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:
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
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
7. Old Jewish Quarter
8. Michael’s Gate
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:
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:
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.
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.
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! 🙂