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It is well deserving of attention in its own right. It is a country that sweeps from the mighty Tatra Mountains through lowlands, canyons, caves and meadows. There are year-round activities, from hiking in the summer to skiing in the winter, and its capital, Bratislava, is a highlight amongst a sprinkling of appealing towns and cities. The Slovak Republic may have been the ‘junior partner’ throughout its alliance with the Czech Republic, but it is now emerging as part of the expanded EU and is an increasingly popular business and leisure destination. The separation of Czechoslovakia into its constituent parts (the Czech and Slovak Republics) on 1 January 1993 in the ‘Velvet Divorce’ was achieved peacefully.

Practical Information

Area: 49 033 km² (18 932 miles²)

Capital: Bratislava. Population: 446 000

Population: 5.4 million

Currency: Slovenská Koruna (SKK symbol Sk) = 100 halierov

Government: Republic since 1993.

Tipping: A 5 to 10% tip is usual.

Legal drinking age: 18

Time zone: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October)

Languages: Slovak

Additional descriptions

Slovakia: Social customs

Shaking hands is the customary form of greeting. Punctuality is appreciated on social occasions.Read more

Slovakia: Food and local specialties

Traditional Slovak eating and drinking habits date back to the old Slavic period influenced later by Austrian, German and Hungarian cooking. Slovak food is based on many different kinds of soups, gruels,Read more boiled and stewed vegetables, roast and smoked meats and dairy products. The style of cooking varies from region to region. Slovak specialities include both sweet and savoury dishes made with flour, including dumplings. Popular drinks include Slovak beer, wine and mineral waters. Wine from the Tokaj region and sparkling wine from the Bratislava region are particular specialities. Restaurants and other catering establishments are many and varied, including cafes, buffets, snack bars, inns, ale houses and wine taverns. All restaurants are graded according to quality. The main meal of the day is usually lunch, comprising soup, a main dish, and dessert. The national specialties are: Bryndzové haluisky (small potato dumplings with sheep’s cheese). Mutton with sauerkraut, flavoured with prunes, mushrooms and apples. Cabbage leaves filled with minced meat, served with a milky sauce. Sulance (potato dough turnovers filled with plum jam). Borovicka (strong gin). Slivovica (plum brandy).

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