Welcome to Slovakia. It’s small and vibrant, crammed with home-cooked flair and intimidating brews. Before you head to the departures desk, get up to speed on how to do things and what to do when a Slovak kisses you on the cheek. Relax, it’s just a greeting.
Australian passport holders can enter, travel and tour around Slovakia for up to 90 days without a visa, thanks to the Schengen Convention. This information is a general guideline only; contact the Embassy of Slovakia in Canberra for specific travel advice and updates.
Slovakia’s official currency is the Euro. Exchange values between the Euro and the Australian Dollar vary from week to week. If you intend to use your credit card overseas, let your bank know for security reasons and to check what international withdrawal fees may apply to your card.
Are you a meat-and-3-veg kind of person? The Slovak staple meal of creamy potatoes, smoked meats, delicious cheeses and a smattering of flour transforms a simple recipe. Provided you’re not a vegetarian. Herbivores won’t starve, as bryndzové halušky – a combination of potato dumplings and fermented sheep cheese - can be found in most restaurants in Bratislava. Make sure you ask for no bacon. Spice lovers will go nuts over segedin goulash, a stew of sauerkraut, beef, onions, garden vegetables, potatoes and lots of chilli - one bite will clear up any sinus issues in a flash. Try the potato lokše (potato pancakes) or langoš (Slovak-style nachos) if you’re on the run or pirohy (jam dumplings) for something sweet.
Slovaks and Aussies like to drink, so how do you tell the difference? One can hold their liquor and the other thinks they can. Slivovica (plum brandy), hruškovica (pear brandy) and borovička (gin) just are not your new best friends – yet. Play it safe until you adjust and stick to spirits you know. Schnapps is an easy choice. City crawlers in Bratislava flock to humble Irish pubs, like the Guinness-pouring Dubliner; alternatively, lock in some time at the Slovak Pub, a stately seller of Slovak fare and famous local beers – try the Topvar! Not trendy enough? Hit up the DJ pit at SPARX or slide into Nu Spirit Bar for live acts.