96 Best places to visit in Slovakia! Travel ideas with pictures and maps
Best places to visit in Slovakia – Travel ideas with amazing pictures and maps! It is one of the less known countries in Europe, but it is also one of the most interesting. We are referring to Slovakia, which has much to offer the tourist: ancient cities full of charm, spectacular castles, huge mountains, green meadows, a rich cultural heritage…
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The best of all is that you can enjoy all the charms of this Central European country without having to spend a lot of money since it is a very economical destination.
In this article, we move to Slovakia to discover some of its best places to visit. As you can discover yourself then, they all are different and have a special charm.
Best places to visit in Slovakia – Cities, towns and villages
Let’s start with the second most populous city in Slovakia – Košice. Located in the eastern part of the country it is often referred to as the most beautiful city in Slovakia! Surrounded by mountains, it offers a beautiful historic center, in which the St. Elisabeth Cathedral stands out as the largest church in Slovakia and the easternmost situated Roman Cathedral in Europe.
In addition, it is the seat of the Slovak Constitutional Court and of several universities. Among its best attractions are Hlavna street (city center with lots of historical monuments), ZOO, Botanical garden, parks, and forests all around.
Top 5 Places to visit in Kosice
- Hlavná street with its main landmarks St Elisabeth Cathedral
- Hrnčiarska street and Miklus prison
- Dominikánske square with the oldest church in the city and city market
- Kosice Zoo
- Lookout tower (Vyhliadkova veza)
Prešov is another city located in the northeast of the country, in the valley of the Torysa River. In its historical centre, you will find examples of Baroque, Rococo and Gothic architecture, although in the suburbs the influence of the Soviet Union is evident.
Its quiet city centre fits well after visiting busy Košice, but Prešov also has lots of amazing and unique places around the city. Opal mines are, for example, something you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Top 5 places to visit in Presov
- City centre with the Parish Church of St. Nicholas
- Greek-Catholic St. John the Baptist Cathedral
- City fortification system
- Solivar technical museum
Žilina is another important city in Slovakia. It is located in the northern part of the country. Being a university city, it stands out for its lively and youthful atmosphere. In addition, it is important to bear in mind that it is the economic centre of the north of the country.
It is surrounded by Malá Fatra mountain range, mountains of Kysuce Protected Landscape Area and Strážovské vrchy mountains. It also boasts wonderful city centre and you can visit several great castles around such as Lietava Castle ruins, Strečno Castle or Budatín Castle.
Another city that could not be absent from this list is Nitra, considered the oldest city in Slovakia. In fact, its origins date back to the 9th century, so it is a city of great historical importance.
We recommend you to visit the historic centre as well as Nitra Castle with the St. Emmeram’s Cathedral towering above the city.
5. Banská Bystrica
We continue our tour of the best places to visit in Slovakia in Banská Bystrica, which is located on the banks of the Hron River. Important mining centre since the Middle Ages, it houses many monuments of great artistic and historical value.
Also, keep in mind that it has been an important university centre since 1950. It has a beautiful city centre which is even nicer during the summer months when several music bands are performing on the local pubs’ gardens.
6. Špania Dolina village
Špania Dolina is a mining village situated at the borders of Low Tatras and Velka Fatra mountains, on the hill at an altitude of 728 m. It can be found just 11 km from Banska Bystrica and is, therefore, one of the best places for a day trip if you spend your holidays in this city.
For its copper ore deposits that included silver, it was once known throughout the whole of Europe. The first mines were established here in 1006. But it is certain that ore was mined here long before. Archaeological finds prove ore extraction already in Eneolithic.
We also have to talk about Trnava, a city known as Slovak Rome. Belonging to the Kingdom of Hungary from its foundation until after the First World War, today it is known for its food and automotive industry.
It also houses important monuments: the Gothic cathedral of San Nicolas, the Baroque Cathedral of St John the Baptist, synagogues, city walls and overall wonderful city centre.
Another of the most populated cities in Slovakia is Martin, which is located near Žilina. There is the Museum of the Slovak Village, the Slovak National Museum, the National Cemetery, or Turcianska Gallery.
Undoubtedly, the best thing about this place is its beautiful natural environment. Surrounded by Malá Fatra National Park and Veľká Fatra National Park with some of the best places to visit such as Ferrata Martinské hole, Šútovo lake and waterfall, a lot of ski resorts all around make Martin great place for exploring central part of the country.
Trenčín is also an important city of Slovakia. Here is the third largest castle in the country called simply Trenčín castle, which is definitely the biggest tourist attraction here. But the city has many other cultural and historical sights as well!
The city was mentioned for the first time in the second century when the Romans created on this site a fortified settlement, called Leukaristos.
