Slovakia basics

General information and details about geography, money, public holidays.


Population: 5,397,036 (Slovak Statistics Office, as of 2011); 48.7% men, 51.3% women
Nationalities: Slovak: 80.7%, Hungarian: 8.5%, Roma: 2% (10% - estimated), other: 1.8% (Czech, German, Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Polish), 7% (not specified)
Religion: Roman Catholic (62%), Evangelical (5.9%), Greek Catholic (3.8%), Reformed (1.8%), Orthodox (0.9%), other (1.6%), not specified (10.6 %), no religion (13.4%)
Capital: Bratislava (pop. 411,228)
Currency: euro €
Language: Slovak (for some Slovak phrases click here)
Business hours: Mon-Fri  9:00-17:00, bigger shopping centres daily 10:00-21:00
Time zone: GMT/UTC +1 hour 


Area: 49,035 km2
Borders with neighbouring states: Hungary (656 km), Poland (541 km), the Czech Republic (252 km), Austria (107 km) and Ukraine (98 km)
Land use: forest: 41%, arable land: 29%, meadows and pastures: 18%, urban areas: 5%, water: 2%, other agricultural land: 2%, other: 3% (statistics from the Environment Ministry, as of 2012)
Highest point: Gerlachovský štít (2,655 m)
Longest river: Váh River (403 km)
Towns: 136 (settlements with more than 5,000 inhabitants)
Major cities (population): Bratislava (411,228), Košice (240,433), Banská Bystrica (80,003)
Villages: 2,717 (settlements with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants)
National parks: 9 - High Tatras, Low Tatras, Pieniny, Slovenský raj, Slovenský kras, Malá Fatra, Veľká Fatra, Muránska planina, Poloniny.
Caves: 6,700 (discovered)
Castles and castle ruins: 300



  • The historic town of Banská Štiavnica and the technical monuments in its vicinity
  • Bardejov town centre
  • Spiš Castle and its associated cultural monuments (Spišské Podhradie, Žehra, Levoča)
  • Vlkolínec
  • Wooden churches (Bodružal, Hervartov, Hronsek, Kežmarok, Ladomirová, Leštiny, Ruská Bystrá, Tvrdošín) 


  • Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst
  • Primaeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians


It is easy to arrange a SIM card with a Slovak phone number. The biggest mobile operators in Slovakia are: Orange Slovensko, Slovak Telekom, 4ka and O2 of PPF group, each with many branches around the country. To place an international call, dial 00, the country code, city code, and number. Example: to call San Francisco, dial 00 + 01 (country) + 415 (city) + number.
General phone numbers: Information  1181; General emergency 112; Police  158; Ambulance  155; Fire  150; Emergency Road Service  18124


At a Slovak Post Office (Slovenská pošta), you can make phone calls and buy phone cards, pay your utility bills, buy lottery tickets, and, of course, send mail. Often, the simplest thing to do with outgoing mail (odosielanie listov) is hand it to the person behind the counter; they will stamp it and send it off for you. The main post office in Bratislava is open Mon-Fri 7:00-20:00, Sat 7:00-18:00,  Sun 9:00-14:00.  The post office in Košice at Poštová 20 (close to the historical centre) is open Mon-Fri 7:00-19:00, Sat 8:00-12:00.


Slovakia’s basic currency unit is the euro (€). When changing money, look for signs saying zmenáreň, or “change”, and steer clear of strangers offering to exchange money on the street. You can get cash from international accounts at an automatic teller machine (ATM), usually marked Bankomat. Travellers’ cheques can be cashed at most banks and some exchange offices. Credit cards are accepted.


Most stores in Slovakia are open from 8:00 to 18:00 Mon-Fri and 8:00-12:00 on Saturday. Shopping centres typically have opening hours for all shops from 9:00 to 21:00 during the entire week.


It is safe to drink water from all taps unless there is a warning otherwise.


Jan 1 - New Year’s Eve and Independence Day
Jan 6 - Epiphany; Mar/Apr - Good Friday and Easter Monday
May 1 - Labour Day
May 8 - Victory over Fascism
Jul 5 - Cyril and Methodius Day
Aug 29 – Slovak National Uprising (SNP) Day
Sep 1 - Constitution Day
Sep 15 - Our Lady of Seven Sorrows
Nov 1 - All Saints’ Day
Nov 17 - Day of Struggle for Democracy
Dec 24-26 - Christmas


Where should you fly into? How should you travel around the country? What are the driving rules? Read all the important information about transport in Slovakia here...