Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, a beautiful city in the heart of Europe, attracts millions of tourists every year who come here to discover its historical and cultural riches.
Are you considering going on a city break in a quiet European capital, but where you won’t find a huge number of tourists? We believe Bratislava might be the right choice. Below are the major tourist attractions in Bratislava that you should check out on your vacation to the city.
Castles in Bratislava
Bratislava has two treasures worth visiting – the first is Bratislava Castle, or “Hrad” as the locals call it. It is situated on a high hill offering great views not only of the city, but also of Austria and Hungary and on clear days even Vienna. Unsurprisingly, this castle is considered an important symbol for the city of Bratislava. Built in the Gothic Renaissance style and originally used as a fortress, dating back to the 12th century, this castle is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bratislava. It was affected by a devastating fire in 1811 but was rebuilt between 1954 and 1968.
Churches in Bratislava – St. Martin’s Church and of St. Elizabeth’s Church
St. Martin’s Church is located on the outskirts of the Old Town of Bratislava, and is the most important Gothic structure in the city. It was originally built in Roman style in the thirteenth century, with some modifications done over time. The most important change, which in some way defined its architectural style, was that a Gothic hall was added at the end of the fourteenth century.
In the fourteenth century, the St. Martin’s Church became the place where Hungarian rulers were crowned until the end of the 19th century. One of the new facts about the way St. Martin’s Church was built is that it was built as part of the fortification walls.
If you arrive here, do not miss the statue of St. Martin, dating back to the eighteenth century, painted in Baroque style by Raphael Donner, and the crown of St. Stefan, a replica of the Hungarian royal crown, one meter high. The church tower is placed at a height of about 85 meters above the city.
The second church that I want to remind you of is the church of St. Elizabeth or the Blue Church as it is known to tourists because of the color facade. It was built in modern art between 1909-1913, and then it became one of the most attractive new buildings in Bratislava. Designed by architect Ödön Lechner, it has an impressive interior and exterior architecture. The beautiful ceiling is made of blue ceramic.
Old Center in Bratislava – Michael’s gate and tower
The Old Town dates back to the beginning of the medieval city of Bratislava, since the 13th century, a place where time seems to have stopped passing for a while. What could be more beautiful than walking around the narrow, cobblestone streets, gazing at the bronze statues and mesmerizing landscapes? Here you will find the most popular statue in the old city of Bratislava, the statue of Cumil, which depicts an old man getting out of a canal.
Palaces of Bratislava – the Patriarchal and the Grossalkovich Palace
The Grossalkovich Palace is the place where the Slovak president lives and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bratislava, close to the Archbishop’s Summer Palace.
The Grossalkovich Palace was built in 1760 by the architect Anton Mayerhofer for the great Hungarian noble Count Anton Grossalkovich, hence its name. The construction was done in Baroque and Rococo architecture.
If you arrive at the Grossalkovich Palace, we recommend you to visit the French garden here, which impresses every tourist with the hundreds of colored flowers here.
The Patriarchal Palace was built between 1778 and 1781 in classical architectonic style, becoming one of the most impressive classical style buildings in Slovakia. It was built on the land of the Slovak Patriarch Esztergom and contains many statues of patriarchs.
SNP Bridge in Bratislava
The SNP bridge, or the new bridge, as locals call it, was built between 1993 and 2012, becoming the longest suspension bridge in the world. It is 84.6 meters high and has a total length of 430 meters. The bridge became a famous tourist attraction thanks to the shape of a UFO at the top of the tower. Here you can find the UFO restaurant, that we recommend trying out, from where you can enjoy wonderful views of the Danube and Bratislava. You will discover here an elegant restaurant in an intimate atmosphere, ideal for dinner.
The UFO restaurant is open daily between 12:00 and 23:00 and the main course is between 22 and 30 euros per person.