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The AFAR Guide to Slovakia

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Though Slovakia possesses a robust, modern economy, the country maintains a strong rural edge, with more than 40 percent of Slovaks living in villages of 5,000 or fewer. The landscape is dominated by the Carpathian Mountains and the High Tatras, which extend across the border with Poland to the north. Skiing is a pastime enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, and the capital, Bratislava, is located on the banks of the beautiful Danube River.
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Nový Smokovec, 062 01 Vysoké Tatry-Starý Smokovec, Slovakia
If you like epic, snow-capped mountains, beautiful forests, miles of incredible hikes filled with an array of rock formations, and crystal clear mountain water that isn't bottled and sold, then the High Tatras are your medicine of choice. In order...
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Pribinova 8, 811 09 Bratislava, Slovakia
In an effort to bring Bratislava up as its own tourist destination, the Slovakian government poured money into a revitalization of the shoreline by the Danube River. A large shopping mall and pedestrian walkway filled with cafes and restaurants...
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I've seen castles all over Europe and this is one of the more impressing fortified ones. It looks like its about to slide off the hill! Just down the road is a famous restaurant that serves traditional, authentic food. I went for the halusky with...
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Spišské Tomášovce, Slovakia
Driving through Slovakia, we encountered at the outskirts of many small Roma villages a line of people holding baskets along the roadside. The contents, we discovered, were fresh-picked raspberries and blueberries. Unfortunately we didn’t have a...
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Rudnayovo námestie 1, 811 01 Bratislava, Slovakia
Standing in Bratislava since 1452, the cathedral is a historic centerpiece of Bratislava and of Eastern Europe. During the Ottoman Empire days when Hungary was conquered, St. Martin's Cathedral became the coronation church for Hungarian kings.
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Na Slavíne, Bratislava-Staré Mesto, Slovakia
A rather interesting tribute not only to soldiers who fought the Nazis in WWII, but also a bit of a tribute to Communism with it's strong symbolism, stars, and menacing vibe. Surrounded by a beautiful garden and some rather affluent neighbors,...
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Hviezdoslavovo námestie 185/1, 811 02 Bratislava, Slovakia
A cultural centerpiece of Bratislava. You might have seen this building in a few movies, although the "scenes" were meant to be cities like Vienna. Regardless, it's a beautiful building with loads of history behind it that's still in use today...
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811 06 Bratislava, Slovakia
There isn't much in the world that's more beautiful than a castle, over some water, with a radiant sunset. Get all the elements going at once in Bratislava by walking across the old bridge, Starý most. Across from the castle, giggle at the...
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Michalská 390/22, 811 03 Bratislava, Slovakia
This gate opening once stood as part of a wall surrounding the city of Bratislava (it was a much smaller city of course). Today it's just a lovely piece of historic architecture as you walk through Old Bratislava. My fiance told me that you should...
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062 01 Vysoké Tatry-Starý Smokovec, Slovakia
My husband and I spent several days hiking in the High Tatras mountain range in Slovakia, spending nights in a dorm room in a chata. Stunning vistas, unique “trails,” (i.e. scaling a rock face via chains bolted into the rock) and the unexpected...
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Hviezdoslavovo námestie 188/6, 811 02 Bratislava, Slovakia
Located in a square named after him, he was a Slovak poet, dramatist, translator and for a short time member of the Czechoslovak parliament. The square is a beautiful walk as you make your way to the National Theater.
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Michalská 3, 811 01 Staré Mesto, Slovakia
One of the first spots I ate at in old Bratislava was this gem of an eatery hidden underground. It was very charming and the food was delicious. I recommend either the liver dumpling soup or the Slovak national dish, Halusky.
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Muránská, 841 10 Devín, Slovakia
One of the most interesting aspects of Slovakia are the number of castles found all over the country. From dark ages to the almost modern time, it's a wonderful trip for anyone interested in seeing castles. Devín was the first, and it's stood the...