You only have a few days in Slovakia but you want to get as much as possible from your trip? In general, you try to go behind the surface and learn about the country a bit more than an average tourist passing only through Bratislava? Then you should read this story! Here are 5 activities you must try while in Slovakia.
Slovak cuisine tastes just like no other cuisine in the world. It has a visible eastern influence from Russia, Poland and Ukraine mixed with Bavarian and Hungarian influences. What you get is a lot of potatoes, bacon, cheese, and meat. Halušky is a national food, but there are also pirohy, placky and lokše (everything made from potatoes and flour) that could be served with a sheep cheese bryndza and bacon. Try all of them and pick your favorite. People like to drink kefir milk with it.
People of Slovakia love to drink. Basically, the rule is that you drink a shot of hard liquor like slivovica (made from plums) before and after every meal, sometimes also in-between. Supposedly, it should help your digestion. Also, when you visit your friends or family, they will offer you a shot when you arrive and when you say goodbye. It is considered rude to decline this drink. However, if you don't like hard alcohol, you can also opt for Slovak wine, which is delicious wine of world-class quality.
The High Tatras is the biggest mountain range in Slovakia, and also one of the most beautiful places. Whether you are a sports enthusiast or not, I highly recommend to visit and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. The High Tatras are beautiful each season of the year, and in the winter, you can also ski there. Hiking is also possible all year round, and you can choose trails of different complexity and length in many locations. At the end of your hike, there might be a mountain cabin, where you can reward yourself with Slovak food or some other refreshments.
It does not really matter whether you are in the western, central, or eastern part of Slovakia. There are numerous beautiful castles all over the country. There are so many of them, that Slovakia is actually a country with the highest ratio of castles. Many movies and TV series were also shot there. That is why you definitely need to visit at least once. I would highly recommend visiting Bojnice, Oravský Hrad, or Spišský Hrad.
Folk culture is part of Slovak culture heritage, and it is an important part of our identity. Nowadays, you will not see that many people still practice this traditional folk lifestyle, but you can at least go to some well-preserved villages or folk museums. I would definitely suggest Čičmany, a village under the Unesco Heritage List with beautiful folk architecture. You can see the typical folk pattern also as part of the decoration in many Slovak restaurants, so that way you know what it is.
You do not really know Slovakia unless you try these 5 activities. Eat traditional dishes, try local alcohol, hike in the High Tatras, visit a castle, and learn about folk in Slovakia are simply indispensable touristic activities. Trust me, after you manage to do everything mentioned above, you will love Slovakia even more, and you will not feel just like another tourist passing by - but like a true local. And it is the point of traveling, right?
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