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Slovakia is definitely not at the top of most travelers’ lists when it comes to traveling around Europe. In fact, we’d bet that it usually is not even on the list to begin with or is one of the first to get cut when narrowing things down.
We are here to tell you to stop! And include Slovakia on your next trip to Europe, especially if you are traveling around Eastern Europe.
Haven’t convinced you yet? Hopefully these 7 reasons will show you why Slovakia needs to be on your next Europe trip.
Let’s start with Slovakia’s history because it’s a fascinating one. Slovakia was under rule from the Kingdom of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the USSR which gives it a unique history of gaining and losing its own independence.
While this is certainly not the most prosperous history, it has helped shape the country, culture, and people into what it is today, and it has to be a reason why people are so proud to be Slovak.
The changes in rule are reflected in the architecture throughout Slovakia as there are clear delineations from the when it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary for 900 years to the about 80 year Soviet rule that ended in 1993. A simple stroll through Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, will give you a glimpse at all the history of this often overlooked country.
As a traveler anywhere in the world, hospitality and feeling welcomed is always something you want, and Slovakia does not lack hospitality. We always felt welcomed and accepted in Slovakia. People were kind, open, and willing to help us, even with our limited Slovak skills.
Having locals welcome you as a traveler and be hospitable goes such a long way to making your stay better. Luckily, Slovakia is now ranked as one of the most peaceful nations in the European Union and gives its citizens lots of freedoms. This makes for happier citizens who are more likely to be kind and helpful to guests traveling to Slovakia.
Of course, we had to mention food. If the food was just absolute crap, you can bet that we would not recommend traveling there. However, Slovakia food blew us away, and we know you will find it delicious too!
We had little-to-no knowledge of Slovak food before traveling to Slovakia, and our expectations were pretty low. That being said, the food still blew us away with how delicious it was!
Make sure to try the Bryndzové halušky, potato dumplings with sheep cheese and bacon, and the Zemiakové placky, fried potato pancakes with flour and garlic. For fantastic food, make sure to head to Slovak Pub.
The food was not only super delicious, but it was also affordable, which brings us to our next reason why you should visit Slovakia…
Slovakia is a budget-friendly travel destination in Europe. Overall, Eastern Europe is much cheaper than Western Europe. Slovakia is very close to Austria, which can definitely blow your travel budget with how expensive it is if you are not careful. It can also be the gateway from Vienna, Austria to places like Budapest, or Belgrade.
In comparing Slovakia to other European countries, especially those to the west of it, you will eat and drink like royalty on next to nothing which will enable you to stretch your Europe trip out longer or indulge more when you are traveling.
Slovakia? Wine? What?!
Yes, you heard that right! Slovakia produces wonderful wine, which was definitely news to us. After all, Slovakia rarely comes up in wine discussions about the best wine regions in the world with Bordeaux, France, Napa, California, La Rioja, Spain, Tuscany, Italy, or Mendoza, Argentina to name a few.
Slovakia has great wine! You can get it all over the country, but the best place to find Slovak wine is at Grand Cru Wine Gallery in Bratislava. They have an extensive selection of wine from all over Slovakia and are incredibly welcoming and helpful. The employees at Grand Cru Wine Gallery will teach you all about Slovak wine and welcome you to their beautiful country and city. Stopping here for a glass of wine, or two, or three, is an absolute must-do when visiting Slovakia and Bratislava.
6. Easy Stopover
Hopefully by now your mouth is watering, and you are ready to put Slovakia on your next European travel itinerary. However, you might be asking yourself whether or not it’s a convenient travel destination in Europe. Well, you’re in luck!
Slovakia sits right next to other hot European travel destinations like Budapest, Vienna, Prague, and Krakow. The capital, Bratislava, is especially close to Vienna and Budapest. It’s only an hour bus ride from Vienna, making for an easy stopover.
Taking this quick hour bus ride, even if only for a day-trip from Vienna or a single night stay, will allow you to experience a completely different and new country and culture in Europe. It’s very different from that of Vienna, which is a major reason we recommend it.
Being in such a convenient location in Europe, makes Slovakia an easy place to stop on your Europe trip, even if just for a short while, so NO EXCUSES!
The magical, fairy tale beauty of Slovakia is the last reason Slovakia needs to be on your next Europe trip. It is an absolutely beautiful country which exudes a fairy tale-like vibe with it’s old medieval city centers filled with old churches, arches, and cobblestone streets. The red-roofed and cream-bricked buildings add to this charm.
These older buildings are juxtaposed with intense Soviet-era buildings that command attention, like the UFO Bridge in Bratislava or the Slovak Radio Tower.
The two contrasting architecture styles mixed with a beautiful natural landscape make Slovakia one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, which is why you need to travel there!
Hopefully, all these reasons will have you either booking a trip to Slovakia right now, or at the very least, considering visiting it on your next Europe trip.
It’s definitely an underrated and under-visited country, so if you are looking for a remarkable place to travel to that’s a little off the beaten path, especially when you take into account the surrounding cities and countries, please consider Slovakia! You will not be disappointed!