Dr. Branio is a gem
By: Janet & Faye Christiansen
My daughter and I visited Markušovce, Slovakia, the village where my mother was born 98 years ago. Branio spent one (long) day helping us to get information, meet relatives, and even found us a lovely place to stay! Branio did his homework, and ours, and had a great day planned for us at the church, meeting with the priest, at the town hall, and visiting relatives. He sent us additional genealogical information he had researched prior to our meeting. He was prompt, organized, polite, fun, interested and interesting. We hit the jackpot with Branio as our guide. He is a pro.
We flew to Slovakia to see where my ancestors were from and to learn about them. Not knowing a lick of Slovak nor where to go for information, we thought we'd better find a guide. We were fortunate enough to find Branio. We didn't know what to expect having a guide as we'd never done this before! But Branio was amazing. He was knowledgeable, kind, helpful, and seemed truly to enjoy his work. We were both very impressed. Not only did he help us find valuable information about our family (and current family members in Slovakia, which was such a treat), but he was also very pleasant and fun to spend the day with. 10/10 Thank you Branio!
Excellent tour experience
By: Mary Anne Cola
My husband and I recently returned from a trip to Slovakia. We were lucky enough to spend two days with Branio. He was assigned as our tour guide/translator through an agency. Although a different tour had been previously arranged, Branio was willing to change the itinerary to help us find a relative. Although I knew only my relative's name, and the city where he lived and worked, Branio was not daunted by the challenge. With only 3 phone calls over 30 minutes, Branio found my relative and arranged for us to meet that afternoon.Unbelievable! Branio accompanied us and served as translator during a very enjoyable visit. Branio also took us on an impromptu tour of Humenne, my maternal grandparents' town, and Prešov. I cannot speak highly enough of Branio. In addition to being very flexible and accommodating with our plans, he was extremely knowledgable and professional. He thoroughly answered all our questions and offered his own insights and stories. His English is excellent! We thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent with him. We plan to return to Slovakia and will definitely work with Branio again. I would give him the highest recommendation possible. Thank you, Branio!!
Thank you for showing us your beautiful country
By: The Elsner family
My 83-year-old mother took her four, 50-something children back to her parents' village in Slovakia. We were lucky to be assigned Branio as our tour guide, driver & translator. He was professional, knowledgeable, friendly & flexible. He treated mom like a queen. He went to church with us at the church where my grandparents' were baptized. He attended a luncheon that my mom hosted for her cousins and was always ready to translate when needed. He went to lunch with us at Mom's cousin's house and was always ready to translate when we needed more than Mom's native and rusty Rusyn language skills. I highly recommend Branio! We were sorry to say "Goodbye" to him at the end of our trip. We really appreciate his attention to detail and willingness to spend time with us and our family in Slovakia. Thank you again.
By: Kaye Harvey
Branio is a wonderful guide for anyone’s journey. Branio was our chief interpreter, driver, and guide when we met with our Slovakian family for the first time. He was well informed, more than helpful, courteous, and great fun to be around. We highly recommend him for your tour and will certainly call upon him again!
Thanks again for all your hard work!
By: Mitch and Lesly Senker
Not everyone is going to travel to Slovakia for a family reunion but, my wife, my cousins and I did. Branio was our Eastern Slovakian guide. His skills and professionalism kept us from getting lost, helped across language barriers and made our reunion a truly memorable experience. When we traveled about the beautiful Eastern Slovakia country side, into the historical cities and even into little villages to visit Slovakia’s famous wooden churches, his knowledge of Slovakian history, geography and culture was outstanding. The visit with our relatives exceeded all our expectation
By: Lynn Faust
I can not thank you enough for the wonderful help you were for my family today Branio! We had a wonderful visit with you! Thank you so much again and enjoy your new daughter. With gratitude, Lynn
By: Camille Gibson
Thank you very much Branio! We had a great time with you yesterday!
