|Official name:||Slovak Republic (SR)|
|State formation date:||1 January 1993|
|Political system:||Parliamentary democracy|
Slovakia is still undiscovered tourist destination in the middle of Europe
Slovakia - small country in size - will surprise by five elements: variety of nature and richness of underground beauty, unique healing power of thermal and mineral springs, remained historical monuments – witnesses of people’s life centuries ago as well as by kind hearted people. Many nations – Slavs, Germans, Hungarians, Ruthenians, lived together here, traded, built churches… and even their cohabitation was not always peaceful, our forefathers placed fundament of united Europe, as we live now. This web page is expression of respect and thanks for effort to all who follows their dreams…
- 8 self-governing regions – Bratislava, Trnava, Trenčín, Nitra, Žilina, Banská Bystrica, Prešov, Košice region,
- 79 districts,
- 138 towns,
- 2891 municipalities (including towns)
Area: 49 035 km2
Location: Central Europe
The mid and the North of the country is mountainous (Carpathian curve), lowlands (important agricultural areas) are typical of the South and the East. The most important Slovak river the Danube connects the capital city of the SR Bratislava with two capital cities of the neighbour countries - Vienna and Budapest.
Moderate climatic zone, with changing four seasons, average temperature in winter -2°C (the coldest month January, the coldest area High Tatras), in summer 21°C (the warmest months July and August, the warmest area Danubian Lowland). In some mountain ranges the snow remains on average 130 days per year.
Central European time (+ 1 hour from GMT).
Summer time/daylight - saving time from March to November is + 2 hours from GMT.
Hungary (679 km), Poland (597.5 km), the Czech Republic (265 km), Austria (127,2 km), Ukraine (98 km)
Currency: EURO (from 1/1/2009).
National holidays (are also the public holidays)
- 1 January - Day of the establishment of the Slovak Republic
- 5 July - St. Cyril and Methodius Day
- 29 August - Slovak National Uprising anniversary
- 1 September - Day of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic
- 17 November - Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day
- 6 January - Epiphany (The Three Magi)
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- 1 May - Labour Day
- 8 May - Day of victory over fascism
- 15 September - Lady of Sorrows Day / Blessed Virgin Mary
- 1 November - All Saints` Day
- 24 December - Christmas Eve
- 25 December - Christmas Day
- 26 December - St. Stephen`s Day
Tax and custom regulations
Within the EU import and export of goods is not limited in any way, which also applies to goods for private purposes. It is therefore possible to import an unlimited amount of goods for private purposes from other EU-member countries to Slovakia. There is no obligation to pay tax in Slovakia, as the VAT and consumer tax on goods (where applicable) purchased for private purposes has already been included in the purchasing price in the respective country.
When certain goods that are subject to consumer tax are purchased (alcohol, alcoholic beverages and tax products), it is the purchaser who has the obligation to transport the products purchased in another EU-member country. It is not allowed to have the goods shipped, and no other person is allowed to transport the goods. It is also forbidden to provide the goods for further sale.
Outside the EU it is possible to import or export duty-free the following quantities:
Air traffic (not only the air traffic; this also refers to other transports – road and railway border crossings with customs between Slovakia and the Ukraine):
- 200 (40) cigarettes, or 100 (20) cigarillos, or 50 (10) cigars, or 250 (50) gram tobacco
- 1 litre of spirit with an alcohol content of more than 22 % vol., 2 litres of sparkling wine
- 4 litres of non-sparkling wine
- Other goods of max. 430 (300) €
- The limitations are lowered to 150 € for travellers under 15 years of age.
- Transport of pets is permitted only with the respective veterinary certificate.
- Weapons can be exported only with firearms certificate.
- By export basically the same limits are valid as by import.
- Art objects and object of historical value underlie/are liable to licence and custom duty.
Safety and security
The situation in Slovakia is in this aspect similar to all the European neighbouring countries. Especially in places, where many tourists pass by (i.e. The Old Town / Staré mesto in Bratislava, bus and train stations, means of transport), you have to pay attention to your personal stuff and valuables. For motorists the usual measures are valid - it is recommended to park the cars on guarded parking places, not to leave valuables unnecessarily in the parked car. Its the best to keep your valuables in the hotel safe and not to carry too much cash with you.
There is drinking water from the taps, besides some exceptional cases, when a notification warns about the possible defect.
Vaccination and medical measures
Before the arrival to Slovakia no special health precautions or medical measures are necessary. We recommend a tick vaccine, especially in case, that you plan to spend a lot of time in the woods. It is also suitable to carry with you some insect repellents, because in areas close to water can be an increased occurrence of gnats.
There are hospitals in all larger towns. In smaller towns and tourist areas outpatient clinics and pharmacies are available. Pharmacies are open usually on workdays from 8:00 to 18:00, during weekends and holidays there is always one pharmacy in town non stop on duty.
- It is recommended to close a health insurance contract before coming to Slovakia, which is usually a part of the travel insurance package.
- When needing emergency health care call 112 or specialised rescue service/ambulance.
Except for the usual travel insurance it is necessary to close a mountain search and rescue insurance when mountain hiking.
How to make (phone) calls
International country code of SR: 00421
Mobile operators on the area of SR: Orange, T-mobile, Telefónica O2
Slovakia really well covered by mobile phone networks, which enable calls also from some peaks of Tatras. Only very distant areas are without signal.
In towns it is possible to use public phone cells/booths, which accept coins or phone cards. The cards can be purchased in post offices or some newspaper stands.
In catering facilities, in trains and at workplaces smoking is allowed only in areas reserved for smokers. Smoking prohibition is valid in closed public areas (covered bus stops, closed sports fields), in publicly accessible spaces (stations, cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, exhibition grounds and similar) and at schools.
Habits and customs
When entering a Slovak dwelling the residents change their shoes in the entrance hall and offer some house slippers to the guests as well. In many households it is considered as misbehaviour, if you move in the dwelling space in shoes, which is used outside.
To offer the guests a tot of slivovica (a strong, colorless alcoholic beverage primarily made of distilled fermented plum juice, often referred to as plum brandy) or similar distilled liquor (spirits) is considered here as a demonstration of hospitality and respect and if there is not a cogent reason, it is impolite to refuse such an offer. This is especially true in the country, when the residents offer distilled liquor of own production (home made liquor).
When meeting/welcoming the acquaintances are shaking hands. Close friends or family members usually kiss once on the cheek or both cheeks and hug slightly. When introducing strangers it is polite to shake hands, in a more informal atmosphere also to give peck (fleeting kiss).
In Slovakia it is a custom to eat 3-times daily, whereby the most is consumed usually in the lunch time between 12:00 - 13:30. The dinner consists of soup and main course, sometimes also a dessert. For supper warm meals are served often, as well, generally between 18 - 21 h.
It is a habit in Slovakia to use the formal second person plural “vykanie” in official relations and meetings, the informal “tykanie”, is usual in families and among friends, eventually close colleagues( and is similar to being on first name with someone).