Costs

Daily budget Basic €30, occasional treat €40 Drink Beer €1.70 Food Gnocchi with bacon €4 Hostel/budget hotel €15/30 Travel Bratislava–Košice (train): 5hr–6hr 35min, €14

Crime and personal safety

Violent crime is fairly rare and pickpocketing or petty theft is the biggest danger. You should carry a photocopy of your passport with you, as ID is required by law.

Emergencies

Police 158; Ambulance 155; Fire 150; General emergency 112

Health

Small ailments can be dealt with by the pharmacist (lekáreň); for bigger problems go to the nearest hospital (nemocnica).

Information

Most towns have some kind of tourist office (informačné centrum), usually with English-speaking staff. In summer they’re generally open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 2pm; in winter they tend to close an hour earlier and all day Sunday. Maps are available from tourist offices, bookshops and some hotels. The Slovak for town plan is plán mesta.

slovakia.org Political, historical, cultural and economic information.
slovakia.travel Tourist information in a variety of languages with travel tips and event information.
spectator.sme.sk English-language weekly with news and listings.
slovak-republic.org Upcoming events and attractions as well as other travel information.

Internet

You’ll find an internet café in most towns; the average charge is €3 per hour.

Mail

Most post offices (pošta) open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm. You can buy stamps (známky) from tobacconists (trafika) and street kiosks, and it’s also worth asking in anywhere that sells postcards.

Money and banks

The euro was introduced in Slovakia in 2009. Credit and debit cards are accepted in upmarket hotels and restaurants and some shops, and there are plenty of ATMs in larger towns. Exchange offices (zmenáreň) can be found in big hotels, travel agencies and department stores, but it’s usually better value to change your money in a bank. To get a student discount (which is often as much as fifty percent) you’ll need an ISIC, as most places won’t accept your university ID card.

Opening hours and holidays

Opening hours for local shops are in the region of 9am to 6pm on weekdays and 9am to noon Saturdays, with supermarkets staying open later and sometimes on Sundays. Smaller rural shops close for an hour at lunchtime. Opening hours for sights and attractions are usually Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 5pm. Out of the season hours are often restricted to weekends and holidays. Most castles are closed in winter. When visiting a sight, ask for English (anglický) text. Admission rarely costs more than €4. Public holidays include January 1, January 6, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May 1, May 8, July 5, August 29, September 1, September 15, November 1, November 17, December 24, 25 and 26.

Phones

Cheap local calls can be made from any phone, but for international calls it’s best to buy a phonecard (telefónna karta) from a tobacconist or post office.

 

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

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