Slovakia’s Christmas parties and traditional festivities take place on December 25th. Slovakia people celebrate the day of Christmas Eve, which is known as Generous Evening thereby putting up decorations on the Christmas tree and then sitting down with family to enjoy a Christmas Eve feast. Traditional Christmas in Slovakia involves people fasting for Christmas Eve but to ensure that the kids are full and go to bed regularly, dinner is served at a regular time. The dinner can consist of several traditional Slovak Christmas food like Cabbage soup, sauerkraut mixed up with boiled potatoes, mushrooms and more.
10 Best Places To Visit During Christmas In Slovakia
An important part of the tradition is also the Slovakia Christmas carp. A carp is kept alive in the bathtub for a couple of days, like a pet before it is cleaned and prepared. While a visitor to the place may fear missing out on all it all, there are places, where one can enjoy the festivities like part of the community.
Bratislava is the place where Christmas markets bring the whole city to life. The markets at Hviezdoslavovo Námestie, Hlavné Námestie, Bratislava Castle and more are treats for the eyes. They are full of amazing presents and visitors can enjoy lokshe which are potato pancakes filled with sour or sweet fillings. Next up is the skating opportunity over on Hviezdoslavovo námestie. Here, everyone from pros to newcomers can have the time of their life feeling the cool wind pass their excitement heavy cheeks. While here, try out the culinary local specialties during winter like veal, goose cutlets, and thick goulash to warm yourself up in the cold.
Where to Stay: Sheraton Bratislava Hotel- Wifi, coffeemaker, complimentary breakfast, all day beverages; Loft Hotel Bratislava- wifi, minibar, tea and coffeemaker
Special Events: New Year’s Eve on the Danube, enjoying swing orchestra, Christmas concerts, riding the Christmas Tram and Nutcracker Ballet.
Named the European Capital of Culture in 2013, the city has a very cosmopolitan feel which mixes the new with the old. For Christmas, visitors can enjoy the St Nicholas train ride which takes place between Košice and Prešov. This historical train ride involves carriages back from the 50s and has diesel engines called Ľubka and Magda. Enjoy the Slovakia Christmas markets in the towns of Banská Štiavnica and Liptovský Mikuláš filled with traditional crafts, cultural events, and a devil and an angel. For theatre people, there are various legendary musical performances on St. Nicholas’s day or they can opt to see Christmas ballets and opera as well.
Where to Stay: Doubletree- Free Wi-Fi; Hotel Bankov: upscale dining.
Special Events: Christmas markets, a devil and Angel performance, musicals, ballets, opera.
The Museum of Liptov Village is located in Pribylina shows up with amazing Christmas atmosphere annually. Visitors will be able to see Christmas households in the wooden houses of artisans and peasants, see the festivities and celebrations in the main manor house. People will be able to take on the carolers singing under the windows of various timber houses.
Where to Stay: Hotel Liptov- Child-friendly, bar; Pension Drak- Finnish sauna, bar by the fireplace, billiard table.
Special Events: Not sure
While Jasná is a region in Liptov, it is a special place worthy of a separate place in the list. It is considered by many to be one of the major crown jewels of the country and as such is one of the most visited places as well. Along with loads of winter trails to test your snowboarding and skiing options, you can enjoy Aquapark Tatralandia and their thermal spring waters. The village of Vikolínec is a UNESCO world heritage site full of log houses, a folklore museum, and a small wooden chapel.
Where to Stay: Hotel Blue View- wifi, free breakfast: Hotel Grand- amazing Alpine cuisine.
Special Events: UNESCO world heritage site Christmas decorations and events.
Levoca is for the Renaissance fans as with the Roman Catholic Church of St James and more such architectural fares. For the Christmas wanderers, the darkness and snow will bring on the fun at the Christmas market where everything from beautifully painted wooden toys to raisin bread can be found. What one shouldn’t miss while here is the shimmering panoramic view of the basilica that enshrines an old statue of the Virgin. That Basilica sits atop Marianska Hora while the way up requires perseverance, but the reward is worth it in the end.
Where to Stay: Hotel U Leva- Free Wi-Fi, Hotel Arkada- restaurant, bar, casual quarters.
Special Events: not sure.
Known as a spa town, the Pieštàny allows you to bathe in medicinal thermal hot waters that are said to cure ills. But for people already jammed up in Christmas festivities, they should head straight up to Advent, which is the town’s Christmas Fair and lasts from 25 November to straight up to the New Year. Enjoy traditional Christmas refreshments, admire the handicrafts and enjoy the Nativity scenes performed by the students of the school of Arts, popular bands and folk troupes.
