What to see in Bratislava: the most beautiful sights and things to do

With its cobbled streets and pastel houses, the towering castle, Bratislava it will surprise you.

There Capital of Slovakia One of the most underrated destinations in Europe, it’s a little gem off the tourist trail that will bring to mind the elegance of Budapest and Prague (very close to the city too).

The city on the banks of the Danube is a gathering of sights, baroque buildings and amazing architecture that should be discovered little by little.

The city took it name Bratislava after a public competition, perhaps the only one in the world, held to choose an alternative name from Prešporok.

The city is easily visited in a day or two and is still very cheap to get there for a weekend.

The most beautiful season? On the occasion of the Christmas markets that give the city a touch of magic. We’ve created a handy guide to what to see in one or more days in and around Bratislava with map and map.

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava
Bratislava

Perched on a hill, Bratislava Castle is an imposing rectangular fortress, with four corner towers that enjoys the best vantage point over the Old Town.

You can reach it in about 15 minutes on foot, from there you can enjoy the view, take a walk in the baroque gardens, drink a coffee in one of Bratislava’s panoramic bars. The Castle houses the Historical Museum, part of the National Museum of Slovakia.

The Cathedral of Saint Martin

Church of Agios Martinos
Church of Agios Martinos

This cathedral was the place of coronation of Hungarian kings and queens between 1563 and 1830: the popular Queen Maria Theresa was crowned here.

The cathedral is Gothic in style and has huge stained glass windows. It is also possible to visit the crypt and the ancient catacombs: they are really worth a stop.

Look at Mesto

Old Town
Old Town

Bratislava’s Old Town is a network of narrow streets and elegant squares. Perfectly preserved, it is one of the most beautiful parts of the city.

Don’t miss a visit to the old town hall, a beautiful building that houses the City History Museum.

Don’t forget to go to the basement where medieval instruments of torture are on display and climb to the top of the tower for a great view of the main square of Bratislava’s Old Town, Hlavné Namestie.

Blue Church

Blue Church
Blue Church

The Blue Church is one of the most unique churches in Central Europe: an Art Nouveau masterpiece painted light blue, white with blue tiles.

The result is a fairytale facade with interiors that look more like a ballroom than a holy place.

Primiziale Palace

Primiziale Palace
Primiziale Palace

This is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved classical buildings in Bratislava. City council meetings are held here, but most of the second floor is open to the public.

Visitors can admire royal tapestries from the 1630s and examples of period furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Devin Castle

Ruins of Devin Castle
Ruins of Devin Castle

At the point where the Danube meets Moravia, Devin Castle is a (ruined) wonder to explore.

The best way to get there? By bike, planning an excursion from the city. The climb up to the castle is challenging, taking about two hours, but you will be rewarded with the magnificent view.

UFO tower

The UFO Tower is one of the symbols of the city and is located at one end of the SNP bridge that crosses the Danube. Take the elevator up to 95 meters to enjoy the view from the observation deck.

Grassalkovich Palace

The most impressive palace in Bratislava is the Grassalkovich Palace, the official residence of the President of Slovakia.

It was built in Baroque and Rococo style and has a beautiful French garden.

Gate of San Michele

Gate of San Michele
Gate of San Michele

It is the only one of the four entrance gates of the medieval city that has reached us. Its construction dates from 1529 to 1934.

The tower, in addition to offering a beautiful view of the city, houses a museum of ancient weapons. Michalska Ulica starts here, one of the city’s oldest streets dotted with ancient buildings.

Nedbalka – Gallery of Modern Art

If you love art, don’t miss the collection of works by Slovak masters housed in this Old Town building.

The Nedbalka Gallery presents the work of artists active in Slovakia from the end of the 19th century to the present day. Here you will find information on opening hours and prices.

Statues in Bratislava

Statues in Bratislava
statues

There are fun bronze statues around Bratislava: Cumil is by far the most famous. Be sure to take a picture as you walk the streets of the city.

Cumil is a bronze representation of a man emerging from a well. A small element, you can find it between Laurinska and Rybanrska.

Horsky Park

Did you know that Bratislava is the third greenest city in the world? If you need a relaxing break, we invite you to visit Horsky in Bratislava to get some fresh air.

This huge nature reserve is about 20 minutes’ walk from St. Michael’s Gate. It is a popular place for running, walking or cycling.

Bratislava in one day
  • Bratislava Castle
  • The Cathedral of Saint Martin
  • Porto San Michele
  • Political Museum
  • Blue Church
  • Early palace
  • Look at Mesto
  • Grasalkovic Palace
  • UFO tower
  • Bronze statues

Bratislava with children

Bratislava is a child-friendly city, easy to explore on foot and full of things to see. Among the most fun things to do is to wander around the city in search of the strange bronze statues that you’ll find dotted around the konzo promenade in the center of Bratislava.

The famous bronze statues depict strange characters such as ‘Cumil’, the soldier who came out of the well and seems to be peeping at passers-by between Laurinska and Rybanrska, or the sophisticated and elegant ‘Bell’Ignazio’. Climb up to the castle overlooking Bratislava to enjoy the impressive view of the city and visit it Music Museum hosted on the premises.

Right in front of the castle you will find an equipped playground, ideal for a short break. Among the most interesting things to do in the city is a visit to Bibiana, the children’s museum open every day from 10:00 to 18:00 except Monday.

Climb to the top of the UFO Viewing Tower to admire the amazing view of the city, a perfect experience for the whole family. And finally, treat yourself to a puppet show at the Bratislava Puppet Theatre.

Christmas markets in Bratislava
Christmas in Bratislava

Trust us when we say that Bratislava at Christmas is magical and hosts original and colorful Christmas markets.

The most beautiful Christmas market of the city takes place in the central square of Bratislava. The square is not very big and the presence of 100 wooden chalets placed next to each other make the atmosphere even more intimate.

Surrounding area

See what you can see outskirts of Bratislava

  • Rusovce
  • Pajstun Castle
  • Pezinok
  • Serveny Kamen
  • Modra
  • Piestany Spa
  • Devin Castle
  • Prague
  • Budapest
  • Vienna

Weather forecast

The best time to travel to Bratislava is in spring and autumn when the temperatures are pleasant to explore the city.

In winter, average winter temperatures drop well below freezing, while in summer maximum temperatures reach 30°.

Vienna and Bratislava are very close and about 60 km. away. The journey from one city to another will take you about an hour.

There are several ways to get to Vienna from Bratislava (or vice versa): there are trains departing from Bratislava Central Railway Station, buses departing from Bratislava Airport and by boat, crossing the Danube. There are two main companies that operate this service, The Twin City Liner and Lod.

Bratislava Airport

Bratislava Airport is about 15 kilometers away from the city. Once you land, you can get to the city center by bus 61 or by taxi. There are also direct buses to Vienna from the airport.

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