Bratislava is steeped in history and there’s so much to see and do. This list barely skims the surface! And in fact, it was quite difficult to narrow the list down to only 10! As I wrote in my post last week, I was absolutely blown away by Bratislava and I’d recommend it as a place to visit in a heartbeat. You can see that post on 48 Hours in Bratislava here.
10 Things to Do in Bratislava
1. Visit Bratislava Castle.
It’s hard to overlook the castle up on its superior position on the hill; it lords over the skyline. It’s free to walk around the grounds of the castle, and soak up the phenomenal views of the city. However, there’s a fee if you’d like to go inside. Inside are exhibits from the Slovak National Museum.
2. Go inside St. Martin’s Cathedral.
The main cathedral in Bratislava, it’s in the middle of the Old Town, so you needn’t go out of your way to explore it. It’s free to go inside of the cathedral, however, if you’d like to visit the unerground catacombs (which I’d recommend!) it’s a €2.50 charge.
It’s located at: Rudnayovo námestie 1, 811 01 Bratislava, Slovakia
3. Soak up the atmosphere of The Church of St Elisabeth aka the Blue Church
Its name is fairly obvious. It’s called the Blue Church because the exterior and interior of the church are dominated by pastel shades of the colour blue. It’s free to enter, but you have to plan your visit ahead of time, because the church has fairly unusual opening hours!
4. Explore the Old Town and See Michael’s Gate/Tower.
The Old Town area of the city, is probably what Bratislava is most famous for. The gate is at the top of Michalska Street, which is extremely picturesque and just around the corner from the main city square and old town hall.
As a bonus, stroll down Baštová Street, the narrowest street in Bratislava. Located right next to Michael’s Gate.
5. Stand in the old city square and go into at the Town Hall turned museum.
The Old Town Hall is a complicated structure of 14th century buildings that have been preserved as part of a museum. The museum housed within, Bratislava City Museum, is the oldest museum in Bratislava and a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. Tickets cost €5.
6. Visit the Primate’s Palace
The Primate’s Palace is just around the corner from the Old Town Hall. It used to be the archbishops residence. The most pertinent historical reason to visit the Palace is to see its Hall of Mirrors. It has nothing on Versailles Hall of Mirrors, so why visit, you might wonder. Well. It’s where the 4th Peace of Pressburg was signed, thus ending the Holy Roman Empire and establishing the Emperor of Austria. (Thanks AP European History). Tickets cost €5.
Note to blogger visitors: you’re not allowed to take photos inside the palace.
7. See the Most SNP Bridge over the Danube and go up the UFO Tower.
It would be impossible for me not to include walking across the Most SNP bridge in a Bratislava list. The bridge is the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge to have one pylon and one cable-stayed plane. UFO Tower is a 85 metre tall restaurant and observation deck atop the tower on the bridge. It cost €7.40 to visit the observation deck, and whilst it’s a little bit steep for somewhere that you’ll spend less than 30 minutes at, the views are phenomenal.
8. Take a peek at the outside of Grassalkovich Palace
It is the presidential palace located in the centre of Bratislava. There’s a large public park at the back of the palace, and it shocked me how close you could get to the palace. If I had better aim, I could have thrown a rock through the window! (Obviously I would never had done such a thing but I could have, if I had wanted to.)
9. Visit the Slavín.
The Slavín is a memorial and military cemetery on top of the hills surrounding Bratislava. It’s the burial ground of thousands of Soviet troops who died in 1945 liberating Bratislava from Germany Wehrmacht units. There are around 7,000 WWII troops buried in the cemetery.
10. Now my last two options are for if you have a bit of time in Bratislava.
One is to visit the Devin, which are the ruins of a castle about 30 minutes outside of the city. Buses do not run that frequently, so make sure to plan in advance.
My last recommendation would be to do a day-trip to Vienna. Return tickets to Vienna are only about €14 and the train ride lasts about an hour.
Have you been to Bratislava before? What would you definitely recommend?