Slovakia itinerary, 7 days: though it may not be enough to see all its beauties, there are many things to do in Slovakia in a week. iLocated right in the center of Europe, Slovakia is close to other attractive destinations in the region. Unfortunately, it is quite underrated, which is a shame because Slovakia is a country with lots to offer. In addition to the Slovakia travel itinerary, the post will provide tips and advice for your trip!
The main attractions in Slovakia are not the metropolitan centres, but its amazing and unspoiled nature, numerous national parks, many caves, and a myriad of medieval hilltop castles. The following is a list of things to do in Slovakia and a travel itinerary that will serve as an introduction to this hidden gem in Europe.
Start your 7 days in Slovakia with the capital city, then proceed to a smaller city. and end in the country’s oldest and most popular national park.
The best cities in Slovakia to visit are Bratislava and Banska Bystrica. Bratislava is a must-see. Not only is it the capital,but it is also very charming and full of history of Slovakia. Banska Bystrica is a great midpoint between Bratislava and the High Tatras. It is a cute mid-sized city with minimum tourism and a lovely vibe. From there, the trip ends in the High Tatra National Park, where you’ll get a taste of Slovak nature and the mighty mountains.
Below will provide the must-sees for each destination. Of course, this Slovakia travel itinerary can be adjusted according to your preference!
I suggest to check into your hotel and explore the city on foot. Downtown Bratislava is very walkable, and in a day, you can see the main points of interest. Get a hotel in or around downtown, or you can enjoy the highlights of the city with a Hop On Hop Off bus.
The first day in Slovakia should be spent walking around Bratislava’s historic center.
The main attractions for Bratislava are:
- Main Square
- Hviezdoslav Square
- Rybna Brana Street
- Michalska Street
- Venturska Street
- Panska Street
Spend the morning climbing up the Old Town Hall Tower and visit the museum that is housed in the building. Afterwards, wander along Michael’s Gate via Bastova Street down Klariska Street to Kapilulska Street. In Kapitulska Street, there are some of the oldest medieval houses in Bratislava.
Following Kapitulska, visit St. Martin’s Cathedral, a beautiful Roman Catholic Cathedral that was used for many coronations of Austro-Hungarian kings and queens. Check out the crown at the top of the spire that is coated in pure gold.
Climb up the castle hill to admire the Bratislava Castle. The view from the top is excellent. Walk around the castle and into its courtyard for a gorgeous view of the garden.
Don’t forget to try Slovak cuisine in any of the restaurants. Try potato dumplings with sheep cheese, crepes with various fillings and toppings, steamed dumplings with plum butter and poppy seeds, schnitzels with various sides. For beverages, try plum brandy, Zlaty Bazant, Corgon or Smadny Mnich beers (great Slovak beer brands). The Tatra Tea liquor is incredibly popular. It tastes great, has a variety of flavors, and can be taken home as a souvenir!
With lots to do, Bratislava is one of the best cities to visit in Slovakia and deserves more than a day’s stay.
Day 2: Devin Castle in Bratislava
Take bus #29 from the SNP Bridge to Devin and visit the Devin Castle, which is one of the best things to do in Slovakia. Devin is also one of the oldest castles in the country that dates back to the 8th century.
Afterwards, head back to the SNP bridge and walk across the bridge to take the elevator up the eastern pylon to the observation deck. The view is the best in town, I promise.
Tips & Advice for Bratislava
If you do need to use public transportation, buy tickets before you use a bus, tram or an electric bus. Purchase them with coins from the vending machines right at the bus stops. A one-ride ticket is valid for 15 minutes and costs 70 cents. Multiple-ride tickets are valid for 30 min (90 cents) and 60 min (1.20 Euros). You must validate your ticket in the stamping machine as soon as you enter the bus.
After Devin, head north-east to Banska Bystrica. You can travel by train or by bus, both are cheap and in around 3 hours, you’ll be in central Slovakia.
Bus and train stations in Banska Bystrica are located next to each other and are a short walk from the central square.
Banska Bystrica is a charming destination and one of the best cities to visit in Slovakia. Located in the center of the country, it is the perfect destination to learn about the history of Slovakia.
If you are a fan of culture and society, one of the best things to do in Slovakia is to spend two days here soaking in the country’s history and past. Climb the bell tower in Banska Bystrica for a magnificent view and then head further behind the tower to explore the exhibits on WWII . There is a museum and a memorial housed in a strange-looking, concrete building that has a symbolic shape remembering one of the Slovak national heroes.
