Slovakia, officially the Slovak Republic, is a country in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about 49,000 square Kilometers (19,000 sq mi). Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south. The largest city is the capital, Bratislava. Slovakia is a member of the European Union, Eurozone, Schengen Area, NATO, the United Nations, the OECD and the WTO. The official language is Slovak, a member of the Slavic language family.
Slovakia features natural landscapes, mountains, caves, medieval castles and towns, folk architecture, spas and ski resorts. More than 1.6 million people visited Slovakia in 2006, and the most attractive destinations are the capital of Bratislava and the High Tatras. Most visitors come from the Czech Republic (about 26%), Poland (15%) and Germany (11%).
Typical souvenirs from Slovakia are dolls dressed in folk costumes, ceramic objects, crystal glass, carved wooden figures, črpáks (wooden pitchers), fujaras (a folk instrument on the UNESCO list) and valaškas (a decorated folk hatchet) and above all products made from corn husks and wire, notably human figures.
Souvenirs can be bought in the shops run by the state organization ÚĽUV (Ústredie ľudovej umeleckej výroby – Center of Folk Art Production). Dielo shop chain sells works of Slovak artists and craftsmen. These shops are mostly found in towns and cities.
Prices of imported products are generally the same as in the neighboring countries, whereas prices of local products and services, especially food, are usually lower.
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