Slovakia

Slovakia

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Slovak Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe south of Poland. This country, with a population of over 5 million people, shares borders with Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine. The government is a parliamentary democracy with a president as chief of state and a prime minister as head of government.

The area of Slovakia was under the control of the Hungarians from the early tenth century until 1918. After World War I, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire was defeated, the Czechs and the Slovaks were united to form the nation of Czechoslovakia. In 1939, Slovakia became independent and allied with Hitler. After World War II, Czechoslovakia was re-formed, and in 1948 fell to the Communists.

Communist rule ended in 1989 with the “Velvet Revolution.” In 1993, after the peaceful “Velvet Divorce,” the country again divided into the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic. Slovakia became a member of the Economic Union (EU) and NATO in 2004.

For the traveller, Slovakia has mountains and ski resorts, caves and caverns, spas, and medieval towns and castles. There are five Slovak caves that are designated with UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Currency EUR: Euro
Language Slovak
Capital Bratislava
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Slovakia. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a low risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Slovakia through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a moderate risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Slovakia.

Rabies

Rabies has been reported only in wild animals in Slovakia. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid animals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Tick-Borne Encephalitis

There is a possible risk of tick-borne encephalitis throughout the country. The transmission season varies, however, and ticks are most active during early spring to late autumn (March to November). Vaccination may be considered for travellers whose planned outdoor activities put them at risk.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Slovakia.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a moderate risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) and who may have direct contact with rabid wild animals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Tick-Borne Encephalitis Vaccine

Travellers are at risk via exposure to ticks during outdoor activities in areas of vegetation (gardens, parks, forest fringes, meadows and marshes). Campers, hikers, bikers, and adventure travellers should consider obtaining a vaccination against this disease.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Slovakia.

None required.

Safety and Security in Slovakia

Emergency Numbers

112
158

Police usually do not speak English. Languages spoken by the population will be Slovak and usually English.

Personal Safety

Most travellers to Slovakia do not have safety or security problems. However, petty crime, such as pickpocketing or bag snatching, does occur, particularly in cities like Bratislava, in main tourist areas and markets. To minimize the risk of becoming a victim of petty crime, avoid showing signs of wealth. Keep valuables and money out of sight. Do not carry large sums of cash. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Be cautious and always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.

Reports indicate an increase in numbers of thefts due to drink spiking in bars and night clubs, particularly around the old town pedestrian area in Bratislava. Accept only drinks that you have watched being prepared and never let your food or drinks out of your sight. There have also been reports of foreigners being charged exorbitant prices for drinks or fraudulent charges against credit cards. Ask for a menu that shows drink prices.

Theft from foreign-licensed cars does occur. There have been reports of “road pirates” who may fake a car breakdown and ask for help or who may puncture tires and then pretend to stop and help. Be very cautious of anyone offering help.

Everyone over 15 years of age is required by law to carry a passport at all times. A photocopy is not acceptable. If your passport is damaged, worn or appears to have been altered, authorities can refuse to allow entry into the country. Do not leave your passport with car rental companies or hotels.

It is illegal to take photographs of military or government buildings and installations.

Drinking and driving is illegal and the permissible blood alcohol level is zero.

There have been reports of scams by taxi drivers. Insist that you only pay the fee registered on the meter.

If travelling by public transportation, immediately validate your ticket using the machine on the vehicle. If you are travelling without a “validated” ticket, you can be fined on the spot.

There are severe penalties for drug-related offenses.

Foreigners and minorities have been the victims of racially-motivated incidents.

For LGBTI travelers, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal and can be considered hate crime. However, the laws are not always enforced and same-sex travellers are occasionally harassed. Exercise caution and discretion.

Political Unrest

As in any foreign country, minimize safety risk by avoiding protests or demonstrations as even peaceful situations can escalate quickly and unexpectedly.

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