Not sure what to do in Bratislava? Check out 21 must-see attractions and discover the main sights of the Slovakian capital
The capital of Slovakia is not usually the main destination for a tourist visiting Europe, however, the city of Bratislava is a great option for an integrated itinerary crossing Eastern Europe. If you don't know what to do in Bratislava, check out this article and discover 21 must-see attractions in the city.
Bordering Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary, Slovakia has a privileged location in Eastern Europe and can easily be added to a travel itinerary through the region. To give you an idea, the country's capital, the city of Bratislava, is only 78 km from Vienna, 200 km from Budapest and 328 km from Prague, and can be reached in quick journeys by bus, train, plane and river trips in boats crossing the Danube River.
Despite being small and not having the same fame as the neighboring cities mentioned above, Bratislava has its charm and deserves a visit. Its charming pedestrian-only historic center has several medieval buildings, interesting museums and cozy restaurants. In addition, Bratislava has a unique small-town feel and still doesn't have the overcrowding of tourists like other European capitals.
Many tourists who go to Bratislava decide to make just one day trip from Vienna, but we recommend extending your stay and trying to spend at least one night in the city, to check out the atmosphere of the city also at night.
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21 attractions to see in Bratislava
Hlavne Namestie Square
The main square in the historic center of Bratislava is surrounded by medieval buildings from the 19th century and is home to the famous Rolando Fountain, a fountain that provided drinking public water to the population and which was built in 1572, at the behest of King Maximilian II.
Other interesting attractions that can be seen in the square are the Old Town Hall, the statue of Napoleon Bonaparte's soldier who was with his army in Bratislava in 1805 and several options of souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants.
- Address: Hlavné námestie, 811
Sao Miguel Gate
Another tourist spot in Bratislava that you cannot miss is the St. Michael's Gate (Michalská Brána). Like other European cities, Bratislava was constantly attacked by other nations for years, and therefore needed to be fortified. Unfortunately, today there are not many parts of the construction that protected the city, but the São Miguel Gate remains preserved.
This was the entrance that protected the eastern entrance to the city and has a tower with 51 meters in height with access for visitation.
- Address: Michalska ulica 22
- Visiting hours: Tuesday to Friday, from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday, from 11 am to 6 pm. Closed on Mondays.
- Admission: 4.5€
Surrounded by cafes, restaurants and ice cream parlors, Hviezdoslavovo square is a great place to rest after a walk in the historic center of Bratislava.
The square was named after the country's greatest poet, the Slovak Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav. In addition to the name, the square also has a statue of the writer, which is in the center of the place.
- Address: 811/02
old town hall
The complex with 4 buildings built around 1370 houses the Museum of the City of Bratislava, founded in 1868, and shows the stories and curiosities of the construction and about the city. In addition, the architectural complex has a baroque tower 45 meters high, with a wonderful view of the city.
- Address: Hlavné námestie, 811
Blue Church (Santa Isabel Church)
The church has an art nouveau style and gained this popular nickname thanks to its blue-clad facade. Its real name is Igreja de Santa Isabel, and its construction began in the 20th century.
Located on Bezručova Street in a residential area of the city, the church was designed by architect Ödön Lechner, often referred to as the Hungarian Gaudí.
The church is outside the historic center, but it is possible to walk, in approximately 10 minutes.
- Address: Bezrucova 2, Bratislava;
- Hours: Monday to Saturday: from 7 am to 7:30 am and from 5:30 pm to 7 pm. Sundays from 7:30 am to 9 am and from 5:30 pm to 7 pm;
- Admission: Free admission.
Erected in the highest area of the city right in front of the Danube River, Bratislava Castle forms one of the most beautiful landscapes in the city. If you don't know what to do in Bratislava, this is for sure a great tour request to start exploring the surprises that the city harbors.
Bratislava's castle is the most important in the country and inside the building is the Slovak National Museum. The building consists of 4 Towers, the oldest of which was built in the 13th century.
The castle has several viewpoints overlooking the historic center, the Danube River and the most modern area of the city, however, what stands out the most is its proximity to the borders of Austria and Hungary.
In 1809 the castle suffered a fire leaving it in ruins for half a century. After that, the building underwent an intense renovation process.
- Address: Zamocká 2.
- Visiting hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 5 pm;
- Admission: 10€.
Boat ride on the Danube River
Some companies offer boat trips on the Danube River. THE tour it is carried out on boats with panoramic views of the city of Bratislava, navigating the areas close to the historic center, continuing in front of Bratislava Castle, passing under the famous cable-stayed bridge SNP.
If you are coming or going to Vienna, a good suggestion is to take the boat transfer and see the Danube River scenery between the two cities.
- Address: Fajnorovo nábrežie 2
- Hours: Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm
- Admission: 7€.
St. Martin's Cathedral
The Cathedral of São Martinho is one of the oldest in the country and two buildings have a Gothic style. Although it does not appear to have as many internal details as the churches of Budapest and Vienna, the cathedral has beautiful stained glass windows and its tower is 8 meters high and has a green and gold dome with more than 8 kilos of gold.
- Address: Rudnayovo námestie 1;
- Visiting hours: daily, from 9 am to 6 pm, except on Thursdays and Sundays, when it closes at 4 pm;
- Admission: Free admission.