Aside from tanks, trenches and a war airplane, Banska Bystrica also has a beautiful central square. Enjoy your time on this square, walk around, have lunch in any of the outdoor terraces and definitely have coffee and a cake in one of the coffee shops.
In the early evening, catch a bus to Poprad-Vysoke Tatry. The ride takes approx. 2 hours.
These are the main mountain centers and starting points for hiking with the restaurants, shopping and attractions.
To get from Poprad to any of these places, use TEZ railways. Buy a 2-day ticket so you don’t have to search for a ticket before your next ride.
Find the local tourist information office and ask them to recommend a hiking route for you according to your level of fitness, equipment and the weather conditions. They are a great source of advice and tips.
If the weather is nice, definitely go for a light hike. The High Tatras are absolutely gorgeous and you’ll love it. The mountains offer easy-to-advanced hikes and tons of attractions, cable car rides to the very top peaks. In the evening, enjoy dinner in one of the log houses that serve local cuisine.
Day 6 & 7: Other Hiking Routes in High Tatras
If you like hiking, one of the best things to do in Slovakia is to embark on a few other short hikes in a different location or perhaps a gondola ride to one of the chalets. I suggest you try these popular and easy-to-medium hikes:
- Hrebienok – Zamkovskeho Chalet – Magistrala trail – Skalnate Pleso Lake and from there take a gondola down to Tatranska Lomnica
- Strbske Pleso Lake – Skok Waterfall
- Tatranska Polianka – Sliezky Dom Chalet – Hrebienok – Stary Smokovec
If you are not in a mood for hiking, spend some time exploring the resort towns. I suggest Tricklandia Trick Museum for lots of fun, zip lining park in Tatranska Lomnica or Kvantarium in Hrebienok. Or take a walk around the Strbske Pleso Lake. Another great trip idea is to take the cable cars and gondolas up to the second highest peak of the High Tatras-the Lomnicky Peak.
Other Tips & Advice
Although quite underrated, Slovakia is a country with lots to offer. If you plan to visit Slovakia, here are a few other tips and advice that you may find helpful!
Other than 7 days in Slovakia, make sure to check out its neighbors with this 7 day Croatia itinerary, this 5 day in Bosnia plan or this 10 day agenda in Greece!
Best Time to Vist Slovakia
Slovakia is a year-round destination depending on what you want to do. Winter months are ideal for winter sports because Slovakia has many skiing areas and mountain resorts.
From late spring to early autumn, the weather is best for sigh-seeing. Summer is very popular with tourists, but it’s also the hottest.
To avoid the crowds and to have better prices for accommodation, I suggest you plan your trip in June and September. But I must note that summer offers more attractive activities. There are many festivals, open-air concerts, artistic performances and fairs all over the country, many of them free.
Is Slovakia Safe?
Slovakia is very safe for travelers, but you should pay attention and be aware of the surroundings as anywhere else in Europe. Pickpockets exist in any country and Slovakia is no exception.
Slovakia uses the Euro as the country’s currency, and you can use credit cards and debit cards almost everywhere. Slovakia has not been flooded with mass tourism yet and there aren’t many immigrants, so outside the main tourist points, you’ll find yourself mostly among locals.
English is spoken in touristy areas and by travel service providers. Slovaks are naturally bilingual which means that they speak their mother tongue, Slovak, plus Czech. Usually, people under 40 should speak a third language, German or English. Older people tend to have some remaining knowledge of Russian or Hungarian. It’s a good idea to learn some basic Slovak expressions before you go, especially words like thank you, hello, goodbye, sorry and excuse me. You’ll be more welcomed and appear friendlier.
Estimated Cost for Slovakia
Prices in Slovakia are cheaper than elsewhere in Europe. Long-distance buses and trains are under EUR 15. Accommodation, depending on the quality and stars, may cost from EUR 15 to EUR 150 per night. Food is also cheaper. Two can dine under EUR 30 including soup, main meal, and a drink. Attractions are mostly under EUR 10. Cable cars cost around EUR 12 per ride. Delicious cake with quality coffee will cost you around EUR 5 per person.
Cost to visit Slovakia in 7 days for two people is approx. EUR 510 (accommodation EUR 210, food EUR 210, transportation EUR 60, two attractions EUR 30)
Slavka is a travel writer and blogger based in London, Ontario, Canada. She specializes in family, multi-generational and couple travel in Europe and America. With a special love for Central Europe and Canada, you can find her exploring cities, castles, caves, and mountains in those areas. You can communicate with her in five European languages. She shares her travel adventures, videos and advice on On2Continents.com. Find more on Slovakia here. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.