Motorways in Slovakia
Anyone who has heard the term "Diaľnice" has probably already been on Slovakia’s motorways. Literally translated, it means "long-distance roads", and it represents all of the motorways in the country. This is not a series of different roads but a total of only four routes.
Anyone travelling to the Slovak Republic as a holidaymaker is very likely to find themselves on one of these four highways. After all, they are what connect the country with its surrounding countries.
One of the highways in Slovakia leads directly around the capital city of Bratislava and three others are located in different parts of the country. In this article, we describe the Slovakian motorway network in detail to prepare holidaymakers for what to expect when they arrive.
Overview of motorways in Slovakia
The motorways in Slovakia that you can currently drive on amount to over 500 kilometres. Since some of them are still under construction, it is not possible to determine a concrete total length for the time being.
The expressways, which in most cases can be reached directly from the motorways, are more than 300 kilometres long. Based on this information, one can assume that the Slovakian road network is well-developed. The motorways run in almost all parts of the country, while the expressways are mostly found in the south.
Regarding both—the motorways and expressways—as a holidaymaker, you should know that they are subject to tolls. Depending on whether you are travelling privately by car or on business by truck, you will have to buy a digital vignette for Slovakia or pay the tolls to use the roads.Purchase a vignette for Slovakia
In the following sections, we will present all of the important information on the network of motorways in Slovakia.
D1 - the most important connecting road
The D1 is the "main motorway" in Slovakia. This is not only due to its length, which currently extends to about 400 kilometres, but also to the various Slovakian cities that it connects.
The motorway starts in the capital city of Bratislava, then runs through cities such as Trnava, Prešov and Košice, and finally ends in the municipality of Záhor. Bratislava is located in the west, Záhor in the east, so based on these locations, you can see that the motorway almost runs through the entire country.
Two of the D1’s important junctions should be noted: the D2 and the D3.
D2 - from the Czech Republic to Hungary
The D2 motorway starts in the municipality of Brodské, which is at the border crossing with the Czech Republic. It then leads to Malacky and finally to Bratislava. The capital is also the place where the D2 meets the D1. The motorway ends in the town of Čunovo. Thus, its extensions are also near two border crossings, namely Hungary and Austria.
The D2 is of particular importance for those travelling from Prague to Budapest via Bratislava. It connects the main cities of the three countries and is a way for travellers to get from the Czech Republic to Hungary quickly. However, one should not forget that in order to travel on the D2, one must purchase a vignette for Slovakia.
D3 – onwards to Poland
The D2 motorway, which connects several countries in Europe, was presented earlier. The D3 also leads from the north of Slovakia to a neighbouring country: Poland. The motorway starts in the municipality of Hričovské Podhradie, then leads to the industrial city of Žilina, and then on to the municipality of Skalité, which is located near the border triangle between the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia.
Reaching a length of approximately 66 kilometres, it is significantly shorter than the other motorways. Nevertheless, it also represents an important connecting road in the country.
D4 - the ring around the capital
The D4 motorway stands out the most from the other roads because of its route. If you want to get to Bratislava, you will most likely have to buy a vignette to do so because the D4 is difficult to bypass.
The road runs in a circle from Jarovce on the Austrian border to Devínska Nová Ves, a district in the northwest of Bratislava. It is often referred to as a ring motorway. Longer sections of the D4 are currently still in the planning stages.
Expressways that are in operation
Since the toll on highways in Slovakia is not only charged on motorways but also on expressways, we will explore this route network in more detail. There are eight expressways in total, of which only the following routes are currently in operation.
The R1 runs from the city of Trnava, which is located to the northeast of Bratislava, via Banská Bystrica to Ružomberok. There, it meets the D1 motorway. Considering only the section that is in operation, the R1 is the longest expressway in the country.
In the future, travellers on the R2 will be able to reach the east of the country from the west. Once completed, the expressway will be more than 330 kilometres long. Currently, only about 60 kilometres can be used. The road is planned to run from Trenčín to Košice.
In the future, anyone travelling from Poland or Hungary to Slovakia will most likely end up on the R3. So far, only part of the route has been in operation. After the expressway has been expanded, the R3 will run from Trstená in the north to Šahy in the south.
Entering Slovakia via Hungary is, for example, possible via the town of Milhosť, which is located directly on the R4. The expressway then continues to Košice, where the R2 can also be found. Once the road has been upgraded, it will run all the way to the village of Vyšný Komárnik in the northeast of the country.
So far, only about 7 kilometres of the R6 exist. The rest, which is to make the 30-kilometre expressway complete, is still missing. As soon as the section is completed, a border crossing will be included there as well. The road will then run from the border of the Czech Republic to Beluša in the northwest.
Even though only about 30 kilometres of the R7 are in operation so far, it is also included in the toll system. The section starting from Bratislava can already be used. In the future, the expressway will lead drivers on their holidays to Lučenec.
Obligation to have a vignette on Slovakian roads
Basically, the e-vignette and toll are compulsory on the motorways and expressways in Slovakia. Today, the motorway vignette is no longer available as a sticker. The process is all handled digitally for the roads described above.
When choosing an e-vignette, one must pay attention not only to the validity period (daily, monthly, or yearly vignette) but also to the type of vehicle. For motorcycles, motor vehicles, or motor homes over 3.5 t, different regulations apply in each case during registration. Vehicles with trailers must also make sure they have a vignette as they are subject to checks on Slovakian roads.
Drivers who travel by car and know the local road system will also understand on which sections of the road it is compulsory to have an e-vignette. Therefore, nothing can go wrong when driving on the country's motorways in the future.Purchase a vignette for Slovakia