The top 10 things to do while in Slovakia.
Slovakia is beautiful country but you probably struggle what to see first. What about castles? Mountains? Some chalets or traditional food? Can we even manage those tours in time? Actually, you can. Here are the top 10 things to discover while being in Slovakia!
1. Spišský hrad
The Spiš Castle is considered to be one of the biggest castles in central Europe and it definitely belongs to the top 10 things to see in Slovakia.
It covers the area of 4 hectares and due to its great preservation it has become a part of the World Heritage of UNESCO.
It lies on the travertine hill and therefore it can be recognized from a real distance.
During the period between the 12th and the 18th century it was rebuilt several times and that is why it functions as an evidence of various building styles.
For long centuries it served as a seat of administrative district for Spiš region and later it was tightly connected with the rein of dynasty of the Habsburgs.
Although it survived the Tatar invasions in its golden times it was left deserted and in ruins.
Nowadays it is a part of Spiš Museum. If you want to find more about the tour to Spišský hrad and Levoča follow this link.
First reference of Levoča dates back to the 13th century.
It was given to the Polish king and later it became an independent town with its own privileges and laws.
Basilika of the St. James, with its marvellous gothic interior and altar made by Master Paul from Levoča – its dominant feature – as it is the one of the biggest in the world, belongs to the main sights of the town.
The representative Town Hall with Renaissance belfry is definitely worth mentioning. You should not miss it when spending some time here during your holidays or while taking a tour in Slovakia,
What else to see while on your walk? Evangelic Church, medieval Cage of Shame and over 60 houses of townspeople.
This town lies on the borders with Poland in the north-eastern Slovakia.
Therefore, it is a favourite stop and belongs to the top 10 to do list while going on a tour in this region.
Bardejov is famous for its spa which is visited not only for relax but also for medical purposes .
Hence, this town belongs to the world heritage of UNESCO as the Gothic houses which can be found here are of a great historical value.
Try to focus on the square and very well-preserved traditional wooden architecture (churches and houses) in the open-air museum offering amazing nature and fantastic thermal spa.
4. Banská Štiavnica
When on holidays in Slovakia you cannot miss the visit of Banská Štiavnica in central Slovakia.
This town has very colourful history connected with wealth due to the mining of golden and silver ores.
It attracted the noble ancestries in Hungary, e.g. Maria Theresa established the first Mining Academy in the town and gave it its privileges.
The Old and New Castle which are situated on the opposite hills surrounding the town are definitely worth visiting during the tour.
Newly reconstructed Calvary with a great view of the town is also worth seeing!
You should also see the Botanic Garden with towering sequoias and the main square with the dominating column, Town Hall, chapels, Roman Catholic and Evangelic churches.
5. High Tatras – Vysoké Tatry
The High Tatras are the highest mountain range in Slovakia and in Poland.
They are a part of the Carpathian range with the altitude mainly over 2000 metres above the sea level.
Letˈs mention few of the highest peaks such as Gerlachovský (2656) and Lomnický (2634) which is accessible only by a cable car. It offers an unforgettable experience.
The High Tatras are a natural treasure of our country as to the unique flora, fauna living in the blooming valleys, roaring waterfalls, crystal streams on the pine slopes under the rocky snowy peaks.
However, landmarks which you definitely cannot omit during the holidays are tarns and mountainous lakes created during the glacial ages.
We shouldn´t forget about the chalets, they are great resting points for tourists and sherpas during the long hiking trips. You will definitely enjoy beautiful views!
6. Tokaj region
This region is very well-known for growing several sorts of grapes used for wine production.
The region is situated in the very south of the eastern Slovakia and it continues to Hungary.
There are really great conditions giving the wine its characteristic taste and high quality.
Grapes like sunny rays and they mature in wine cellars.
The origin of the production dates to the early Middle Ages, when Slavs brought here the oldest sorts.
Keep this place in your mind because it must be on your top 10 things that you can do in Slovakia list.
Except the historical wealth – dozens of castles, Slovakia is typical for its natural treasures.
Caves and karst areas belong among the unique and most often visited ones.
In Slovakia, there are 13 caves open to public and in some of the others it is necessary to be accompanied by an experienced guides.
However, each of them is quite exceptional.
For example, Krásnohorská Cave offers the biggest sinter column (35.6 m in height) in the world.
Domica Cave /UNESCO/ offers a boat ride on the Styx River .
Ochtinská Aragonitová Cave offers breathtaking views of beautiful aragonite spirals and crystals.
Dobšinská Ice Cave /UNESCO/ with marvellous underground glaciers, frozen waterfalls and sparkling stalagmites.
8. Wooden churches of eastern Slovakia
This type of wooden architecture belongs to the original traditions of Slovak people from the past – mainly 16th – 18th century.
An interesting fact about them is that they had to be all from wood and no nails could be used in their construction.
Research claims that there were more than 300 of them in Slovakia, although just 50 are preserved up to these days.
Churches are known for its geometrical ornamental decorations, iron and wooden crosses and beautifully painted icons.
Furthermore, the buildings consist of 3 parts reminding of The Holy Trinity and are situated mostly in the nature above the village.
9. Folk Festival in Východná
This Folk Festival is organized annually in summer in the village of Východná due to its great location.
You will find it between the High and the Low Tatras where the region has a wide folk tradition.
It is the biggest and the oldest festival with national as well as international attendance.
Its aim is to preserve, present and develop folk traditions and entertain.
Except the folk performances concerning dance, music and singing by groups or by individuals, the festival organizes workshops, parades and it offers presentations of the works of craftsmen.
10. Sheep cheese – Bryndza
Concerning Slovak traditions, it is important to mention herdsmen and shepherds and their huts.
Although they still exist, the tradition has really weakened.
Shepherds breed and pasture sheep and live in tight connection with nature and animals.
These animals give them everything they need – milk, meat and hair, fur.
However, the key ingredient is milk as it is used for the production of the following products:
-cheese, butter, cheese whips and lumps, cream, yoghurts.
And of course the sheep cheese – sour cream – something between butter and cheese which has become the traditional food of the Slovaks. The first mention of sheep cheese is from 15th century. The most known factory in Slovakia that makes this sheep cheese is in Zvolenská Slatina.
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