Information & Facts
Slovakians tend to be fairly formal in their business dealings,
particularly the older generation, and women may encounter some
chauvinism. The normal greeting is a handshake. Meetings usually
begin with socialising and an alcoholic drink, which should not be
refused. Although business may be conducted in English or German,
an interpreter should be arranged and all written documents should
be translated into Slovakian. Punctuality and politeness are always
appreciated. Most businesses open Monday to Friday from about 9am
The Slovakian climate is generally temperate, with four distinct
seasons. Summers are warm with temperatures in July averaging 70°F
(21°C); while the coldest month, January, averages 28°F (-2°C).
Winter brings snowfall, which usually lasts from November to May in
the Tatras. The mountains are colder and wetter than the lowlands
in general, with most rain falling in June and July. Autumn is the
driest time of year to visit, and along with the month of spring,
is a good time to visit Slovakia, as the weather is mild and the
crowds are thin.
The international dialling code for Slovakia is +421. The
outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g.
0044 for the UK). Area codes are used, e.g. Bratislava is (0)2.
Internet cafes are common in most large towns and there is free
wireless connection in Primates and Hviezdoslavs squares in
Bratislava. Cellular network coverage is good, extending even into
parts of the Tatras. Most towns have public phones and cards can be
purchased in post offices and newspaper agents.
Visitors must carry passports with them at all times for
identification purposes. Rowdy behaviour and loud noise are not
allowed between 10pm and 6am. Bratislava has become a popular
destination for stag parties and tourists have been fined or
imprisoned for causing a public disturbance.
Passengers arriving from EU countries do not need to pay duty on
any items provided they are for personal use or intended as gifts.
Travellers to Slovakia from non-EU countries do not have to pay
customs duty on 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco; 2
litres of wine or 1 litre of distilled liquor and spirits; and 50g
Electrical current is 220/230 volts, 50Hz. Round pin
plug and receptacle with male grounding pin are in
There are no vaccinations required for travel to Slovakia. No
special precautions are necessary, except for visitors intending to
spend time in the forests, in which case a vaccination for
tick-borne encephalitis is recommended. Bird flu was first detected
in February 2006, and although there is little risk to travellers,
close contact with live birds should be avoided and all poultry
products well cooked as a precaution. No human deaths or infections
have been reported. Slovakia has a reciprocal health agreement with
most EU countries providing emergency health care on the same terms
as Slovak nationals. EU travellers should carry a European Health
Insurance Card (EHIC) with them. It is still recommended that
visitors take out comprehensive medical insurance, including
mountain evacuation. Hospitals are available in all major towns,
and pharmacies and clinics exist in the tourist areas and smaller
towns, but little English is spoken.
Slovak is the official language, which is closely related
to Czech. English and German are the most commonly spoken foreign
languages, although outside Bratislava, English is not widely
The unit of currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into
100 cents. The Euro replaced the koruna (SKK) as the official
currency on 1 January 2009. Travellers cheques are the safest way
to carry money and are accepted at all major banks and exchange
offices (dollars and pounds sterling give the best exchange rates).
Shops are increasingly accepting credit cards, but it is best to
check beforehand. ATMs are common.
Passengers are required to hold health insurance covering the
period of stay in Slovakia, as well as funds equal to at least $50
per day of stay, travellers cheques are accepted but credit cards
are not. The borderless region known as the Schengen area includes
the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy,
Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway,
Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. All these
countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry
option that allows the holder to travel freely within the borders
of all. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six
months validity remaining after your intended date of departure
from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply
different rules to those stated by travel agents and official
Slovakia is generally a safe country to visit and most visitors
will experience a trouble-free holiday. In the cities though, it is
wise to be careful of personal possessions, particularly in popular
tourist areas and on public transport, due to increasing incidents
of pick-pocketing and bag snatching.
Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 from March to October).
10% is expected in restaurants if the service has been good.
Taxi fares are usually rounded up to the nearest 10, and other
service staff commonly receive about 20 Sk.