Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is set along the Danube River by the border with Austria and Hungary. Stay in the old town, the heart of the city where you will then have easy access to all the main sites. You can take bus 61 from the airport to Hlavna stanica railway station and it’s a 20 minute walk to the old town from here. The old town is predominantly pedestrianised so you will have a great time sitting outdoors at a restaurant without having to breathe in fumes!
Note: Most museums are closed on Monday’s so plan what you want to enter ahead of time. Pre-buy your bus tickets from the yellow machines and make sure you get them stamped when you enter the bus. You buy a bus ticket according to journey time e.g. to get to Devin’s castle, you buy a 30min bus because the journey take’s around 25mins.
You can cover everything in 2 days. It’s very easy to get around!
Here are my recommendations:
- Bratislava Castle and it’s surrounding gardens. Views of the castle is of course, better from further away from it, in particular, from the bridges.
- St Martin’s Cathedral. Between 1563 and 1830 St Martin’s served as the coronation church for Hungarian kings and their consorts, marked to this day by a 300-kg gilded replica of the Hungarian royal crown perched on the top of the cathedral’s 85-metre-tall neo-Gothic tower. If you pick up a tourist map of Bratislava, in red, it marks out the path the royal people would walk after they were coronated. You can also spot metal crowns on the road marking out their paths.
- Old Town Hall and the square is a really nice chill spot
- Primates Palace, pretty in pink!
- Michael’s Gate – is the only city gate that has been preserved of the medieval fortifications and ranks among the oldest town buildings.
- Galerie Nedbalka. I liked the umbrella’s outside!
- Grassalkovich Palace. Just outside the old town, 5min walk and really pretty with a fountain in the front.
- Slavin Memorial. To get here, take a trolley bus 203 from Grassalkovich palace and get off at the end station where you do a short walk up hill to the beautiful memorial site. The statue there is as tall as the Rio Jesus Christ statue.
- UFO observation deck. Definitely go up top at sunset! You can avoid paying the entry fee if you have a meal but of course the restaurant isn’t cheap. Be warned, it’s super windy.
- Old and new National Theatre. Which do you prefer?
- Eurovea mall is about a 15min walk away from the old city, beyond the green bridge and is their latest development. The surrounding area, with a fake beach has many restaurants along the river.
- Man at work statue and right opposite is statue that holds a hat.
- Take a bus under the UFO bridge to Devin’s castle
- Best place to have breakfast/brunch or dessert – Mondieu. Their hot chocolate is incredible!
- Slovakian food to try – Their garlic soup in a bread roll and sheep cheese pasta. Bryndzové halušky is one of the national dishes. This meal consists of halušky (boiled lumps of potato dough similar in appearance to gnocchi) and bryndza (a soft sheep cheese), optionally sprinkled with cooked bits of smoked pork fat/bacon.