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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Slovakia

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Things to see and do in Slovakia

Tourist offices

Slovak Tourist Board

Address: Námestie Ľ. Štúra 1, Banská Bystrica, PO Box 35, 97405
Telephone: +48 413 6146.
Website: http://www.slovakia.travel

Attractions in Slovakia

Follow the Carpathian wine route

Starting just outside the Slovakian capital, the Small Carpathian Wine Route snakes through glorious countryside, past ancient wine towns and the wonderfully preserved Červený Kameň Castle. The route offers plenty of stopover options where you can sample the local wine.

Get sporty in Vrátna Valley

From skiing in winter to hiking or biking through glorious countryside in summer, there's plenty to do in the Malá Fatra mountain range resort of Vrátna. The view from the cable car on a sunny day is a must, though impressive all-year-round.

Go underground in Slovakia’s second city

Waterways, fortifications and the cathedral's foundation are all waiting to be discovered by intrepid visitors willing to head underground at Kosice's archaeological site. There's a labyrinth of passages beneath the earth linking together different parts of the ancient town.

Hike the Tatras National Park

Tatras National Park is the oldest national park in Slovakia and home to the famous High Tatras Mountains. Covering an area of 741 sq km (286 sq miles), it's a hiker's paradise. The landscape incorporates dense forest on the mountains' lower slopes, as well as glacial lakes and mountain streams. It's also famous for its chamois (mountain goats), bears and marmots.

Marvel at Bratislava's architecture

To get a sense of the country's past, take a walk up to Bratislava Castle (itself an impressive cultural monument) above the Old Town and gaze out. You'll see the pretty medieval core spread below, while rows of socialist-era tower blocks line up in the distance.

People watch in Kosice

Slovakia's second city is known for its buzzy atmosphere and pretty Old Town. Grab a coffee in the town square, and then take a terrace seat and watch the world go by. When evening rolls around, visit the State Theatre for a taste of high culture.

Relax in the spas of Starý Smokovec

With its stunning views over the Tatras mountain range, this town famed for its mineral waters has a plethora of therapeutic spas where visitors can frolic in mineral-charged, hot spring waters said to cure everything from asthma to arthritis. Slovakia's copious mineral springs mean the country boasts some of Europe's best spas.

Scale the ramparts of Spis Castle

Spis is the largest castle in Slovakia, and one of the biggest in Central Europe. Standing proud on a 200m high (656ft) dolomite hill, it's as impressive for its setting as it for its medieval architecture. Although many parts of the castle's Gothic tower, chapel ramparts and dungeons stand in ruins, there are fine views from the summit. It was once one of the most important Gothic castles in Europe and there's a small museum inside documenting its history during the late Middle Ages, when it was in its prime.

Settlement of Vlkolinec

Some 45 traditional log houses, one of which houses a folk museum, cluster together in Vlkolinec, a delightful village that was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1993. There's perhaps nowhere better in Slovake to glimpse traditional rural life.

Ski in Jasna

Take to the piste in Jasna, which offers some of Slovakia's best skiing. The Demanova Valley resort has modern lifts and well-maintained slopes. And with prices at a fraction of its Western European alternatives, what's not to like?

Wander around the Andy Warhol Gallery

The provincial town of Medzilaborce isn't the most obvious place to find a classy modern art museum, which makes the Andy Warhol Gallery something of a curiosity. Warhol's parents were from the area. The man himself would have been pleased with the collection on show.

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With its well-preserved historic core and wealth of cultural events and festivals, Slovakia's second largest city, Košice was deservedly awarded the status of European Capital of Culture in 2013, sharing the title with Marseille.