If you’re planning on visiting Central Europe, Slovakia is an amazing destination, and frequently overlooked.
This is a crying shame, as Slovakia is filled with terrific wonders, landmarks, and attractions, including beautiful castles, ski resorts, hiking trails, nine national parks, historical monuments, beautiful nature, folk architecture, and amazing cities.
For those who want to know more about the places to visit in Slovakia, here is a list of 18 of the best places to visit in Slovakia, each one perfect for travelers looking for a new experience.
Whether you’re into hiking or skiing, Slovakia has something for everyone.
The country offers some of the most beautiful scenery and rich history in Central Europe – but still remains largely undiscovered by tourists.
Slovaks themselves love their homeland and explore it with gusto: 82% of them spend at least one day per month exploring their country’s natural beauty on foot!
Table of Contents
- List of the Best 18 Best Places to Visit in Slovakia
- 1. Banská Štiavnica Calvary
- 2.Slovak Paradise National Park
- 3. Castle of Beckov
- 4. Castle of Spirits (Bojnice Castle)
- 5. Ochtinská Aragonite Cave
- 6. Orava Castle
- 7. Spiš Castle
- 8. Stará Ľubovňa Castle
- 9. Hrad Devín
- 10. Hviezdoslav Square
- 11. Nitra Castle
- 12. Sad Janka Kráľa
- 13. Trenčín Castle
- 14. Bratislava Castle
- 15. Michael’s Gate
- 16. Old Town Hall
- 17. St. Martin’s Cathedral
- 18. Dobšinská Ice Cave
- Final Thoughts: Best Places to Visit in Slovakia
- Why go to Slovakia?
- What is the weather like in Slovakia?
- What places are there in Slovakia?
List of the Best 18 Best Places to Visit in Slovakia
1. Banská Štiavnica Calvary
Address: Pod Kalváriou, 969 01 Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia
The Banská Štiavnica Calvary is among the most stunning historical landmarks in the entire country. It is a baroque-style calvary monument perched on the hill of Scharfenberg. Due to its location, it is a fascinating sight to see from afar and a great location to admire the stunning scenery from. Don’t forget your camera!
The beauty of this historical landmark and its history should not be missed. Banská Štiavnica Calvary is among the landmarks in the region that gets the most visitors.
Banská Štiavnica Calvary is home to various exhibits from one of its churches and provides an engaging tour of the region’s past.
The calvary is a gem that the town of Banská Štiavnica owns and preserves. For its unique beauty and historical significance, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996.
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2.Slovak Paradise National Park
The Slovak Paradise National Park is a hidden treasure that every first-time visitor to Slovakia should explore. It is one of Slovakia’s most beautiful national parks, and it is among the country’s most visited national landmarks.
The park is part of the Slovenské Rudohorie Mountains (Slovak Paradise Mountains), which run along the Czech border in northern Slovakia, in the northeast corner of the range.
Slovak Paradise National Park has an area of 300 km of marked trails stretching through this enchanting paradise, and nature lovers flock to this place for good reason. The national park is true to its name; it is truly a verdant paradise, straight out of an adventure novel or Disney movie.
It is among the best places to visit to enjoy green space and an array of exciting and thrilling outdoor activities, such as climbing through its rocky gorges, skirting around cliff faces above rivers, and reaching the highest rocky outcrops to stare at beautiful scenery for miles. Some of these treks and hikes aren’t for the faint of heart!
In addition to more active excursions, it’s also a great place to take relaxing walks among grand scenery or enjoy the most sightly picnic you’ll ever munch on.
The park features vast forests, rocky canyons, rolling meadows, interesting rock formations, waterfalls of all shapes and sizes, mind-blowing views for DAYS, and an estimated 350 underground caves.
I’d love to go on, but this list of landmarks won’t write itself, so I’ll clue you in real quick; Among the most beautiful spots, are Dobšinská Ice Cave, Suchá Belá Gorge, and Prielom Hornádu Canyon.
