Zilina is the fourth largest town in Slovakia.
Recently there was a large investment from Kia Motors Company in Zilina. By mid 2007, Kia expect to be producing 300 000 units per year! A large automobile factory is being built in a nearby area and a lot of Kia employees from Korea have moved to Zilina. Because of this, you can find specialized Korean food sections in some larger supermarkets and some Korean restaurants.
Direct trains from Prague, Warsaw, Moscow, and Bratislava. Trains can be caught from Bratislava main train station (Bratislava Hlavna Stanica) approximately every one to one and a half hours. The approximate fare for this trip is 10 €.
From Prague (Hlavni Nadrazi) trains run each day. The journey takes just over 5 hours, terminating at Zilina. This costs around 600 Czech Koruna.
From some towns in Czech Republic, Poland or Slovakia could be easier to catch bus than train or it adds additional connection. See (available in English also) for train and bus connections in Slovakia and countries around.
Transfers can be made from Bratislava airport on the number 61 bus (price €0.75) to Bratislava main train station (Bratislava Hlavna Stanica). After that by train to Zilina.
The centre is small enough to walk around. There is also public city transport, around 50 cents ticket.
Take a stroll in the historic centre and admire the old churches.
- From steps in front of Farsky kostel (church up from Hlinkovo namestie square) you can see beautiful mountains around - Mala Fatra.
- Zilina dam (Vodni dilo) (in east part of town). Do running, walking, inline skating, cycling, beach volleyball
- Lesopark (forestpark) Chrast (between quarters Solinky and Vlcince). Walking, running, barbeque, high-rope adventure park
- Stanica cultural node (train station Zariecie). In the building of old and still operating train station Zilina-Zariecie. Concerts, theaters, movies (often in English or with English subtitles), festivals, exhibitions, discussions, bar.
- To dance: Tanečná škola Plešinger, Závodská cesta 6, 00421 41 7003 173, 00421 903 804 051,
- Paragliding: Zilina is popular place to start with it (hill Stranik), ,
- cheese - get local cheese from cheese shops, much better and fresher than from supermarkets. E.g. Syrmix on Narodna street or Kuzmanyho Street, shops close to market
- fruit and vegetable market - during season good source of vegetable and fruits, sometime you can find here locals with only their things (not from big stores). Over corner of Kuzmanyho and Halkova street.
Cheap cheese typical for region:
- "bryndza" - soft cheese (great on fresh bread)
- "korbáčiky", "nite" - great snack
- "oštiepok" - smoked sheep cheese, similar to Polish "oscypek"
- "bryndzové halušky" - pasta dumplings with bryndza (soft sheep cheese)
- "strapačky" - pasta dumplings with saur kraut
Every restaurant has non-smoking part (by law).
During lunch most of restaurants serve 'menu' for about €3-4 (including soup).
- Slovak pub, Halkova 7 (close to market and Kuzmanyho street). Quiet place, typical Slovak dishes, good prices
- Trinity - Asian reasturant, Kuzmanyho street 100. Nice looking restaurant. They have 'menus' from 11 till 23 for about €3.50 including soup.
- Slovenska koliba, Kuzmanyho. Typical Slovak looking building with typical Slovak dishes
- Trojka restaurant, Horný val 8/17. Good place to meet, drink and have something to eat. They have also English menu card.
- Trattoria restaurant, J. Vuruma street (close to Marianske namesti square). Pork or chicken escalopes (wiener schnitzel), chicken and pasta dish, a meat and rice dish, served with potatoes and vegetable and a drink, all for a very reasonable 4 €. Pleasant little place.
- Reštaurácia Vix, Sládkovičová 3 (in the corner of square "Marianske namestie"), ☎ +421 41 562 6401, fax: +421 41 562 6431, e-mail: email@example.com. Every day 10AM-11PM. Stylish and modern. Video games, casino and billiard upstairs. 3 €-13 €.
- Voyage Voyage. Up in the second of the square is very agreeable
There are many pubs, restaurants and tearooms around town. Beer is especially cheap at just over €1 per half litre.
There are a few pubs and bars on the main square. There is an Irish bar, aptly named 'Guinness' and also a disco style bar called Royales.
Typical Slovak (and Czech) soft drink is Kofola. Kind of coke drink, not so sweet.
- Tearoom - Cajovna u dobre vily, Kuzmanyho (next to old synagoga). Very comfortable. Big choice of teas, ice creams. They have books to read, board games to play.
