Bratislava: Slovakia's Stunning Capital City
by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | August 25th, 2021
During our European travels, John and I planned a day trip out to Bratislava. We were passing by Slovakia on our way to Budapest, and I found myself intrigued by the capital city. After we arrived, we wandered around the charming Old Town, took in the beautiful sights, and ate our weight in chimney cake. After exploring the enticing city all afternoon, I have to admit, I was hooked. Bratislava is definitely underrated. This Slovakian gem has a lot to offer, and I hope to see more of it one day soon.
If you happen to find yourself in this unique and interesting city, be sure not to miss these six sights.
Probably the most recognizable sight in Bratislava is Michael's Gate. Located in the center of Old Town, this is the last medieval gate standing in the city. For a cool experience, walk up several flights of narrow stairs to reach the top of the tower. From there, you'll see sweeping views over the Old Town.
Old Town Hall
Another great sight in Old Town is the Old Town Hall. Built in 1370, this is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Visitors climb this tower, and get fantastic aerial views of the main square below.
From practically everywhere in the city you can spot the impressive Bratislava Castle. Perched high on a hill, overlooking the Danube River, Bratislava Castle is a must-see. Whether you opt to take a tour of the inside, or just walk around the impressive grounds, this incredible structure isn't a sight to be missed.
St Martin’s Cathedral
Right in the middle of the city center, below Bratislava Castle, is St. Martin's Cathedral. Home to the Archdiocese of Bratislava, this beautiful gothic-style church was built in 1221. Visitors can explore the inside, the surroundings, or even attend church services.
The statues of Bratislava have their own cult following. These quirky and unique pieces of art attract tourists from all over the world. The most popular ones are definitely Cumil (aka "Man at Work"), Hans Christian Andersen, Napoleon's Army Soldier, and Schone Naci. See how many you can find while exploring lovely Bratislava.
After a long day wandering around, be sure to indulge in a delicious chimney cake. What is a chimney cake you ask? It's sweet dough, rolled and cooked over hot coals, then topped with cinnamon and sugar. At Chimney Friends, you can custom make your chimney cake by adding an ice cream and/or a fruit topping of your choice. You don't want to miss this local treat - trust me!
When to Go: Summer is warm and sunny, with occasional rain showers. Winter is cold and grey, with a decent amount of snowfall. Spring and fall are comfortable, cool, and often wet. There really isn't a bad time to visit Bratislava, it all depends on your weather preferences.
Where to Stay: I personally think Bratislava's Old Town is the best place to stay. It's charming, unique, and close to all the best sights. Check out Tripadvisor for recommended hotels.
One or two days is enough to see the main sights in Bratislava.
Most people speak Slovak in Bratislava, but a lot of people speak English as well.
The euro is the main currency in Slovakia.