Where to Stay: Hotel Park- dining, spa; Hotel Maj Piestany- pool, dining, and informal spa
Special Events: New Year’s Celebrations at Pieštàny Park.
7. Stará Lubovna
Known as home to the renowned Stará Lubovna Open Air Museum, it is full of picturesque period houses. The Lubovna castle has preserved observation towers along with on-site museums that are a favorite place to visit. Christmas in these parts gets different here and the castle with its beautiful expositions proves it all. The castle is decked in 20th century Christmas decorations and offers up aristocratic menus and delicacies fit for noblemen. It is how Christmas was celebrated in the countryside long back. Demonstrations to fold culture and history also takes place.
Where to Stay: SOREA Ľubovňa- complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, Kids age 7 and under stay at no charge with a parent; Hotel Familia- Wi-Fi, Satellite TV, complimentary parking.
Special Events: Christmas market, Lubovna castle fair, amazing food.
Zilina borders the Czech Republic and Poland and has a historic center which is known for its quaint churches along with some beautiful views around the Mala Fatra Mountains. The traditional town square hosts traditional Christmas markets full of restaurants and shops that offer loads of options. Beautiful decorations are put up all around town and Santa arrives in town. Apart from the markets, there are cultural programmes and a charity event called benefit lunch as well.
Where to Stay: Hotel Grand- bar, spa; Holiday Inn Zilina- Free Wi-Fi
Special Events: Christmas fairs, cultural programs, benefit lunch
This region is near the Czech Republic border and is known for the gorgeous Trencin Castle, which lies on top of a rock which is medieval in style. The traditional town square lights up with Christmas markets and the Baroque buildings and churches vet decked in beautiful lights. Visitors can spend the afternoon exploring the markets and the winding streets which send one off the square and straight to the souvenirs and craft shops. There is also a music festival held annually that is sure to energize your nights.
Where to Stay: Grand hotel- restaurant, spa; Hotel Magnus- bowling, fine dining.
Special Events: Christmas markets, music festival
This holiday resort city is located north of the country. The city is famous for its architecture that features Renaissance and Baroque buildings. A traditional Christmas fair is held annually and it is one of the most visited and attractive Christmas festivals in the city. The place to head to the St. Egidius Square, where over the weekends, stalls with loads of assortments will fill up the site. A traditional pig slaughter will also take place there.
Where to Stay: Hotel Poprad- Free breakfast; Hotel SATEL Poprad- Free Wi-Fi
Special Events: Christmas market, traditional pig slaughter.
Veselé Vianoce is how to say Merry Christmas in Slovakia and it is celebrated with much pomp and grandeur over here. But within that pomp also lies an attempt to honor the traditions and stories of old. The stories will tell that it was Ježiško, Baby Jesus who brings the presents and puts them under the Christmas tree right during Christmas Eve; the counterpart to Santa Claus is Definitely Mraz or Father Frost. But St. Mikulas can also pay a visit to the kids and leave treats in their shoes. All parts of the folklore come together to create something unique in a festival observed worldwide. So, plan a trip to Europe, head to Slovakia and have the best christmas eve ever!
Frequently Asked Questions About Christmas in Slovakia
A. In Slovakia, Christmas celebrations begin with Advent. Carps are also sold on the streets from big tanks (carp is eaten in the main Christmas meal).
A. 10 Traditional Slovak Dishes You Must Try
1. Dumplings with sheep cheese (Bryndzové halušky)
2. Pierogis stuffed with bryndza (Bryndzové pirohy)
3. Cabbage soup (Kapustnica)
4. Pork with dumplings and cabbage (Vepřo knedlo zelo)
5. Goulash soup (Gulášová polievka)
6. Fried cheese with French fries and tartar sauce (Vyprážaný syr)
7. Schnitzel (Vyprážaný rezeň)
A. The Europeans celebrate Christmas on the 24th instead of the 25th of December is because they are celebrating the night that Sinterklaas aka Santa Claus is flying over the earth.
A. The Christmas market is located at the Main Square and Hviezdoslav Square in the city center until 22nd of December.
A. The best known park is the High Tatras with peaks over 2500m, and it is a popular place for hiking and skiing.
A. The long tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates from the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from eating meat on the eve of a feast day.
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