Gothic spires and razor-roofed houses are gathered like a spiky bouquet in Bardejov's main square, girded all around by medieval walls. Bardejov received its royal charter in 1376 and grew rich on trade into the 16th century. Now inscribed as an architectural reserve by Unesco, the town's historic core is nothing short of spectacular, lined by burgher houses with pointy gables and unique inscriptions. A historic synagogue and frozen-in-time Jewish quarter testify to centuries of Jewish history, cruelly halted by WWII.
Bardejov is an excellent springboard to discover the wooden churches dotted in its surrounds. Another offbeat excursion is the tiny satellite town of Bardejovské Kúpele, 5km away – worth a visit whether you want to absorb 19th-century history or sip its supposedly curative water.