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 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.
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!)
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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.