Things to Do in Bratislava, Slovakia: A Complete Guide


I visited Bratislava after a weekend in Vienna, Austria and didn’t know what to expect from the city at all, hence me making this “things to do in Bratislava” guide for you all.  For some reason, the name Bratislava sounded a bit scary to me and I was somewhat nervous to go alone. Not knowing anything about Slovakia, I couldn’t put a finger on why the name of the city had me on edge…

I later figured out that the movie Hostel and the movie EuroTrip were both based in Bratislava. They both weren’t even filmed in the city itself, but each movie still was able to completely villainize the city. Because of these films, Bratislava lost 75% of their tourism as a kickback.

After stepping off of the bus from Vienna into Bratislava, I realized the movies were completely wrong! Bratislava is a charming mix between the elegant Viennese-style and the Soviet buildings that scatter Central Europe. I immediately fell in love with it and was wishing I had stayed longer than 2 nights!

Here is the Complete Guide to Things to Do in Bratislava!

Things to do in Bratislava

THINGS TO DO:

 1. Go on a Free Walking Tour

One of my favorite things to do when I enter a new city is to go on a walking tour.  I really enjoyed the tour with Be Free Tours in Bratislava. Even though it was really cold outside for my tour in October, it was well worth being chilly! The tour walks you through most of the main areas of Bratislava and tells you everything you never knew about the city. The walking tour ended up being my favorite thing to do in Bratislava which is why I put it at the top!

 2. Visit the Blue Church aka Church of St. Elizabeth

If you go on the free walking tour they’ll take you to the Blue Church. This church is a must-see and one of the coolest churches I’ve ever been to. The inside is also blue and at night they light up the outside if you decide to go in the evening.

3. Primate’s Palace

This palace is PINK! What more can you ask for in a building? It’s worth walking by just because of the color and the Viennese style. You can also go inside for 3 euros to see the Hall of Mirrors. I didn’t go inside because I was told it was so-so, however, you can decide for yourself by reading some Tripadvisor reviews.

4. Bratislava Castle

This castle has a crazy history since it’s been burned down multiple times and then rebuilt. Nothing is that noteworthy inside the castle, but the outside is pretty fun. You’ll also get amazing views of Bratislava and the Danube River if you walk around the castle.

5. Old Town

Old Town is pretty small, but is such a cute area! It’s the main location I hung out in while I was in the city for 2 days. I loved all of the cute restaurants and cafes lining the streets. This area is also great for recharging and chilling out if you’be been traveling awhile. It’s perfect for getting a coffee and meandering the streets until your heart’s content!

6. Čumil

This is the underground sewer worker statue that you can’t miss while in Bratislava. No one knows the true meaning why he’s there except for the fact they wanted to brighten up the area after what was called the Communist-era architecture decoration. You’ll find it right in the middle of the city so it’s pretty easy to spot and get a selfie with.

7. Old Jewish Quarter

The Jewish quarter was destroyed during the war, but there are still some remnants, murals, and statues commemorating WWII and what the Jewish Quarter used to look like. It’s worth checking out.

8. Michael’s Gate

This is a medieval gate built in 1300 that was the old entrance to the city. Now, above the gate is a museum of medieval fortification of Bratislava that you can visit.

9. Slavín Hill & War Memorial

This is a hilltop monument and burial ground for Soviet soldiers that died in WWII. The views from the top are amazing if you want to see more of Bratislava from the top.

WHAT TO EAT:

Here’s a list of a few dishes you’ll want to try while you’re in Slovakia!

  • Bryndzové Halušky – dumplings with sheep’s cheese (looks like small gnocchi)
  • Kofola – Slovak cola
  • Slovakian pierogi dumplings
  • Zemiakové placky – potato pancakes with flour and garlic fried in oil
  • Šišky – fried dumplings with marmalade and sugar

WHERE TO EAT:

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Breakfast: Urban House – This is a perfect breakfast or brunch spot. They’ve got great coffee, strong wifi and an amazing selection of salads, sandwiches etc.

Lunch:
Zylinder – You can come here for dinner or lunch and they’ve got a great selection of Slovak food you’ll want to try.

Dinner: Slovak Pub – At first sight, you might think this place is super touristy because of the traditional Slovak decor. However, there are tons of locals inside enjoying some traditional Slovak food as well! While here, enjoy some traditional Slovak food (I got the sampler in the photo above). It had some of their famous dishes. Also, try the Tatra Tea if you get a chance. It’s Slovakia’s infamous hard liquor.  If you don’t end up trying it here you can get it at any bar in Slovakia!

