I’m Taking My Dad To Slovakia And Macedonia!

I love traveling with my parents, though I haven’t taken as many trips with them in the past couple of years as I would like. The last big trip I took with my dad was for his last “round” birthday in November 2014, where we flew first class on Emirates, Singapore, and Qantas, around the world. It was an incredible trip, especially as the entire thing was a surprise for him, and he had no clue about our next destination until we got to the airport. If you haven’t yet read the review check it out, as it even has plenty of videos.

For nearly two years now we’ve been planning our next trip, though it kept falling through. Actually we had something booked in March 2016 for travel in February 2017 using American AAdvantage miles pre-devaluation, but my dad couldn’t make that trip. Summer was busy for both of us, but now we finally have time to take another trip.

As much as he loves great first class products, he knows how crazy I am about reviewing new airlines and lounges, so I came up with an itinerary that gets us flying some decent products that are useful to review, while also visiting new countries.

We’re going to Slovakia and Macedonia

Earlier in the year I had big summer travel aspirations of visiting every country in Europe that I haven’t yet visited. That didn’t pan out, unfortunately. As I started thinking about this trip, my initial plan was to take my dad to Estonia, Latvia, and Belarus, though I couldn’t get an ideal itinerary there.

Instead we’re visiting Bratislava, Slovakia, and Skopje, Macedonia. I know that’s an exceedingly random pairing, but it just sort of came together that way. Why?

  • Vienna is an easy airport to get to, though I’ve been there many times, and Bratislava is just a short drive away
  • Wizz Air has nonstop flights from Bratislava to Skopje, and for whatever reason Macedonia has long interested me (maybe it’s because of all the commercials on CNN International encouraging people to “invest in Macedonia?”), especially since you can do a day trip from Skopje to Kosovo

So yeah, there’s not really any great logic as to why I chose those countries, but for our dates they were accessible. Hotels were reasonably priced, and I like the idea of taking a day trip to Kosovo.

Has anyone been to Bratislava, Skopje, or Pristina (Kosovo)? What should we expect? I haven’t booked the regional flights yet, so any thoughts on how we’re best off splitting up time?

How we’re flying to/from Europe

My dad is from Germany and loves Lufthansa first class (who doesn’t?), but as you guys know, I’ve reviewed Lufthansa first class a million times before. However, I found a way to make it a bit more interesting, as we’ll be flying Lufthansa first class through Chicago and Munich. Why is this significant? Because it means I can finally check out the United Polaris Lounge Chicago, and also check out the new Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich, which is the only Lufthansa first class lounge I haven’t visited (for those who have been, what should I expect?).

Then on the return we’ll fly Turkish Airlines. I last flew them in 2013 and had a pleasant experience, so I’m curious to see how their product is nowadays. I know their hard product isn’t great, though their soft product looks excellent. It has also been years since I’ve reviewed the Turkish Lounge Istanbul, which I recall being one of the best business class lounges out there.

Lastly, I booked a discounted business class ticket from New York to Los Angeles, and upgraded it to first class using a Business Extra certificate. While I’ve reviewed American’s A321 first class before, this will give me a chance to review American’s Flagship First Dining at JFK. That facility will allow me to avoid any of American’s onboard lobster offerings. 😉

Bottom line

I’m excited about being able to spend some time with my dad, and also to visit a few new countries, review a couple of new lounges, and try Turkish for the first time in years. If anyone has any tips for the above places (including day trips from Skopje, as I think we’ll be spending a bit more time there), I’d love to hear them!

(Featured image courtesy Jorge Láscar)

Comments

  1. I lol at your traveling, Ben. Visiting Bratislava and saying you have visited Slovakia equates to visiting Boston and seeing you have visited the US. Quite diminutive. I have recently visited Slovakia, East to West, from Kosice to Bratislava. I can tell you: while Bratislava is great, it cannot compare with the medieval beauty of Kosice, the fabled castles of Bojnice, Orava, and Spissky Hrad, or the mountains of the Higher Tatras. Stop visiting capital cities just to mark countries, and get out where things really different. You’ll be surprised.

