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12 must see attractions in Bratislava

Many people think that Bratislava is a stop, see n’ go one-day destination. On the contrary, Bratislava is a complete destination that combines beautiful attractions, wonderful view, innovations, vivid night life and good food. In the city of the Kings, everything lays under the shadow of the imposing castle. Nonetheless, you should not miss out on a walk around the most important sites and monuments of the city, such as the UFO, Michael’s Gate, the Blue Church, as well as stroll around the historic cobbled streets of the Old Town, Michalska – Panska – Kapitulska. It is also worth taking an art walk to see a few of the most famous sculptures, among which are Čumil, the alchemist and Hans Christian Andersen. Finally, make a stop to see up close the narrowest house in Europe! Suggested stay in the city: 3 days.

Meet the Attractions of Bratislava…

Bratislava Castle

The Bratislava Castle stands at the top of the city for more than 11 centuries and it is visible from most parts of the city. It is called the Acropolis of Bratislava and has played an important role in the country’s history. The climb up to the castle is achieved via a cobbled route, at the end of which you have the chance to capture beautiful pictures with the Old Town, St. Martin’s Cathedral, the UFO and more as themes. Its interior is renovated and well-maintained, while every floor has a different subject matter. Finally, its structure, as well as the interactive way that the historical events are presented, are quite impressive.

Suggested visit time: 1.5-2 hours
Open: Tuesday-Sunday 09:00-16:00 in the Winter season & 10:00-18:00 in the Summer season. Last entrance 1 hour before closing. Closed: Monday
Cost: General entrance 8€, Students (University-School) 4€, Families 10-17€, Photographs +2€.

 The know-it-all says: Materials from the roman fortress that used to stand there were used for its construction!

Michael’s Gate & Narrow House

Michael’s Gate used to be one of the main entrances of the Old Town, while it is the only one out of four that has survived to date. The Tower is built at the top of the famous Michalska, the busiest and most photographed street in Bratislava. At the Gate you will also find point zero (like the one in Paris) that shows the direction and kilometric distance for 29 capitals from all around the world. Cross the gate and see the narrowest house in Europe (the first one on the left)! It is dated back to the end of the 18th century and is just 1.30 meters wide! It is so narrow that you will be left with your mouth open when you see that there are people on the top floor.

Suggested visit time: 20-30 minutes
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: It was the spot where the king would pledge his oath in front of the archbishop!

Walk in the streets of the Old Town

Bratislava is the city that is loved by everyone, both for its medieval atmosphere and the simplicity that characterizes it. Its cobbled center is romantic, picturesque and pleasant to walk any time of day, as well as in any season of the year. Follow the small crowns of the old town in order to reach the Cathedral of St. Martin, get lost in the narrow streets to enjoy some coffee or a beer and do your shopping. Distances are short and within a short time (1-2 days) you will have the city at your fingertips. If you wish to know it from a different angle, try a free tour (free walking tour) or board the little train (waterfront) and the Mini bus (philharmonic).

Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: The historic center was way bigger than it is today!

UFO Observation Deck

What would you say if you were given the chance to board a space platform? Bratislava’s UFO Observation Deck allows you to “hover” over the city in a different way! The extraordinary building that stands on the side of the New Bridge provides the opportunity to enjoy, at a height of 95 meters, a few of the city’s most important attractions, such as the Castle, the Danube, the Slavin Memorial, the Parliament, St. Martin’s Cathedral, the new and old town. It is worth noting that with clear atmosphere the eye can see as far as 100km(!). The only disadvantage is the light shaking, due to vehicles crossing the bridge.

Suggested visit time: 30-40 minutes
Open: Every day 10:00-23:00
Cost: Standard 7.50€, Students (Uni.-School) 5€, Children (under 111cm)-Disabled Free.

 The know-it-all says: The iron structure weighs around 8,000 tons!

Slavin Memorial Monument

The Slavin Memorial is one of the most beautiful and well-kept places in Bratislava. It is a vast cemetery of 6,845 Slovak soldiers that perished during the fight for the liberation of the city, in 1945. The square is decorated with the 39.5-meter tall monument with the sculpture of victory*, while in the surrounding space there are statues and photographs from that period. The trip might be a little tiring, yet the wonderful images of the city from the top will compensate you. If you attempt to go on foot from the city center, you will need more than half an hour, but if you are in no mood for walking, follow the easy way.

Suggested visit time: 40 minutes-1 hour
Open Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: In total, the monument is 50 meters tall!

Devin Castle

The Devin Castle, which was blown up in 1809 by the great general Napoleon, is nowadays Slovakia’s national cultural monument. It is located on the confluence of rivers Morava and Danube, perched on a hill at 212m. and offers excellent panoramic view. You need quite a few hours to go around it, in order to get lost in the small forest and go down to the shore to see Austria on the other side. On the hill you will also find the 55-meter(!) deep well*, as well as a replica of an older temple. The Devin Castle is ideal for families, while the area is fitting for picnics. Upon returning, do not miss the chance to try some local gooseberry wine. Check out here all the useful tips for the castle.

*Coins and wishes are strictly prohibited.

Suggested visit time: 3-4 hours
Open: April and October: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-17:00 (Closed Monday). May-September: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00 (Closed Monday). 3) November-March: Every day 10:00-16:00.
Cost: General entrance 4€, Students-Children-Retirees 2€, Family ticket 8€.

