Slovakia might be a small country, but it sure has no shortage of beautiful places to visit.
This country offers breathtaking natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, delicious cuisine and vibrant cities full of history and charm. From the majestic peaks of the High Tatra mountains and the narrow cobblestone streets of Banská Štiavnica to medieval castles.
Although Bratislava is worth visiting, this travel guide focuses on lesser-known places.
If you're looking for an affordable, off-the-beaten-path yet exciting destination, then Slovakia is the place to be.
Ready to discover local tips and recommendations? Here are my top picks for beautiful places to visit in Slovakia beyond Bratislava.
The High Tatras is one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in Slovakia. It's a hiker's paradise, with many hiking trails leading to striking views and alpine lakes.
The High Tatras is also home to the tallest peak in Slovakia - Gerlachovský štít (2,655 m). A symbol of the country, though, is the mountain Kriváň.
The National Park of High Tatras is one of nine national parks in Slovakia and contains over a hundred alpine lakes and several waterfalls.
A good place to start your exploration of High Tatras is in Štrbské Pleso, where you can take a pleasant stroll around the lake surrounded by mountains.
While in Štrbské Pleso, you can stay at Villa Meribel, Hotel Lomnica or Apartment Luna.
Another great hike is to Green Lake, starting from Tatranská Lomnica. In Tatranská Lomnica, you can also boost your adrenaline on a bobsled ride.
A fun place to stop by on the way between Štrbské Pleso and Tatranská Lomnica is Tricklandia in Starý Smokovec. It's a gallery with quirky illusion exhibits.
In winter, High Tatras turn into a skiing wonderland. Skiing in Slovakia is more affordable than in the Swiss or French Alps and provides ski slopes for all difficulty levels. Popular ski resorts in the High Tatras are Jasná or Tatranská Lomnica
Banská Štiavnica is a well-preserved medieval town and one of the Slovak UNESCO World Heritage sites.
It was a prominent city in the past because of its silver and gold mine. Today, the mines have been converted into an open-air mining museum that provides tours to visitors. You can also book an English or German guide, but it needs to be arranged in advance.
Banská Štiavnica, the former mining town, is full of charm and grand history. You can wander around the historical city center with Holy Trinity square and Renaissance-Baroque palaces.
One of the highlights in Banská Štiavnica is Love Bank (Banka Lásky). Love Bank pays tribute to the love story of Marína and Slovak poet Andrej Sládkovič. Think of it as something similar to Romeo & Juliet. However, while Romeo and Juliet is only a fictional story, Marína and Andrej were real people.
Marína's family had higher status and was against her marrying Andrej as he was only a teacher. So they forced Marina to marry another rich man instead. After her marriage, Andrej Sládkovič was devasted and channeled his sadness into writing the world's longest love poem, Marína, written in 1846.
The love bank is located in Marína's former house. It's a vault made from 2900 verses of this love poem. Instead of money, you can deposit “your love” inside love boxes, hence the name Love Bank.
Another fun thing to do here is to send a love letter to your loved ones from Love Mail Office (Zaľúbená Pošta) or measure your love with a "Love Meter." It's truly a unique place that you shouldn't miss.
For something more outdoorsy, head to Banská Štiavnica Calvary.
Love Disney cartoons? Then you should visit Bojnice Castle with its magical Cinderella-like architecture.
Bojnice Castle is one of the most visited places in Slovakia. It was constructed in the 12th century and had a grand history.
Inside the castle, you can see the many chambers and rooms with original decor and furniture.
What's more, the castle is surrounded by a beautiful park with a lake, swans and a lime tree over 600 years old!
If you prefer something less touristy, then you could visit Smolenice castle instead, with its gorgeous ancient medieval architecture. It's also closer to Bratislava - less than an hour's drive.
Another interesting castle ruin within 1h drive from Bratislava is Čachtice, with a spooky history and many legends. It was listed as one of the scariest places on Earth.
One cannot talk about beautiful places to visit in Slovakia without mentioning the national parks.
Slovak Paradise national park is exactly what its name suggests, a nature paradise.
