Poprad, gateway to the High Tatra mountains

Poprad old town

When I first entered Slovakia on my way to a teaching post in Bratislava, it was from the north through the High Tatra mountains from Poland, and my first overnight stop was in the town of Poprad. Being the first taste of my new home country has always made it special to me, but it’s worth highlighting in general because if you take a ski vacation to Slovakia this winter, Poprad is likely to be your base town.

With more than 50,000 people, Poprad is Slovakia’s tenth-largest city, but particularly popular with tourists because of its location at the foot of the High Tatras. It has a sweet old town in the middle, even some good restaurants – I ate the best pizza for a long time in one of them. And with the mountains right there, there are scenic views wherever you look.

Poprad town and view to High Tatras

If you’re not a skiier, then you can get some great deals in the off-season, and it’s still a pretty area to visit – I was there in high summer and enjoyed it thoroughly, adding a bit of hiking to my daily plan. But Poprad really buzzes in winter, so check out a ski package.