It's tough competition in the medieval wonderland of East Slovakia, but Bardejov wins the award for our favourite old town square, which would look barely a brick out of place 400 years ago. Bardejov received its royal charter in 1376 and grew rich on trade between Poland and Russia into the 16th century.
Poprad is likely to be your first experience of mountain country, being the nearest sizeable city to the High Tatras and the region's major transport hub. Most visitors just experience the so-so city centre but the 16th-century neighbourhood of Spišská Sobota and a popular thermal water park might make you stick around.
Slovenský Raj & Around
With rumbling waterfalls, sheer gorges and dense forests, Slovenský Raj lives up to the name of 'Slovak Paradise'. A few easier trails exist, but the one-way ladder-and-chain ascents make this a national park for the passionately outdoorsy. You cling to metal rungs headed up a precipice while an icy waterfall sprays you from a metre away: pure exhilaration.
So this is what Slovakia looked like in the 13th century…Unesco-listed Levoča is one of the few towns to still have its ancient defences largely intact. High medieval walls surround old town buildings and cobblestone alleyways. At the centre of it all stands the pride of the country's religious architectural collection, the Gothic Church of St Jacob.
Sprawling for 4 hectares above the village of Spišské Podhradie, ruined Spiš Castle is undoubtedly one of the largest in Europe. Even if you've never been, you may have seen pictures: the fortress is about Slovakia's most-photographed sight. Two kilometres west, the medieval Spiš Chapter ecclesiastical settlement is also a Unesco World Heritage site.
Three short kilometres to the north of Bardejov you'll find the leafy, promenade-filled spa town of Bardejovské Kúpele where the hot, sulfurous water fizzes as it spouts out the taps. Overall, it's somewhat dilapidated, but to book a service like a massage or a mineral bath (from €10), go directly to the Spa House at the top of the main pedestrian street.