High Tatras Snow and Sunshine.
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There’s way more than just 20 must visit attractions in Slovakia but if you only have time to cover the basics, here is a condensed bucket list of the most incredible places to check out. Tip: rent a car to see as many of these as possible, as several are located in areas difficult to reach by public transport!
Float Down the Dunajec River on a Wooden Raft
In Pieniny National Park, raftsmen navigate the Dunajec River on traditional wooden rafts while telling tourists local stories about the region. In addition to enjoying a unique and relaxing trip along the water, visitors to Pieniny can also take an old-fashioned horse and carriage ride or stroll around the natural travertine lake.
📍Pieninský národný park +48 18 2625601
Wooden Rafts in Pieniny National Park © DzidekLasek/Pixabay
Head Up, Up, Up to Lomnicky Peak
The second highest peak in the High Tatras is accessible by hiking or via cable car. Breathtaking views over Slovakia’s mountainous terrain await at the top. To make your trip truly memorable, consider booking a room to spend the night at the highest local suite in Central Europe – at 2,634 meters!
📍Lomnický štít, 059 60 Vysoké Tatry +421 90 3112200
Admire a Gothic Fresco at the Nitra Castle
One of the most recently discovered treasures at the Nitra Castle is the Gothic fresco of the Death and Coronation of Virgin Mary. The fresco was discovered during a large restoration and reconstruction project in the St. Emerson Cathedral on the castle grounds.
📍Nitriansky hrad, Námestie Jána Pavla II. 1012/7, 949 01 Nitra +421 37 7721724
See Fabulously Preserved Traditional Slovak Houses
Visit the first-ever folk architecture reservation in the world – Čičmany. The village features traditional log houses decorated with white detailed ornamentation in typical Slovak patterns.
📍Čičmany, Slovak Republic
Traditional House in Cicmany © prostechlap/Pixabay
Step Back in Time in a Fortified Medieval Town
Bardejov is a well-preserved example of a fortified medieval town, included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Complete with town walls, burgher’s houses, a town hall, churches, and a Jewish quarter, the town has been able to maintain a high level of authenticity without any major demolitions or additions since medieval times.
📍Bardejov, Slovak Republic
Climb a Hill to an Important Calvary Site
The 18th century Baroque calvary site above Banska Stiavnica is famous for its unique construction, which consists of 17 stations instead of the traditional 14. Although an important religious site, it is also a remarkable tourist destination. The heavenly views over the old town of Banska Stiavnica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are worth the short pilgrimage to the top of the calvary hill.
📍Banska Stiavnica Kalvária, Pod Kalváriou 754/9, 969 01 Banská Štiavnica
Admire the Largest Church in Slovakia
St. Elisabeth Minister cathedral in Kosice is the largest church in Slovakia and an interesting example of Western-style Gothic architecture in the East. The church was built and ornamented between 1380-1477. The beauty of the church is not limited to the exterior, but also the stunning Gothic paintings adorning the walls inside.
📍St. Elisabeth Cathedral, Hlavná, 040 01 Košice-Staré Mesto-Košice +421 55 6220079
St. Elisabeth Cathedral, Kosice © Luciano Belviso/Pixabay
Visit One of the Youngest Modern Art Museums in the World
Located about 20 kilometers outside of Bratislava, the Danubiana Meulensteen is a treasure trove for modern art enthusiasts. Opened in 2000 on the banks of the Danube River, the Danubiana houses a contemporary art and sculpture collection including an impressive compilation of Slovakian art from the second half of the twentieth century. This is THE place to experience the best modern Slovak art.
📍Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Vodné dielo Slovensko, 851 10 Bratislava-Čunovo +421 26 2528501
Hike, Ski, or Mountain Bike at Jasná
During winter, the trails at Jasná Nízke Tatry comprise the largest ski area in Slovakia, which remains open from December to April. From April to November, hikers and mountain bikers flock to the mountain resort for fabulous Low Tatra mountain views and well marked trails with frequent rest stops at mountain huts and chalets.
📍Jasná Nízke Tatry, 031 01 Demänovská Dolina +421 90 7886644
Learn About Slovakia’s History at the Bratislava Castle
Dominating the skyline of Bratislava, on a small hill in the shadows of the small Carpathians, the large rectangular castle building commands attention from the city below. A castle has existed on this site since the 15th century, and the history of buildings on this hill dates all the way back to Roman times. Now you can find a museum of Slovak history in the castle. Lovely Baroque gardens are situated just to the rear of the castle and visitors are rewarded for the short uphill hike with spectacular views over the Danube and Bratislava’s Old Town.
