Introduction

Although Slovakia is not known to be a tourist destination, people who have visited the country believe that it should be. There are many places of interest inside the country that people may not find elsewhere. Slovakia offers a unique holiday experience to its visitors.

Slovakia is a country with breathtaking scenery, hospitable people, rich culture and heritage. Slovakia is now a growing hub of cultures and traditions. Life in Slovakia is very much like that of the Europeans and other Western people, although commercialism has become stagnant as far as the development of the country is concerned.

Aside from the beautiful places that the county is endowed with, Slovakia offers many opportunities and fun activities for outdoor enthusiasts. These make Slovakia one of Europe's hidden gems. In the coming years, tourism inside the country is forecast to grow as people start to discover its beauty.

People

The people of Slovakia are composed of 85 percent ethnic Slovaks in a multicultural Slovak society. About a tenth of the population is descended from the Turkish tribes who share relatively different beliefs, cultures and traditions. Slovaks are humble, hospitable and cheerful. They take joy in simple things and value the importance of family ties.

Most Slovakians spend their time on outdoor activities such as outdoor recreation, architectural sightseeing, and watching performances related to arts and culture. Slovakians are generally hard working and respectful.

The Slovakian people put much value on privacy. It is difficult for most of them to trust people, especially new ones, which is why they might seem odd and reserved at most times. It is only when you have developed a social relationship with them that they start to loosen up.

Geography

Slovakia's topography is mainly composed of mountainous terrains. The country is divided into eight provinces, and a third of its territory comprises mountain ranges that extend to its boundaries. Its rugged mountains are rich in mineral resources with vast greeneries of forests and pastures. Some of Slovakia's most important peaks are the Ore Mountains, Tatra Mountains and Carpathian Mountains.

Slovakia is landlocked between countries such as Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine. The country is precisely located at the center of Europe, which is why it is also known as the "Country at the Heart of Europe".

The capital city of Slovakia is Bratislava. Other major cities include Kosice, Zilina, Presov, Poprad, Nitra and Zvolen.

History

Slovakian history dates back to the sixth century when the first Slovaks settled to the country. Until the ninth century, they were politically united in the Moravian empire. Slovakia fell under the rule of the Magyars and the Germans from the tenth century until the year 1918. Following World War II, many Slovaks joined the lands of Bohemia, Silesia and Moravia to form the new country Czechoslovakia.

In the year 1939, Germany colonized Czechoslovakia and made Slovakia as one of its puppet states. In 1945, Slovakia was freed from the Germans and restored its independent government as they rejoined the Czechoslovakian state. Communism fell in Czechoslovakia in 1989 which led to the resurgence of Slovak nationalism. The country became independent separate from Czechoslovakia in 1993.

Famous Attractions

Slovakia is a country with several spectacular parks, valleys, mountains, churches, castles, ruins, rivers and forests, which all have fascinating stories behind them. Bratislava, Slovakia's capital city located very near the Austrian border, has so much to offer tourists.

The Orava Region is famous among locals and foreigners alike for its spectacular scenery. People enjoy summer activities including hiking, rafting, cycling, fishing and horseback riding. The scenery in Orava is very idyllic, which contributes to making a vacation there a relaxing one.

The High Tatras National Park is the most visited national park in the country. It is the highest peak in Slovakia reaching 8,711 feet. The Bojnice Castle, on the other hand, is the most visited among the Slovak Castles. There are also several thermal springs, caves, mountains and other natural attractions that you are sure to enjoy.

Nightlife

After a day of skiing or sightseeing, you can enjoy the country's beautiful nightlife. Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia offers an amazing nightlife especially for tourists. You can start off with bar hopping and make your way to the clubs. People who want to enjoy a peaceful night can opt to visit Slovakia's incredible restaurants, fast foods and cafes. Whatever your preferences, Slovakia has something in store for you. Relaxing at an outside restaurant or cafe is a great way to meet new people and spend the evening in the open air.

Culture

Grounded by folklore and influenced by a variety of cultures, the Slovakian culture is a mixture of Hungarian, Germanic, and Slavic influences. People of Slovakia are music lovers, which is evident in the various music festivals that are held in the country every year. The largest music festival is the "Pohoda". This is an event held every summer where thousands of music lovers get to enjoy three straight days of great music.

Slovaks enjoy food, fashion, films and other contemporary aspects of life. The Slovakian culture is a great blend of traditional and modern culture. Although the country is coping with the new advances in technology, they are able to preserve much of their culture, traditions and beliefs.

Cuisine

The Slovakian cuisine is unique and is unlikely to be found anywhere else in the world. Most of their dishes were influenced by cultures from neighboring countries. Their menus are comprised mainly of poultry, wheat flour, cabbage, sheep and cow cheese, potatoes, and spices such as onion and garlic. Rice is not grown in Slovakia, but it is imported and eaten in most Slovakian households. Other ingredients include parsley, lentils, corn, beans and other vegetables. Side dishes include fruits such as apricots, peaches, cherries, plums, pears and apples.

The Slovak Breakfast is mainly composed of bread with butter, ham, salami, vegetables, eggs, cheese, sausages, honey or jam. The Slovakian cuisine and manner of eating was mainly influenced by European culture. Lunch, the main meal of the day is usually composed of soup and a main course of pork, chicken or beef with a serving of rice.