Slovakia Warnings and Dangers

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Slovakia Warnings and Dangers


    Slovakia is gradually becoming a tourist destination.I found, along with many other European countries, that the young [say up to 30years] can usually speak some or good English, but the older generation can't. The Slovakian language is the most widely spoken language in the country. Russian, Hungarian in certain areas, Polish, Serbian, Croatian,...

  • Few People Speak English

    Very few people in Slovakia speak English. If they do, it's only in the big cities like Bratislava. Polish and Ukrainian are similar to Slovak, and a lot of people in the northern border towns speak Polish, so if you speak one of those, you will get by. Russian is spoken by the older generation, so if you know Russian, you will be fine too.If you...

  • No Signs

    What we noticed driving through Slovakia, is that there are no signs to any of the attractions. You have to rely on a good map, and the locals for directions. There are only signs to towns, but there are no signs to attractions. We were driving around for an hour, trying to find the road to Demanovska Cave, and we had to drive back and forth on the...

  • Guidebooks

    I took a look at several guidebooks before my trip to Slovakia. Since the trip was going to be fairly short and much of it was going to be concentrated in the outdoors I chose to travel light and leave the guidebooks at home. I do, however have a few general impressions.- Since Slovakia is still a relatively smaller destination you are not likely...

  • Slovak-English Dictionary!

    At the time of my visit it was not possible to find an English-Slovak dictionary at any store, even a travel store, in San Diego. That may not be so where you live, especially now that this country is open. So, in those days, I had to wait until I arrived in Czechoslovakia to buy a dictionary. Then, I bought this comprehensive Slovak-English...

  • Forest damage / High Tatra

    This is not exactly a "danger" ... there was a storm in 2004 which knocked down large parts of the woods in the High Tatra. The devastation was incredible; it will take decades for the wood to regrow. Nevertheless the destruction afflicted only part of the Tatra; almost all the hiking trails are not affected. There ist still lots of unspoiled...

  • Beware of the Gargoyles !

    Nasty little bugger ! With luck you find him and his buddy in a street near St. Martins Cathedral.

  • Photograph at your own risk.

    This was the one unfriendly local that we encountered. The driver of this wagon was furious that I took his picture! He shouted that I was going to make money from it and he should be paid. He soon calmed down and resumed his ride and an international incident was avoided.

  • slow service in restaurants

    Somehow service in many Slovak restaurants can be much slower than you might reasonably expect. It does not do much harm but in any case be prepared that eating even a simple meal can take a long time. You may also need some patience, as they would sometimes mix the orders and so on. Not that it does not happen elsewhere, but it happens...

  • opening hours

    Slovakia has some great karst caves throughout the country. However they tend to have strange opening hours - usually they are open only until 2 which makes it quite difficult to visit more than one in a day. They are also closed on Mondays.Plan in advance. Unfortunately some information about opening hours advertised on the Internet turn out not...

  • opening hours

    Slovakia has some great karst caves throughout the country. However they tend to have strange opening hours - usually they are open only until 2 which makes it quite difficult to visit more than one in a day. They are also closed on Mondays.Plan in advance. Unfortunately some information about opening hours advertised on the Internet turn out not...

  • taking pictures in tourist places ...

    Slovaks often expect you to pay extra for the priviledge of taking pictures (with your own camera) in places like caves, castles etc. However strange it might be, it seems to be the way for them to earn some extra funds. No big deal about it, but be aware, that you're supposed to pay this fee in advance, when purchasing your entrance ticket, and...

  • Guided walks

    For many of the tourist attractions (like castles etc.) it's not enough to buy an entrance ticket, you'll also have to wait for a local tour guide. In other words you're not allowed to enter it yourself but only with a larger group and a guide.This can be quite annoying if you don't speak Slovak or other similar language. Strangely, the guides will...

  • Older cars

    In towns - especially those bigger ones - is better to travel by ordinary or older car not to take attention of public and thieves of cars. However, you will see more nice cars of western origin in towns that's normal. But there is the risk of being stealed every day and dealing with police here isn't very nice procedure LOL :)

  • Take care ...

    Such the obvious dangers like in other countries like avoid dark streets of towns and take care of your wallet etc. :) No rudeness or racism but be careful when you travel by car/train off the beathen paths in the region with high density of Gipsies. Sometimes they should be dangerous or they should steal money to u. It is just a warning not the...

