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About Slovakia (SI)


Slovakia (SK) is a landlocked country in Central Europe, bordered by Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Czechia, Ukraine, and Poland. For the purpose of international tourism, Slovakia can be divided into three main regions. Western Slovakia is home to the capital, Bratislava and the center of commerce. Central Slovakia is a mountainous collection of rural villages and national parks. Eastern Slovakia is even more mountainous and home to the country’s secondary urban center, Košice. Meanwhile, Bratislava is notable for its Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture and proximity to Austria, and thus frequently used as an alternative gateway to Vienna (66 km / 40 mi).

  Getting around

Driving in Slovakia is very straightforward, with motorways and national routes on par with European standards. Public transportation hasn’t kept pace with Slovakia’s economic growth, so the best way for visitors to get around is to rent a car in Slovakia. Unfortunately, the country’s network of roads has a number of gaps, which necessitates a fair amount of driving on secondary roads, which aren’t in top condition. On the other hand, the majority of primary attractions are accessible by expressways and other major routes in much better condition. Slovakia’s traffic code is rather stringent and laws — particularly the zero tolerance for drink driving — are aggressively enforced. At the same time, foreigners in car rentals are frequently targeted for random stops. Mountain driving is generally best left to experienced drivers, but getting around Slovakia in a car is efficient and very affordable. The only hiccup in the routine might be fuel prices, which tend toward the high end of the European spectrum.

  Choosing your car

Cheap car rentals in Slovakia are booked with Hertz, Sixt, Europcar, National, and Thrifty. Choose from economy, compact, and minicars, estate wagons, SUVs, premium and luxury 4-door sedans, and 7-12 seater minivans.

  Tips and advice

1

Your car hire in Slovakia will probably be fitted with a vignette for use on motorways and expressways — which are technically not the same thing. See below. At any rate, you don’t want to know the amount of the fine for not having a vignette.

2

Motorways are high-speed routes classified as D roads. Expressways are almost identical to motorways, except they’re classified as R roads — probably because they lead to regional rather than domestic destinations.

3

Local drivers get somewhat of a bad rap in Slovakia, but the accident fatality rate is considerably lower than some of its neighbors.

4

It’s always a good idea to discuss your travel plans with the car hire provider, and in many cases, the agent will ask if you plan on driving the car across international borders. There’s generally no problem crossing into Austria and Hungary, but other destinations may require a waiver and an additional fee.

5

English is widely spoken in Bratislava, and to a lesser extent, outlying areas, but all road signs are in Slovak.

6

Slovakia is home to the highest concentration of medieval castles and fortresses in Central Europe, one of which, Bratislava Castle, is an absolute nightmare to drive near. Visitors are advised to park near by and take a bus into the walled complex.

Slovakia Driving Ideas Guide


Slovakia is a country of wonderful opportunities.  The main reasons to visit Slovakia are its natural beauty, vivid history and great opportunities for relaxation. Due to the small size of the country, it is quite easy to combine all three.

Known as the country of castles, caves, hot springs, folk architecture, the European Dead Sea, a famous Celtic town, European wildlife, Slovakia has a lot to see and do.   And the countryside is covered by thousands of well-marked hiking and cycling trails.

A good time to plan your trip to Slovakia is during the Mardi Gras period 'Fasiangy' - the festival season starting 6th January until about February or March. Villages hold traditional markets offering local food, and there might be a masked marches, dances and carnivals. However, summer can be equally entertaining.

Renting a car is a great way to make sure you get the most out of your trip, but allow for slow driving and enjoy the scenery.

Explore the land of mud baths — Drive Bratislava to Zilina via Piestany

Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is set along the Danube River on the border with Austria and Hungary. It is surrounded by vineyards and the Little Carpathian Mountains, crisscrossed with forest hiking and cycling trails. The charming Old Town is the place to start appreciating Bratislava. The pedestrian-only, Old Town is known for its lively bars and cafés. Bratislava also boasts a lively nightlife and is a popular partying destination.

Driving from Bratislava to Piestany will take you about an hour.  The world famous spa town of Piestany is situated in the northern part of the region of Dolne Povazie at the foothills of the Povazsky Inovec Mountains, and is famed for the unique medicinal geothermal water and sulphuric mud.

After your relaxing visit to the spa, another hour’s drive will take you to the region of Zilina.  The city of Zilina is located at the confluence of the Vah and the Kysuca Rivers. The most well-known monument in the area is the Budatin Castle, located to the north of the town, above the two rivers. The town square is surrounded by arcaded houses from the 16th and 17th centuries.

The region is made up of valleys, at least 60% forest and surrounded by the various Tatra mountain ranges. The mountain ranges are perfect for year-round sports, whilst the dams of Oravska prichrada and Liptovska Mara offer good opportunities for water activities in summer. The magnificent caves located in the Low Tatras, are famous the world over.

Searching for ‘The heart of Europe’ in Kremnicke, driving via Podhajska and Dunajska Streda

Not far from Bratislava, in the centre of the country, you will find the magic waters of Podhajska which is known as the European Dead Sea. The water from Podhajska is believed to be even more beneficial than the world famous Dead Sea water and is absolutely worth the try.

A 100km drive from Podhajska will take you to Kremnicke which is literally in the centre of Europe. In a beautiful spot at Kremnicke Bane, just off the main road from Kremnicke to Martin and next to the ancient Church of St. John the Baptist, you can find a stone marking the geographical centre of Europe. It is easily accessible by car and by far the best spot to capture a memorable moment to share.

Returning to Bratislava, you can route via the Dunajska Streda District.  Dunajska Streda, known as the city of water, has the largest reservoir of drinking water in Central Europe. And when visiting the city, don’t miss the Thermalpark and the water mills in the nearby area.

We believe you should spend your time in Slovakia by doing more, without spending more.  To find the best deals and choices for rental cars and accommodation you need not look further than Cheaperthancars and Cheaperthanhotels.

Your Cheaperthancars Team

  

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