The discreet, evocative beauty of Bratislava. The charm of castles still intact. Really incredible landscapes. Events and great traditions. There are many reasons to visit this fantastic land, a gateway to Central Europe and Eastern Europe.
HOW TO GET
The aircraft is the ideal solution for medium / long-haul distances. Bratislava has an airport that, despite its rather small size, is well connected to Europe. Thanks, especially to the numerous low-cost, the international airport is connected, with direct flights, with the main European destinations. Kosice is the second airport of the country. Other small airports are used exclusively for charter flights.
Given its proximity to the border, Vienna International Airport it is a rather widespread solution to get to Slovakia. Wien-Schwechat, is just 60 kilometers from the capital; connections with public transport are guaranteed by the Slowak Lines bus. Krakow Airport is another option, especially if you want to explore the Tatra Mountains.
By train, there are direct daily connections to Austria, Germany, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. From the old Czechoslovakia, the country has inherited quite frequent connections with Prague and Brno. Rail connections are quite frequent in this case . However, it is from Vienna that the connections are faster and more frequent. Bratislava can be reached in just one hour by train, with prices from € 15 per person, in case of early bookings.
If you want to arrive by car, please note that you must purchase the appropriate cartoons to travel on Slovakian roads and motorways. The road network is quite modern, connected to the main European motorways. Customs checks are not very frequent. The only exception concerns cars coming from Ukraine: in this case, waiting times are quite long for checks. Budapest is about 200 kilometers. Zagreb, Croatia, less than 400. Even from Italy the distances are abysmal, with Venice less than 700 kilometers, crossing the Süd Autobahn.
A good alternative, especially to save money, is to arrive by bus. There are many companies that organize trips to Bratislava and the rest of the country. Eurolines, Filobus, Regiojet and many more.
HOW TO MOVE AND MOVE
The best way to travel around the country is, without a doubt, the train. Železničná spoločnosť Slovensko (ZSSK) is the company that manages rail transport. Trains are quite modern and efficient, with very low costs. Above all if compared to the rest of Europe. The most frequent connections are between the cities of Bratislava, Žilina, Banská Bystrica, Poprad and Košice. The KLASIK RAILPLUS are very cheap, the passes that allow you to travel at heavily discounted prices. TEZ, is the special railway line that crosses the fascinating Tatra Mountains: an experience not to be missed! In Slovakia there are different classifications of trains. In addition to the common Intercity, Eurocity, Express or Euronight, you can come across the Osobný vlak (Os), the trains that make all the stops; Regionálny expres (REX), make connections between the Region and the Region;Regionálny rýchlik (RR), trains that make short itineraries.
The car remains a good solution to move around the country at your own pace and without having to take time and times into account. The roads, as mentioned, are in good condition and connect all the Slovak destinations in a capillary way. The main cities are all served by the motorway.
DOCUMENTS AND CUSTOMS
There is no obligation to produce documents at the border, but you are always required to bring an ID card or passport with you. It is recommended, above all, to bring the CI of their children under age, even if traveling by car or train. See our special section, about that.
Dogs and cats enter freely, provided they have a health certificate and a recent certificate from the veterinarian of the ASL of residence, attesting to good health. Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies for at least 30 days.
Please note that the appropriate microchip must be applied to the animals.
To fly with animals, please refer to the individual section Airline companies.
To rent a car you need the minimum age of 21 years, the possession of the license for at least a year and, as always, a credit card. Prepaid cards are not accepted.
CURRENCY AND CHANGE
From the 2009, the official currency has become the EURO, supplanting the old Slovak SKK crowns. Almost everywhere, you can pay directly by credit card and withdraw cash at ATMs. Keep in mind, however, that in some small cities, and less touristy places, you may find it difficult to make credit card payments. A cash reserve is always recommended.
Who needs to enter Bank, keep in mind that, in the main cities, it is open from Monday to Friday from 08: 30 to 16: 30. Schedules may be subject to change; in the most important tourist centers, and at authorized centers, they can also be open until the evening.
In Slovakia, the clock hands are placed one hour ahead of the Greenwich meridian (UTC / GMT + 1). Daylight saving time starts on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October, with the hands forward an additional hour compared to Greenwich (UTC / GMT + 2).
Throughout the country, the voltage is 230 volts, with 50Hz frequency. Typically, you will find E-type electrical outlets, like those shown in photos. The Slovak outlets differ from the German ones due to the presence of a female contact, at the male pin on the socket. We recommend always using a special adapter. To the most provident, we recommend taking a look at this link.
Photo ©, Looxix
Slovenská pošta, is the company that manages the postal, logistic and financial services of the country. Born in 1993, it has become a public company controlled by the State, in the 2004. On the outside, it is identified by a yellow and blue logo, and, generally, the word POSTA. The yellow color characterizes the post offices of the country.
The company offers all common shipping and telecommunication services. To send correspondence up to 1kg in Europe, you can use the EMS express service.
On the official website of the Slovak Post Office, from this link, all the schedules of the branches of the country and the services offered.
Shops are generally open from Monday to Saturday, from 9.00 to 18.00. Some shops and department stores on Thursdays close after 20: 00. Generally, Sunday is closing day. In major cities such as the Capital, some grocery stores are also open at night.
PHARMACIES AND HOSPITALS
The sign Lekáreň outside the building, indicates the presence of a pharmacy. As a rule, they are only open on weekdays, from 08.00 to 17.00. In large cities may have extended opening hours. On weekends, and on holidays, almost everywhere they are closed.
Hospitals and medical facilities in Slovakia are divided into non-state and private. In the first case, the costs of the treatments are almost entirely covered by the patient's health care; in the second case, instead, the costs are covered by the patient and his possible medical insurance. We recommend that you always bring your health card with you and, above all, take out adequate insurance coverage for medical expenses. The best health facilities are located in the Eastern part of the country.
In Slovakia, the frequencies Gsm 800 / 1800 Mhz and W-CDMA 2100 are used, the same of the main European countries. So you can easily use your Italian, French ... smartphone.
To call phones in Slovakia, you need to enter the international code 0042, followed by the telephone number. Orange Slovensko as, T-Mobile Slovensko, as, Telefónica O2 Slovakia sro, are the main Slovak telephone operators.
With the lowering of roaming costs, you can easily call from the country, taking advantage of your national tariff. Alternatively, you can use the classic VoIP calls, or make video calls, using a free WI-FI line.