SLOVAKIA

SLOVAKIA

SLOVAKIA

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Name: Bratislava Castle
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava Castle is the main castle of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The massive rectangular building with four corner towers stands on an isolated rocky hill of the Little Carpathians directly above the Danube river in the middle of Bratislava. Because of its size and location, it has been a dominant feature of the city for centuries. The location provides excellent views of Bratislava, Austria and, in clear weather, parts of Hungary.

The castle building includes four towers (one on each corner) and a courtyard with a 80 m (260 ft) deep water well. The largest and tallest tower is the Crown Tower on the southwest corner. The 47 m (154 ft) tower dates from the 13th century and for approximately 200 years beginning in the mid-1500s housed the crown jewels of Hungary.[1] The exterior walls and inside corridors contain fragments of old Gothic and Renaissance construction elements. The walled-up entrance gate from the 16th century is still visible to the east of the main entrance. Behind the entrance, is an arcade corridor leading to a large Baroque staircase which, in turn, leads to the exhibitions of the Slovak National Museum on the second floor.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bratislava_Castle
Name: Bojnice Castle
Location: Bojnice, Slovakia
Bojnice Castle is a medieval castle in Bojnice, Slovakia. It is a Romantic castle with some original Gothic and Renaissance elements built in the 12th century. Bojnice Castle is one of the most visited castles in Slovakia, receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and also being a popular filming stage for fantasy and fairy-tale movies. Bojnice Castle was first mentioned in written records in 1013, in a document held at the Zobor Abbey. Originally built as a wooden fort, it was gradually replaced by stone, with the outer walls being shaped according to the uneven rocky terrain.

The castle is renowned for its attractions, including the popular Castle Fairytale, the International Festival of Ghosts and Spirits and the Summer Music Festival. The romantic castle is also a popular location for filming fairy tale movies, such as Fantaghirò. It hosts the most popular museum in Slovakia and has featured in many movies. Bojnice Castle is surrounded by the castle park featuring numerous species of trees. The park also contains the Bojnice Zoo, the oldest and one of the most visited zoos in Slovakia. The castle park continues in the form of a forest park in the Strážov Mountains.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bojnice_Castle
Name: Old Town
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
The Old Town of Bratislava is the historic center and one of the boroughs of Bratislava, in the Bratislava Region of Slovakia. It is coextensive with the smallest Slovak administrative district by area, Bratislava I. It contains the small, but preserved medieval city center, Bratislava Castle and other important landmarks. Bratislava's Old Town is known for its many churches, the Bratislava Riverfront and cultural institutions, it is also the location of most of the foreign states embassies and important Slovak institutions including the National Council of the Slovak Republic; the Summer Archbishop's Palace, seat of the Government of Slovakia; and Grassalkovich Palace, seat of the President of Slovakia.

As its name suggests, the district houses many historic monuments and Bratislava's central institutions. The western part of the district is a hilly area (technically part of the Small Carpathians mountain range) featuring Bratislava Castle, the Slavín monument, Horský park (literally Mountain(ous) Park), many detached houses, and most of the foreign embassies in Slovakia.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Town,_Bratislava
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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO SLOVAKIA.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Slovak
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Time zone: CET (UTC+1) / CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +421
Local / up-to-date weather in Bratislava (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Slovakia travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Slovakia, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

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*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO SLOVAKIA.

Slovakia uses the euro, like several other European countries. One euro is divided into 100 cents. The official symbol for the euro is €, and its ISO code is EUR. There is no official symbol for the cent.

All banknotes and coins of this common currency are legal tender within all the countries, except that low-denomination coins (one and two cent) are phased out in some of them. The banknotes look the same across countries, while coins have a standard common design on one side and a national country-specific design on the other. The latter side is also used for different designs of commemorative coins. The design on the national side does not affect the use of the coin.

Until January 1, 2009, the official currency was the koruna (“crown”, sk) which can still be found and accepted by the central bank until 2017 at a rate of 30.126sk to €1.

Banking:

Automatic teller machines (ATM, “bankomat” in Slovak, pl. “bankomaty”) are widely available in Slovakia except in smaller villages, and obtaining money there should not present a problem. In most of small villages you can gain money at local postal offices (cashback). Credit cards and debit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Visa Electron, Cirrus Maestro are widely accepted both in shops and restaurants in bigger cities.

