The ultimate list of things to do in Bratislava, Slovakia

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To be honest I’ve never been much of a fan of Bratislava, Slovakia. I visited it over 10 times and while it was nice I never really warmed up to it.

Not until recently when I had a chance to spend the weekend there and then another one, get to know the city properly and enjoy numerous things to do in Bratislava.

For me it’s not the city you love right away, it takes time to discover it, find your own paths and spots.

By now I have my favorite streets, buildings, restaurants, cafes and other Bratislava attractions, the places I try to visit every time I’m in the city.

I’m actually really glad I will be in Bratislava a few times again this year as it’s good to see how the city is changing and how this is a good change.

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What to do in Bratislava

For me, it’s optimal to spend 2 days in Bratislava.

This way you have enough time to do the proper Bratislava sightseeing, also beyond the Old Town, and to enjoy all the best that it has to offer as well as to go outside the Slovak capital, see the countryside and taste some amazing wines this region is known for!

Here’s my mini guide to best things to do in Bratislava!

things to do in Bratislava Slovakia

The Old Town

The Old Town in Bratislava is the place where the majority of visitors spent their time and I definitely can see why. It’s compact, charming and full of interesting places around.

When in the Old Town you can’t miss the main square – Hlavne Namestie – including the courtyard of the old town hall (Stara Radnica) as well as the national theatre and St. Martin’s Cathedral.

But the best thing to do in Bratislava Old Town is just to wander around, taking random streets here and there and just enjoy the place.

Yes, it is rather touristy but still can be pretty.

My favorite streets to wander around are: Michalska, Farska, Kapitulska, Venturska, Panska, and Laurinska but no matter which street you take chances it will be pretty and adorable are very high.

I recommend visiting Bratislava Old Town (and beyond) with a guide so you can get to know the place better. There are so many hidden details and stories that you can’t learn about when discovering the place yourself.

Click here to read about the highly rated guided tour and book it for yourself.

things to do in Bratislava Slovakia

Bratislava attractions - Old Town

Bratislava attractions - Old Town

things to do in Bratislava Slovakia

If you visit Bratislava around Christmas time you are lucky as the Old Town is full of Christmas markets (last year there were 5 of them!), each full of people, mulled wine and delicious food.

I was really impressed with the atmosphere of the place. As much as I’m not really into Christmas markets I was really surprised with the ones in Bratislava and actually liked them a lot!

Bratislava Christmas Market

Bratislava castle

Towering above the Old Town and Danube river Bratislava castle might have a spectacular location but itself it looks more like the table standing upside down.

Let’s be honest here, I saw better castles than this one. But still, it’s worth to climb up to see a pretty impressive view of the UFO Bridge and Petrzalka in the background.

Over the centuries Bratislava Castle played an important role in the history of Central Europe, from the mid-16th century it’s been the coronation city of the Hungarian Kingdom.

These days the castle is still under reconstruction after the fire in 1811 but it’s open to visiting and serves as the museum with some interesting exhibitions (during my last visit there was one about the advertisements after WW2).

You can get to the castle by walking (it’s a bit of an uphill) or by the sightseeing bus – click here to get the ticket.

Bratislava attractions - Castle

things to do in Bratislava Slovakia

UFO bridge

You love it or hate it but this is probably the most recognizable symbol of Bratislava (however some claim the castle has this title).

Officially this is the SNP Bridge (SNP standing for Slovenské národné povstanie – Slovak National Uprising) but everyone claims it to be UFO Bridge, thanks to the brutalism structure located on top of it.

You can take the elevator up to the top and either dine in the restaurant or go to the viewing platform to admire the most spectacular view of Bratislava.

I’ve heard soon the skywalk will be open there and that’s already a good reason for me to visit Bratislava again!

things to do in Bratislava Slovakia

things to do in Bratislava Slovakia

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Presidential palace

Built in 1760 in the Rococo / late Baroque style and located just outside the Old Town the Grassalkovich palace serves as the presidential palace.

It’s impossible to visit it inside but you can freely enjoy the gardens, designed in the French style. It’s a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax in a beautiful green space.

things to do in Bratislava Slovakia

things to do in Bratislava Slovakia

Slovak Radio building

If you are a fan of brutalism and quirky architecture this place is a real gem!

The building, finished in 1983, looks like the upside-down pyramid and once was included in the list of the 30 ugliest buildings in the world, alongside the National Library of Kosovo in Pristina or TV tower in Prague’s Zizkov. Well, for me it’s beautiful!

