What to do in BratislavaCulture
- Top 10 sights
- Opera & Music
- Theatre & Ballet
- Cultural events
- City tours
- Bratislava map
- Bratislava photos
- Virtual tours
- Tips for kids
- City & boat tours
- One day trips
- Bratislava map
- Bratislava photos
Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is located southwestern Slovakia on the borders with Austria and Hungary. It is the only national capital that borders two independent countries. Known as Pressburg to German-speakers or Pozsony to Hungarian-speakers, Bratislava got its present name only since 1919. But the city has a long and proud history that dates back to pre-Roman times.
The city was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary, a part of the larger Habsburg Monarchy territories and became a coronation town and the seat of kings and all major organisations and offices. Eleven Hungarian kings and queens were crowned at St. Martin's Cathedral including The Queen Maria Theresa.
For many people still known as a part of former Czechoslovakia, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia becoming more and more popular city, modern and young so called “Partyslava” or “BARtislava”.
Bratislava city tours and boat trips
Bratislava is the youthful, dynamic, and bustling capital of Slovakia. It is also an historic town full of traditions, nostalgia and music, and proud of its rich past. This is where three different countries meet with their languages, traditions, and cultures producing something very pleasant and attractive, a certain microcosm of central Europe.
Bratislava lies at the south-western edge of Slovakia, a few minutes’ drive from Austria and Hungary. The city occupies both banks of the Danube River, and is the largest city in the country with a population of around 450,000.
Bratislava, formerly known as Pressburg in German or Pozsony in Hungarian, is a city with a rich history dating back at least six thousand years. The site of Bratislava has been inhabited as early as the Stone Age. In the course of later centuries, the Celts, Romans, Slavs, Germans and the Hungarians have ruled the area.
Although the economic and political boon started here in 1291, as the city was granted extensive municipal privileges, the real heyday of Bratislava begun in 1536, when the greater part of Hungary was seized by the Turks and Bratislava became the political centre of the country.
During the reign of the Empress Maria Theresia, Bratislava became the most important and largest city in Hungary. After the defeat of Turks by the Habsburgs, most government offices moved back to Buda and Bratislava fell on hard times. Now it is enjoying its new freedoms and becoming an important tourist and business centre with good shopping, excellent hotels, and some fine restaurants.
There is much to see in the historic Old Town. Small art and antique galleries and shops mingle with restaurants and cafes. These attractions are within walking distance of each other.
There are more details shown in Top 10 sights section.
The rise of Bratislava as an important centre of economic, political and cultural life was not just a coincidence but it was similar to that of other Europeans hubs. Learn more about the Bratislava history.
Explore Bratislava - various City Tours
There are different ways to explore Bratislava. Many visitors are happy to spend their time in Bratislava without a car. Majority of top attractions, night life and restaurants all of them are situated in Old Town and are in walking distance.
Old Town Tours by Minibus & Minitrain
are two companies and 2 types of historical vehicles by which operators
presently offer their tours. Charming red mini-train The Presporacik is bio-fuel powered vehicle traveling at a leisurely pace and is
available for hire in the Main Square from 9 am to 5 pm for half-hour
and full-hour tours around the Old Town. The Presporacik operates
around the Old Town in any weather with tours in English, German,
Spanish, Italian, French, Slovak, Japanese and Dutch.
The second one runs tours by slightly larger vehicle which depart daily from Bratislava Passenger Port.
Whole Bratislava Old Town including Bratislava Castle can be explored conveniently on foot. A free walking tour is available in Bratislava Culture and Information Centre at the Primacialne Square where you can purchase The Bratislava City Card.
If you prefer organized groups join scheduled walking tours that are available all-year-round in Bratislava Tourist Service. They are leaving every day at 2 pm from Bratislava Tourist Service Information Agency office at Venturska 9. The tours are conducted in English and German. Additional languages can be arranged on request at least one day in advance.
For self guided tours use a Bratislava guidebook or visit the official Bratislava Tourist Information Centre in the Primatial Square.
During summer season there is a panorama sightseeing boat trip from the Bratislava City to the Devin Castle. Tourists can take a two-way trip or a one-way trip and the ship anchors at Devin, close to the castle. There is a seasonal river link from the Austrian Hainburg to the Devin. This very popular form of sightseeing is operated by various type of boats with different itinerary.
How to get there by bus
Municipal busses in Bratislava: Bus No. 29, from the city - Novy Most bus station - 30 minutes, Bus no. 28 from Devinska Nova Ves (an outer part of the Bratislava) - 15 minutes.
Hiking & cykling
For instance from the Dubravka part of the Bratislava to Devin - approximately 2 hours.
You can make you walking route a little longer by visiting the Sandberg area close to the Devinska Nova Ves. Total 4.5 hours. The sand field of Sandberg is known as a paleontological locality. Both hiking routes offer a great view on the confluence of the Danube and the Morava rivers and on the Devin Castle. Cycling along Danube river - 8 km from the Karlova Ves, or along Morava, from Devinska Nova Ves (4.5 km). There is a special cycling route.
Rubberneck (Panska and Sedlarska street) no other city in the world has a statue sticking out of a manhole! . Rubberneck has already lost his head twice due to careless drivers, therefore the city councillors decided to help him by erecting a road sign to warn drivers.
Schoner Naci (Sedlarska street) was a real part of Bratislava local colour. This statue commemorates the eccentric dandy who dressed in a top hat and tails and lived at the beginning of the 20th century. He was often seen strolling around the Bratislava korzo, giving flowers to passing ladies and sometimes adding a prewar musical hit.
Taunter (Panska street) is a strange figure.There are various explanations for this statue of a stooping man on the facade of a house. One of them says it is intended to ridicule a curious owner of an adjacent house who used to "spy" on passers-by on the street through a small oriel window
The narrowest house (St. Michael's Gate - Michalska)
Is the narrowest house in Slovakia and probably in Europe. It dates to the end of the 18th century when the city fortifications were demolished and is located between St. Michael's Tower and St. Michael's Gate. The interior of the house was extended at the expense of the tower.