Cumil Statue (The Watcher)
The most famous statue in the city is located on the corner of Panská and Laurinská Streets. The work is the image of a smiling man emerging from a culvert, observing the streets of the historic center.
There are two theories about the statue, some say it was a communist worker who loves his job and that's why he was always smiling, others say that it was actually a guy who kept looking at the skirts of women who walked the streets.
- Address: Panska 251/1
Napoleonic Soldier Statue
A great place to take a souvenir photo, the Napoleonic Soldier Statue is supported on a bench very close to the old city hall and has become one of the most sought after sculptures by tourists visiting the destination.
- Address: Hlavné námestie 358/7
SNP Bridge (UFO Bridge)
Shaped like a flying saucer, the SNP Bridge, or UFO Bridge, is one of the main modern postcards of the Slovak capital. Built in the 1970s, the bridge was for years considered one of the most modern in the world, as it was one of the first bridges to employ the “stayed bridge” model. The Bridge also has an open tower for visitors, with a panoramic view of the historic center of the city.
- Opening hours: every day from 10 am to 11 pm
- Ticket: €7.40
Kamzik TV Tower
The gigantic TV tower can be seen from different angles of the city and has one of the best viewpoints in Bratislava. Despite not being very close to the center, access to the Kamzík TV Tower is very easy. Just take a bus that goes towards the Koliba neighborhood.
The tower is 196 meters high, and from its top you can see the borders with Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
- Address: Basket in Kamzik 2796/14
Palace of the Primates
The neoclassical mansion is one of the gems of Bratislava's historic center and belonged to the Archbishop of Esztergom. Built in 1770, its main attractions are the large oil paintings of Hapsburg royalty, the Hall of Mirrors and the beautiful donte of St. George set in the courtyard.
- Address: Primaciálne námestie 2,
- Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm
- Admission: 3€
Old Market Stará Tržnca
Nothing better than visiting a popular market to taste the flavors of a new destination, the Old Market Stará Tržnca is a great option to discover local cuisine, handicrafts and the best, all at great prices.
The market is housed in a wonderfully restored building, which was part of the city's fortification. The place is also the stage for various events, such as exhibitions and concerts. Take advantage of the tour to get to know a little more about the neighborhood, which is popular among Slovaks, as it is home to several cafes, restaurants and bars.
- Address: Namestie SNP 25
- Hours: Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm.
- Admission: Free admission.
The Gallery of Modern Art in Bratislava houses an exclusive permanent exhibition with over 160 paintings by the most famous Slovak artists.
In addition, the gallery offers another 5 floors with different exhibitions with more than 1000 works, spread over 1550 square meters. The space also has a cafe and a souvenir shop.
- Address: Nedbalova 17
- Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 1 pm to 7 pm. Closed on Mondays;
- Admission: 4€
The memorial is located in a green area with a military cemetery attached and honors Russian soldiers who died during World War II.
The 52-meter high obelisk-shaped monument is situated on top of Slavín Hill and has a panoramic view of the city. The cemetery houses over 7000 buried bodies, making the site the largest memorial in Central Europe.
- Address: Pažického, 811
- Schedules: open 24 hours, every day.
- Admission: Free Entry
Slovak National Theater
Comprised of two neo-Renaissance buildings on Hviezdoslav Square, the concert hall was founded in 1920 and stands out as the oldest professional theater in Slovakia.
The theater often features drama, opera and ballet performances.
- Address: Pribinova 17, 819
Danubian Art Museum
Another interesting attraction that should be added to your list of things to do in Bratislava is the Danubian Museum of Modern Art.
Housed in a modern building in the middle of the Danube River, the museum houses paintings and sculptures by contemporary artists of different nationalities.
Opened in 2014, the museum offers temporary and traveling exhibitions.
- Address: Vodné dielo Slovensko, 851
- Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00
- Admission: 10€.
One of the most charming sights in Slovakia, Bojnice Castle is just 180 km from the capital and can be visited on a day tour.
The building has a medieval atmosphere and is set on a hill overlooking the woods and a lake. Built in the 12th century, this is one of the most visited castles in Slovakia.
In addition to seeing the castle, visitors also have access to a museum and a set of caves that are located below the ground of the gigantic fortress.
- Address: Zamok a okolie 1, 972
- Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 15:00
Located just 12 km from the Slovak capital, Devín Castle is certainly one of the must-see tourist attractions in Bratislava.
The fortification has more than 1000 years of history, being the oldest in the country. The castle is close to the meeting of the Danube and Morava rivers, and has a bucolic setting surrounded by the nature that takes care of the region.
Devín Castle was completely destroyed by Napoleon Bonaparte's troops in 1809 and today it only has its ruins and a remaining tower, called the solitary tower.
The best way to get to know the attraction is through guided tours offered by local tourist agencies.
- Address: Muránská 1050/10
- Schedules: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 15:30
With super modern architecture, Eurovea is the busiest mall in Bratislava and one of the symbols of the new architecture in the city.
The mall has an entertainment area, food court and famous stores such as H&M, Lacoste, Guess, Armani, Marks & Spencer, Adidas and Mango.
Eurovea is a great place to find a more economical restaurant, check out some of the city's new architecture and especially do some shopping.
- Address: Pribinova 8, 811
- Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 9 pm
» Where to eat in Bratislava: 5 must-see restaurants
» Eastern Europe Tour: Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest
» Best time to visit Slovakia
» Round trip to Vienna from Bratislava: 1-day itinerary
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