If you have Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, or Ukraine as your neighbour, then, as a country, it is highly unlikely that you will get any spotlight. Sharing the fate of such over-shadowed nations is the small yet captivating country of Slovakia. A part of Central Europe (lot of people get that wrong), this country has been in the hiding for long, and it is time that it gets its share of recognition.
There is nothing that this country does not have; picturesque towns, even more stunning cities, beautiful national parks, and tons of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit Slovakia for its grand castles and chateaus and churches.
The countryside is always quaint and worth visiting, and we are sure the villages and towns of Slovakia will leave you super-impressed. Here are 7 shockingly pretty towns of Slovakia that will have you asking for more.
In the picturesque region of Žilina in North Slovakia lies the village of Strečno. Situated by the banks of the river Váh, which happens to be the longest river of Slovakia, Strečno is famous for the ruins of a medieval castle. Located on a small hill, overlooking the river, the Strečno Castle makes for a great hike and the surrounding view is to die for. Definitely, it’s one of the best places to visit in Slovakia.
Get transported to the pre-historic times as you step foot in the village of Pribylina. Located on the foothills of High Tatra Mountain in the Liptov region of Slovakia, the village serves as an open-air museum, drawing tourists in huge numbers. The museum features precious historical buildings that were relocated due to the danger of floods. The open-air museum is a gateway to the lives of the Liptov locals. During the tour one can visit the Renaissance chateau, the municipal school, the firehouse station, and the Church of Virgin Mary must not be missed. Wondering where to go in Slovakia? Make sure Pribylina is on your list.
One of the oldest towns of Slovakia, Nitra holds a very important place in Slovak history. It was once a part of the Hungarian Kingdom as well, hence one can see the influence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the monuments and churches. The key attraction is the Drazovce Church (Dražovský Kostolík), which is said to be over a 1000 years old, and is one of the oldest churches in Slovakia. Though the church is not open for public, the view from the hill top is beyond words. Other worth mentioning sites are Nitra Castle, Nitra Synagogue, and the picturesque town of Zobor.
The best way to reach Slovakia’s famous attraction, High Tatras National Park, is through the town of Poprad. Skiing and hiking enthusiasts flock this town during winter and summer season to start their journey to the High Tatras Mountains. Apart from serving as the gateway to the national park, the town has its own historic charm. The 13th century church of St. Egidius, the 1592-built Renaissance bell tower, and the Podtatranske Museum are a few of the things that would fascinate anyone who appreciates history.
5. Špania Dolina
Once a famous copper village, Špania Dolina is located near the city of Banská Bystrica. The village has well-preserved houses that belong to the 19th century. The 6th century built water pipeline is unique and historic and a must-see while in Špania Dolina. The tower of the church of Conversion of the Lord is another highlight of this village. The climb of 160 stairs to the roofed staircase can get a little tiring, but the panoramic view from the top is simply matchless! One of the shockingly pretty towns in Slovakia, this place just could win your heart.
This predominant Gothic town dates back to the 13th century when a fire engulfed half of it, and was re-built in the 16th century in the Renaissance style. Owing to its fine and well-preserved architecture, this town has been listed with as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The St. James church has the largest wooden altar in Europe carved by Master Paul of Levočo – it is one of the best things to see in Slovakia. The 15th century Town Hall is another worth visiting site, which is now a museum. The Cage of Shame, County House, the House of Master Pavol of Levoča are a few notable places that should answer the query of “what to see in Slovakia?”
The fairy tale-like town of Bardejov is worth a visit by every means. A UNESCO listed site, this town is known for its old town square, churches that are over 500 years old, and museums that house relics from antiquity. There are rows of colourful houses surrounded by lush green hills, offering a sight which is too good to be true. The neighbouring quaint spa town of Bardejovske Kupele is a great place to unwind and soak in nature and luxury. Bardejov should definitely make it to your list of must-visit places in Slovakia.