These articles were published in the Spectacular Slovakia travel guide, published annually by The Slovak Spectator since 1996. The latest editions can be obtained from our online shop.

Letter from the editor

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the seventh annual Spectacular Slovakia travel magazine. This year, we present more pages than ever before (152, up from last year’s total of 100), hundreds of original photographs, and dozens of articles on cities, sites and issues never before covered in these pages.

The aim of this magazine is to paint an honest picture of Slovakia. If aspects of travelling here are frustrating, we say so (think: cryptic bus schedules and the confounding trail sign markers in central Slovakia). If a city is not worth visiting, it has been ignored (sorry, Trnava).

That said, however, this is an overwhelmingly positive account of Slovakia. As editor, I want to make it clear that I love travelling in this country, more so than in any country I have ever visited. Slovakia is a treasure trove of fascinating sites. I’ve known this for several years, but after spending four straight months on the road - visiting all the towns and villages I had never before seen (like Svidník), and revisiting some old favourites (Banská Štiavnica), the grandeur of this country was made dazzlingly clear to me. Slovakia is an exceptional place.

A few reading tips: The guide has been broken up into regional chapters, plus separate sections providing basic and business information at the end. Most articles come with a practical list of ‘Travel Tips’, explaining how to get to the destination in question, and listing hotels and pensions. For further insight into the country and its peoples, several topical articles have also been included, covering issues like nature preservation, hockey and the Roma minority.

A couple changes in format from last year should also be noted: The names of authors have been placed at the end of articles, rather than the beginning. Because I have written most of the text, my name has been shortened to the initials CT. The same goes for photos, which are all credited to either JS, CT or TASR. JS is Ján Svrček, and TASR is the state-run media wire.

The SS2002 staff has done its best to provide as much information about Slovakia as possible. But even with 152 pages of text, plus the hundreds of listings and photographs, we have not covered it all. There is simply too much to see and do here. For that reason, if you discover a site that has not - but should have been - covered, let us know. If you don’t agree with any of the views stated here, we would also like to hear from you. Any comments, criticisms or suggestions can be sent to, or

Besides that, the only thing left to say is this: Slovakia is an outstanding travel destination. From Bratislava in the west to Kremenec in the far east, there are attractions for even the most finicky of tourists. Stunning castle ruins, elegant hotels, rustic wooden cottages and churches, breath-taking mountains, warm locals, cheap prices... it’s all here in Slovakia. Welcome to an extraordinary country.

Chris Togneri

These articles and related information were published in Spectacular Slovakia 2002.

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