BY TRAIN:

Train is by far the best option to travel across Slovakia, provided you don’t have a private vehicle. Frequent fast trains connect all important cities, but there are less local trains, even at main lines. For local transport a bus is generally a better alternative. Trains are fairly priced, with the prices competitive with buses, and cheap by western standards. They are reliable and clean.

Opt for an InterCity service if you want Western-style comfort; IC trains link Bratislava, Žilina, The High Tatras and Košice and have compulsory reservations. These can save you from the crowds: ordinary trains do get crowded, usually on Fridays and Sundays or around holidays. Watch out for pickpockets at major stations and steer clear of money scams. Also, sporadic robberies occur to sleeping passengers travelling the overnight longliners.

Domestic tickets with 5% discount can be bought over Internet at SlovakRail. Internet tickets in electronic or printed form for domestic trains are valid on the selected train and date or on any next train (though you lost your seat reservation) on the same route on the first day of validity (except all IC trains and Ex 1502 Chopok train). Tickets bought at stations are valid for any one journey on the given route within a specified time period (usually one or two days, depending on the distance), and thus very flexible. International tickets, as of 2011, can only be bought at stations.

BY BUS:

Bus connections are usually slower than trains, but can get you where trains cannot, and some private companies also offer discounts for travellers with a foreign ISIC card (state-run companies do not, unless you’re a Slovak citizen). Tickets for long-haul routes- 100 km+ (including to/from the Czech Republic or within the Czech Republic) can be bought from AMSBus after compulsory registration (English version is also available). The travel from Bratislava to Nitra is a rare example of a route where buses are significantly faster and cheaper than trains.

Buses are punctual, and it is therefore advisable to arrive at the bus station in advance, the time specified in the timetable is the time it leaves the station. Most tickets are bought directly from the driver, so you will probably need cash. Though the bus driver will give you change, especially for shorter (cheaper) journeys, it is advisable to have some smaller denominations. You can expect to pay a small extra fee if you are carrying a big bag.

Turancar and Student Agency are good examples of private bus companies which are pretty reliable, comfortable (as they use new buses often with on-board entertainment LCD screens), running on time and offering student discounts for foreigners with ISIC.

BY CAR:

The road network is extensive and in an overall good condition. Most major roads (especially in the Western parts) are two lane and in good repair, however the majority of the minor roads are one lane, and maintenance standard of this can vary from good to rather bumpy. Along major routes and highways fuel stops and restaurants (odpočívadlo or čerpacia stanica) are quite frequently and in smaller towns, you’ll most likely find small kiosks (stánok) or fruit or cheese stands (ovocný stánok for fruit, stánok so syrom for cheese) next to the road, presenting local delicacies at low prices.

The driving style in Slovakia is, especially compared to countries in Western Europe, more aggressive and of lower standard. One should be aware of other cars speeding, which is quite frequent, and overtaking on your side of the road, especially in the more mountainous areas of the country.

Renting:

Renting a car is a convenient, efficient and relatively cheap (prices start at approx. 65€/day at car rental chains with free mileage) way to explore Slovakia, especially if you intend to visit more remote areas, where train and bus services may be more sporadic. Don’t expect neither GPS nor road map to be included and remember to check if highway vignette (see above) is included; it most likely, is but not always. Ask when booking and if it is not, then they can most likely easily include it without any handling charges.

ON FOOT:

There is a long tradition of hiking and mountain walking in Slovakia, and it is an extremely popular sport. Most people you meet will have gone on a hike at least once in their life, and many do so regularly, and can give you advice about the most interesting local trails. The trail network is also very well maintained. The quality and efficiency of the sign-posting system is unique in European (and probably World) context.

Every route is marked and signposted, different trails being given a different colour. There are four colours used – red, blue, green and yellow. Longest and most sternous trails are usually marked red, and it is possible to traverse from north-eastern Dukla Pass all the way to the west (Bradlo, near Bratislava) along the Slovak National Uprising Heroes trail (750 km) along one such red-marked path. However, the trails are numerous, suitable for various levels of fitness, and many lead through beautiful scenery. In towns, you will usually see a signpost, with arrows pointing in different directions, marking the colour of the path and the average walking times to the nearest set of destinations. All you need to do is to follow the colour, there will be a mark every hundred metres or so, and consists of a 10-cm-by-10-cm square three-section mark where the edges are white and the chosen path’s colour in the middle.

