Best attractions in Bratislava: Top 20

Slovakia in general and this city in particular is unfairly underestimated. Yes, the sights of Bratislava do not meet tourists in huge numbers. But we’ll tell you what to see in Bratislava if you’re passing through or visiting this city for a few days. The city neighbors with Vienna, Budapest and Prague are nearby, so if you can, consider Bratislava sights with names and descriptions before your trip and include it in your itinerary.

What to see in Bratislava first

After the collapse of Czechoslovakia, it is Bratislava that was unlucky, because most of the sights remained in the Czech Republic. But this does not mean that the capital of Slovakia has nothing to surprise the tourist. We will tell you what to visit in Bratislava, where to go and where to relax.

1. Bratislava Old Town

The narrow winding streets of Bratislava Old Town

A very atmospheric place, the pride of the city. Many of Bratislava’s attractions are located here, surrounded by interesting buildings.

Visitors to the city leave rave reviews about the place, noting the amazing contrast between the dilapidated and renovated streets. We recommend stopping by the literary cafe with artistically painted ceilings, tasting tea liquor and taking an hour-long retro car tour.

2. Main Square

Christmas Market on the central square in Bratislava Old Town

The center of the Old Town is an interesting place in Bratislava, its calling card. The architectural ensemble surprises with a mixture of styles: here and the Gothic, and classicism, and Baroque. Once a prosperous trade center, today it is a place for festivities with stores, cafes, galleries and restaurants. The legendary Roland Fountain stands on the square. On holidays, festivals, fairs, and exhibitions are held on the square. In the New Year and at Christmas, there are Christmas events and an ice rink opens.

3. Monument to the Plumber Chumil

The Monument to Plumber Chumil or "gawker" is an inseparable part of the Slovak capital

An original monument with a double meaning, which is worth seeing in Bratislava in 1 day. It is dedicated not only to the profession, but also to the memory of wartime, when city residents hid in sewer manholes from bombing. Twice careless drivers blew the monument’s head off, so now there is a warning sign next to it. They say if you rub its nose, your luck will follow. It’s worth the experiment!

4. Old Town Hall

Main Square and Old Town Hall in Bratislava

The oldest work of architectural art, erected in the fourteenth century. When listing the main attractions of Bratislava in brief, we will give it one of the first positions on the list. The Gothic style was complemented with Baroque and Renaissance elements, and the new wing, added at the beginning of the last century, bears traces of Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Gothic. The corner tower has been preserved almost in its original state. The roof, decorated with mosaics, deserves special attention.

Official website: http://muzeum.bratislava.

5. Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle is located on the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains near the banks of the Danube

It is a monumental quadrangular structure on a cliff, which embodies the whole history of Slovakia, with a National Museum, various exhibitions, and a beautiful park in the courtyard. The tower is accessed by a steep ascent by a cobbled road, which is worth the climb to admire the panoramic view of the city and the Danube from the terrace and towers. The castle was recently restored.

Check out the wonderful views of Bratislava in this fascinating video!

6. Devin Castle

The Devin Castle tower above the Danube River in Bratislava

Advice on what to see in Bratislava for lovers of ancient history. The ruins of the castle, which stood on a steep rock, were later used to build a fortress. The construction was restored, and eventually the castle regained its former majestic look. However, even today tourists look at the remains of the Roman fortress with interest. At the foot of the castle stretches a wine village, where visitors are shown the cellars and wine halls. After climbing up the surviving tower, you can watch how the waters of two rivers mix at the foot of the castle.

Official website: http://muzeum.bratislava

7. Primate’s Palace

Archbishop's Palace on Primate's Square in the Old Town of Bratislava

The palace is considered the most beautiful in Bratislava. It’s impossible not to admire the rose and gold facade in the neoclassical style, decorated with the coat of arms. The crowning feature of the building, emphasizing its monumentality, is the cardinal’s hat of enormous size. Inside, the Hall of Mirrors, where the Emperor of Austria and Napoleon signed the peace agreement, deserves special attention. On the walls are tapestries by Flemish masters. In the courtyard is the St. George Fountain, one of the oldest in the city.

Official website: https://www.visitbratislava

8. Grassalkovich Palace

The residence of the president of Slovakia and the balloon fountain in the palace park

Would you like to see the residence of the Slovak president? It is located in this palace. Tourist reviews, in addition to the elegant building, mention a beautiful fountain with a ball in the center, set in front of the palace. It used to host royal receptions and balls, today it serves other functions. Perhaps for a Presidential palace, though beautiful, it is too modest, but this rather speaks in favor of the head of the country.

9. Mikhailovsky Gate

Medieval St. Michael's Gate Jorge Lascar

This gate is all that remains of the ancient city fortifications, built in the XIV century. If you are thinking about where to go in Bratislava in the remaining time, it is worth getting in touch with its ancient architecture. Under the arch, you will see the zero meridian with distances to the capitals of neighboring countries. The gate serves as a definite landmark for all, visible from everywhere.