10. Poprad and its part Spišská Sobota
Finally, we have to talk about Poprad, a city famous for its picturesque historic centre and for being an excellent place for skiing. In fact, in winter it is full of lovers of this sport. Situated at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, it is close to famous ski resorts.
It’s surrounded by 3 wonderful national parks, such as High Tatras National Park, Low Tatras National Park and Slovak Paradise National Park which make it a great starting point for discovering the nature around.
The city was mentioned for the first time in chronicles in the middle of the 13th century, but at that time Poprad was not yet a very large settlement. It was a small group of villages that came together and gradually gained the status of a city.
11. Bardejov – UNESCO town
In the northeast of Slovakia, one can find another important historical town, Bardejov. It has been inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage list already in the year 2000.
Its medieval town centre with narrow streets protected by town walls is something that everyone falls in love at first sight! Furthermore, nearby Bardejovské kúpele spa resort offers body and soul treatment which is so renowned that even Empress Elisabeth of Austria (known as Sissi) tried their healing effects a long ago.
12. Levoča – UNESCO town
Another UNESCO town where you have to stop by on your Slovak adventure is Levoča. Situated close to amazing Tatra mountains, it is often used as a day trip.
A long history, a number of restored monuments and a pilgrimage tradition on the nearby Mariánska hora make Levoča an important tourist destination. The Church of St. Jacob, standing on the main square, is the most famous city’s monument.
13. Banská Štiavnica – UNESCO town
Banská Štiavnica is a small but very important town situated in the heart of Slovakia. Since 1993, the city has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage thanks to its medieval Mining centre.
Monuments associated with the mining tradition can be seen literally at every step. The old and new castle, Svätý Anton Manor House or the Calvary are some of the main tourist attractions of the town.
Kremnica is another ancient mining town with a coinage tradition. The first written mention of Kremnica is documented in 1328. he Kremnica Mint has been continuously producing mints for over 670 years so it is one of the oldest mints in the world at all. You can visit Mint museum here to learn something about this amazing place.
You can also visit the tower of the Church of St. Catherine at the City Castle. It offers perfect views of the city and the entire valley. Lovers of technical monuments can find many mining attractions in the city and its surroundings.
15. Kežmarok and its UNESCO church
Kežmarok is a historic town in eastern Slovakia, located in the Prešov region. It has about 17,000 inhabitants. A castle was built here already in 1463, which significantly influenced the history of Kežmarok.
A town was situated on an important trade route linking the Orient with northern Europe. That’s why economic development was very fast and the city was rich. In 1950, the historic core of the city was declared an urban conservation area, and since 2008 it has a UNESCO Site – a Wooden articular church from 18th century. Today Kežmarok belongs to the most beautiful cities in the Spiš region.
Rožňava – a town famous for its mining, old crafts and traditions, lies between the slopes of the Slovenské Rudohorie mountain range and the vast plains of the Slovak Karst. It is also the administrative and cultural centre of the Upper Gemer region and the seat of the Bishop.
Rožňava attracts tourists especially with its preserved historical centre made of a square-shaped square. The history of this square dates back to the Middle Ages, it is the largest of its kind in Slovakia and hides a number of rare architectural monuments. Its main monument is undoubtedly a renaissance 36.5-meter high guard tower with a viewing terrace that has become an inherent symbol of the town.
17. Vlkolínec village – UNESCO
Slovakia is famous for its picturesque villages with its traditional houses and folk buildings. But one of these places is so exceptional that it even got on a UNESCO World Heritage List.
Of course, it is Vlkolínec village, now a part of Ružomberok town. Vlkolínec is a monumental reservation of folk architecture, a kind of open-air museum of medieval villages with original wooden houses. It is the most preserved, the most complete and largest of the original folk villages in the whole of Slovakia, covering an area of 797 hectares.
If you like Slovak folklore, then you should definitely visit also Čičmany village. Čičmany became famous for its beautiful costumes, but also for preserved wooden houses, painted with white patterns.
You will also find the ethnographic museum here. When visiting Cicmany, do not miss the cosy Baroque mansion, which is located in the middle of the village. Here you can taste great Slovak cuisine.
Piešťany is a beautiful town situated in the western part of the country. It is famous for its world-renowned spa, mainly due to the healing effects of thermal mineral waters and sulphurous mud.
Piešťany is one of the warmest and sunniest places in Slovakia, lies in the middle of a wide valley of the Váh river and besides its own spa centre, you can also enjoy sports activities in the nearby Sľňava Lake. The city itself has about 35,000 inhabitants and offers plenty of opportunities for all kinds of activities.
Have you already visited the most beautiful chateau in Slovakia and maybe even in Central Europe? If not, do not hesitate! Even though Bojnice is mainly known for its wonderful chateau, there are lots of other amazing things to do and see here.
Right next to it there is a thermal swimming pool with a sixty-foot slide, the oldest Slovak zoo and your holidays here will be full of the pleasant atmosphere.
