25 Things to Do in Bratislava

Here are my tips for 25 fun things to do in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.

Take in the Views from the UFO Observation Tower

The UFO is a restaurant and observation platform at the southern end of the New Bridge.

UFO bridge

The New Bridge and the UFO

It costs 6.50 Euro to get onto the observation deck.

UFO odservation tower

Close up of the UFO

Sample Local Beer at the Castle Brewery

If you get thirsty walking up to Bratislava Castle, then a stop at the Castle Brewery, will provide refreshment. Beers brewed on the premises include a 10% ‘Castle Light’ and a 14% Castle ‘Semi-Dark’ which cost under 2 Euro for half a litre.

castle brewery

Castle Brwery

Listen to Traditional Slovakian Songs

There’s a clock with eighteen bells hanging below the clock face, at the front of the modern shopping centre in Dunajska.  On the hour, the bells play traditional Slovakian songs.

clock with bells

The bells below the clock

Ride the Old Timer Road Train

You get a good overview of Bratislava by taking a ride on the ‘Old Timer’ road train, which departs from outside the old Slovak National Theatre.

old timer road train

The Old Timer train in Bratislava

Spot the Mini Gherkin

There’s a mini version of the Gherkin in London at the Eurovea shopping centre.

mini gherkin

Visit the Museum of the City History

You can find out more about Bratislava at the Museum of the City History.

museum of the city  history

As it was very hot when I was in Bratislava, so I cooled off in a shady seat in the passageway into courtyard where the entrance Museum of City History is located.

passageway to history of city museum

A cool seat

Spot the Wooden Biplane at Bratislava Airport

There’s a wooden biplane, a replica Caproni Ca 33, suspended from the ceiling of the departures terminal at Bratislava Airport.

biplane at bratislava airport

Biplane at Bratislava Airport

Do Some Lion Spotting

In the square by the new Slovak National Theatre there’s a lion atop a column behind the sculpture of Milan Ratislav Stefanik, an important figure in the struggle for Czechoslovakian independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

lion sculpture

Milan Ratislav Stefanik sculpture with the lion column behind

lion sculpture close up

Close up of the lion sculpture

Go Back in Time at the Pharmacy Museum

The Pharmacy Museum is housed in a former pharmacy called ‘At the Red Crayfish’  – which seems a very strange name for a pharmacy.

pharmacy museum

The Pharmacy Museum in Bratislava

The Museum is just up from Michael’s Gate. The admission ticket includes a visit to the Museum of Arms in Michael’s Gate tower.

st michael's gate

Michael’s Gate tower

Admire the New Slovak National Theatre

The new Slovak National Theatre opened in 2007. Construction started in 1986, but funding issues caused several delays.

new national theatre

The new Slovak National Theatre

Visit the Capuchin Church

The Capuchin Church, dedicated to St Stephen of Hungary, was built by the Capuchin order of friars who came to Bratislava in 1675.

capuchin church

The Capuchin Church

Visit Bratislava Castle

Bratislva Castle sits on the Little Carpathians hills, which rise from the banks of the River Danube. For three hundred years, Bratislava was the coronation city of the Hungarian kings, who were crowned in the Castle. The Castle is now managed by the Slovak National Museum, who run exhibitions there.

bratislava castle

Bratislava Castle

See Slovakian Modern Art at the Galleria Nedbalka

The Galleria Nedbalka houses 20th century Slovakian art. I liked the fact that the gallery was open from 1pm until 7pm, as most museums and galleries close at 5pm.

museum of modern art

Galleria Nedbalka

Get Your Photo Taken on a Penny Farthing

There’s a bicycle rack opposite the Primate’s Palace which has a penny farthing at either side.

penny farthing

The penny farthing bicycle rack

Have a Seat by the Fountain at Old Market Hall

The Old Market Hall opened in 1910 and was regularly used as a covered market until the 1960s. It has since been used a film studio and exhibition hall. There are seats by the fountain outside Old Market Hall.

old market hall

Old Market Hall

Taste Wine in Hviezdoslav Square

There’s a wine tasting kiosk in Hviezdoslav Square

Hviezdoslav Square wine tasting

Wine tasting kiosk

Have Fun at the Coronation Festival

The Coronation Festival which takes place in June, features a costumed re-inactment of a coronation, including a procession from Bratislava Castle to the Old Town. In 2015, the 1712 coronation of Charles III will be commemorated over the weekend 26- 28 June.

crown

Crown displayed in the pre-2014 Coronation Festival exhibition in the Primate’s Palace

Admire the Copper Doors in Hlavne Namestie

I thought that these were some of the most beautiful doors I’d ever seen.

copper doors

Copper doors in Hlavne Namestie

See Some Budget Ballet

Amanda recommends seeing some budget ballet at the old National Theatre in Bratislava. I had a look a ticket prices and they ranged from 4 to 20 Euro.

old national theatre

The old Slovak National Theatre

Visit the Trinitarian Church

Construction of the Baroque style Trinitarian Church started in 1717. It’s a simliar design to St Peter’s in Vienna. From 1939 to 1994, the Slovak National Council met here. in 1992, the passing of the declaration of Slovakia’s independence took place in the building.

trinitarian church

The Trinitarian Church

Admire the Glass Sculptures in Gorkeho

Above the grand entrance of Palais Motesicky on the northern side of Gorkeho, behind the old Slovak National Theatre, you’ll find a cluster of glass flower sculptures, by Czech designer Borek Sipek.  I thought that they looked at their best when illuminated after dark.

glass sculptures

The illuninated glass sculptures

Take a Cruise on the River Danube

There are lots of options for Danube cruises in Bratislava. You can take a city sightseeing tour, visit Devin Castle, the Danubina Meulensteen Art Museum, or take a day trip to Vienna.

danube cruise

Cruising the Danube

Be Dwarfed by the Monument to the National Slovak Uprising

The Monument to the National Slovak Uprising commemorates the attempt to depose the pro-Nazi government of Jozef Tiso in 1944, during World War Two. At the end of the war in 1945, the Soviet Army took control of Slovakia.

monument to slovak national uprising

Browse the Street Markets

There’s a small market comprising of red kiosks close to Hlavne Namestie. It’s attractive even when shut, as the stalls are adorned with illustrations and information about the city.

market red stalls

Red market stall kiosks near Hlavne Namestie

There’s also a small market in front of the old Slovak National Theatre.

Hviezdoslav Square market

Market stalls near the old Slovak National Theatre

Buy Slovak Folk Arts and Crafts

Some of the nicest locally made souvenirs I saw were in a store in Hlavne Namestie.

slovak folk art and crafts

Slovak Folk Arts and Crafts shop

Street Art

There’s plenty of street art in Bratislava. My favourie batch was behind St Martin’s Cathedral.

street art four faces

Street art in Bratislava

I hope that you’ve enjoyed my travel tips for things to do in Bratislava.

Read my article which investigates if you should buy an Bratislava City Card.

Tips for Things to Do in Slovakia

You can also read our tips on ten things to do in Slovakia.