  2. Just spent some time in eastern europe, istanbul, Serbia and Montenegro looking forward to hearing about your trip. I have found people from the balkans to be some of the friendliest in the world.

  3. Bratislava has nice old town by the river and you want to stay somewhere not far from there since everything else is communist built not much worth of seeing. For Skopje I think you’re imagining something way different than what you’ll see, Kosovo can be dangerous!

  4. Hiya lucky, not really much in Skopje and Kosovo for more than a day each pushing it! Would reccomend Sarajevo and Mostar in bosnia though! Happy travels!

  5. Great, it’s about time! But, I think we need a video of your Dad sampling the cognac at the bar aboard a Qatar A380. 😉

  6. Recommendations for Bratislava:
    – Michalska Cocktail Room: a great speakeasy
    – Lochness Scottish Pub: for the best whisky selection
    – Museum of City History: great view from the tower and the torture stuff was cool
    There were also a ton of thai massage parlors if you feel like relaxing. I was there the day they opened the Christmas market, so spent a bunch of time watching the cultural activities from that.

  7. I was just thinking a couple days ago that it had been a long time since you had a trip with one of your parents, and was nostalgic for those kind of classic OMAAT posts. Looking forward to it!

    Yes, I have spent too much of my life here on your blog…

  8. JUST GO TO GREECE ALREADY IT’S WAY BETTER! (not to say the other two are not great, they are, but few places beat Greece)

  9. Bratislava is like a little Prague! While in Bratislava, I suggest you follow this map http://mpba.sk/en that’s made for locals & tourists, with quirky places to visit, to take you back in time. It’s generally a map of cool places to visit rather than touristy attractions. There is also a good tour called AuthenticSlovakia where they take you around the city in an old car and show you around. If you have a spare day, visit Banska Stiavnica, a medieval city 2h drive from the capital and if you only have half a day spare, visit ruins of Devin Castle, quite worth it considering the history and when it was built (in 864 b.c.).

  10. What currency did you use to book Lufthansa F? I thought most currencies are blocking Lufthansa F? Namely Aeroplan and LifeMiles…

  11. Skopje is of limited interest, but you should try to go to Lake Ohrid on the border of Albania. Beautiful and very peaceful place. You could to a return trip by renting a car over two days.

  12. I would not recommend Kosovo, no half-decent hotels there. Rather, do to Ohrid Lake on a day trip from Skopje.

  13. Hey Lucky, I am from Slovakia and live in Bratislava, let me know if you have any questions, but you should definitely try Kofola (similar to Coca Cola) and Vinea (drinks with a teste of wine but without alcohol)

  14. Lucky –

    My family is Macedonian and my brother just got back from visiting. I have no shortage of places to recommend and sites to see. The list is too long to include in a comment, but do feel free to get in touch. One thing I will suggest right off the bat – for the love of all that is holy, please do not limit yourself to Skopje alone.

  15. I have recently discovered Macedonian wine and was pleasantly surprised. A trip to a winery perhaps? I read great reviews of the Tikvesh winery and restaurant.

  16. I was pleasantly surprised by Prizren, Kosovo. Cute little town along a river, much nicer than Pristina.

  17. Dear Ben:

    I am the former Government Minister of the Republic of Macedonia who co-created the massive international advertising campaign you referenced in your post. I was also personally responsible for attracting WizzAir to Macedonia. I live in the USA and would be happy to discuss your trip to Macedonia with you. Although I have not flown WizzAir before, I understand that the seats do not recline and that you must pay an extra charge to get a seat with more leg room or be cramped. It is a Low Cost Carrier after all. Please contact me by email and we can set up a call. I can also introduce you to the Skopje Airport director. I look forward to hearing from you.

