Pros and Cons of Moving to Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is known for its dramatic natural landscapes, historical castles and growing economy. But like anywhere else, expats will find that there are pros and cons to life in Slovakia.
Accommodation in Slovakia
PRO: Real estate is affordable
How much expats pay for housing will depend on where they would like to live.
The most expensive accommodation in Slovakia is in Bratislava, the capital – especially in the city centre around Bratislava Castle or Devin Castle.
Most Slovaks prefer to buy accommodation, but expats usually rent at first. Either way, prices are relatively low.
Lifestyle in Slovakia
PRO: There are good shopping options
There are two types of people – those who spend their weekends in shopping centres and cafés, and those who disappear into nature after work on Fridays. Thankfully, there’s plenty to keep expats who fall into the first category busy.
Almost every residential part of Bratislava has its own shopping centre. Since so many people work late hours, supermarkets and malls are often open in the evenings and on Sundays.
Slovak shopping centres usually provide shopping, entertainment (like movies), good restaurants and cafés, as well as banks and post offices. In winter a few of them have ice skating too.
Expats who live in Kosice Banska Bystrica in central Slovakia or Kosice in the east will usually find shopping malls in the city centre – so it’s easy to get to them by bus.
PRO: There's a lot to do
There are countless activities expats can do in Slovakia. There’s a lot to see in every region depending on a person’s preferences, from hiking or relaxing in a spa, to visiting local cultural attractions and eating Slovak food.
Slovakia has beautiful historical castles dating back to the Habsburg Empire, as well as various UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Slovak countryside features mountains for hiking, fresh air, mineral springs, caves, lakes and campgrounds for expats who love nature. And there are many spas for those who prefer more organised relaxation.
Expats are likely to feel welcome in Slovakia. Slovak people can be stubborn, but they're open, honest, hardworking and willing to help. Locals often love nature and are proud of their attractions, and many of them love hockey and football.
CON: There is some crime in Slovakia
The country is generally quite safe, but expats will still need to take precautions like not leaving their bags unattended, or cars and homes unlocked, and being wary of strangers.
CON: Hospitality in Slovakia
Unfortunately Slovakia still has a lot to learn in terms of customer relations, and service in the hospitality industry could improve. Many times it happens that expats are charged for services that are usually for free abroad and should be considered as an added value or bonus.
Working in Slovakia
PRO: Slovakia is open for business
Slovakia is open to new business and the government is trying to attract new investors. Locals are open to new ideas, and expats with a good business plan and the right strategy usually find their business grows fast. By living in Slovakia, expats will quickly find out what kind of products or services could be useful for the market. Most opportunities can be found in Bratislava and cities like Košice and Žilina, depending on the type of activity.
PRO: The cost of living in Slovakia is good
The cost of living in Slovakia is favourable for expats. Prices in Bratislava are higher than in the rest of the country, but its residents have greater purchasing power.