Official website: https://www.visitbratislava

10. St. Martin’s Cathedral

View of St. Martin's Cathedral across the Danube River in Bratislava

When the city’s fortifications were built in the 13th century, the cathedral was part of them. Only in the mid-15th century was it consecrated. High rating in the guidebooks the cathedral received thanks to the Gothic architecture: in appearance it resembles the Viennese church. From below you can hardly see the gilded crown of St. Stephen, crowning the tower on the roof, but inside you can see close up the magnificent frescoes and stained glass, which generously decorated the interior of the cathedral.

Official website:

11. St. Elizabeth’s Church

The Church of St. Elizabeth or Blue Church is a Catholic church in the Old Town

When looking at the best sights in Bratislava, you are bound to come across a mention of this church. It is called a romantic church because of the delicate color scheme of the walls and the graceful Art Nouveau architecture. The building resembles a gingerbread house from a fairy tale, covered in icing. The impression is reinforced in the spring, when apple trees and sakura trees bloom all around. Inside, the same harmony and beauty.

12. St. Stephen’s Capuchin Church

Column with the figure of the Virgin Mary in front of the main entrance to St. Stephen's Church on Zupna Square

A rather austere style was chosen for the construction. The facade is not luxurious, except that the entrance is decorated with a small arch. The interior, though gilded, is also quite simple. When you travel through the city you will definitely see it, it is impossible to pass by without attention. The vast courtyard in front of the church has a column with a sculpture of the Madonna, and the Bratislava Castle can be easily seen from the square.

13. Franciscan Church

Entrance to the Catholic Church of the Franciscans in Bratislava Lure

Another landmark in the Old Town. The Catholic church has endured fires and earthquakes many times; today we see only part of the original structure. The relics of St. Reparatus, a 4th-century preacher, are the relics. Outwardly the temple looks ascetic, but no expense has been spared for the interior decoration.

14. Slovak National Theatre

The old building of the Slovak National Theater on Hviezdoslav Square

Another neo-Renaissance building is very attractive externally and has a small but decently decorated opera hall. The persistent recommendations of tourists refer to performances that are worth going to. Dostoyevsky is often staged here, and excellent acting is noted. In September you can get to the day of open doors and go behind the scenes and not only.

Official website:

15. Philharmonic Building

Slovak Philharmonic Hall in downtown Bratislava on Hviezdoslav Square

The Habsburg-era building is located in the center of the city. With relatively inexpensive tickets you can get to a concert of classical music, chamber orchestra, family and children’s performances. Performances are subtitled in three languages, including English. It is more advantageous to book tickets on the official website of the Philharmonic. Around the area are hotels in Bratislava, many of which are very original design in terms of colors and architecture.

Official site: http://www.filharmonia

Bratislava sights: what else to see in Bratislava?

The city is located near the Austrian border, so when vacationing in Vienna, you can go on some excursions in Bratislava, walk its streets, looking at the process of revival of the post-Soviet country.

16. Nedbalka Gallery

Facade of the city's Nedbalka Art Gallery in Bratislava

Perhaps every capital city has galleries with paintings of artistic value. The sights of Slovakia includes a local gallery, known for its unique collection of national paintings. You will not find the works of outstanding masters here, but the presented paintings of little-known artists are quite interesting.

Official website:

17. Slavin Memorial Complex

The Slavin Memorial Complex is dedicated to the memory of fallen soldiers during World War II

The complex is impressive in appearance. It is a well-kept cemetery with a large area and an excellent view from the hill, with a memorial column in the center, on which the cities of Slovakia are listed in order of their liberation. An information stand and guides in Bratislava will tell you about the history of the place. The memorial is a place of mourning, eternal memory, and pride of the Slovak people.

18. Bratislava Zoo

Pavilion of Monkeys in Bratislava Zoo

The zoo is good with a territory of 96 hectares and more than 1,000 species of fauna. The animals are kept either in cages or in open areas. The Dinopark with its interactive exhibits deserves special attention - it is interesting for children to watch them talk, move their tails and heads. There is a children’s complex on the territory.

Official site: http://www.zoobratislava.

19. SNP Bridge

Night view of the illuminated SNP Bridge over the Danube in Bratislava

The SNP (“Slovak National Uprising”) bridge was built for 5 years and connects parts of the capital. It is unique in its design. It has not a single support in the Danube river bed, i.e. 2 piers almost 85 meters high are installed on land and 1 pier in the center of the bridge. When driving around the city it is impossible not to notice it - the total height is 95 m. The width of the bridge is 21 m divided into 4 lanes for vehicular traffic and lanes for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Official website:

20. Apollo Bridge

The Apollo Bridge over the Danube River in Bratislava in night illumination

The new landmark of the city, its pride, was built in 2005. It has a rather complex shape with no right angles. It curves a huge arch over the Danube and makes a grandiose impression, casting glare on a sunny day. Here is the main thoroughfare of the capital.

And if Bratislava is not the “mustsee” for sophisticated tourists, it is possible to go here. Even if for a short time, even if on the way to Vienna or Prague, but a few days in the post-Soviet country, now gradually flourishing, will certainly be interesting.

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