Make the most of your stay in Slovakia and reserve more days off to explore this hidden gem in the heart of Europe. Picturesque nature, which is rich in unusual finds and rarities; charming cities, where history meets modern; fascinating UNESCO sites that you will not find anywhere else – the beauties of Slovakia are rich and varied. We will show you what not to miss, especially near Košice, the second-largest city in the country. Come and get first-hand experience!

Tips for UNESCO World Heritage hunters

Did you know that from Košice you can reach 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in just 100 minutes? Take advantage of it! Start at Spiš Castle, one of the largest castle complex in Central Europe and probably the most photographed place in Slovakia. Enjoy town Levoča with the world's largest late-Gothic wooden altar and the beautiful historic center surrounded by medieval city walls, where you can have a cup of coffee in a cozy café. Explore the underground kingdom of the Ochtinská Aragonite Cave, one of only four of its kind in the world. Or go for a trip to the village of Ruská Bystrá, where one of many region’s unique sacral wooden treasures is located. If you are a fan of cycling in nature with some beautiful sightseeing, follow a cycling path to the Poloniny National Park, also known as the Dark Sky Park. Thanks to the absence of light smog it is one of the best places for observing the stars. Sprinkle all this with tasting the noble king´s drink in the wine region of the world-famous Tokaj and your unforgettable trip is done. Click on and check out all the unique UNESCO sites you can easily discover during your stay in Košice. (Photo: © Košice Region Tourism)


    Meet the oldest opal mines in the world

    Ready to gain unforgettable experiences? Visit the amazing underground scene of the opal mines located in eastern Slovakia between the villages Červenica and Zlatá Baňa near Prešov, which are the oldest ones in the world. Take part in an adventure hour circuit with guides who will offer you a complete historical and geological explanation while exploring corridors full of secrets and legendary opal highly appreciated for its unique characteristics. Its asset is what is referred to as opalescence that means the perfect play of colours. This gemstone was particularly adored by the family of Emperor Napoleon and even the empress Josephine proudly wore the most famous piece called Fire of Troy. Even Harlequin, Europe´s largest opal, now exhibited in the Vienna Nature history Museum, comes from these mines. Take a trip to their inside and discover their precious beauty! (Photo:

      Enter the waterfall-kissed paradise

      Constant sunlight, loud songbirds, and fragrant flowers in full bloom – of nine Slovak national parks, none attracts the photographer's attention as quickly as the aptly named Slovenský raj or Slovak Paradise, another breathtaking place near Košice. The park has more plant species per square meter than anywhere else in Europe, and it will enchant you with its incredible diversity. Discover one of the largest ice caves in Europe called the Dobšinská Ice Cave, listed by UNESCO. You can hike through beautiful gorges full of jungle-like greenery, such as Suchá Belá or Veľký Sokol. Visit the natural rock gallery named Tomášovský view, which offers one of the best photo opportunities in the park, and be moved by nature’s performance at Závojový waterfall with a total drop of 75 metres. You can also enjoy the park charm from a river point of view – go rafting in the 12 km long canyon Prielom Hornádu, or visit a meadow in the hamlet of Biele vody, not far from the park, that is full of European ground squirrels. You can buy sunflower seeds in the village and feed these cute rodents by hand. (Photo: © OOCR Slovenský raj & Spiš)

        Hike in the most significant summer destination in Europe

        Speaking of Slovak national parks we need to say that hiking in „the smallest alpine mountains in Europe”, as the High Tatras are often called, is simply a „must-have“ for every outdoor enthusiast. In 2019 the Lonely Planet Travel Guide named them the most significant summer destination in Europe. Majestic rocky peaks (26 of them are over 2,500 m), deep valleys, pine forests, waterfalls, and gorges are here for you to discover them. Reach the peak of Gerlach with a local mountain guide and be rewarded by hypnotizing views from the Slovakia's highest mountain. Boat on the glacial lake of Štrbské pleso, try to spot chamois and marmots, or get above the clouds in a funicular to Lomnický štít, where you can relax in the stylish Dedo café. Your coffee served at an altitude of 2,634 metres will have a very special flavour. Visit the highest located botanical garden in Europe, stay overnight at one of two luxury rooms located right here, or be sure to „taste“ traditional hospitality offered by several high-altitude mountain huts. 

          Step into a fairytale

          Did you know that Slovakia, once ruled by mighty monarchs, has the highest number of castles per capita in the world? Fulfill your Disney fantasies and discover the fairytale-like Bojnice Castle, located in central Slovakia. Blushing sandstone towers and crenelated turrets make this romantic castle one of the most visited landmarks in the whole of Central Europe. Does the castle seem familiar to you? That is because the last owners took inspiration during reconstruction from the castles of France’s Loire Valley. Its breathtaking aesthetic has also made it a popular filming location for fantasy movies. Uncover stories of its glorious past starting in the 12th century, while exploring the noble chambers furnished with period furniture and art from across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East – be it during the day or at night. Make sure to visit a castle chapel with an altar from the 14th century, consisting of 10-panel paintings by the medieval Florentine maestro. Under the castle, there is a beautiful karst cave with stalactite formations and two lakes with crystal clear water waiting for you. Your kids will fall for a falconry show or a tournament of skilled knights. There is also a ZOO in the town, which is home to more than 360 species of animals, including elephants, antelopes, and critically endangered guenons.

