Train rides full of the unexpected

Ride a cogwheel train near 2000-meter peaks. See a viaduct that looks as if it’s from a Harry Potter film. Take a train operated by children. Traveling by rail in Slovakia is full of surprises! 

With frequent international trains daily, the capital of Slovakia is easy to reach. Bratislava is just one hour from Vienna, two and one-half from Budapest and four hours from Prague, and well-connected with many other European cities. The country’s compact size guarantees that you can travel from the west to the east in just six hours. Imagine all you can see! 

A switchback to a folkloric past 

For a world-class railway masterpiece, head north to the regions of Orava and Kysuce, linked by a unique narrow-gauge switchback railway built between 1915 and 1918 to transport timber. Nowadays it offers scenic views of the green hills that have been featured in many Czech and Slovak films. Ride from either end of the line from May to October. The Kysuce detour includes an open-air folk museum in Vychylovka with traditional 19th-century farmhouses and log dwellings. The Orava trail starts near the village of Oravská Lesná, climbing through a fairytale forest to the top of the Beskyd Saddle, where a picturesque tower overlooks the stunning Orava countryside. 

Amid pristine peaks by cog railway 

Imagine a day that starts with a freshly brewed cup of coffee atop Lomnický štít peak at 2,634m. Then take a romantic boat ride on crystal clear Štrbské pleso tarn lake in the midday sun. Afterward, an afternoon snack awaits you by the roaring waters of the Skok waterfall. You can experience all this thanks to the electric railway system that connect the main centers of the High Tatras. Trains run from 5am until nearly midnight. Make the most of your stay in Slovakia’s highest mountain range and enjoy breathtaking views from the cogwheel train. 

A adventure Harry Potter would have  

In summer, hop on the Horehronský express, which runs from Zvolen to Brezno in central Slovakia. It passes through the beautiful Low Tatras and the Muránska Plain to the Palcmanská Maša Dam and the magical Slovak Paradise. This splendid triad of national parks includes the 18m-long Chmarošský Viaduct, which resembles a scene from J.K. Rowling´s famous books. The viaduct helps the 2.3km-long Telgártska Loop railway spiral up (and down) 31m. Prepare to be amazed by the line’s unique tunnels! 

Railway kids in charge 

Discover the Children´s Heritage Railway in Košice, Slovakia’s second largest city. The train is operated entirely by children under adult supervision, except for the driver, ticket collector and station manager. It runs 4.5 km through the beautiful Čermeľ valley. On weekends and holidays, see working steam locomotives including Katka, Europe’s oldest narrow-gauge steam engine, celebrating its 140th birthday in 2024. Make sure to try riding in human-powered carriages, which resemble bicycles, along the 300-metre oval track. 

Come to Slovakia for a wonderful railway adventure! 

Things to consider before traveling

load more

Some tips to consider while traveling

Want to know more about Europe?

Sign up to our newsletter here: