Earth > Europe > Eastern Europe > Slovakia
|Population:||5 455 000|
|Currency:||Euro (EUR, €)|
|Hitchability:||<rating country='sk' />|
|Meet fellow hitchhikers on Trustroots|
|<map lat='48.6667' lng='19.5' zoom='6' view='0' float='right' country='Slovakia'/>|
It is most of the time very easy to find a ride, waiting times are usually less than half an hour. Slovak people are incredibly friendly and will do their best to make you feel comfortable. Some will even invite you to have lunch with their family and/or have a drink with friends! Some, but not many drivers speak English or German, especially younger ones. Russian is more widely understood among older people, but not necessarily liked. In some southern areas of the country (where towns and villages are marked by blue signs), there is a substantial Hungarian-speaking minority. It is not common for drivers to ask money for a ride. Hitchhiking in Slovak is called stopovanie, stopovať.
Hitchhiking (and indeed all pedestrian access) is not allowed on motorways, but one can hitchhike from entry ramps or ask drivers for a lift at petrol stations. On the country's national roads, you can simply stand wherever cars are going slowly and put out your thumb. Use a card displaying a two-letter code of your destination town (see below in section "Number plates"), if your intended destination cannot be obvious to the drivers. It is not advised to hitch on an older national road which runs parallel to a newer motorway, because all longer-distance traffic uses the motorway (unless of course you only want to get to the nearest village). Hitchhiking in pairs of a man and a woman is the best bet: most successful and also secure.
Slovak is a Slavic language with many divergent dialects. Even Slovak people from the west do not always understand Slovak people from the east, but the standard language described here is understood by all. In the southern areas drivers speak rather Hungarian, so you might try the Hungarian phrasebook.
- Hello (formal/casual - do not use for older people) Dobrý deň/Ahoj
- Please Prosím
- Thank you Ďakujem
- Direction Smer
- Highway Diaľnica
- Are you going to ...? Idete do ...?
- Are you please going in direction of ...? Idete, prosím, smerom na ...?
- Goodbye Dovidenia
- Yes Áno
- No Nie
- To the next petrol station Na ďalšiu benzínku
- I will get down here Tu vystúpim
Slovakia is a small country. Because the country is mountainous, there are few major roads across the country. The D1 highway, running along the north of the country, is the main east-west road in Slovakia.
But as the new motorway R1 was finished the streams seperated. Sometimes they are called the northern way and the southern. They split near Trnava and join in Ružomberok. Going both ways there is always a part where there is no highway/motorway (After they will finish the Žilina-Ružomberok part this will no longer be valid. But they are not going to finish it at least the next 5 years.) but just a national road. For the north one it is the road 18, for the south it is the road 59.
Still the north route is the more used because it's a habit. But in the summer it is close to be equal.During the winter the northern route becomes more used by people going at least to Ružomberok, becouse on the south route there are a lot of skiing centres so most of the cars go there and they tend to be full and there is always a traffic jam so the long distance drivers avoid this route.
The parts with no highway make the traveling slower but can be an advantage for you. On many parts there are traffic jams and the roads go through many cities so you can hitchhike on bus stops and traffic lights and you can catch a pretty long ride.
Another small group of cars that go from west to the farest east (Košice and more east) go by the so called big south route. It's a route that start in Bratislava, goes by the D1 highway, continues by the R1 motorway and then gets off the motorway in Zvolen and continues by the national roads and then the big northern way and the big southern way meet in Košice. But this is the least used route. The meaning of mentioning this option is just to be said that some people go that way and it is still possible to hitch there.
There is a road E77 passing through the middle of Slovakia connecting Krakow and Budapest. It is also the main route used by Turkish trucks driving from Turkey to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. It is very hitchhike-friendly and passes through Ružomberok, Banská Bystrica, Zvolen, and Šahy. Even though it is relatively easy to hitchhike along the route, it is best to wait at the border crossings Parassapuszta-Šahy border crossing (south) or Trstená-Chyzne border crossing (north) when looking for long-distance rides.
- Vyšné Nemecké-Uzhhorod border crossing
- Ubľa-Malyi Bereznyi border crossing
- Velké Slemence-Mali Selmenci border crossing (pedestrian crossing, EU/EEA & Ukrainian passports only)
Summer 2022: I really liked hitchhiking in Slovakia, it's easy (20min-1h) and people are friendly. Normally, you don't do a lot of kilometres in one ride, because people are moving from one small town to another. The country is very beautiful despite the fact that in general it consists only of small towns but that's gives you an opportunity of easy camping. There are a lot of green zones and parks where you can camp. Locals tell that there are a lot of wild bears in the big national parks (as the Tatras), so be careful sleeping in the forest. --HHer-Vert