The international calling code for Slovakia is 421 and Bratislava’s area code is 02. Bratislava numbers have 8 digits, while the rest of the country’s telephone lines have only 7. People calling from outside the country should dial their country’s international access code + 421 (Slovakia’s country code) + 2 (Bratislava’s area code without the zero) and then the local number.
To call abroad from Slovakia, you must dial 00 + country code + area code without the first 0 + the number.
Ten-digit numbers starting with 08 are toll-free.
Mobile numbers start with a prefix, such as 09. Callers from abroad must dial their international access code + 421 + 9 (without the zero) + the rest of the number.
Phone booths have become less common in recent years with the advent of the cell phone but can still be found throughout the city.
As everywhere, land lines are becoming the exception rather than the norm, but if you choose to have one they’re installed and operated in Slovakia by Slovak Telecom under the T-COM brand. You must go in person to one of their outlets to set up a new service or transfer an existing one. You’ll need your passport and your lease if you’re renting, along with the owner’s consent. If there’s an existing line, you and the owner must both sign to have it transferred into your name. There are various packages available and information can be found on their website at www.t-com.sk or at one of the T-COM or T-Centrum outlets.
The Slovak Telecom directory can be found online at www.telefonny.zoznam.sk or by calling 1181. It also includes mobile phone numbers.
Cell phones, which are everywhere, operate on GSM standard, which covers most of the country, and 3G coverage is steadily increasing. You can either purchase a new or unlocked cell phone or, if you already have an unlocked phone, you can purchase a new SIM card and sign up for cell service at one of the local cell phone service providers.
Cell phone services are provided by three different companies in Slovakia: Orange Slovensko, T-Mobile and O2Slovakia. They have branches throughout the city and in every mall. There are a variety of plans available, and you should be able to find an English-speaking member of staff to explain the various packages. They all use 900 or 1800 Mhz standard, which may not be compatible if your phone operates on 1900 Mhz, so be sure to double-check.
If you prefer not to enter into a contract, top-up cards for pay-as-you-go are available in most shops, news stands and gas stations in Slovakia. You can also debit your card via ATM, Internet or SMS. There’s a Prima card from Orange Mobile Operator, an Easy card from T-mobile and an O2 card from O2 Mobile Operator.
Each cell phone company uses different prefixes. When calling on a cell phone within the country, dial the prefix and then the number. When calling from cell phone to landline, dial 02 and then the number.
Slovakia has a large number of full-area ISPs that offer broadband Internet connections. The four main Internet providers in Bratislava are UPC, Orange Slovensko, T-Com and T-Mobile.
Bratislava’s main post office is an impressive downtown building on SNP Square at Namestie SNP 35. It’s open 7 days a week but closes at 2pm on Sundays. Smaller branches are located throughout the city but unfortunately few staff speak English. If you wish to send a letter, look for a sign saying znamky (postage stamps) but be prepared for international rates among the highest in Europe. For information on rates and services go to www.posta.sk/en .
Post is very reliable in Slovakia, with rectangular orange mailboxes everywhere in the city. Letters and parcels can be sent either 1st class or 2nd; it’s assumed that you want 2nd class unless you specify. There’s also an express mail service where delivery is guaranteed and the post office liable if the item is lost or damaged. Registered mail service is also available. The post office sells boxes of various sizes for mailing and parcels must be wrapped securely in white paper.
Addresses are written somewhat differently in Slovakia than you may be used to. Firstly, the name of the street or square comes before the number of the house. For example, Hviezdoslavova 15, Hlavne namestie 4, nam. Alexandra Dubceka 1 or ulica Osloboditelov 22. The Slovak name for street is ulica (short form ul. ) and the name for square is namestie (nam. ). These aren’t strictly required, so you’ll often just see Hviezdoslzvova 15, for example.
Secondly, the postcode has 5 digits (starting with 8 for Bratislava) and comes before the city name. For example:
There are a number of courier companies in Bratislava from which to choose. They all have English-speaking staff.
- Aramex (www.aramex.sk )
- Carexpress (www.carexpress.sk ) DHL International (www.dhl.sk )
- DPD (www.dpd.com )
- FedEx (www.fedex.sk )
- Go4 (www.go4.sk )
- TNT Express (www.tnt.sk )
- UPS (www.sps-sro.sk )
The Slovak Spectator is the only English-language newspaper in Slovakia, covering local news, culture and business. It can be bought at various news stands throughout the city and also in the magazine section of Tesco and Terno. It’s published weekly and can be found online at www.spectator.sme.sk .
International English-language magazines and newspapers are somewhat difficult to find but can be purchased at some news stands and bookstores. Try the Interpress shops on Panska, Sedlarska or the one inside the Radisson Carlton Hotel on Hviezdoslavovo namestie.
For English-language radio go to FM93.8 for BBC World Service (www.bbc.co.uk/slovakia ).
If you have cable or satellite TV you’ll get a variety of English-language channels, including BBC, CNN, CNBC, MTV, Sky News, HBO, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.
Below are three websites geared to the English-speaking expat community in Bratislava, providing everything from local news to restaurant reviews.
Up-to-date local news for all of central Europe.
Latest news from Slovakia.
Magazine and website covering business, real estate, culture, dining.