Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Bratislava

  • Published 2021/05/12

Often accounted as a place to ‘stop by’, Bratislava is truly a secluded gem. It oozes rich ancient heritage, culture, outlandish infrastructure, and edgy style.

With a population of well under half a million, be inspired by a reserved serene vacation. You could touch the other side of the town in about a few minutes. Though you might call this dull, you will be willing to go back on your words when you see streets filled with an amalgamation of modern towers and prehistoric churches, castles, and palaces.

Here are some places you must visit in Bratislava:

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle

emperorcosar /

The notable silhouette sits right in the middle of the town on a rocky hill. It is 85-meters above the water level of the Danube river. It is ‘hard to miss’, well, quite literally.

Climb on board to see a breathtaking picturesque view from the top of the towers. And if you are lucky enough, in a clear sky you might see parts of Austria and Hungary too!

Despite the ‘oomph’, this structure adds to Bratislava, it depicts much more than just its pretty architecture. It went from a majestic place to a victim of Napoleon cannons, a burning castle, to just ruins. A result of a series of expansions and conversions is what lies in front of our eyes today.

Michael’s Gate

Michael’s Gate

Stefano_Valeri /

It is the only rank gate from the original four antiquated fortified walls of Bratislava since the early 1300s. The only way in or out of the city was through one of those city gates.

Amidst a perplexing tangle of streets, this tower is a massive 51-meter in length. It was shrouded with the Baroque look when the dome was installed along with the statue of Saint Michael fighting the dragon at the tip of the spire.

This tower now houses important documents, photographs, old entrenchments, and medieval weaponry to keep alive the chronicle and how it influenced the city. To jazz up things a little bit, you could climb up to the balcony. It offers one of the most iconic vantage city views over the Old Town from the top.

UFO Tower

UFO Tower

Rasto SK /

Amidst all the historic infrastructure stands a 95-meter tall tower which is quite self-explanatory by its name. It looks like a flying saucer and quite modern compared to the rest of the town.

The view from the top is worth the strange elevator ride. The panoramic view will be hard to erase from your brain. You can see the Danube and all of the Old Bratislava in all its glory. Even better, grab your drinks at the UFO restaurant and watch the sunset from the top.

It is a trendy place so do not forget to put your best suit on!

Maximilian’s Fountain

Maximilian’s Fountain

mikecphoto /

Located back in the main square is said to be Bratislava’s one of the most precious monuments. Opposite the Old Town Hall is a monumental fountain constituted by Maximilian II, the King of Hungary in 1572.

The mythical and historical importance makes this visit to the fountain all the more compelling.

An extensive 9-meter diameter tank of water is mounted with a statue of a knight in battling guard. Some believe that the statue is of Roland, who is the mythical protector of the city’s rights, facing the current town hall. And others are confident that it is Maximilian himself.

It is also believed that every year, precisely at the stroke of twelve on new year the statue turns its head towards the former town hall as a pledge of reverence to the 12 councilors who lost their lives in order to shield the city.

It is said that the statue comes to life on Good Friday too!

Devin Castle

Devin Castle

TTstudio /

It is located at the convergence of Danube and Morava. It perches on a hill 212-meters high.

This castle was a part of a strong trade route and had an excellent military hold. After a sequence of refurbishment and rebuilding, it was shattered into vestiges by Napoleon’s army.

This place can be relished by the mazes of staircases, courtyards, partially intact rooms, and archeological ruins. Some attempts are being made to reclaim some of the ruins, the rest is left for the public to appreciate the antique craftsmanship.

The most popular tower is the Maiden Tower which persists on a lone rock over the river. It is rumored that victims of unrequited love and broken hearts have ceased their lives by plunging off the tower.

Annually, they play the Medieval Knight Show, which is a cool family night out. You can reach the castle via a leisure boat trip down the Danube river to the castle.

St. Martin’s Cathedral

St. Martin’s Cathedral

Milan Gonda /

Over the years the Hungarian sovereigns that have gone by have been coronated in this historical church. One of the most antiquated churches in the country has its feet set in Bratislava.
The enormous tower is backed by a resolute building. The tower once labored as a lookout point. The Crown of St. Stephen is seated at the apex of the spire, which highlights that it was a coronation church.

Besides the history and all the theoretical importance, the church is charged with magnificent stained glass windows, oratories, and a prominent statue of St. Stephen inside. The moment you step your foot in this church you will be enveloped with positivity and pleasure!

Primatial Palace and Hall Of Mirrors

Primatial Palace

Michael Paschos /

This palace is of great historic importance as many events have taken place within those walls. One of the most extraordinary events being the Fourth Peace Treaty of Pressburg sealing Napoleon’s victory over the 3rd coalition.

This palace now plays the throne to the Mayor, however, some of the rooms have kept their doors open for tourists. One of the most iconic rooms is the Hall Of Mirrors. Classical plays and events are sometimes held here. You’ll come across ancient tapestry, murals, movables, and everything that is remotely royal.

Bratislava and its relationship with fountains is unparalleled. Head out into the inner courtyard where you’ll come across a fountain with a statue of Saint George.

