- TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES
Bratislava's tourist information centres provide visitors with all the information about the city
they might require. The staff can speak several foreign languages.
- Important Contacts
International dialling code for Bratislava +421 2
Emergency Services 112
Emergency Road Service 18 124
Bratislava Central Tourist Point 16 186
- Embassies and Consulates
The Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains a full list of foreign diplomatic representatives accredited to Slovakia on it website. Scroll down the list and to find the address and contact numbers for every embassy and consulate in Slovakia.
- Passports and Visas
All visitors to Slovakia require a passport or valid national identity card (for EU citizens). For many visitors, a visa is not required for stays for tourism or business of up to 90 days within six months of the date of first entry into the Slovak Republic. All foreigners entering the Slovak Republic must carry proof that they have medical insurance to cover payment of all costs for hospitalization and treatment in the Slovak Republic.
- Currency & Changing Money
Slovakia's currency is the euro, which became sole legal tender in January 2009. Foreign currency can be changed in banks or bureaux de change. Credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, Visa and Eurocard/Mastercard) and debit cards (Maestro and Visa Electron) are widely accepted.
Slovakia, like most other European countries, has a 220-volt AC, 50Hz mains power supply and uses two-pin continental plugs. Visitors from the United Kingdom will need an adaptor to use electrical appliances with three-pin plugs, while visitors from the United States and/or Canada will need a transformer in order to use 110/125V appliances.
Bratislava has a reputation for being a safe city. Nonetheless, disaster sometimes strikes. If it does, first ring the emergency number: 112. If you lose your passport, this should be reported to the Foreigners’ Police (Cudzinecká polícia)
at Hrobákova 44, in the Petržalka district; EU citizens tel: +421 (0)961 036-871; non-EU citizens tel: +421 (0)961 036-866 or (0)961 036-867.
- Health Insurance
Visitors to Slovakia from EU member states, plus four other European countries, can obtain access to public health care equivalent to the level they would receive in their home countries. Access to such care is simplest if the claimant holds an EHIC card. Other visitors should have health insurance to cover them for the duration of their stay.
- Internet Access & Internet Cafes
WiFi (pronounced 'whiffy' in Slovak) access is now widespread in hotels and cafes in the city. The area around the Primatial Palace in the old town is a free public WiFi zone, provided by Bratislava City Council, where you can surf on the benches in fine weather. In poor weather you can normally get a signal from inside the Primacial Cafe, in the palace courtyard.
- Left Luggage
A public left-luggage service is available at the main railway station, at the rear of the main concourse on the left-hand side. It is open 05:30 - 23:35
- Stores Opening Hours
Most stores are open Monday - Friday from 8:00am to 6pm, and on Saturday from 8:00am to 12:00(noon). The large department stores and shopping centres have longer opening hours (9:00am-21:00pm) and are opened even on Sundays.
- Postal Service
Bratislava's imposing main post office is on SNP Square (Námestie SNP 35) and is open 7 days a week (till 2pm on Sundays). Few of the staff speak English, and there are a daunting number of ornate wooden counters to choose from: just look for signs saying 'známky' (postage stamps) if you want to send a letter.
- Public Holidays
Slovakia enjoys fifteen public holidays each year, on the dates below. Note that, with the exception of the Easter holidays (Good Friday and Easter Monday), each holiday is observed on whatever day of the week it falls, even if that is a Saturday or Sunday. On public holidays all state offices and schools, and many shops, are closed or work reduced hours. However, the larger shopping centres usually tend to stay open.
Smoking is popular in Slovakia – around a third of people regularly light up – and until recently it was difficult to find a non-smoking restaurant or bar. However, new rules introduced in 2009 mean that any establishment serving food must now be non-smoking, or that smokers must at least be separated from the non-smoking area by a permanent wall. Rules for bars are different, and smoking in pubs is still common.
Apart from fast-food outlets, most cafes and restaurants have table service. A tip of 5-10% is appreciated in tourist restaurants. Slovaks customarily round up to the nearest euro, or 50 cents if ordering just one drink. The usual protocol is for the waiter to tell you the total food bill and for the customer to say how much they want to pay, with the tip included, as they hand over the payment. Even if paying by credit card, cash tips are preferred.