Čičmany in central Slovakia comes straight from the pages of a fairy-tale book. The picturesque village sits in a verdant meadow surrounded by pine forests, but this is not what makes it so delightful. What’s more striking is the way that residents have adorned their cottages with intricate designs of birds, flowers, hearts and spirals. Chalky white markings contrast against rough brown timber, which some people say resembles lacework.
Personally, the aesthetic reminds me of the witch’s gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel, except the residents are much friendlier. There is no other village like it in the rest of Slovakia.
Day Trip from Bratislava
Following a lovely weekend in the Malá Fatra mountains, my friends and I stopped at Čičmany. However, this unique village is an hour drive from Bratislava, so it’s possible to take a day trip from the city. Founded in 1977, Čičmany was the first folk architecture reserve in the world, depicting life in Slovakia many years ago. Originally, residents painted the distinctive white markings to protect the wood from the sun, but now they are a source of national pride. Slovak textiles, such as t-shirts and tablecloths, commonly depict these traditional designs. You can even buy a special edition, 2020, COVID-19 face mask printed with Čičmany patterns.
Unfortunately, the museum and souvenir shops were closed for our visit. However, we didn’t mind wandering around outside as the house exteriors are the main feature of this charming village. In addition, it was a gorgeous spring day in May, and we are just coming out of an eleven-week lockdown. Before leaving Čičmany, we had Kofola served from the window of a local restaurant (according to COVID regulations).
Slovakia: Europe’s Most Underrated Country
With only seven weeks left, I am trying to see as much of Slovakia as I can before I go. I really believe that I live in the most underrated country in Europe. If you don’t believe me, check out the video below, or visit to see some of Slovakia’s other amazing sights for yourself.