Despite its small size, Slovakia is an incredibly diverse country. Nature, people and especially its historical development have gradually brought about a division of the territory into regions. The best known regions include Liptov, Spiš and Orava. However, unique untouched nature together with remarkable traditions, culinary specialities and culture can be also found in the Gemer or Horehronie regions. Today, Slovakia is divided into eight administrative regions:
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Bratislava administrative region

The Bratislava administrative region is the smallest administrative region in Slovakia, with a population of about 600 000. It borders on Austria and Hungary. The region is home to Slovakia's capital, Bratislava, which is an important industrial, political, economic and cultural centre. Bratislava is situated 65 km from Vienna, which is the shortest distance between any two capitals in Europe. The region is characterised by its 700-year-old viticultural tradition. The most famous attractions in the region include Bratislava Castle, St. Martin's Cathedral, the Danube international cycling route, the Morava cycling route, the Small Carpathians wine route, the ruins of Devín Castle and the Červený Kameň Castle, the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum in Čunovo,  cruises on the Danube, and traditional handicrafts.

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trnava korzo

Trnava administrative region

The Trnava administrative region has approximately 500 000 inhabitants. It borders on the Czech Republic and Hungary. The town of Trnava, also called 'Little Rome', has 13 churches and is the centre of the region, which also boasts the world-famous spa of Piešťany and the Driny Cave as well as Smolenice Karst situated in the picturesque mountain range of the Little Carpathians. Castles such as Ostrý Kameň, Dobrá Voda and Smolenice Castle attract large numbers of tourists. The area called Záhorie is well-known for the spa in Smrdáky, the Šaštín basilica and the town of Skalica. Famous thermal swimming pools are situated in Dunajská Streda and Veľký Meder. In addition, there are unique water mills on the Malý Dunaj river. The region’s attractions also include the manor in Dolná Krupá or the Gabčíkovo dam.

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Trenčín administrative region

The Trenčín administrative region has a population of about 600 000. It borders on the Czech Republic. The town of Trenčín is the centre of this region. The Roman inscription on the rock of Trenčín Castle represents the northernmost proof of the presence of Roman troops in Central Europe. Mineral and thermal springs in the spas of Trenčianske Teplice, Bojnice and Nimnica have a special place among the interesting tourist attractions. The fairy-tale Bojnice Castle is the jewel of the region. The castle ruins of Beckov, Čachtice and Tematín are also frequently visited. The most notable sights also include the house in Uhrovec where Ľudovít Štúr (the leader of the Slovak National Revival) was born, the monumental tomb of Milan Rastislav Štefánik (a Slovak politician, diplomat and astronomer) on the Bradlo hill and the zoo in Bojnice. The Súľovské skaly rocks and the Manínska tiesňava gorge are just two of the beautiful natural attractions.

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Nitra administrative region

The Nitra administrative region has a population of approximately 700 000. It borders on Hungary. The town of Nitra with the oldest historical monuments in Slovakia is the largest city of the region. You can visit old churches (in Dražovce and Kostoľany pod Tribečom) as well as the Gýmeš Castle and the Hrušov Castle. The manor house in Topoľčianky is located close to the National Stud Farm and the only bison park in Slovakia. The unique rock dwellings in Brhlovce are to be found near the town of Levice. The town of Komárno boasts a fortress – the best-preserved fortification system in Slovakia. The thermal swimming pools in Štúrovo, Komárno, Podhájska and Patince are open all the year round. The collection of exotic woody plants in the Mlyňany Arboretum is also worth a visit. 

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ZA namestie

Žilina administrative region

The Žilina administrative region, situated in the northwest of Slovakia, has around 600 000 inhabitants. It borders on the Czech Republic and Poland. The town of Žilina is the largest city of the region. The most beautiful castle in this region is Orava Castle, but there are also numerous guard castles and ruins – Strečno, Starý hrad and Lietava. The most famous of the folk architecture sites is Vlkolínec (a UNESCO site), closely followed by the open-air museums in Zuberec, Pribylina and Vychylovka. The spas in Rajecké Teplice, Turčianske Teplice and Lúčky are also very well-known. The mountain ranges of Malá Fatra, Veľká Fatra and especially the Western Tatras and the Low Tatras with the Jasná ski resort are a paradise for hikers, cyclists, and for skiers in the winter. Caves, water reservoirs and water parks are frequently visited as well.

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Banská Bystrica

Banská Bystrica administrative region

The Banská Bystrica administrative region with approximately 600 000 inhabitants has its centre in the town of Banská Bystrica. The region borders on Hungary. It has a rich mining history which can be observed in the towns of Banská Štiavnica (a UNESCO site) and Kremnica. Folk architecture sites are located in Špania Dolina and Hronsek. Hiking enthusiasts can visit the Low Tatras, while the ski resorts of Donovaly and Chopok-juh provide opportunities for winter sports. Tourists can admire the treasures of the underground world in caves such as Harmanecká Cave and Bystrianska Cave. The mysterious virgin forest and the romantic Čierny Hron forest railway are the main attractions of the Čierny Balog village. The region is rich in castle ruins such as Fiľakovo Castle or Modrý Kameň Castle. The spas of Dudince, Sklené Teplice and Sliač are also well-known.

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PO kostol

Prešov administrative region

The Prešov administrative region has a population of about 800 000 and is dominated by the town of Prešov, which is central to the Šariš region. It borders on Poland and Ukraine. You can visit the town of Bardejov (a UNESCO site), marvellous wooden churches (UNESCO sites) and the Bardejov Spa. The most attractive area in Slovakia, visited by tourists all year round, is also here – the mountain range of the High Tatras. The territory is rich in manors (Strážky), monasteries (Červený kláštor) and castles (in Kežmarok and Ľubovňa). The national parks of Pieniny and Slovak Paradise rank among the natural jewels of the Spiš region. The open-air museums in Stará Ľubovňa and the Bardejov Spa bring a touch of history. The Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art in Medzilaborce has also become very popular.

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kosice kostol

Košice administrative region

This region has approximately 800 000 inhabitants, and its centre is situated in Košice, the second-biggest town in Slovakia. The region borders on Ukraine and Hungary. It boasts numerous cultural and historical monuments, but also the biggest zoo in Slovakia, which is the largest zoo by area in Central Europe. The Slovak Karst National Park with its natural beauty is located in the Gemer region. Tourists frequently visit the Betliar manor house and numerous gothic churches situated on the Gothic Route. Very popular sites include the surroundings of Zemplínska šírava water reservoir. The region also offers a natural gem – the Slovak Paradise National Park. The Morské oko lake with protected fauna and flora is the biggest dammed lake of volcanic origin in Slovakia.

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