Country profile

About Slovakia

Slovakia is a beautiful country located in Central Europe boasting mountains, forests, valleys, arts, culture and castles.  Officially known as the Slovak Republic, the country celebrated its independence from the former 'Czechoslovakia' (now the Czech Republic) in January 1993 and became a member of the European Union (and NATO) in 2004. 

Slovakia borders the Czech Republic and Austria in the west, Poland in the north, Ukraine in the east and Hungary in the south. Its capital, Bratislava is its largest city. It is a peaceful country, with beautiful scenery, inexpensive shopping and hospitable people. The Danube River connects Bratislava with Vienna and Budapest.

The Slovak Republic has a moderate climate with four seasons and an average daily temperature of -2 degrees Celsius in winter and 21 degrees Celsius in summer.  The coldest month is January and Slovakia is at its warmest in July and August.  Snow remains on the ground an average of 130 days per year in the highest elevations.  The official language is Slovak, though you might find the locals talking 'Mishmash', a combination of Slovak, Hungarian, German or Polish!  English is widely spoken.

The capital Bratislava, formerly known as Pressburg or Pozsony, is located on the river Danube, in the south west, and could best be described as quaint, rather than bustling, as it has more of a small town feel to it than many capital cities.  Slovaks, Germans, Jews and Hungarians have all lived here and with the castle overlooking the city from its hilltop position, Bratislava is a very beautiful and charming city to explore.  As one of the youngest capitals in Europe, it is also a dynamically developing city with an increasing number of attractions and places of interest. As far as culture goes, music and opera (the Slovak National Theatre is located in a beautiful Habsburg-era building) are both big in Bratislava; and the city boasts over 20 art galleries and plenty of museums for the history buff. Bratislava boasts a wealth of excellent shopping, with major names sitting alongside unique and original stores.

As for dining; expect to find a cafe, bar, restaurant or pub on almost every corner and in the spring/summer time the tables and chairs will line the pedestrian streets so you can enjoy a glass of al fresco local Vino, along with some traditional food like Bryndzove Halusky, small dumplings made of potato dough, (similar to the Italian dish; Gnocchi).  Shopaholics will also be pleased to discover the city is great for shopping and can bend their plastic in the malls at Polus City Centre, Aupark, Avion, Tatracentrum, Danubiana Shopping Center and Soravia Shopping Palace which are packed full of bargain designer brands, the likes of Pierre Cardin, Swarovski, Tom Tailor, Follie Follie, Trussardi as well as high street stores like Sisley and Mango.

In Slovakia's ski resorts you can enjoy winter sports at unbelievable prices, and at other times of the year there's a choice of sports and activities including hiking, cycling, horse riding, fishing and golf. Forests, lakes, mountains, rivers and hot springs provide a range of outdoor activities and sightseeing opportunities.

Slovakia is in the Central European Time zone and the local currency is the Euro.

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Quick facts

Population: 5.4 Million
Currency: Euro
Capital: Bratislava
Languages: Slovak
Religions: Catholic 62%