Slovakia - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel
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Business Customs

Business practices and etiquette in Slovakia represent a mixture of those used in Western Europe and the United States, and those used in Eastern Europe. Decision-making in a company is often restricted to a small number of people, if not just one person. Even relatively minor decisions may require the approval of a high-level official. Appointments should be made well in advance, with re-confirmations made one or two days prior to actual meetings. Business dress is similar to that in Western Europe.

Titles and positions are highly respected and are generally used on business cards. U.S. businesspeople occasionally have difficulty in receiving replies to inquiries and are encouraged to follow-up to ensure contact with the intended recipients. E-mail is the most common way of communicating.

Doing business successfully in Slovakia generally requires the establishment of good personal relationships and a feeling of mutual trust. General social conversation prior to getting down to business is the norm and launching directly into business topics may impede the development of a good personal relationship with the Slovak business partner. After initial meetings, written summaries of goals, objectives, and points of agreement or disagreement should be used to minimize misunderstandings among business parties.

Business dinner and / or lunch invitations are a welcome alternative to gifts. If invited to a person’s home, you are expected to bring flowers for the hosts. Small gifts are also appreciated, but not expected. It is common to give small presents such as a bottle of wine, cookies, or chocolates.

Travel Advisory

Please check the State Department’s consular information sheet for updated travel advisories.

Visa requirements

Slovak Entry Requirement for U.S. Citizens

Slovakia is a party to the Schengen Agreement. As such, U.S. citizens may enter Slovakia for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa issued prior to departure from the United States. U.S. passports should be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay.

Persons intending to stay in Slovakia longer than a total of  90 days during any 6-month period must submit an application for a Temporary Term Residence Permit, either at a Slovak diplomatic or consular mission in the country of their residence, the Slovak Embassy in Washington, D.C., 3523 International Court, NW, Washington D.C. 20008, telephone: 202-237-1054), or at the alien’s police department in the Slovak district of their residency. A permit can be granted for a period of not more than two years, with a possibility of repeated extensions provided that the application for renewal of the permit is submitted no later than 60 days before the expiration of its validity. Please check the documents needed to accompany an application for a permit, which must be completed in Slovak.

Meeting the requirements of Slovak law to obtain a long-term stay permit can be a long and difficult process, with health and police checks among other criteria needed to complete the process. Companies and business organizations have criticized Slovak authorities for the length of this process.

U.S. companies seeking long-stay residency permits for their employees should contact the Slovak Embassy in Washington, D.C, for further application information and detailed instructions. Most U.S. companies engage the services of an attorney with extensive knowledge and experience with Slovak immigration law to guide them through the application process.

U.S. Entry Requirements for Slovak Citizens

The latest information for Slovak travelers looking to travel to the United States can be found here.

Slovaks may travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). To travel under the VWP, Slovak citizens must have a biometric passport issued by the Slovak Government after January 1, 2008, an electronic travel authorization obtained in advance of the trip through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and be staying in the U.S. for 90 days or less for tourism or non-paid business purposes. Visitors seeking to travel to the United States under the VWP can apply directly for travel authorization via this website. The ESTA application website is available in many different languages and includes a “help section” that helps guide VWP travelers through the application process. There is no benefit to utilizing private websites that charge for information about ESTA or to apply for an ESTA on behalf of VWP travelers.

U.S. Companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States are advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should go to the following link(s):  State Department Visa Website.


Slovakia joined the Euro-zone on January 1, 2009. The EUR is the official currency, and other currencies can commonly be exchanged in banks and at foreign exchange offices found throughout the country.

Payments can be made with a credit or a debit card that has a Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, or Discover symbol. American Express and Diners Club are not as widely accepted, thus it is recommended to ask in advance when using them.

Each bank affiliate has its own ATMs, and ATMs are plentiful in cities. (The “ATM Slovakia” applications for Apple and Android can help you find the nearest ATM.) ATMs offer instructions in Slovak and other languages including English. Check the logos on ATMs to determine which card brands are accepted. Prior to your departure, ask your bank if they have a Slovak partner bank and find out what fees are charged when withdrawing cash abroad.

Bratislava is the home of Europe’s first Bitcoin ATM. Bitcoin ATM locations can be found through this website. Travelers’ checks are not accepted.

Apple Pay is available in Slovakia supported by Slovak banks and applications listed on Apple Pay official website:  Google pay is also available in Slovakia and is supported by the following financial institutions.


The Slovak telecommunications system is comparable with other EU countries. Internet access in Slovakia is widespread. There are approximately 1.67 million customers connected to the Internet with fixed access, representing about 88 percent of all Slovak households. Internet access is easily available in all cities and towns. Wi-Fi spots are widely available in hotels and public places, including restaurants and coffee houses in several major cities.

Mobile telecommunication and Internet services are provided in the 5G, LTE, GPRS/EDGE, UMTS/HSDPA, F-OFDM and UMTS/FDD standards. There are four mobile service providers in Slovakia: Orange, T mobile, O2 and 4ka (Swan). More than 94 percent of the country is covered by mobile telephone service, with the exception of very remote rural areas. Fixed line services are very reliable. There is one primary fixed-line operator, T-Com, and 59 alternative fixed-line operators. The country code for Slovakia is +421. Direct-dial, VoIP and cellular telephone calls can be made easily throughout the country.

