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Slovakia - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Slovakia.
Safety and security
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, especially in crowded areas and particularly during summer months. Foreigners are often targeted.
Pickpockets often work in teams, sometimes including children, and target people on trains and at railway stations and airports. Their methods include distracting a victim who is boarding or exiting a train or surrounding a victim in line-ups or at check-out counters.
Always be suspicious if someone offers to help you with a flat tire. These individuals may have punctured the tire themselves and seize the opportunity to steal a bag or other valuable objects while you are distracted.
Individuals have also been harassed for reasons of race or foreign-looking appearance.
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- Do not show signs of affluence
- Avoid public parks in city centres and railway stations after dark
Be vigilant in:
- shopping centres
- public transportation stations
- major tourist attractions, including Bratislava’s Old Town area
Car thefts and break-ins occur, particularly in major cities. Car thieves target foreign luxury vehicles more than other models.
Avoid leaving luggage or valuables in the vehicle; use secure parking facilities.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. There is a potential for other violent incidents.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Individuals posing as plainclothes police officers may ask to see your foreign currency and passport. If approached, decline to hand over personal belongings. Offer instead to go to the nearest police station or seek assistance from a local contact.
Spiked food and drinks
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as these items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Demonstrations take place from time to time.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country. Driving conditions may be hazardous during winter.
Drivers do not respect traffic laws. They often drive at excessive speeds and use reckless manoeuvering.
Avoid travelling after dark in remote areas.
Public transportation is well developed and reliable.
Officially marked taxis are generally reliable, safe and economical. Beware of taxi drivers who try to overcharge by not switching on the meter. Pre-negotiate the fare.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Slovak authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Slovakia is a Schengen area country. Canadian citizens do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area. However, visa-free travel only applies to stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country.
If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for a longer period of time, you will need a visa. You must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa(s) prior to travel.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave the Schengen area.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days* Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Student visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
* The 90-day period begins upon initial entry into any country of the Schengen area. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country within any 180-day period.
Canadians who intend to work or plan to remain in Slovakia for more than 90 days must obtain a temporary residence permit. Failure to obtain a residence permit for stays of over 90 days could result in deportation. Deportation from Slovakia will also mean expulsion from the greater Schengen area.
Other entry requirements
Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds for your stay.
Customs officials may ask you to show proof of health insurance.
If you intend to stay in private accommodations for a visit lasting more than 30 days, you must register with the nearest police station within three days of arrival. Hotel guests are registered by hotel staff.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Measles in Europe - February 20, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Outbreaks of measles are ongoing.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause serious complications for some people.
You are at increased risk of measles infection if you have not had the illness or if you are not up to date on your vaccinations.
- Tick-borne encephalitis is present in some areas of this country.
- It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
- It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or when you consume unpasteurized milk products.
- Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks during outdoor activities.
- A vaccine against TBE does exist but is only available in countries where the disease is present.
- Learn more on what you can do to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)?
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Eastern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Eastern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Eastern Europe, certain insects carry and spread diseases like Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis, and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in Eastern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are adequate.
Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons
Canada and Slovakia are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Slovakia to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Slovak authorities.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences.
Public intoxication and disorderly conduct is illegal. Offenders could be severely fined or detained.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Slovakia.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Slovakia, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
You must carry photo identification, such as a passport as local authorities can ask you to prove your identity. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it’s lost or confiscated.
Avoid taking pictures of military installations and personnel, as this activity is prohibited locally.
You should carry an international driving permit.
There is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol. Penalties are strict.
Vehicles must be equipped with the following items for emergency situations:
- a first aid kit
- warning triangle
- tow rope
- functional spare tire
- high-visibility vests for all passengers
A vignette (toll sticker) is required to travel on highways. You can buy them at border crossings, gas stations and post offices.
Fines for traffic violations must be paid on the spot.
The currency of Slovakia is the euro (EUR).
When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union (EU), you must make a declaration to customs if you have at least €10,000, or the equivalent in other currencies.
This includes the sum of cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets.
This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or in transit to a non-EU country.
Cash controls - European Commission
Natural disasters and climate
Heavy rains and thunderstorms during spring and summer may result in flooding, generate localized landslides and cause significant damage to roads.
If you decide to travel to Slovakia during these seasons:
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Bratislava - Office of the Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Slovakia, in Bratislava and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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