St. Elizabeth’s Church (Blue Church)

St. Elizabeth’s Church

Karl Allen Lugmayer /

This church was built in the early 20th century in an Art Nouveau style. It was originally meant to be a school chapel but floated its way towards being a handsome Bratislava traveler spot.

It was painted in pastels until it got engulfed in a delightful light blue shade. Every inch is blanketed in either blue paint or blue glazed tiles or minute gold detailing. Even the benches, ceilings, and walls are covered in majolica and ceramic tiles. Well, it is pretty obvious why the local name goes as ‘The Blue Church’.

The harder and closer you look, the more enthralling design unravels. The attention to detail is stupendous. Inside there is an oil painting of St. Elizabeth handing alms over the altar.

The church doors are open to the public. This site is a popular spot for baptism and weekend weddings.

Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum

Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum

efirm /

This museum will require you to go off your usual route due to its location in the neighborhoods, near the Hungarian outpost. Despite off-road hassles, it is definitely worth a visit.

Standing on a small peninsula that juts into the Danube river, the museum parades a marvelous collection of contemporary artworks by both, Slovak and international artists.

The museum made its debut in stages in the early 2000s and was finally concluded in 2014. On the first floor, you will find a perpetual exhibition of international collections.

The site of the building itself is a sight for sore eyes. Cast in the frame of a Roman galley, the building itself is a work of art. The wetlands and the abstract sculptures girdled by crisp greenery make this to the top of the list of tourist attractions.

Grassalkovich Palace

Grassalkovich Palace

vidalgo /

The Slovak President’s official residence is in an exalted Rococo palace. Its elegant and extensive Rococo planning makes for an illustrious spectacle.

This place was initially used as a platform for various aristocratic society events and performances; Haydn premiered and conducted some of his most famous works here.

The interior is said to be drool-worthy too, however, entry through the gates is denied to the masses. However, you can savor the beautiful gardens and stop for a photo shoot in front of the famous ‘Fountain Of Youth’.

Five Points Bistro

This cafe will capture your mind, body, and soul! The cool-toned minimal interior with chairs and a bar-style counter totally radiates positive and merry vibes.

The aesthetic is not all about this bistro. This cafe renders ‘selfieccino’- a cappuccino with your preference of cream stamp on the brim, cool isn’t it? Just scan the QR code and upload your fancied photo. A distinctive printer will drop the goodness on your anticipated coffee. The design is made of cinnamon, coffee powder, and cacao.

The cafe is undoubtedly worth a visit. We mean, who does not desire a cappuccino with their face on it!

Tree Houses

Reliving childhood memories is everything that an adult desires. Bratislava forest has prepared some strengtheners up the trees to make our will-o’-the-wisp come true.

Yes, comfortable treehouses will now be right up your alley. One forest with treehouses is settled in Kačín and another on Partizánska lúka. These are not near the Old Town but be assured of a cozy nature’s blanket around you.

The houses are built amidst gaping on the branches of enormous trees. The greenery encompassing you will bring the authentic spirit of nature to your fingertips. The wooden furniture and earthy smell 24/7 is quite an acquaintance that you should not pass up at all.

The height of the houses is approximately 6-meters above ground. If you are acrophobic then you might want to skip this one (unless you want to shove your fears down the drain, of course).

Brasserie La Marine

A glass of wine in one hand, croissant in another. You’re circled by your cherished ones while the soothing and silky flurry kisses your cheeks. The sun is setting and you’re gazing at the scintillating water, life’s good. Yes, that is possible here, at La Marine!

Inspecting the water’s edge, La Marine thrives in marine regalia from the ship’s wheels to sail-like canvas curtains. The food is French and European and everything nice, all meshed into the sumptuous menu. Book yourself a riverside terrace and enjoy the little moments with the divine explicit wine list.

The Brasserie is annexed to Eurovea mall. A 5-10 minute walk from east of old town.

Bratislava Music Festival

The most prestigious music festival of Slovakia is held in Slovak Philharmonic venues in late October or early November. This constitutes premieres of Slovak compositions and some reputed artists.

An amusing venture to be present at with friends. You can book the tickets online or by physically standing in line one hour prior to the show.

Statue Photoshoot!

Bratislava is filled with whimsical statues, you might just walk past one casually too. These quirky finds are truly fascinating and unique. They are not your normal traditional statues.

Cumil (also known as Man At Work)


NiglayNik /

The most famous statue of a sewer-worker poking his head out from a manhole and resting it on his arms. This statue has the longest waiting line for a photo.

Schone Naci

Schone Naci

SnapTPhotography /

Another statue situated at the corner of the main square. He was a beloved character. He said to represent Ignac Lamar who supposedly lost his mind due to unrequited love.

Napoleon Soldier

Napoleon Soldier

dimbar76 /

This fun-looking statue is of a Napoleon soldier resting his folded arms on a bench. His leaning posture, hat, and that slight smirk tip everyone off. You can’t miss a photo with this one.

Hans Christian Anderson

Hans Christian Anderson

Mikhail Markovskiy /

This famous children’s author has his fame and history in stone, literally. It was built to commemorate his work.

The Paparazzi

Paparazzi Statue

Route66 /

This was situated in the town square along with the restaurant with the same name. It was taken down with the restaurant and now resides at the UFO restaurant.

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