Review / Report
This summer we went to Slovakia.
I am not sure why Slovakia do not rank higher on people’s visit list. Somehow, its neighboring countries, Hungary and Czech, usually hog the limelight. Even its main international airport (Bratislava airport) has very limited services. Ryanair, a low cost operator, is the only carrier with a few European connections. Czech airline is the only full service airline operating in and out of Bratislava with flights to Prague and Kosice.
It is such a beautiful country. It has the Tatra mountain range, great food and drinks, and most importantly it is affordable. Check for yourself. Can you believe the beer is just 66 euro cents for a 300cl beer in a proper sit down restaurant with a nice terrace? A decent 4cl whisky, such as Balantines or Jameson is only 1.50eur. I just could not believe my eyes. All this along with great food to go with it. This is what great countries are made up off – cheap booze and great food!
On our first night we went to a pub, with a nice outdoor terrace, called Aura Pub in the center. Fantastic service and good food. The waitress did not speak much English, but we were able to convey the message.
To admit the truth, before this visit, Slovakia wasn’t too high on my list either. Slovakian border is only a 30 minute car ride from my wife’s parents place in Hungary. And visit Hungary 3-5 times every year, for more than 10 years now. But not once we went to Slovakia so far. However, this summer IHG came up with nice point breaks, and we took advantage of their 5000 points/night break in Trnava, in a nice Holiday inn with spa, etc etc. Our ride from Hungary to Slovakia, via Esztergom was wonderful. Southern Slovakia has nice rolling hills, dotted with nice looking farms and wineries.
Trnava is a nice little city. Its claim to fame is that it has more number of churches per sq km (within the city center) then even Rome I think. It is also called Little Rome for this reason. Most of the city center is off limits for traffic, where pedestrians can walk easily without having to worry about traffic. My wife and I walked around the city center. It is a small city, you can walk around the city in 20 mins. We visited a couple of churches and then went to a nice park at the edge of the city center. The best part of this trip was that there were no kids with us. Our 2 daughters were with the grandparents and we were having a 3 day mini-vacation without them. This was our first time to do this. It was spectacular. We will try to do this every year from now on.
During the summer, there are outdoor activities arranged by the tourism board. While we were there, there was a fold music festival. Tourists can just sit along the main street on a nice terrace and enjoy the music.
One thing is noticed in Trnava is that not many people speak English. Even the tourism office, had handouts/brochures in Slovak and German. I think they must be seeing more German tourists given the proximity to Germany. So be prepared. But on the other side we could easily get by with our English – not a problem.