Slovakia lies at the heart of Europe and was part of Czechoslovakia until the “velvet divorce” in January 1993.
The first few years of independence were tough for Slovakia, but it is now widely considered as one of Europe’s biggest success stories.
It has a population of 5.5 million, with a significant Romany community. Life expectancy is 72 years for men and 80 years for women.
Slovakia joined the EU in 2004 and the eurozone in 2009 and is very open to foreign trade and investment.
Slovak food is hearty fare, with lots of meat, potatoes and cabbage, with lunch still the main meal of the day.