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3. Castle of Beckov
Address: Beckov 180, 916 38 Beckov, Slovakia
This ruined castle near Beckov, in the Nové Mesto nad Váhom District, Trenn Region is a national cultural monument, that has seen recent renovations since 2002.
This ruined castle, perched on a cliff above the Váh River, near the small town of Beckov, served as a strategic stronghold in Great Moravia.
The castle’s history is fascinating. Legend has it, that one of the castle’s lords, Stibor of Stiboricz, threw his jester from the cliff because he had the audacity to protect his child from being mauled by the lord’s favorite dog.
The jester cursed the lord as he fell, screaming “a year and a day!” Supposedly, a year and a day after Stibor of Stiboricz had murdered his jester, he was taking a stroll along the cliff when a snake (of all things) leaped at him out of nowhere, biting him in the eye and causing him to fall to his death in the same spot he had flung the jester.
It’s likely all nonsense, but it’s all good, poetic justice nonsense!
Tourists commonly visit the ruins of the castle, especially during the castle’s festival in July. A superb exhibition of local history is also housed in the ancient Ambro Curia beneath the castle.
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4. Castle of Spirits (Bojnice Castle)
Address: Zámok a okolie 1, 972 01 Bojnice, Slovakia
Bojnice Castle, also known as the Castle of Spirits, is among the most visited and notable castles in the historical town of Bojnice, 167 kilometers northeast of the capital city of Bratislava.
The exterior of this high-spired, spellbinding castle is utterly remarkable, and its interior is just as spectacular. Little wonder it is frequently used shooting location for fantasy films starring as one of the silver screen’s prettiest fairytale castles.
The castle includes well-maintained chambers that can be toured, and fantastic exhibits showcasing all sorts of medieval tools of arsenal, including swords, armor, halberds, and maces. Other highlights include the enormous ceramics collection and beautiful hand-painted Turkish tiles.
A wonderful museum of art and local history is housed within the castle’s château. This exhibition includes authentic furniture, numerous artifacts, and artworks, such as the late gothic collection Bojnice Altar from the 14th Century and many more hidden mysteries.
A tour of the castle includes a trip to the beautiful stalactite cave beneath the castle connected to the castle wall, which is 26 meters deep. Another attraction of this fairy-tale castle is the castle park, which is home to the Bojnice Zoo, Slovakia’s oldest zoo. The castle park also leads onto a forest park in the nearby Strážov Mountains, which is great for keen hikers.
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5. Ochtinská Aragonite Cave
Address: Ochtinská aragonitová jaskyňa Ochtiná, 049 35 Ochtiná, Slovakia
There is a place that you can go to in Slovakia, called the Ochtinská Aragonite Cave. The cave is only 300 meters long, but it has many aragonite formations. This incredible place is well worth the visit as it’s one of only three aragonite caves in the entire world and the only one in Central Europe.
The cave is home to three generations of aragonite, which you may see throughout your visit. Aragonite’s variety of forms extends from tips to branches to spirals, and there are many more curious variations.
It has taken millennia to produce this magnificent array of crystalline limestone. The aragonite from this cave is 138,000 years old, which is believed to be the oldest on Earth.
The walls of the hall are covered in white aragonite and the amazing cave ceiling with all of these breathtaking formations is without a doubt one of the most stunning sights to visit in Slovakia; you should not miss it!
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6. Orava Castle
Address: 027 41 Oravský Podzámok, Slovakia
One fine castle standing over the lands of Oravský Podzámok, is Orava Castle; a magnificent old castle perched on a high rock 112 meters above the Orava river. Orava Castle is an ideal destination for those who seek a scenic and historical adventure in Slovakia.
The fortress was constructed in the 13th Century while the region was under the reign of the Kingdom of Hungary.
The castle is among the most remarkable landmarks in town. A blend of both beautiful and ominous, it is famous for its appearance in the classic 1922 vampire film Nosferatu. The castle is perched over the river and the town, offering a spectacular overlooking view of Oravský Podzámok.
The castle’s ownership changed hands many times over its long existence, and it has seen decades of damage, and reconstruction. The worst damage was by fire in 1800, which largely gutted the castle, causing it to fall into disuse.
