Several years ago, I was privileged to visit my parents homeland and unite with unknown relatives. It was an enriching and enlightening experience. It changed my life and views of life. I wonder why Slovakia is overlooked as a country worth visiting and enjoying? We hear of Croatia a beautiful landscape, the Czech Republic, even Moravia a friendly region. What about the scenic route down the Danube to Bratislava, the historic castles, and pleasant country villages? Slovakians, take pride in your history and lovely landscape. Rick, give this country, survived for centuries, its due!
Rick does cover Bratislava, Levoca and some of the high Tetras in his Eastern Europe guidebook, but not the entire country. It doesn't mean that he doesn't like Slovakia, but his time is limited and he chooses to cover areas that are of particular interest to him.
I cannot agree more and am glad to see that there are more of us than just James and me who have the same opinion. I tried to bring it to the attention in my topic here: Is Slovakia the most underrated country on this forum? When you are in Budapest and go to Krakow (or vice versa) rent a car (or hire a driver with the car) and go through Slovakia. Gorgeous scenery. Or go to Poprad by train via Kosice. Poprad to Krakow by bus. Superb scenery.
I too love Slovakia - we are going there during Thanksgiving for 5 days before heading to Vienna for a few more days. We are returning for a second time to introduce our 14 month old to the country. I am excited to see how it's changed since 2004 - and I can't wait for the Christmas Market. We are hoping to do some day trips to Devin and Trnaca, and wanted to visit Brno again, although it's a little far for a day trip. Glad to see more people ae taking an interest in this country!
Slovakia has come into its own, and in all honesty I've found it a wonderful place to visit over more known spots.
Bratislava is at least worth it for a day trip for those traveling through Central Europe. See the castle, St. Martin's Cathedral, stroll the streets of Old Bratislava, climb to Slavin Monument, and enjoy their new Danube waterfront and Eurovea mall.
Beyond Bratislava, there are many smaller villages with historic castles that are well worth seeing. Devín would be the first side trip I'd recommend with their famous castle. Oravský Podzámok is another one, as they have the famous clifftop castle used in the silent film "Nosferatu".
Banská Štiavnica is a former mining town that's more lush with curved European streets, a castle, and an old mine just on the outskirts with great tours.
Beyond castles, the skiiing is excellent in the Tatras mountain regions with scenic lodging. I'll also point out a September harvest festival that takes place in the village of Pezinok called Vinobranie. It's a big packed street fair featuring homemade young wine called Burčiak. More info - http://culin.co/cC9Vnzu
So much to see in Slovakia. Take a chance and go.
We used Bratislava as a rest stop between Budapest and Vienna. We picked up the bus ticket at the bus station for the 39 mile ride into Vienna. The bus stops along the way in some smaller cities, so the ride is not necessarily down the Danube--or very scenic.
It's a nice little town, and a pretty large business center with many international offices, etc. It's also a very high income city.
I red your posts several times during last weeks and I decided to write some comments.
Many US citizens visit Europe and try to include more countries in one trip and tour operators provide such trips with maximum one night in Slovakia most likely Bratislava. The most of travelers from US who spend in Slovakia several nights are looking for their ancestral villages or towns and take this opportunity to visit more interesting places as: Slovak UNESCO sites, Slovak wooden churches, the High Tatras Mountains and so on. We could host many of such travelers and share with them their great experiences with Slovakia.
But reality is that Slovakia is just a small country in the Europe which was always in the "shadow" of Czech republic so I understand that travelers from opposite side of the world rather spend their time to visit more countries than only small Slovakia in the heart of the Europe.
I'm happy that number of US travelers in Slovakia is increasing and Slovakia has many webpages with good and informative travel content so it's quite easy to find many useful information.
So it needs a time...from our side - good services, attractions, protected nature, well preserved historical sites and publicity about Slovakia itself.