SlovakiaOfficial Name: Slovak Republic
Six months recommended
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for stays less than 90 days within a six-month period
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
Hviezdoslavovo námestie 4,
811 02 Bratislava
Telephone: +(421) (2) 5443 0861 or +(421) (2) 5443 3338
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(421) 903 703 666
Fax: +(421) (2) 5441 8861
Read the Department of State’s fact sheet on Slovakia for additional information on U.S.-Slovakia relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
Slovakia is a party to the Schengen Agreement. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet. Visit the Embassy of Slovakia’s website for the most current visa, entry, and residency requirements
- Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your stay in the Schengen area. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.
- Carry proof of sufficient funds and a medical insurance policy that covers all costs for hospitalization and medical treatment in Slovakia.
- For longer stays in Slovakia, you must register with the local Border and Alien Police within three working days of arrival. Hotels will register you automatically.
- If you want to reside in Slovakia or stay longer than 90 days, you must apply for a temporary residency and/or work permit soon after arrival. Read the requirements on the U.S. Embassy’s website, and prepare your application before traveling. Many required documents are easier to obtain in the United States, such as an FBI clearance.
- Slovak authorities strictly enforce residency laws. People who stay beyond 90 days without a residency permit must leave the entire Schengen area for up to a year.
HIV/AIDS Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors.
- A medical examination including an HIV/AIDS test is required to obtain a Slovakian residency permit.
Safety and Security
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
Civil disorder is rare in Slovakia, although strikes and demonstrations may occur. Vigilantly protect your security. Avoid demonstrations whenever possible. Even demonstrations meant to be peaceful may turn violent.
Crime: While crime is relatively low, street crimes against tourists do occur in principal tourist areas.
- The most common crimes reported include pick-pocketing and cell phone and bag/purse theft, particularly during the summer months. Most thefts reported by U.S. citizens occur at crowded tourist sites (such as Bratislava’s Old Town area) or on public buses, trams, or trains.
- Be alert to criminal schemes. Thieves, including adults and/or children, often work in groups or pairs. In many cases, an individual or group distracts the victim, sometimes with musical instruments or pets, so that others can target people for pick-pocketing.
- Criminals target tourists at nightclubs with scams involving wildly-overpriced drinks.
- Foreigners and minorities, particularly non-caucasians, have been victims of racially-motivated incidents in Slovakia, including harassment and verbal abuse.
- Domestic and foreign organized criminal organizations are well-established in Slovakia. Though uncommon, violent incidents sometimes do occur.
See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.
Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at + (421) (2) 5443 0861 or + (421) (2) 5443 3338. The Embassy’s emergency after-hours number is + (421) 903 703 666.
Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
- English-speaking operators are normally available for emergency calls.
- Once an individual reports a crime, the police must investigate it according to local law and procedures.
- The Embassy can provide basic information about local laws and has a list of local lawyers on its website.
- Embassy employees are not able to act as personal legal representatives or resolve private legal disputes.
See our page on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- Replace a stolen or lost passport
- Provide a list of local medical care practitioners
- Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- Provide a list of local attorneys
- Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
- Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home in cases of destitution
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own, and criminal penalties vary from country to country. If you break local laws in Slovakia your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
Furthermore, some crimes are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
- Do not purchase counterfeit or pirated goods. They are illegal in the United States and you may be breaking local law as well.
- Driving under the influence is a crime and may land you in jail. The blood alcohol tolerance level is zero percent.
- It is illegal to take photographs of security/military installations. If you violate this law, authorities may confiscate the film, issue a reprimand or fine, or even expel you from the country.
- If you are over 15, you are required by law to carry a passport and/or a Slovak identity card at all times. A photocopy of your passport is not sufficient, although we recommend that you keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place.
- Slovak customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary import or export of firearms, antiquities, medications, business equipment, et al. Contact the Embassy of Slovakia or a Slovak consulate in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: Slovak law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and classifies crimes based on sexual orientation as hate crimes, though these laws are not always enforced. Prejudice and societal discrimination persist. There are occasional reports of gay slurs or altercations between LGBTI persons and extremists. Pride parades are now annual events in Bratislava and Kosice. The parades have continued without major incident since 2010. Same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults is legal. However, in 2014, the Government of Slovakia adopted a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and it does not recognize same-sex unions.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Slovak law requires that public areas be accessible for persons with disabilities. However, regulations have only been in force for about a decade, and many older buildings and areas have not yet been retrofitted.
