Slovak in Slovakia

Trains and Buses

A sign pointing to a train station

Train and bus are the primary means of travel between cities and are known for being reasonably safe and fast. Traveling by bus is considered safer than going by train. Bus tickets for domestic destinations are sold at the bus station; one must go to a travel agent for international destinations. Train tickets are only sold at the railway station. For both buses and trains, seat reservations may have to be purchased separatly from the actual ticket and often, in advance. In summer, it is wise to buy reserved tickets at least a week in advance. During the rest of the year, one can usually get tickets the same day.

There are four major kinds of trains: osobny (local) trains that stop frequently; rychlik (fast) trains that run between bigger towns without stopping; IC (Intercity) that are the fastest domestic trains; and EC (Euro City) that connect major European cities. To get a student-rate ticket for domestic trains, one needs to be a student in Slovakia and have a special student ID. For an EC train, one needs an international student ID card such as ISIC. IC and EC trains always require advanced reservations.

Trains have 1st and 2nd class cars. There are wider seats, more leg room, and better upholstery in first class cars. As well, there are special smoking cars, and intercity trains have restaurant, snack-bar, sleeper, berth, and luggage cars. One can ship packages by train for fairly low prices. One must drop off and pick up shipped packages at the train station.