Slovak Radio building is one of the iconic Soviet-era buildings in Bratislava.

To see more of them and learn about those times I recommend joining a highly rated Soviet Era and Post-Communist Tour – click here to read more about it and book the place!

things to do in Bratislava Slovakia

Street art

Bratislava is not the best city for street art (unlike Kosice, second biggest Slovak city) but things are slowly improving.

In 2016 the first street art festival took place in the city and as a result you can see some beautiful murals like the one with the fox at Dunajska street.

Other places worth checking are under the UFO bridge (on the way to the castle) and the passage under Staromestska street, between Zochova, Kozia and Zupne namestie.

Bratislava street art

Bratislava street art

Bratislava street art


The independent art gallery focusing on Slovak 20th century and contemporary art.

I’ve been there twice and each time I had a great time, enjoying some beautiful paintings.

The gallery is conveniently located in the Bratislava Old Town and the building itself is worth visiting inside too.

If you must visit only one art gallery in Bratislava I’d recommend Nedbalka.

Bratislava attractions - Galeria Nedbalka

Bratislava attractions - Galeria Nedbalka


That’s one place in Bratislava I haven’t been to yet but I always promise myself I will go and see it next time.

Located on Slavin hill, the monument of Soviet casualties that lost their lives during the liberation of Bratislava in WW2 is interesting itself but that’s not the only reason why it’s worth to visit the place.

Since this is one of the highest places in the city the view from there is supposed to be really amazing!

Blue church

This is one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen, it leaves me impressed every single time I see it.

The Church of St. Elisabeth, better known as the Blue Church, is a perfect example of art nouveau architecture of the region. It looks like from a fairy tale, both from the inside and outside.

Next to the church you will find another beautiful building – the school designed in art nouveau style.

Bratislava attractions - Blue Church

Bratislava attractions - Blue Church


If you’re fascinated with urban exploration and Soviet-style blocks then Petrzalka is your place to go in Bratislava.

It is said this is the biggest neighborhood of that kind of Europe and I’m sure it’s not far from the truth.

For some reason I haven’t made it there yet but I always admire it either from the UFO bridge or from in front of the castle and I can hear Petrzalka calling my name! Next time I will go there for sure!

things to do in Bratislava Slovakia

Bratislava cafes

That’s one of my favorite things to do in Bratislava!

For me the Slovak capital has one of the best cafe scenes and new places are opening up often, living up to the high standards the city’s cafe scene has.

My favorite cafes are Urban Space, Urban House, Stur Cafe, Dobre&Dobre and my recent discovery – W Cafe (close to the bus station). They are all stylish, carefully designed and so charming I could spend hours enjoying them over the cup of nice coffee.

things to do in Bratislava Slovakia

things to do in Bratislava Slovakia

Outside Bratislava

When you’re done with all the Bratislava attractions but would like to explore some more I’m happy to report that the area around the Slovak capital offers a lot too!

Did you know Slovakia produces a really good wine? It’s not widely popular outside of the country but it really is good! And the best place to try it is Male Karpaty region, not far from Bratislava!

There are many great day trip options, not only within Slovakia but also to Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary. Below you can see some of them, you can read more about day trips from Bratislava here.

Cerveny Kamen

It is considered one of the most beautiful castles of the region. Built in the 16th century Cerveny Kamen castle is very well preserved until this day.

When I visited it was right before the St. Nicholas Day so I managed to tour the castle with a bunch of excited kids, the angel and the devil were our guides and eventually St. Nicholas himself appeared. It was so much fun!

I was also lucky as it was a gorgeous winter day and everything looked like from a fairy tale!

Cerveny Kamen

Cerveny Kamen

Cerveny Kamen

Cerveny Kamen


Modra is one of the places where you can go wine tasting but that’s not the only reason to visit the town.

This is one of the oldest towns in Slovakia and since 1607 it was known as Free Royal Town of Modra.

Until this day you can see the traditional urban space, surrounded by the city walls – it’s best to admire the view of the town and the area around from the tower of The Roman Catholic Church of St. Stephen the King.

Modra is also known for its ceramic which is just the prettiest and makes a perfect souvenir from Slovakia (I so wanted to buy everything there!) as well as the place where Ludovit Stur – the father of contemporary Slovak language – died.

Modra Slovakia

Modra Slovakia

Modra Slovakia

Modra Slovakia

Svaty Jur

Located just 15kms away from Bratislava Svaty Jur is famous for the wine too but the town itself is interesting as well, with the gothic church being one of the oldest of that kind in Slovakia.