It is also possible (and highly recommended) to purchase ‘tourist maps’ of smaller slovak regions. These are based on sets of former military maps, have a very good resolution (1:50000) and can be purchased from most kiosks, information centres and bookstores for bargain price of between €1.50-2.50. These are published by the Slovak Tourist Club (KST), which maintains all the trails, and show all the marked trails in the area, including the average walking times, which makes route planning very easy and efficient. You can also use hiking websites such as Freemap Slovakia (based on Openstreetmap data) or HIKING.SK

EAT:

Slovak cuisine focuses mostly on simple and hearty recipes. Historically, what is now considered genuinely Slovak has been the traditional food in the northern villages where people lived off sheep grazing and limited agriculture – in the harsh conditions many crops don’t grow, and herbs are more accessible than true spices. Therefore, the staple foods mostly involve (smoked) meat, cheese, potatoes and flour. This does not make the food bland, however, and much of it is quite filling and flavoursome, though can be a bit heavy. As no strong spices or truly exotic ingredients are used, sampling local wares is a safe and rewarding experience.

Some dishes are authentically Slovak, many others are variations on a regional theme. A lot of cheese is typically consumed, out of meats pork and poultry products are the most common, with some beef and game dishes, most common accompaniments being potatoes and various types of dumplings. Since Slovakia is a land-locked country, fish and seafood options are limited (carp is served at Christmas, trout is the most common fish). Soups are quite common both as an appetiser and, as some are quite filling, as a main dish.

If you are a vegetarian, the variety of food in the cities should be decent. However, when venturing out into the countryside, the offer may be limited as vegetables are mostly considered a side and/or eaten mostly raw or in salads. Also, be aware that even though some dishes will be in the vegetarian section of the menu, this merely means that they’re not predominantly meat-based and still might be prepared using animal fats or even contain small pieces of meat, so make your requirements clear. Fried cheese with ham or Cesar salad(!) are good examples. Still, almost every restaurant in the country will serve at least the staple choice of fried cheese (the normal, non-ham variety) with fries, which is a universally popular. There should be a good selection of sweet dishes as well, with pancakes, dumplings filled with fruits, jams or chocolate and sweet noodles with nuts/poppy seeds/sweet cottage cheese most common. Seeking out the nearest pizzeria is also a good and accessible option mostly everywhere.

The main meal of the day is traditionally lunch, though this is changing especially in cities due to work schedules, and dinner is increasingly becoming the main meal there.

In all but the most exclusive restaurants it is not customary to be shown to your table by the staff. So when you enter, do not hang out by the door, but simply pick a table of your choice and enjoy. Once you are comfortably seated, waiting staff will be over shortly to give you the menu and let you order drinks.

Again with the possible exception of the most exclusive establishments, there is mostly no dress code enforced in restaurants and informal clothing is fine. Hauling yourself into a restaurant for a well-deserved meal after a day of hiking/skiing in your sporty clothes might attract a few frowns, but you certainly won’t be turned away. Generally, anything you would wear for a stroll in town is perfectly fine. You don’t need a jacket or closed shoes and in summer shorts are also acceptable.

Slovak food:

Bryndzové halušky is a Slovak national dish made out of potato dumplings and a special kind of unpasteurized fermented sheep cheese called ‘bryndza’. This meal is unique to Slovakia and quite appetising (and surprisingly filling), and you should not leave Slovakia without trying it. Please note that while this dish will usually be listed in the vegetarian section of the menu, it is served with pieces of fried meaty bacon on top, so if you are a vegetarian make sure to ask for halušky without the bacon. Halušky can be found in many restaurants; however, the quality varies as it is not an easy dish to prepare. If you at all can, seek out an ethnic Slovak restaurant (this can be harder than it sounds), or at least ask locals for the best place in the vicinity. In the northern regions you will also find authentic restaurants called ‘Salaš’ (this word means sheep farm in Slovak and many take produce directly from these), which serve the most delicious and fresh variety. Sometimes, a variety with smoked cheese added on the top is available. A separate dish called strapačky might also be available where sauerkraut is served instead of bryndza, but it is not as typical (this will also come with bacon on top).

