Slovakia, also the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country located smack dab in the middle of Europe. Its neighboring countries include Poland, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and finally, Austria. The country of Slovakia covers 19,000 square miles and is highly mountainous.
Slovakia’s population is over 5.4 million and it is comprised of mostly Slovaks. The largest and capital city of Slovakia is Bratislava. This country’s people arrived in the area in the 5th and 6th centuries. However, it wasn’t until the 7th century that they played a large role in the creation of Samo’s Empire. Then, in the 10th century, the area was combined into the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1945, Czechoslovakia was established coming under Communist rule. This communist ruling was inevitably done away with in 1989 during the Velvet Divorce. On January 1, 1993, Slovakia officially became an independent state and eventually became the Slovakia we see today.
Today, Slovakia stands as a country of high standards and an extremely high Human Development Index. Their high standards of living benefit the country greatly in a number of ways. From civil liberties, internet and press freedom, democratic governance and a real sense of peace. There is much to see and do in this beautiful, underrated European country. Let’s dive right in and discover the sights and sounds of Slovakia.
Bratislava, considered to be a younger sister to Vienna and Prague, is a beautiful city that shares a bit of history with Budapest due to the previous rule of the Hungarian Kingdom. Ever since Bratislava became the capital city of Slovakia just 25 years ago, it is arguably one of the more notable border cities in all of Europe.
One of the main structures in Bratislava that you most certainly should pay a visit to is the Bratislava castle. It is a sight for sore eyes that truly never disappoints. After your visit to the castle, you can spend your day traveling down the narrow pathways of the Old Town while taking in the incredible historic architecture.
Within this beautiful town exists handfuls of lovely museums, palaces, and churches to take a glance at. Additionally, the best-preserved part of the town and fortification system, is St. Michael’s Gate. This standout attribute provides viewers with lovely scenery and a relaxing experience. For the absolute best view of the city, you will want to travel to the top of the SNP or UFO Bridge.
While Bratislava features the hustle and bustle of a true capital city, Kosice is the second largest town within the country. If you are looking for more of a contemplative, relaxing experience you cannot miss Kosice. This picture-perfect European city exists within the beautiful architecture that is UNESCO-protected. Some highlights include the St. Elizabeth Cathedral, many cozy coffee spots, and the Neo-Baroque State Theater. With a high concentration of historical landmarks and expedient little hot spots, Kosice is more than worth the trip. Especially if you like history and photography—you will be able to capture some lovely photographs here for certain!
This city is an official UNESCO-protected city located in the Eastern area of Slovakia. This city is the proud owner of one of the loveliest Old Towns in the entire country. This city exists within historical walls that are quite delightful to see. Much like Bratislava, Levoca is home to narrow city streets and a number of historical architectural delights. For example, when you visit Levoca make sure you stop by the breathtaking wooden altar of the Basilica if St. James. After all, it is notorious for being the largest in the entire world!
The Basilica is only one of three major monuments within town square. Additionally, you want to check out Old Town Hall. It was built in the 15th and 17th century so it is quite the sight. Lastly, we have the domed Evangelical Lutheran Church. This church dates all the way back to 1837. If you get hungry during your visit to Levoca, try hitting up the Kupecka Basta restaurant located inside a medieval fortified tower in Old Town. This restaurant comes highly recommended as their food is simply divine!
Slovakia is one of the more underrated cities in all of Europe. Often when people think of vacationing in Europe, countries like Slovakia do not come to mind for some reason. I guess you could say it is somewhat of a hidden treasure if you will. There is much to do and see in Slovakia if you do decide to visit. Hopefully, this article will serve to guide you in the right direction, ensuring you do not miss out on a single moment of beauty and historical significance. Along with this guide, you should additionally visit Tripedia for the full rundown of this lovely country. Once you discover everything there is to see, you will want to make your next vacation destination in Slovakia.