Very Pleased with Services
By: Elaine Powell
I traveled to Slovakia in September 2011 to explore my mother's ancestry. Branislav Svorc helped make this trip a successful and memorable one by showing me parts of the country I could not have seen on my own. He designed several excellent day tours, ranging from a sampling of a dozen lovely wooden churches to a hike up to Šariš Castle. He planned tours based on my interests, and he was flexible to adapt changes. I highly recommend him!
Week in Presov
By: Jean-Baptiste Blanc
I met Branislav while spending a week in Presov in April 2011 doing research on the Rusyn/Ukrainian minority in Eastern Slovakia. He is sympathetic and helpul, and knows his city and its surroundings very well!
By: Carol Bryan
Branislav Svorc not only guided us geographically through Eastern Slovakia on our recent trip, but also enriched our deeper understanding of this complicated tapestry which is this proud nation woven together from so many vital and beautiful strands. Branio's love for his homeland is infectious and powerful; his knowledge of history and current affairs first rate, but his most compelling attribute may be his winning personality. We felt immediately comfortable and cared for in his presence; his enthusiasm for adventure, his affection for historical and beautiful sites remarkable, and his demeanor were just the right combination of friendly and respectful. After two days of travel through Eastern Slovakia with Branio, we felt as if we were old acquaintances of the family. I would not only highly recommend Branio's guidance services, but also encourage anyone who wishes to travel to Slovakia contact him for the very ultimate of superb leadership and a memorable Slovakian travel experience.
In love with Slovakia
By: J. P. Tournut
In April 2011 I went to Slovakia for the second time of my life and loved it so much I came back 4 more times this year! Branislav was showing me around Presov, the churches and the town. He knows a lot about the area and his advises were great. I would definitely like to meet him again if I happen to be around Presov one more time. Slovakia is definitely my favourite place for nature in Central Europe :-)
By: The Weil family
Hi Branislav, it was wonderful to meet you. Thank you so much for being a fantastic guide!
Amazing Personalized Tour!!!
By: Cathy and Mark
My husband and I traveled to Presov, Slovakia to find the villages where all 4 of his grandparents were born. I was able to find the birth records and the four villages before the trip, but was worried we'd only be driving through the villages because we don't speak Slovak and would be unable to communicate. I found Dr. Branilsav on Trip Advisor, read the raving reviews, and decided to take a chance. What a GREAT decision that was!! I sent the birth records I found along with a pedigree for him, and he not only helped us communicate, but found a cousin of my husband, who was also the mayor in the first small village of 68 people! He even had the same last name as my husband's mother! We would have NEVER been able to do that without Dr. Branislav! He set up another appointment with a historian in the next town, whose mother was also related to my husband's family. Dr. Branislav's experience and knowledge of Slovakia are wonderful, and he described landmarks and places to see on our travels. He even brought us popular Slovakian snacks for the trip! He also knew the history of the villages we visited and helped us walk through the church cemeteries (even in the rain!) to find possible family members! He has a PhD in Hotel Management and Tourism and is the Tourism Director for the city of Presov. Very impressive young man!!!! If you are looking for a translator and tourism professional who knows the areas of interest and historical information in Slovakia, you should hire him for your next trip!
By: Cynthia Colvin
I went to Slovakia to find where my mother was born, to visit cousins from all four grandparents, and to explore and experience the Slovak culture. Branio was my tour guide for exploring the Slovak culture and he did an excellent job. We spent one day visiting the historic wooden church at Brezany, the UNESCO town Bardejov, and recreated historic village at Bardejov Spa. Branio's knowledge of history, command of the English language and love of his country made the exoerience one to remember and treasure. He also suggested dinner in Presov at Sarisska Chiza, a restaurant specializing in Slovak cuisine. The food was just like 'grandma's' - delicious, and the decor was a mixture of Slovak traditions.