  • Fake food warning?

    Probably most of you were many times warned not to eat or drink (while travelling abroad) anything except "safe food" like bottled water, food made by well-known producers and sold in restaurants, groceries and supermarkets etc. etc. Especially you were warned not to eat/drink any food or drinks on a street (unknown origin) except in Canada/USA and...

  • In the forest

    There are such things hidden in the forests of Slovakia that only fairy tales speak of. I was amazed at the size of this toadstool. And its spots! Looks tatsy,but not edible as far as I know.The day I found this beauty I also found nearby a perfect antler that had fallen from a deer's head.I took it home,but left the toadstool.

  • Highway police and speed limits

    I have quite different impressions on Slovak highway police. I crossed a line painted on a large and EMPTY parking lot in late 80' (communist Czechoslovakia that time) and I was immediately ticketed by very, very rude police officer (they were called milice that time - VB) who was crying that it's not messy and trouble-making Poland but orderly...

  • Don't drink too... fast :-)

    Slovak beer was delicious and addictive, believe me. Additionaly it was inexpensive, over 30% cheaper than in Poland in 2000. Once I was invited to celebrate my friend birthday in Zuberec (south-central Slovakia). We were in a group of maybe 40 friends - exclusively guys (at age say 25- 50 yo), far away from our wives, fiances, kids and far away...

  • Dangerous rocks and cliffs

    There are a lot of limy rocks in Slovak mountains, many with deep and not fenced cliffs - esp. in Mala Fatra and Tatra Mountains. Be carefull, do not walk close to their edges not to fall down which would be mostly fatal for you.Just in case you survive and have a cell phone call: ambulance - 155, Mountain Rescue Service (Horska Sluzba) in Vratna...

  • Service with a smile

    Visiting, you will no doubt encounter people in the ‘service industry’ as you travel within the country. Try not to be put off by unhelpfulness or surliness. Although Slovakia doesn’t exactly go out of its way to advertise the fact, the country does have a lot to offer visitors and tourists, but unfortunately some Slovaks are...

  • Dangerous bridges

    There were quite many simple bridges over local rivers and streams in mountains of Slovakia. Sometimes they were built of wooden tiles with wooden handrail on one side like this one on my picture (in Mala Fatra Mountains). But sometimes there was only a trunk of a tree put over a stream.Notice that wooden bridges have limited resistance. Don't...

  • Kingdom for smoking cigarettes

    A lot of people (majority, I think) smoke cigarettes in Slovakia. I could see even kids, say 15yo or so, smoking cigarettes in public and nobody cared about it. Cigarettes are more and more expensive although still much cheaper than in Western Europe. There was a lot of cigarette smoke inside local restaurants/pubs/bars and many of them were not...

  • Taking pictures at bad light

    Slovakia is not very sunny country esp. in mountains, except in summer. It is not so easy to take a good picture in bad weather, dark daylight and in sunny days as well if you notice large contrasts between shadows (trees for example) and sun-lighted areas. My top 5 advices:1. on sunny day avoid taking pics in midday, better just after sunrise or...

  • Hordes of tourists?

    Hmm... not in Slovakia. I never found very crowded by visitors places in Slovakia. It's still under-rated country. Although I was forced to wait in quite long line to enter Slovakia driving from Wien, Austria. I met a lot of visitors in Bratislava in late 90' and even in Oravsky Podzamok in Oct 2003. But never as many as say in Paris, Venice, Rome...

  • Less car thefts than in... but...

    I heard many, many times warnings on car thefts in Slovakia and in each of countries of former Soviet bloc. I heard a joke on each of this countries (even a drawing - poster): Go to visit, say, Slovakia! Your car is already there!I never heard personally about any car theft (or car burglary) in Slovakia from my numerous friends travelling by -...

  • After arrival

    (continued)Watch your car anyway! My suggestions (usuful in most of Europe)AFTER ARRIVAL1. Notice that cars are usually stolen in crowded, large parking lots or on crowded, main streets (at daytime as well) mainly in larger cities - a few seconds maybe enough for smart and well trained car theft. So, use guarded (and paid) parking lots when...

