Slovakia is a country which has a vast range of outdoor activities for tourists to enjoy. It is a historic place with so much to do.
Recommended Slovakia Tourism Experiences
Slovakia has many lovely historic towns and cities, castles many now crumbling, but with fascinating stories to tell chateaux, spas, museums, and culture.
Bratislava is the capital city, and very near to the Austrian border. But move into central Slovakia for a real feel of this country that has so much to offer tourists. You can enjoy the mountains and the historic towns from this central point.
Historic Slovak Towns and Cities
The Picture postcard historic towns Banska Bystrica and Banska Stiavnica, their buildings set around town squares, are both lovely, though entirely different.
Banska Bystrica is probably best known as the center of the 1944 Slovak National Uprising. The focal point of this old city is namestie SNP, once the old medieval marketplace. At one end is the Clock Tower. It is a short climb to the top for magnificent views of Banska Bystrica, stretching to the Tatra mountains.
Hronsek nearby is well worth a look. This beautiful, entirely wooden Baroque style church built in 1726 is unique and has been well preserved. It was carefully restored retaining the original character of the church, made without the use of iron nails. The church is typical of Scandinavian and German architecture. On the roof of the church, sits a rooster -a symbol of the reformed church.
Banska Stiavnica is a Slovakia tourism treasure with beautiful old buildings that have helped it receive UNESCO protected status. A restoration programme is in place, as many of the buildings, originating from the days when it was a gold and silver mining town, have fallen into disrepair. Wander the city and gardens, including the Arboretum with substantial old redwoods trees.
Bartolomej mines near Kremnica is an exciting trip underground to a miners museum and the old mining seams. Decked out in thick green waterproof coats and hard hats, you are taken down into the mine shaft, through the tunnel network.
The Zamok or Chateau at Zvolen is near the Bartolomej mines and a beautiful example of an earlier era. It was a view of life before the Slovak National Uprising when it was taken over to be used as a fortress. Many rooms now house artworks and a museum.
Kremnica was a vital gold mining town, in the Middles Ages. The main buildings are set around a town square, overlooked by Mestsky Hrad. (castle) The best feature was the Town Mint built before 1434. It has a great little museum with a coinage hall and old mint machines, where you can press a coin yourself!
Levoca is one the ancient Slovak towns. You can explore the many historic houses around the square, and if you are there in June, you may be able to take part in the annual pilgrimage. The “cage of shame” was used in the 16th-17th centuries to publicly shame those who behaved badly or trespassed.
Vychlovka includes a skanzen of an old village, as well as an old steam railway, which in the past was used to transport wood throughout the Orava region. Vychylovka is an exciting tourist attraction, with a half hour ride on the historic steam train.
Vlkolinec was included in the World’s cultural heritage list of UNESCO in 1993 due to the country folk heritage. This picturesque village is situated near the town of Ruzomberok. Vlkolinec is known for its well preserved wooden architecture, where there are 40 wooden houses from the 15th to 19th century, although they look identical from the outside.
An Unusual Art Experience
The Slovensky Bethlehem was a delightful piece of art, carved out of wood, with moving parts, depicting not only the birth of the baby Jesus but also the country of Slovakia. It is in the village of Rajecka Lesna, about 15 miles south of Zilina.
Slovakia’s Mountain Areas
Strbske Pleso is the highest community in the High Tatra Mountains, situated around the lake, it is on the Electric Railway that runs through the Tatra Mountains, and with its many bars, restaurants, and shops, Strbske Pleso makes an excellent base for anyone wanting to explore the Tatra Mountains.
Stary Smokovec Hrebienok is the center of Vysoke Tatry ( High Tatras) mountain area. There are magnificent walks, rushing rivers and waterfalls.
Chopok – Jasna is in the Low Tatras. It is a popular ski resort in winter, while in summer it is great for hiking. You can take the funicular cable car built in 1936 to Chopok from Demanovska dolina.
Slovakia has 14 Cave Systems open to the public including the Ice Cave and Aragonite cave – one of only three in the world.
The Slovensky Raj ( Slovak Paradise) is a beautiful National Park with waterfalls, gorges, canyons and beautiful forests. There is skiing nearby, and many hikes and walks. You can go by chairlift, or climb the waterfalls and walk the tracks!
Slovakia has many Natural Spas
The Korytnica Spa has been famous since the second part of the 19th century. It is situated in the National Park of the Low Tatras under the Passive mountain, 30 kilometers from Banska Bystrica.
There is much more in Slovakia and in them a wide range of cultural experiences. Concerts, museums, and traditional living. I highly recommend it as a country with a tremendous amount to interest everyone, with so much to do both indoors and outdoors. It indeed is a fascinating travel destination!