JOIN ME IN AN INTERVIEW WITH IVONA HARČAROVÁ FROM SLOVAKIA
Ivona is an enthusiast travel blogger who lives in Liptovský Mikuláš and loves unusual trips, great coffee, and arts. On her travels she loves to explore new places and eat good food. She inspires people to travel more and follow their dreams. You will always find a good book in her bag. She never says no to a good cake and enjoys local galleries.
Which is the best month to visit Liptovský and why?
The city of Liptovský Mikuláš is beautiful and ready for tourists all year round! There is nothing like the best time for visit! We have aqua parks with thermal water; dam called Liptovská Mara with all kinds of water sports and beaches; beautiful spots for watching the sunsets all around the town; as well as marvellous mountains (Tatras), where you can go hiking in the summer or in the autumn. On the other side, you can go skiing or snowboarding to our ski centres in the winter, and warm yourself up in our hot springs!
My most favourite part of the year in my hometown though, is autumn, when everything colours in the scale of red and orange but it is still warm enough to spend time in the nature.
Which is the most convenient and favoured transport of Liptovský?
There are plenty of ways to get around. There are many buses and taxies that will take you anywhere in the city, especially the touristy places. There is also a great train connection with all parts of Slovakia including the High Tatras or the capital of Slovakia. Many people move around on bikes in the summer and by their own or rented cars in the winter.
Which are the top 3 must visit places in Liptovský?
Number one, especially in the summer, is Liptovskÿ Mara. As Slovaks have no sea, we enjoy our lakes and dams. Mara Fun offers all kinds of water sports and attractions available! If you prefer a quiet holiday, no problem – rent a boat and spend a day on the water You can sleep in the Mara Camp, Marina Liptov, or simply rent a place anywhere in the nearby village. Still bored? Cycle around the dam, watch sunsets, or visit the historical places around the dam like Havránok (Celtic village that is part of UNESCO heritage).
Visiting in the winter? Jasná in Low Tatras is your final destination Kilometres of beautiful and scenic skiing routes; caves like nowhere else in Europe; wellness and spa. This area has all you need and all it takes to spend a perfect time with your friends in the mountains. Of course, this place has a lot to offer also in the summer!
The city centre of Liptovský Mikuláš is something you do not want to miss. The city is a very important place in Slovak history. Also, we have our own Robin Hood, who was called Jánošík and you are more than welcome to follow his story in one of the local museums. Visit our beautiful synagogue, church, or just have a coffee by the fountain. If you are still unsure about what to do, there are more tips on Visit Liptov website
Havránok. Image source: Visit Liptov
Which is the most celebrated holiday in Liptovský?
I would say Christmas and New Year. We have various fairs, concerts and events all around the town with a great atmosphere of small town in the mountains. One of the most successful events is Street Music Night that takes place in August, when each cafe and bar in town has live music and people dance in the streets. Magic!
Again Jasná in the winter, Liptovská Mara in the summer. But some of the events are held in the city centre or in the aqua parks so the answer is everywhere! You simply cannot get bored in this town!
Where can one find amazing street food in Liptovský?
Slovakia is not very famous for street food. We only eat street food during local festivals or by the water. You can get some local street food in Mara Camp but otherwise there are two small festivals happening in town – one in June, and one in December. During those days you can eat amazing Slovak street food, drink local wine and alcohol, and buy local products right in the streets of Liptovský Mikuláš.
Where to head for affordable shopping?
The town is small so you can shop in reasonable prices everywhere in the area! The most favourite place for shopping is the area right by the highway, where you can find all the important shops. The areas for shopping are RGB or STOP SHOP.
Which is the most loved local food in Liptovský?
As we are located in the mountains, we specialize in sheep cheese. What you definitely MUST try while you are here is Halušky (dumplings with sheep cheese and bacon made of potatoes); and fried cheese with fries and tartar sauce (something like a local fish and chips as we are the only country in the world to have a cheese we can fry!). For those who like sweets, Slovaks sometimes like to have sweets not just as a dessert, but as a whole single meal. We have meals like sweet dumplings with various types of fillings (chocolate, fruits, and jams) that can be covered with poppy seeds, nuts, or cocoa and butter. Yummy
Halušky, local Slovak food. Image source: recepty.sk
Which side of the road does your city drive on? Is it a cycle friendly city?
We drive on the right side just the rest of the Europe. We are absolutely bicycle friendly town. We have many cycling routes that will lead you around the dam or even through the mountains. We have kilometres of easy cycling routes towards the river suitable for normal people as well the routes for cycling enthusiasts.
Any other hidden gems you would like to recommend to our readers?
The Memorial of Soldiers who died in the WWII is a place where you want to go and watch a sunset. The view from this place is absolutely spectacular as you are able to see the whole valley, Low Tatras in front of you, High Tatras behind you, the whole town, and the dam in the distance. This is one of the most romantic places in the area where locals go dating There is also an amazing place near Vychodná village, where you can ride horses in the forests and plains. Sure, you can ride horses anywhere in the world but this is the only place in the world with this view and absolutely no people around!
Would you suggest few places in Liptovský to grab a quick bite?
I am a coffee lover and so I could not finish this interview in a better way than with recommendations for some excellent coffee and food places. Aurelica coffee shop is the place you go to have the best coffee in town; you have never eaten cakes and desserts as good as they offer in Arch Caffe, and if you fancy a nice drink – visit CaffeIN. In case you are hungry, searching for the best places to eat, you go to Restart Burger for the best and affordable burgers, Soda Clubfor pizza, and do not miss out Alto Sushi for the best sushi! For drinks or a night out it´s Route 66 which is right in the heart of the town.
Matcha and blackcurrant cake in Arch Café. Image source: Arch Cafe