Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. Comparing to capital cities around the world, Bratislava is relatively small, but even though you can still find plenty of things to see and do there. If you are wondering what the best things to do in Bratislava are, read our tips.
12 Best things to do in Bratislava
Walk around the old town of Bratislava
The narrow streets are full of history, breweries, restaurants, bars and tiny shops. It is nice just to wander around, feel the city vibes and enjoy the old architecture of houses and churches.
Hike up to TV tower Kamzik
If you are up for a hike you can walk from Bratislava to a nearby hill with the TV tower. If you don’t feel like walking, you can also drive there. Visit the restaurant or bar in the tower and enjoy 360° views over Bratislava and surroundings. We loved that the restaurant tables were circling, so we were eating and enjoying the view, which were continuously changing. There is just one downside – the prices are pretty high, but I guess you are paying also for the views and experience.
Enjoy the views from UFO’s observation deck
To get the best views over Bratislava, you have to visit the UFO’s observation deck. Just one floor beneath the observation deck is a restaurant and bar, also offering beautiful views over Bratislava. If ordering something from the bar, prepare to wait long – maybe we were just a bit unlucky with the service, but we were waiting for our drinks 40 minutes! (Observation deck price: 7€/adults, 3,50€/children)
Shop till you drop in Aupark
Just over the UFO bridge, which takes you from the old town of Bratislava to the new part of the city, stands a new shopping mall. It offers lots of shops, cafés and restaurants. If you are traveling to Bratislava with kids, the Aupark also has a nice outodoor playground.
Order Bratislavsky Ležak with goulash and dumplings
You cannot explore a new place if being hungry and thirsty. When in Bratislava make sure to spend some time in a local brewery, order its local beer and try a traditional dish – we recommend goulash with bread dumplings in Bratislavsky Mestiansky Pivovar which has been running since 1752.
Make a trip to Devin’s castle
Just about 10 kilometers from the old town of Bratislava lays the Devin Castle or better said its ruins. They offer nice views over the Danube River too. If you are in Bratislava from spring to autumn, you can make the trip on your bikes, as it must be beautiful. You can also reach Devin by bus or by boat on the River Danube, what should be nice experience as well. (Devin castle ticket: 3€/pp)
Meet the Beautiful Naci (Schöne Náci)
There once lived Ignac Lamar in Bratislava. He was a local, that everyone named Beautiful Naci (Schöne Náci). The reason was that he was always dressed smart and walked around the Bratislava’s old town. When he saw a beautiful young girl, he took his cylinder hat from his head, as a gesture of admiration. You will find his statue near the main square.
Be trendy and visit a hipster café
Oh yes, Bratislava is becoming trendy and has some really nice bars and restaurants. We loved the hipster bar Urban House. If you are there, make sure to try their home-made lemonades.
Stroll along the river Danube
Make the best of your sunny day in Bratislava and take a walk along the river Danube. The views over Bratislava castle are beautiful.
Get to know the history
Its best landmark is Bratislava castle for sure. It is beautiful lighted during the night, when its white color truly shines. The castle we see today was actually newly built as it was destroyed completely by the fire in 1811. The castle was also a residence of Maria Theresa.
Visit the Slavin war memorial
Set just above the old town, this memorial has beautiful views over Bratislava. The memorial remembers 6000 Soviet soldiers, who died when pushed out the Nazis from Western Slovakia.
Make the best of the night
Bratislava is also known for being a great place to party. There are lots of night clubs and discotheques, breweries and pubs. Lots of people from Western Europe come here only to party, as Bratislava is a cheap destination for them. Coming from Slovenia, Bratislava in general did feel a bit pricy for us.
Like we said, Bratislava is not a large capital, but it still has plenty of things to offer. If you want to enjoy the city with the best things to do in Bratislava without rushing, book 2-3 nights in a hotel in or around the old town. We stayed at hotel Matyšak, 15 minutes by foot to the old town of Bratislava.
We have visited Bratislava as a press trip organized by the Bratislava Tourism Board, but all opinions and recommendations are our own.