The largest city in Slovakia and one of the youngest capital cities in the world. The population also seems young. Bratislava is a small metropolitan city and seems to have a buzzing social life, as well as a historic charm too. There are many museums and art galleries, although a visit to Bratislava castle should be on your hit list too. Bratislava is found in the southwestern part of the country situated along both of the Danube and Morava banks. It is here that the country borders with Austria and Hungary.
2. High Tatras
Creating the border between Slovakia and Poland, the Tatra Mountains are considered to be the tallest mountain range in Slovakia. Because of its altitude, the High Tatras have become a very popular skiing and spa destination in the country and a much more affordable option for ski packages in Europe, if you compare it to France, Austria or the Swiss Alps. A popular skiing location here can be found in the town of Štrbské Pleso. People have been skiing here for centuries because of the glacial lake found nearby. It is also popular for hiking trails too. We parked our car here and then hiked up to the waterfalls, around 3 hours roundtrip. The views were fantastic.
Levoca is known for its visually pleasing town center and the historical walls around the town. Most of the Old town is considered a World Heritage site as there are countless buildings in the town which date back to the Renaissance. All these buildings have been beautifully preserved. It is definitely worth stopping in this town, even it is just for an afternoon visit.
This preserved town with timber houses dates way back to 1272. Cicmany is unique because of the specific white patterns painted on the exterior walls of houses which decorate them. The local folk music, costumes and folk dances of the village have been preserved too. This village has so much character and was highly enjoyable to explore.
5. Spis Castle
Located in the east of Slovakia, you must visit the remains of this magnificent castle, also, UNESCO listed. There are fantastic views of the countryside from the castle, and you can explore an authentic medieval dungeon, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and Armory. It gives you a very real experience of what life would have been like, back in medieval times.
6. Banska Stiavnica
One of the oldest towns in Slovakia. In the past, it was also one of the wealthiest due to the huge deposits of gold and silver. Many beautiful buildings were built here by rich miners during the 16th and 17th century. It is one of the cultural sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Today the town is very well preserved and has some wonderful cafes and small stores with Slovakian handicrafts and gifts.
A quaint little village, situated in the center of Slovakia, with views of mountains and rolling fields surrounding it. This village dates back to 1376, and in 1993, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a remarkably intact settlement with the traditional features of a central European village. There are more than 40 log houses, all painted in bright colors and a very well-preserved chapel still stands proudly in the village. It really felt like a step back in time, wandering through this little piece of history.
8. Slovak Paradise National Park
The Slovak Paradise National Park is much less known than the famous Tatra Mountains, but as one of Slovakia’s nine national parks, it has much to explore. The park, which opened in 1988, is home to lush gorges, climbing ladders, catwalks and bridges, and certainly keeps you entertained as you move through it very much like a jungle. Beautiful lakes, waterfalls and dense forests make the national park a wonderful hiking destination. The walk through the Sucha Bela gorge is a particular highlight, as you dramatically climb up ladders which carry you through the gorge.
9. Devín Castle
Devin Castle is one of the most iconic locations in Slovakia. Located in Devín, around 13 kilometers from Bratislava, the castle has an important strategic position, located on a cliff overlooking the stunning confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers. On cloudless days you can enjoy a perfect view of the surrounding region from the castle. On the upper floors of this castle, visitors can enjoy the permanent exhibition entitled: “Architectural Development of Devin Castle”, where they can explore artifacts and art from the 11th century.
10. Slovak Karst Caves
Few countries are blessed with such a large volume of underground caves as Slovakia. In fact the caves of the Slovak Karst system have been proudly listed as a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, and really are a must-see. The country boasts one of only three Aragonite caves in the world, and the only one in Europe, which is known as the Ochtinská Aragonite Cave (Ochtinská aragonitová jaskyňa). Situated in southern Slovakia, near Rožňava, although only 300 meters long, the cave’s subterranean chambers are adorned with stunning and unique crystals of aragonite.