Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Beautiful nature and historical old towns are the main reasons for visiting.
With attractive destinations such as Austria, Czech Republic, and Hungary as its neighbors, Slovakia usually is not on a tourist’s mind when planning a trip in Europe. Often, people have hardly any knowledge about what there is to do in Slovakia; therefore it remains unvisited. Particularly nature lovers will enjoy Slovakia. Slovakia has nine national parks, some of them in the mountains of which a few are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The High Tatras mountains are a popular destination for hiking and relaxing. Slovakia shares the High Tatras with Poland. Hiking trails are well marked and access is free. Winter sports can also be practiced in the High Tatras. There are many cities with pretty old towns in Slovakia, too. Scenic medieval castles are also plentiful and can be found in many towns. Bojnice is the most popular and arguably the most beautiful castle in Slovakia.
Hostels can be found in Slovakia as well. Unfortunately, there are hardly any hostels in Slovakia’s towns in which you have to stay if you want to visit some sites in nature. Depending on the destination, you may be able to find some other budget accommodation. A double room often costs the same amount as two beds in a dorm room in the capital, making it a good alternative budget-wise for couples. For single travelers, however, the absence of hostels or cheap single rooms in many places is not ideal and will add up the costs of traveling around Slovakia.
Most hostels in Slovakia can be found in the capital, Bratislava, which has a pretty old town and is known for its crazy statues around its city centre. It also has a good, if not the best, nightlife in Slovakia. Good bars and clubs are scattered around and outside the old town. Being located only 1 hour away from Vienna and 3 hours from both Brno, Czech Republic and Budapest, Hungary, the city of Bratislava is ideally located to squeeze into a trip around Central Europe. Hostels and other costs of travel are significantly cheaper in Bratislava than in Vienna, so crossing the border into Slovakia for a few days might even be a good idea budget wise. There are many hostels in Bratislava and most of them offer a good quality as well as a common room to meet fellow travelers. Since there are not many hostels in other parts of Slovakia, Bratislava might also be a good place to find a travel buddy to travel around the country.
Kosice is the second largest city of Slovakia and located in the east of the country, close to the border with Ukraine. The old town is stunning, but does not attract many foreign visitors, therefore remaining almost untouched by tourism. Since it is a student city, Kosice has many nice bars and hostels, too.
Banská Bystrica is another town worth visiting in Slovakia. It’s a stunning, old mining town. In this city, you can also find some budget accommodations and hostels. Banská Bystrica makes a good stopover if you intend to travel farther from Slovakia to Budapest.
Hi, I'm Martin Straatman,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Slovakia hostels. Welcome.
Kosice is an unusual mix of run-down Soviet, charming old-world, and modern flavors. The area around the main train station is quite run down, but just a few blocks away is beautiful old town with lots of great cafes, bakeries, old churches, and other interesting places to see. The pastries are very delicious!
Bratislava is a great little city. It's extremely compact, and it's full of people relaxing and drinking in outdoor cafes. Good luck finding good accommodation though...