            Take a journey into the past

            In the hamlet of Vlkolínec in the Liptov region, which was founded by lumberjacks and coal miners in the 14th century, time stood still. Explore this living village, which has become a symbol of the original Slovak countryside and which has not been affected by modern buildings to this day. It will enchant you with its colorful playful architecture and mountain location with views of the Veľká Fatra mountains. It is a preserved monumental gem of log houses of the Central European type (best preserved in the entire Carpathian arc), thanks to which Vlkolínec was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Take a picture of a log well and a two-storey bell tower from 1770 on a stone pedestal in the middle of dozens of original wooden houses with a shingled roof and a blue, pink, and white lime painting. And don´t miss visiting the rare Baroque-Classicist church from the 19th century.

              Replenish energy in thermal water parks

              If you seek relax and refreshment, you are in the right place! Slovakia is a country blessed with immense subterranean wealth, namely plentiful mineral and thermal springs with healing effects, with many spas and aquaparks which are located throughout the country. One of the best-known is AquaCity Poprad, situated right at the foot of the High Tatras. It offers 13 outdoor and indoor pools, toboggans, 350 water attractions, the largest wellness and spa centre in Slovakia, children’s corners, playgrounds, animation programmes for kids, and the most modern 3D Laser show. Or head to the nearby Thermal Park Vrbov. Boost your immune system in one of their 10 thermal pools with geothermal water containing important minerals and relax your body with Thai massage. Or visit AquaPark Tatralandia, one of the biggest aquaparks in Slovakia, which is opened the whole year thanks to thermal water. It is situated in the Liptov region, just 2 km from the town of Liptovský Mikuláš, right within a gorgeous scenery of the West Tatras on the northern shore of the dam Liptovská Mara. (Photo: © Tatralandia)

                Discover mining treasures of Central Slovakia

                If you like to wander through the old towns with many historical buildings and scenic walks, go to the central area of the country, which is famous for its mining tradition. Discover the historic town Banská Štiavnica listed in UNESCO which glittered with silver and gold in its best days. Don't miss the chance to explore the remaining underground mining shafts, where you will descend with your helmet and lantern into the illuminated tunnels. You can feel what the life of miners was like in ancient times. After visiting the mines, you will be ready for a swim in a 'Tajch'. These artificial water reservoirs were built to provide energy for mines and are now popular as recreation areas for swimming. Or you can go to the nearby town of Kremnica and visit the Kremnica Mint. Minting coins since 1328, it’s the oldest continuously working mint manufacturer in the world. If you are interested in climbing, you can visit the recreation centre Skalka, where the hardest ferrata route in Slovakia, marked with the letter F, is located.

                  Experience the capital

                  Bratislava is not so close to Košice, but your visit to Slovakia will not be complete without the trip to its capital city. Discover the most famous sights of the „Beauty on the Danube“, located on the very west border of the country, only 60 km from Vienna. Starting with the most obvious – visiting Bratislava Castle is a „must-have“ for first-time visitors. The castle is rich with its history, dating back to the Stone Age. On the walk in the picturesque Old Town, situated directly underneath the castle, be sure to take a selfie with the most photographed bronze statues of Napoleon’s Soldier or quirky Čumil („Watcher“), looking out from beneath a canal cover, and don´t forget to visit the St. Martin Cathedral, where 18 Hungarian kings and queens were crowned in the past. One of the most iconic places in Bratislava is the architectural unique Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising. It incorporates a fully functional restaurant in the top part, shaped like a UFO (hence the nickname UFO Bridge), that provides an astonishing view of the city.

                    Taste a picturesque wine-growing town

                    In the morning, a workshop in the Slovak Folk Majolica Studio, where you can try the raw glaze painting technique under the supervision of experienced masters. In the afternoon, a walk through the numerous sacral buildings of various architectural styles – from the Gothic Church of St. John the Baptist from the end of the 13th century to the German Evangelical Church with a neoclassical facade. In the evening, tasting of green veltliner, Rhine Riesling, or other noble varieties of wines from the Malé Karpaty mountains slopes. In Modra, a picturesque wine-growing town just in the surrounding of Bratislava, which is home to one of the most popular souvenirs from Slovakia – majolica ceramic products, a wide range of experiences awaits you. Or go to the nearby tourist lookout tower on Veľká Homola, which offers a circular view of the panorama of the Malé Karpaty mountains, Považský Inovec, Tribeč, and the Austrian Alps.