WHERE TO STAY:

Hostel:

Hostel Blues

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I stayed in Hostel Blues and really enjoyed my stay! In fact, this hostel is where I met some of the coolest people while traveling solo. It’s got a welcoming vibe and is close to Old Town  and many restaurants. The hostel is clean and has most of the necessary amenities you’ll need along with a great local staff full of knowledge about the area.

Read reviews on TripAdvisor Book a room

Hotel:

LOFT Hotel Bratislava

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This is a 4-star hotel from $70-$100 a night. It’s extremely clean and new! They have a great breakfast and are located close to Old Town.

Read reviews on Tripadvisor | Book a room

I hope this gave you a better sense of things to do in Bratislava! If you’re visiting Vienna, Austria then Bratislava is a must-see day trip! Traveling solo in Bratislava was also extremely easy and I met some amazing new friends at my hostel and walking tour that I’m going to be traveling with again!

Also, it is easy to get to Bratislava on Slovak Lines bus from Vienna and can be a great weekend trip. Don’t miss out! 🙂

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By | 2017-08-01T14:03:56+00:00 August 1st, 2017|City Guides, Travel|11 Comments

About the Author:

The Traveling Spud
Welcome to the Traveling Spud! I’m Katie, a 28-year-old from Idaho who quit her marketing job in San Francisco, California to travel the world for a year. I'm addicted to outdoor adventures, photography and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zones and cross experiences off of their bucket lists. Let's explore together! Read more here.

11 Comments

  1. Juliann - Browsing the Atlas August 2, 2017 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    I’d love to go to Bratislava. Actually, as soon as you mentioned “Hostel,” I got a creepy feeling about it and then had to wonder what would have inspired the movie to be set there. It looks like a beautiful city. I’d love to see the Jewish Quarter and the Blue Church. I’m going to remember this if I ever have a free weekend in Europe.
    Juliann – Browsing the Atlas recently posted…Chris’ Hot DogsMy Profile

  2. Mao August 2, 2017 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    haha I definitely remember the movie Euro trip and how they portrait the city. It’s crazy how much influence they had. Gorgeous pictures and definitely would love go there one day.
    Mao recently posted…6 Shocking Dating Differences between Western and Asian Girls!My Profile

  3. Jenn and Ed Coleman August 2, 2017 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    The sewer statue is Cumil. The artist (Vikto Hulik) was commissioned for the piece in 1997 by the Bratislava magistrate. The specifics were for an interesting statue to brighten up Korzo (the old city). I think there is ambiguity because of the Slavic word translates roughly to watcher. Is he watching people walk by or is he looking up woman’s skirts. It’s all a matter of perspective.
    Jenn and Ed Coleman recently posted…Flying High at Eagle Creek Reservoir IndianaMy Profile

  4. Susan Ripley August 3, 2017 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    I really want to visit eastern Europe! Bratislava sounds so interesting and looks charming. Would love to do the free walking tour – that’s always a great way to jump in and get to know the city. The food all sounds really delicious too!
    Susan Ripley recently posted…Santa Teresa Hotel: Review of Nautilus Boutique Hotel, Costa RicaMy Profile

  5. Ivy August 4, 2017 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    I loooove this part of Europe! Will definitely be hitting up Slovakia the next time we’re back in this side of the world. They really like their dumplings eh?! Can’t wait to try all the food!

  6. Jen August 4, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    That’s really a shame that two movies can have such negative impact on a country’s tourism. The blue church looks beautiful! Would love to visit here, thanks for the tips!
    Jen recently posted…5 Excuses Women Use Not to Travel and Why You Should Ignore Every OneMy Profile

  7. Andi August 5, 2017 at 11:33 am - Reply

    I’ve never seen a church quite that color! It’s oddly enchanting! It looks like a great walking town which is good because I would need to work off all the calories from those delicious pastries!

  8. Ann August 6, 2017 at 7:10 am - Reply

    Thank you for showcasing Bratislava — it is a shame that people conflate fact with fiction, and what a lovely city this is! I would love to visit. I am particularly drawn to the Blue Church — such an intense color, very unusual. I also love quirky sculpture, like the sewer worker.

  9. Allison Wong August 6, 2017 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Slovakia is such an exotic destination… at least exotic to me! Love the blue church and the palace. I hope to visit one day soon.
    Allison Wong recently posted…Langkawi Cable Car – ReviewMy Profile

  10. Julianne August 7, 2017 at 10:08 am - Reply

    The Blue Church looks beautiful! That would definitely be top of my list when visiting Bratislava. Did you find any good drinks or bars while in the city? As far as food goes, I’d be all over that Bryndzové Halušky. YUM!

  11. Cat August 7, 2017 at 11:03 am - Reply

    Bratislava (or Slovakia in general) wasn’t on my radar until this post! I really like all the architectures you captured – so unique and magnificent! Especially the Blue Church, looks impressive on the inside and outside!

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