Exploring Vlkolinec: Slovakia UNESCO Site in Winter (Travel Tips & Guide)

by Slovakia27 comments

As I landed in Slovakia last February with the help of Daytrip, not only did we stop by the wondrous Orava Castle but we also stopped by a picturesque settlement in the country that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993: Vlkolinec!

Some fun facts about this village…

  • Vlkolinec is one of the 7 Slovak villages with folk architecture that have been granted a UNESCO status. The name somewhat means: “Wolf’s Place” but among all the other Slovak villages, Vlkolinec is the only inhabited one that is untouched by modern development.
  • Time “stands still” here given how they still preserve their crafts, houses, lifestyles, and traditions. So in other words, Vlkolinec is a medieval wooden settlement that remains to be untouched and intact as it depicts traditional features of a village in central Europe — and clearly, UNESCO highly revered that.
  • It is located in the town of Ružomberok (northern Slovakia) and it is a perfect example of the countryside architecture in this region.
  • Currently, Vlkolinec consists of 55 log houses of which 19 residents live in 6 of them (a typical log house would have 2 or 3 rooms). The rest of the structures are mostly vacation houses by citizens from all over Slovakia.
  • You will see here several preserved buildings from the 18th century: the Virgin Mary’s Visitation Church, a wooden belfry, a rustic well, the Padre Horsky Gallery (has historical photographs), and the ‘Peasant House’ (which exhibits original living).
  • I visited here during winter but it’s great to visit during summer too! If you do, come over by the end of July to witness “Sunday in Vlkolinec” — a cultural event where cultural performances are done.

Vlkolinec in Winter

Vlkolinec Winter
Vlkolinec Slovakia
Log Houses
Wooden Village

Vlkolinec Travel Guide

» How to get to Vlkolinec?

By car. Vlkolinec can actually be only reached by car. The village is small and though you can’t drive ‘through’ it, you can easily walk around due to its size. (Parking is situated at the entrance of the village). If you need a car, do it as I did: hire a car and a local guide with Daytrip! Come read the article below to find out how it works.

» READ: On the Road: Discover Europe’s Hidden Gems with Daytrip!

By bus. There are several buses that can lead you to Ruzemberok (where Vlkolinec is in). Check out Rome2Rio for more detailed information on this.

» Any fees for entering Vlkolinec?

Parking. 1 EUR for 1 hour.
Tourist Guides. (For local guides) 5 EUR for 1 hour / (For professional guides in certain languages: made to order) 10 EUR for 1 hour.
On Exhibitions. 2 EUR for adults and 1 EUR for children and disabled persons.
Opening times and hours for offices and shops. See this page.

» Helpful Slovak phrases

  • Hello: Dobrý deň. (DOH-bree deñ)
  • Thank you: Ďakujem (JAH-koo-yehm)
  • Yes: Áno (AAH-noh) or  Hej (HAY) [informal]
  • No: Nie (NYEE_eh)
  • Goodbye: Do videnia (doh VEE-deh-nyah)
  • Excuse me / I’m sorry: Prepáčte (PREH-paach-tyeh)
  • Is there someone here who speaks English?: Hovorí (tu) niekto po anglicky?(HOH-voh-ree (too) nyiehk-toh poh AHN-glits-kih?)
  • Help!: Pomoc! (POH-mohts!)
  • Cheers!: Na zdravie! (Naz-drah-vee-ay!)

– – –

When you’re in Slovakia or somewhere nearby, I definitely recommend making a stopover into this wonderful settlement. It’s small but it packs a lot of charm and history!

Besides, it’s been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason — a reason that’s good enough to make you take the time to explore Vlkolinec.

• • •

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  1. Jožko

    Slovakia… BEAUTIFUL! My father is Slovak, and his family is from Košice and SOMEDAY I would like to get there

  2. Mary

    My family visited Vlkolinec around2000 as my family is Slovak and my Grandfather came from Vlkolinec. He came to the US in 1905. It was wonderful to see my Mom chatting with a 95 yo woman who lived there. She spoke of her experiences during WW 2 and what it was like living there. Something my family will never forget. A wonderful experience.

  3. Aina

    Hello Aileen! I’m from PH and I just found your blog today. I also did what you did going to Vlkolinec! :) my family and I used Daytrip for 3x in the span of 2 wks. We were in Krakow going back to Budapest and we had a quick stop over in this charming small village! We immediately fell in love with the place, most especially the magnificent view of the mountains. We also had a quick stop over to Bratislava (also highly recommended) from Budapest going to Vienna. Next time we would definitely stay longer :) thanks for sharing your winter photos. enjoy your travels!

    • Aileen

      Oh wow, I’m happy to hear that you had a great time with Daytrip too! You just made me remember how I missed Europe haha.

      Thanks for sharing your experience! Enjoy your travels too, Aina!

  4. Ruby @ A Journey We Love


    Like you, I come from the Philippines and well, my fiance (soon-to-be-husband) is Slovak, and so Slovakia became my third home!
    We’ve both never been to Vlkonilec (yes, even the Slovak hubby) but we definitely want to go. Slovakia has a TON of amazing places to see & do, and people just don’t take the time to go there.

    A few reasons:
    1. It’s cheaper than mainland Europe
    2. The beauty is astounding – both Bratislava & the countryside

    • Aileen

      Oooh you’re very lucky then that you’re in a country that’s absolutely beautiful! I’m glad to give you and your hubby a reminder now to check out Vlkolinec ;)


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