80 Best places to visit in Slovakia! Travel ideas with pictures and maps
Best places to visit in Slovakia – Castles and Châteaux
Castles, châteaux and manor houses are the real historical wealth of Slovakia and are attractive places for hiking. Lovers of these jewels of history will surely find the historic places they are looking for in Slovakia. Beautiful ruins, half-shrubs, preserved, renovated castles and magnificent Chateaux. Some castles are more famous, others less. In Slovakia, we have about 90-100 castles and chateaux and over 400 manor houses. In the past, the castles were built on high rocks and served mainly as strongholds as protection against enemies. Most of them began in the 13th century.
The destiny of the castle has long been marked by a fire, so many castles have burned down. In the 18th and 19th centuries, gentlemen in Slovakia built more comfortable buildings for housing, mansions and locks in which they moved. As the castles were no longer inhabited, they began to wail. Many historical sights have been rescued and restored, and have been preserved until today. This has become an attractive destination for tourists.
Our list of Best places to visit in Slovakia continues here with the Most beautiful castles in Slovakia:
31. Old & New Castles in Banska Stiavnica UNESCO town
The Old Castle is one of the oldest historical monuments in Banska Stiavnica, which belongs to the UNESCO list. In the 13th century the original parish church, which was a massive three-aisled basilica, and the chapel of St. Michael, the original Romanesque part of the chateau, was exhibited.
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The Old castle will impress you with its architecture with wooden exterior staircases. The castle also has an attractive interior. Inside the castle, you can see, for example, the Knight’s Hall, an exhibition of the Slovak Mining Museum with an archaeological collection, a collection of targets and a pipe.
The New Castle was built in the 16th century and has four floors. Each floor of the castle is an exposure. Still, there are objects in the castle that document the period of anti-Turkish fighting in Slovakia.
32. Orava Castle
A truly beautiful, well preserved Orava castle (Oravský hrad) is located right in the village of Oravský Podzámok. Turns on a high rock bend above the Orava River. The Orava Castle was probably built in the middle of the 13th century, from this century we have the first written mention of it in history.
It was built as a defensive castle on an important trade route between Poland and Hungary. Originally, the castle was wooden, later, after a Turkish invasion, a stone castle was built. In 1307, the Orava Castle became the seat of the Orvian monarchy.
Now it is considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in Slovakia and is definitely a must-visit place!
33. Lubovna Castle
The majestic Lubovna castle was built in Slovakia at the beginning of the 14th century as a defensive castle. The first historical written mention of the castle dates back to the year 1311.
The castle in Stara Lubovna was also visited by significant Hungarian and Polish rulers, the Hungarian Queen Maria or the King of Hungary, Sigismund of Luxembourg, whose portraits are also located in the castle.
34. Spis Castle – UNESCO
Another wonderful treasure of Slovak cultural heritage and history is definitely Spis Castle. It is located in the eastern part of Slovakia and spreads over the limestone rock above the village of Spisske Podhradie in Košice region.
The castle is one of Slovakia’s national cultural monuments. Since 1993 it is also part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. Spis Castle is also one of the largest castles and historic sites not only in Europe but throughout the world.
35. Beckov Castle
Beckov Castle was built in the 13th century on the historic site of a castle from the time of the Great Moravian Empire. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful historical sites and the most famous castles in the country. Turns on the arms of the Beckov village in the Trencin region of western Slovakia, just 8 km from Nove Mesto nad Vahom town.
The castle is a national cultural monument of the history of Slovakia. Nowadays, Beckov Castle is a ruin with courtyards, but it is quite preserved. The castle area is open to the public. The castle is very easily accessible directly from the village of Beckov, you can park your car at the church, right under the castle.
36. Bojnice Castle
Bojnice Castle lies on the site of the original wooden castle which was rebuilt in the 13th century. From the 13th century until 1321 Bojnicky castle was owned by Matus Cak Trenciansky. After his death, the Bojnice castle was replaced by owners of the Gileth and Leustach family. In 1430 the castle was owned by the Italian family and the Noffry family who extended and fortified the Bojnice castle.
The castle belongs to the national cultural monuments of Slovakia. It houses a museum belonging to the Slovak National Museum. Castle Museum is rich in castle furniture, paintings of various European painters and collections of weapons.
37. Trencin castle
The Trencin Castle is located in the western part of Slovakia and is situated on a steep slope above the town of Trencin. The castle belongs to the national monuments of the history of Slovakia. Since Trencin Castle is located right in the centre of Trencin, it is an easily accessible historic place.
At the Trencin Castle you will also find the Illeshazy Gallery with oil paintings. In Ludovit Palace you will see historical weapons and there is also a famine. The buildings of the Trencin Castle have been partly restored and today they are exposing the Trencin Museum.
38. Betliar Manor house
Located in Košice region in eastern Slovakia, not far from Rožňava town, one can find fairytale Manor house Betliar. You can visit its premises and a large English park with a pond and French park with fountain here.
Interior is home to the furniture and belongings of members of the Andrassy family, whom we consider to be the most important aristocrats in Europe in the 19th century.
39. Smolenice Chateau
One can find wonderful Smolenice Chateau in western Slovakia set on top of Smolenice village. It is a very nice historical place, surrounded by a pleasant and maintained park and the forests of Malé Karpaty mountain range. The present form of the Smolenice chateau dates back to the 19th and 20th centuries.
The chateau, however, was built on the ruins of the former castle from the 14th century. It was built by Juraj Palffy and the work began in 1887. It is part of an architect, who also designed the historic Bojnice Castle. Smolenice Chateau has very nice courtyards and offers amazing views of the surroundings.
