Slovakia is a small country but thanks to its position in the center of Europe the cultures of the west and the east have met here. Discover the well-preserved historical squares, castles, famous spas, trendy restaurants or visit one of the many cultural events that are held here.
Listed below are the top 10 towns to visit in Slovakia. Read on to know more about Slovakia and these beautiful towns.
Is it a cliché to start with the capital city? Whatever it is – Bratislava belongs to the list of the most beautiful places in Slovakia for sure. The main and largest city in the country is hiding more than you might think. Also named ‘beauty on the Danube’ it offers history, culture, and entertainment. But it is not only the history but also the present that will make you fascinated. The capital offers a charming city center with beautiful old buildings and squares but on the other side, there are also loads of trendy coffeehouses and restaurants. Start your tour at the castle, visit the main cathedral or just wander around the narrow streets in the old town. Bratislava is definitely a must if you are visiting Slovakia.
2. Banská Štiavnica
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This little town in the central part of Slovakia is by many people considered as the most beautiful place in Slovakia. It attracts artists, romantics, and people who are into the magical atmosphere of Banská Štiavnica. No surprise it got to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is full of well-preserved buildings, old mining houses, narrow streets and thousands of stairs. Doesn´t matter which season you choose for your visit, there is always something happening – music festivals, celebrations, street gatherings or art performances. This charming little town with two castles, cozy coffeehouses, antique shops, and art studios is a good choice for everyone. All this is set in beautiful hills which make Štiavnica a good choice for nature lovers as well.
You will definitely enjoy a break in this historic mining town. Choose to explore one of the museums to find out how billions of coins were made in Kremnica. The local gold mines were the richest in Europe and the coins made here was one of the most sought after coins in Europe. If you visit Kremnica in September don´t miss the famous festival of humor and satire. This event offers non-traditional, new and inspirational performances with intelligent elements of humor, artistic satire, and entertainment. Apart from this Kremnica also has another funny side. This town houses Slovakia´s museum of Kitsch which offers a collection of all sorts of crazy and funny art pieces. There is also an interesting collection of bronze noses of famous comedians in the courtyard of the museum.
Try something new and undiscovered. The second biggest city in Slovakia and the European Capital of Culture in 2013 offers a lot. An interesting historic center, great free-spirited nightlife, and welcoming people. After 2013 the cultural scene has grown in many ways – especially in the alternative one. New vegan restaurants were opened together with loads of hipster bars, trendy cafés, and nightclubs. One of the must-sees is definitely the Cathedral of St. Elisabeth. The largest cathedral in Slovakia with a 60m high tower dominates the main square and offers breathtaking city views. The areas east and west of the cathedral are divided by intimate back streets that are definitely worth a visit.
Since Trnava was the center of the Catholic church in Slovakia and many religious buildings were built here the city is also called ‘the small Rome’. The center is surrounded by well-preserved fortifications which are guarding the monuments hidden in the center of the city. The locals usually meet at the Trinity Square which also holds most of the outdoor cultural events – markets, concerts, art performances and many more. There is also an interesting museum called the Museum of Western Slovakia, which offers an exhibition of natural history, arts, archeology, and ethnography. Admirers of fine arts will also enjoy a visit of Ján Koniarik Gallery. Among other events, the traditional Trnava fair in September is especially popular. Trnava is also a city of football since the local team Spartak Trnava was one of the best European clubs in the past.
This spa town located in western Slovakia is famous mainly for the thermal water and mud with extraordinary therapeutic effects. The spa in Piešťany has a long history and it was visited by many famous people in the past such as the emperor Franz Josef with his wife Elisabeth known as Sissi, artist Alfons Mucha, presidents and politics from different countries and other writers, actors and music composers. But it is not only the spa that is worth a visit in Piešťany. There is a nice historic center with various restaurants and cafés to hang out and a beautiful spa park to take long walks in nature. In August, you can visit an open-air music festival called Grape that is organized at the airport where many famous indie/rock/pop/electronic bands and DJs performed in the last few years.
The town of Levoča represents a set of important cultural and historical monuments bordered by long and well-preserved town walls. The dominant part of the town is the main square with the Roman-Catholic church from the 14th century which is one of the most beautiful sacral buildings in Slovakia. Especially important is the interior of the church with a unique museum of sacral art. Levoča is an important cultural center of the region as well. Every year in July the town becomes the meeting point of the largest pilgrimage of Slovakia. All major buildings are really close to each other so it’s pleasant to explore the history of this town by walk.
Nitra is the oldest town of Slovakia and one of the oldest towns in Europe as well. It was built on seven hills and nowadays it is considered to be the city of youth since two huge universities are located there. If you are in Nitra you should definitely visit the castle which is 10 minutes by walk from the city center. The best time to go there is by night when you get a beautiful view of the whole city in thousands of small lights. The historic center is worth a visit as well and if you are into the theatre you should not miss the International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra which is organized every year towards the end of September
9. Trenčianske Teplice
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This cute spa town is located in the valley of river Teplička at the foothills on mountains called Strážovské vrchy. You can rest in beautiful oriental style spa buildings, go for a swim in an outdoor pool located in the middle of the forest called Zelená Žaba or take a walk in an English park. The town is also an important cultural center – the international festival of chamber music is held here. The most popular event is, however, the film festival called Park Film which is organized every June. Stars like Jean-Paul Belmondo, Ornella Mutti, Gerard Depardieu, Franco Nero, Sophia Loren, Catherine Deneuve, and many others left their palm imprints here in Trenčianske Teplice. The biggest music festival of Slovakia called Pohoda is held just a few kilometers from here as well.
The town is one of the UNESCO heritage sites and it is situated in the hills of the Beskyd mountains in the region of Šariš. The medieval town center is full of cultural monuments which are really well-preserved. Bardejov is mainly known for the authentic main square with Renaissance, Gothic and Medieval architecture. One of the most interesting building is definitely the town hall built in 1505 which was the center of the town’s social, economic and cultural life. The town walls are dating back to the 14th century and are on the list of one of the most preserved fortifications systems in Slovakia. So if you are into history and architecture Bardejov is definitely a great choice for a visit.