I was leaving Budapest, Hungary to Vienna, Austria for 1 day so I could catch a flight to Dublin, Ireland the next morning.
I had already been to Vienna a few weeks earlier so I was thinking of something new I could do instead of seeing the same things again.
Slovakia was really close so I figured a day trip to Bratislava would be a perfect way for me to visit a new country and get rid of my smaller currencies before entering Ireland and the U.K.
DAY TRIP TO BRATISLAVA.
A train ride east to the capital of Slovakia is only an hour from Vienna so it’s a perfect distance for a quick excursion.
I was mostly only going to visit Old Town Bratislava and just see the main sites.
Luckily for me everything was close and easy to find so I had plenty of time to explore.
Entering the Old Town is best by going through Michael’s Gate.
Heading south down Štefánikova ulica for 20 minutes will take you towards Hodžovo Square (Hodžovo námestie).
The large white building there is The Grassalkovich Palace(Grasalkovičov palác) which is the residence of the Slovak president.
ENTERING OLD TOWN.
Crossing the major intersection and heading down Suché mýto for another 8 minutes you should be able to see the 167 ft(51 meter) green domed white tower known as Michael’s Gate.
Old Town Bratislava is not very large at all.
At only 3.7 sq mi(9.5 sq km) it might not have much to see but it’s still a fun, charming little place to visit.
Scattered throughout Old Town are random statues of real life people and some just made up for fun.
Roaming through the streets to find as many as you can is a good way to discover the Old Town and explore outside the busier areas.
Everyone eventually makes their way to Hlavné námestie(Main Square).
Here you’ll find shops, restaurants, the famous Roland Fountain(sometimes called the Maximilian Fountain), and the Old Town Hall.
If you look at the 2nd window from the bottom of the yellow tower you can still see a cannonball stuck in the face of the building.
ST. MARTIN’S CATHEDRAL.
If you’re exiting Old Town to go towards the castle you will come upon St. Martin’s Cathedral.
This is the largest and one of the oldest cathedrals in Bratislava.
Unfortunately a highway was built so close to it that vibrations from the highway have actually caused deterioration to the cathedral.
It’s not the most picturesque cathedral you will see but the stained glass windows and museum inside might be worth your visit.
The church was also built over a cemetery and there’s a staircase that goes 20 ft down into catacombs that you can check out.
Only 2 of the crypts are open to tourists, but it’s worth a look.
Opening hours for tourists:
Monday – Saturday
9:00 am – 11:30 am & 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The main attraction of Bratislava is the Bratislava Castle.
However this is in no way the original.
After many years of use it became a military barracks in the early 1800’s.
In 1809 Napolean pretty much destroyed the whole thing with cannons.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough in 1811 careless soldiers, that still stayed there, accidently started a huge fire that actually spread to part of the town.
Over the years; parts of the castle were sold, two World Wars happened, and an amphitheater was built on the grounds.
In 1957 restoration work began and the castle was resurrected.
When I saw the castle in 2008 it was brown and new restoration was beginning again.
The restoration work took a few years and now if you visit the castle it is completely white.
Open to the public.
€6 to the museum.
From the grounds of the Bratislava Castle you have a great panoramic view of the city.
But one thing that might stand out BIG TIME is the weird Starship Enterprise looking structure that is built over the bridge.
In contrast to everything else around that flying saucer does seem a bit out of the ordinary.
The SNP Bridge(previously called Nový most – “The New Bridge”) has a restaurant called “UFO” built at the top.
There’s an observation deck on its roof offering great views of the old town, as well as the apartment blocks in Petržalka.
Prices: adult/child €6.50/3.50
The observation deck is free of charge if you eat in the restaurant.
Then again you can expect some pricey meals if you do decide to eat there.
With appetizers ranging from €15-18 you can only imagine what a main course will cost you.
Opening hours: 10am-11pm
QUICK AND EASY.
Bratislava lives up to its nickname, the Little Big City.
All in all it might not blow you away, but it’s a fun place to visit and worth a quick little look-see.
Have you ever done a day trip to Bratislava or stayed there for even longer?
Let me hear about it in the comments.
My name is Jeremiah and I'm an Arizona desert rat in search of the next adrenaline pumping adventure.
Follow me as I show you What and What Not to do when visiting new places in search of Cheap Travel and Cheap Thrills.