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.
The New Bridge and the UFO
It costs 6.50 Euro to get onto the observation deck.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Visit the Museum of the City History
You can find out more about Bratislava at the 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.
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
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.
Milan Ratislav Stefanik sculpture with the lion column behind
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Taste Wine in Hviezdoslav Square
There’s a wine tasting kiosk in Hviezdoslav Square
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Red market stall kiosks near Hlavne Namestie
There’s also a small market in front of the old Slovak National Theatre.
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 Arts and Crafts shop
There’s plenty of street art in Bratislava. My favourie batch was behind St Martin’s Cathedral.
Street art in Bratislava
I hope that you’ve enjoyed my travel tips for things to do in Bratislava.
You can also read our tips on ten things to do in Slovakia.