Slovakia, officially the Slovak Republic, is a sovereign state in Central Europe, bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, and Hungary to the south. Its capital and largest city is Bratislava. The country’s landscape is notable for its mountainous nature. Climate in Slovakia lies between the temperate and continental climate zones, with relatively warm summers and cold, cloudy, and humid winters.
What to see & do
With the Carpathian Mountains extending across most of the northern half of Slovakia, the country boasts of natural wonders, enclosed in its nine national parks: Tatra National Park, Low Tatras National Park, Vel’ka Fatra National Park, Slovak Karst National Park, Poloniny National Park, Mala Fatra National Park, Muranska planina National Park, Slovak Paradise National Park, and Pieniny National Park. Under the mountains, there are hundreds of caves and caverns in Slovakia that are waiting to be explored. Many of the caves feature stalagmites and stalactites. Visit five of these caves, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Dobšinská Ice Cave, Domica, Gombasek Cave, Jasovská Cave, and Ochtinská Aragonite Cave. There are also other caves that can be visited by the public, such as Belianska Cave, Demänovská Cave of Liberty, Demänovská Ice Cave, and Bystrianska Cave. Aside from these breathtaking natural features, mountains, and caves, Slovakia is home to medieval castles and towns, folk architecture, spas, and ski resorts. Bratislava, the capital, is the most attractive destination in Slovakia, together with High Tatras. When buying souvenirs from the country, some of the most typical are dolls dressed in folk costumes, ceramic objects, crystal glass, carved wooden figures, črpáks (wooden pitchers), fujaras (UNESCO-listed folk instrument), and valaškas (decorated folk hatchet), as well as products made from corn husks and wire.
How to get around within Slovakia
The best way to travel across Slovakia via public transport is by train, with long-haul trains connecting all major cities in the country. The highest class of train serving Slovakia is the InterCity, connecting Bratislava with Zilina, High Tatras, and Kosice. There are also ordinary long-distance trains called Rychlik
that stop in most important cities along the main Bratislava – Zilina – Kosice route, as well as other branches serving other parts of the country. There are also trains for local transport; some even located in the main lines. Buses also have inter-city and intra-city services, and can get travellers to the places that the trains cannot reach. Driving around Slovakia is also convenient, as the country’s road network is extensive and in good condition. Hitchhiking is also common, and is best done by asking around at gas stations. Biking is also an option especially when going short distances.
How to get there
M. R. Stefanik Airport, also known as Bratislava Airport, is the main international airport serving Slovakia. Located approximately nine kilometres or 5.6 miles of Bratislava city centre, the airport is a hub for Ryanair and Niki, and serves as a base for AirExplore, Go2Ky, Opera Jet, Samair, Travel Service Slovakia, and VR Jet. Other airlines that operates scheduled service at M. R. Stefanik Airport include Czech Airlines, flydubai, SmartWings (operated by Travel Service Slovakia), and UTair Aviation.
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