Slovakia marks the arrival of missionaries Cyril and Methodius on July 5 with a state holiday. This year it falls on a Friday, which means a long weekend for many.
Here is an overview of the best events held this weekend and across July around Slovakia:
- FOLK: Východná Folk Festival, July 4-7, amphitheatre, Východná
- CELEBRATIONS: Nitra, Dear Nitra, July 5-7, Svätoplukovo & Pribinovo Square, Nitra
- WINE: Wine & Lavender, July 6, Stará hora, Pezinok
- FESTIVAL: Pohoda Festival, July 11-13, airport, Trenčín
- CONCERT: ZOHRA of Afghanistan, July 12 & 15, cultural centre & evangelical church, Trnava & Modra
- PILGRIMAGE: Camingo de Santiago, July 15-25, Hronský Beňadik-Nitra-Trnava-Bratislava
- FESTIVAL: Sun Dance Festival, July 19-20, Zemplínska Šírava-Lúč, Michalovce
- LGBT: Rainbow PRIDE, July 20, Hviezdoslavovo Square, Bratislava
- CONCERT: Limp Bizkit, July 21 & 23, amphitheatres, Sereď & Košice
- SPORT: FA Donovaly Night Run, July 27, central parking by the main road, Donovaly
1) VÝCHODNÁ FOLK FESTIVAL
The oldest Slovak festival, which celebrates 65 years this year, has hosted about 1,400 performers to date. It takes place in the picturesque village of Východná, central Slovakia, surrounded by the Low and High Tatras. Apart from many folk music acts, visitors can look forward to artisans showing and selling their handiwork. Východná is undoubtedly the right place to get to know traditional Slovak folklore. Click here to find out more. It is even in English!
Place: Východná (near Liptovský Mikuláš)
Date: July 4-7
Time: different hours (See the programme here.)
Admission: €10 (discounted) and €13 (full) if bought online; €12 (discounted) and €15 (full) on site
2) Nitra, Dear Nitra
A three-day festival dedicated to the missionaries and brothers Cyril and Methodius, who created the Glagolitic alphabet for the Slavs in the ninth century, as well as to the Prince of Pribina, who was the first ruler on the territory of Slovakia, based at the castle in Nitra. His principality was later replaced with Great Moravia. On this occasion, several free-of-charge events take place in early July in Nitra to celebrate these men. Here is the list of the most intriguing ones:
July 5, Svätoplukovo Square, Nitra
- CYRIL-METHODIUS NATIONAL PILGRIMAGE (10:00) – Mass on the square
- GREAT MORAVIAN CLOCK (21:30) – an audio-visual projection of the history of Great Moravia
- Market and beer garden (all day) on Nitra's Pribinovo Square
July 5-6, Nitra Castle, Nitra
- PRIBINOVA NITRAWA (from late morning until the evening) – a medieval festival full of concerts, fire-shows, and battles held to welcome back Pribina
- Market and beer garden (all day) on Pribinovo Square
July 7, the vicinity of Nitra
- CYRIL-METHODIUS PILGRIMAGE (all day) from Dražovce Church via Zobor Monastery to the Martinský vrch archaeological park
- Market and beer garden (all day) on Pribinovo Square
3) Wine & Lavender
Winemakers and vine dressers in Pezinok invite all wine lovers to the outskirts of this wine-making mecca in Slovakia every year. The open-air event, Wine & Lavender, is held on the vineyard hill, Stará hora. A total of 30 winemakers present their wines, and visitors can enjoy a walk in lavender gardens hidden in Pezinok vineyards. Creative workshops, traditional food and a beautiful view of the city up from the hill are waiting for every visitor.
Venue: Stará hora
Date: July 6
Time: 15:00 - 23:00
Admission: €15 (including 30 wine-tasting tickets, glass, map, entry to the garden). Tickets can be bought here.
A taste of what the event is about (00:00 - 00:45):
4) Pohoda Festival
The biggest music festival in Slovakia, Pohoda, will hold its 23rd edition in 2019. It started as a small festival on a football pitch and has since grown into the festival where Beyoncé's sister played. The 1975 and Liam Gallagher are just some of the big names headlining the festival this year. Apart from music, you can enjoy theatre, visual arts, discussions and other attractions at Pohoda. There are 2,000 tickets left. Hurry up so you don't miss out!
