Two decades after the break-up of Czechoslovakia, Slovakia is building a future as an independent state. This beautiful country is home to an astonishing amount of castles. At the last count, there were 180 castles and 425 chateaus. The capital’s Bratislava Castle remains the most popular, Bojnice and Orava are also home to some of the most visited. Natural features are also abundant, in the form of over 6,000 caves, which can be found in the national parks of Slovak Paradise, Low Tatras, and Slovak Karst. If natural wonders are your thing, the mountains of High Tatras have peaks taller than 2,500m and glacier lakes which formed thousands of years ago. If you want to explore further afield, Slovakia’s train network is free to use for many people. Children, students under the age of 26, widowed or disabled people and anyone receiving a pension or older than 62 can travel for free, as long as they’re a member of an EU country. Just register with a cashier to get your card.