The castle would undergo huge restoration efforts, finally being opened to the public in 1868, housing the Orava Museum, one of Slovakia’s oldest museums still in operation.
The castle is also a wonderful sight to behold from afar. The museum is home to various historical exhibitions within the complex, from its furnished rooms and chambers to massive halls, courtyards, and impressive arsenal.
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7. Spiš Castle
Address: 053 61 Žehra, Slovakia
The Spiš Castle is in eastern Slovakia. Although a shadow of its former self, this ruined old fortress is still an imposing sight.
Once one of the largest castles in Central Europe, the ruins can be found near the town of Spišské Podhradie, and the tiny village of Žehra in the Slovakian region of Spiš.
Due to its magnificence and historical significance, the ruin was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1993.
Once a national cultural monument and as a significant political, economic, and cultural center of the region of the Hungarian Empire, the fort was constructed atop a travertine hill at the beginning of the 12th century. As the castle is perched atop a travertine hill, it provides visitors with a breathtaking view of the region.
Largely destroyed by a fire in 1780, rendering it uninhabitable, the castle began to see restoration efforts after the Second World War, as well as increasing numbers of archeological parties, uncovering relics from the castle’s heyday. The palace highlights several reconstructed rooms and chambers to explore.
You might already recognize this place as the castle is featured in several movies such as Kull the Conqueror, Dragonheart, and The Last Legion.
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8. Stará Ľubovňa Castle
Address: Zámocká 769, 064 01 Stará Ľubovňa, Slovakia
The Stará Ľubovňa Castle is one of the most magnificent monuments in Slovakia, and the city itself is rich in history. The Stará Ľubovňa Castle is a remarkable castle to see in Slovakia.
Constructed in the 14th century to defend trade routes to and from Poland, this massive, beautiful stone fortress still stands strong. Over the years, it has functioned as a vital administrative area for the region and a shelter for the Polish crown jewels.
Explore the Stará Ľubovňa Castle, which has stood above Stará Ľubovňa since 1311, and uncover old mysteries, kings’ footsteps, and hidden corners filled with medieval mystery.
The impressive castle, which stands on a limestone cliff and commands the northeastern part of Spi, can be seen from afar.
In 1768, Maurice Benyovszky a Slovakian, Polish and Hungarian national hero, (as well as adventurer, and explorer of the notoriously xenophobic Madagascar), was imprisoned for ten months in the castle tower, which was probably where he started devising his wildly popular Memoirs and Travels of Mauritius Augustus Count de Benyowsky – a rip-roaring read of derring-do!
Permanent castle museum exhibitions are currently available to tour at Stará Ľubovňa Castle. The castle chapel and open-air museum are both located beneath the castle. The tour of the castle lasts around 2 hours. If visiting during summer you can see some terrific live falconry displays.
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9. Hrad Devín
Address: Muránská 1050/10, 841 10 Devín, Slovakia
Of all the attractions in Slovakia, Hrad Devín, (also known as the Devin Castle) perched on a large sandstone outcrop, now in ruins, has always maintained an important role in Slovak history.
The striking ruin is divided into two fascinating sections. The first section located at the site of the original castle features a fantastic museum that requires a ticket to visit.
The second portion is a public walkway along the river’s edge that provides a tranquil stroll whilst letting you gaze at the great walls towering over the mighty sandstone bluffs. Built with defense as a priority, every nook of the massive castle grounds has a distinctive vantage point over the surrounding area.
The center portion of the complex, flanked by the Morava and Danube rivers, is almost panoramic in scope. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to climb to the topmost terrace in the building, or get some snaps of the haunting Maiden Tower, where the two rivers meet!
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10. Hviezdoslav Square
Address: 811 02 Bratislava, Slovakia
The lively Hviezdoslav Square in Bratislava, Slovakia’s beautiful historic capital city center, is nestled between the Old Bridge and the Slovak National Theater.
It was originally named for the ancient renowned poet Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav, who lived from 1002 to 1030 AD. The square is a public space perfect for sightseeing and relaxing, and it is also a popular meeting place in the city.