 The know-it-all says: The first signs of life in the castle are dated back to the 5th century BC!

St. Elizabeth’s Blue Church

Taken out of a fairytale, Bratislava’s Blue Church is one of the oddest and at the same time most attractive buildings in the city, reminding something of Gaudi in Barcelona. The art nouveau church looks like a Smurf’s house, as both the façade and the decoration (glass mosaics, stained glass windows, aluminum plates) have the color of the sky. The interior is covered with the same hues, while it captivates the visitor with its serenity and simplicity. Sunday is the ideal day to visit it, as it remains open to the public for many hours. If you have some extra time, take a walk around the neighborhood to discover more buildings constructed in the same pattern.

Suggested visit time: 30-40 minutes
Open: Monday-Saturday 06:30-08:00 & 17:30-19:00 & Sunday 07:30-12:00 & 17:30-19:00.
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: On sunny days the church becomes one with the color of the sky!

Bronze sculptures

Our next suggestion is about a walk of artistic content. Through this walk, you will discover the famous bronze sculptures, which are scattered around the historical center of the Bratislava’s old town. Most of them stand out from afar, as dozens of tourists gather around them, in order to take the most original photo. The protagonist of the city is Čumil the watcher. Exploring a little more, you will find Napoleon’s soldier, Hubert, Schone Naci, the Alchemist and more. Furthermore, in the Eurovea shopping center you will find 10 sculptures, among them the ballerina with the umbrella. Finally, the Hviezdoslav’s square is decorated, among others, with the sculpture of writer Hans Christian Andersen. Seek and play with them.

Note: The one missing from the gang is the famous “Paparazzi” sculpture, as its owner took it with him! There is a replica of it in the UFO bar.

Suggested visit time: 30 minutes-1 hour
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: The legend says that if you touch Čumil’s head your wish will be fulfilled, as long as you keep it a secret!

Hlavne & Hviezdoslav’s Squares

Surrounded by colorful buildings, embassies and the old town hall, the Hlavné námestie square is the heart of Bratislava, as well as the location where the most important streets start and end. It is one of the smallest capital central squares in Europe, although without lacking in beauty and uniqueness. It has the gift of taking visitors on a journey to an older, more romantic era, while at night, dressed in the mysterious yellow light, it invites you to explore it. The Hviezdoslav’s námestie is a few meters down the road from the central square and it is ideal for walking and relaxing. On the one side of it we find the National Theater, while on the other we see the New Bridge.

Suggested visit time: 1-2 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: Under the Hlavné námestie there is an underground passage that connects it to the Old Town Hall!

Streets: Michalska-Panska-Kapitulska

Among the dozens of streets you will come across in the city’s historical center, three of them are the ones that require you to spend more time. We start at the popular Michalska street, which is full of people all times of day as well as at night. The street passing under the famous Michael’s gate hosts a lot of cafés, restaurants and souvenir shops. Panská, on the other hand, is a beautiful street that leads to St. Martin’s Cathedral. All along it you will find many shops for entertainment or to enjoy some coffee. Finally, Kapitulska is probably the prettiest street in Bratislava. Quiet, romantic, with not many visitors and strong contrast, with colorful derelict houses, will quickly win a place in your heart.

Suggested visit time: 1-2 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know-it-all says: Kapitulska used to be a meeting place for prominent figures (composers, musicians, writers and doctors)!

Old Town Hall, Tower and Museum

The Old Town Hall is located in Bratislava’s central square and housed in one of the oldest stone buildings in the entire country. In its renovated interior space, it hosts some of the most important exhibits of the Slovak history, like statues, uniforms, manuscripts, garments and more. Its most beautiful spot is on the top floor of the tower, where the narrow balcony offers an exquisite view of the city. We should highlight that the museum employees do not speak English, so you should be informed about tickets and options. Do not visit it in morning/afternoon hours, as group visits make browsing around the space difficult. The best time is 1-1.5 hours before closing.

Suggested visit time: 1.5-2.5 hours
Open: Tuesday-Friday 10:00-17:00 & Weekend 11:00-18:00. Last entrance 30 minutes before closing. Closed: Monday.
Cost: General entrance 5€, Students-Children-Retirees 2€, Family ticket 10€, For the Town Hall Tower 1€.

 The know-it-all says: It operated as a prison, a mint, a venue for commercial events and celebrations, as well as a warehouse for weapons and municipal records!

St. Martin’s Cathedral

St. Martin’s Cathedral is the largest and most popular one in Bratislava. It has rich history, as it has hosted 19 coronation ceremonies of kings and queens, with the most important one being the one of Maria Theresia. Its 85-meter tall, neo-gothic tower is visible from most locations in the city, while on its top there is the gold-plated replica of the Hungarian crown. Visit it on a day that there is service in order to experience the serenity it exudes. Do not miss the chance to visit the catacombs, the treasury, as well as the choir singing on the Cathedral’s balcony.

Suggested visit time: 30 minutes-1 hour
Open: Summer months: Monday-Friday 09:00-11:30 & 13:00-18:00. Winter months: Monday-Friday 09:00-11:30 & 13:00-16:00. Saturday 09:00-11:30 & Sunday 13:30-16:30.
Cost: Free for the main space. For treasures, catacombs and choir 2.5€.

 The know-it-all says: The crowns in the cobbled streets start at the Gate of St. Michael and reach up to the church, as this was the route they followed for the Kings’ coronations!


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