Date: July 11-13
Time: all day
Zohra is a goddess of music in Persian literature. It is also the name of the very first Women's Orchestra in Afghanistan, made up of 30 young girls. Music of any kind was outlawed for over 30 years. They face a number of threats in their home country, but they closed the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The ensemble was founded by Dr Ahmed Sarmast, but it is conducted by the first female Afghan conductors Negin Khpalwak and Zarifa Adib. Despite all odds in Afghanistan, they have been praised around the world since their Davos performance.
Place: Modra & Trnava
Venue: German evangelical church (Modra) & Small Berlin (Trnava)
Date: July 12 (Trnava) & July 15 (Modra)
Time: 20:00 (Trnava) & 19:00 (Modra)
6) CAMINO DE SANTIAGO IN SLOVAKIA
The ancient Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St James, is a wide network of pilgrimage routes around Europe that come together at St James' tomb in Santiago de Compostela in the north-west of Spain. On the occasion of the opening of the Trnava – Bratislava stretch of the Camino de Santiago, pilgrimage fans can pilgrim from Hronský Beňadik in the south of Slovakia through several villages, Nitra, Trnava, and finish the pilgrimage in Bratislava, where a pilgrim's mass will be held at St Martin Cathedral on July 25. The pilgrimage continues the next day to Vienna.
Place: western Slovakia
Date: July 15-25
The preliminary itinerary looks as follows, but might still be subject to some adjustments.
7) SUN DANCE FESTIVAL
Electronic music fans may appreciate this two-day festival, held by the vast Zemplínska Šírava reservoir in eastern Slovakia. CID (USA) and OFFAIAH (USA) are the biggest stars coming to this Slovak summer resort, but 40 DJs are promised to be playing on four stages. How about enjoying DJs and a boat trip up and down Zemplínska Šírava? Sun Dance is the only festival to give you this opportunity by combining both things into one. Tickets of €28 for a party boat and festival can be purchased here.
Venue: Zemplínska Šírava - Lúč
Date: July 19-20
Time: from 17:00 on the opening day
Admission: €12 (normal) and €20 (VIP) - without party boats. Tickets can be purchased here.
8) Rainbow PRIDE
The ninth edition of Slovakia's colourful festival stresses people are equal regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. In the week when the festival takes place, several events of different kinds are to take place. Follow @DuhovyPRIDE on Facebook for more details as the programme has not been disclosed yet. What is known for now, though, is the official party will be held in three Bratislava clubs – Ixel, Bohéma and Fuga- after the march. More information here.
Venue: Hviezdoslavovo Square
Date: July 20
Time: 15:00 - 20:00
9) LIMP BIZKIT
Many in Slovakia know this Florida-based rap/rock band for their cover of The Who's Behind Blue Eyes from 2003. Yet, their biggest hit remains to be Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle). The band is working on their sixth studio album, Stampede of the Disco Elephants. Simultaneously, they are playing gigs around the world, also having two stops in Slovakia.
Place: Sereď & Košice
Date: July 21 (Košice) & July 23 (Sereď)
Time: 19:00 (Košice) & 20:00 (Sereď)
Admission: €29 (Košice) & €45 (Sereď). Tickes can be purchased here.
10) FA DONOVALY NIGHT RUN
Runners who enjoy running at night should not miss out on another night run in Slovakia. This time, runners will meet in the village of Donovaly, central Slovakia. They can show off their running skills on the 5-km and 10-km tracks. Registration is required, so click here if you want to run. Although the run is scheduled for nighttime, several events will be going on during the day in support of the event. Children can also take part, but their run is scheduled for July 26, the day before. See the maps here.
Venue: central parking by the main road
Date: July 26 (children) & 27 (adults)
Time: 18:00 - 22:00; runs are scheduled for 19:45 (10km) & 20:00 (5km)
Admission: free unless you run. The registration fee is €15, and runners can register on site, as well.
That's it for the top events of July. Enjoy any of the events you decide to go to!