Bratislava Europe Expat Featured Tourist Attraction Tradition

Čičmany: Slovakia’s Charming Gingerbread Houses

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.

Čičmany House 1

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.

Čičmany house 2

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.

Do you enjoy visiting unique villages and open-air museums like Čičmany?

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19 Comments

  1. Jenn says:

    These are so charming! What a great day trip!

    1. I love places you can visit quickly, especially now when travel is limited.

  2. says:

    Awww these are so cute! Thank you for this interesting article. Something I never would have known about!

    1. Aren’t they just adorable?!

  3. Always wanted to visit Slovakia. Great photos.

    1. Please come and visit, it’s lovely here!

  4. says:

    What a unique design. Can you imagine what a fun job it would be to have to decorate those houses? It’s looks like something out of a Disney movie.
    Jay Artale recently posted..Getting to know Kalymnos BeachesMy Profile

    1. I would like to have a go at sketching some designs on the houses! My partner and I are looking at getting a summer house this year and I am trying to persuade him to decorate it with designs like these!

  5. How adorable are these?! Slovakia is certainly underrated, but I would like to visit it for that exact reason. Those hidden gems are always hiding from the majorities

    1. Bratislava gets thousands of tourists, but most don’t leave the city. The countryside is so gorgeous!

  6. says:

    Love the wood construction! Reminds me of our favourite village in northern Italy. But this village definitely takes the creativity award for adorable exterior art!

    1. What is the village in Italy? I’d love to see more traditional villages like this.

  7. Sarah says:

    Wow, this looks so cool. Love discovering quirky places like this. Adding this to my list as when the airport opens here, Slovakia is supposed to be part of Malta’s travel bubble. It does look very Hansel and Gretel indeed.

    1. Thankfully, the inhabitants of the village seemed more friendly than the witch in the fairy tale 🙂

  8. says:

    Slovakia sounds so fascinating, and I really love these gingerbread houses. I’m always intrigued to find things really local and unique when I travel, and this certainlly qualifies.

    1. I haven’t seen anything like this anywhere else, so they are certainly unique.

  9. says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I am from Bratislava and I need to revisit this lovely village.

    1. I have been so happy living in Bratislava – your hometown is so lovely.

  10. Wow! These houses look great!

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