Slovakia has struggled with a low international profile. Often overlooked as the Czech Republic’s little sister, it is a young country with an old culture and history, and a people who are proudly Central (not Eastern) European. Although for much of the twentieth century Czechs and Slovaks lived together in one state, there are important differences between them, differences that ultimately contributed to separation in 1993 and the rebirth of a sovereign Slovak state.
Generally speaking, the Slovaks are more “Slavic” than the Czechs—their pace of life is slower, and their spare time is more often filled with friends, family, and music. They are known to be resistant to change, yet change has been a constant in the state’s short economic and political history—from the fall of communism in the Velvet Revolution of late 1989, to the Velvet Divorce of Czechoslovakia in 1993, to widespread economic diversification, expansion, and global influence, to European Union membership in 2004, and the adoption of the euro in 2009— and they have adapted with quiet optimism.
Slovakia has been referred to as the economic “tiger” of Europe, and now that it has EU membership and a healthy industrial economy, Europeans are starting to take notice. Its popularity as a tourist destination has been growing rapidly in recent years.
Slovaks call their country the Heart of Europe—a term that describes not only their geography but the Slovak character, which is warm, deeply hospitable, and immensely proud. Visitors who step outside Bratislava’s Staré mesto (Old Town) and take the time to explore the country beyond will discover a landscape of plains, meadows, mountains, natural spas, and hundreds of ancient castles, and a people at once modest, stoical, humorous, and responsive.
This book captures the essence of what makes the Slovak people unique and explains something of the quirks and memorable aspects of their lifestyle. It opens a window onto their inner world, their customs and celebrations, and describes what to expect and how to behave in different situations. While the country is not without its frustrations for foreigners, most visitors succumb to its charms. Few have left without yearning to return to “the little big country.”
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Czech and Slovak Republics is the ultimate companion to this magnificent region. The fully updated guide includes unique cutaways, floor plans, and reconstructions of the must-see sites, plus street-by-street maps of key cities and towns.
Whether you wish to explore the enchanting metropolis of Prague and its Gothic, Medieval, and Baroque architecture, take a scenic walk or drive through stunning landscapes and spectacular mountain scenery, or discover the best of the local beer halls, this comprehensive guide is packed with the insider tips every visitor needs to make the most of their visit to the Czech and Slovak Republics.
This travel guide also comes complete with reviews and recommendations for hotels and restaurants for every budget. The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Czech and Slovak Republics explores the countries’ nightlife, colorful festivals, relaxing retail therapy, and stunning cathedrals, and provides tips for hiking and skiing in the High Tatras of this glorious region.
Don’t miss a thing on your vacation with the DK Eyewitness Travel guidebook to the Czech and Slovak Republics.
Czech and Slovak Republics Insight Guide (Insight Guides)
Slovakia is one of the last of Central Europe’s secrets to be discovered by travelers, and having joined the European Union in 2004, is now in a better position than ever to show what it has to offer. Impressively situated on the Danube, the capital, Bratislava, boasts stunningly restored baroque, rococo, and art nouveau buildings. Beyond the capital visitors will find a country packed with architectural gems, the renowned wooden churches of the Presov region, imposing fortresses, romantic castles, and medieval ruins–all within easy reach thanks to an excellent transportation system.
*History and culture
*Detailed coverage of Bratislava
*Slovakia’s art and architectural heritage, from restored buildings in Bratislava to historic castles, elegant chateaux, medieval towns and preserved folk villages
*Hiking, skiing, cycling, whitewater rafting, wine tasting, and more
Insight Guides, the world’s largest visual travel guide series, in association with Discovery Channel, the world’s premier source of nonfiction entertainment, provides more insight than ever. From the most popular resort cities to the most exotic villages, Insight Guides capture the unique character of each culture with an insider’s perspective. Inside every Insight Guide you’ll find: .Evocative, full-colour photography on every page .Cross-referenced, full-colour maps throughout .A brief introduction including a historical timeline .Lively, essays by local writers on the culture, history, and people .Expert evaluations on the sights really worth seeing .Special features spotlighting particular topics of interest .A comprehensive Travel Tips section with listings of the best restaurants, hotels, and attractions, as well as practical information on getting around and advice for travel with children
You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling in Eastern Europe — including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia. Explore Eastern Europe’s top cities, from the romantic spires of Prague and the steamy thermal baths of Budapest to charming Kraków and laid-back Ljubljana. Enjoy the imperial sights of Vienna and walking tours of exotic Dubrovnik. Then delve into the region’s natural wonders: hike through the waterfall wonderland at Plitvice Lakes National Park, drive the winding road to the Julian Alps, and watch the sun dip slowly into the Adriatic from the Dalmatian Coast. Rick’s candid, humorous advice will guide you to good-value hotels and restaurants. He’ll help you plan where to go and what to see, depending on the length of your trip. You’ll learn which sights are worth your time and money, and how to get around by train, bus, car, and boat. More than just reviews and directions, a Rick Steves guidebook is a tour guide in your pocket.