Slovak Republic Travel Information

Photo In 1918 the Slovaks joined the closely related Czechs to form Czechoslovakia. Following the chaos of World War II, Czechoslovakia became a Communist nation within Soviet-ruled Eastern Europe. Soviet influence collapsed in 1989 and Czechoslovakia once more became free. The Slovaks and the Czechs agreed to separate peacefully on 1 January 1993. Historic, political, and geographic factors have caused Slovakia to experience more difficulty in developing a modern market economy than some of its Central European neighbors.

The majority of the 5.3 million inhabitants of the Slovak Republic are Slovak (85.8%). Hungarians are the largest ethnic minority (9.7%) and are concentrated in the southern and eastern regions of Slovakia. Other ethnic groups include Roma, Czechs, Ruthenians, Ukrainians, Germans, and Poles. The Slovak constitution guarantees freedom of religion.

From the 11th until the early 20th century, present-day Slovakia was under Hungarian rule, either directly or as a part of the Habsburg Empire. Intellectuals seeking to revive the Slovak language and culture began the Slovak national revival in the 19th century. The formation of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918 following World War I satisfied the common aspirations of Czechs and Slovaks for independence from the Habsburg Empire.

Since the establishment of the Slovak Republic in January 1993, Slovakia has continued the difficult transformation from a centrally planned economy to a modern market-oriented economy. This reform slowed in the 1994-98 period due to the crony capitalism and irresponsible fiscal policies of Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's government.
The fall of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989 and the subsequent split of the two republics on January 1, 1993, allowed for renewed cooperation between the United States and Slovakia. The election of a pro-Western, reformist government in late 1998 further boosted close ties between the countries.

Important: Travel to Slovak Republic may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Slovak Republic visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Slovak Republic
Capital city: Bratislava
Area: 49,035 sq km
Population: 5,483,088
Ethnic groups: Slovak 85.8%, Hungarian 9.7%, Roma 1.7%, Ruthenian/Ukrainian 1%, other and unspecified 1.8%
Languages: Slovak
Religions: Roman Catholic 68.9%, Protestant 10.8%, Greek Catholic 4.1%, other or unspecified 3.2%, none 13%
Government: parliamentary democracy
Chief of State: President Ivan GASPAROVIC
Head of Government: Prime Minister Robert FICO
GDP: 126.9 billion
GDP per captia: 23,300
Annual growth rate: 3.3%
Inflation: 3.9%
Agriculture: grains, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit
Major industries: metal and metal products
Natural resources: brown coal and lignite
Location: Central Europe, south of Poland
Trade Partners - exports: Germany 21.4%, Czech Republic 15.1%, Poland 7.9%, Hungary 7.8%, Austria 7.5%, France 6.7%, Italy 5.2%
Trade Partners - imports: Germany 19.3%, Czech Republic 18.5%, Russia 11.4%, Hungary 7%, Poland 5.5%, Austria 4.6%, Italy 4.1%, China 4%