A salaš will usually serve also other typical Slovak dishes, and many will offer several varieties of sheep cheese to buy as well. They are all locally produced, delicious, and well worth buying if you are a cheese fan. Verieties include bryndza (primarily used to make ‘Bryndzové halušky’, but it is a soft spreadable cheese which is very healthy and often used as a spread), blocks of sheep cheese (soft and malleable, delicious on its own or with salt), parenica (cheese curled in layers into a small peelable roll, sold smoked or unsmoked) and korbáčiky (this word means hair braids in Slovak, and korbáčiky are threads of cheese woven into a pattern resembling a basic braid). Some of these cheeses are available to buy in supermarkets as well but these are mass produced and not as good.

Most other dishes are regional, and their varieties can be found elsewhere in Central Europe. These include kapustnica, a sauerkraut soup typically eaten at Christmas but served all year round in restaurants. It is flavoursome and can be mildly spicy based on what sausage is used. Depending on the recipe it may also include smoked meat and/or dried mushrooms.

Various large dumplings called pirohy can be found and depending on the filling can be salty or sweet. Fillings include sauerkraut, various types of cheese or meat or simply fruits or jam. They closely resemble Polish pierogi.

Goulash is a regional dish made with cuts of beef, onions, vegetables and squashed potatoes with spices, which is very hearty and filling. Depending on the thickness it can be served as a soup (with bread) or as a stew (served with dumplings). Goulash can be sometimes found outdoors during BBQs or at festival markets, where it is prepared in a big cauldron, sometimes with game instead of beef – this is the most authentic. A variety called Segedin goulash also exists, which is quite distinct and prepared with sauerkraut. Goulash can be quite spicy.

Apart from kapustnica and goulash, which are more of a main dish, other soups are quite popular as an appetiser. Mushroom soup is a typical Christmas dish in many parts, and there are several soups made out of beans or bean sprouts. In restaurants, the most common soups are normal chicken and (sometimes) beef broth, and tomato soup and garlic broth (served with croutons, very tasty, but don’t go kissing people after) are also very common. Some restaurants offer certain soups to be served in a small loaf of bread (‘v bochniku’), which can be an interesting and tasty experience.

Other typical streetfood includes lokše, potato pancakes (crepes) served with various fillings (popular varieties include duck fat and/or duck liver pate, poppy seeds or jam) and langoš, which is a big deep fried flat bread most commonly served with garlic, cheese and ketchup/sour cream on top. A local version of a burger is also common, called cigánska pečienka (or simply cigánska). This is not made out of beef, however, but instead pork or chicken is used and is served in a bun with mustard/ketchup and (sometimes) onions, chilies and/or diced cabbage. If you are looking for something sweet, in spa cities such as Piešťany, you will find stands selling spa wafers, which are usually two plate-sized thin wafers with various fillings. Try chocolate or hazelnut.

Especially in the western parts, lokše can be found in a restaurant as well, where they are served as side for a roasted goose/duck (husacina), which is a local delicacy.

Other foods worth trying are chicken in paprika sauce with dumplings (‘paprikas’), Schnitzel (‘Rezeň’ in Slovak, very common dish. ‘Čiernohorsky rezeň’ is a variety that is made with potato dumpling coating used instead of batter and is very good) and Sviečková (sirloin beef with special vegetable sauce, served with dumplings). From the dessert section of the menu, try plum dumplings (sometimes other fruit is used, but plums are traditional); this is a good and quite filling dish on its own as well.

In some parts of the countryside, there is a tradition called zabíjačka, where a pig is killed and its various meat and parts are consumed in a BBQ-like event. This is a lot more historic celebration than you are likely to find in mostly modern Slovakia, but if you have an opportunity to attend, it may be an interesting experience, and the meat and sausages are home-made, delicious and full of flavour. If you can find home-made húrka (pork meat and liver sausage with rice) or krvavníčky (similar to hurka, but with pork blood) on offer elsewhere, they are both very good. There is also tlačenka (cold meat pressed together with some vegetables, served similar to ham), which is served cold with vinegar and onion on top, and can be bought in supermarkets as well. Various other type of sausages and smoked meats are available commercially.

A thick fried slice of cheese served with French fries and a salad is also a common Slovak dish. It is served in most restaurants, and worth trying out, especially the local variety made from smoked cheese (‘údený syr’/’oštiepok’) or ‘hermelín’ (local cheese similar to Camembert). This is not considered a substitute for meat.