Touring eastern Slovakia and searching for family with Branio
By: Jim Pachan
Branio spent a couple of afternoons with me, my wife, and our traveling partners touring eastern Slovakia, and his guidance and assistance in our travels was invaluable. Branio first provided us with a tour of Levoca, along with the historical background of the area. Next, we went to a small town to meet with family, and Branio's assistance with translation and reviewing our family tree with an 88 year old member of the family helped to make this part of the trip unforgettable. While we weren't able to fully link the family tree, we had a very special experience with our Slovakian family. We spent time reviewing family history, visited a church that my great grandfather and grandfather attended over a hundred years ago. Then, our Slovakian family laid out meats, cheeses, pastries, and drinks, and Branio stayed with us and provided translation so that we could connect with family. He was outstanding in making this a special experience. The next day, Branio brought us to Bardejov and provided us with the history and background on this medieval northern city. We then went to see a Rusyn wooden church, and a small village area that has buildings that are set up in the same design as my grandparents would have experienced in the late 1800's. It was very rewarding to experience the same type of environment that my grandparents experienced. Branio was outstanding throughout the touring and family adventure, and he really made the trip a memorable experience. I would strongly recommend Branio for tours and meeting with ancestral family members in Slovakia.
By: Jack & Shannon Grosko
My wife Shannon and I have been remembering our recent visit to Slovakia and the High Tatras with great enjoyment. I would recommend your services to anyone considering an Eastern European vacation. Slovakia is an unknown gem waiting to be discovered. from the medieval castles, well-preserved and restored villages, picturesque landscape, first-class accommodations and friendly people, our trip was an unqualified success! Thanks for your part in making it so.
Thanks for a very nice day!
By: Alice Ginsburgh
My husband and I traveled to Slovakia on a day trip from Budapest to find the village where my grandfather had grown up. Branislav met our train in Košice and was full of ideas on what we might see and do, but when he learned we were intent to find Jewish cemeteries in Stropkov where my ancestors might be buried, he embraced this mission and did everything he could do to make sure our trip was successful. On the way back to Košice he made a special stop for us to show us history in Prešov. It was a very special and emotional day and could not have happened without Branislav's services. We would say you should not visit Slovakia without him!
By: The Willingham family
We just wanted to say thank you to Branislav for a very informative tour around Presov last week. It was a n enjoyable although cold time, but we learnt many facts that we will hopefully remember when we visit again.We have also been able to add to our list of things that we want to do there as a result of our tour. Thank you.
By: Jozef Ďuriš
Dear Branio, I would like to thank you very much for your guiding services in the city of Prešov in September 2014! Our whole group was excited about your interpretation. You left a very nice memory of Prešov in us. Thank you very much for everybody.
First time in Slovakia
By: Catherine Smith
I want to very highly recommend Branislav "Branio" Svorc to you as a guide in Slovakia. In April 2013 my best friend and I spent two days with Branio exploring Eastern Slovakia (Bardejov Skansen, Bardejov Town, wooden churches at Krive and Hervatov, and an extraordinary visit to the Tokaj Macik Winery in Mala Trna). Branio is intelligent, knowledgeable, very organized and a marvelous person. We could not have had a better guide or a better experience in our travels, a first time visit for us to Slovakia. He is punctual, informed, cheerful and a great person. He goes out of his way to be helpful, including taking us to the train station in Kosice to buy our train tickets and make sure that we knew how the station worked.
Slovakia is a great place to visit
By: Burghartz Quentin
I had the chance to discover eastern Slovakia with Bran as a guide last year. I had never imagine Slovakia was hiding such beauties and cultural jewels. We visited nice cities like Presov and Kosice, amazing feudal castles and caves. The mountains areas of the North-East, on the Polish border are perfect for hiking and mountaineering. Bran is a great guide, friendly and proud of his country, I highly recommend him for your Slovakia travel!
By: Lauri Timm and Berit Sander
We were traveling through Slovakia in October 2011. It was quite cold and windy weather, but Branislav made it much better for us. The tour in Presov was so interesting, that we forgot how cold it was outside. We saw the famous latitude 49 degrees, a beautiful view to the whole town, a lot of churches and we even visited a beer museum (!). He told us what is on the flag of Slovakia. We guess we´ll never forget those three mountains Matra, Fatra and Tatra. ;) We might forget the double cross, though... :) When we left Presov, Branislav suggested us to visit the Spiš Castle. We did and we liked it. Thank you, Branislav, for being such a great and helpful guide!