Upon visiting the Hviezdoslav Square, you’ll most likely be welcomed by music, for it is close to an open-air music theater, the Slovak Philharmonic, and the old Opera House, which are the town’s prime music venues.
Hviezdoslav Square is near several restaurants and high-end shops where you can stop before or after enjoying a tour in the square. Festive Christmas markets cover the square the landmark during December, making this an unforgettable winter holiday destination.
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11. Nitra Castle
Address: Námestie Jána Pavla II. 1012/7, 949 01 Nitra, Slovakia
Nitra Castle is one of the most majestic castles in Slovakia, surrounded by natural beauty. It was constructed in the 11th century on the ruins of a once magnificent Slav fort in the Old Town of Nitra.
The castle’s own striking beauty is enhanced by some of Mother Nature’s finest work, consisting of green meadows, rolling hills, and cloud blanketed mountains.
If you hadn’t gathered already, this is an incredibly picturesque destination to visit when on vacation in Slovakia and a must for shutterbugs looking for the perfect postcard.
The castle’s heart is St. Emmeram’s Cathedral, which also houses a Bishop’s dwelling. It is composed of multiple distinct components. The oldest remaining section is the 11th-century Romanesque Church of St. Emmeram.
The cathedral’s remaining two sections are the 14th Century Gothic Upper Church and the 17th Century Lower Church.
The castle of Nitra is considered to be one of the most magnificent historical sites in the entire country. The castle offers several tours around the complex, focusing on the castle’s history, and culture of the city.
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12. Sad Janka Kráľa
Address: Sad Janka Kráľa, 851 01 Petržalka, Slovakia
Checking out the picturesque region of Sad Janka Kráľa in Slovakia’s largest city Bratislava is a must-do activity.
It’s a lovely and tranquil location with a variety of leisure activities to do and is one of the oldest and most notable urban parks in Central Europe. The park was constructed in 1774 as a public place and meeting ground for people about town.
Sad Janka Kráľa (the Janko Kráľ Park), is named for Janko Kráľ, one of Slovakia’s most illustrious and daring writers. A sculpture of the poet may be found in the park.
The park is a lovely retreat to spend a day walking about in its lush greenery, participating in various leisure activities.
Look for the lovely 15th Century Gothic tower on the perimeter of the garden’s boundaries, one of the finest Gothic buildings in the country.
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13. Trenčín Castle
Address: Matúšova 75/19, 912 50 Trenčín, Slovakia
This majestic castle, looming over the charming town of Trenčín in western Slovakia is an absolute must-see attraction that should be included in your itinerary. The castle is protected as a National Cultural Monument of Slovakia and sees tens of thousands of visitors each year.
The spectacular Trenčín Castle, the unmissable face of the city of Trenčín characterizes the entire region of Povaie, distinguishable for miles around from its enormous, imposing keep in the center of the castle, known as the Máté Tower.
It is among the most significant and largest Slovak castles in Central Europe alongside Devín Castle and Spiš Castle.
Originally a Roman army encampment on the edges of the town of Laugarito (the Roman name for Trenčín), the site saw significant development in the 11th Century, when a residential tower and dome were built, the remnants of which may be seen in the castle’s upper courtyard. More additions were made in the 13th Century when the castle was made a more permanent fortress.
More expansions were added in the 14th and 16th Centuries, due to the castle’s ongoing significance as a seat of power in a region vital to several nations’ economies.
The castle would serve as the primary fortress and camp that protected trade routes connecting the regions of Northern Ugria and coal mines in Central Slovakia with Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia.
Today, it is home to the Trenčín Museum, where visitors can learn about the history of Trenčín and the namesake castle. There are several excellent exhibits featuring old furniture, small arms, paintings, and archaeological relics.
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14. Bratislava Castle
Address: Hrad, 811 06 Bratislava, Slovakia
Of the many castles in Slovakia to admire, among the best is Bratislava Castle, one of the most magnificent castles to explore in the entire country.