There is a good variety of bakery products, including various sweet pastries- try the local fillings of poppy seeds and/or (sweet) cottage cheese (tvaroh). Strudel (štrúdla) is also popular, try the traditional apple and raisins filling or fancier sweet poppy seeds and sour cherries version. For something savoury, try pagáč, which is a puff pastry with little pork cracklings. Local bread is excellent, but please note that some of the several varieties are sprinkled with caraway seeds. You may or may not like this! Baguettes and baguette shops/stands are very common and you will be able to choose from a variety of fillings.

For dessert, visit the local cukráreň. These establishments, though slowly merging into cafes, exclusively specialise in appeasing your sweet tooth and serve a variety of cakes, as well as hot and cold drinks and (sometimes) ice-cream. The cakes resemble similar fare in the Czech Republic or their Viennese cousins. The selection is diverse and on display, so just pick one you like the look of, perhaps a ‘krémeš’ (a bit of pastry at the bottom, thick filling of vanilla custard, topped with a layer of cream or just chocolate) or ‘veterník’ (think huge profiterole coated in caramel), selection of tortas etc.

When you are shopping in the supermarket, remember to pick up Tatranky and/or Horalky, two brands of similar wafers with hazelnut filling and lightly coated in chocolate that the locals swear by.

International Cuisine:

Italian restaurants and pizzerias are extremely popular in Slovakia, and have become ubiquitous. Even if you don’t go to an ethnic Italian restaurant, there will be a pizza or pasta dish on almost every restaurant menu. Italian (and generally Mediterranean)ice cream is also very popular.

Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine is also becoming more common everywhere, and kebab/gyros (a bun with sliced bits of meat) stands are very common.

In bigger cities, you will find a selection of ethnic restaurants including Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Italian, French and many others. Moreover, as mentioned above, many Austrian, Czech, Hungarian and Polish dishes with a Slovakian twist are commonplace.

Fast food establishments can be found in Slovakia as anywhere else in the world, McDonalds can be found in many bigger and smaller cities. However, due to the other food being relatively cheap in comparison to the Western prices of fast foods, this is not usually considered the truly budget option. A food in a cheaper restaurant will cost 1-1.5x the price of a meal combo (sometimes even less) and might prove a better value. Still, these establishments are reasonably popular, especially with the younger generation.

DRINK:

Non-alcoholic drinks:

For non-alcoholic drinks try Vinea, a soft drink made from grapes, in both red and white and also non-carbonated. Kofola, a Coke-type soft drink, is also very popular among locals and is available both on tap and bottled. Slovakia is one of three countries in the world where Coca-cola is not the number one in the market.

Mineral waters are some of the best in the World, come in numerous varieties and each has unique positive health effects (e.g. getting rid of heartburn, improving digestion etc.) depending on the type of minerals naturally found in the water. There are many types available from shops and supermarkets, for example Budiš, Mitická, Slatina, Rajec, Dobrá Voda, Zlatá studňa, Fatra etc. Others are only available directly from the many natural mineral springs common all across the country. As these are true ‘mineral’ waters, they will invariably contain minerals, and the taste will differ according to the brand/spring. If you don’t like one, try a different brand! You may also try mineral waters with various flavourings, ranging from raspberry to ‘mojito’.

In contrast to what you might be used to, sparkling water is the default option, so if you prefer still you might have to look for this specifically. The level of carbonation is marked by the label. Dark blue or Red label usually indicates carbonated ones (“perlivá”), a green label indicates mildly carbonated ones (“mierne perlivá”) and white, pink or baby blue indicates those without carbon dioxide (“neperlivá”). Due to the excellent local choice and quality of the water, international brands are not as common.

In restaurants, serving of a free glass of water is not a part of the culture, so remember that if you ask for one it is quite likely that you will be brought (most likely sparkling) mineral water instead (and charged for it).

Out of hot drinks coffee is available everywhere, mostly in three varieties (cafes in cities will offer more) – espresso, ‘normal’ coffee which is served medium-sized, small and black and Viennese coffee which is ‘normal’ coffee with a dollop of cream on top. Cappuccinos are quite common as well. Coffee is served with sugar and cream/milk on the side. Hot chocolate is popular as well. Tea rooms are quite popular as a place to chill out in major cities. These usually have a laid-back, vaguely oriental ambiance, and offer a great variety of black, green, white and fruit teas. Schisha might be on offer as well. A part of this culture spread to the other catering establishments, most of which will now offer a choice at least between fruit and black tea. Note that black tea is served with sugar and lemon in Slovakia, serving of milk or cream is not common. Some places may offer a beverage called ‘hot apple’, which tastes a bit like softer hot apple juice.

