Located on both sides of the Danube River, Bratislava offers not only beautiful sights, historic monuments and cultural events, but also unforgettable gastronomy and entertaining nightlife.
The city never sleeps and has plenty of options for tourists and business travellers alike. Here are five reasons why a visit to the Slovak capital is a must.
History meets culture
Although Bratislava is the youngest European capital (until 1993 the country was part of Czechoslovakia with Prague as its capital), it has a really long history. Due to its perfect location at the crossroads of Slovakia, Austria and Hungary and its long relationship with Prague, Bratislava played an important part in many historical events and is home to many magnificent monuments. One of the highest attractions in the city is the landmark Bratislava Castle. Built at the beginning of the 10th century, the castle welcomes thousands of tourists every year. If castles are your thing, you could also visit the nearby ruins of Devín Castle, just 10 km from the city, which has a long history of its own going all the way back to the Celts and the Romans.
Another must-see on a history tour of the city is St. Martin’s Cathedral. The church at the edge of the old town is known especially for being the coronation church of the Kingdom of Hungary. The coronations of 11 monarchs plus 8 of their consorts took place here.
The city from a different perspective
If you want to get a bird’s eye view of the city, you should visit Slavín Hill. After a leisurely walk up the hill, you will be rewarded by a beautiful view of the whole city, including the castle, the old town and the Little Carpathians. At the top, you will also find a war memorial to the Soviet soldiers who fell during the city’s liberation in World War II.
A UFO and a beach?
A must for any visitor is the UFO observation deck and restaurant. This iconic building, a symbol of Bratislava, sits atop a bridge over the Danube that was built in the 1960s. A lift in one of the pillars goes to the top for some truly spectacular views of the city and all the most important sights. From June to September, a beach below the UFO lets you experience the rush of the vibrant city by the Danube. The beach is the perfect place to start a night out on the town.
Halušky, what else?
If you get hungry from all that exploring, Bratislava also is the ideal city for gourmets. In addition to the many local pubs and restaurants serving Slovak, Hungarian or Austrian specialities, no visit to Bratislava is complete without trying halušky at least once. This national dish typically consists of little dumplings with cheese, bacon and onion – though Slovaks know a million different recipes (even a sweet version exists).
Shopping? Yes, please!
Bratislava is also well-known for its shopping malls. Here you will find many places where you can lighten your wallets. You will find several major shopping centres in or near the city centre. One of the best malls with really nice restaurants along the Danube is Eurovea. And the big plus? You can pay in euros. It’s the national currency!
STAY | Vienna House Easy Bratislava
SPECIAL TIP | Bratislava has so many low-cost flights, so why not fly to Slovakia, save some money and explore this magnificent city on the Danube?