Trains in the Slovak Republic are a safe and comfortable way of travel. There are several different types of trains:
|Os||Passenger train ("osobný vak")|
|Zr||Semi-fast train (“zrýchlený vlak”)|
|R||Fast train (“rýchlik”)|
The websites of the Slovak Railways provide information on-time schedule, prices, duration and whether you have to switch the trains at any point.
The websites www.cp-online.sk provide a complex travel itinerary. Here you can choose the means of public transport (bus, train, local public transport), but also search for the optimal combination of them to find the shortest journey.
Tickets can be bought at the train station ticket offices or at some train stations in ticket machines. If applicable, the teller may ask what type of train you would prefer (see the table above). To guarantee a seat, it is possible to buy a seat reservation (“miestenka”), since the trains may be crowded, especially on Fridays and Sundays, when students travel to and from schools.
International trains run several times a day from several train stations in the country. In most of them, a seat reservation is mandatory. For some trains, it is also possible to buy a ticket online.
Children aged under 15, students under 26, pensioners receiving social security income under 62, as well as seniors over 62 years of age with EU/EEA citizenship or residence are entitled to zero-fare transport services. Eligible passengers are required to register at the Slovak Railways cash desks or via the internet. Upon registration, they will obtain their rail customer cards that will allow them to travel for free. Students from the countries outside the EU/EEA can also get a zero-fare ticket once they have submitted the confirmation of enrolment for the current academic year at an HEI in Slovakia together with an official translation to the Slovak language and their ID card or passport. Zero fare tickets are passenger specific and apply to the trains of all categories operated by the Slovak Railways (apart from IC and private trains, e.g. Regiojet). Eligible passengers are required to secure a one time zero fare ticket for each journey. For Eurocity train transit there is a surcharge of 1 € and when travelling abroad the zero-fare transport is available only to the last train station on the territory of the Slovak Republic before crossing a border. To find out more, visit the web page of the Slovak Railways.