- Trojka pub, Horný val 8/17. Good place to meet, drink and have something to eat. They have also English menu card.
- Hotel Garni. Is a good cheap option although quite far from the train and bus stations. Private rooms with sinks for €10-€15 a night, on the 9th and 10th floors. No internet but nearby restaurant has free wifi.
- Ubytovňa Remy, Závodská cesta 3 (near roundabout called "Rondel"), ☎ +421 41 500 4200. Non-stop. One of the cheapest accommodation in Zilina. Sk 200-1000.
- The camping site Varín (11 kilometers east from Zilina towards [Terchova], road 583). Summer season from 1 May to 15 October. 2.5 € per person; 2.50 € per tent; bungalows and chalets for 4 to 5 people from €25-36..
- Ubytovňa ŽILINA - hostel, Pri Celulózke 28 (bus N° 24, 26, 31), ☎ +421 41 5254868. Free wifi, single bedroom €9.60 for one night, in more people or more nights it get cheaper. 8,-.
- Econohotel garni, V. Spanyola 43 (red building on a hill), ☎ +421 41 565 0747, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-stop. 58.5 €/71.5 €-85 €/98 €(Single/Double).
- Mountain hotel Bartoška. A mountain resort hotel with its own ski slope, jacuzzi, and sauna.
- Hotel Slovakia. A very nice ex-communist hotel with over 100 rooms, centrally located with parking.
- Penzión *** Anton, Sv. Cyrila a Metoda 830, ☎ +421 415094499, fax: +421 415094451, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: nonstop. Comfortable accommodation only 3 km from Žilina in beautiful surrounding. 27 € - 43 €/.
- Hotel Dubná Skala, Hurbanova 8, ☎ +421 41 507 9100, fax: +421 41 507 9101, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-stop. 95 €/115.5 €-119 €/152 €(Single/Double).
- Palace Hotel Polom, Hviezdoslavova 22 (next to main train station), ☎ +421 41 504 8888, fax: +421 41 504 8333, e-mail: email@example.com. Non-stop. 102 €/129 €-129 €/142 € (Single/Double).
- Tourist information office, Hlinkovo namesti square, +421 (0)41 723 31 86, till end of June: Monday-Friday 8-17, Saturday 9-12, Sunday closed, in high season Monday-Friday 8-18, Saturday-Sunday 9-14.
- on their website: practical contacts, tips for tips, prospects to download, list of cultural events, ...
- Free wifi on squares: Hlinkovo and Marianske
- Amazing photogallery of everything in Zilina including photos of hotels, shops, parks, hills, quarters, transport, schools, churches, industries, health centers.
Like any central European town, be practical. The railway station is not the greatest place to "have" to stop over in for any length of time based on experience. Suggest avoid waiting room, and stay near kiosks. Otherwise, Zilina is fine. Enjoy!
There are many great places close to Zilina.
Castles and ruins
- Budatin castle (1 km from Zilina center) - part of Zilina, just over the river Vah. Lovely park, castle currently closed. Walk there.
- Starhrad ruin (11 km) - on hill in the middle of forest with great view to river meander. Do a day trip: by train to Strecno, go to Strecno castle, cross river and go up to Starhrad and back.
- Strecno castle (11 km) - big castle just next road to Liptovský Mikuláš, paid entrance, open Mo-Su 9.00 - 18.00 (last Entrance 17.15). By train or bus to Strecno village.
- Lietava ruin (10 km)- nice looking, on the way to Rajecke Teplice
- Sulov castle ruin (28 km) - on the top of rock in Sulovske skaly (Sulov rocks)
- Hricov ruin (13 km) - nice walk from village Hričovske Podhradie
Mountains and hills
- Mala Fatra - with centre in Vratna (start of hiking tracks, lift, ski resort) and Terchova (big wooden creche in church). Possible tours:
- Janosikove horne a dolne diery: start in Stefanova
- To Chleb and walk on the mountain edge
- Sulov rocks (Sulovske skaly) - start from village Sulov-Hradna. You can do circle around and visit also Sulov castle ruin.
- Stranik - popular with paragliding, great view over Zilina, the river Vah and surrounding mountains. Take bus no. 27 to Zastranie to last stop.
- Rajecke Teplice - if you are passing this town, stop and enjoy small stroll around town and park
- Čičmany - a folk village near Žilina.
- Vlkolínec - a folk village near Ružomberok.