  18. Bratislava is cute, but tiny. Doesn’t take more than a couple of days at most. If your dad hasn’t been there recently, you could also just spend some time in Vienna itself, which is always lovely.

  19. I was just in the New Lufthansa first class lounge in Munich 2 days ago. It’s awesome. Such kind staff, awesome food at the dining area and beautiful places to unwind. You’ll love it!!

  20. Hi Lucky, I’m a Slovak living in Prague and I tend to agree with Airways and Travels above that visiting just Bratislava hardly qualifies. You’ve been to Prague, so you can safely expect something very similar, minus some of the historical flair – but the city is coming around nicely in the recent years. That being said, Bratislava simply isn’t the most enticing tourist destination and at least a day trip to any of the more prominent attractions would be highly recommended.
    That being said, I hope you enjoy the trip!

    As for transfers, consider the bus from Vienna airport to Bratislava. I know, it’s hardly VIP transportation, but RegioJet buses are actually quite awesome (individual entertainment screens, wi-fi, complimentary hot drinks etc.) and fares start at €1. Some city taxis tend to overcharge, so if you’re in need of cab, order by phone or use an app like Liftago, which works in a Uber-like fashion and takes the pain out of the process.

  21. I have visited skopje for extended periods of time in the past, most recently 3 weeks ago. Definitely stay at the Marriott or the park hotel in skopje. Maybe split your time between both. They are really nice hotel and pretty cheap. I heard a Hilton was also being built, but I don’t think that construction is finished. Doing a day trip within macedonia really isn’t worth it, since the villages surrounding Macedonia are very poor. There is a hotel in a town called berovo (a couple hours from skopje) that has a fantastic resort called Aurora resort and spa. Definitely spend a couple nights there to take in some of the nature surrounding it. If you want to visit lake ohrid, stay at “hotel park lakeside”. It is a beautiful hotel on the lake. I haven’t been to Kosovo, but prishtina is only 1.5 hours away. I would steer clear of wizz air. I flew them from Paris to skopje recently and the customer service was abysmal. You could drive up to Sofia and try Bulgaria air. I think they codeshare with Delta, and you could add it to your list of unusual airlines. TK has a great regional business class. I just flew to from skp to ist on an a321 and the seats were proper recliners, not the standard intra Europe j class, aka blocked middle seat. Good luck on your trip to Eastern Europe. Hope you enjoy it!

  22. Consider the high speed river ferry between Vienna and Bratislava. It’s way more fun than sitting in a car, even though it’s a short trip.

  23. Wow, great way to treat your dad. Hey, how ’bout a contest where you take a lucky reader on a surprise trip?

    As for Turkish, yes the lounge is as great as you remember it. They offer a free massage from an actual masseuse who goes around to find you once you show up (that’s downstairs.) She’s very powerful, too much so to my liking, but hey it’s free. They also have free massage beds. But the best thing is the food and drinks. To die for.

    As for Turkish Airline’s soft product, meh. The flight attendants are nice enough, but nothing like Singapore. More along a decent United/AA flight attendant. Still, the lounge more than makes up for it.

    Since you’ll be routing through Turkey, why not take your dad to see Gomere or some of the other beautiful sites?

  24. I agree with others. Bratislava is cute but you will not need more than a day or two. I was there 3 years ago and there was quite a bit of renovation going on. The old fashioned cafes are lovely. It was pretty overwhelmed in the evening with ‘drinking tourists’. Stay in the city center as it is very walkable. I took the train in from Prague and took a hydrofoil on to Budapest. Both trips were a few hours I believe. That was interesting and scenic. I believe you can also take a hydrofoil to/from Vienna. There are also slower, fancy boats too.

  25. Sounds more like you are reviewing new lounges more than new airlines.

    Then again, it is understandable. At this point I don’t think there any more transatlantic flights premium cabins left for you to cover? Maybe Swiss’ updated business class seats is the only one left?

