Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west and the Czech Republic to the northwest. The Danube River flows along Slovakia's Hungarian border. Bratislava, Slovakia's capital city, lies on the Danube.

 Slovakia is divided into two distinct geographic areas: the lowlands and the mountains. The lowlands in the south and east occupy less than a third of the country. The areas near the Danube river and its tributaries, including the Váh, are the most fertile lands. Farms, vineyards, orchards and pastures cover much of southern Slovakia. 

The Carpathian mountains lie to the north. The mountains are divided into three ranges by the rivers Váh and Hron. The most spectacular range is the High Tatras. The highest peak of the Tatras is Gerlachovský stít, at 2,655 metres. The western part of the Tatras is dominated by Kriván, at 2,494 metres. The Tatra Mountains are an important part of the Slovak identity. Slovakia's national anthem, "There is Lightning over the Tatras," evokes the majestic mountain range. 
  Did you know?
The hill known as Krahule near the town of Kremnica, Slovakia, is the geographic centre of Europe.
The mountainous part of Slovakia has vast forests of spruce, larch, maple, pine and oak. The forests are still largely untouched by lumbering. The area is rich in mineral resources, including iron ore, copper, silver and lignite. There are also numerous mineral springs, for example, at Piestany and Trencianske Teplice.

 Slovakia has a temperate climate. Rain falls mainly in the summer, and there are often thunderstorms. The coldest month is January with temperatures of -10°C to -15°C at night. The warmest month is July with maximum day temperatures of about 32°C. Snow covers the mountain regions for about a third of the year. The warmest regions are the South Slovakian and East Slovakian lowlands.

The largest city in the Slovak Republic is the capital, Bratislava, with a population of 450,000. Other large cities are Kosice, Presov, Banská Bystrica and Nitra.

  Did you know?
The national emblem of Slovakia is a red Gothic shield with a silver double cross mounted on the central peak of three blue mountains, which represent the three ranges of the Carpathian mountains (Tatra, Fatra, Matra).