Ancient castle ruins, traditional villages and mountainous national parks: visiting Slovakia is about experiencing a place where age-old folkways and nature still hold sway. In this compact country you can hike beside a waterfall-filled gorge one day and see nailless wooden churches in a village museum the next. The small capital, Bratislava, may not have the superlative sights of nearby Prague or Budapest, but it’s abuzz with development, each new riverfront dining and entertainment complex vying to outdo the next. The rabbit-warren Old Town centre is well worth a day or two of cafe hopping.
Just make sure you also venture east. In the countryside, fortresses tower over cities and rivers, hiking trails cover the hills and well-preserved medieval towns nestle below rocky peaks. Pull up a plate of bryndzove halušky (sheep’s-cheese dumplings) with a glass of slivovica (firewater-like plum brandy) and drink a toast for us – nazdravie!
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Best places to stay in Slovakia
Eastern Europe - Slovakia (Chapter)
Slovakia’s small size is possibly its biggest attraction. Dinky capital Bratislava is awash with quirky museums and backed by thick forests. Don’t leave without heading east, to where fortresses tower over tradition-rich medieval towns such as...
Brutal buildings: the architecture of Eastern Europe
Ugly or visionary? An architectural period to forget, or a legacy worth preserving? Few building styles have made an impact on a region, or caused as much controversy, as brutalist architecture in the former Communist Bloc...
Slovakia destination guides
Eastern Europe, Croatia & the Balkans
This epic cross-European adventure offers an intriguing combination of Central Europe's castles and romantic squares with the Balkans' own historic towns and wondrous landscapes.
Europe on a Shoestring - Slovakia (Chapter)
Slovakia out-trumps the Czechs for ancient castles and boasts nature far wilder than its western neighbours. From dinky capital Bratislava, with its rabbit-warren Old Town and hilly, thickly forested backdrop, head east to fortresses towering...
Top 10 countries that didn't exist 20 years ago
Turbo boost your passport by venturing to these recently minted destinations, as highlighted in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2011. It's also a good chance to increase your collection of miniature national flags...
Tatra Mountain Adventure
Explore some of Europe’s best trails, walking through pristine mountains and forests. Find a haven of calm, brimming with child-friendly activities away from the crowds, with a gentle mix of activities and culture.
Central Europe Phrasebook
One of the rewarding things about travelling through Central Europe is the rich variety of cuisine, customs, architecture and history. The flipside of course is that you’ll encounter a number of very different languages. Most languages spoken...
Top 10 Eastern European getaways
For years Eastern Europe was the undiscovered half of the continent - but things have changed. The diverse highlights of Eastern Europe are now drawing travellers by the trainload. Here are our top 10 Eastern European getaways. 1. Julian Alps, Slovenia The Julian Alps form Slovenia's dramatic northwest frontier with Italy...