer bath experience at Bardejov Spa!

Spirits
Among distinguished Slovak spirits, the most favorite is a plum brandy called Slivovica, aged for three years in oak barrels. By tradition, the birthplace of this exquisite drink is a small village of Bosaca. Cheers – Na zdravie!

Cheese
Smoked or fresh sheep cheese products are sold in different forms and shapes and Slovaks love them. They are sold at all food shops all over Slovakia. Their taste is unbeatable when fresh, one of them bryndza For a true experience of traditional way of making cheese, join in the work at any of the farms and ranches.

Amazing Gastronomic Experiences
"High level“ experience - Enjoy your coffee in a poetic setting of a sunset on Lomnicky peak, with spectacular views of the peaks of the High Tatra Mountains, at an altitude of 2634 m above sea level. Or better yet, when the last cable-car takes all the visitors down to valley, stay for a private ceremonial dinner and spend the starry night in the highest situated apartment in Central Europe.

Monuments

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UNESCO Cultural Monuments

Three localities from Slovakia were inscribed to the UNESCO List of cultural monuments already in 1993: Castle of Spiš and its environs, Banská Štiavnica and Vlkolínec. In 2000, the historic town Bardejov was added and in 2008, wooden churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area.

UNESCO Natural Phenomena

Slovakia’s unique natural phenomena are represented in the UNESCO List by caves and abysses of Slovenský kras karst and by Dobšinská ladová jaskyna cave. In 2007 the Carpathian primeval beech forests of the Bukovské vrchy and Vihorlatské vrchy Mts. in the east of Slovakia were added to this list.

Castles, Chateaux and Manor Houses

Slovakia has abundant cultural and historical, fortified and stately buildings. There are more than 100 castles and at least double this number of manor houses built in different historical eras. In the past, they were the protagonists of history and their owners controlled the life of the country and its people. Every manor house area also had a garden or park. The curias once owned by petty gentry, can be seen in almost every village in Slovakia.

The Spišský hrad Castle and the monuments, which surround it, have been added to the UNESCO List of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

Manors or curias of interest:

Renaissance style: Bytca, Strážky

Baroque style: Svätý Anton

Rococo style: Markušovce, Sobotište

Classicist style: Betliar, Dolná Krupá, Topolcianky

Manor houses - today museums with valuable artistic collections: Betliar, Markušovce, Strážky, Svätý Anton, Topolcianky

Town Monument Reserves

The rich history of towns has left some admirable traces in their appearance and architecture. Many of them are classified as Town Monument Reserves and form a significant part of the national cultural heritage.

Now there are 138 towns in Slovakia; eighteen are designated Town Monument Reserve. They concentrate in the region of Spiš (5) followed by the group of central Slovakia mining towns (4). Slovakia boasts more than 12,000 immovable cultural monuments and more than 2,800 won the statute of Town Monument Reserve.

Wooden Churches

Specific samples of sacred architecture in Slovakia are the wooden churches. Their folk builders expressed the perfect harmony of the human soul with nature and the effort to disengage from earthly worries. Among the oldest are the Gothic wooden churches (for example Hervartov, Tvrdošín). The “articled” churches are other type of wooden churches (for instance Sv. Kríž, Leštiny, Kežmarok, Hronsek). The “articled” churches are those built under the article of the law issued by Emperor Leopold I at the end of the 17th century.

There is also a third type of wooden churches built in eastern Slovakia, mostly in the 18th century. First they were owned by the Greek Catholic denomination, later some of them were changed into Orthodox churches. The special features of the East Christian rite are reflected in their interior decoration and furniture where the unique Carpathian icons dominate. They are normally fitted into iconostases ornamented in the Baroque and Rococo styles.

Wooden churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area, which were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2008, possess an extraordinary worldwide value. The churches include: Roman Catholic churches in Hervartov and Tvrdošín, Evangelical articular churches in Kežmarok, Leštiny and Hronsek, and churches of Eastern rite in Bodružal, Ladomirová and Ruská Bystrá.

