From the top of Borghöjden in Bratislava you can look far, far out over Slovakia. Below, the Danube River flows while heavily loaded trucks thunder across the bridge connecting the old Bratislava with the new. On one side of the river, large concrete silos tower as a memorial to communism and its architecture, and on the other side, the Rococo palace prides itself on witnessing Central European splendor and prosperity.
See trips to Slovakia
Population: 5.5 million
Andy Warhol has a Slovak background? Both his parents immigrated from Slovakia to the United States.
Is ice hockey Slovakia’s national sport? They won their first World Cup gold in 2002.
Slovakia’s natural sights
Also visit Mala Fatra National Park with the beautiful Vratna Dolina, a mountain valley that thrives under wooded slopes, framed by the rivers Varinka, Turiec, Rajcanka and Zazrivka and Orava. By the Orava River, the old medieval castle Oravsky is also wedged in a rock jump a little over a hundred meters high.
The Tatras Mountains offer several magnificent natural scenes. There are exciting stalactite caves and in the mighty Tatras Mountains you can climb Slovakia’s highest point, Gerlachovski Stit, which with its 2,654 meter high peak is also the highest mountain in the Carpathians.
More fantastic nature can be found in Slovensky raj nature park. Here the water has formed gorges, ditches and caves in the limestone mountains. The many hiking trails in the “Slovak Paradise” offer several days of employment.
In the mountains at the top of Bratislava, the Hungarian royal family once had their residence, and here is part of Slovak history in the form of coin collections and ancient national artifacts. Bratislava was for several centuries the capital of the Hungarian Empire at a time when the Hungarians were fleeing Budapest to escape the oncoming Ottoman army. Once upon a time, the Ottoman government was based here on Borghöjden, but today the parliament is located below in the old part of town, Stare mesto, together with a number of beautiful palaces.
The most beautiful buildings and sights are located in the old town, including the Palffy Palace, which is an exhibition space for modern art and Flemish masters, and the Mirbach Palace from 1770, which in addition to being an art gallery also lends its spacious premises for classical concerts. Bratislava also shows itself from its most beautiful side around the old Renaissance town hall from the 14th century. Inside the walls there is a museum with, among other things, torture instruments. Also worth seeing is St. Martin’s Cathedral, which with its 85 meter high tower dominates the silhouette of Bratislava’s old town. The Novy most bridge connects the old city center with the suburb and the Petrzalka residential area, which is a real school example of communist architecture: sky-high lumps of concrete as far as the eye can see.
The dining area
At the foot of the Tatras Mountains are a number of cities that have historically been under German influence. The area is called Zips and Spis in German and Slovak respectively. This includes the once prosperous city of Levoca in eastern Slovakia. Make the trip to Nam Majstra Pavla Square, Bytorget, which is a beautiful square flanked by Renaissance buildings and Gothic arcades – feel free to admire the Gothic St. St. James’ Church and the Gothic town hall. Both date from the late Middle Ages and the city’s heyday.
Less than half an hour’s drive from Levoca is Spissky hrad, the remains of Slovakia’s largest castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the top of the castle, visitors can be impressed by the stunning views down the valley and the towns of Spisské-Pohradie and Spisska Kapitula, which once served as the area’s religious center.
Outside Bratislava, where the rivers Danube and Morava meet, there is the opportunity to visit Devin’s castle ruins, which for centuries served as a fortress before being destroyed by Napoleon’s troops in the early 19th century. On the doorstep of Bratislava is also the mountain range The Little Carpathians or Malé Karpaty. The area offers green, wooded slopes where you can, among other things, get acquainted with Slovak wine production.
Another reason to spend your holiday in and around the Carpathian Mountains is the large, beautiful coastal towns. Visit, among other things, the proud spa town of Piestany where you can immerse yourself in mud baths and sulfur-containing water therapy. It is also well worth exploring around the Vah River where lake anemones and lotus flowers form an impenetrable armor on the water surface. The spa’s buildings are built in a beautiful and neat Jugend / Art Nouveu style, which became the architectural feature of Central Europe around 1900.
Climate and weather Slovakia
Read about Slovakia’s climate below – see temperatures for the capital Bratislava
According to top-medical-schools, Slovakia’s climate is best described as a mixture of temperate and continental climates and usually has hot summers and cold winters. Slovakia’s many mountains determine both wind and weather. In the plains of southern Slovakia it is hot and dry and the mountain regions are cooler and wetter.