One of the most meaningful days of my life
By: Yossi Friedman
We visited a number of small towns in Slovakia that are so special to our family heritage. I discovered the resting places of my great great grandparents, Perel and Meyer Mermelstein, in an overgrown cemetery in Michalovce - that being the first time that a family member had visited them since before the war. We also visited the small village of Bunkovce where Chana Raizel's grandmother (and Auschwitz survivor) grew up. We were greeted by the village members of council who set up a party for us in the village hall and shed tears as we spoke about memories from the past and entered into the old family home. It was a truly beautiful and emotional moment. We also visited the burial place of my great grandfather Judah Wiesner in Kosice and saw the site of his famous bakery in Michalovce. He owned the largest bakery in Eastern Slovakia and supplied bread to the army and government pre war.
By: Richard Byrnes
On our recent first trip to Slovakia on August 22, 2018, we were guided for the entire day by our wonderful friend Branio. He was tireless, and very patient in helping us find the villages of our Slovakian ancestors in the towns of Janovce and Zdiar, eastern Slovakia. He was integral in helping us communicate with the local people (as our own knowledge of the Slovak language is basically non-existant). His fee was very reasonable for the amount of time he spent with us, which was from 9:00 AM, untal after 7:30 PM that day. He is a very intelligent and hard-working young man who is definitely a credit to his country, and a great help to us foreigners. We would highly recommend him if you are in need of a local guide in Slovakia. When we visit there again, we will be sure to engage his services. Thank you, Branio, for contributing to the wonderful experience we had in Slovakia!
By: Gerald Washko
My wife and I met Branislav Svorc at the recommendation of his colleague Michal Razus. From the moment he met us at the Kosice train station, I felt we made a great choice. Branislav or Branio as he preferred, was our chauffeur, interpreter and guide for our two full days in Slovakia. He had tracked down some info on the villages of my grand and great grandparents from some info I sent him from my records. We met for the first time a cousin, my mother's step brother's son and had a wonderful afternoon with him and his wife. I can't say enough about Branio's skills as interpreter and guide for those two days. He was congenial and so pleasant, I only wish I had more time to spend. Slovakia was beautiful. It is something I will never forget.
Great day tours with Branio!
By: Goldfus family
My family took 3 day tours to east Slovakia with Branio. We enjoyed these tours very much thanks to the pleasant personality of Branio, his knowledge, love of nature and sensitivity. We visited variety of places and landscapes and tasted many local wafers that Branio supplied. We had a great time and warmly recommend Branio because his professionalism and his tranquil character
Jednota dôchodcov na Slovensku v Spišskej Novej Vsi
Pán Dr. B. Švorc je veľmi šikovný a tu prechádzku sme si doslova všetci užli. Veľmi pekne ďakujeme za perfektné sprevádzanie po meste. Bol to pre nás krásny zážitok. Mnohí z nás študovali pred rokmi v Prešove a radi si pospomínali. Dnešný Prešov je však už iný a radi si prídeme pozrieť aj iné pamiatky. Prajeme Vám mnoho spokojných klientov a ešte raz veľká vďaka.
Thanks for a Wonderful Visit to Kosice!
By: Mike & Carolyn Pravlik
On our visit to Slovakia, we wanted to visit Kosice to find out more about my grandmother’s cousin who was a priest. From a prayer card from the 50th anniversary of the priest’s ordination, Branio figured out that we needed to go to the offices associated with St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral in Kosice. Branio drove us from Presov, where we were staying, to Kosice. He had set up a meeting with the Cathedral’s archivist. The archivist produced biographical information on the priest and told us that he was buried in the city cemetery. Branio got right on the phone with the cemetery and set up a visit to find the grave. The cemetery officials gave Branio information about the location of the grave, but it was not obvious how to apply that information to the section of the cemetery in which the priest was buried. We walked and walked looking at hundreds of graves and Branio was there every step of the way, until finally we found the grave. We could not have accomplished any of this without Branio. In addition to our hunt for information regarding the priest, Branio gave us a wonderful tour of St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral, complete with climbing the bell tower and the special staircase for the royals. On our drives between Presov and Kosice and during lunch in Kosice, Branio provided detailed information about the region and was a very pleasant conversationalist. He also gave us information about other places to visit and made an excellent recommendation for dinner. We highly recommend Branio as a guide and translator.