Religious Monuments

Construction of churches as the buildings serving public Christian services started comparatively late in Slovakia. Although some archaeological research points to older traditions of sacral architecture, the first churches in the territory of Slovakia were most probably built only in the time of the Great Moravian Empire in the 9th century.

Individual historic periods and its traces in Slovakia:

Romanesque period: basilicas (Banská Štiavnica, Bína, Diakovce, Spišská Kapitula), small single-nave churches (Dražovce, Hamuliakovo)

Gothic style: St Martins Minster in Bratislava (influenced by the Viennese artists), St Elisabeths Minster in Košice (the east Slovak Gothic)

Renaissance style: the parish church in Sabinov

Baroque style: the University church in Trnava, the monastic church in Jasov

Classicist style: above all by the Evangelical churches in Banská Bystrica, Levoca, and Kremnica

Museums

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Spiš Museum SNM Levoca
Slovak national Museum - Spiš Museum in Levoca has a more than 120-year history and belongs among those most visited in Slovakia. It administers four exhibitions, those of Historical Town Hall, Master Pavol House, Fine Art at Spiš and Spiš Castle.

Bratislava City Museum
As many as eleven thematically-oriented museums in historically valuable buildings are currently open to the public within the Bratislava City Museum.

Central Slovakia Museum Banská Bystrica
The Museum was established in 1889 as a municipal museum. It is located in Thurza's House on SNP Square in Banská Bystrica. Permanent expositions are placed in Thurza's House on SNP Square no. 4 and Tihányi Manor House on Radvanská Street no. 27.

Danube Museum in Komárno
Permanent expositions: History of Komárno and his surrounding from the primeval age to the year 1848, Picture gallery of the museum.

Eastern Slovakia Museum Košice
The Eastern Slovakia Museum is counted among the oldest and most important museums in Slovakia. Its exhibitions provide visitors with an insight into the history and nature of Eastern Slovakia. The museum features a number of unique exhibits.

Gemer-Malohont Museum Rimavská Sobota
The museum, which was set up in 1882, focuses primarily on the Gemer-Malohont historical region. Since 1996, it has also been documenting the culture of the Roma in, but not only, the Gemer-Malohont region.

Janko Král Museum in Liptovský Mikuláš
The building that houses the museum is one of the most distinctive buildings of the square in the town of Liptovský Mikuláš. It has several names - the County House (Stolicný House), the Illešházy Manor House and the Seliga's House. It features a triple arch that is unusual for the town and stands out from the rest of the buildings on the square's western side.

Kežmarok Museum
The museum currently includes three premises, those of Kežmarok Castle, Burgess Dwelling Culture Exhibition and the Burgess House used as an exhibition hall.

Kysuce Museum Cadca
The Kysuce Museum in Cadca is a regional museum focused on national history and geography. At the same time, it is also a specialized, Slovakia-wide museum devoted to the documentation of the development of forest railways in Slovakia.

Liptov Museum Ružomberok
Permanent expositions: geology, palaeontology, botanic, zoology, archaeology, feudalisms and guilds, folk lore, sacral art, history of Liptov 1948 -1945, life and work of A. Hlinka, history of paper-making, history.

Lubovna Museum
Lubovna Museum was established in Stará Lubovna in 1956 and was originally located at the Province House, St Nicolas Square. Since 1966, Lubovna Castle has become its seat.

MMB - City History Museum - Old City Hall
An exposition of the City History Museum, although since 2006 to a limited extent due to reconstruction work on the Apponyi Palace, presents the history of Bratislava ranging from the earliest history of archaeology, through the Middle Ages and up to the Modern Era. It is divided into thematic sections showcasing arts, guilds, crafts and trade.

Municipal Museum in Pezinok
Permanent expositions: From the Land – the Archaeology of Pezinok and its environs, Jozef Franko - sacral plastic arts. The museum is located in the Renaissance-style Town Hall.

Municipal Museum Štúrovo
Permanent expositions: Exhibition of regional history and Ethnic exhibition about the folk culture of Štúrovo.