Unfortunately, I visited the town and dusk so I couldn’t see it properly but it looks so quiet and peaceful under the blanket of snow.

Svaty Jur

Svaty Jur

Devin castle

This is probably the easiest and most popular (half) day trip from Bratislava yet I didn’t make it to Devin Castle myself.

Located only 10kms away from the Bratislava Old Town, very well preserved ruins of the castle dating back to the 9th century dominate the area, hanging on top of the cliff at the confluence of Danube and Morava rivers.

Devin Castle is also on top of my list of things to do in Bratislava next time I’m there!

Vienna, Austria

While most of the people visit Bratislava as the day trip from Vienna it’s possible to do the reverse trip too and visit Vienna from Bratislava, after all it’s only one hour by train.

Vienna is full of attractions and might be one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in Europe but if you start your day early enough you can see a big part of it!

Vienna is always a good idea but it might drain your wallet – that’s when staying in Bratislava and spending only one day in Vienna comes in handy!

Vienna Austria

Vienna Austria

Gyor, Hungary

Just like Vienna, Gyor is located only one hour away from Bratislava and makes a perfect day trip from there. If you feel like visiting Hungary this might be your answer.

I haven’t been there myself (yet!) but passed by recently on my way from Bratislava to Budapest and I really liked what I’ve seen.

Seemed to me like Gyor is another example of a pleasant Central European city that might be interesting to explore.

Brno, Czech Republic

Bratislava can be a great base for visiting Brno too!

The second biggest city in the Czech Republic is among my favorites and has so much to offer: beautiful architecture, long history, one of the most unique UNESCO listed monuments – modernist Tugendhat Villa – and of course great pubs and cafes.

Brno Czech Republic

Brno Czech Republic

Visiting Bratislava – practical information

How to get to Bratislava

Bratislava Ivanka airport is located very close to the center, less than 30 minutes by the public bus no 61 (it goes to/from the main train station).

The ticket machine is located in the airport, on both sides of the exit door. It’s a small airport, you won’t miss it.

The main airlines that serve Bratislava airport are Wizzair and Ryanair.

To get from the airport you can either use public transport (buses no 61 or 96) or by private airport transfer – click here to book it.

The main train station – Bratislava Hlavna Stanica – is located some 10 minutes walking from the Old Town.

As much as I love trains and train stations this is not my favorite place and I usually try to spend there as little time as possible.

But if you’re hungry there is a decent restaurant upstairs.

From the main train station there are frequent train connections to Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary as well as less frequent to Poland or Germany.

The main bus station is also located some 10-15 minutes walking from the Old Town but in a different direction than the train station.

If you need to wait for a while for your bus the nearby W Cafe is a perfect place to kill some time.

Where to stay in Bratislava?

Of all the place I’ve stayed in Bratislava I can definitely recommend Falkensteiner Hotel (8.6/10 on Booking).

It’s located at the edge of the Old Town, has big and comfy rooms and if you’re lucky you might have an awesome view! Click here to check more details and current deals on Falkensteiner Hotel!

Other recommended places to stay:

How to get around Bratislava?

The city, and especially the center, is pretty small so you can easily walk everywhere.

If you need to use the public transport this website is your best source of information with maps, tickets info and schedules.

Where to eat in Bratislava?

You already know my favorite cafes in the city. The Old Town is full of numerous restaurants, serving both local and international cuisine.

If you’re looking for some typical Slovak food I can definitely recommend you Bratislava Flagship Restaurant (the place is so beautiful!!) or Savoy Restaurant for the contemporary take on Slovak food.

Travel Resources

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things to do in Bratislava Slovakia

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  • Reply
    Lance Mentink
    22/03/2018 at 01:10

    Boy… you really take good pictures. Thanks… Lance

    • Reply
      29/03/2018 at 21:23

      Thank you for your kind words, they mean so much to me!

    • Reply
      26/02/2019 at 21:14

      Thank you for sharing this super helpful info! Just ate at Urban House based on your recommendation and it was amazing! This guide has been great for planning our Bratislava visit. Thanks, Kath ?

      • Reply
        05/04/2019 at 14:09

        I’m really glad to hear that! :) All the best and happy travels! :)

  • Reply
    24/03/2018 at 04:47

    One of the best travel sites I have ever visited!

    • Reply
      29/03/2018 at 21:23

      thank you!

