The capital of Slovakia, Bratislava is a compact and picturesque city on the western tip of the country very close to Austria. The narrow, winding cobbled streets lead down to, here, the industrial and not terribly picturesque Danube.

The small city is easily explored on food with it's winding often cobbled streets and alleys.

Tip: If you look you can see the alleys through many buildings that used to provide access to the river in case of fire.

What to See and Do


The UFO is a restaurant/viewing platform on the bridge (“Most SNP”) near the castle offering great views of the center of the city, the Danube, and surrounding area. It is named for the fact that it looks like, well, a UFO (!). There is an entrance fee for the observation platform.

St. Martin's Cathedral (Dóm sv. Martina)

A simple but elegant cathedral in the middle of the city (unfortunately situated beside a motorway) located very close to the former site of a Jewish synagogue.

Bratislava Castle

Dominating the Bratislava skyline is Bratislava Castle (Slovakian site) which can be visited and offers great views of the Danube and countryside to the south (not so much of the city).

The castle grounds and the “Baroque Garden” can be visited free of charge and the castle itself has exhibits. It is also home to the Museum of History.

Christmas Markets

Christmas Tram

Christmas is a special time in Bratislava with the town decorated very nicely. There is even a Christmas Tram decorated for the holidays and complete with a nativity display at one end.

Hviezdoslavovo námestie, Old Town (Staré Mesto)

Christmas Tree and Nativity

The “Hviezdoslavovo námestie” boulevard in old town is lined with a mixture of food and craft stalls along with a small skating rink.

Old Town Hall

Main Square

The main market is in the square outside of the Old Town Hall which is lined with stalls mostly selling alcohol though outside stalls do have crafts on offer. This is the most crowded of the two markets in town though it is the one with the nicest atmosphere.


Getting Around


As with many European cities, there are frequent trams operating throughout the city centre as well as a public bus service.

Tourist Bus

Tourists can take a “land train” on a 60 minute tour of the city including a 20 minute stop at the castle. The small vehicles (operated by Tour4U offer good views of the surrounding area with the top and sides opening up in warmer weather. Commentary is recorded and available in many languages.

Eating Out

I only visited for one day but there are a number of reasonable places to eat, as you might expect, in the tourist heart of the city. I had lunch at Prazdroj (Mostová 275/8, 811 02 Staré Mesto) which has it's own microbrewery though I had a set meal of goulash (paprika, but not spicy), pork with beer gravy and a sickly sweet approximation of a Sachertorte (after having the real thing from Hotel Sacher in Vienna (Wien) I am a bit spoiled), reasonably priced and relatively local cuisine.

Further Information

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