Slovakia is a delight to explore.
Crumbling castles and medieval towns can be found tucked away among its stunning scenery, with lots of interesting historic sights and cultural landmarks for you to discover.
The diverse architecture and artistic styles, reflecting different historical periods, offer visitors unique experiences even today. They have their mysterious stories and legends. Dive into them.
The varied life, creativity, and art of our ancestors are put on display at the country’s open-air museums and historical reservations of folk architecture. Thanks to these unique exhibitions you can still admire the unmatched elements of traditional folk architecture and folk culture.
The nation’s capital and largest city, Bratislava has many different sides to it, and that is in part what makes it so fascinating to explore. At the historic heart of the city, one can find a magnificent hilltop castle and a range of medieval and Gothic buildings, with some fine Baroque palaces on display.
Step out of the old town, and you’ll find communist-era concrete blocks lying alongside the Danube River that courses through Bratislava, while even further out, you’ll come across picturesque farms, fields, and villages.
Among this mesmerizing mix of old and new are loads of fantastic bars and restaurants for you to try, with more upmarket boutiques and trendy cafes springing up every year.
The High Tatras
(Vysoké Tatry), the tallest range in the Carpathian Mountains, occupy a near-mythic place in Slovak hearts. Instantly recognisable, the crooked summit of Mount Kriváň (2495m) has become a national symbol in literature and popular culture, with some Slovaks swearing it’s their national duty to climb it.
Twenty-five peaks reach higher than 2500m and the tallest mountains – like Gerlachovský štít (2654m) – attract the most hikers, revealing Slovakia as a nation of adventurers.
You won’t be alone tramping between the High Tatras’ waterfalls, alpine meadows and more than 100 ultramarine lakes.
In winter, snow transforms hiking trails into ski areas, mostly small and family-friendly.
Most of this jagged range is part of 1949-established Tatra National Park (Tanap), the country’s oldest national park. Together with an adjoining protected area across the border in Poland, the High Tatras form a Unesco-protected biosphere reserve inhabited by brown bears, chamois and golden eagles.
The Historic Town of Banská Štiavnica and the Technical Monuments in its Vicinity is an outstanding example of an important mining settlement that has developed since the Middle Ages.
The property’s distinct form was created by the symbiosis of the industrial landscape and the urban environment resulting from its mineral wealth and consequent prosperity.
Located in the mountains of Štiavnické Vrchy, this extensive property covers a total area of 20,632 ha and includes the urban centre of Banská Štiavnica as well as the surrounding landscape featuring vital relics of the mining and metallurgical activities of the past, especially gold and silver. Most of the mining resources are located outside the urban area but within the Štiavnické Vrchy Protected Landscape Area.
The town of Banská Štiavnica, the oldest mining town in Slovakia, was established in the 13th century, although evidence of mining dates back to the late Bronze Age. While it served as an important town during the Middle Ages, the surviving urban centre was formed during the 16th century.
It is characterized by the grand Late Gothic and Renaissance burgher houses, the town hall, and the Late Gothic Church of Saint Catherine. In the same era, a fortification system was built which has visible remains in the fortress of the Old Castle, the Renaissance watchtower of the New Castle, and the only surviving of the town gates – the Baroque-style Piarg Gate.
In the lands of Spis, the north-western region of Eastern Slovakia, large castle is standing proudly on the hill above the plebs.
Overlooking the town of Spisske Podhradie from on top of a hill, the vast ruins of Spis Castle cover a vast expanse of territory. As such, it should come as no surprise to learn that it is one of the largest castle complexes in the whole of Central Europe. Wandering around its many walls, fortifications, and towers is an amazing experience, and the mind boggles at the sheer size and scale of everything.
In the archeological part of the exhibit you can see findings from the Stone Age until the Middle Ages.
Roman coins were also find inside narrow dark cave under the castle. Castle’s kitchen is nicely restored, you can almost see the cooks preparing food for castle’s lords.
Over-the-top feasts were sometimes held for almost 4 hours. Castle’s bedroom, washroom, armory, chapel and torture room are also interesting parts of the exposition. Be sure to climb up the tower! You will be treated to an excellent view perfect for photographing.
Lined with beautiful old townhouses, Levoca’s historic main square certainly is spectacular, with a glorious Gothic church and 15th-century town hall lying at its heart. Levoca is full of incredible historic sights and cultural landmarks, with lots of magnificent architecture scattered around town; you’ll see Baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic features.
While its gorgeous main square is the highlight, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied for a day or two. The surrounding region is awash with amazing sights should you want to visit Spis Castle or the scenic Tatra Mountains.
With a very laidback feel to it, Levoca is the perfect place to visit if you’re after a quiet getaway. When in town, a peaceful stroll up to the Church of Marianska Hora is a must for the fantastic views and its important spiritual significance.