Slovakia, a little big country. This marketing slogan describes my home perfectly. Little in size, big in history and natural resources.

Yet, Slovakia is probably not a must see destination for many people. I bet very few travellers would put it on top of their destination wish list. Slovakia is my home so it will always have a very special place in my heart.

If you are not sure why you should even consider it, let me give you some amazing reasons to visit Slovakia.

The High Tatras

Since this place is my home, it has to be at the top of my list. If you love outdoors, sports, or hiking the endless mountain trails, you will love the High Tatras area. The Tatras Mountains, creating a natural border between Slovakia and Poland, are often referred to as the most beautiful part of Slovakia. They attract not only domestic but also visitors from neighborouging countries like the Czech Republic, Poland or Hungary.

I have already written a post about the things I love about my home town and Slovakia, so I’m not going into much detail here.

Let’s just mention a few things. The stunning views of the mountain range, a chance to spot some wild animals, gorgeous mountain lakes are among the many attractions in this often overlooked and somewhat forgotten corner of the world.

No need to spend a fortune

Yes, we have Euros now and prices have gone up but they are still reasonable for tourists. It’s not as cheap as it used to be but when compared to other more popular European countries, visiting Slovakia can still be a good value for money.

Public transport is relatively cheap. You can get from the east to the west of the country for around 20 Euros.

Eating out is affordable, large beer will only cost you about a Euro. Not bad, I think.

There are few things to look out for. As is the case with many countries, some business owners may charge a premium, if they see you are a foreigner.

A friend from the UK wanted to book a hotel room in my area, and he was asked to pay some crazy money for one night. Just because he was driving a good car and was foreigner. He went to check a hotel next door and paid half of it. So be wary of these practices.

It’s a hidden gem

Slovakia is relatively unknown travel destination. Many people still associate Slovakia with Czechoslovakia and think that Prague is our capital city. Aargh. On the plus side, it’s not crowded like many other European hotspots.

The capital, Bratislava, or few other tourist resorts can see some influx of domestic vistors or tourists from neighbouring countries. However, it’s undiscovered by western tourists, so if you want an authentic experience, unspoilt by mass tourism, you won’t be disappointed.

In such a small geographical area, you will find 9 national parks, 7000 caves (18 of them are open to public), or 120 castles, many of them are now ruins. It’s hard to believe that an area of only 49,035 square kilometres is home to so many treasures made up by nature itself or the ancient history of our nation. Slovakia is full of history, culture and stunning scenery.

The food and drink you just have to try

There is so much new food to taste when you visit Slovakia. A word of warning; expect to put some weight on. Slovak food can be very filling and it’s probably not the most healthy cuisine. It’s full of carbs, dishes made of white flour, but honestly, it’s so yummy at the same time. Potatoes, meat, cabbage, pasties are part of our everyday Menu.

We eat soups as our starters, so you will find a selection of homemade soups in most establishments.

If you want to get a real taste of some classic Slovak food, you have to visit Slovak Salaš, traditional Slovak restaurant. You get all of our most popular dishes under one roof. Our national dish is called Bryndzové halušky and it’s small potato dumplings topped with fried bacon and special goat’s cheese called Bryndza. You just have to try it. Or there is Bravčové koleno (pork shank) as the ultimate meat feast for the meat lovers.

Enough about food. Drink is as important, if not more, in Slovakia. We are a nation who likes to drink. A LOT. It’s quite common that our traditional shot of Slivovica (alcohol made from plums) is followed by a pint of beer. Shots are drunk straight, not mixed with a soft drink like, for example, in the UK.

One drink that is gaining in popularity in Slovakia and around the globe is TatraTea. It’s a tea based alcohol ranging from 22{bba43082c5342574fbaac8145d42b23fea8caa24e0a6407cfc56a50334b7d81e} – 72{bba43082c5342574fbaac8145d42b23fea8caa24e0a6407cfc56a50334b7d81e} in alcohol strength. Although relatively new on the market (since 2008), the history of this drink dates far back. People used to drink it in many forms to cure illnesses, to honour guests or just to enjoy it during good and bad days. And they enjoy it to this day.

I’m not a massive fan of shots anymore but whenever I visit Slovakia, it’s hard to avoid it alltogether. There is always a reason for a drink in Slovakia.

The size and location is a great advantage

Slovakia is right in the middle of Europe. Easily accessible within Europe by low-cost airlines, and because it’s small in size, you can even plan a day trip outside the country.

Bratislava is the only capital in the world bordering two countries. Hungary and Austria are only a short drive away. You could be in Vienna in about an hour and a half by train from Bratislava.

If you decide to visit the High Tatras, which is bordering with Poland, it’s only a stone throw away from Auschwitz in Poland. There are a number of tour operators offering one day trips from Slovakia.

That’s the advantage of a small country like Slovakia. Everything is just so close together.

The climate is favourable

Although Slovakia is not exactly a country with Mediterranean climate, the weather can be very pleasant in summer months. A lack of sea can be a slight downside but don’t let that deter you from visiting.

There are many beautiful lakes and water parks to splash around and enjoy the sun rays during hot summer days.

Winters, on the other hand, can be quite cold, usually with a generous dose of snow in mountain resorts. If you love winter sports, Slovakia might just be your perfect place.

It’s a year-round destination, that can be enjoyed in any season.

And last but not least – it’s safe

If you’ve ever seen Hostel movie, you will know that Slovakia isn’t portrayed in the best picture there. But there is no need to worry. Hotels are safe. I promise.



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