Slovakia Shopping and nightlife
Shopping in Slovakia
Popular souvenirs include pottery, porcelain, woodcarvings, hand-embroidered clothing and food items. There are a number of excellent shops specialising in glass and crystal, while various associations of regional artists and artisans run their own retail outlets. Other special purchases include folk ceramics from all regions of Slovakia, and woodcarvings from the eastern and central parts (Kyjatice, Michalovce and Spi¡sská Belá). Bratislava is steadily attracting Western stores, with neon signs and swish facades brightening up a once slightly staid city, with this trend towards globalisation of the shopping market slowly spreading throughout the country.
Mon-Fri 0900-1800, Sat 0900-1200. Shopping centres open until 2100, with hypermarkets open 24 hours.
Nightlife in Slovakia
Theatre and opera are of a generally high standard - a legacy of the communist state system that supported its favourite branches of the arts. Much of the nightlife activity still takes place in hotels, although nightclubs are to be found in major cities. Bratislava, as the capital, has the liveliest nightlife in the country. It may not exactly be London or New York, but it has come on leaps and bounds since the end of communism.
Today there is a flurry of venues to choose from, whether visitors are looking for an atmospheric old Slovak drinking den or a student dive, a funky bar or bustling tourist-filled Irish theme pub. The rest of the country is playing catch-up, with the large student population in Kosice helping fuel an increasingly lively nightlife scene there too. Visitors are advised to keep their wits about them in rougher venues outside the capital where foreigners are a novelty and can be the subject of unwelcome attention.