Alternative Travel Index Rank: #18
Slovakia is also the 14th Most Underrated Destination
Excels in health & hygiene and railroad infrastructure
Population and tourists density at peak season: 122 (medium)
Slovakia is a modern democratic country and is a member of the European Union. The main reasons to visit Slovakia are its natural beauty, vivid history, and great opportunities for relaxation. Due to the relatively small size of the country, it’s quite easy to combine all three. Slovakia has nine national parks which cover a large portion of the country and features the tallest part of the Carpathian Mountain Range, the High Tatras, offering plenty of options for outdoor activities, hiking, and winter sports, as well as great sceneries.
Slovakia ranks #80/141 for price competitiveness in Justraveling’s Alternative Travel Index. Average travel costs per day: $53 (backpacker) – $134 (mid-range). Cheapest Slovakian cities: Prievidza, Kosice. Most expensive: Martin, Bratislava.
Best Time to Go
May-Jul and Sep are the best time to go to Slovakia. It has a temperate climate with sunny, hot summers and cold, cloudy, humid and snowy winters. Jan-Feb is peak ski season in the northern mountainous regions.
Places to Visit
Bratislava, the capital and largest city in Slovakia, has a pleasant medieval inner city with narrow, winding streets, a massive hill-top castle directly above the Danube river, and many historic churches and buildings to visit.
Slovak Paradise National Park covers an area of nearly 200 sq km. It hosts 11 national nature reserves and about 350 caves. The park offers about 300 km of hiking trails, often equipped with ladders, chains and bridges.
Vlkolínec is one of only folk villages which survived intact in Central Europe and has been nominated on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The village is famous for its folk architecture. Two of its 45 houses can be visited from the inside as well. There is also a small art gallery, a church, and a cemetery.
Levoča is a town in the Prešov Region of Eastern Slovakia with a historic center still surrounded by most of its ancient walls and various renaissance buildings, including the Town Hall and the 14th century St. James’s Church.
Ochtinská Aragonite Cave, near Rožňava, is truly unique, and one of the few such caves open to the public in the world. Aragonite is a needle-like crystal that forms pseudo-hexagonal patterns resembling flowers on the walls.
Travel Ideas and Things to Do
There’s a long tradition of hiking & mountain walking in Slovakia. Trekking in the High Tatras, the only alpine mountains in Eastern Europe, lets you walk through lakes and waterfalls, exploring valleys and peaks of great beauty.
The E8 European long distance path crosses all of Slovakia from east to west following the national hiking trail Cesta Hrdinov SNP. Among its sections, the Štefánikova Magistrála (114 km) is less walked and particularly rich in history.
Volunteering to track wolves and lynx is a rare opportunity to experience deep wilderness with expert researchers and wildlife photographers. You can join for one to three weeks in January and February of each year.
More active travel ideas for your next trip can be found in the Hiking Series. Check out these five routes to enjoy an awesome day hike in Slovakia.
This Travel Guide is a work in progress. Improve it with a Slovakian touch!
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Sources: some text excerpts from Wikitravel & Wikipedia; travel cost data from Numbeo.