The castle, a grand rectangular structure with four large turrets at its corners, lies on an isolated steep hillside of the Little Carpathians, commanding views over the Danube river.
The castle is an age-old symbol of the city of Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital city, and has seen (at least) eleven kings and eight queens coronations, and their courts reside here. The place had particular strategic geographical importance in the period of the Empire of Moravian.
Its stark beauty and fascinating history make the castle a popular stop on sightseeing tours of the city. It is perched in a splendid location at an important intersection of historic routes. A strategically vital spot since ancient times, the first evidence of settlement on this hill date back to the Stone Age.
Aside from the beauty and grandeur of the castle’s exterior aesthetic, it offers exhibitions across its sizable complex. The castle houses exhibitions from the Slovak National Museum, notably featuring the Great-Moravian Basilica’s reconstructed remains.
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15. Michael’s Gate
Address: Michalská ulica 22 806/24, 811 03 Staré Mesto, Slovakia
Located in the Slovakian capital Bratislava, the gate is ideally situated in a spot near many of the city’s fine dining and retail establishments that make the for anyone interested in Slovakian cuisine or a spot of retail therapy.
Once part of the city’s defensive walls, Michael’s Gate is now home to a museum on the old town defenses and a number of top-shelf retailers such as Christian Dior and Swarovski.
Once you’re done shopping you can enjoy some fine al fresco dining at Zrzky Wine & Tapas. If you’re really looking to hit the town, grab a beverage and a bite at the Goblin Pub, a source of unforgettable nights out, with frequent live music and comedy events.
With its top shops, bars, and restaurants, uncovering the beauty and history of Michael’s Gate is a great day out if you’re in need of a break from your Slovakian adventures, or looking to start one!
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16. Old Town Hall
Address: Hlavné námestie 501/1, 811 01 Staré Mesto, Slovakia
The Old Town Hall in Bratislava is a magnificent historical treasure to behold. The town hall is made up of several ancient buildings that house some of Slovakia’s most famous antiquities.
It is one of the finest sites to visit in Slovakia, and it serves as a major tourist draw in the area.
One of the city hall’s oldest stone structures is the tower of the Old Town Hall. Originally, it was a single city hall structure that has been extended over time.
Today, it provides a variety of intriguing possibilities for exploration as part of this landmark.
You may visit the Unger’s House, Bratislava City Museum, and Pawer’s House as additional attractions when you go to the town hall. Its city museum features a number of antique exhibits, armaments, dungeons, and art masterpieces.
The Old Town Hall is an excellent spot to visit since it is conveniently located near several of the town’s highlights, making sightseeing easier.
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17. St. Martin’s Cathedral
Address: Rudnayovo námestie 1, 811 01 Bratislava, Slovakia
One of many amazing sites in Slovakia is St. Martin’s Cathedral, which is a must-see, located in Bratislava. This medieval church still serves as the cathedral for Bratislava’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese.
Built in the 13th Century, it is located at the western edge of the old city center, below Bratislava Castle. The church is one of the city’s three-nave Churches and cathedrals.
It was built on the site of a previous Romanesque church dedicated to the Holy Saviour, which was demolished in the 19th Century and replaced by the current structure.
This magnificent cathedral served as the coronation church for Hungarian monarchs and their spouses for over 250 years from 1563 and 1830.
In the 18th Century, the Baroque Chapel of St. John the Merciful, (now a mausoleum) was added, along with an updated altar, and a sculpture of St. Martin himself on horseback decked out in full Hussar fig, in the action of slicing his cloak in two and offering half to a naked beggar. All of these additions were of great expense and designed by famous Austrian sculptor Georg Rafael Donner.
One of the most popular attractions of St. Martin’s Cathedral is the 150-kg gold-plated replica of the Crown of St. Stephen (also known as the Holy Crown of Hungary), which is displayed at the top of the cathedral’s 85-meter neo-Gothic tower constructed in the late 15th century.
This enormous replica, along with the huge gold-plated pillow it rests upon, is nearly 4ft wide and 5.5ft in height – certainly too big for most heads!
