There is an international airport in Bratislava. Many foreign visitors use Vienna airport in Austria or Prague airport in the Czech Republic.
Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is situated almost on the state borders with Hungary and Austria. It is 65km from Vienna and 193km from Budapest. This triangle of cities on the Danube has had good transport connections for a very long time. Many foreign visitors land in Vienna and are taken by buses to Bratislava as not many airlines operate direct flights.
There is good and cheap public transport in all major cities. Taxis have to be usually called by phone and it is advisable to negotiate the price before you commence your journey.
The cheapest and fastest link between cities, other than car, is by train, either express or regular.
There are hotels belonging to the major hotel chains in Bratislava. The prices of accommodation are usually lower compared to other Central European countries. Outside Bratislava you can find many small private hotels or pensions with attractive rates and a variety of standards.
You can eat anywhere with no health fears and the cost is usually less than in many other European countries. Typical Slovak cuisine is similar to Hungarian food, with lots of vegetables and spices as well as pork and lamb meat.
Tipping (approximately five per cent) applies generally to services such as taxis, restaurant bills and hairdressers.
The mountains, forests and lakes are ideal for outdoor holidaying as well as summer and winter sports.
Europe’s longest cycling route passes through the Slovak Republic, stretching from Passau in Germany along the Danube, through Vienna, Bratislava and on to Stúrovo. Cyclists can continue their journey by taking a ferry across the Danube into Hungary. There is a very good network of marked trails in all mountain areas and it is possible to plan a walking tour in advance.
Golf can be played at several courses around the country, including Bernolakovo (near Bratislava), Kosice, Tale (near Brezno-Law Tatras) and Velka Lomnica (High Tatras). There are also numerous lakes and rivers amidst the glacial landscape, offering excellent fishing, canoeing, boating and swimming. The primary water sports areas are at Liptovská Mara, Orava, Sl’nava and Zemplínska Sírava. Rafting is particularly good on the Dunajec river in the Pieniny national park. Horse riding, hunting and dog cart races are other popular pursuits.
There are popular centres in 30 mountain regions, the best of which are the Tatra Mountains, where over 40 ski tows and chairlifts are located. Other popular mountain areas include the Slovensky raj range, with its deep canyons, and the Malá Fatra range with its neighbouring Vrátna dolina valley.
The country offers a great wealth of curative springs, thermal spas, climatic health resorts and natural mineral waters, renowned throughout the world. There are 23 spa towns officially recognised by the state authorities.
Bardejovské Kúpele was already established as a health resort in the 13th century. Dudince’s spring is rated among the best in the area and the world-famous thermal health resort of Pie¡st’any specialises in rheumatic treatment.
Other spas include Sliac, Trencianské Teplice and Bojnice.