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Old Town Hall, Bratislava
Old Town Hall, © Can Stock Photo / kufrik

Bratisalava is located on the Danube (Donau) and Morava Rivers at the foot of the Little Carpathian Mountains.  It was formerly known as Prešporok and the Germans called it Pressburg.  It has a population of about a half million people.  The city is the capital of Slovakia and has a long history of Austrian, German and Hungarian influences.


Bratislava has a continental climate.  The summer months are the most popular for visiting Bratislava.  The height of summer is the months of July and August with average highs around 27 C (80 F) and average lows of about 15 C (59 F).  From December to February expect average highs around the freezing mark and average lows of -2 C (28 F).  Precipitation is slightly higher in the summer months from May to September.  June and September are good options for a visit as temperatures are still comfortable and the peak of the European tourist season is avoided.



Bratislava Milan Rastislav Štefánik Airport (Bratislava Airport, BTS) is a short taxi ride from downtown and is the best option upon arrival or departure.  Bratislava Hlavná Stanica is the main international railway station.  Bratislava is less than an hour from Vienna International Airport (VIE) with train or bus providing excellent connections for that option.  Dopravný podnik Bratislava, a city-owned company, operates public buses, trolleys and trams.  Bratislava is a standard river cruise destinations.  Major cruises do not start or end here, but there are day cruises to Vienna by catamaran.

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle, © Can Stock Photo / tomas1111

Attractions in Bratislava:

Things to see and do:

  • Bratislava Old Town is where most of the attractions in the city are located.  The Main Square (Hlavne Namestie) contains Roland Fountain (aximiliánova fontána), the Bratislava City Museum (Múzeum mesta Bratislavy) and the Old Town Hall (Stará radnica).  The Old Town Hall has a canon ball imprint from Napoleon's troops imbedded in the wall.  Less than a block away is Primates Square and the Primate's Palace (Primaciálny Palác).  The Palace built in the 1780s, is a highlight of Bratislava that dominates Primatial Square with its marble statues and a white facade capped by cast iron cardinal’s hat turret. The Hall of Mirrors inside is a smaller version of Versaille's Hall of Mirrors.  Napoleon signed the Peace of Pressburg Treaty here in 1805 after his defeat at the Battle of Austerlitz.

  • Stroll the shops and restaurants of St Michael's Street to St Michael’s Gate, the last of four original city gates through the Old City walls.  Nearby are the Capuchin Church & Monastery (Kostol Sv. Stefana) dedicated in 1711, the Franciscan Church (Kostol Zvestovania Pána) dedicated in 1297 and behind it is Mirbach Palace (Mirbachov palác), which is a 1770s Rococo-style palace. 

Blue Church, Bratislava

Blue Church, © Can Stock Photo / Ondrooo

  • St Elisabeth Church (the Blue Little Church, Modry kostolik) is a short walk east from the Main Square.

  • Bratislava Castle (Hrda) is located on the hill overlooking the city.  It is a 1900s reconstruction of the original 9th century castle that was destroyed by fire.  On the way up the hill, visit the House of the Good Shepherd (Dom U dobrého pastiera), which is home to the Museum of Clocks and nearby is the gothic St Martin’s Cathedral, where Hungarian emperors were coronated.

  • the Jewish Community Museum, Chatam Sofer mausoleum and the Jewish Quarter.

  • Grassalkovich Palace - the Slovak Presidential Palace located at Hodzovo Namestie (Hodza Square).

  • At Hviezdoslav Square, you will find the Historical Slovak National Theatre and the Slovak Philharmonic.  Nearby are the Slovak National Gallery and the Slovak National Museum.

  • Take the elevator to the Observation Deck and UFO Restaurant of the Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising (also known as Most Slovenského národného povstania, Most SNP, Nový Most, the New Bridge or the UFO Bridge).  

  • Eurovea shopping complex.

  • Slavín War Memorial - built in 1960 in memory of the 6,000 Soviet soldiers that died fighting the Nazis in West Slovakia.

Grassalkovich Palace, Bratislava

Grassalkovich Palace, © Can Stock Photo / jarino47

Things to see and do near Bratislava:

  • Devin Castle (Hrad Devin) - located about 20 minutes from the Old Town, where the Danube and Morava Rivers meet.  See ruins from the Romans and the Greater Moravian Empire.  Napoleon's troops destroyed Devin Castle in 1809.

  • Bratislava's Zoological Park (Bratislavská zoologická záhrada) is located in Mlynská dolina.

  • Bratislava Forest Park (Bratislavský lesný park) and the Kamzík TV Tower are located in the Little Carpathians.

  • Rusovce Manor (Kaštieľ v Rusovciach)

  • Travel one hour by train to Vienna or cruise there on the Danube.

  • Small Carpathian Wine Country Day Trip From Bratislava

Bratislava and the Danube

Bratislava and the Danube, © Can Stock Photo / tomas1111

Savor the Tastes of Bratislava:

  • Bryndzové halušky - soft potato dumplings with bryndza (soft sheep cheese) and bacon.

  • Richman - bread roll filled with cabbage and cheese.

  • Treska - cold codfish salad.

Bratislava Tours:

Hotels in Bratislava:

Hotel Listings for Bratislava:

Bratislava Airport (BTS) - including a list of hotels with a shuttle.

Vienna International Airport (VIE) - including a list of hotels with a shuttle.

View Bratislava map

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