How to Avoid Breaking Slovakia's Local Laws

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Slovakia has a few unique laws that could get the uninformed travelers into a bit of trouble. So pay attention.

Bratislava, Slovakia Photo © Getty Images/Monika Katic / EyeEm

Carry identification at all times

You must carry your passport or identity card with you at all times at all times – a photocopy of your passport is not enough. Authorities can ask travelers to show their identification at any time. Obviously this poses a risk of theft, so if you're not the under-the-shirt money belt kind of person, you may want to think about safe places to keep important documents while you walk around cities.

Photography laws in Slovakia

Taking pictures of military and security installations is outlawed. Even facilities that could be perceived as a security interest in verboten: bases, government buildings, power plants, reservoirs, and so on. If you're caught snapping, police could take your camera or memory card, issue a fine, even deport you.

Noise restrictions

There are strong noise ordinance regulations. Rowdy behaviour between 10pm and 6am is frowned upon and could get you in a bind with the police. Bratislava is becoming a popular party destination, especially for stag parties. Many travelers has been fined or jailed for being a public nuisance, so keep an eye on your alcohol intake and avoid becoming too intoxicated.

Alcohol laws

There are some peculiar zoning rules when it comes to booze. In Bratislava's Old Town, for example, it's forbidden to drink alcohol on the street. Exceptions are made in special events like seasonal markets, or for outdoor bars and cafes. Violations of these laws are punishable with fines.

Drug laws

Stay away from drugs in Slovakia. The penalties are severe compared to other countries. Simple possession could land you in prison for three to five years. Selling drugs is punished with a maximum of 25 years.

What to do if you do get arrested in Slovakia

If you do get arrested, the police must contact the nearest embassy or consulate of your home country. Make sure this happens by asking politely.

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