Alcoholic beverages:

Drinking is very much a part of the Slovak culture and some form of alcohol will be served at most social occasions. However, the locals mostly hold their liquor well and being visibly drunk is frowned upon, so be aware of your limits. Note that some locally brewed spirits may be stronger than what you are used to, and that the standard shot glass in Slovakia is 50ml, which may be more than you are used to if arriving from Western Europe. If you order double vodka, you will get 1dl of it! Alcohol in general is cheap compared to Western Europe or the US. There are no special shops, and alcoholic beverages can be purchased in practically any local supermarket or food store. You can legally drink and purchase alcohol if you are 18 years or older, but this is not very strictly enforced. You still might be IDed in some city clubs if you look very young, however.

For beers, there are a great variety of excellent local brews that are similar in style and quality to Czech beers (which are also widely available), and beer is mostly the local drink of choice. Try out the Zlatý Bažant, Smädný Mních, Topvar and Šariš. Šariš is also available in a dark version that is thicker and heavier on your stomach. If the local tastes do not satisfy, “Western” beers are sold in the bigger restaurants and pubs.

Slovakia has also some great local wines, many similar to Germanic Riesling styles. There is a number of wine-growing regions in the south with centuries worth of tradition, including the area just outside Bratislava. If you can, try to visit one of the local producer’s wine cellars, as many are historical and it is a cultural experience as of itself. You might also be offered home-made wine if you are visiting these areas, as many locals ferment their own wines. The quality obviously varies. Every year at the end of May and beginning of November, an event called Small Carpathian Wine Road takes place in Small Carpathian Wine Region (between Bratislava and Trnava), where all the local producers open their cellars to the public. Buy a ticket in the nearest cellar and you will receive a wine glass and admission into any cellar in the region, where you can sample the best produce from the previous year.

There are also sweeter wines grown in South-Eastern border regions called Tokaj. Tokaj is fermented out of the special Tokaj grape variety endemic to the region (part of which is in Hungary and part in Slovakia) and it is a sweet dessert wine. Tokaj is considered a premium brand with a world-wide reputation and is arguably some of the best Central Europe has to offer. Other Slovak wines might not be widely known outside the region but they are certainly worth a try. Around the harvest time in the autumn, in the wine-producing regions, young wine called burčiak is often sold and popular among the locals. As burčiak strengthens with fermentation (as it becomes actual wine), its alcohol content can vary quite wildly.

Slovakia produces good spirits. Excellent is the plum brandy (Slivovica), pear brandy (Hruškovica) or herb liquor Demänovka. But the most typical alcohol is Borovička, a type of gin. Czech Fernet, a type of aromatic bitter spirit is also very popular. In some shops you may try a 25 or 50 ml shot for very little money, so as to avoid buying a big bottle of something of unknown flavour, then decide whether to buy or not to buy. International brands are also available, but at a price premium (still cheaper than in most Western countries, however).

If you are a more adventurous type, you can try some home-made fruit brandys that the locals sometimes offer to foreigners. Slivovica is the most common, but also pear brandy, apricot brandy, or raspberry brandy can be found. Drinking is a part of the tradition, especially in the countryside. If you are visiting locals, don’t be surprised if you are offered home-made spirit as a welcome drink nor that the host may be quite proud of this private stock. The home-made liquors are very strong (up to 60% alcohol), so be careful. If Slivovica is matured for 12 or more years, it can become a pleasant digestive drink.

In winter months, mulled wine is available at all winter markets and mulled mead is also common. A mixed hot drink called grog, which consists of black tea and a shot of local ‘rum’ is very popular, especially in the skiing resorts, and really warms you up.

There is a wide range of accommodation available in Slovakia. These range from AquaCity, based in Poprad, through to budget priced rooms in rental chalets.

The most luxurious hotels can mostly be found in major cities such as Bratislava and Košice and in the major tourist destinations like the High Tatras or the spa towns (the situation here is unique as the price of the hotel usually includes some of the spa procedures). These hotels offer Western style comfort and prices.