By: Joan & Will Cerny
First, thank you so much for meeting us and translating for us. It was a pleasure meeting you and you did a great job. It was fascinating to see the towns that my family was from.
By: Jean Hreblay
Thank you very much for a great guiding in your city! We liked it very much.
An absolutely wonderful trip
By: Joseph and Marilyn Tapajna
Branio did a wonderful job on our trip to the Tatras and our car ride to Bratislava. He was extremely knowledgeable and creative in suggesting sights to see and further resources to pursue. He was very patient and we never felt hurried. If we go back to Slovakia we would certainly contact him!! As well, we will recommend him to our friends of Slovakian heritage.
By: Kathy Mazza
Branislav Svorc made our first visit to Slovakia a highlight of our trip. He picked us up in Poland and helped us find and explore the villages of our maternal grandparents. He spoke perfect English and was able to help us communicate with the local people. Branio is well versed on the history of Slovakia and provided details we would have missed without him. Our visit to Spis Castle, Levoca, and the wooden churches were amazing. His recommendations for food and lodging (Pension Trattoria) in Presov were perfect. By the time he saw us safely over the Ukraine border we felt like he was a member of our family! Thanks again Branio for making our visit so memorable......I would highly recommend you to anyone visiting Slovakia!!!
Ancestral tour in Spis and Zemplin Counties
By: Rebecca Kutsko
I had the most amazing ancestral tour thanks to the competence, kindness, and dedication of my tour guide, Dr. Branislav. He served as an interpreter when I met some relatives, and he helped with finding the gravesites, checking out the civil registry office, and getting directions to my relatives. He also paved the way by introducing me to my relative. Had he not been my guide, I would have missed out on this amazing opportunity. Also, Dr. Branislav saved the day for me when I inadvertently left my telephone in the WC of a restaurant in the southern part of Trebisov County. He went out of his way to come up with a solution that not only worked, but enabled us to continue our trip without missing a beat. This brilliant man contacted the mayor, had my phone retrieved, and then the mayor sent it along with a worked who was driving into Presov the next morning. I had my phone back ready to use by 8:30 the next morning. That was an amazing feat and Drl Branislav is a superhero in my eyes. Dr. Branislav also helped us find our ancestral villages, helped us look for the graves of our ancestors, and also kept us fed and supplied with amazing snacks as we journeyed along on with a long list of villages. His amazing personality and dedication to detail and accomplishing our goals transformed my trip from a great one to an amazing once-in-a-lifetime adventure that will never be forgotten. What was a personalized tour for me became his personal tour and he worked to the best of his ability to ensure success and happiness at the end of our visit. Dr. Branislav is now more than a tour guide to me - he is like family now. I highly recommend him and his services.
The Best Tour Guide in Presov Area!!!
By: Iftakh Stark
We came to Presov area to get to know the home towns of my father & his parents. My father & his patents were of the very few lucky ones who survived the annihilation, the Holocaust. My father was very young when he left Slovakia and his parents passed away few yers ago. There are no family and/or friends left in Slovakia to talk or ask about the years our family lived there. So traveling without a guide would be somewhat meaningless. Branislav took us to the right places, gave us plenty of explanations about the past, about Jewish history and about present issues. He even took us to an excellent restaurant... He helped us a lot communicating with locals in Giraltoce, and thus we were able to find old pictures of our grandparents in the town's library. And he had done all with a lot of commitment and without limiting us on time. So if you need a guide, search no more. Branislav is the one!
