Just a one hour bus trip from Vienna, Bratislava is the capital city of Slovakia and is located right on the Danube River. There are endless cafes, restaurants, bars, sights to see and many historical places to visit. We took a day trip here, but you could divide it in two days, if you’d like to have more of a relaxed trip.
Best Time to Visit:
While peak season is spring and summer in Slovakia, we took advantage of the off season and went in November-we actually went on the American’s Thanksgiving Day- and it was lovely. Less crowds, more quiet and quaint, it was just perfect. Bratislava is a very affordable city, in comparison to Vienna, so we were happy to enjoy food and drinks here that didn’t break the bank.
How to Get There:
Flixbus: For 10€, you can ride roundtrip to/from Vienna in a comfortable, clean coach with Wifi. We were SUPER impressed with this bus and wish we could’ve taken it all over Europe, but, sadly, they do not allow dogs on board (we left our fluffy baby with a dog sitter for the day in Vienna). Buses depart almost every hours to/from Vienna and, if you want to change your ticket, you can up to 15 minutes prior to your scheduled departure, for only 1€.
How To Get Around:
Walking: Bratislava is a pedestrian-only small city, which means walking is a must here. Be sure to wear comfortable footwear, as there are cobblestone streets throughout.
Local Bus: To get to Devin Castle, you’ll need to take a Bus. Luckily, Bus #29 and #128 leave from Bratislava Most SNP regularly, making it easy to take the 15km journey.
Uber: Another great way to get to Devin Castle is via Uber, which will cost you about $15USD roundtrip.
Where To Stay:
We didn’t stay overnight in Bratislava, but I trust Wandertooth for the best recommendations. Check out their Website for info.
We are faithful Airbnb users and the apartments in Bratislava looked awesome! For $33 off your first AIRBNB booking, click HERE:
Where & What To Eat:
Slovak Pub on Obchodna Street:
This was the highlight of our trip to Bratislava. The pub is warm, inviting and full of history. The service is top notch and the food/beer is INSANELY good! DO NOT miss this place-take time to wander around and explore the inside, as it’s super historical (the menu gives a lot great info about the building)! You can make reservations online prior to going too, just in case. Be sure to order their house made beer, garlic soup and Bryndzove halusky (dumplings in cream). I’m still dreaming about the food here.
What To Do (in route order):
Photo Credit: https://www.visitbratislava.com/places/bratislava-castle/
Start your day out by climbing up the hill to this incredible castle, built back in 3500BC. Don’t miss the Crown Tower for EPIC views of the city as well as the Danube River and the Museum of History.
Castle: Apr-Sept 9am-9:30pm, winter 9am-6pm
Museum: Closed Mondays. T-Sun 9am-5pm
Cost: Entry to the castle is free, 7€ to enter museum
St. Martins Cathedral:
Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Martin%27s_Cathedral,_Bratislava
St. Martin’s Cathedral was built in the 12th century and is most famous for its spire, underground crypt with catacombs. Be sure to dress appropriately and don’t disturb those while praying.
Summer: M-F 9am-11:30, 1pm-6pm. Winter: M-F 9am-11:30, 1pm-4pm
Saturday: 9am-11:30am, Sunday 1:30pm-4:30pm
Cost: 2.50 €
Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bratislava,_Staré_Mesto,_Kapitulská_ulica_III.jpg
Take a stroll down Kapitulska Street, the oldest street in Bratislava.
Bastova Street/Michael’s Gate:
Follow Kapitulska Street around the corner to Bastova Street, the narrowest street in Bratislava, which leads to Michael’s Gate. Michael’s Gate is the last standing gate in the city.
Main Square (Hlavne Namestie) & Old Town Hall:
Photo Credit: http://slovakianguide.com/en/old-town-hall-bratislava-city-museum-museum-of-the-city-history
The Main Street square of Bratislava, this is must see, especially during December, as there is a wonderful Christmas Market! Climb up to the top of Old Town Hall for views of the square and don’t miss the iconic street statues.
My favorite building in Bratislava (it’s pink!), The Priamtatial Palace was finished in 1781. The Hall of Mirrors historically was where the Peace Treaty of Pressburg between Austria and France was signed in 1805 and now holds City Council meetings.
Hours: Tue-Sun 10:00 – 17:00, closed Monday
Presidental Palace (Grassalkovich Palace):
Located slightly outside the city in Hodzovo Namestie Square, this is Slovakia’s White House, where the President sits, but does not reside.
Apr-Sept 9am-9pm, Oct-Mar 10am-6pm
Cost: Free admission to the gardens
UFO Observation Deck:
Photo Credit: https://www.visitbratislava.com/places/ufo/
Deck: 10am-11pm daily, Restaurant 12pm-11pm daily, Bar 10am-11pm daily
Cost: UFO desk 7.40€
Situated 14km(8.8mi) away from the city center, Devin Castle is a must see during your visit. This castle was blown up by Napoleon’s army and is more or less ruins now. It offers up gorgeous panoramic views of Slovakia and Austria. You can take a 20-minute Uber from the city center for $15USD roundtrip or Bus number 29 or 128 from Bratislava SNP to get there. Josh took his drone up there and we took the most epic aerial videos/photos.
Hours: Vary by season, check website
Cost: 4 €