This replica was added in the 19th Century in recognition of the Cathedral’s role in coronating Hungarian royalty. Ten Habsburg kings, one queen, and seven royal wives were crowned in St. Martin’s Cathedral during the reign of the Habsburg Dynasty alone.
The cathedral also contains some of the world’s earliest major works of Central European lead sculptures, dating back to the 13th Century.
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18. Dobšinská Ice Cave
Address: Dobšinská Ľadová Dobšinská ľadová jaskyňa, 049 71 Dobšinská Ľadová Jaskyňa, Slovakia
The Slovak Paradise National Park is full of breathtaking views and outdoor activities.
The Dobšiná Ice Cave is one of the park’s remarkable sights. This icy grotto is a popular tourist destination that was added to the 2000 UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2000.
The ice cave is formed from two distinct ice walls separated by open water. There are an estimated 125,000 cubic meters of ice, with a possible thickness of up to 26.5 meters. The cave has a length of 1,491 meters, with some sections offering magnificent views.
As a result, the ice cave became a prominent tourist attraction and the world’s largest.
The Dobšiná Ice Cave is the finest location in Slovakia to undertake a lengthy walking adventure in an ice cave. Among the highlights to see while visiting the cave is the beauty of ice stalagmites, which have characteristics similar to flawless marble.
The attraction is also close enough to be a side trip from the best attraction in the Slovak Paradise National Park, namely, Stare Karpaty Castle.
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Final Thoughts: Best Places to Visit in Slovakia
There are many places to visit in Slovakia and this article has highlighted some of the best places. If you’re looking for a new place to explore, Slovakia is home to 18 great places worth visiting.
From stunning castles or Dobšiná Ice Cave as well as historic sites such as St Martin’s Cathedral, there is no shortage of places that will make your next trip memorable!
Whether you want outdoor adventure or cultural history, we’ve got just what you need with our list of 18 places that should be on everyone’s radar if they plan on traveling through Slovakia anytime soon.
If you want to learn more about places in Slovakia, we’ve got the perfect solution for you.
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Why go to Slovakia?
There are many places to visit in Slovakia, and it’s up to you to decide which places best fit your interests!
Some places popular with tourists include Cesky Krumlov Castle and the Old Town Square which hosts their annual Christmas Market.
Other great places to visit include Martinu Square, Zlate Piesky Lake, Devinska Niela Valley, Liptovsky Hradok Castle, and the Slovak National Uprising Museum.
- For those who love art or history: Have a look at Spis castle’s built-in 1140 that looks like a small Hollywood-style medieval fortress. Spend some time at the spooky Black Madonna of Perucna Mausoleum Vault before exploring an old Jewish cemetery on Kosarova street.
- For those who love nature: Slovakia is home to some stunning places to visit that are great for the outdoors. Go on a bike trail by Zlate Piesky Lake or take a walk through Devinska Niela Valley. Take time to relax in Liptovsky Hradok Castle built in the 10th century and explore Strazov mountain, Slovakia’s second-highest peak. You can also go on a boat ride by the Dunajec river if you want to escape the heat!
- For those who love old places: The village of Cesky Krumlov is one of the best places to visit in Slovakia with its well-preserved gothic architecture and a medieval castle. Slovakia’s UNESCO-protected Bardejov will take you back to another era with its stunning gothic architecture from the 15th century. Visit the historic town square, St Egidius Basilica, Veche Square, and town hall!
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What is the weather like in Slovakia?
Slovakia has a continental climate with four seasons, wide distances, and regional differences. In the north, Slovakia has a humid continental climate.
However, as one travels south to warmer places such as Bratislava, one encounters a mesothermal regime that features moderate temperatures from January to September.
The forte for this geographical region is its beautiful mountains and hills; which are excellent destinations for skiing in the winter months that usually fall between December and March.
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What places are there in Slovakia?
There are various places to visit in Slovakia for all sorts of people. Those who enjoy hiking and exploring nature will find plenty of breathtaking places, modern establishments, rural, places that are suitable for families, and more.
No matter what places to visit in Slovakia you’re interested in visiting, there is something for everyone!