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20 Essential things to see and do in Bratislava

The capital of Slovakia, Bratislava, is a beautiful and little known city in Europe. Despite the fact that the country is opening up to tourism, it is still one of the least chosen options when it comes to discovering new destinations in Europe, and it is a shame, because Bratislava and in general all of Slovakia are beautiful.

Bratislava is a small city that can be visited in 2 days. It is perfect for last-minute getaways, weekends... Although if you dare to discover more destinations in the country, here is the post of the 20 most beautiful places to see in Slovakia.

In this post I talk about the 20 essential things to see and do in Bratislava.


1. Find the bronze statues of Bratislava

In the historic center of Bratislava you will find several bronze sculptures. All of them were placed in the streets in the 90s to symbolize the departure from Soviet rule and bring joy to the city.

The most popular is Cumil, a worker who waves from a manhole cover to everyone who passes by. Other highly photographed characters are the paparazzi taking pictures on a corner or Napoléon's soldier.

2. Take a free tour in Bratislava

You have several options of free tours in Bratislava in Spanish. The most popular option is the free tour of the historic center of Bratislava or the free tour of the Bratislava Castle and Cathedral, although they are not the only options. I tell you about the 5 best free tours in Bratislava here.

3. Go up to the castle, an essential thing to do in Bratislava

Bratislava Castle is one of the most essential places to see in the city and it will be difficult for you to miss it. Is awesome!

The original Castle dates back to the 10th century, although in the 11th century, due to a fire, the castle underwent a complete renovation. Currently, Bratislava Castle is used for different purposes, among them, a part of it is destined for the National Museum of Slovakia, other areas are for events and a part of the Castle is the official residence of the president of Slovakia.

4. Find the Blue Church

The Blue Church is one of the most striking buildings in the historic center of Bratislava. It is a clear example of Art Nouveau, designed by the architect Ödön Lechner and was inaugurated in 1913.

5. The historic center of Bratislava and its little train

The historic center of Bratislava is beautiful and I advise you not to miss a single street, walk calmly and enjoy every corner and building. The historic center maintains a very special charm with its colorful buildings, small shops… There is the possibility of taking a short tour of the historic center with a little train, it is a fun activity, especially if you are traveling with children.

6. The Gate of Saint Michael

In ancient times, Bratislava was a medieval city surrounded by a fortification. Currently, we can see little of these walls, although there are still fragments such as the Puerta de San Miguel, which dates back to the year 1300. The last renovation that this gate had was in 1758, giving it the baroque appearance that we can see in the present.

7. Find the kilometer 0 of Slovakia

When you pass under the Tower of San Miguel, do it looking at the ground. You will see a metal circle that serves as an origin for measuring distances in Slovakia. Indicates the kilometers to various world capitals.

8. St. Martin's Cathedral

Saint Martin's Cathedral is another essential thing to see in Bratislava. It is a religious temple dating from the late 13th century built on top of an old Romanesque church and a cemetery. Throughout history the cathedral has undergone several renovations and therefore you can see many details of various architectural styles, highlighting the Gothic style. Its tower, 85 meters high, stands out above all the buildings that surround it.

9. Visit Grassalkovich Palace

Grassalkovich Palace is the official residence of the President of Slovakia. It is located in Hodžovo námestie square, a beautiful square that stands out for having a fountain in the middle with a huge globe of the world. This Palace was built in 1760 to be the residence of Grassalkovich, who was at that time the head of the Hungarian Chamber.

10. Visit the Slavín, an important place to see in Bratislava

The Slavín Monument was built in honor of the soldiers of the Soviet army who died during World War II. It is located on the outskirts of Bratislava, but it is one of the most essential places to see in the city. To get there, you will have to order a taxi or if you have a rental car, the journey is easy and you can park well.

11. Fall in love with the main square in Bratislava

Bratislava's main square is the nerve center of the city. It is a beautiful square that you cannot miss. It is surrounded by impressive buildings and monuments in which the old Bratislava town hall stands out, which currently houses the Municipal Museum and the Maximilian Fountain.

12. Find the oldest pharmacy in the historic center of Bratislava

In the historic center you can visit the Pharmacy Museum, located inside an old pharmacy that was in operation from the 16th century to the mid-20th century. You can see the wooden cabinets with thousands of glass jars where the medicines were prepared.

The period decoration is worth seeing.

13. Upload to Most SNP

The SNP (Most Slovenského národného povstania or Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising) was opened in 1972. It is the longest articulated bridge in the world with a single pylon and plane with cables.

It draws attention for its UFO-shaped upper structure. It is a lookout restaurant/bar from which you will have beautiful views of the city from 95 meters high.

The entrance costs 9.90 euros and with the Bratislava Card you have a 10% discount.

14. The Slovak National Theater

One of the most beautiful buildings to see in Bratislava is the Slovak National Theatre. It is located in Hviezdoslav square, and it is a neo-Renaissance building inaugurated in 1886 and designed by the Viennese architects Fellner and Helmer.

In its beginnings, the theater housed a thousand spectators and 800 gas lamps were used to illuminate it. In 1972 it was renovated and stands out for its incredible murals and a huge lamp with 2,532 light bulbs.

15. Excursion to Devín Castle

Devín Castle is another of the essential castles to see in Slovakia and you will find it just 10 km from Bratislava. Its construction dates back to the 9th and 10th centuries, although its last renovation was in the 20th century. However, today only the ruins and some parts of the building remain standing. There is a museum that you can visit, as well as walk around the ruins.

You have some options to visit the Castle from Bratislava with a tour:

16. See how the Danube and the Morava merge

From the top of the Devín castle you will be able to perfectly appreciate the change in color of the waters of the Danube and the Morava River. Right at the foot of the old fortress is the confluence of these two rivers, something very curious to see if you visit Devín Castle.

17. Wine route and visit the Červený Kameň Castle

In Slovakia you will not be short of castles to visit, you have many and each one of them with a different charm and architecture. One of the castles that you can visit very close to Bratislava is the Červený Kameň Castle.

You can take an excursion where you will take a tour passing through ancient royal cities, agricultural and wine areas and visiting the castle of Červený Kameň.

18. Excursion to Cicmany + Rajecké Teplice Thermal Baths

From Bratislava you can take this excursion to see the thermal baths of Rajecké Teplice and the beautiful town of Cicmany. It is one of the most beautiful places to see in Slovakia.

19. Enjoy Slovak cuisine

Slovak cuisine is one of the oldest cuisines in Europe and is mainly based on pork, flour, potato, cabbage and dairy products.

Some of the most popular traditional dishes are Bryndzové Halušky (dumplings with sheep cheese), Kapustnica (cabbage soup), Gulášová Polievka (goulasch soup), Vepřo knedlo zelo (pork with meatballs and cabbage), Slovenske palacinky ( Slovak pancakes)…

In Slovakia you eat very cheaply and you can find traditional dishes in all restaurants. If you don't dare to try many dishes and you are one of those who play it safe, in Bratislava you have many alternatives of international cuisine.

Also, if you feel like doing a gastronomic route, you have several options:

20. Excursion to Zilina and Mala Fatra National Park

One of the most beautiful natural places in Slovakia is the Mala Fatra National Park. You can visit it on an excursion leaving from Bratislava or on your own. The tour includes a stop in the city of Zilina to see its historic center and the Budatín Castle.



I hope you enjoy your trip to Bratislava very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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