Buying Slovak Souvenirs
If you'd like to take home something as a remembrance of Slovakia, or to give away to friends, you might want to consider the following local specialties.
Folk ceramics in Modra
One of the main production sites for one of Slovakia's proudest crafts is within easy reach of Bratislava. The village of Modra near Bratislava is one of several Carpathian foothill communities. Tours are by arrangement only, but are highly praised by those who have experienced them, so be sure to call or email well in advance to arrange.
Tel.: + 421 33 / 647 32 38, + 421 33 / 647 29 41-2
Fax: + 421 33 / 647 20 20
The most famous traditional Slovak crafts include ceramics and various textile forms from weaving to embroidery. Wiresmithing, creating decorative objects by shaping wire, is a little-known local specialty well worth a look. Woodwork also tends to be of high quality. Crystal and glassware, often sold in souvenir shops, is in fact usually Czech and not Slovak, so if you want authentic Slovak handwork you should keep to other items.
The widest selection is offered at several ULUV (Slovak Folk Culture) shops, administered by the Ministry of Culture. Bratislava has several in the Old Town and adjacent areas. Other ULUV shops are in Kosice, Bardejov, Presov and Trnava.
Other smaller shops are easy to find in the centre of most larger towns, and in other areas frequented by tourists (including national parks and small towns famous for their crafts). Ask at any hotel, restaurant or tourist information centre for the biggest souvenir shop in the area (smaller shops directly in hotels have very limited selection).
Often recognisable by the Slovak word "Starozitnosti", these shops typically offer paintings and small decorative items. They cluster mostly in and near town centres like Bratislava's old town. They can however also be found in some neighbourhoods - and in general the best bargains are of course found away from town centres.