Slovakia Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Slovakia
Threat level: Low-Medium
The current travel safety advice is to remain cautious, however most visits to the country should be trouble free. If you are visiting the country during the summer months, when most tourists visit the county remain cautious of pickpockets, especially in busy tourist areas such as Bratislava.
Recent Security Risk Events
There have been some recent reports to suggest that migrants on the Hungary-Slovakia border have been injured, there has been reported shooting between guards and cars trying to cross the border. Be cautious when travelling to the border area and monitor the local media when possible.
In a small number of cases, foreign-licensed cars have been targeted by thieves so you should ensure that it remains locked at all times and do not leave valuables on display. There is a low threat of terrorist attacks in Slovakia but tourists should be aware of the threat on a wider European scale.
You should not take photos of military or security installations such as government buildings or military bases as this is strictly prohibited in Slovakia. You could be subject to a reprimand or fine if you ignore this.
Heavy rain is a common occurrence in Slovakia which can sometimes lead to flooding. It is advised that you should keep up to date with the local news and listen to advice and instructions issued by the local authority. There was severe flooding in June 2013.
Slovakia joined the European Union in 2004, and since then has been actively involved in USA and NATO led military actions. The country’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation offers its citizens their main guarantees of security.
Slovakia continues to pursue the maintenance of strong trans-Atlantic ties. Alongside its membership in World Trade Organisation, OECD and the UN, it also is part of the Visegrad Four in which the four member countries would discuss common causes of concern. Slovakia is well integrated into European affairs.
Slovakia’s relations with Lichtenstein were strained due to disputes over land ownership, however the two countries established diplomatic relations in December 2009. Despite sharing over 670km of common border, relations between Slovakia and Hungary have been shaky and disputes between the countries a regular occurrence.
You should ensure that your vehicle is adequately ensured in the line with European regulation. UK and European visitors are able to use their driving licence for a period of up to 6 months – if your stay exceeds that you should exchange your licence for a Slovak one. Drivers outside out the EU should check driving licence requirements before operating any vehicles in Slovakia.
Many of the main roads in the country consist of only one lane in each direction so be careful when overtaking cars and remain aware of cars that may overtake you. High-ways around the country’s capital, Bratislava, have up to four lanes are in good condition. Roads are generally well-maintained however after the winter months there may be damage to the road from the weather conditions. Winter tyre must be fitted if there is snow or ice on the road. Headlights on all vehicles must be switched on all year round despite the surrounding conditions. During periods of heavy snow fall, rural roads will not be tended to quickly, and thick snow may remain on them for many days.
There is a zero tolerance policy of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You will be breathalysed if involved in any road incident regardless of who is to blame. Vehicles drive on the right hand side of the road in Slovakia and each vehicle must contain safety reflection vests and a first aid kit.
Public transport is generally a good standard. Taxi companies are a reliable mode of transport but ensure that the driver is not overcharging you for your journey. Public transport can also be used without issues, however remain wary of pick pockets. You should ensure that your travel ticket is valid for the whole journey or you could be subject to a fine.
Religion: Christianity (Roman Catholic)
Time now in Bratislava:
Most travellers including all Europeans, Americans and Canadians can enter Slovakia for up to 90 days without the need for a visa. Check with your local embassy if you are unsure of visa requirements for the country. Your passport should have at least 3 months of validity beyond the length of your stay.
It is advised that visitors to Slovakia are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers get Hepatitis A and Tetanus vaccinations. You may also want to consider vaccinations for Hepatitis B and Tick-borne Encephalitis as it is present throughout the country. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Other health risks
The quality of health care services available vary throughout the country. Most of the time, doctors or hospitals will require cash payment before treatment can begin. This payment can begin from the use of the ambulance, which can cost around €120. Comprehensive travel insurance should cover you for all medical requirements and can save you a lot of money. If you are planning on hiking or skiing in the country you may need to take out additional insurance for these sports.
U.S. Embassy Bratislava
Hviezdoslavovo námestie 4,
811 02 Bratislava
Telephone: +421 25443 0861
Telephone (Out of Hours): +421 90370 3666
British Embassy Bratislava
811 01 Bratislava
Telephone: +421 2599 82000
Other useful info
Police emergency: 112
Fire emergency: 112
Medical emergency: 112