  26. Omg those are the most random countries haha. With your money and open schedule I would splurge on a villa in Greece. But to each their own!

    I am VERY excited though about your lounge reviews & Turkish review. Safe travels Ben!!! And make sure to Instagram story it all.

  27. Looks like a lot of fun – looking forward to your thoughts on Macedonia. Happy and Safe travels

  28. Austrian flies Business from Vienna to Skopje. Much better than Wizz. Definitely go to Ohrid, visit St. Naum monastery and have dinner at the Ostrovo Restaurant nearby.

  29. I would recommend spending more time in Ohrid and maybe making a day trip to Bitola rather than Skopje. Also, for your Kosovo trip, consider Pec/Prizren rather than Pristina for a better experience

  30. Agree with several posts – skip Skopje and go to Ohrid. Skopje is just the capital and is quite drab (blame it on the reconstruction in the 1960s after the earthquake, giving rise to Stalinist tower blocks).

    At Ohrid, once you are done seeing the lake and its surroundings, rent a taxi and go for a drive to the surrounding villages – its fascinating and the views from the mountains overlooking the villages are spectacular. Try the Macedonian wine.

  31. Also, do visit Kosovo, especially the capital Pristina. Kosovo is fun and super safe, especially for Americans. Check out the futuristic looking library at their capital Pristina. Did I mention (again) Kosovans love Americans. No political overtures here, but fun fact – Bill Clinton supported the Kosovans during the 1999 Serbian occupation, and as a gesture of appreciation, Pristina has its main thoroughfare renamed after Bill Clinton and they even have installed a statue of him…

  32. I liked Pristina, Kosovo – although it was just an afternoon visit – not sure what you’d do for days. The drive from Tirana (Albania) to Pristina was beautiful. Maybe you could add in Albania too. Definitely worth a visit!

  33. I had a great time visiting the Grand Cru Wine Gallery in Bratislava one month ago — the sommelier is very enthusiastic about what he does, and responds well to your tastes. Great way to discover Slovakian wines. Generous pours, doesn’t charge you the stuff you’re just tasting, and the small room means you’ll need to get to know the people you’re sitting across from, which was half the fun in my case.

  34. Hey Lucky,

    After reading through the other comments left on visiting Macedonia, I do have to agree with some of them regarding Skopje. It is definitely a gorgeous city for sure but besides the very touristy things to do like museums, restaurants/cafes, theatre, nightlife, the city’s old (and new) architecture, old ruins, and hiking up to the cross and castle walls; the true sprit and beauty of Macedonia doesn’t really lie in just the capital city. You’ll end up doing yourself a disservice by not exploring the rest of the country and what it has to offer; for instance Berovo, Pelister/Baba Mountain, Heraclea, Sv. Naum Monastery, Matka river; etc… Firstly Ohrid and Bitola are by far some of the most beautiful cities in the country, not to mention some of the oldest. Not just because of their ancient ruins dating back to the Byzantine era, and even earlier, but also because of it’s absolutely stunning scenery. Macedonia is surrounded by glorious mountains, an abundance of water, beautiful national parks and rich land filled with orchards and vineyards!!! Honestly, I genuinely suggest from personal experience that you should also explore the countryside and other surrounding cities outside of Skopje, rather than just spend all your time in the capital city. I’m obviously not exactly sure how much time you and your father are hoping to spend in Macedonia in total but it’s definitely worth your effort, research and time should you decide to go. Also I can tell you that Kosovo can be very scary and dangerous if you don’t speak the language and don’t have a guide you can thoroughly trust. Not to sound biased about Macedonia but if you’re going to travel Kosovo you should make a trip of it another time with loads of proper planning to ensure safe travel and with the same guide that could also show you Albania. Both regions are gorgeous but quite unsafe without proper guidance and of course zero knowledge of the language. If you need any help, feel free to drop me a line and let me know; I would be happy to shine some light 🙂 As I’m sure you’ve already guessed by now I’m Macedonian, and just as some background my family’s travel business helped run and organize some of the biggest Macedonian tours from the US and Canada into and around Macedonia in the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. So it’s like a second home to me! I hope this has helped, and good luck!! 🙂 whatever you decide to do I promise you you’ll have a spectacular time!!