📍Bratislava Castle, 811 06 Bratislava +421 25 4411444
Bratislava’s Castle Dominates the Skyline © phtorxp/Pixabay
Relax in Piestany’s Picturesque Spas
The thermal waters in Piestany’s spas are said to have a variety of medicinal benefits; from assisting with migraines to therapeutic effects on inflammatory diseases. Regardless of whether or not you suffer from any medical ailments, the relaxing spas of Piestany are a tranquil escape. The Danubius Health Spa Resort Thermia Palace is a one stop vacation spot, offering a complete service spa and mineral pool, plus a restaurant and bar. The attractive art nouveau building is located directly on the walking and cycling paths along the Váh River.
📍Danubius Health Spa Resort Thermia Palace, Winterova 1739/29, 921 01 Piestany +421 33 7756111
Enjoy a Royal View at Spis Castle
The highlight of visiting Spis Castle is the opportunity to admire architecture from several centuries with an outstanding view towards the High Tatras mountain range. The oldest architectural remains in the castle date back to the 12th century, but visitors can observe additions which were made all the way through the 18th century, when it was used as a noble family’s home as well as a military outpost.
📍Spis Castle, 053 61 Žehra +421 53 4541336
Take a Boat Trip on an Underground River
In the southwest of Slovakia, the Domica Cave is home to the underground Styx River, which visitors can cruise along on a guided tour in a small boat. The cave is also home to about 1,500 bats, you might spy some hiding in the cave’s impressive stalactites and stalagmites.
📍Domica Cave, Jaskyňa Domica, 049 55 Dlhá Ves +421 58 7882010
Domica Cave © jinpalsong/Flickr
Race Down the Waterslides at Tatralandia
The largest water park in Slovakia is open all year round with thermal relaxation pools and saunas for adults and 26 slides for the young and young at heart. Even in winter it feels like summer in Tatralandia’s Tropical Paradise, where the temperature is consistently maintained above 30°C, making it the perfect place to unwind in the evenings after skiing at one of the nearby Tatra mountain resorts.
📍AquaPark Tatralandia, Ráztocká 21, 031 05 Liptovský Mikuláš +421 91 5834644
Catch Your Reflection in the Neoclassical Hall of Mirrors
The iconic Primatial Palace in Bratislava was constructed between 1778 and 1781 for Archbishop Jozef Batthyany. Many important political events have occurred in the palace, which now serves as the seat of the Mayor of Bratislava. Don’t miss the fabulous Fountain of St. George and the Dragon in the interior courtyard!
📍Primatial Palace, Primaciálne námestie 494/2, 811 01 Staré Mesto +421 25 9356394
Escape to the Himalayas in a Castle
Slovaks love to drink tea and they’ve got a ton of castles. Put the two together and you’ve got the Tea House in a Castle, located in the medieval Zvolen Castle. Step into the dimly-lit room cut into the stone walls of the castle and take a seat in one of the low chairs, or on the floor in the loft (no shoes allowed!) for a more authentic tea house feel. Then order your favorite type of tea, freshly prepared and served in cute teapots and cups.
📍Čajovňa na zámku, Nám. SNP 594/1, 960 01 Zvolen +421 90 7150721
Take a Boat Trip to Devin Castle
Only 10 kilometers away from Bratislava on a hill on the banks of the Danube sits the ruins of what once served as an important fortress in the Great-Moravian era. Pack a picnic to enjoy in the shade of the castle on a day trip to Devin and take the river cruise boat back to Bratislava in the afternoon.
📍Devin Castle, Muránská, 841 10 Devín +421 26 5730105
Devin Castle on the Danube. © Vikino/Pixabay
Stop to Reflect on the Past at the Highest Point in Bratislava
On a hill overlooking the city of Bratislava, you can find The Slavin Memorial, the burial site of 6,845 Soviet soldiers who liberated Bratislava from the Germans in 1945. The massive Stalinist-style monument makes you feel small in comparison and the huge graveyard standing watch over the city is a meaningful spot for reflection.
📍Slavin War Memorial, Pažického, 811 04 Staré Mesto
Visit an 860 Year Old Mint
The Kremnica Mint was first documented in 1441, and has been producing money for various rulers, monarchies, and republics ever since. Today the mint manufactures euro coins and commemorative coins. Several other countries place orders for coin manufacturing to Kremnica due to the high quality standards maintained by this well known mint.
📍Kremnica Mint, Štefánikovo nám. 25/24, 967 01 Kremnica +421 45 6787800
Observe Bratislava’s Main Square from Above
In addition to viewing artifacts from the Neolithic period to today, visitors to the Museum of City History in Bratislava are rewarded with a stunning view of the city’s main square from the top of the old town hall tower. Plan to spend two to three hours enjoying the museum’s interesting display of historical objects such as invitations to craftsmen’s guild balls, original packaging from Slovak food companies, and folk arts and crafts from the 1920’s.
📍Museum of City History, Radničná 577/1, 811 01 Bratislava +421 25 9100812