15 Best Things to do in Bratislava
The beautiful city Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, offers its visitors some really amazing things to do. There is a lot to see, especially in the historic old town. On a city trip you can enjoy numerous viewpoints, go sightseeing, stroll along the beautiful Danube waterfront and make a few cozy stops in some of the many hip cafés and bars. On the way you will surely encounter one or the other famous bronze statues, such as the “Cumil”, which cheekily peeps out of a manhole cover. One thing is clear: Bratislava`s attractions and the many places to visit will definitely delight you!
In this Travel Guide we will show you the top 15 things to do in Bratislava. Perfect for your next city trip to the capital of Slovakia.
The Primates Palace with its beautiful pale pink color and its outstanding architecture is a real eye-catcher. Not for nothing it’s considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings and best attractions of Bratislava. This palace can be visited from the inside, because the first floor was opened to the public as a museum. Really amazing is the interior with all the old paintings and the exquisite furniture, which is really breath-taking. The highlight of the Primate’s Palace is the Hall of Mirrors, a grand chamber where concerts and conferences are being until today.
Main Square & Old Town Hall
The Old Town Hall is the former seat of the city administration. Since 1868 it has been hosting Slovakia’s oldest museum. But not only the exhibition is worth seeing, also the viewpoint from the 45-meter tower is remarkably beautiful. From up there you have one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Bratislava castle and the main square of the old town. At that square in winter there is also the annual Christmas market. Climbing up the old town hall and enjoying the most incredible views is one of the best things to do in Bratislava and, therefore, a visit to these two attractions is highly recommended.
The Statues of Bratislava
The statues of Bratislava are probably the most photographed attractions in town. These eye-catching sculptures are located all over the old town and somehow you will always pass them. The most popular one is the “Cumil” – a man looking out of a manhole. Don´t miss taking a shot with this cheeky guy! Also look out for the “Schone Naci”, a very happy appearance and the “Napoleon soldier”, who is leaning over a bench.
This unique 14th century Michael Gate is definitely one of the best things to see in Bratislava. We recommend visiting the upper terrace of its 51-metre-high tower! From up there you will enjoy amazing views over Bratislava castle and the old town.
Another top attraction in Bratislava is the UFO, an observation deck and a restaurant at the edge of the SNP Bridge. With a height of 95 meters it offers one of the best viewpoints of Bratislava. Visiting the top deck and having a 360-degree view is just spectacular and is surely one of the best things to do in Bratislava. One floor below, directly in the “UFO”, there is also a restaurant that serves delicious cocktails and fine dishes.
This wonderful and photogenic white Bratislava Castle is located on the hilltop of Bratislava. The castle garden is lovely and the view of the city is amazing too. Also interesting is a visit to the interior of the castle. Several exhibitions, covering the Slovakian history from the middle ages to the present day, are taking place there. The Bratislava castle is definitely one of the Top sights in Bratislava and should not be missed.
The imposing 85 meter high tower of the gothic St. Martin’s cathedral dominates all of the old town and so the cathedral counts as one of the top attractions of Bratislava. Because of its beautiful shining towers, you really can`t miss that picturesque sight! The 15th century cathedral is located at the shore of the castle inside the old town.
Another highlight of Bratislava is the beautiful opera house. Officially, it is known as the old building of the Slovakian National Theater, which opened in 1886 as a city theater. In front of the opera you can also admire the beautiful Ganymede fountain from 1888.
The St. Elisabeth church, built in Art Nouveau style and with its light blue color is an absolute eye catcher. This extraordinary attraction is a popular photo motif and definitely worth a visit. If you would like to visit the blue church from the inside, you should get up early because the opening times are only in the morning from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. This impressive church is for sure one of the top places to visit in Bratislava!
Stary Most Bridge
A walk on the banks of the Danube is really lovely and recommended. From the many bridges you have a wonderful view over the Danube River and the various sights of the city. Many tourists cross the Novy Most Bridge to get to the UFO. An even nicer view offers the Stary Most Bridge, which is located a little further down along the waterfront.
Tip: Did you know that there is a Danube cycle path where you can go from Vienna to Bratislava by bike?
Kapitulska Street & Clarissine Church
Kapitulska Street, one of the oldest streets in the city, is located in the western part of the historic old town of Bratislava. The narrow alley leads north from St. Martin’s Cathedral to the Clarissine Church. On a walk you will enjoy an original old town, a little away from the hustle and bustle. Also, the Clarissine Church is really worth seeing.
Another interesting place to visit is the Grassalkovich Palace, often known as the “Presidential Palace”. It was built around 1760 and is now the residence of the president of Slovakia. A visit in summer is especially nice when the gardens invite you to linger.
Another important attraction of the city is the approximately 52-meter-high Slavin Memorial, which was built in honor of the fallen soldiers of the Soviet Army. It is located on a mountain in the middle of the city and offers a wonderful view of the castle and part of the city center.
Castle Hill Tram Tunnel
Perhaps not a sight, but still a popular photo spot and insider tip among photographers is the castle hill tram tunnel. This 792-meter-long tram tunnel is located in the old town of Bratislava and you can find it below the castle hill.
Devin Castle and the picturesque surroundings somehow reminds of Scotland. The history goes back to the 5th century BC and a visit to this ruin should be included on every trip to Bratislava. It’s located 10 km outside of the city and can be reached by bus, car or even by boat.
Guided tours in Bratislava
If you are looking for a city tour, we can recommend that you check out the online portal GetyourGuide. Here you will find a huge range of city tours, but also boat tickets, beer tastings and night tours.
Accommodation tips for Bratislava
On a city trip to the Slovakian capital, some great accommodations are waiting for you. We have put together our recommendations where to stay in Bratislava:
- Hostel: The Hostel Folks is one of the best backpacker accommodations in the city. They offer drinks (water, coffee, tea), a nice common room and very clean rooms.
- Apartment: The Bratislava Castle Apartment is a beautiful new apartment in a very central location. Free parking spaces are included here!
- Hotel: The LOFT Hotel Bratislava convinces with great rooms, the delicious breakfast and the good location on the edge of the old town.
- 5-star hotel: The Grand Hotel River Park is the hotel for a very special stay. Here you will be spoiled with a huge breakfast buffet, and the spa area is also a miraculous.
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