Will I need an ETIAS to visit Slovakia?
Slovakia has, in recent times, experienced unprecedented numbers of migrants and refugees.
The present system of entry to Europe allows for people to cross borders with no checks being made on them, where they come from or where they are going. This system whilst allowing for free movement between countries is also open to abuse.
The ETIAS (E.U. Travel Information Authorization System) is going to be introduced from 2021. The scheme will change the way travelers who are not Schengen country nationals gain entry to Europe.
- Travelers who require a visa to cross into the Schengen zone in Europe will still need a visa – nothing is changing for this group of people.
- Nationals of Schengen countries who are free to travel throughout the Schengen zone – nothing is changing for this group of people.
- Nationals of all other countries, some 60 in all, who have not needed a visa to travel in the Schengen zone – will now need an ETIAS.
In order to boost the security measures in Europe, this last group of travelers will need to receive authorization to travel.
Affected travelers will need to fill in an online application form, pay a fee if over the age of 18 years, and wait for confirmation of their authorization. Most travelers will receive almost instant confirmation. Their ETIAS will then be electronically attached to their passport and will be valid for three years.
Travelers with a valid ETIAS will be authorized to travel within the Schengen zone for 90 days out of 180.
Slovakia, officially the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in central Europe. It is bordered by Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine.
Slovakia covers an area of just over 49,000 sq. km and has a population of 5.4 million people. Slovakia’s capital and largest city is Bratislava.
The official language is Slovak, Hungarian is also spoken. The major religion is Christianity, and the official currency is the euro.
Bratislava is home to Bratislava Castle which holds a dominant position in the capital, dominating the skyline.
Most SNP in the capital is an iconic bridge, famed for the design feature that resembles a giant U.F.O.
Also in the capital are the jagged ruins of Devin Castle, an ancient fortress dating back to Great Moravian times. It was destroyed in 1809 by Napoleon’s troops.
Another historical site is St. Martin’s Cathedral. Bratislava, thanks to its pulsing nightlife and affordable prices, has recently become a popular destination for British and German tourists, especially those on their stag nights.
History lovers will be well served by Slovakia. It has the highest number of Chateaux and castles per capita in the world, from ancient ruins to the wonderfully preserved.
Slovakia at a glance
Timezone: UTC/GMT +1 hour
Languages: Slovak 78.6%, Hungarian 9.4%, Roma 2.3%, Ruthenian 1%, Other 8.8%
Area: 48,845 KM2
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Calling Code: +421
Travel in Slovakia
Slovakia is a mountainous country. Tatras National Park, the country’s oldest national park is home to the High Tatras Mountains, which cover an area of 741 sq. km.
Hikers can enjoy dense forests, fresh mountain streams, and glacial lakes. Wildlife who have their home there include marmots, bears, and chamois goats.
In the Malá Fatra mountain range resort of Vrátna, travelers can hike and bike in the summer and ski in the winter. The cable car offers stunning views.
For more skiing, the piste in Jasna offers some of the country’s best skiing. With well-maintained slopes and modern ski lifts, the Demanova Valley Resort is attracting a large clientele every year.
For the more adventurous, Slovakia’s second city Kosice offers a labyrinth of passages underneath the earth at its amazing archaeological site.
Kosice also offers a wonderful cafe culture. Known for its old town, people watching is encouraged at any of the local cafes. For interesting evenings entertainment, take in a show at the State Theatre.
The Carpathian Wine Route follows a well-trodden path through wonderful countryside, passing through ancient wine towns and the well preserved Červený Kameň Castle, The route offers various stops en route where you can sample the local wine.
The US and Slovakia
The United States and Slovakia cooperate in the law enforcement and military areas. The two countries share strong diplomatic ties and have been close NATO allies and partners.
The U.S. and Slovakia both belong to the following organizations
- The United Nations
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
- International Monetary Fund
- World Bank
- World Trade Organization
Slovakia is also an observer to the Organization of American States.
There are no direct flights to Slovakia from the U.S. There are many options for flights to and from various European cities. English and German are the business languages, any knowledge of, or attempts at Slovak, are much appreciated.
Business clothing is formal although there has been a shift to greater informality in the media industries. Slovakia has a well-educated labor force, low wages and low tax rates, making it very attractive for foreign investors.
The industrial sector plays an important part in Slovakia’s economy; the main sectors are electrical engineering and car manufacturing.
List of US diplomatic offices in Slovakia
The Embassy of USA in Bratislava, Slovakia
Address: P.O. Box 309 814 99 Bratislava Slovak Republic
Phone: +421-2-5443 3338
Facts: Adam Sterling – Ambassador