This national park is full of narrow rock formations, waterfalls, climbing ladders and canyons. It's also one of the best places to go hiking in Slovakia.
One of the highlights of Slovak Paradise is Suchá Belá Gorge and Dobšinská Ice Cave.
Start your hike in Hrabušice-Podlesok, from where you need to follow the green trail. It will take you about 4 hours round trip.
A nice place to stay is at Ranch u Trapera in Hrabušice.
Trnava is one of the oldest towns in Slovakia and is only 30 minutes from Bratislava.
It has the nickname "Little Rome" because the city was the religious and cultural center of the Hungarian Kingdom for almost 300 years.
The main square is full of historic buildings and buzzing cafes. One cafe that really stands out is Synagoga cafe because of its stunning historical interior inside the renovated synagogue.
For lunch or drink, I recommend Severná Veža - Bar & Lounge.
Only an 8-minute drive out of town, you'll get to Medolandia, which offers all things honey, including mead, honey desserts, honey and natural bee products. Another reason to visit Medolandia is the beautiful rose garden, especially in the blooming season. You can also enjoy their honey wine tastings and there's a restaurant on site.
Trnava is also home to an annual medieval festival - Trnava fair. Every year around the second week of September, the city comes alive with people wearing middle age themed costumes.
You can enjoy performances of knights demonstrating archery and horse riding under the town walls while vendors sell their handmade goods, and food stands fill the streets with delicious aromas.
If you want to try something unique, Trnava has a beer spa! It's basically a bath filled with beer instead of water that you can dip in while you drink your pint. A dream come true for any beer lover.
The name of this spa, Aphrodite, is really well suited. From the moment you step in, you'll feel like you have entered ancient Greece.
The white columns, Greek mythology-inspired sculptures and blue evening lighting give it a luxurious atmosphere. The vast swimming pool is built with arches and Roman motifs.
For some people, the decor might be a bit over the top, but others find it very pleasant.
The spa also has several indoor and outdoor thermal pools, saunas, steam rooms and places to relax.
The waters have natural healing properties with a pleasant temperature of 38C. You can also drink this special mineral water that contains plenty of minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
Not only can you enjoy thermal baths, but there are many other spa treatments, from massages, wraps to gold and chocolate facials.
After all that pampering, you'll feel rejuvenated and perhaps look like the Greek goddess Aphrodite.
The treetop walk in Bachledka is a distinctive tourist attraction in Ždiar, a Slovak village with preserved folk architecture.
Follow a stunning 1.2 km wooden boardwalk and feel the thrill as you walk above the tree canopy overlooking the breathtaking mountain views of Belianske Tatry, Pieniny, and Zamagurie.
Treetop Walk has a 32m tower with a net on top that will give you a bit of an adrenaline boost because you can see through all the way down.
If you want to speed up your descent from the tower, you can hop on a slide (closed in winter).
After your treetop walk, visit the museum Ždiarsky dom with traditional Slovak architecture. Another popular tourist attraction in this area is the Belianska cave.
Ždiar has some epic mountain chalets where you can enjoy a comfortable stay while you explore the region.
Čičmany is a picturesque village/open-air museum famous for its wooden log houses painted with white geometrical ornaments.
The houses have typical Slovak folk architecture. The Čičmany village is well-preserved and still looks the same as it did hundreds of years ago. You might feel like you stepped back in time or into a fairy tale full of gingerbread houses.
One of the traditional houses was converted into a museum Radenov dom, that showcases traditionally furnished rooms and provides information about unique Slovak traditions, superstitions and how Slovaks used to live in the past.
For lunch, I recommend Humno Ondreja Gregora with an outdoor patio. You can sample here some traditional Slovak specialities, such as kapustnica, bryndzové halušky, sweet potato dumplings (buchty) or try homemade cakes.
If you like, you can kill two birds with one stone and go on the Čičmany tour combined with a visit to Bojnice castle.
This list of beautiful places to visit in Slovakia wouldn't be complete without mentioning Spiš Castle.
Travel back in time and explore the castle grounds and its fortifications.
