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  #1  
Old 18 Feb 2009
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Anyone been to Slovakia recently?

We're going, unfortunately not by bike, towards the end of April for a few days. Just wondered what prices were like at the moment for food/hostels etc. I know the currency changed over to the Euro in January, i have an out of date lonely planet guide from about 3-4 years ago.

Also can anyone reccommend any must see parts of the country, bearing in mind we are flying to Bratislava and have 4 days 5 nights in Slovakia!!
i wouldn't mind getting up into the mountains of the north but think it may take too long by public transport?? especially to the Tatra's.

Cheers
Iand
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  #2  
Old 20 Feb 2009
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Slovakia

Hi
It is not as cheap as a few years back as the korona has been gearing itself up to the Euro for sometime,and we all know how much we get for our pound now
Saying that, away from Bratislava you can still eat and drink fairly reasonably.You can still find a bottle of Zlaty Bazant(Slovakian Lager) for 70p if you know where to look.Same or a bit more for good coffee and they are usually good too.They haven't realised yet they can rip people off by using less ingredients and fooling people into thinking they are getting a good deal by serving it in giant mugs.Ask for expresso mlielko which would be like your macchiato.If you ask for cava you will end up with a Turkish type coffee.Which isn't always a bad thing !
If you are going to stay in Bratislava for anytime,I quite like going up the lift to the top of the bridge that looks like it has a spaceship perched on top(Novy Most)This is a restaurant and quite an expensive one too.I have only ever had a coffee up there but its good to watch the long barges on the Danube and to get your bearings in Bratislava.
Banska Bystrica in central Slovakia(about 130 miles from Brat)has a architectural picturesque old town,better in summer as coffee shops extend outside and are good for people watching.This time of year it is the main town that serves the Donovaly ski area.
It depends what you want to do.Plenty of untouristy walking and cycling routes.Of course the High and Low Tatras will have the most infrastructure for tourism but there are some great back roads and scenery away from this which is best done on a Motorbike of course.
I was watching a Czech film with my partner the other week(who is Slovakian)and I had to google where it was filmed as the surroundings were beautiful.It was the Mala Fatra national park area,north of Martin.The Prague
studios use Slovakia quite often for scenes of hills and mountain backdrops.
You will of course see the reminents of a communist era in ugly and run down buildings from factorys to hotels.I am thinking you may see much of this if sticking close to the main public transport arteries.Talking of which i think it is the 61 bus you need from the airport to the main train station.
You can get ripped off by taxis like in any city so be warned.
If you want any specific info, email or PM me or if i think of anything I will get back to you.

Cheers
Simon
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  #3  
Old 21 Feb 2009
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nice one thanks for all that, we are only there for 5 nights 4 days, i had hoped to get to the mala fatra area as it is nearer to bratislava than the tatras on i dont want to lose too much time traveling on buses and trains. the lift to the top of the bridge sounds like a good idea will definitely try to fit that in!

thanks
Ian
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  #4  
Old 14 Mar 2009
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Hello Iand:

I toured Slovakia last summer, had a very pleasant time. It is a nice country.

Brataslava is pretty unremarkable (in the sense that all big cities like that are pretty unremarkable, there's nothing particularly bad about Brataslava), but the rest of the country is a delight. The further east you go, the less expensive things become. Lodging in smaller cities and towns is very reasonably priced. There is a wide range of quality available - from downright awful to great 3 star hotels that would make the Swiss jealous - so do shop around carefully.

I don't think you would have too much difficulty getting from Brataslava to the Tatras via public transportation - it's not that far away. But, having said that, I don't know what the state of public transportation in Slovakia is like.

Michael
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  #5  
Old 14 Mar 2009
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Hi Iand,

True, prices have increased to be inline with other EU cities. Off the tourist track you will find some good prices and some quality filling servings of food :-)

Simon makes some good points about Banska Bystrica & Martin. Likewise, if you have time, the High Tatras - highest part of the Carpathian mountains, are a must see, if I remember correctly it takes close to 5 hours to get there by train (to Poprad and Stary Smokovec as the main tourist hub), so take a book for the trip and stay the night there at least, if time allows.

Public transport timetables can be found on Cestovné poriadky - Autobusy, Vlaky, MHD (eg, "Bratislava Hl.St vlak" to "Poprad, Tatry")

Alternatively, Vienna (Wien) is only a bus trip away from the main bus station, just get the ticket from the eurolines office inside the station before you get on the bus - takes about an hour (no border check thanks to the schengen:-) and has your typical big city attractions, museums, big shopping street, ppl watching etc, but generally quite nice for a coffee and walking around.

Enjoy your Spring holiday!
Derek
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