- Many sidewalks are narrow and uneven, and small towns may lack sidewalks altogether.
- Public transportation and the railroads provide good methods of traveling, but most stations lack elevators and do not provide easy accessibility for people with mobility issues.
- Only few buses are equipped with lowering platforms but trams are not.
Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, see our tips for women travelers.
The quality and availability of medical facilities varies. A limited number of doctors speak English. For any emergency, including a medical emergency, call 112 within Slovakia. English-speaking dispatchers are usually available. Those with emergencies are normally transported to one of four main hospitals in Bratislava: Petrzalka, Kramare, Ruzinov, and Old Town. Emergencies for children are normally handled at Bratislava’s Children’s University Hospital.
- Doctors, hospitals, and ambulance services expect cash payment unless the patient can present an insurance number from the Slovak National Insurance Company. Without Slovak health insurance, ambulance service starts at 120 euros per transport.
- Special insurance may be needed for hiking and skiing, and is available from local providers.
- Local health insurance is required for anyone staying in Slovakia longer than 90 days.
- The U.S. government does not pay medical bills. U.S Medicare is not accepted overseas.
- Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.
- Carry prescription medications in original packaging, along with the doctor’s prescription. Medicine brought into Slovakia for personal use must be legal in Slovakia.
- Getting a tick-borne encephalitis vaccination is recommended
We strongly suggest you consider obtaining medical evacuation insurance.
See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel & Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Roads in Slovakia are generally safe and well-maintained. Four-lane highways exist in and around Bratislava. Most roads outside of developed areas, however, are two lanes only. Aggressive drivers attempting to pass at unsafe speeds pose a serious hazard.
- Use caution when driving outside urban areas at night. The roads are narrow, winding, and poorly lit.
- From November through March, Slovakia experiences heavy snow. Snow removal is not adequate on rural roads. Roads in the mountainous northern part of the country are particularly prone to hazardous conditions during winter months. Winter tires are required by law when there are snowy conditions, and chains are necessary in certain mountainous areas.
- You must use seatbelts and headlights at all times.
- Children up to 80 pounds must be in a car seat.
- You must have a motorcycle license and wear a helmet to operate a motorized two-wheeled vehicle.
- It is illegal to use cellular phones while driving.
- Reflective safety vests and first aid kits must be in each vehicle.
- Driving under the influence of ANY alcohol is a crime under Slovak law. The blood alcohol tolerance level is zero percent. Police stop cars randomly to perform breath testing.
- If you get a ticket, you can pay the fine in cash on the spot to the officer. If you cannot pay the fine on the spot, you will receive a notice to appear later at a police station, and the fine will be higher. Reportedly, foreigners are sometimes targeted for additional sums.
Driver’s Licenses: You must obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) prior to your arrival if you intend to drive in Slovakia. You can get an IDP in the United States from the American Automobile Association and the American Automobile Touring Alliance.
- U.S. citizen visitors may drive with a valid U.S. state license, if accompanied by a valid International Driving Permit for the duration of their 90-day stay. Visitors who are long-term residents in Slovakia must apply to exchange their U.S. state driver’s license for a Slovak driver’s license within a specified time period after receiving a residency permit. More information is available from the Dopravny Inspektorat at the district police department in your place of residence.
- For specific information concerning a Slovak driver’s permit, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, contact the Slovak Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Vignettes: As of January 1, 2016, you need to buy an electronic vignette to use certain highways and motorways. You can purchase it online or through the mobile application “eznamka".
Public Transportation: Buses, trolleybuses, and trams are mechanically safe and generally reliable. We recommend using clearly marked taxi cabs.
- On public transportation, you must validate a ticket upon entering the vehicle. The ticket is valid for your entire journey. Major cities also offer tickets by SMS message.
- In most cities, you can buy passes valid for periods ranging from 24 hours to one year. Children from six to 15 years of age pay reduced fares.
- Passengers who are traveling without a valid ticket will be fined by a ticket inspector; inspectors board transportation at random. The ticket inspector will have an identification card and must provide a receipt for the fine.
- More information is provided in English on the Bratislava city transport website and websites of other cities with public transportation.
Please refer to our road safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Slovakia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Slovakia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.