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Slovakia
Official Name:

Slovak Republic

Last Updated: June 27, 2017

Embassy Messages

Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Bratislava

Hviezdoslavovo námestie 4,
811 02 Bratislava
Slovakia

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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Six months recommended

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Not required for stays less than 90 days within a six-month period 

VACCINATIONS:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

10,000 euros 

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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10,000 euros 

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U.S. Embassy Bratislava

Hviezdoslavovo námestie 4,
811 02 Bratislava
Slovakia

Telephone: +(421) (2) 5443 0861 or +(421) (2) 5443 3338

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(421) 903 703 666

Fax: +(421) (2) 5441 8861

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Slovakia for information on U.S. - Slovakia relations. 

Visit the Embassy of Slovakia website for the most current visa information.

Slovakia is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Slovakia for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. We recommend at least six months of validity. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.

  • Carry proof of sufficient funds (such as a credit card) and a medical insurance policy that covers all costs for hospitalization and medical treatment in Slovakia.
  • Upon arrival in Slovakia, you must register with the local Border and Alien Police within three working days if you stay in a private home. Hotels and official accommodation providers 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 website and prepare your application before traveling.  Many required documents, such as an FBI clearance, are easier to obtain in the United States. To follow up on the status of a request, please contact the FBI directly at identity@jc.fbi.gov.
  • Slovak authorities strictly enforce residency laws. Foreigners who stay beyond 90 days without a residency permit may be ordered to depart, or may even be deported with a possible ban on re-entry to the entire Schengen area.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Slovakia.

  • A medical examination, including an HIV/AIDS test, is required to obtain a Slovakian residency permit.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

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. Even demonstrations or gatherins intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  You should exercise caution in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations. Please see the U.S. Embassy’s website for safety and security messages.

Crime: While crime is relatively low, street crimes against tourists do occur in tourist areas.

  • The most common crimes reported include pickpocketing and cell phone and bag/purse theft, particularly during the summer months. Most thefts reported by U.S. citizens occur at crowded tourists 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 pickpocket.
  • Criminals target tourists at nightclubs with scams involving overpriced drinks.
  • Foreigners and minorities, particularly non-Caucasians, have been victims of racially motivated incidents, 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.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

  • English-speaking operators are normally available for emergency calls.
  • Once an individual reports a crime, the police must investigate it according to local laws and procedures.
  • Embassy employees are not able to act as your personal legal representatives or resolve private legal disputes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

The quality and availability of medical facilities varies. A limited number of doctors speak English.

  • For any emergency, including medical emergencies, call 112.
  • English-speaking dispatchers are usually available.
  • Individuals with medical emergencies are transported to one of four main hospitals in Bratislava:
    • Petrzalka
    • Kramare
    • Ruzinov
    • Old Town
  • Children’s emergencies are handled at Bratislava’s Children’s University Hospital.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

  • Doctors, hospitals, and ambulance services in Slovakia 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.
  • You may need special insurance for hiking and skiing, which is available from local providers.
  • If you stay longer than 90 days, you need local health insurance.
  • Tick-borne encephalitis vaccination is recommended.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Embassy of Slovakia in Washington D.C. or the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to ensure the medication is legal in Slovakia. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseas is prevalent:

  • Tick-borne encephalitis

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., 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 laws 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 pictures/recordings, 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 our following webpages for details:

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.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Slovak law requires that public areas be accessible to persons with disabilities. However, regulations have only been in force for about a decade, and many older buildings and areas have not been retrofitted.

  • Many sidewalks are narrow and uneven, and small towns may lack sidewalks.
  • Public transportation and the railway system are good methods of traveling, but most stations lack elevators and do not provide easy access for people with mobility issues.
  • Only a few buses are equipped with lowering platforms, while trams are not.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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. The law requires winter tires for snowy conditions, and chains are necessary in certain mountainous areas.

Traffic Laws: You must use seatbelts and headlights at all times. It is illegal to use cellular phones while driving.

  • Children under 12 who weigh less than 80 pounds or are under 4’11” must be in a car seat or use a booster.
  • You must have a motorcycle license and wear a helmet to operate a motorized two-wheeled vehicle.
  • 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 tests.
  • 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.
  • As of January 1, 2016, you need to buy an electronic vignette to use certain highways and motorways. You can purchase it online.

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 IDP 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 Embassy of Slovakia in Washington, D.C.
  • Additional information about driving in Slovakia can be found on the Embassy website.

Public Transportation: Buses, trolleybuses, and trams are mechanically safe and generally reliable. We recommend using clearly marked taxicabs.

  • 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 through a local telephone service provider.
  • 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.
  • A ticket inspector will fine passengers who are traveling without a valid ticket; inspectors board transportation at random. The ticket inspector will have an identification card and must provide a receipt for the fare.
  • More information is provided in English on the Bratislava city transport website and websites of other cities with public transportation.

See 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 [country name], 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.

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