Novohrad Museum and Gallery Lucenec
Novohrad Museum in Lucenec was established in 1955 as the District Homeland Studies Museum in Halic. In the years 1967 – 1985 it was relocated to Filakovo under the name of the Novohrad Museum. Since 1985 it has been located in the monument building of county courthouse in the historical center of the town of Lucenec.

Poltár Town Museum
The town museum was established in 1998, and is located in the 1778 house of landholder Gabriel Geci. According to historical sources, it is the town's oldest building made of solid material.

Podtatranské Museum Poprad
The Podtatranské múzeum Museum in Poprad is one of the oldest museums in Slovakia. It is located in a pseudo-Renaissance building built in 1886 and it will answer many of your questions concerning the history of the sub-Tatra region. The Museum was established by the Hungarian Carpathian Society in 1876.

Regional Museum Prešov
The Regional Museum in Prešov was originally established as the Municipal Museum in 1945. Currently located at the historical Rákoczi’s Palace in the town center. Currently, the museum houses exhibitions of regional character.

Samuel Jurkovic Museum Sobotište
The Museum, opened in 1994, is situated in Nyaryi mansion house in Sobotište. In Sobotište one can find typical Haban buildings: a town hall, a bell tower, a school, a jug-making workshop, a key workshop and a mill.

SNM in Martin - Andrej Kmet Museum
Ever since it was established, SNM - Andrej Kmet Museum has been a regional homeland studies museum. It is located in SNM's first building, which dates back to 1908.

Spiš Museum in Spišská Nová Ves
There is a permanent exposition on the nature and history of the district of Spišská Nová Ves in the building of the Spiš Museum.

Tekov Museum in Levice
Are you interested in science and enjoy becoming familiar with the history of various cities? If so, you should not hesitate to visit the Tekov Museum in Levice, which is located in the area of the late 13th century Levice Castle.

Upper Hron Museum Brezno
Permanent expositions: The Life and Culture of the People in Horehronie/ Upper Hron Area (since 1980) and Brezno in change of times at the M.R.Štefánika square No. 13 (since 1992).

Upper Nitra Museum in Prievidza
Prievidza and its environs is an immensely rich region from the historical point of view, which is attested by the Castle of Bojnice, the Upper Nitra mining area and many other places. All those who want to get familiar with the compelling history of the district of Prievidza should not miss out on a visit the Upper Nitra Museum in Prievidza.

Western Slovakia Museum in Trnava
The museum is situated in the former Clarist monastery from the 13th century with the rich stucco and relief decoration of the Sacrarium. During World War II, this place served as a hiding place for American pilots. Besides the permanent expositions, visitors can see 20 new expositions a year in the showplace, which is larger than 2,500 m2. Moreover, the museum administers the Oláh Seminary and the House of Music.

Zemplín Museum Michalovce
At the Zemplín Museum you can learn all the necessary information about cultural, historical and economic development of Zemplín region as well as its animate and inanimate nature. It is situated in a manor house, which is a cultural monument.

The Memorial and the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising in Banská Bystrica
The Museum of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP) is situated in an architecturally unusual building built in 1969 as the Memorial of the Slovak National Uprising. It is located in the middle of a park that includes an open-air museum of heavy military equipment used in the SNP.

Archaeological Museum SNM
The Archaeological Museum is a specialized musicological workplace with a nationwide scope. It is focused on the acquisition, restoration, preservation, presentation and publishing of archaeological findings in the territory of Slovakia from primeval ages until the peak of the medieval times.

Archeological Museum of Púchov Culture
Are you interested in the history of Slovakia? If so, you should not miss a chance to visit the museum of Púchov culture in the town of Púchov and become familiar with one of the most remarkable cultures of the earliest history in the territory of present-day Slovakia.

Museum - The House of a Lubovna Burgess in Stará Lubovna
The House of a Lubovna Burgess Museum in Stará Lubovna presents middle class life style of the town in the 19th century.

Museum of History
Set out on a journey into the past and get familiar with the evolution of society in Slovakia since the Middle Ages up to the present day. In addition to a unique numismatic collection, you can enjoy a view of the city from the Crown Tower of Bratislava Castle.

