Slovakia: Europe Place
Photo by Fero Hanus
As a tourist destination, Slovakia is generally overlooked and underestimated. In our view, this is a great shame. The Tatra Mountains in the north of the country are charming in winter (cheap skiing!) and summer (gentle trekking!), and Slovakia’s lowland south is not without its attractions, either.
One lowland draw is the Danube’s twin city of Komarom/Komarno (the former is the town’s Hungarian side, the latter the Slovak side). Both sides of the city have good thermal spas, but the Slovak side also has the unique “Europe Place.”
Europe Place is a large square in the heart of the city filled with houses, each of which represents architectural styles of different European countries. They are also cleverly arranged to represent historical ties between countries: the Slovak, Hungarian, and Austrian houses are side by side, symbolizing the time these countries spent together in the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Most houses also function as businesses or highly sought-after residences. Appropriately enough, the German house is used as a bakery. More surprising is the use of the Vatican house as an amusement arcade!
Best of all for Cheapos, the square is free to visit. You can visit the colorful Web site to chart the square’s construction.