Slovakia Top 17 Sights
Slovakia is in many ways similar to Switzerland – except that it’s more affordable. The two are almost identical in size. The various parts of the country – despite their small size – are dramatically different, whether it’s the language, culture, countryside or climate. It’s because their are both mountainous and surrounded by bigger neighbors who have all influenced them. Slovakia also has a central location and starts right beyond Vienna, it is a very safe country and for all practical reasons the local currency is the Euro. It is a destination for a particular kind of travelers. Those, who love dramatic scenery, untouched wild nature, authentic historic sights, tasty food, strong beer and wine culture (so far so good), but (here it comes) also those who can live without touristy hotspots full of schnickschnack, coronavirus, overpriced restaurants, etc. Can you? If yes, then in Slovakia you will find your fairy-tale land.
We have selected for you Top 17 Sights to get an inspiration for your next trip to Slovakia. There is a bit of everything included – national parks, wine regions, historic towns, quaint villages, fairy-tale-like castles and chateaux. By far it is not all Slovakia has to offer, but it gives you the first overview. Discover with us a piece of good old Central Europe!
Why don’t you make use of our long experience, detailed knowledge and top service and have us create a tailor made private tour that will contain the listed Top Sights in Slovakia.
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 center make this town a well kept secret among people who are looking for something genuine and pleasant.
2. Small Carpathians Wine Region
The Small Carpathians start directly in Bratislava and stretch out from the city in a north-easterly direction for almost 100 km. On their slopes is a chain of villages and small towns with a rich tradition of viticulture. In recent years, wines from this region have been amassing top prizes from Madrid, Paris, Brussels and Vienna, for instance, and are becoming a secret tip among gourmets.
The preserved historical center is dominated by one of the largest castles in Slovakia, which protected the trading route along the River Vah and the nearby mountainous border between the former Kingdom of Hungary and the Kingdom of Bohemia. Trencin’s history dates back to Roman times, when Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ legions won over Germanic tribes in 179 and established the military camp Laugaritio.
The isolated village of Cicmany lies hidden among deep forests and consists of almost 140 preserved painted wooden cottages. Thanks to their unique ornaments with floral and animal motifs on the outer walls the village has a feeling of an Hansel and Gretel fairy-tale. The village is also known for the intricate folk costumes that even today the local wear at festive occasions.
6. Bojnice Castle
The originally medieval castle was in the late 19th century completely rebuilt by Count Pallfy into a luxurious residence. Of all the Slovak castles Bojnice is considered the most fairy-tale-like in the country. Below the castle is a large cave with a lake connected to the main courtyard via the well. The story goes that the count meant to impress a French countess who unfortunately wouldn’t wait 20 years to see it finished.
7. Banska Stiavnica (UNESCO)
This small gem of a town high up in the wooded hills of Central Slovakia, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is big for many reasons. Before the Spanish discovered America in the 15th century it produced most of the silver in Europe. Also, the first university of technology in the world was established here. The beautiful setting in a caldera of an extinct volcano will captivate you.
8. Banska Bystrica
Banska 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. Until the 1700s this was one of the biggest producers of copper in Europe. The wealth of this period is well illustrated in the town’s large main square.
9. Spania Dolina
10. Vlkolinec (UNESCO)
High up in the mountains of Central Slovakia lies the authentic peasant village of Vlkolinec consisting of barely 50 traditional wooden cottages painted in pastel colors. The time stopped here over a hundred years ago. Surrounded by thickly wooded mountains, it survived the 20th century untouched. It remains a text book example of a typical mountain village of the Carpathians and has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and definitely one of the Top Sights in Slovakia.
11. 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 historic attractions and natural gems, it also enjoys an ideal central location for exploring three national parks in the vicinity. Bryndza – a fresh sheep cheese and ingredient of numerous Slovak dishes originates from here.
12. Orava Castle
Visible from afar, the Orava Castle sits proudly of a 120 m high rock above the Orava river. Just like in the past, today you can see log rafts on the river below. This time there are transporting tourists enjoying a spectacular view of the castle from the river. In the past it guarded the Amber Route from Poland. Early on the castle became a favorite of filmmakers, when the first Dracula movie was made here in 1921.
13. High Tatras National Park
The High Tatras mountains are a true symbol of Slovakia. As the highest peaks of the Carpathians, they just up like a huge fortress from the valley without any foothills. The specific climate here can be dangerous. There are 29 peaks over 2500 m, Gerlach being the highest at 2655 m. It is, however the Krivan that is thanks to its shape – just like the Matterhorn for the Swiss – the symbol of Slovakia.
14. Spis Region (UNESCO)
The Spis region has the highest concentration of historic monuments in Slovakia. In the 13th century, the Hungarian king invited Germanic settlers to the county where they established prosperous towns. The royal Spis Castle is one of the largest in Europe. It was built over centuries on a high hill dominating the whole region. The UNESCO World Heritage Site starred in numerous Hollywood movies. Just 10 km away sits Levoca, one of the best preserved historic towns in Slovakia, also listed by UNESCO.
With a quarter of a million inhabitants, Kosice is the second biggest city in Slovakia, situated at the opposite end of the country to Bratislava. The university town has thanks to its large historic center a metropolitan feel with streets lined with endless cafés. It is dominated by St. Elisabeth Cathedral – the largest Gothic cathedral in Europe east of Vienna as well as by the elegant Opera House.
16. Bardejov (UNESCO)
Arguably the best preserved medieval town in Slovakia lies north of Kosice in the countries East. The almost completely preserved medieval fortification encircles the picture perfect town with an unusually large main square boasting beautiful pastel colored houses, the unique town hall and St Giles Basilica with an incredible preserved Gothic interior and altars.
17. Pieniny National Park
The smallest of the 9 national parks in Slovakia lies just to the east of the High Tatras. It is known apart from the stunning mountain scenery also for the Dunajec river that created a beautiful canyon in the length of 10 km. The ancient salt route from Cracow runs at the water edge under the cliffs and tourists are transported down the canyon on traditional wooden rafts.
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- Our passion for Slovakia, sense of humor and personal touch create memories of a lifetime.
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