SNP Museum
You will get the most complete picture of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP) when you visit the SNP Museum in Banská Bystrica, where the second largest anti-fascist uprising in Europe broke out on August 29, 1944.

National Parks

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National Parks

In total, there are more than thousand protected territories with an area exceeding 10,000 square kilometers in Slovakia. Some level of protection is applied to more than a fifth of the Slovak territory including nine National Parks.

Many plants and animals are protected under different legal provisions. Entire territories, which include the National Parks, Landscape Areas and Nature Reserves, are likewise legally protected.

The movement in the territory of all National Parks is subject to special rules, which are normally summarized in visitor’s codes.

National Park of High Tatras Prešovský krajOkres Poprad

The oldest of the protected areas, the National Park of Tatras (TANAP) in the north of Slovakia, was founded in 1949. It covers the high-mountain area of the Tatras and it is the unique protected area of flora and fauna among the tallest European high mountains situated north of the Alps.

National Park of Slovenský raj Košický krajOkres Spišská Nová Ves

The National Park of Slovenský raj situated in the eastern part of Slovakia contains one of the biggest ice caves in Europe and an attractive landscape of karstic plateau, gorges, waterfalls and caves. The monuments that testify the oldest history of the region and the country are also there.

National Park of Malá Fatra Žilinský kraj

The National Park of Malá Fatra is situated in the westernmost Slovak high mountains Malá Fatra. Gorges, rock peaks and an attractive ridge tour are among its attractions.

National Park of Muránska planina Banskobystrický kraj

The National Park of Muránska planina with its wild mountain karstic landscape and minimum human interventions is located between central and eastern parts of Slovakia. On the top of the peek, you will find the fabled ruins of the Castle of Murán.

National Park of Nízke Tatry Banskobystrický kraj

Národný Park Nízke Tatry (NAPANT) is the largest Slovak National Park. It lies in Central Slovakia and its greatest attractions include numerous karstic phenomena and caves.

National Park of Pieniny Prešovský krajOkres Stará Lubovna

The National Park of Pieniny (PIENAP) is the smallest of the Slovak National Parks, but as far as its beauty concerns, it is in no way less beautiful. It is the second oldest Park in Slovakia. It stretches on the border with Poland; the river Dunajec passes through it. It is possible to hire a raft and admire the wonderful scenery of the Park navigating down the river.

National Park of Slovenský kras Košický kraj

The National Park of Slovenský kras lying in the south of Slovakia next to the frontier with Hungary is the largest karstic area in the middle Europe (440 square kilometers) with the densest concentration of underground forms. There are 1100 caves and abysses, which are inscribed in the UNESCO List of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

National Park of Poloniny Prešovský krajOkres Snina

The easternmost Slovak National Park is that of Poloniny. It contains original extensive beech and fir-beech forest and the primeval forests of Stužica, Rožok and Havešová, which were put on the UNESCO list of world natural heritage in 2007.

National Park of Velká Fatra Žilinský krajOkres Ružomberok

The National Park of Velká Fatra, lying in central Slovakia is typical for its continuous forest, long valleys and the largest locality of original yew tree occurrence in Europe.

Shopping

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Shopping Centers

Bigger shopping centers become more and more popular also in Slovakia. They offer various shopping and entertainment possibilities under one roof.

Opening Hours of Shops

Most shops are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., on Saturday to 12:00 or 1:00 p.m. Smaller grocery stores called „vecierka“ are open daily till 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. Shopping centres (e.g. Aupark or Polus in Bratislava) are open 7 days a week and the stores inside are usually available daily from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

TESCO Hypermarkets and petrol stations are open NON STOP.

Shopping and Entertainment Centers

The largest shopping and entertainment centers are located in Bratislava. The best known are Polus City Center, Aupark, Shopping Palace or Avion. Except the chance to buy everything under one roof and a wide palette of offered services (pharmacies, exchange offices, banks, post office, telecommunications...) provide also a lot of entertainment possibilities. You can visit a multiplex cinema, fitness center, play bowling, squash, somewhere even go ice-skating. They are often the center of social events, various competitions or cultural events or advertising actions.