There will be at least one hotel available in every major town or tourist area, but the quality varies. Some of the mid-range hotels were built during the Communist era in the corresponding architecture style, which might make them look less appealing from the outside, though the interiors might be perfectly adequate.

Budget hostels are mostly concentrated in the major cities, and you can expect typical hostel prices as in the rest of (Central) Europe. If you are venturing outside of cities, there are numerous mountain huts available for short-term rent in the mountain areas. Especially in touristy areas there will be many private rooms available for rent, look out for ‘Zimmer Frei’ signs. This typically does not include breakfast.

When hiking, official maintained mountain cabins offer cheap accommodation for hikers on trails in all of the national parks and a lot of the national conservation areas. They have a limited number of beds (if any) and generally limited capacity, so for the more frequented places during the high season an advance booking might be necessary and is recommended. If you don’t manage to book a bed, you might be allowed to still stay overnight, sleeping on the floor in designated areas. Either way, you will probably want to bring your own sleeping bag. The facilities, due to the location, are limited, but there will be a shared toilet and possibly a shower. There’s usually a kitchen that serves several hearty hot dishes and a number of drinks at pretty reasonable prices.

It is only legal to pitch a tent in Slovakia outside national parks and propected natural zones (where should be signposts but there might not depending on how and where you enter these), but camping is reasonably popular in summer.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Slovakia
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Name: Bratislava Castle
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava Castle is the main castle of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The massive rectangular building with four corner towers stands on an isolated rocky hill of the Little Carpathians directly above the Danube river in the middle of Bratislava. Because of its size and location, it has been a dominant feature of the city for centuries. The location provides excellent views of Bratislava, Austria and, in clear weather, parts of Hungary.

The castle building includes four towers (one on each corner) and a courtyard with a 80 m (260 ft) deep water well. The largest and tallest tower is the Crown Tower on the southwest corner. The 47 m (154 ft) tower dates from the 13th century and for approximately 200 years beginning in the mid-1500s housed the crown jewels of Hungary.[1] The exterior walls and inside corridors contain fragments of old Gothic and Renaissance construction elements. The walled-up entrance gate from the 16th century is still visible to the east of the main entrance. Behind the entrance, is an arcade corridor leading to a large Baroque staircase which, in turn, leads to the exhibitions of the Slovak National Museum on the second floor.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bratislava_Castle
Name: Bojnice Castle
Location: Bojnice, Slovakia
Bojnice Castle is a medieval castle in Bojnice, Slovakia. It is a Romantic castle with some original Gothic and Renaissance elements built in the 12th century. Bojnice Castle is one of the most visited castles in Slovakia, receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and also being a popular filming stage for fantasy and fairy-tale movies. Bojnice Castle was first mentioned in written records in 1013, in a document held at the Zobor Abbey. Originally built as a wooden fort, it was gradually replaced by stone, with the outer walls being shaped according to the uneven rocky terrain.

The castle is renowned for its attractions, including the popular Castle Fairytale, the International Festival of Ghosts and Spirits and the Summer Music Festival. The romantic castle is also a popular location for filming fairy tale movies, such as Fantaghirò. It hosts the most popular museum in Slovakia and has featured in many movies. Bojnice Castle is surrounded by the castle park featuring numerous species of trees. The park also contains the Bojnice Zoo, the oldest and one of the most visited zoos in Slovakia. The castle park continues in the form of a forest park in the Strážov Mountains.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bojnice_Castle
Name: Old Town
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
The Old Town of Bratislava is the historic center and one of the boroughs of Bratislava, in the Bratislava Region of Slovakia. It is coextensive with the smallest Slovak administrative district by area, Bratislava I. It contains the small, but preserved medieval city center, Bratislava Castle and other important landmarks. Bratislava's Old Town is known for its many churches, the Bratislava Riverfront and cultural institutions, it is also the location of most of the foreign states embassies and important Slovak institutions including the National Council of the Slovak Republic; the Summer Archbishop's Palace, seat of the Government of Slovakia; and Grassalkovich Palace, seat of the President of Slovakia.

As its name suggests, the district houses many historic monuments and Bratislava's central institutions. The western part of the district is a hilly area (technically part of the Small Carpathians mountain range) featuring Bratislava Castle, the Slavín monument, Horský park (literally Mountain(ous) Park), many detached houses, and most of the foreign embassies in Slovakia.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Town,_Bratislava
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My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

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