  • Reply
    28/03/2018 at 06:19

    Hi Kami, thanks for your post. I wish you give us a little more of the historic details about the places instead of recalling how many times you’ve been there and when you will go again. By the way, I heard Trnava 45 minutes by train from Bratislava is a beautiful historic place with the largest concentration of Catholic churches outside of Rome. It is called the Vatican of Central Europe. Any ideas about it? It is not mentioned in your list of cities near Bratislava to visit

    • Reply
      29/03/2018 at 21:27

      This post is already long enough without historic details (that can be easily check on let’s say Wikipedia) so I think you’re not fair here, especially that this is a travel blog. As for Trnava – I also heard it’s nice but I haven’t been there yet myself (and from what I’ve seen from the train’s window it was just a normal city), I also don’t know anyone who has visited Trnava so I can’t recommend it, even based on friend’s opinion like with Gyor. But I’m hoping to go there soon so hopefully will include it in this list.

  • Reply
    01/04/2018 at 07:37

    Hmm what an odd comment above, I was literally thinking to myself ‘wow, this is the most comprehensive blog I’ve read about Bratislava!’. I’ve only been once so you’ve given me quite a few reasons to return – I’d loved to see more of the surrounding area as well.

    Loved the Devin Castle, UFO, Blue Church, Old Town and the radio station the most! Those alone make the city worth visiting. Oh, and I loooooved how inexpensive things are!

    • Reply
      12/05/2018 at 10:51

      There are always people who think you could have done your work better, always… I agree with you about the best places in Bratislava, they are mine faves too! :) I also really love the cafe scene there, it’s so amazing!

  • Reply
    12/07/2018 at 07:14

    Thank you for this informative post. I will be adding quite a few of these places to my list. Also, thanks for pointing put a day trip to Viennna. Vienna wasn’t on our itinerary but we are deffo going to look into adding it now.

    • Reply
      12/07/2018 at 14:54

      I’m really glad I could help! Hope you will have a great trip! Bratislava really is cool!

  • Reply
    29/11/2018 at 20:00

    I will be going to Bratislava next month with my family. I will definitely use your blog as a guide.

    • Reply
      01/12/2018 at 10:32

      That’s great! I hope you will enjoy the city! Happy travels!

  • Reply
    05/01/2019 at 01:25

    Hi Kami.
    I really enjoyed your blog and your photos .I have just today booked a trip to Bratislava for Easter and i am already excited about the trip.I think Bratislava looks like a very cool interesting city.I intend doing a day trip to Vienna too so i must check out your blog on that.I love to travel so much.I have been to Gdansk and Wroclaw in Poland and loved each of them for different reasons.I am from Ireland.Have you been here yet?

    • Reply
      27/01/2019 at 15:20

      Hi Sharon, thank you for your kind comment! I think you will really enjoy Bratislava and surrounding places. How long is your trip? Yes, I’ve been twice to Ireland and liked it a lot! I really hope to return there again! Happy travels!

  • Reply
    Sporty Travellers
    17/01/2019 at 18:02


    Great post. We have just booked plane tickets to Bratislava so the searching for information about the city can start. One of the first sites and articles was yours. The post is very informative. Thanks for sharing your view of the city.

    Best regards,
    Sporty Travellers

    • Reply
      27/01/2019 at 15:22

      Thank you! Have a good trip to Bratislava!

  • Reply
    11/02/2019 at 17:44

    We had a brilliant 3-day visit to Bratislava thanks to your guide, Kami! We ate at Bratislava Flagship Restaurant twice… Some of the best food I’ve tasted in the region so far. The castle was a highlight (especially since we had it almost to ourselves on a cold February morning), and we crossed the river to eat lunch and take a walk around Petrzalka, too. Did you get a chance to try the free walking tour of the Old Town? Our guide was fantastic—definitely worth joining. Bratislava is such an underrated city! I really hope to return one day.

    • Reply
      12/02/2019 at 14:10

      I’m really glad that you enjoyed Bratislava and I’m happy that I could help, even if a little bit only, with your trip there. I haven’t done the free walking tour yet but I will try to get on one next time I’m around. I’m really surprised that not many people can see a true face of Bratislava (ok, it took me many visits to see it too), it’s such a cool city!

  • Reply
    23/03/2022 at 23:48

    Thanks so much, Kami, what a great guide! Going there tomorrow so have marked a lot of places on the map, thanks!

    • Reply
      28/03/2022 at 08:02

      I hope you enjoyed Bratislava! It’s such an underrated city!

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