my experience as a black woman travelling Slovakia. Also intended for black people living in Slovakia.

Being a black person in Slovakia – A black traveler’s experience

Before I get into what it’s like being a black person traveling in Slovakia, I should let you know that this post is actually part of a longer post on my blog called Being a Black Traveler in Eastern Europe and Slavic Europe by country.

That is why this summary of my experience as a black traveler in Slovakia is not so long. So check out the whole  Eastern Europe post when you are done.

Disclaimer 1: I am a tall, thin, American girl who wears a lot of make-up and cute dresses. I am sure that being an “exotic” girl in the Slavic world contributes to my mostly positive experience, and a lot of my black female friends have had similar experiences. Although, being an “exotic” girl can often be exhausting and uncomfortable around immature people with little diverse life experiences, but for the most part, it is positive. So as you read my experiences, keep in mind that my gender and my nationality, I am sure, can sometimes play a part in how I am treated.

Disclaimer 2: Let me also say immediately, I have seen no racism in Eastern Europe towards myself or other black people I am friends with or simply know of–whether they’re light skinned, dark skinned, African expats or tourists,  or black expats or tourists from Western countries.

Racism particularly is a learned behavior passed down from generations of families in western countries where there are generations of black citizens to practice racism, discrimination and segregation on. Eastern Europeans haven’t had centuries to develop these institutionalized and social habits. So while of course, yes, you may hear the odd story or two of one bad apple being racially inappropriate…. Compared to the thousands and thousands of horrendous incidences, crimes, police brutalities, corruption and horror stories coming from USA and Britain–Eastern Europe is as harmless as a fly. Please remember that.

 Okay, so what is it like being a black girl traveling in Slovakia?

I was surprised to find that in the capital Bratislava, I did not incur a lot of staring compared to the Balkan countries. And maybe that’s just it. Slovakia is in close proximity to tourist targets like Prague and Vienna, so maybe more tourists pass through Slovakia than they do the southeastern Europe countries. 

Perhaps for Slovakians, seeing a black person isn’t such an event. In a one hour window on the morning that I left, I saw a total of three black people. That usually doesn’t happen in my Eastern Europe travels. And no offense to Slovakia, but it isn’t exactly a hot tourist destination like Croatia or Czech Republic or Poland. So to see three black people in an hour was surprising.

So besides a few stares here and there, I mostly didn’t feel stared at too much. Although, I did go out one night and I felt like because I was wearing a more revealing outfit, I received more stares. Also, two guys tried to take a selfie with me. But during the day, the attention was very mild.

Click here to go back to my series on being a black traveler in Eastern Europe and slavic countries. 

black person travel guideAre you a black woman interested in living in an Eastern European country, or any foreign country really, but worried about logistics such as getting your hair done, finding your favorite make-up products, culturally awkward dating, etc.? Check out my Black Girl Traveler Survival Guide if you are interested to know how I work around living in a country that doesn’t have all the comforts of home for black women.