I guided and showed my city to the Russian ambassador in Slovakia Mr. A. L. Fedotov and Byelorussian ambassador in Slovakia Mr. I. A. Lescen
It was a pleasure meeting you and spending a wonderful day hunting for ancestors!
By: The Three Sisters Marian, Lorraine, Irene
We met Branislav Svorc through a friend of us, who was doing research for us on our grandparents who were born in Slovakia. We were touring Slovakia and wanted to visit the towns our parents lived (for a period of time) and where our grandparents lived and were buried. Even though he wasn’t the one who did the research he was very well prepared to spend the day finding out about our ancestors. We started out at the Humenne Town Registry. He called ahead so they had the records ready for us to review. He was able to explain who we were and what information we were looking for. We spent the entire day going to the towns our parents and grandparents lived before they returned to the US where they were both born. Branislav was well versed in Slovakian history and made our day very exciting, informative and interesting. He was able to answer all our questions and it was a pleasure spending the day with him. He was personable, professional and extremely knowledgeable in all areas. We would highly recommend him for all services you might be looking for during your time in Slovakia. It is a beautiful country and a wonderful place to visit.
Loved our family roots tour with Branio
By: Yitz Feigenbaum
In September 2017 Branio led our one-day family roots tour. We had a very full schedule for our day in Presov and Bardejov and two other locations. The whole tour led by Branio was done very professionally. We were in touched with Branio beforehand and even with our very packed schedule due to Barnio's planning we were able to cover all our sites on the schedule. He was very informative of our Jewish background and was able to engage our entire group in fluent English. It was very special to have a native who spoke in English and Slovak so we could speak to locals through Branio as we had many questions. We strongly recommend Branio and he has been a big help in our filling in our family tree with our family origins in Preshov and Bardejov.. Everything he advertised on his website was true to his word. When you chose Branio you get the real deal!
Thank you for arranging our tour
By: Georgeann Burch
It was fantastic, and Branio was amazing! He was prompt, polite and extremely professional, but also very personable. My traveling companion, Beverly, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend. Branio made it clear that he wanted to accommodate our preferences and he always did. The trip would have been worth it just to see the beautiful Slovakian countryside, but it was incredible that Branio was able to help me actually meet a second cousin in Kapusany! There was no way we could have had that experience without his expert help and enthusiasm for genealogy! I can hardly believe that it happened!
By: German delegation from the cityhall from Remscheid
Lieber Branio, nochmals herzlichen Dank für die schönen Tage in Presov. Es war eine tolle Zeit mit Dir!
By: Ron & Dee Stewart
Thanks for a good trip and great company!
Branio is a Great Guide!
By: Mary Ann & Rick Carney
In June 2013, we visited family in Eastern Slovakia and needed Branio’s assistance in making the arrangements. During the planning, he responded quickly to all of our requests and stayed in constant communication with us. His love of his country makes him an excellent guide and we were able to enjoy one full day of his services. Because of a family matter, our plans changed. Branio was very accommodating and was able to assist us with this too. He picked us up from the Tokaj Macik Winery in Mala Trna and drove us to the Domica Cave in the Roznva region. The tour of the cave was presented in Slovak, so Branio provided excellent translation for us. Next, we went to the Kaltnecker Brewery in Roznava where we enjoyed lunch and a tour of the brewery. We finished in Kosice with some shopping.
Branio made us feel very welcome in his country. He is an excellent driver and the trip through the southeastern portion of Slovakia is not something you can find on a regular tour, he created it just for us. He knows English very well, answered all of our questions, and is very patient. I highly recommend his services and hope he will visit us one day in America!
By: Kimberly King
In September, 2012, Branislav took my sister and me on a wonderful all day tour of 5 small towns in eastern Slovakia that our ancestors came from. It wouldn’t have been the same without him. He was a wealth of information of the area and culture, very friendly, incredibly accommodating stopping for photos along the way, provided highly valuable translation services at the registry office and was very patient as he tried to teach me the correct pronunciation of names and places.
I highly recommend him!