Top facts, fauna, flora, clim
Year of EU entry: 2004
Capital city: Bratislava
Total area: 48 845 km²
Population: 5.4 million
Currency: Member of the eurozone since 2009 (€)
Schengen area: Member of the Schengen area since 2007
Slovakia is a small but captivating country in the heart of Europe which nestles between the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, the Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south. Throughout the country there is a wealth of history, folklore and traditions on offer amidst a stunning landscape of mountain ranges, farmland and forest which sustains a rich variety of wildlife and flora, making it perfect for all outdoor activities and an ideal destination for the nature enthusiast.
Slovakia became an independent state in January 1993 after Czechoslovakia split into its two constituent parts.
The country is in the heart of central Europe, linked to its neighbours by the River Danube. The Carpathian Mountains extend across the northern half of the country and include the High Tatras – a popular skiing destination and home to the country’s highest peak – the 2 655 m Gerlachovsky.
The lowlands of the Danube plain provide a fertile farming region producing wheat, barley, potatoes, sugar beet, fruit, tobacco and grapes.
The President, elected by direct popular vote for a five-year term, has limited powers. The country has a single-chamber parliament whose 150 members are elected for four-year terms.
Ethnically, the population is 86% Slovak; Hungarians are the largest minority.
Perched on many hilltops are fortifications that bear witness to Slovakia’s long history of invasions.
Bratislava, the coronation place for the kings of Hungary in the past, has a rich heritage of medieval and baroque architecture.
Traditional meals include potato dumplings with sheep’s cheese and cabbage soup with sausages.
Among the best-known Slovaks are Štefan Banič who invented the parachute in 1913, and Andy Warhol, the American-born pop artist, whose parents were from Slovakia.
source: European Union