These centers connect the stores of world brands focused on different products together in one place. Therefore it will not be a surprise, if you return back from Slovakia with not only traditional Slovak souvenirs and interesting memorabilia also with a new Hugo Boss or Ralf Laurent perfume, Gabor shoes or handbags, blouse or stylish dresses from MANGO, ZARA or TERRANOVA stores. The sport fans will surely not miss the stores of ADIDAS, KENVELO, UNITED COLORS OF BENETON, etc.

EUROVEA
EUROVEA is part of the a state-of-the-art multi-functional city quarter EUROVEA which is located on the prime riverside location adjacent to Bratislava's historical centre. Combining the most sophisticated office, residential, leisure and retail components, EUROVEA is creating a brand new dynamic destination for people living, working and shopping throughout the region. Integral parts of EUROVEA are a two-hectare riverfront park with a promenade and a new public square. EUROVEA was designed in a way to become the new commercial heart of the city and acts as a social focal point in the centre of Bratislava.

CENTRAL
CENTRAL, BRATISLAVA The Central shopping center in Bratislava is ECE's first center in Slowakia. Apart from leasing, ECE took over the planning optimization for the owner the Immocap Group and is responsible for the long-term management.

Souvenirs

Souvenirs bought by visitors are usually the objects of folk art. Traditional folk art and trade products are on sale in all tourist centers, small towns, even villages. The shops are normally open every day and during season until late night hours.

Puppets wearing typical suits of a particular region is a nice gift, so are the parts of folk suits for both ladies or gentlemen, embroidery, wire objects, pictures painted on glass or wood, pictures or statues carved in wood and the like. Shops designated ÚLUV specialize in such goods. A beautiful souvenir though a bit bulky is fujara - the giant shepherd flute (inscribed among the UNESCO monuments). Shepherd axe - decorated with inlaid ornaments is a very popular and frequently sold souvenir. Typical pottery of Modra or Pozdišovce is much sought after by tourists as well.

Those who are interested in objects made of glass or china should stop in shops with cut glass. They are mostly located in centers of bigger towns and tourist centers and offer a wide assortment of cut glass and Slovak china.

Foreigners also like to buy Slovak wines (above all those with provenance of the Tokaj or Malé Karpaty viticultural regions), the Slovak sparkling wine Hubert or the brandy Karpatské brandy špeciál produced as a noble distillate. Fans of typical and specific Slovak distillates buy Spišská borovicka or Bošácka slivovica. Ladies prefer the herb liquor Demänovka or the Slovak honey liquor medovina.

Among special Slovak food articles is the excellent chocolate Figaro, cheese and above all the local salty sheep cheese bryndza. Cheese and bryndza are on sale at any food shop. Ornamented ginger pastries often sold at markets are also among “edible” souvenirs. Visitors to spas in turn like to carry away the spa hosts with different flavors.

Sports

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Pump your adrenaline in Slovakia

Enjoy your own dose of adventure and let the adrenaline pump through your veins. So many choices! Don't stop just with one, mix and match for the unforgettable vacation in Slovakia!

Do you love water? Hire a jet ski, motorboat, or experience the special adrenalin of a hovercraft! If you prefer the sound of water without engines, why not try rafting or hydrospeeding. Did you always dream of flying? Get your bird’s eye view by flying, gliding, paragliding, parachuting or take a romantic air balloon trip. Are mountains calling you? Practice by bouldering and then enjoy rope climbing. Too tame for you? Up your adrenaline experience with bunjee jumbing or let yourself be thrown up into the air by catapulting.

Bungee Jumping
In Slovakia, you can experience this adrenaline rush from the tower of a ski jump in Strbske Pleso. With its tower height of 63 meters, its distinctive atmosphere, and its location in the midst of stunning surroundings, Strbske Pleso ranks among the most interesting bungee jumping centers in Europe. If this extraordinary experience isn’t enough for the real daredevils, they can also try bungee catapult, bungee running or bungee trampoline.

