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What to do in 1 day in Bratislava

Location: Bratislava Length: 3 hours Needed: Good mood Language: English

Basic Infos

If you only had one day to stay in Bratislava, you would be unfortunate indeed. The truth is that there is so much to see and experience in Bratislava that one day or even one week might not be enough. The big advantage of the city is that all emblematic parts are quite close to one another, making public transportation only necessary if you have to go farther away from the center.

Let’s Walk?

Join the Walking Tours to learn about the most symbolic corners of Bratislava and its main monuments.

This city was one of the biggest recipients of the resources of the massive Austro-Hungarian Empire. As a result, it is the proud owner of many elegant and beautiful buildings from the 1700 to 1800s.

Moreover, Bratislava is not exactly a newcomer city. It has had Roman forts since forever and its medieval structures date back hundreds of years. Visiting this city is like going through a catalog of the things that make Central Europe so intriguing and interesting. Be that as it may, if you were unfortunate enough to be given only one day to visit Bratislava, you should definitely check out Bratislava Castle.

Bratislava Old Town

The old town of Bratislava is where to begin your Slovakian adventure. Although the area is small, there are hundreds of winding alleyways crammed in, and an almost never-ending choice of cafes and bars to choose to rest your feet in. Considered by most to mark the centre of the city, Hlavne Namestie literally translates to Main Square, although the square has changed its name many times over the long history of Bratislava.

Bratislava Castle

If there is one travel spot that sums up the city of Bratislava, it would have to be Bratislava Castle. This massive castle perched on a hill above the city proper is an amazing testament to Bratislava’s age and cultural longevity. It has weathered many shifting geopolitical changes and wars. Bratislava Castle dates back to the ninth century AD. If that isn’t amazing enough for you, the site it is on actually was the location of a much earlier Roman fort.

This is how far Bratislava and Slovakian strategic importance goes back in European history. If only its walls could speak. Maybe we would hear about shifting fortunes and medieval intrigues and power plays. The good news is that they don’t have to since the Castle is also home to many different museums. Storehouse of Slovak Culture and excellence.

In addition to the great walls, beautiful view of Bratislava, and panoramic scenery, Bratislava Castle also houses several museums which store many of Slovakia’s cultural riches and past achievements. In fact, one of the museums stores over 3500 pieces of art. You can spend weeks here and barely touch upon the rich treasure trove of culture locked away within its walls.

Slovak National Theatre

If you were able to pull away from Bratislava’s magnetic charm and historical gravity, your best bet would be to hang out at the Slovak National Theatre. Situated right next to a great square, this theatre highlights Slovakia’s history as one of the biggest recipients of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s wealth.

There is no hint of faded glory here either. The Viennese-inspired Neo-Renaissance architecture brings the past back to life like any of the ballets and plays performed inside this building. There is just something romantic and mystical about strolling through the square in front of the National Theatre and lounging in the square as the sun sets. Once darkness has descended, the building is lit up, and it looks nothing short of breath-taking.

Primatial Palace

If you were lucky enough to have a couple of hours left in your one-day tour of Bratislava, you should devote those precious final hours to the Primatial Palace. Soak up the grandeur of 18th century Austro-Hungarian splendor of this archbishop’s residence.

Bratislava Statues

As you walk around the city you may find some funny and interesting statues along the way. These statues were placed in the city center after the fall of comunism in order to create some life on the streets. The most famous statue is called Cumil – dated from 1997 – is a bronze sculpture of a guy peeping out of the manhole. At the Main Square you can find a statue of Napoleon’s Army that visited Bratislava in 1805. At last you can find two more funny statues: Schone Naci – a statue of a man greeting people from the street; and the last one, the statue Papparazzi – a statue of a man with a camara photographing everyone entering in a famous restaurant of Bratislava.

Where to Eat

The traditions of Slovak cuisine, and particularly what to eat in Bratislava, can be traced back to when the majority of the population lived in villages and relied on what they could grow and rear in order to live self-sufficiently.  Dishes generally consist of hearty stews and soups and plenty of pork meat, in all of its forms. Find more about what to eat and where in Bratislava on Famous Hostels Guide.

Where to Sleep – Patio Hostel   

Patio Hostel Bratislava has got a perfect location, only 10 minutes walk from both main train and bus stations and in the very city center of Bratislava. In ancient times it used to be a junction of old trade routes and various civilizations that left here their own magnificent and impressive remains.

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Meeting Point: statue of Hviezdoslav, Hviezdoslavovo square


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