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Slovakia is a beautiful country located in Central Europe. It became independent in 1993 after a mutual agreement that concluded the separation of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Although it is a fairly new country, Slovakia has plenty of history to share, especially from the medieval period. Since 2004 it has been part of the European Union and sometimes it is confused with Slovenia or former Yugoslavia, however, Slovakia is unique on its own. If you are thinking of visiting Slovakia soon, then be aware of the new Health Declaration requirement. The coronavirus pandemic is pushing countries to have better control of visitors through medical forms and Slovakia is following this new world context. Learn more about Slovakia’s tourism and entry guidelines on the next lines.
Slovakia is a natural paradise that offers you national parks, caves, and mountains. If you want to enjoy some nature around Europe, then Slovakia should be on your list. The country has 14 protected areas and 9 national parks that you mainly find in the center of the country. The most famous park is the High Tatras where mountains bring a breathtaking landscape. The highest pick in the High Tatras is the Gerlachovsky Stit which stands at 2.655 m or 8.710 ft. If you feel ready to hike it, be sure to get an experienced mountain guide for this adventure and get a magnificent view of this challenging peak. During wintertime, we recommend doing some skiing and snowboarding which is possible in the ski resorts all around this area. You should also visit the largest national park Low Tatras, where the valleys make the perfect scenario for mountain biking. For hiking enthusiasts, you can walk from Donovaly to Certovica, for a total challenge of 80 km or 50 miles. This will be 5 days into nature connecting with other travelers and total disconnection from the world. If you are bringing the family along, you should visit Liptovsky Mikulas where there are services for rafting, paragliding, and parks with thermal waters. On the other hand, if you are more into caves then you need to go to Slovak Paradise where there are more than 350 caves. We recommend visiting the Dobsinska Ice Cave, which is very famous in Europe due to its unique beauty. You can find ice stalagmites, icefalls, and spectacular glaciation. During your visit to Slovak Paradise, you should do the Sucha Bela hike which will take you through a path of waterfalls, cascades, and natural jacuzzis.
Not much into nature? That’s fine! Slovakia is full of cities with exquisite culture. Make your way to Bratislava, the capital, and get to know the historic old town. Visit St. Martin Cathedral or the incredible medieval castle on top of the hill. The castle dates back to the 9th century and the architecture is based around four towers in the corners of the property. This fantastic site has seen modern history pass through, from being a government building for independent Slovakia in 1993 to the famous Bush-Putin meeting in 2005. Today, the castle is a museum, so be ready to explore it when you travel to Slovakia.
The second-largest city in Slovakia is Kosice. Some of the city attractions are the Cathedral of St Elizabeth with a gothic style and the State Theatre, where you can enjoy artistic performances in different languages or see a ballet presentation. Then you can walk around the beautiful main square that not only offers a variety of restaurants but there are unique medieval constructions underneath that you can visit. Close to the city you can make a stop at the Krasna Horka castle or the 19th-century Betliar chateau, which is said to be hunted. As well, Kosice hosts the oldest marathon in Europe on the first Sunday of October. This is the second oldest in the world after the Boston Marathon in the US. More about castles? The most famous castle in Slovakia is the Spiš Castle which has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993. This fantastic construction comes from the 12th century and it was once owned by the King of Hungary. There is a museum inside that shows the magnificent findings from medieval times and if you are visiting on a weekend, you get to see some live performances with traditional attires and historical artifacts.
Slovakia has a very lively culture and this is shown through its folklore which usually represents farmers and shepherds lives. Slovak Folk goes from music, dance, colorful clothing, artisan work, and festivals. Dance and music are mostly played with violin and bass. As well, the most representative handicrafts are wood carving and pottery that are based around generations’ knowledge. One of the major folk festivals is Vychodna Folkloric Festival from the Zilina Region and it showcases Slovakia’s rich culture. We can’t discuss Slovak folklore without mentioning the Monument Reserve of Folk Architecture Vlkolinec. This pristine village dates from 1376 and has remained with its original architecture since then. It is incredible to see the wooden folk constructions that combine with the natural scenario. You can even enter the homes that preserve original furniture and see how people from Central Europe used to live.
We are sure you want to visit Slovakia and enjoy some of the places mentioned and experience the vivacious heritage. Although COVID-19 has forced many countries to close its frontiers, it is important to point out Slovakia is receiving international visitors with certain restrictions such as the Health Declaration Form. The coronavirus pandemic has put restraints on international travelers but countries are opening slowly with some health restrictions that you need to know. The Slovakia government is demanding a Health Declaration Form from international visitors in which they will accept to do a quarantine and undergo a COVID-19 test in the Slovak Republic. The self-declaration states that quarantine will finish once travelers show they have a negative test. Besides, the Public Health authorities are always reviewing the list of countries that are allowed to enter Slovakia, therefore, keep updated with iVisa.com to know if your country is on this list. The list gathers countries that the Slovakia Government believes are low risk for coronavirus. However, this list can be drastically changed at any moment. Remember that Slovakia is part of the European Union, therefore, they also follow their guidelines in terms of health restrictions, such as the medical declaration. The Health Declaration Form will keep the Slovak Government at ease with your arrival and after you comply with the health guidelines you will be able to enjoy Slovakia at its finest.
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