Wood Rafting
Rafting using wooden rafts is one of the greatest tourist attractions of northern Slovakia. One of the unforgettable experiences is certainly rafting down the river Dunajec in the splendid natural scenery of the Pieniny National Park. The oldest written documents about wood rafting come from 11th century. It became more widely used as a result of settling of the mountainous regions and development of woodcutting. It has existed as a tourist attraction since the half of 19th century.

Golf
Bernolákovo Golf Club
The Bernolákovo golf club is situated on the historic grounds of an 18th century baroque manor house in an attractive natural setting, about 5km from Bratislava in the town of Bernolákovo. The characteristic trait of this golf club is the variety and uniqueness of the shots. Two hundred year-old trees, narrow fairways and numerous sand traps give the game many variations. The course will surprise and interest even very good players with its difficulty, but even beginners can handle it.

Pieštany Golf Course
After the 1990s, the spas returned to the golf tradition in Pieštany. The first golf course in Slovakia opened in 1914. In the northern part of Kúpelný ostrov (Vrbinky section), Pieštanské kúpele built a 9-hole golf course with all the requisites – club house, café, golf shop, golf academy and driving range. When playing 2x9 holes, the course has a par of 66 at a total length of 4,110m. The spa complex is only a few meters from the golf course.

Black Stork Golf Club Velká Lomnica
The Velká Lomnica golf club is located at the foot of the High Tatras between Velká Lomnica and Tatranská Lomnica. Black Stork picks up on the golf tradition beneath the Tatras - the first 9-hole golf course in Hungary was opened in Tatranská Lomnica in 1906. A 27-hole professional course on 120 hectares is planned (September 2006); each 9-hole course will be approximately 3,600 meters long. The club is open to the public.

Tále
The first 18-hole master’s golf course in Slovakia is located in the Low Tatras. Tále is an attractive tourist destination in the Bystrianská dolina - fantastic holiday conditions are offered by this resort in winter as well as summer. The Grey Bear golf course is magnificently incorporated into the original terrain of this mountain valley. The course is for walking players - the tees are located near the previous putting greens.

Hiking
There are many hiking trails around Slovakia. All of which vary in length and difficulty.

Equestrian Activities
Slovakia is a country with a long tradition of holidaying in the countryside, and it provides outstanding possibilities for pleasure and recreation outdoors. Horse riding is one of them. Being on horseback will give you a different view of the world, and those who try it will certainly fall for this kind of leisure activity. On horseback you will enjoy riding in the meadows, trekking to the hills or mountains touring in the saddle with a guide. There are many riding schools, with calm and well-trained horses and ponies, which provide riding lessons in both leisure and sport riding, under the supervision of experienced trainers and instructors.

Hunting
Slovakia may be a small country, but it is a beautiful country with a diverse and jagged terrain. The numerous forests in the mountains and hills in the north, and the expansive fields and plains in the south of the country create excellent hunting conditions. Hunting in Slovakia has a long and colorful tradition.

Paragliding
Paragliding enthusiasts can appreciate the advantages of the medium altitude of mountain locations in the Slovak ranges, where there are ideal conditions with accessible heights and the possibility of flying several kilometers.

Winter Sports
Slovakia has abundant natural beauty, especially in winter, when its hillsides, meadows, lovely valleys and hidden recesses are blanketed with snow. This romantic winter whiteness is a big attraction for cross-country skiers, who enjoy exploring this fascinating countryside.

Cross-country Skiing
Slovakia has abundant natural beauty, especially in winter, when its hillsides, meadows, lovely valleys and hidden recesses are blanketed with snow. This romantic winter whiteness is a big attraction for cross-country skiers, who enjoy exploring this fascinating countryside.

Outstanding conditions for cross-country skiing are found in the High Tatras, at Strbske Pleso in the “Areal Snov” winter sports resort, and in the area surrounding Tatranska Lomnica.

Good cross-country ski trails can, however, be found in any of the larger ski resorts, e.g. Parksnow at Donovaly, Jasná in the Low Tatras, Oscadnica-Velka Raca, Vratna, Ruzomberok SKIPARK, Jasenska dolina, Rohace – Spalena dolina, and Sachticky near Banska Bystrica.

