Close to Vienna and Prague, Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia! Not as well known as some of its larger rivals, Bratislava is rather small but still very pleasant to live in and discover.
In this article, we’ll tell you absolutely everything you need to know about it, to help you plan your stay in Central Europe.
Where is Bratislava?
Bratislava is not part of the Czech Republic. It is the capital of Slovakia. With a population of around 500,000, it’s almost 350 kilometers from Prague and over 1,300 from Paris.
Surrounded by Austria, Hungary and Poland, Slovakia is a little-known European state. And yet, as you’ll see in the rest of this article, there’s plenty to discover.
How do I get to Bratislava?
Are you planning to visit Bratislava? There are several ways to get there. From Prague, you can get there by train or car. Flying is not recommended. There are too many stopovers and the journey is fairly quick. By road, it takes around 4 hours to reach your destination.
From Paris, on the other hand, it’s a different story. If you’re planning to visit Bratislava and discover its highlights, you’ll need to fly to Prague or Vienna, before heading for the Slovak capital, mainly by bus. The train is another option. You’ll need a full day to get there.
What to do in Bratislava
In the rest of this article, we’ll tell you absolutely everything you need to know about the must-do activities in Bratislava. This will give you the opportunity to find out everything you need to know before you take off for a few days’ vacation.
A true symbol of Bratislava, the castle was once the seat of sovereigns. Today, it’s a must-see. Home to the Museum of History, it offers a breathtaking view of the city.
Its 47-metre-high tower allows you to see for miles around. In short, if you’re visiting Bratislava, this is a must-see, not to be missed. Admission costs around €10.
St. Martin’s Cathedral
St. Martin’s Cathedral is an old Gothic church with three naves. It was built in the 15th century. Today, it houses a replica (gilded and glittering to perfection) of the coronation crown. An important place of worship, it is located to the west of the city center, Rudnayovo námesti 1.
Located at Michalská ulica 22 806/24, Bratislava’s Michal’s Gate is one of the Slovak capital’s must-sees. It is the only large gate in the city walls to have been preserved.
Built in the 14th century, it was used to protect the city and its inhabitants in the event of invasion from Poland, the Czech Republic or elsewhere. Today, it serves as a museum where you can learn more about the weapons and military techniques of the time.
Slovak National Theatre
The Slovak National Theatre consists of two buildings: a neo-Renaissance structure and a newly designed structure. Here, you can enjoy theatrical performances, operas and ballets.
Before or after the performances, take advantage of the many cafés and bars on Hviezdoslavovo Square. A very important cultural spot in Slovakia, well worth a visit.
A quiet medieval street, Kapitulska Street seems to have remained rooted in the Middle Ages. You’ll love the many buildings and colorful houses. It only takes a few minutes to walk the length and breadth of the street. Nevertheless, it’s one of Bratislava’s must-do activities.
Town Hall Square
Town Hall Square is the focal point of Bratislava. It’s one of the Slovak capital’s most emblematic landmarks and, of course, one of its must-sees. Built in 1370, the Town Hall has also served as a prison and a bank.
Today, it houses the local political class. You can take advantage of your stay to climb to the very top of its tower. You’ll be able to take some sumptuous photos.
The Palais Primatial is a very old building, dating back to the 18th century. The declaration of peace following Napoleon Bonaparte’s victory at Austerlitz was signed here. The Palace houses a gallery with a unique collection of six 17th-century English tapestries, and also serves as the seat of Bratislava’s mayor.
Another Bratislava must-see is the Eurovea complex. This complex comprises a beautiful promenade, a large shopping center, a theater and quays. An urban landmark that has become an essential part of Slovakian life. Here you’ll find not only fashionable brands, but also cafés and excellent restaurants.
The Grassalkovich Palace has been the Slovak president’s summer residence since 1996. Originally, it was used by the aristocracy for social events. You can’t really visit it.
But don’t hesitate to explore its gardens, which are open to the public! Get lost and wander through the alleys, past the many fountains. One of Bratislava’s must-sees.
A UFO bridge? Don’t worry, UFO is the name given to the observation platform at the very top of the SNP bridge. At a height of 95 meters, it offers visibility of up to 100km, no less. The perfect opportunity to enjoy the sunset. There’s also a restaurant on site, for a truly unforgettable experience.
Where to stay in Bratislava?
Interested in visiting Bratislava? Take a look at our selection of the city’s best hotels. Well-appointed, beautiful and affordable rooms, so you can make the most of your stay in Slovakia. In short, we’ve done the work for you!
What to eat in Slovakia
In Slovakia, recipes and culinary specialties are quite plentiful. Would you like to try the famous Bryndzové halušky? We invite you to discover our selection of the best restaurants in Bratislava. High-quality restaurants in excellent locations for a great meal.
Bratislava: enjoy your trip in the heart of the Slovak capital
Traveling to Bratislava means discovering a whole new culture. Although a European nation, Slovakia has its own codes. To better understand and discover them, don’t hesitate to go there. You won’t be disappointed. To round off your stay, you can also read more about Bratislava’s best bars.