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What to see and do in Nitra, the oldest city in Slovakia

Nitra was first ruled by Slavic princes in the early Middle Ages. It is a relatively small and charming city that you can visit in one day, although if you are traveling through Slovakia it is a good option to spend the night here.

Its main attraction is the castle and the upper city, although you cannot miss the Zobor hill to enjoy the views, learn about its legends, visit its churches and monasteries...

In this post I tell you about what to see and do in Nitra and I add some great accommodation options.


Visit Nitra Castle

Nitra Castle is the main attraction of the city (although not the only one). It is located at the top of the historic center. Surrounded by walls and bastions dating from the 16th century. In the early Middle Ages, a Slavic tribe built their fortress here on top of a Bronze Age and the city flourished around it.

The cathedral and episcopal palace are on the same hill, along with the Diocese Museum and an archaeological exhibit inside the 17th-century gun emplacements.

Saint Emmeram's Cathedral

The cathedral is located within the castle walls. Actually, the cathedral is a set of different religious buildings. There is an Upper Church from the 14th century, a Rotunda from the 11th century and a Lower Church dating from the 17th century. Architectural styles range from Baroque to Gothic.

Find the 14th century fresco depicting a dying Virgin Mary in the presence of the apostles, it is impressive.

The Peak Zobor

Zobor is the last peak of the Tríbeč range before the lower Nitra valley. From above you can enjoy beautiful views of the city, in addition to the city you can see the entire valley, the lush forests that surround the city and several trails for walkers that you can follow if you feel like disconnecting.

There are six springs on Zobor and in the Bronze Age about 3,600 years ago there was a vast fort in this position.

The Dražovce Church

To the west of Zobor is a small Romanesque church, dating from the 11th century. It has a modest single nave with an apse trimmed in subtle pattern on the external wall. It stands on top of a hill, breaking off a cliff to one side.

The Nitra Synagogue

The Synagogue of Nitra is a must to visit in the city. It dates from the year 1911 built for the neological Jewish community of the city. It was designed by Budapest architect Lipót Baumhorn, who contributed 20 synagogues in the days of the empire.

This is Art Nouveau, fusing Moorish and Byzantine decoration, and has recently been restored by the city. The synagogue is no longer active, becoming a cultural center and exhibition space for the city, with an emphasis on its Jewish history.

The Upper City or Upper City

It is known as upper city or upper city, the city built under the castle during medieval times. Come on, what has been the historic center. Strolling through its cobbled streets full of baroque mansions and palaces is one of the best things to do in Nitra. Some of the most important buildings to visit are the Great Seminary, the Franciscan Monastery and the Corgoň sculpture of the city.

The Monastery and Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul

The Franciscan Church of Peter and St. Paul is the oldest in the city. It is of baroque style and dates from the year 1630.

You can see a stone relief of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which used to be on the altar before the Ottomans sacked the church in 1663. The interior was reworked in the 18th and 19th centuries and is brightly decorated.

The Marian Column (Mariansky Stĺp)

About a quarter of Nitra's population died from plague outbreaks between the years 1710 and 1739.

In the year 1750, this column was erected to remember the dead and also to thank Mary for preventing new epidemics.

The plinth below the column is full of symbols and decoration, including the statues of four saints, vases, scrolls, reliefs, the coat of arms and the angels of Imrich Esterházi with monuments belonging to the city.

The Church of Saint Ladislaus

One of the important monuments to see in the Lower Town (Dolné Mesto) is this late-Baroque church, which is part of a complex that has monastic buildings and a school for the Piarist Order.

Construction began in the early 18th century, and just as the finishing touches were made, the church burned down and was not consecrated until 1789. The facade has pilasters and niches below two vaulted towers. Much of the decoration was composed by the Austrian sculptor Martin Vögerle.

The County Hall (Župný Dom)

This neo-baroque palatial building is located at the southern foot of the upper town, in ancient times it used to be the main gate of the city in medieval times. The building dates back to the 1700s and has been modified and expanded many times since then, obtaining its current design in the 1910s.

Since 1970, the building has housed the Nitra Gallery with more than 4,000 works from Nitra and the region.


The city is very small and can be visited in one day. I advise you to stay close to the center or right in the center since that way you can walk everywhere.

Some great accommodation options in Nitra are:


I hope you enjoy your trip to Slovakia 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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