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How to impress the locals in Slovakia
There are a few things that you can do in each country if you want to impress the locals. Slovak people are generally friendly and I am sure they will be already impressed by the fact that you have decided to visit their country. However here are few tips how to impress them even more if you choose to go to Slovakia.
Learn some basic Slovak phrases
In each country it is always useful to know some polite words. This not only impresses the locals but if they see that you are trying to make an effort to speak to them, most of the time they will be also more helpful to you. Especially as the Slovak language is not too widely spoken, you can really impress a native Slovak speaker with only a few words. If you want to start a conversation with someone you can greet them with an "Ahoj" / ahoy / which in English means Hello. Or if you want to be more polite (for example to an older person) you can say "Dobrý deň!" / dɔbriː deɲ / which is Good day! in English. If you want to thank someone say "Ďakujem" / jakuyem /. Or if you simply want to let someone know you do not understand Slovak, just say: "Nerozumiem po slovensky" / Neh-ro-zoo-myehm poh slo-ven-sky /. And when you say bye to someone you can use the phrase : "Dovidenia" / doh-vee-de-nyah / which is the Slovak version for Goodbye. Another useful words are:
Prepáčte / Preh-paach-tyeh/ - means Sorry and also Excuse me
Hovoríte po anglicky? /Hoh-voh-ree-teh poh ahng-lits-kih?/ - Do you speak English?
Prosím / Proh-seem/ - Please
Áno / Aaah-noh/ - Yes
Nie / Nyee-eh/ - No
Try the Slovak traditional food
Many people go abroad and they tend to stick to food " they already know". In some countries that can be a bit insulting, and also people can see you as narrow-minded or rude. So if you go to Slovakia, instead of eating burgers from McDonald's why not try the Slovak traditional food - Bryndzové halušky / breen-tso-veh ha-loosh-kyh / which are potato dumplings with sheep cheese and bacon. You can get it in nearly every restaurant in Slovakia usually at a very reasonable price. Most Slovaks love this dish, so why not try it for yourself? But if you do not like any of the ingredients, then alternatively you could try other popular Slovak dishes such as: Chicken with paprika, Segedin goulash with steamed dumplings, Stuffed peppers or if you like soups then you could try the very tasty Kapustnica which is a sauerkraut soup with mushrooms and smoked meat. For those of you with a "sweet tooth" I recommend Buchty na pare which are steamed sweet dumplings usually with jam or chocolate inside.
Show some knowledge of the country
Slovakia became independent nearly 20 years ago so for some Slovaks it can be quite frustrating if some people still think Slovakia is part of Czechoslovakia. You can always impress a Slovak person with a little knowledge of their country. For example you can learn what is the population of Slovakia ( 5.4 million ), what is the second bigggest city ( Košice ), or what mountain range runs in the north of Slovakia ( Carpathian Mountains ). People in Slovakia will appreciate that you know these things as it shows that you are interested in getting to know their country.
Respect the culture
Everyone enjoys a drink or two abroad. Nothing's wrong with it, however you definitely won't impress Slovaks by getting intoxicated, shouting on the streets and urinating on historical buildings or monuments. If anything this can get you into trouble and you can even get arrested. Also wearing little or no clothes is insulting in Slovakia and you might get some looks of disapproval as well. Slovakia is a Catholic country most of the people are religious, do not make fun of this, as they will not find it funny. These are only simple things to remember, but can really show that you do respect the country and its culture.
Explore the country
There are many things to see and do in Slovakia. Bratislava is a beautiful city but there are other places which are just as beautiful as the capital. The people in other places are also friendly, maybe even friendlier as they do not see tourists as often as people in Bratislava. If you need some tips which places to visit, check out my hub:
- Visiting Slovakia? Top 5 places to visit
Visiting Slovakia? Or just interested what this Cental European country has to offer? Then check out my top 5 places to visit in this beautiful country.