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Slovakia Travel Guide

The Slovak Republic consumes a total of 48,845 square kilometres of land and is a central European state, bordering the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Ukraine to the east, Poland to the north and Hungary to the south. There are around 5.5 million folk living around Slovakia who are mainly of Slovak, Czech, Hungarian and Romany descent and mostly of Protestant and Roman Catholic faith. The inhabitants speak Slovak, Hungarian, Czech and German and money-wise make their trade from coke, oil, rubber products, electricity and metal products trading with countries mainly from the EU.

Around 1918, Czechoslovakia was made up of Slovakians and Czechs, but after WWII, Czechoslovakia became a Marxist country within the Soviet-governed Eastern Europe. The Soviet authority eventually buckled in 1989 and Czechoslovakia was once more liberated. On the 1st January, the Czechs and Slovaks had a friendly separation from each other, with Slovakia joining NATO and the European Union in 2004.

Whilst touring round Slovakia, tourists should spend a couple of days in the capital of Bratislava, an area with less tourism, where the Carpathian Mountains end and city life begins. The new town area is not very interesting and is mainly full of industrial and government buildings, but in the old town area of Bratislava, monuments and museums are alive throughout the area, all of which tell a tale of past wars and conflicts. The old town also contains the Slovak National Theatre, which is definitely worth a visit, where many operas can be enjoyed and are probably the best productions in the world. The museums in the area include the Municipal Museum, which provides a cheerful section, full of torture chambers! The old town also has a castle, which dates back to the 1st century and has been repaired throughout the years to keep it standing, tourists can walk around the castle and climb to the top, where they will find a museum of folk music to browse around. There are plenty of places to stay in Bratislava, with the cheaper accommodation to be found north east of the city centre and many cafes and trendier restaurants located near to the old castle.

When it comes to getting about in Slovakia, visitors will find the local buses are more costly than the trains, so itís best to travel to the major places by train and do any side-stepping by bus. Car, motorcycle and bicycle hire are also an option, as the countryís roads are quiet and well maintained, with some roads having routes leading off to smaller villages. Getting into Slovakia is achievable via direct flights from Prague, Tel Aviv, Kuwait and Zurich, with Europe and other places having to make connections in one of these cities or country. Most people visit Slovakia in the hotter months of May, June or September, with July and August being the time when students hit the streets and cheap hostel accommodation is fully available! All history connoisseurs should avoid October through April, as this is the time when most of the museums and castles close down.

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