Majestic churches, charming burgher houses and elegant palaces, tiny squares and romantic little streets, and towering over all this, the stately Castle, visible from afar. You can find everything here, but on a small scale. Its human dimensions, friendly atmosphere, musical traditions, irresistible charm, relaxed tempo and its pedestrian centre make this town a well kept secret among people who are looking for something genuine and pleasant.
2. Small Carpathians
The Little Carpathians start directly in Bratislava and stretch out from the city in a north-easterly direction for almost 100km. On their slopes is a chain of villages and small towns with a rich tradition of viticulture. In recent years, wines from this gion have been amassing top prizes from Madrid, Paris, Brussels and Vienna, for instance, and are becoming a secret tip among gourmets.
3. Danube Region
The region around the Danube and the Little Danube is the most fertile part of the country, littered with fields of sunflowers or orchards. The Little Danube breaks away from the Danube in Bratislava and so essentially creates the biggest river island in Europe.
Piešťany is the best known spa town in Slovakia. The thermal springs near the River Váh bubble up from a depth of 2000m at a temperature of 67 – 69 °C, and its healing mud is among the most acclaimed in the world.
The preserved historical centre is dominated by one of the largest castles in Slovakia, which protected the trading route along the River Váh and the nearby mountainous border between the former Kingdom of Hungary and the Kingdom of Bohemia. Trenčín’s history dates back to Roman times, when Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ legions won over Germanic tribes in 179 and established the military camp Laugaritio.
6. Little Fatra
The Little Fatra mountains can be found in the north-west of Slovakia and are highly diverse despite their small size. The Váh river splits it in two with deep meanders between the mountains, while a national park occupies the northern part.
7. Banská Štiavnica
This small town in the hills of Central Slovakia, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is big for other reasons. Before the Spanish discovered America in the 15th century, the medieval town of Banská Štiavnica produced most of the silver in Europe.
8. Banská Bystrica
Banská Bystrica lies at the very heart of Slovakia in an excellent location embraced by green mountains. In the 13th century, the king invited German colonists here, granting them numerous privileges, which led to the town’s rapid development.
9. Liptov Region
The Liptov region is basically one large valley basin between the Low Tatra to the south and the West Tatra and High Tatra to the north. Apart from having an abundance of curiosities and natural gems, it also enjoys an ideal central location.
10. High Tatras
The High Tatras mountains are a true symbol of Slovakia. As the highest peaks of the Carpathians, they jut up like a huge fortress from the valley without any foothills. The specific climate here can be dangerous. There are 29 peaks over 2500m, Gerlach being the highest at 2655m.
11. Spiš Region
The Spiš region has the highest concentration of artistic monuments in Slovakia. In the 13th century, the Hungarian king invited the Germanic tribes to the country, where they established prosperous towns. The royal Spiš Castle is part of the biggest castle complex in Europe, built from the 12th century on a high hill from where it dominates the whole region.
With a quarter of a million inhabitants, Košice is the second biggest city in Slovakia, situated at the opposite end of the country to Bratislava. It is the centre of East Slovakia and has a strong steel industry, IT industry and several universities. The first university here was founded in 1675.