The first thing that came to me upon my visit to Bratislava was, “wow! This city really is tiny!” Although Bratislava is the capital city and the largest city in Slovakia, its population is less than half one million. It’s not a lot compared with other European cities. Still, Bratislava can make the most of its stunning beauty.
I’d say that the small dimensions of the city make it more appealing! The historical center of Bratislava is beautiful and exudes what I would describe as a small-town feel. When I visited the city’s centre was surprisingly serene that isn’t often seen in capital cities across Europe. Although most cities are bustling with activity and tourists, Bratislava could be described as tranquil and relaxing.
I’m not saying that there aren’t any. Still, there are many tourists obviously – but after all, there are many stunning places to explore and discover, such as Bratislava Castle to Michael’s Gate to the UFO Observatory Deck (I am sure you’ve heard of it). UFO! It’s a bit strange. Bratislava is packed with delights). But, when you explore Bratislava certainly won’t be as hectic and crowded as the other European cities. It has many benefits for that! You’ll be able to take in all the sights the city offers without having to worry about long lines and busy times. You’ll also get plenty of opportunities to capture photos with stunning monuments without taking away your backdrop. I don’t know do I feel about that. Still, it is very appealing to me since you don’t have the opportunity to take the perfect Instagram photo every day.
Additionally, Bratislava is full of stunning places that impress you with its historical environment and magnificent beauty. With its monuments, castles and churches and beautiful structures, Bratislava could be considered the gateway to Eastern Europe – and what a fantastic gateway! I can’t think of a better place to begin to explore Eastern Europe than in Bratislava.
I’m a YES! You’ll be able to go to three other countries while you’re there because they’re all near to Bratislava. In addition, it is situated between Austria, Hungary, and it’s only a few steps away from Bratislava’s neighbour, the Czech Republic. That means that there will always be many international visitors that can assist you when you’re lost.
If you’re looking for that old-fashioned European ambience, Bratislava won’t disappoint. The Old Town is breathtaking and is home to many significant landmarks worth visiting, including the Old Town Hall, Primatial Palace, Milbach Palace, Keglevich Palace, Balasov Palace… I’m talking about how many palaces could be fit into one city? There are a lot, according to reports. Bratislava has numerous courts that caused my brain to spin while I was there. I was unsure of what to do next! The buildings are breathtaking.
Here are the five best things to do in Bratislava!
1. VISIT BRATISLAVA’S BEAUTIFUL CASTLE
It is situated on a hill and with a view of the Danube; the castle is white, rectangular, and massive. Due to its position in between its location between the Alps and the Carpathians, The site has been utilized for hundreds of years. The first time anyone built actual settlements on the area – which we can trace it was a mind-boggling 5500 years before! Additionally, numerous monarchs and rulers spent their time at the castle throughout history, notable being Maria Theresa.
You can now visit the castle and find out more about its story. There’s the Slovak National Museum inside the court and the Treasure Chamber, a Music Hall, an exhibition of Slovak culture and history, and much more. One of my favourite attractions is a small statue on display which is Venus in Moravany. The tiny figure of a woman’s body dates back to around 22800 BC and is an age that is so far back I can not even comprehend it. Fortunately, it’s something that every Czech and Slovak student is taught about in school. Trust me when I say that I’ve seen it. I’m Czech. This artifact is important to us due to its historical significance.
Another wonderful thing about Bratislava Castle is the fantastic views you can enjoy from up there. The castle has a stunning view of Bratislava! It’s certainly worth the climb.
2. MARVEL AT THE BLUE CHURCH OF BRATISLAVA
Officially known as The Church of St. Elizabeth (Kostol state Alzbety in Slovak), The building is a Hungarian Secessionist Catholic church built at the start of the 20th century. Because of its Art Nouveau style, it seemed much more dated to me as I looked towards the tower’s main entrance. The church is so beautiful I was half expecting an appearance of a fairy at the entry point.
There was no fairytale, and my fantasies of a fairy tale turned to dust. I had a wonderful time touring the church and marvelling at the beauty of it, however. Interiors are painted with pastel blue, too and only enhance the enjoyment. With all my heart, I believe this is the most stunning church I’ve been to. I would pass by it every morning while walking to Bratislava’s Old Town.
3. STROLL THROUGH MICHAEL’S GATE
Suppose you’re planning to visit your way through the Old Town of Bratislava. In that case, you will likely walk across Michael’s Gate (Michalska brana in Slovak) at some time. This Gate, dating back to the 14th century, is one of the most famous landmarks in Bratislava because of its significance in history. It’s the sole medieval city gate within Bratislava’s Old Town that still stands. In the past, some walls surrounded the town and guarding it. Michael’s Gate was one of the four gates that permitted visitors to go in and out of the city.
The Gate also was a crucial part of the coronation process. It was one of the gates that where kings were required to go to take a vow.
Today, the Gate is one of the most popular tourist attractions. The museum inside is where you can discover how the castle was a medieval fortification in Bratislava and what weapons were employed in the past. The Museum of Weapons has been officially shut down since December 10, 2020, due to renovations. The closure is scheduled to last approximately two years.
4. TAKE A PRIVATE TOUR OF DEVIN CASTLE
Devin Castle is one of the landmarks in Bratislava which should be on your travel list. Even though the castle is decaying but exploring its remains and enjoying a day spent in the beautiful natural surroundings is a fantastic option if you’re looking to explore Slovakia’s rural landscape.
Enjoy 3 hours of a guided tour with a private guide of Devin Castle, where you will be able to learn a wealth of exciting details about the castle’s past and enjoy the opportunity to sample some of the local food items! During your tour, the guide will provide some information about the history of the castle. Devin Castle looked like before Napoleon’s troops destroyed it. You’ll be able to enjoy a fantastic view of the stunning scenery that extends across Austria and beyond, including the two major European river systems Danube as well as Morava.
The cost of entry and hotel pickup is included in the price of 98 EUR per head. Devin Castle is located just 20 minutes from Bratislava. Why not take a private tour? You’re sure to enjoy an enjoyable time in the countryside and learn lots of information throughout the journey.
5. GO WINE-TASTING ON A MODRA DAY TRIP
If there’s a thing Slovak people are proud of, they’re proud of their wine. With vineyards and wineries throughout the country, everyone is an experienced taster of wine at this point. Slovaks recognize high-end wine when they come across it.
If you’re a fan of wine, why not check an authentic wine tasting experience close to Bratislava? This trip is a trip to the charming small town of Modra close to Bratislava. You can go to an original Slovak Boutique winery. It’s true, Slovak wine is probably the best wine I’ve had the pleasure of tasting, and this tour is an affirmative choice for me.