Located on the top of a hill near the city of Spišské Podhradie, Spiš castle offers stunning views and serves as a reminder of medieval grandeur.
This impressive UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the largest castles in Central Europe and the largest castle in Slovakia.
The castle's size is not the only impressive part, the views are also spectacular.
Zemplínska Šírava is a large man-made lake in Eastern Slovakia. Often referred to as the "Slovak Sea," this is the ideal place to visit in Slovakia if you want to soak up some sun.
The main attraction here is Medvedia Hora beach. You can go fishing, rent a water bike, jet ski or enjoy other water sports such as waterskiing and windsurfing.
Zemplínska Šírava also has one of the largest disco clubs in Slovakia - Motel Kamenec. If you love parties, then this is the place to be in the summer.
Other fun things to do in the area are hiking to Morské Oko lake or visiting a historic wooden church in Ruská Bystrá.
Košice is the second largest city in Slovakia after Bratislava.
With one of Slovakia's most preserved historic town centres, it's no surprise that Košice is a popular tourist destination.
The Old town is pedestrian-friendly and has a cozy, charming atmosphere. Highlights of Košice include Jakab palace, State Theater, Old Town Hall, the singing fountain and the St Elizabeth gothic cathedral.
You'll find here plenty of vibrant cafes and restaurants along the main street, with cobble-stoned alleys stretching in each direction.
Some of the top places to dine in Košice are Villa Regia and the restaurant/hotel Slavia. If you're not hungry, you can simply enjoy a cup of coffee in Slavia and take a photo of their elegant interior.
If you have a sweet tooth, a must-stop is MŇAM, a traditional chimney cake bakery.
To sample Slovak beers, visit brewery Hostinec.
Trenčianske Teplice is one of the oldest spa towns in Slovakia.
It's known for its healing waters of thermal mineral springs that have therapeutic effects.
The main attractions here are thermal pools with pleasant water temperatures around 37C and Turkish Hamam. The interior of Turkish Hamam features intricate tilework, columns, and ceilings decorated with geometric patterns.
It's a perfect place to pamper yourself and unwind.
While here, you can also visit nearby Trenčín castle.
Orava region is where I was born. In my opinion, it’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in Slovakia.
There are many cool things to do here, from visiting Orava castle, built in the 13th century and taking a boat ride to Slanica island of art to horseback riding in ranch Na okraji. A favourite activity is going on an easy hike to Hojdačka Zuberec (swing in the woods) with mountain views of Roháče.
You can get to the swing from Koliba Josu, from where you walk up the hill following the blue trail. After about 15 minutes, you'll see a meadow with two secluded trees and a swing.
Koliba is a restaurant where you can reward yourself with a hearty Slovak dish after your walk.
Orava also has a statue of Jesus Christ that looks almost identical to the one in Rio de Janeiro, albeit smaller. The statue was created by a local artist Peter Ganobjak. The main idea behind this statue was to have some symbol of protection for Orava. This region has a strong Catholic community living here.The local sculptor was inspired by the original statue in Rio De Janeiro.
The statue is located on top of a hill in the small village of Klin. It's 9.5 m high and weighs 23 tons. The views of the valley from the top are spectacular.
Lesser-known Špania Dolina is a picturesque village surrounded by the Low Tatra mountains in central Slovakia.
The small village of Špania Dolina is a former mining town that flourished in the middle ages because of the abundance of copper and silver.
It has preserved its historical charm with Gothic and Renaissance-style buildings, including an old catholic church and iconic wooden houses that used to be former miner workers' dwellings.
Špania Dolina is not only worth visiting because of its folk architecture but also because of abundant hiking trails.
For accommodation and dining, you'll find many options in the nearby town of Banská Bystrica on SNP (Slovak National Uprising) square, for example, cafe LeRoy.
Bottova cafe is an excellent breakfast spot.
This list of beautiful places to visit in Slovakia is extensive but definitely not complete. I'll let you uncover some more of your own hidden gems.
Not sure where to start? You can opt for a special tour: The 2-day highlights of Slovakia tour lets you see castles, local villages and the High Tatras.
Last Updated 18 April 2023