Electric voltage is 220 volts, with a frequency of 50 Hz. Slovakia uses the standard continental European “europlug,” with 2 round pins and a socket and plug system.


Slovakia’s transportation system is well organized, but some modes of transport are aging. Commercial air transport is available regularly from Bratislava and Kosice, and seasonally from the Zilina, Piestany and Poprad-Tatry international airports under normal conditions. The country’s leading international airport is in Bratislava with 660,000 passengers in the first six months of 2023 (a 35 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022). Slovakia does not have a national carrier. Commercial service operators at Bratislava airport can be found here. Since December 2018, there have been no flights connecting Bratislava  with the eastern city of Kosice .

The close proximity (30 miles) of Bratislava to the Vienna International Airport facilitates commercial air transportation and the availability of long-haul flights. Vienna International Airport can be reached by car, taxi or scheduled bus service from Bratislava and other Slovak cities.

Travelers should check destinations and timetables carefully, as they change frequently. Travel by train within Slovakia is reliable, although not all coaches are up to Western Europe standards.

The private Czech companies RegioJet, Leo Express, and Arriva, and the Austrian carrier ÖBB service some passenger rail routes and compete with Slovak Rail in price and in service (WIFI, free refreshments, food delivery to the seat, mobile bar, free newspapers, and 24-hour free parking).

Automobile travel is another option, although, due to many narrow two-lane roads, travelers often find that driving times can be longer than expected.

Slovakia imposes a “road user fee” for intercity highways and certain other roads, which applies to both citizens and foreigners. Fees vary by length of validity and vehicle type and weight. It is possible to buy a 365-day highway sticker. E-stickers (vignettes) can be purchased at border crossings, gas stations, and through the internet or mobile applications. Information on highways and stickers can be found here. Vehicles exceeding 3.5 tons (trucks, buses, etc.) are obliged to pay additional tolls on certain highways and motorways. Please check the following website for fees and a list of roads that require the purchase of an e-sticker. Taxi service is readily available, reliable, safe, and generally inexpensive. Many drivers speak some English and the majority of taxi companies have English-speaking dispatchers. Taxis are metered though potential difficulties may arise from the confusing system of multiple rates (based on distance, location, use of a highway or a regular road when getting to the destination, and whether the taxi was hired by telephone or at a taxi stand).  Called taxis are typically less expensive and more reliable than those hailedon the street, and can be arranged through the UBER, HOPIN, BOLT (formerly Taxify), Blablacar, or RYDE applications. All major cities have public bus and tram services that are convenient and inexpensive.


Slovak is the official language. Slovaks are usually friendly and open to Americans and English is increasingly used as a business language, especially in Bratislava. German is also widely spoken as a second language. Czech is very well understood. Some Russian is understood by older Slovaks born before 1980. Hungarian is spoken by about 10 percent of the population, mainly in southern Slovakia, but is not widely understood in the Bratislava region. Many Slovak companies have English speakers among their top managers, but U.S. business representatives should be prepared to sometimes do business through interpreters to avoid possible misunderstandings.


There are several private medical clinics in Bratislava with English-speaking doctors on staff. Many private dentists use the most recent technologies and equipment. Medicines are readily available at pharmacies conveniently located throughout larger towns and cities. Some provide 24-hour service. Pharmacies in smaller cities and towns may be closed during the weekend. Prescriptions are always required. If a U.S. traveler’s private health insurance does not cover medical services in Slovakia, he or she should obtain temporary coverage from a well-known international insurance company. Hygienic standards are comparable to those in Western Europe.

Local time, business hours, and holidays

Slovakia is on Central European Time (CET). As in many European countries, the workweek is Monday through Friday (40 working hours), and Saturday and Sunday are days off for most employees.

The following holidays will be observed in Slovakia in 2023:

January 1                             (Sunday) Slovakia Day; New Year’s Day

January 6                             (Friday) Epiphany

April 7                                 (Friday) Good Friday

April 10                               (Monday) Easter Monday

May 1                                  (Monday) Labor Day

May 8                                  (Monday) End of World War II

July 5                                   (Wednesday) St. Cyril & St. Methodius Day

August 29                            (Tuesday) Slovak National Uprising Day

September 1                        (Friday) Slovak Constitution Day

September 15                     (Friday) Day of the Virgin Mary of the Seven Sorrows

November 1                        (Wednesday) All Saints Day

November 17                      (Friday) Day of the Fight for Freedom & Democracy

December 24                      (Sunday) Christmas Eve

December 25                      (Monday) Christmas Day

December 26                      (Tuesday) St. Stephen’s Day

Temporary Entry of Materials and Personal Belongings

There are no challenges or special requirements for bringing personal items such as software, laptops, and other belongings into Slovakia on a temporary basis. See “Temporary Entry” above for information on obtaining temporary import approval for commercial goods.