    Warmest regards,
    Christina

  35. Cool! Have fun! I was in Macedonia 2 months ago. Don’t expect to find any amazing ancient sites. These are actually located in the northern part of Greece. I know the name is a little bit confusing. It’s going to be very economical, but don’t expect any European standards. Greece or Turkey should be your next destination in that area.

  36. In Bratislava I would suggest the Sheraton over the Grand Hotel (if you’re going with spg), the latter does/did not serve fresh ingredients for breakfast. When we were there few months ago, there was fungus on several dishes. Staff couldn’t have cared less (overall). Best part is gym/pool but definitely not a hotel worth staying if it’s with your dad.

  37. If you’re visiting Kosovo for a day trip from Skopje then I would strongly recommend going to Prizren instead of Pristina. It’s the oldest town with the most character. If the take the route via Sharr mountains then the road trip itself will be worth it.

    Whether you end up visiting Prizren or Pristina, try the local Macchiato. It’s absolutely a must try for Kosovo. Finally, don’t forget to mention that you’re visiting from the US as you’ll be treated a level higher than anyone else.

  38. Made the exact same trip just a few weeks ago. Bratislava – Skopje – Pristina (-Budapest – Bratislava).
    Also took the WizzAir flights and despite I am almost 2m, I survived 😉 Wouldn’t see any reason, why you should spend 10 times more, to take the OS flight to Skopje. The seats are not better and the service isn’t either (and I fly OS quite often, so know what I am talking about).

    If you stay a night in Pristina, which I believe you should, as in the evening it was really busy and way more interesting in the city center than during the day, I can recommend the Sirius Hotel.
    In Skopje we stayed at the Holiday Inn, as it was only 10k points per night. For the price OK, especially as it is right in the center, but you typically stay at better places 😉
    In Bratislava, there is also a Doubletree for 10k points per night. A little bit off, but great value for the price (definitely better than the HI in Skopje)

  39. There is really not much to do in Bratislava. Nice to see that you take wizzair flights, looking forward for the review.

  40. Ben, as others have offered, and as I live in Bratislava I’d be very pleased to show you around. And if you want a ride, try Taxify (competitor to Uber) for a change 🙂 Enjoy the trip!

  41. I’m going to Macedonia, Kosovo and Bulgaria next week. I’ve heard that prizren is better visit than pristina and closer for a day trip.

  42. BRATISLAVA hotels. – The most central hotel is the Radisson Blu right in the center of everything. And do ask for a room on the 1st floor as it has a big really big walk out balcony overlooking old town

  43. Hi Lucky, I live in Slovakia near the Bratislava. I am quite big fannof your blog and I learned a lot from you. I just could not believe when I saw that you will be coming to Bratislava!!! . I hope you enjoy

  44. When staying in Pristina / Kosovo, check out Hotel Gracanica. Make sure to visit Prizren and climb up to the castle. In Pristina, would recommend to eat / hang out / drink at Soma. Tirana is also def worth a visit and Skopje is cute and the drive to Kosovo from there through the mountains is nice.

  45. When I went to Vienna I visited Bratislava in the first day, simply by going from Vienna to Bratislava by train (very easy and nice) and going back to Vienna with the last boat on Danube at the sunset (beautiful).

  46. I did a long weekend in Skopje (£30 flights) in January (48th country). I personally wouldn’t plan more than two days there – particularly on a father/son bonding trip. There’s rather limited sites and the food is rather rough. The quality you’re used too simply doesn’t exist in Skopje. I generally find something redeeming everywhere I go… but skopje is thin on redemption. (Although the reconstructed centre in interesting too look at)

    [Disclaimer: Some of my impression might have been coloured by the fact it was -15C, but all around I was really underwhelmed.]

