Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and its most popular destination. With more than 415 000 residents, Bratislava is the administrative, historical, cultural, and tourist center of Slovakia. Even though Bratislava is an underrated travel destination in Europe, this town is a pleasant small medieval city with charming narrow streets and beautiful squares and gardens, and there are so many things to do in Bratislava.
It is located 50 km away from Vienna, and it’s settled on the border between Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary. Therefore Bratislava has an excellent position for attracting tourists from all over the world who are on tour in Europe.
All the tourist attractions of Bratislava are located in the city center. So take a two-hour easy walk and see all the great historical points. Local tourist agencies are organizing cheap tours, or you can find the free walking tour and join the group.
If you are wondering what to do in Bratislava, take a look at the rest of the article.
Table of Contents
- Experiences and top things to do in Bratislava
- Visit Bratislava Castle
- Visit The New Bridge on the Danube and have lunch on the top of Bratislava
- Visit Michael’s Gate
- Visit the narrowest house in Europe
- Discover numerous monuments of Bratislava
- Visit St. Martin’s Cathedral
- Visit Primaciálny palác
- Explore museums in Bratislava
- Taste Slovakia cuisine
- Take a free walking tour around the Old Town
- → Check out these activities in Bratislava
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Experiences and top things to do in Bratislava
Visit Bratislava Castle
The first place you need to visit and start your Bratislava sightseeing is the castle famous for this place.
Bratislava Castle is located on the hill above the city, and it’s one of the most important tourist attractions in Bratislava. It’s built in the 10th century, on a site that settled 100 meters above the Danube River.
The only building that was left after this massive destruction is the “Crown Tower” on the southwest side of the castle as it was destroyed during the rule of Sigismund of Luxembourg in the first half of the 15th century.
On the northwest side of the castle, there is “The Jewel Tower” is where were kept the Royal jewels from the period when this castle was a Royal Palace.
The reconstruction of the castle begun in 1953 and had lasted for 15 years. The real massive reconstruction of this castle, which gave us the opportunity to see the original appearance of the castle, started in 2008.
Today the castle is the part of the Slovak National Museum, and the entrance is free.
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Bratislava.
Visit The New Bridge on the Danube and have lunch on the top of Bratislava
Another Bratislava points of interest are the New Bridge on the Danube River. This bridge is the connection between the old historical part of the city and the new residential part. In the middle of the bridge, there is a high pylon.
On top of it, on an attitude of 84, 6 meters, you can have a meal at its restaurant named UFO and enjoy the magnificent view over Bratislava. This bridge was built in the 20th century, and it’s 430, 8 meters long and 21 meters wide.
Visit Michael’s Gate
Michael’s Gate is one of the oldest buildings in Slovak capital and definitely one of the things you need to see in Bratislava. Once, there were the four gates of the medieval castle, but today there’s only one of them.
It was built at the beginning of the 14th century. On top of it, you can see the statues of St. Michael and the dragon. Today, if you visit this building, you will be able to see an exhibition of weapons as a part of the Bratislava City Museum.
Visit the narrowest house in Europe
One of the most interesting places to see in Europe and one of the places you need to visit in Bratislava is the narrowest house in Europe.
Centuries ago, the government was charging taxes to citizens of Bratislava on their houses. The amount of money they needed to pay depending on the surface of their house on the side facing the streets. Therefore, the people got an idea to build houses that are narrow on the front but big and wide in the back of the house on the part that is facing their backyards.
This house that became a tourist attraction is s 1,3 meters wide and has three floors.
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Bratislava.
Discover numerous monuments of Bratislava
On top of our list of things to do in Bratislava is visiting some of the most interesting monuments in this city and Bratislava attractions. There are many works of art that represent the Slovak lifestyle and the beautiful soul of Bratislava.
Some of them are Napoleon’s soldier on the bench, “Paparazzi,” Schoner Mazi statue, Rubberneck, and so on.
The famous “Paparazzi” monument is the most interesting one as it represents a photographer trying to get some fantastic pictures of celebrities and it is located on the corner by the Paparazzi Cocktail Bar.
The Schooner Mazi statue is dedicated to the most famous resident of this city, who walked every day from Michael’s Gate to the Danube and greeted the ladies by saying “I kiss your hand!” on Slovak, Hungarian and German language.
The Rubberneck statue represents a man sticking out of the manhole, and this is definitely one of the most photographed monuments in Bratislava.
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Bratislava.
Read also: Top 25 Best Cities in Europe to Visit
Visit St. Martin’s Cathedral
St. Martin’s Cathedral is located in the foothills of the Castle and was built in the 14th century. It is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the gothic style.
This Cathedral was the place where the Hungarian kings were crowned between the 16th and 18th centuries. It is located at the western border of the historical city center, below Bratislava Castle. It is the largest and one of the oldest churches in Bratislava.
Visit Primaciálny palác
Primaciálny palác or “The Primate’s Palace” is located at the Old Town and is where you’ll find the Mayor’s seat. This neoclassical palace is also called the Presidential Palace and represents the true architectural jewel of Slovakia and Bratislava.
The construction of the palaces lasted from 1778 to 1781. It has a beautiful French garden where numerous presidents of the world have planted trees as a symbol of friendship during their visit in Bratislava.
Explore museums in Bratislava
You can honestly know and understand a nation if you learn about their history.
In order to get learn about Slovaks and their history, visit some of the museums in Bratislava.
The most important museums in Bratislava are Slovak National Museum, Slovak National Gallery, Museum of pharmacy and Bratislava City Museum.
As one of the most visited museums in Bratislava, there is Bratislava Castle.
Read also: Top 15 Medieval Castles in Europe
Taste Slovakia cuisine
Experienced travelers say that the best way to get to know the city and its citizens is to taste their local food and visit local markets.
When you are visiting a specific city, country or travel destination you shouldn’t eat in world-famous fast-food chains. You should eat in small family restaurants or buy some local specialties on the stalls on the local market.
Our suggestion for you is to visit Stará Tržnica, local market in Bratislava. There you can find delicious street food specialties like Bryndzové halušky. It’s the type of pastry or bread with goat cheese and some meat.
If you prefer restaurants, you can find them in Old Town. There are streets full of restaurants with amazing, national cuisine. As an addition to this culinary adventure, we suggest you take a craft beer tour. Here you can visit small family breweries that make their own homemade beer.
Take a free walking tour around the Old Town
Sightseeing bus tours, organized by travel agencies are not the best way to get to know the city you are visiting. The best way to have the real experience of the city and its citizens is to walk and wander around.
In numerous European cities and capitals, there are free walking tours organized by young local guides. For a couple of hours of walking, you will learn more about the town than just riding a bus from one tourist point to another.
They will walk with you around, tell you all about historical events and important buildings, but also answer all your questions and tell you some fantastic local anecdotes.
At the end of the tour, you can give them tips, if you liked the tour. Tours are in English and run twice a day. One of the best things you can do in Bratislava is to take one of these tours and enjoy the city.