  • Before you go

    (continued)Watch your car anyway!My suggestions (usuful in most of Europe)BEFORE YOU GO 1. You must decide whether to drive your own car (if you are from Europe :-) or to rent it in Slovakia. If you are from the USA/Canada rent a car with automatic transmission unless you can drive with manual one. If you are from left-side driving country (UK,...

  • be aware of the slovakian policemen

    don`t ever stay by the liptovsky mara with just only a bycicle. we were dropped off by the liptovsky mara and there went no bycicle road out to other cities, only a motorway. so we started a 1 kilometer cycle to the nearest highway (of course we knew it wasn´t aloud, but there was no other way) and we were stopped by a policemen and we got a fine....

  • When nature calls...

    You know you're going to have to down a few cold glass of 'pivo' and/or 'vino'. When you do and nature calls, don't make the same mistake I did, remember...'Pani' means 'Men', and 'Damy' means 'Women'. Otherwise,'re in for a surprise! Oppssss..

  • Nespadnite do komina

    ale ak uz sa to niekomu z Vas podari, tak pockajte na zachranara podobneho typu ako je na obrazku:-)

  • pri potoku

    zamrznute je tu vsetko naokoli a tak sa nepreborte rovno do prostriedku potoka, ked sa rozbehnete za skupinkou srniek prechadzkujucich sa v zimnej prirode nedaleko rieky Hron

  • Are you afraid? No povedzte,...

    Are you afraid? No povedzte, kto by sa ho bal? Ak je to jedine nebezpecenstvo hroziace turistovi, tak preco sa k nam ti ludia nehrnu? Vlastne, takto je to lepsie, aspon mame priestou a celu cestu pre seba:-)

  • Don't do the same!!! I found...

    Don't do the same!!! I found this building near the Old Town... ( you can see that I'm in the middle, inside the building under demolition)PS: Sorry that I only find 2 of my picts from Slovakia :(

  • Important note for foreign...

    Important note for foreign visitors of the Slovak RepublicSince July 1st 2001 there are new area codes for telephone calls.If you have problems you could use thise AREA CONVERTERIf you will need help here is the list of Embassies in Slovakia Here you could find Small English - Slovak dictionary for tourists. also with audio files

  • The one thing that come to...

    The one thing that come to mind, is don't walk alone, and try not to walk in a big group at night. no more the 4 or 5. This is what I was told when I went there, so just use your street smarts. Other then that this city is safe.

  • If I have to say samthing...

    If I have to say samthing Iwould say that if you go to snowboard there and that you must tryprepare youself to fall and it will hurt  ;-)As the falling can be long 

  • if you drive, be careful, like...

    if you drive, be careful, like most places on this planet there is some sort of crime. if your hoopty is bumpin with the 20 inch gold plated rims, you might want to reconsider bringing it here. you might not leave with it!

  • If you are going just for a...

    If you are going just for a normal vacation, doing the main trails, there is no need for real mountain shoes. it is enough of some better shoes with thicker bottom as the ways are like in this picture, or check pictures in travelogues. Actually for me was enough simple sport wear.

  • Hiking in Slovensky Raj, or...

    Hiking in Slovensky Raj, or Slovak Paradise. Be prepared to walk along a granite ledge, on metal lattice coming out of the rock and a shear drop off below to the river. There is a chain to hold on to, hold on! Actually this is great fun. The trap is you fall in love with this country!

  • i have not seen them, but i...

    i have not seen them, but i was told that a week before i came a bear walked down the mountain into the streets of the town in which i stayed.very important: the rule of the government is to stamp yyour passport for every night you have spend in thier country so you must stay in hotel and other establishments, but no one will tell you about it when...

  • Well, if I tell you the truth,...

    Well, if I tell you the truth, Slovakia is the safe and peaceful place I´ve been. The only warning is when youtravel by car: Many horses, some people, etc in the meedleof any road!!. But, perhaps the worse is the bad or no indicators in the roads, so be careful in all the crossroads and buy the bestmap you can.

  • I had a lot of trouble getting...

    I had a lot of trouble getting my visa for slovakia. i applied 3 weeks before i left and after lots of phone calls it only turned up about 12 hours before i was due to leave. You must have a valid transit visa if you are catching a train that runs through Slovakia. It was difficult although not impossible to get visas after you have left Australia.

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Slovakia Warnings and Dangers

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