  47. Ben– Fully appreciate your desire to visit every single European country. I have only three left on my list. 😉 Sounds like a fun trip for you and your dad to Slovakia, Macedonia, and Kosovo. Bratislava truly is a little Prague and is worth exploring. Try a walking tour. As for the Balkans, I have been traveling to Macedonia and Kosovo since mid-1990s every year several times per year for work. Skopje deserves a day (no more) for a walk through the center and the old town. The highlights are the historic old bazaar and the contemporary madness of monuments installed by the previous rightist nationalist government. I will leave it to you to make your own mind about them. The city has a few good hotels in the center (I prefer the Marriott which had a good restaurant or the Bushi and the Stone Bridge if you want to stay in the old bazaar area). As for the trips outside town, very close by is the Matka Canyon. Lake and the town of Ohrid are 2.5hrs by car and are worth a visit together with the nearby St. Naum monastery. In the majority-Albanian Tetovo (45 min by car) the 15th c. Painted Mosque is a true architectural and historic Ottoman gem. As for Kosovo, it is definitely worth a visit. The country is not dangerous or scary as a few have said here. In fact, it is rather welcoming. Pristina is a good base from which you can explore the country a bit. The only hotel to stay is the Swiss Diamond in downtown. There are a few nice restaurants and a great Turkish (or as they call it in Kosovo “Russian,” tea place called Trosha. The new Casablanca of Pristina is Soma, a great place for drinks (for food you are better off elsewhere). In Pristina, the highlight is the Ethnographic Museum in the old town run by university students. Impressive what they have done. Remember it has been only 18 years after the war. Otherwise, there is not much else to see in town. Prizren, the second largest city, is less than an hour by car and one of the fast disappearing real Balkan cities definitely worth a visit. Only 20 min by car from Pristina there is the 14th c. Gracanica Serbian Orthodox convent, a UNESCO-listed site. Decani and the Patriarchate of Pec which are 2hrs away are much prettier but require a trip and arrangements. In Kosovo you need a good and trusted driver. Overall, a nice trip for those interested in culture, history and politics. Do not expect luxury but do expect lots of great human experiences. Hope you and your dad enjoy! For a romantic trip with your partner, take him somewhere else. 😉 If you need more help drop me a note! Safe travels!

  48. P.S. Drinks of choice: Tikves and other good Macedonian red wines and the best SMALL macchiato (seriously) in the world in Pristina.

  49. I literally can’t wait to read a review of Wizz. Been years since I last flew with them. Try to get the front row so you’re sitting opposite the FA jump seat. Always a cultural treat.

  50. The name of the second country you are gonna visit is F.Y.R.O.M. (Former Yucoslavian Republic Of Macedonia).

  51. On my second business trip to Slovakia I stayed at the Sheraton (first time stayed at Holiday Inn; not a bad place and close to the offices, has a pool and gym, lovely staff, but nothing else around it).

    Sheraton is a newish, modern hotel, without a feel it belongs to a chain. You walk out and you are pretty much at the river Danube. It’s walking distance to the old city- cca 5 mins. Has a nice wine bar, around are few restaurants-we ate at the Kolkovna (was busy when we went on Thursday evening; service was so-so, food was nice, as was the beer). It’s also attached to a modern shopping center in case you need to buy something 😉 .

    We walked through the old town, which is on the small side, still pretty though. I liked the little square in front of the national theatre. Nearby are plenty of restaurants and some traditional coffee places to chose from. From there you can also take a “trip” on a little red train to the Bratislava castle.

    Oh, and try to avoid using Uber as per advice from people/colleagues who live there.

  52. @AlexD: I used Uber quite a few times when I was in Bratislava and I cannot complain. E.g. Doubletree/HI to city centre was 4 or 5 Euro.

