Trencin, Slovakia, is an often overlooked destination on the Slovak tourist circuit, even by hostel travelers looking for somewhere off the beaten track, but it's a very pleasant town, with an impressive castle on the hill, nice squares, and great day trips.
The castle is the first thing you notice, sitting high and mighty above town. This was an actual fortification, built for fending off enemies, not making friends jealous. What you see now is a reconstruction, rebuilt after a destructive fire in the eighteenth century. The reconstruction balances artfully between full historical correctness and the sometimes more intriguing effect of crumbling ruins. You can wander much of the grounds on your own, or take a tour inside and out. During festivals and some summer nights, you can find sword-fighting, medieval music, and traditional handicrafts. At night the castle glows with colorful illumination.
Trencin's main square is long and narrow, with colorful shops and sidewalk cafes. Don't leave Slovakia without trying some tasty "halusky," one of the national dishes, made of potato dumplings, goat cheese, and bacon. The normal Czech-Slovak plague column stands tall in the middle. Wander the center to find other smaller squares, narrow pedestrian walkways, minor monuments, and fountains. A small but flowery and well-kept park lies between the historic center and the train station.
Near Trencin are two spooky ruined castles associated with Alzbeta (Elizabeth) Bathory, said to keep up her beauty by taking long baths in tubs of maidens' blood, among other rather vampiric practices. Whether true or not, the many rumors make Cachtice and Beckov castle interesting destinations. Both can be reached by public transportation (and a bit of hiking), but plan ahead, as it may take some doing. Various other hiking trails abound closer to town.
Your options for hostels in Trencin are limited, but if you can find a bed in one, or in a pension or guesthouse, take the opportunity. You won't be disappointed.
Hi, I'm Melinda Brasher,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Trencin hostels. Welcome.