Ski Mountaineering
For those who expect thrills and adrenalin from their winter holiday, who want to try something else besides ordinary downhill skiing and want to test their mental and physical abilities, they can test themselves on the slopes of the Slovak mountains, groomed for a ski mountaineering spree. Ski mountaineering is a combination of ski touring, alpine skiing and mountain climbing. It can take several forms – the classic, recreational form is basically an alpine ski tour. There is also an extreme form, where the grade of the slopes is 45 degrees and more and the descent may be several kilometers. There is ski mountaineering racing as well, where the goal of the skiers is to get through a designated trail as quickly as possible. Don’t forget that you need special ski mountaineering gear such as special ski mountaineering skis, climbing skins, climbing irons, pickax, avalanche finder and probe. Good conditions for ski mountaineering can be found in Slovakia in the High Tatras (Malá and Velká Studená dolina), Western Tatras, Low Tatras (Dumbier and Chopok), and in Velka and Malá Fatra.

Snowboarding
Snowboarding is a sport that can be practiced in all the skiing resorts in Slovakia. It all depends on the style you choose. The most popular places for snowboarders are Vysoké Tatry - Ždiar, Starý Smokovec, Štrbské Pleso, Tatranská Lomnica, Nízke Tatry - Jasná, Donovaly, Malá Fatra - Velká Raca, Vrátna and Martinské Hole. All the resorts named above are suitable mainly for the carving style of snowboarders who need well-maintained skiing slopes for their slalom style of snowboarding. Free ride style fans will find suitable terrain on almost every hill or mountain covered by snow, apart from those mentioned earlier. The rule is that the higher you climb on the hill, the biggest thrill you can expect on your way down.

Water Sports
Diving
Slovakia also has good conditions for diving. The depth of a body of water and its visibility are important factors for diving. The best conditions for diving in the surroundings of Bratislava are at the Senec lakes and Guláška Lake, in the case of good visibility (early spring and late autumn) also at Zlaté Piesky Lake and Štrkovec Lake. Further possibilities can be found at the Dunajský ostrov (Priesakové kanály [ingress channels], Košariská), near Banská Štiavnica (Richnava Lake, Vindšacht Lake), Kralovany (Šútovo), at Liptovská Mara, at the Kráter body of water, at the beech pool in Tornala, at the Dedinky and Ružín reservoirs. Each location has specific conditions for diving. As a result it is necessary to contact the relevant diving club or diving center.

Fishing
Slovakia is mainly a country of hills, peaks and mountains through which many rivers, brooks streams and streamlets flow. Many of them are suitable for various activities; but those who prefer their peace, and long, calming sits on river banks, lakeshores and reservoirs, observing the calm or wild surface of rivers, are sure to come into their own while fishing.

Waters of Slovakia
Even though small in square meters, Slovakia offers fishing enthusiasts surprisingly broad and varied fishing opportunities. Fanciers of this activity can fish in waters for carps and salmonoid fish, which are trouts and graylings. Among the best-known and most sought out Slovak rivers and reservoirs suitable for fishing are the rivers Danube, Váh, Hron, Turiec, Orava, Hornád, Ondava, Latorica, Laborec, Nitra, Ipel, Poprad and Dunajec, bodies of water Liptovská Mara, Zemplínska šírava, Oravská priehrada and reservoirs Velká Domaša, Slnava, Duchonka, Ružín, Teplý Vrch and Dedinky.

There are more than 900 fishing districts in Slovakia, of which approximately 250 offer trout and 68 of which offer mostly grayling.

Fishing Card
If you want to catch fish and then take your catch with you from Slovak waters, you must have a valid fishing card and a valid fishing permit. You can purchase fishing cards at the office of the town or city in which you are staying. The fees depend on the duration of the fishing card.

Rafting
Rafting is navigating the rough cascade rivers. It is a suitable activity and recreation for families with children, individuals and groups. Inflatable rubber rafts are used for rafting. However, when performed by people inexperienced in water sports, rafting can be very dangerous and that is why it is advisable to use the services of qualified instructors that provide at least a brief instruction session before going on water.

What kind of vacation would you like to take?