The Metropolitan Cathedral in Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 5, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Slovakia on $43 a day.

When we think of Slovakia now, we think of hiking. Slovakia is a hiker's paradise! We were in Slovakia between August 14 and September 3 for a total of 21 days and we went hiking on 13 of those days. A beautiful country, and we will return someday!

We spent most of our time in the northern part of the country, close to the border of Poland. This is where there are two popular mountain ranges, one in Mala Fatra National Park, and one in Tatra National Park.

Our first day in Slovakia, our couchsurfing host Michal took us up to Strecno Castle for a beautiful view. August 15, 2012.

The Slovakians know how to build interesting hiking trails! August 16, 2012.

In order to get you to beautiful places! August 16, 2012.

Another great trail. August 18, 2012.

Leading to another great view. August 18, 2012.

The only problem we had was a lack of couchsurfing hosts. We think this is attributable to two things. First, many people over the age of 35 probably don't speak any English because they were educated during the communist years and so Russian was learned as a second language. And second, housing is fairly expensive and so it's unlikely for someone to have a spare room. We did end up couchsurfing for only three nights, our first two nights in the country, and our last night. But, there are a lot of "penzions"...guest house type of accommodation. Our costs ranged from $13.75 to $38 a night per couple.

One of our best experiences in Slovakia was when we contacted a couchsurfer in the village of Istebne. She wasn't able to host us, but volunteered to meet us and show us the area. We had a great few days with Jana and her friends, all between the ages of 16 and 22 years old. 

Jana and friends took us to Orava Castle. August 22, 2012.

They also took us to Sutovsky Waterfall. August 23, 2012.

Then we carried on to the High Tatra Mountains. We could easily spend a couple of weeks there just hiking. There are so many beautiful trails in this area, and it's a popular hiking destination.

Kevin, hiking in the High Tatras. August 25, 2012.

View of the Tatras from the city of Poprad. August 30, 2012.

Then we headed towards Budapest, Hungary. We did two nights in the city of Banska Bystrica, one in a penzion, and the other with a couchsurfer. This is another area where we could easily have explored more. Oh well, we'll just have to return again some day!

So, what did our 21 days in Slovakia cost? Well, because we couldn't find many couchsurfing hosts, our accommodation costs were higher than expected. And, because Slovakia uses the Euro for currency, things are slightly more expensive than Czech Republic to begin with. Although it's interesting that our actual costs for the three weeks were very similar to our three weeks in Czech republic. Here's how our expenses worked out...

Groceries: $171 (Czech Republic had been $183, so very close. We did notice a lack of decent fresh fruit in Slovakia, although apples are plentiful.)
Alcohol: $54 (Czech Republic was $50, so very close. Beer is ever so slightly cheaper in Czech though)
Misc: $51 (This is mostly for local transportation to and from hiking spots. Ruth did buy a pair of sunglasses for $5!)
Entertainment: $149 (Meals out and attractions. Visited some castles and some caves.)
Overnight $413 (Average of $23 per night, which is obviously very good. Still, the serious budget traveler will notice the extra expense over time if there are no couchsurfing hosts available.)
Travel: $70 (This is for buses and trains to get to our various destinations.)

So, we spent $908 for three weeks in Slovakia...or an average of $43 per day. When you consider that this is for TWO people, that's still very good!


16 comments:

  1. Yep it is pretty good and you really got to see interesting places.

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  2. Thanks Kevin and Ruth for the info on the Camera, it just arrived two days ago and it is great, we are still learning the ins an outs of it.
    It just so happened that I had a Staples coupon for $25 dollars off if ordered by phone or online so when I ordered it the agent said she also had a $14 coupon she could add, so we really got a good deal.
    Thanks agian,
    Ted and Claie

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    1. You're welcome, sure hope you enjoy it and it sounds like you did get a good deal with being able to use both coupons.

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  3. Reckon you need to come back and do Europe by motorhome in the future, allow a couple of years though.

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    1. Yes, we definitely think that traveling in a motorhome would be the ideal way for us to travel in Europe. I think our problem would be that we would take forever to explore it all. Not that, that would be a problem :)

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  4. Great recap & nice photos of Ruth. Nice to see your budget is working for you. It is amazing how so many people spend bundles of money when they go to Europe.

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    1. Thanks Contessa. For starters most people would go to Western Europe where things are more expensive and a lot of people wouldn't travel the way we do. Having said that people could still do things cheaper and have a great time.

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  5. the pic of the Tatras looks like the are volcanoes ready to erupt.
    The clouds are hanging over each one like smoke from a smokestack.
    Have some terrific pics from your hikes
    Donna

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    1. Thanks Donna, it was such a beautiful area it was hard not to take good pictures.

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  6. We've been following your blog for some time and will definitely be using it when we finish our travels in the states and head overseas. Thanks for allowing us to be part of your grand adventure! :)

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    1. Thank you for following along. Sure hope that we have been able to pass along some helpful information. Should you have any questions in the future about our travels in Europe don't hesitate to contact us.

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  7. Yes, I would say that is very good alright...you can't complain at all. Fantastic that you can do and see so much on such a small budget.

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  8. I am glad you got to know so much of my home country and that you enjoyed it. Unffortunately, Couchsurfing is not common in Slovakia at all. And the money you spent was pretty fine for 2 people, I would say :)

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    1. We love your country and look forward to coming back and seeing more of it. We didn't find much couchsurfing but the ones we did connect with were great. And, yes I think we did do well on our budget considering we were two people. Our stay in Zuberec was one of our favourites there.

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  9. Hello Kevin and Ruth :)

    I've been looking for some articles about Slovak mountains and I'm really glad I found this one. Thank you Kevin and Ruth for writing about our beautiful country. If you want come again, this article might help you to plan seeing some of the best places: http://www.travelslovakia.sk/blog/best-of-slovakia

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    1. Thank you for the link, it shows many of the great sights in Slovakia, some that we have been to ourselves.

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