Sabinov is a district town in the Prešov region in northeastern Slovakia. Usually, this town is not in any tourist guide, but it’s a pity. It has a really nice town centre and one very interesting place – a shop!
However, it’s not just common shop. It’s The Shop on Main Street, a movie that won the Academy Award (Oscar) back in 1965 as the very first Czechoslovak movie. Unfortunately, when one of the movie’s directors emigrated to the USA after troops of the Soviet Union invaded Eastern and Central European countries, the film has been forbidden for the next 20 years in Czechoslovakia… 🙂 Oh, God, there were always been idiots in the government…
22. Liptovský Mikuláš
Liptovský Mikuláš is the capital of the Liptov region – one of the most beautiful and popular regions in Slovakia. The town is surrounded by Western Tatras on the north with the highest peak being Bystrá (2248,4 meters asl) and Low Tatras on the south with the highest peak being Ďumbier (2,043 meters asl).
There is one of the largest thermal aquaparks in central Europe – Tatralandia, close to the town. Liptovská Mara water reservoir, lying just next to the town, is one of the largest water areas in Slovakia, often referred to as the Slovak Sea. Demänovská jaskyňa, Prosiecka valley or Kvačianská valley are just a few of countless tourist attractions here.
Komárno is a small town situated at the borders between Slovakia and Hungary, on the river Danube. Together with its Hungarian counterpart, called Komárom, once formed one city but it was split between Hungary and Slovakia after WWI.
The most interesting part of Komárno is certainly a historical pedestrian zone with many architecturally well-managed and recently renovated buildings. The Hungarian part also deserves tourist’s eye attention, just cross the bridge over Danube river and you’re there!
24. Spišská Nová Ves
Another of the most beautiful towns in Slovakia is, according to the country’s residents who voted in local competition, Spišská Nová Ves. As it’s apparent from the picture, it’s position is really amazing!
Not far from the High Tatras Mountains, the town is considered also a gateway to the Slovak Paradise National Park. Its nice town centre with the highest church tower in Slovakia, vicinity to other amazing towns and places in Slovakia, such as Levoča, Poprad, Kežmarok, Spiš castle, Branisko mountain range and others make the town a perfect place for a week-long holiday. You will not be bored here!
25. Spišská Kapitula and Spišské Podhradie – UNESCO
We can’t forget to include Spišské Podhradie town and its part Spišská Kapitula. The town itself has been one of the UNESCO sites since 1993. It is often overlooked by tourist as it is humbly standing at the foot of the hill where is one of the biggest castles in the world – another UNESCO site Spiš Castle.
One can see a former monastery, now St. Martin’s Cathedral from 13th to 15th centuries, medieval walls, a gate, bell tower and a lot more here. So it is really a big mistake to skip this place!
Zvolen is a quiet town in the heart of Slovakia. With its wonderful castle situated in the town centre, nice square and cozy streets the town definitely must have some position on this list!
Even the surrounding of Zvolen is interesting. Directly above the town is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe known as Pustý hrad. The town lies in the embrace of the volcanic mountains of Poľana, Kremnické hills, Štiavnické hills.
Terchová is a unique and quiet place suitable for relaxing or hiking. Surrounded by a unique nature, the village Terchová is a place for lovers of hiking, cycling, nature, but also for fans of summer or winter sports.
Discover the beauties of the local nature, enjoy the views of Mala Fatra National Park and discover the unique folklore. It is situated in the Malá Fatra National Park and forms the entrance to the Vratna Valley. Terchová is also associated with various myths or legends, the most famous of which is the figure of Juraj Jánošík, the main Slovak hero!
Like Terchová is a gateway to Malá Fatra National Park, Ždiar is the same for Belianske Tatry, a part of High Tatras National Park. It managed to preserve its original appearance throughout the years.
You can still see original wooden houses here which are perfectly situated at the foot of the Belianske mountains! Ždiarska vidla is the most known peak that is visible from everywhere here.
Gelnica is wonderful historic mining town situated in the valley among hills of Slovak Ore Mountains, in eastern Slovakia.
At the time of its greatest mining times (13th to 15th centuries) copper, gold, silver, or iron were mined here.
How could it be otherwise, let’s end our list of amazing cities in Slovakia by talking about Bratislava, the capital and the most populous city in Slovakia? It is a picturesque place where tradition and modernity merge on the banks of the Danube river.
On top of a hill is its most important monument: the castle. Of course, the city is home to many other points of interest: the Old City, the Cathedral of St. Martin, or the Grassalkovich Palace.
These were not all the Slovak cities, towns and villages that you should visit if you want to get a better overview of Slovakia! I already have a few more in my mind, so stay in touch they will be added soon! And if you think that your favourite one is not added here, yet, please let me know below in the comments!
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