40. Strecno Castle
The castle itself dates from the 14th century. The castle stands on a high limestone floor more than a hundred meters above the Vah River. It belongs among the national cultural monuments of Slovakia.
The castle is among the favorite destinations of tourists. Various exhibitions and events take place there, especially during the summer and over the weekends, including Zofie Bosnakova Castle Days, falconers, blacksmiths, or night tours to the castle.
41. Branc Castle
Branc Castle was in the past a border castle, which along with other castles guarded the way leading through the Little Carpathians from Slovakia to Moravia. Branc Castle is the ruin of a relatively large castle, which originated in Slovakia in the 13th century.
It stands on a hill above the village of Podzamok, the local part of Podbranc, in the Senica district in the southwest of Slovakia. Branc Castle is surrounded by nature and offers magnificent views of the Myjava hills and the Carpathians.
42. Bratislava castle
The Bratislava Castle stands on a gentle hill above the Danube River. It has the shape of a square with four towers. In the area of the castle there is an exhibition of the Slovak National Museum – the historical and musical museum and the concert hall.
There is also a restaurant in the Castle. The reconstruction of the Bratislava Castle was carried out only after the Second World War. For more than 200 years, when Bratislava was a coronation town, Bratislava Castle was the seat of the Sovereign, and there was a session of the Hungarian Council .
In addition to the exposures of the Historical Department of the Slovak National Museum, part of the premises are used for both representative and state purposes.
43. Cerveny Kamen Castle
The history of Cerveny Kamen Castle dates back to the 13th century, namely before 1240, when it was based on the property of the Queen Constantine. Originally a medieval castle was part of a network of border castles and formed the fortification of the western border of Hungary.
In 1949, Cerveny Kamen Castle was declared a state cultural property and gradually made available to the public as a museum presenting the historical housing of the nobility and the development of the military.
44. Devin Castle
Devin Castle is located in the Bratislava part of Devin, 13 km from the center of Bratislava. Devin Castle is an important historical site of the events of Slovakia. The castle is a rich archaeological site and also a national cultural monument and is an active historical monument for tourists.
In the vicinity of the castle Devin is a nice nature, the castle with its surroundings is very suitable for a pleasant walk along the trail of history. There is also a view of the confluence of the rivers Morava and Danube.
45. Kezmarok castle
Kezmarok castle was built by Imrich and Ján Zápoľský in 1462. In the past, the castle had to protect the city from enemies and is therefore surrounded by walls. Kezmarok castle has been burned down many times, and in the 20th century has passed the last romantic adaptation.
In 1931, the City Museum was established here. During the Second World War, German troops settled in the castle and executed several partisans, as evidenced by the memorial plaques.
47. Nitra castle
Nitra castle is located on a rocky hill. It consists of four parts: the cathedral, the bishop’s palace, the farm buildings and the castle’s outer fortifications. The historical site of the hill on which Nitriansky castle is located was settled in Slovakia in the 9th century.
The castle was exhibited during the decay of the Great Moravian Empire. The Nitra Castle currently houses the Bishop’s Office and the Archaeological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Slovakia. You can visit Gallery here and some of the premises, the visit takes around 1 hour.
48. Krásna Hôrka castle
One of the best-preserved castles in the country, Krásna Hôrka castle, unfortunately burnt down recently in 2012 when the local kids played with an open fire nearby. Since then the castle is closed and is still under reconstruction.
Located in Kosice region, near Rožňava town, the castle was one of the most popular places to visit in the area. We hope that the reconstruction works will be made much faster so that we can see it again in its former beauty.
49. Budatín Castle
When visiting the city of Žilina which we mentioned earlier in this article among the most beautiful cities to visit in Slovakia, you should also take a short trip to nearby Budatínsky castle.
Historic English park with the chapel is opened for public for free, while the castle’s museum expositions are charged where you’ll learn something about the history of Žilina, local life, you’ll see some of the tinsmith’s atrworks and a lot more.
50. Čachtice Castle
When exploring Slovakia you’ll surely meet somewhere with at least a few information about bloody countess Elizabeth Bátory. She was really cruel! She murdered a lot of her maidservants and then bathed in their blood.
Visiting ruins of her castle is, therefore, one of the most adventurous experiences in Slovakia. There was even a film moved recently about her, you can check the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DK-CAbAz-g
51. Čičva castle ruins
Eastern Slovakia is dotted with lots of castle ruins and one of its best is definitely Čičva castle ruins. Located in Prešov region, not far from Vranov nad Topľou town, on the hill about Podčičva village, the castle offers great views of the surrounding area.
You can get there by car, which you can leave at the small parking lot nearby and then continue further on foot (10 minutes). The castle is easily accessible and is suitable for families with kids even though there are some dangurous places with steep and high walls so be careful here. Check this map: https://en.mapy.cz/s/3pFbU
52. Kapušany castle ruins
Only a few kilometers from the city of Prešov, in the village of Kapušany, one can find the ruins of the Kapušany Castle (Kapušiansky hrad). The castle is visible from the surrounding villages, so you’ll hardly miss it.
High stone walls and great views into the surrounding countryside is what makes it one of the most popular places to visit in the area. A large part of the castle has been restored in recent years, including a lookout tower. Hiking map: https://en.mapy.cz/s/3pTzv
That’s not the end! The most beautiful part is just going to start now! Slovak main treasure is a nature! Click here to load more Best places to visit in Slovakia!