Stay Safe in Slovakia
Even by European standards, Slovakia is relatively secure, and as a tourist, you are unlikely to experience any difficulties. Violent crime is particularly rare, and Slovakia has lower violent crime rates per capita than many other European nations. The highways, on the other hand, are most likely a traveler’s worst dread.
Roads are usually dimly lit and very small. You must not be under the influence of alcohol if you want to drive. If you are caught in such an act, the penalties are severe.
In an emergency, dial 112 (the global emergency number). Call 158 for police, 155 for ambulances, and 150 for firemen.
It should go without saying that the 2006 film Hostel, whose narrative takes place in ‘Slovakia,’ is entirely fictitious, and the likelihood of visitors being abducted and tortured in Slovakia is the same as in any sophisticated city in the United States or Western Europe – astronomically low. Slovakia, like most of Europe, is regarded as a safe travel destination for all visitors. Similarly, the American film Eurotrip (2004) may be a touchy subject since it depicted Slovakia as a terrifyingly underdeveloped nation, which is likewise untrue.
When visiting cities, use common sense, be especially cautious after dark, remain aware of your surroundings, keep your things visible, and avoid drunks and groups of young guys as you would in any other European city. Pickpockets may sometimes be spotted in large crowds and at major train/bus terminals.
When visiting Slovakia’s hilly regions, particularly the High Tatras, let hotel staff or other trustworthy persons know where you’re going so that rescuers may be sent to locate you if you don’t return. The High Tatras’ modest size and elevation are deceiving; it is steep and rugged terrain with unpredictable weather. Never hike alone and always wear appropriate gear. Take the mountain rescue service’s warnings seriously; they are a valuable source of supplementary and up-to-date information. They may be reached in an emergency by dialing 18300 or the universal 112. Before you go, make sure your medical insurance covers mountain activities, since a rescue mission in difficult terrain may be costly.
It’s also worth noting that the weather in the High Tatras may be unpredictable, particularly in the spring and fall.
Slovakia is one of the few nations in Europe where bears and wolves may still be seen in the wild. While no one has died as a result of a bear assault in the past century, a few incidents do occur each year. As a tourist, your chances of meeting one are slim, but it is possible. A bear will avoid you if it knows you’re there, so make your presence known by talking loudly/singing/clapping, etc., particularly if you’re in an area where it can’t easily see you from a distance. If you encounter a bear, do not flee; instead, gently exit the area in the other direction. If you spot one from your hotel, do not approach or feed it. It may be eating from the garbage cans, which is more frequent but still rare.
Stay Healthy in Slovakia
No vaccinations are required to visit or remain in Slovakia, but tick immunization is advised if you intend to visit rural regions. Vaccination against Hepatitis “A” and “B” is also recommended, as it is in all European nations.
Ticks may be found in rural woods as well as bigger parks, and in certain places, they may transmit tick-borne encephalitis. Because they live among shrubs and higher grass (when they fall of the trees). As a result, while trekking, try to avoid dense vegetation and always examine your whole body when you return (ticks tend to seek warm spots). Remove the tick as quickly as possible by gently wriggling its head out of the bite (never break off or squeeze the body as the head will stay lodged in skin and might become infected). At any point, do not contact the tick with your bare hands; instead, use tweezers and latex gloves.
The majority of the food and drink is completely safe, and sanitary standards in Slovakia are comparable to those found elsewhere in Western/Central Europe.
According to one research, water used as tap water in the Bratislava-Vienna area is the cleanest in the world. If you like mineral waters, there are a plethora of brands to select from, since Slovakia boasts the greatest number of natural mineral water springs per capita.
The High Tatras may not be the largest or highest mountain range, but certain routes may have hard climbs, rough terrain, and unpredictable weather. Take appropriate equipment, don’t overestimate your skills, and use common sense.
If you opt to swim in the local rivers/natural pools/lakes, as many locals do, keep in mind that these activities are not monitored by a life guard, and you do so at your own risk.
The quality of health treatment is very good, however there may be a linguistic barrier since not all physicians understand English. However, in large cities with a Fakultná nemocnica, this should not be an issue.
In Slovakia, there are no over-the-counter medicines available in supermarkets or drug shops; even if you just need an aspirin, you must visit a pharmacist. Even in tiny towns, there should be one open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Look for the closest green cross sign – even if this pharmacy is closed, a sign in the door will direct you to the nearest open one. If you need a particular medication, be sure you have your prescription on hand since many medicines require it.