One Day in Bratislava
One Day in Bratislava
In December 2019 I went to Vienna for a long weekend and I decided to take one day to discover Bratislava, as it can be easily reached by train in one hour.
Slovakia’s capital is not as known as its famous neighbours Vienna or Budapest, but it is definitely worth a visit and I just regret not having spent there more time to experience everything Bratislava has to offer.
It is also the youngest capital in Europe since 1993, when Czechoslovakia split and Bratislava became the capital of Slovakia.
I’ll share with you how to spend one day in this interesting city and the top places to visit, taking the most of your time there.
When I arrived to Bratislava’s main station I took a bus directly to the city centre next to the Old Town. I recommend to start your visit in this area and get lost in the cobblestone streets of this historical part of the city, discovering its charming cafes, beautiful churches and squares.
Don’t miss Michael’s Gate, the only preserved gate of the city fortress housing the Museum of Arms, and Primate’s Palace, a classicist palace built in the 18th century.
Eventually you will get into the main square, Hlavne Namestie, considered the centre of the city, where you will find in December the cutest Christmas Market selling delicious typical Slovakian food.
In the main square is also located the Old Town Hall that hosts Bratislava City Museum, the oldest one in Slovakia. I didn’t have time to visit the Museum, but I climbed the narrow stairs to the tower with an upper terrace to have the most gorgeous views of the city and the Christmas Market. If you’re luck enough to catch the sunset there it’s even more magical. In December the sun goes down around 3.30pm so it’s the perfect time to visit the tower.
Around the Old Town there are many sculptures in human size. The most known is called Cumin, meaning The Watcher, located at the junction of Laurinska and Panska streets. According to the legends if you touch the head of the statue, your wishes will come true. There are also other famous sculptures like the Paparazzi or the Napoleon Soldier. Try to spot them while walking around.
From the Old Town walk to Bratislava Castle climbing an hill and exploring on the way some old narrow streets and cute pastel coloured houses typical of this city.
Around the castle there is also an area quite nice to walk around with some gardens overlooking the city and Danube River.
St. Martin’s Cathedral
This Cathedral built in Gothic style is also a popular sight in Bratislava. You will find around interesting squares and buildings.
One of my favourite places in Bratislava is St. Elizabeth Church, also known as the Blue Church for its unique blue coloured facade.
It is probably the most known Art Nouveau building in the city, built at the beginning of the 20th century, and it seems to be part of a fairytale.
It is outside of the city centre, but you can easily get there walking 20m from the main square.
UFO and SNP Bridge
Bratislava perfectly mixes the past and the present with a glimpse of the future. SPN Bridge and UFO are the best example of that.
In the middle of this bridge over Danube River you can find UFO, an observation deck which offers great views to the city and in a clear day visibility up to 100km. At the top there is a terrace and a restaurant.
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to go there, so I just saw it from the Castle area.
If you are in Bratislava with limited time, those are the highlights that I recommend to visit. But there are some other places to see that I already have in my bucket list for a future trip to Slovakia like Slavin, the largest war memorial in Central Europe, built as a burial ground of the more than 6000 Soviet soldiers who died in World War II during the liberation of Bratislava, or the ruins of Devin Castle, built more than 1000 years ago and destroyed by Napolean’s army.