    And maybe I wasn’t lucky, but the HI in Bratislava was a bad experience. So comparing the two, I would definitely go for the DT. (Didn’t stay at the Radisson though, which I will probably do the next time)

  53. Brendan is right: Take the fast ferry up the Danube from Vienna to Bratislava. I stayed at the Radisson Hotel Carlton. Great location, and it looks quite grand from the outside. But it’s underwhelming and ordinary inside.

  54. Bulgaria,Macedonia and Kosovo can be reached within 3-4 hrs drive.

    1) Here is a guide to Kosovo ( Kosovo is an easy 2 hr trip from Skopje, u can take a bus from the main bus terminal) Check this guide : -https://febeth.blogspot.ca/2017/04/self-guided-tour-of-prishtinakosovo.html?q=kosovo

    2) You can have a free walking tour of SKopje. Check this out :https://febeth.blogspot.ca/2017/04/free-skopje-walking-tour.html?q=macedonia

    and if you plan to visit Bratislava in December they have a nice christmas market https://febeth.blogspot.ca/2014/11/city-christmascape-3-bratislavaslovakia.html?q=bratislava

  55. Hi Lucky,

    another one of your fans from Slovakia here!
    Excited you are going to visit our cute little corner of the world, looking forward to reading about your impressions.

    I would echo some of the sentiments above and suggest going beyond Bratislava itself (if you are planning to spend a few day, that is).

    If however you are going to spend all of your time in Bratislava – definitely check out the Old Town and the Castle. If you have time and the weather is nice, Devin Castle is also amazing (it’s technically outside of the city but just barely).
    For food, Fou Zoo is probably the best the city has to offer (though insanely expensive), my other personal favorite is Savage Garden (much more reasonable). Don’t know your exact travel dates but a local specialty in late Fall is the “goose feast”. There is a little village just past Bratislava (Slovensky Grob) full of restaurants that specialize in preparing roasted goose with cabbage and potato pancakes. For drinks, not many places beat the Sky Bar for atmosphere.
    In case you have not decided on the hotel yet – there are two SPG properties in town (Sheraton and Grand Hotel River Park, which is Luxury Collection I believe). I prefer the Grand Hotel as it’s location is right on the river (with river views, which the Sheraton doesn’t have) and the hotel also has a gorgeous spa area. It is a little outside of the city center though not too far. In addition, Danube is a beautiful river and you can take a nice walk on the river bank when going to town.
    Oh and use Uber when you can, the taxi drivers are usually no bueno (though there are certainly exceptions).

    Also, curious about your impressions of TK. I am flying them SFO to VIA (and back) around Christmas.

    Let me know if you would like some further tips! Enjoy Slovakia!

  56. If you like to drive take this route lasting 3-4 day, just thinking of it makes me smile:
    Bojnice – Castle – stay couple of hours
    Cicmany – traditional village – couple of hours
    Oravsky Podzamok – castle – few hours
    Spisky Hrad (Spisska Nova Ves) – castle – couple of hours
    Tatranska Lomnica trip to Lomnicky Stit by chair lift (cableway) – half a day
    Strbske Pleso – lake – drive by for a short stop
    Demanovska Jaskyna – cave – 2-3 hours
    Donovaly – stop to eat here and perhaps to take a lift to the hill – hour or 3
    Banska Stiavnica – gold and silver mine – few hours

  57. as Christian says – try and spend at least one night in Pristina – it’s definitely more lively than daytime.

    last time i flew Wizz (and i don’t think it has changed since) there was no way of having hand luggage (either small or normal) and a “personal item” – which can really screw things up if that’s how you travel !

  58. Lucky,

    If you’ve rescheduled your Slovakia trip to late October or November, definitely seek out the goose dinner in a village near Bratislava. Ask at the hotel. They’ll know. There are several families that offer this traditional meal only at this time of year. It is amazing. So much so that I would travel to Bratislava just to have it. Seriously.

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