Charming historical and cultural delights nestle next to natural sights in Slovakia’s capital of Bratislava. Through the heart of the city flows the Danube and just outside it there are cycle paths that cry out for a day or two’s exploration of the green and gorgeous countryside enveloping the capital. The charming old town itself is all winding streets and narrow alleys, convivial cafes and grand 18th century buildings. If you can bear to leave it behind you can take a tour of the dense forests of the Carpathians before returning to enjoy the wide choice of dining options in the city. Over the city presides the fairy tale medieval castle and over most meetings presides slivovica, the local plum brandy that packs a very big punch!
Areas & Neighborhoods of Bratislava
Old Town - Bratislava’s pleasant medieval inner city is all narrow, winding streets, charming cafes and atmospheric restaurants. On a hill overlooking it is the ancient castle and it’s also hard to escape the Danube as you aimlessly wander. There are many historic churches and buildings to visit and the main attractions centre on the two squares, Hlavne namestie and Hviezdoslavovo namestie.
Soviet Areas - Of a different sort of historic interest are the communist-era buildings that can be found in the modern parts of the city. Statues, administrative buildings and housing complexes are reminders of just how relatively recently Slovakia became a separate state. The Petrzalka housing estate is the biggest Communist-era housing complex in Central Europe, and it stretches on beyond the river.
East of the City - Head a little further east and suddenly you will find yourself in delightful rural landscapes. Farms, vineyards, agricultural land and small villages are less than a short drive from the heart of the city.
Carpathians - For a taster of what is to come in the rest of Slovakia you can walk into the dense forests of the Small Carpathians in under thirty minutes. The mountains continue from here throughout most of the rest of the country and their peaks just get higher and higher.
Things to See in Bratislava
The hill-top castle is a dominating sight of Bratislava and you can follow the Danube that flows by it all the way down into the old town where 18th century churches, squares and grand houses are linked by narrow, cobbled streets that are a delight to get lost amongst. A different type of history can be seen in the Soviet-era architecture that defines areas of the city.
Things to Do in Bratislava
Sitting in a cafe by the Danube is a lovely way to spend an afternoon and by night there are some excellent restaurants to choose from in the city. Take a tour of the vineyards and farms that surround Bratislave or walk to the dense forests in the foothills of the nearby mountains. Hire a bike to cycle along the paths that fringe the beautiful countryside at the edge of the city or enjoy the museums and galleries in its centre.