10 reasons to visit Slovakia
I could bet that the majority of you do not really know why you should visit Slovakia, maybe not even where my home country is located.
Probably you have heard of it, but you kind of mix it with Slovenia, Russia or still live before the year 1993 and you connect it to Czechoslovakia. If this is your case, then first check out the basic facts you should know about Slovakia and then come back to this article.
Most of you have never been thinking of visiting this lovely country but being a proud Slovak, I have to show you that you should change your opinion.
Slovakia can be a really small country but with so many big treasures you had no idea about. And it is not enough if you say you have visited Prague, so you can easily imagine how similar Slovakia is. Because Czech republic with its capital Prague is a lot different from Slovakia.
Out of many, I just state 10 reasons for you to visit Slovakia:
1. Sexy women
For all the guys, this could be probably the only reason needed to visit Slovakia. It is said that Slovak girls belong to the most beautiful women in the world when it comes to natural beauty. We are tall, with nice figure, spark in the eyes and of any hair colour you wish. And we don’t even need any plastic surgery. So no worries, most of us will not look like a monster when 50!
2. Beautiful nature
Nature of Slovakia is so breath-taking that we have 9 National parks which cover big part of the Slovak territory. Just the lowlands in the South do not belong to any national park. If there is no heavy rain or snow melting, the rivers of Slovakia are mostly pretty clean (let’s see how long it will last for.)
Especially the rivers in the mountains of the national parks are clean and usually very refreshing, even on a hot summer day. Slovakia, not overcrowded yet with its just 5,5 million of inhabitants and 49,035 square kilometres, offers many nice places throughout the country where you can have some privacy if that’s what you want. It’s easy to enjoy a hill, grassfield or a lake just to yourself. I encourage you to go on adventure in Slovakia.
Did you know we even have a volcanic lake Morske oko surrounded by UNESCO Primeval beech forests in Eastern Slovakia?
3. Wooden churches
Eastern Slovakia is famous for plenty of unique churches. We are talking of wooden churches built mostly in the 16th to 18th century with no nails. There used to be around 300 small wooden churches throughout the villages of Slovakia in the past. Each church is different from the others in a way. Only some of them are UNESCO World Heritage Sites now. For example, the unique Church of the Translation of the relics of St. Nicholas in Ruska Bystra is a UNESCO site since 2008.
In winter time (which in Slovakia is from November to March) it is usually possible to ski in many mountains of Slovakia, such as around the Štrbské Pleso or Starý Smokovec in High Tatras National park (Vysoké Tatry) or Ďumbier and Chopok in Low Tatras (Nízke Tatry in Slovak). Ski pass in any Slovak ski center is still cheaper than in the Alps in Italy, Austria, France, Germany or Switzerland. So if you are into winter sports, Slovakia might be a good pick.
Since the 13th century a huge number of castles were constructed around the Slovak territory to defend it against the attacks of the Tatars. Nowadays there are still around 180 castles/castle ruins spread around Slovakia. Some of them are now seats of museums or galleries.
What I love about my home country? You cannot drive for 2 hours through Slovakia without seeing at least one castle.
I once read there are between 5,000 to 7,000 caves in Slovakia out of which just 18 are open to public. One of them is aragonite – Ochtinská cave (one of the only three aragonite caves in the world) and two caves are ice caves – Dobšinská ice cave and Demänovská ice cave covered with ice all year long. Another unique cave in Eastern Slovakia is Krasnohorska cave with the 34 m tall Dripstone of Roznava cavers which used to be the tallest dripstone in the world.
In comparison with other European countries, especially the Western and Northern Europe, Slovakia is still a lot cheaper. Not only the accommodation, food but drinks, too. It is a paradise for beer lovers, there are places where you can get 0,5 l of beer for just 0,80 Euro.
Unfortunately, since we started using Euro in January 2009, the prices are coming up every year. Now are actually many things cheaper in the countries around, such as Ukraine, Poland or Czech republic.
8. Good alcohol
For lovers of shots, Slovakia is the best place. Apart from famous Russian vodka drunk everywhere, there is Slovak made borovička (pronounced as borovichka, made from juniper berries) and slivovica (often called just slivka = plum as it is produced from plums.) But I warn you, the Slovaks, especially those born in Eastern Slovakia, would not let you stop drinking! A bad habit.
9. Slovak cuisine
I really hope the word halušky (pronounced halushky) sounds familiar to you. Such as Hungarian goulash or Spanish paella, bryndzové halušky is the traditional Slovak meal. You definitely have to order it when in Slovakia. There are many more traditional Slovak meals.
Slovakia is a country of bread. Slovak people cannot imagine a day without delicious bread and pastries. We eat it all the time, at Slovak Christmas as well. There are hundreds of kinds of bread – of white flour, healthy whole-grain flour, what we call ”black” flour and different shapes and tastes, including sweet bread with marmalade, cheese or poppy seed. Bread, milk and butter are the first things the Slovaks put into their basket in the grocery shop.