Slovakia has one of the highest numbers of castles per capita in the world, despite its compact size. While many lie in ruins as the result of war, occupation and revolution, a handful have been restored to their former glory. Tie the knot inside one of these majestic Slovakia castles, from Bratislava to Zvolen, perfect for a fairytale destination wedding.
Imagine riding on a stately horse to greet your guests on your wedding day and exchanging your vows in the 16th-century onsite church. All this can become a reality at the grand Château Béla, which is regularly recognised as one of the most romantic hotels by the Heritage Hotels of Europe association. Dine under the gilded, chandelier-decked dining room with wine from the hotel vineyard. Spend your first night as a married couple in the Honeymoon Suite overlooking the rolling estate grounds.
Love history? Walk down the aisle in a castle dating back to the Middle Ages. Choose between the gothic chapel for a religious ceremony or say “I do” in the large Knight’s Hall, adorned with armour and weaponry from the past. The reception can be held either in the romantic atmosphere of Restaurant AnjouCourt or in the modern Congress hall of King Sigismund of Luxembourg, primed for dancing ‘til dawn.
Once the home of the Hungarian noble Apponyi family, this grand mansion is now an elegant four-star hotel. Hold the ceremony under the ancient trees on the grounds or celebrate the big day in the chandelier-decked Wedding Hall. Alternatively, hold an intimate affair in the Carriage House which comes with a cosy fireplace for those cold winter nights. Either way, Chateau Appony will feel like your own private country manor for the weekend.
Family-run Hotel Bojnicky Vinny Dom is a great place to stay while hosting your wedding at nearby Bojnice Castle. With its teal turrets and whitewashed walls, it looks like a castle from a children’s storybook. Feel like royalty dining under the gilded angel ceiling of the Golden Hall and take those all-important wedding photos by the moat. Afterwards, retreat back to the wedding suite at Hotel Bojnický Vinny Dom – it boasts a postcard view of the fortress through the sash windows.
Book the Belassi Hotel as your place to stay while celebrating your nuptials at nearby Bojnice Castle. Reserve rooms for the whole family and tuck into a hearty breakfast together after the big day (it’s included in the nightly fee). Alternatively, if you are after an informal wedding but still with the fairytale backdrop, tie the knot in the landscaped garden of the hotel itself.
Wed your sweetheart inside the 700-year-old Červený Kameň castle in the heart of the Carpathian mountains. The elegant ceremonial halls are decked out with renaissance architecture and period furnishings for a truly traditional gathering. Stay at nearby Hotel Zochova Chata, a contemporary four-star hotel that boasts an indoor pool and luxury spa. During the summer, hike the nearby trails. Come winter, watch the snow fall as you soak in the outdoor hot tub and sauna.
The historic Hotel Elizabeth Trencin sits right at the foot of Trencin Castle, one of the most idyllic wedding venues in western Slovakia. Say your vows surrounded by ancient tapestries and armoury in the stone-walled Dela Bastion, then continue the party in art nouveau luxury at the hotel. Dine on artfully plated cuisine served in the Elizabeth Restaurant before hot-footing to the dancefloor, surrounded by your nearest and dearest.
Palace Art Hotel is in Chateau Pezinok, a castle with 800 years of history within easy reach of the capital Bratislava, overlooking the town of Pezinok. The St. Francis of Assisi Chapel in the castle can be prepared for both religious and civil ceremonies, or exchange vows in the castle courtyard if you have a particularly large guest list. Sip champagne and feast on the wedding breakfast in the fairytale Knight’s Hall, complete with floor-to-ceiling sash windows and an embossed ceiling.
This is a rewrite of an article originally by Taylor Geiger.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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