When I originally booked my trip to Bratislava, one of the things I was most excited to see was Bratislava Castle. It looked like something out of a fairytale with its gleaming white walls, vibrant roof and perfect towers and turrets.
I’ve mentioned it before but Bratislava is such a great city to explore. Behind some of its crumbling Soviet era buildings lies some extraordinary looking architecture and a rich and interesting history. If you found anything lovable about Prague, Vienna, Krakow or Budapest, you’ll probably find something to amaze you in Bratislava as well. It’s an architecturally interesting city with a lot to do, but a very laid-back atmosphere!
Some History About Bratislava Castle
From Bratislava Castle, you can see Slovakia (obviously), Austria, and on a clear day – Hungary. (Here’s an interesting fact about Bratislava. It’s one of the only cities in the world whose city limits touch two independent nations. Austria to the west, and Hungary to the south.) The castle’s site has been inhabited for so long because of its commanding position at the centre of a passage point between the Carpathians and the Alps, as well as a ford to cross the river Danube. It was also an important ancient trading route from the Balkans or the Adriatic Sea to the Rhine river or the Baltic Sea.
Bratislava was at one time called “Pressburg”. If you cast your mind back to your European history lessons, after the Ottoman empire captured Hungary, Pressburg and Pressburg Castle (aka Bratislava Castle) became the capital seat of the Kingdom of Hungary and the royal seat of the Austrian Habsburgs. The castle was bombarded by Napoleon and every time castle restoration went under way a new World War broke out. Reconstruction finally started in 2008 leaving the beautiful building you can see today.
Visiting it Today
Today inside the castle, exhibits from the Slovak National Museum are found, a huge music hall for concerts, and on the first floor of the South wing, the rooms of the Slovak Parliament.
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.
You can get to the castle easily via public transport, or you can walk up the very steep hill. If you are at all physically able to, I really recommend walking instead. The walk takes you through the Old Town, along narrow, almost impossibly teeny-tiny beautiful streets. Though it is a bit of a relief when you reach the castle gates at the top!
Even if you aren’t interested in history or castles, the castle tower offers some of the best views of the city. It might even give you a better view than the UFO Tower depending on the day!
It’s located at: 811 06 Bratislava, Slovakia
Have you ever visited Bratislava Castle? If not, what’s your favourite castle?