Slovakia, officially the Slovak Republic, is a sovereign and independent state located in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about 49,000 square kilometres. Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, and Hungary to the south. The largest city and capital is Bratislava, and the second largest city is Kosice. Slovakia was joined by the Czech Republic as a single country called Czechoslovakia before they separated and led on to become different republics. Slovakia is a member state of the European Union, Eurozone, Schengen Area, NATO, the United Nations, the OECD, and the WTO among others.
Economically, Slovakia is a high-income and advanced market with one of the fastest growth rates in the European Union and the OECD. It also has a good per capita income standing at $28,888, and a total GDP of $156 billion (2015 estimate). The country joined the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone in 2009.
What to see & do
Slovakia features natural landscapes, mountains, caves, medieval castles and towns, folk architecture, spas and ski resorts. More than 1.6 million people visited Slovakia, and the most attractive destinations are the capital of Bratislava and the High Tatras, a 17-peak mountain range running along the border of northern Slovakia in the Presov Region and southern Poland in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. The said mountain ranges are well visited for its many rare and endemic animals and plant species native to the area. These animals include the endemic goat-antelope and the Tatra Chamois. Large predators include Eurasian brown bear, Eurasian lynx, marten, wolf, and fox. Meanwhile, plants include the endemic Tatra scurvy-grass, the yellow mountain saxifrage, the ground covering net-leaved willow, Norway spruce, Swiss pine, and European larch. The higher peaks also attract mountaineers and skiers to the area. Other destinations in Slovakia include the ruins of Spis Castle in Zehra, Chopok, the Slovak Paradise in central Slovakia, the Dobsinska Ice Cave, the Aquapark Tatralandia, and the Slovak National Museum.
How to get around within Slovakia
Travel is relatively cheap in Slovakia due to the good public transportation services. Buses, trains, and cars are the best ways to get around the area. Many inter and intra-city connections are covered by bus lines and railways, providing easy access to many destinations within the country. Cars, meanwhile, provide private transportation, while walking and hiking is also popular in the area as this is already a long tradition and is even encouraged. Hitch-hiking is also possible, although this might take time and is only suggested for hobbyists.
How to get there
The Bratislava Airport is the main airport serving the capital Bratislava and Slovakia. Airlines that travel to the destination include Adria Airways, Czech Airlines, flydubai, Niki, Ryanair, Smartwings, and Utair Aviation. Alternately, travellers may also enter the country through the Vienna Airport, which lies just 50 kilometres to the west of Bratislava.
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