Slovakia is a popular European destination for visitors interested in boosting their health and mental wellbeing. The Northern part of the region (area around Liptovský Mikuláš and the High Tatras ) are known from the clean air, curative waters and thermal pools, all in the beautiful natural surrounding in the proximity of the mountains.
The wellness activities in Slovakia allow to rest from the daily life pressures, spend some time in nature, regenerate and also ensure plenty of fun for children.
Slovakian spas are a very interesting alternative to their neighbouring competitors in Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Slovakia is a good choice if you want to combine your wellness package with active holidays: hiking, winter sports, cyclotourism – all accessible during one week stay. The country (and obviously the area with spas and pool facilities) is relatively small. A short drive can easily bring you to the next attraction.
If you’re curious what can you do in the Tatra mountains except of thermal baths, check out this post for comprehensive information.
Thermal baths are healthy and fun option for solo travellers, couples, friends and families with children.
In this post I would like to focus on reviewing two most popular Slovakian thermal pool complexes: Tatralandia and Besenova. Hopefully, the comparison provided below will help you to choose the one which suits your needs best.
Taralandia and Besenova – things in common:
- Both complexes are relatively big, busy and commercial, offering many attractions for children and adults. If you search for quieter spaces, go for smaller and less known facilities, there is plenty of more cameral options in Slovakia.
- The price of ticket for one day entrance is the same for Besenova and Tatralandia. To save few euros I suggest to make your booking few days in advance using Gopass app. The application allows to purchase a bit cheaper many other attractions in Slovakia so I recommend checking it out when planning your trip.
- Both baths are close to Liptovský Mikuláš. If you want to try both complexes you can easily arrange it even if you come only for the weekend. I recommend booking two separate days (since the entrance ticket is for a whole day).
- Both facilities have a restaurant, bar, food stands, interior and outdoor pools (some of them are open all year round) as well as water amusement park (open during warm months). You don’t need to bring your own food and drinks but it’s not forbidden neither so if you are on a budget you can enter with your own snacks.
- There is a small shop with swimming accessories in both complexes so if you forget something, you can buy it there.
- The public transport to the two facilities is a bit limited. The best place to stay if you’re without car to access both complexes is Liptovský Mikuláš. It’s easy to get here by direct train from Bratislava, Poprad and Kosice – major Slovakian towns. You can also get here by train (but with changes) from Czech Republic and Poland. From Liptovský Mikuláš to Tatralandia it’s best to take a local bus from the bus station, it stops just in front of Tatralandia. I found the schedule quite impractical for the return in the evening but there is a taxi service operating there and the price is not very elevated. Ask Tatralandia staff members at the exit to give you a phone number for a taxi. To reach Besenova it’s best to take a train from Liptovský Mikuláš to Liptovská Teplá (cheap local train) which runs quite frequently also in the evening and then walk around 20 minutes to get to Besenova.
- In both complexes you get a wrist band with which your order food and extra treatments/access to special facilities (massages/spa treatments/water sliding). You pay for all services purchased at the end of the day at the exit when depositing the wrist band. You can pay by card or cash.
Differences – Tarlandia vs Besenova:
- Tatralandia interiors are more on the fun side, the indoor area looks like a tropical island, there is plenty of lush green tropical plants and even some artificial boat around on which you can climb and observe the complex from above. Besenova interior is less fancy, with a classic design.
The tropical vibe of Tatralandia.Besenova’s simple design. If you search for tranquility, without much stimulation of sounds, colours and decorations, then Besenova is a good choice.
- The interiors are hotter and more humid in Tatralandia than in Besenova which even more makes you feel as you’re on a tropical island.
- Besenova pool complex is slightly bigger than in Tatralandia.
- Tatralandia and Besenova have different attractions in the indoor area. In Tatralandia some of the indoor pools are filled with salty water which I find a very nice feature. There is also a bigger space with the water massages but the area is quite crowded and you need to wait to take your seat. An interesting addition is a bar which is inside of the pool. You can order your drink and sip it directly in the water or even in the water massage area. Besenova has bigger indoor pools area but no indoor bar in the pool and no salty water pool. However, I think that the atmosphere is a bit calmer and less busy in Besenova whereas Tatralandia is more lively.
- Both baths are great places to enjoy for families with children, although the facilities slightly differ. Both complexes have shallow separate pools for children but in Besenova they have slightly bigger and more separated indoor pools area which offer activities mostly for children. This means that in Besenova there is more division into adult space and for the families which make the complex more organized and allowing more tranquil and relaxing atmosphere for those without children as well as vibrant and lively area for visitors with kids. In Tatralandia the areas are more mixed, and the indoor area is definitely louder and more vibrant.
- But what if you’re a sociable single young adult or coming with friends? I’d say that then Tatralandia is a better choice. The area around pub in the indoor pools is very vibrant and with music and it encourages social interactions. Also if you come with older children/teenagers in the outdoor pools area you can play water sports which makes Tatralandia a bit more attractive for groups of young people. Besenova seemed to me a more cameral and calmer place a bit more suitable for couples and young families and older people.
- The outdoors area also differ in both complexes. In Tatralandia you get to the outdoor pools through the special arm without need to get out of the water whereas in Besenova you need to cross few meters on your own. The latter can be slightly less pleasant in the winter, even if I liked the changes of temperatures.
- Besenova has bigger outdoor pools with two 40 degrees pools, one small and one big. In Tatralandia you have one small 40 degree pool.
In Tatralandia, water of outdoor pools is transparent (but you won’t have the minerals getting absorbed by your skin).
Properties of thermal water in Besenova.
- In both complexes you also have 30 degrees pools which are perfect for swimming. In Besenova there is bigger space for swimmers whereas in Tatralandia colder pools are filled with people playing water volleyball or just hang around. The choice of the complex depends again in which activities you’re more interested in, Tatralandia outdoor pools are more lively whereas Besenova’s calmer and more cameral.
- Besenova has an outdoor bar in the pool (Tatralandia has it indoors). The vibe of two bars differed slightly, I preferred slightly the bar in Besenova since I could sip my drink surrounded by nature.
- Both complexes offer accommodation with the access to the pools included in reservation. I saw Besenova hotel facilities just surrounding the pools whereas I didn’t see the housing facilities in Tatralandia so they are probably a bit more separated.
I have visited both Tatralandia and Besenova in the winter so the amusement water parks were closed in both complexes. The indoor pools were all functioning and most of the outdoor pools also worked so I didn’t feel I’m missing some nice baths because of winter season.
I liked both complexes, and I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them when choosing one over another. If you can, try to visit both, the baths are super relaxing. Having said that though, I’d say that Besenova is a bit more relaxing and cameral whereas Tatralandia is more lively. Personally, I’d like to come back to Slovakia to do more of thermal baths, trying also less commercial and smaller facilities for more cameral experience. However, I’d gladly come back to Tatralandia or Besenova too. Hope this guide will help you to make your decision!