Bratislava is the capital city of Slovakia. It is extremely conveniently located in central Europe and easy to get to because the airport flies to lots of big cities around Europe.
It’s a charming, quaint city which is often overlooked because of the other more famous nearby capitals like Vienna and Budapest, but it shouldn’t be.It’s the perfect escape for a 2 or 3 day getaway and holds its own value with its quirky landmarks and easily accessible nature.
If you’re already in Europe, you’ll find it’s very accessible by bus from every nearby city and only a 1-hour drive away from Vienna. It is uniquely situated along the border of 3 different countries and borders Austria and Hungary and has the famous River Danube flowing through it. Check our travel routes to see which companies to use. Having one of the smallest populations for a capital city in central Europe, you’ll find this travel guide is perfect for a short stay in this beautiful city.
2-night stay in Bratislava
As mentioned previously, Bratislava is perfectly located next too many major European cities. We originally booked this trip because it was close to Budapest, as a result it allowed us to have a much cheaper flight home. Whilst a small city when compared to other European cities, it has beautiful, stunning scenery with many things to do/see. Our small, rustic airbnb apartment was in a central location near the old town and because of this we were just a stone’s throw away from many famous landmarks. We definitely recommend checking airbnb for your stay here, you’ll find cheap apartments for yourself and may find a quirky surprise like us.
How to get there
If you’re arriving by plane then we always use flight connections to find which other airports have a direct link to the places we want to visit. Bratislava has many links so check where you’d like to visit from. Your airport doesn’t have a link to Bratislava or the prices are too high? Not a problem, due to its convenient location Bratislava is next to many other major airports. Vienna is just 45 minutes away Budapest is around 3hrs away. You’ll find that you can get cheap busses from either airport by using flixbus.
When to go?
We loved visiting and walking around in the summer sun and found that even the longer walks were comfortable in heat of 30 degrees. It made for lovely photographs and great experiences. We also know of people going in the winter and they’ve also loved it. Bratislava provides a lovely short city break and it is great to visit at any point of the year.
How to get around
As part of the Bratislava travel guide, we want to recommend places to visit in a short space of time. Certainly one of the best things about Bratislava is that everything is in walking distance. You won’t be short of attractions to visit, including medieval streets (Kapitulska Street), the castle and the UFO observation deck (which offers a great view of the city). If you do need to get a taxi to move about then you’ll find BOLT (TAXIFY) is similar to Uber and is a convenient app to get about. Here are some of the places we enjoyed exploring:
Where to visit
Firstly, Bled Castle is a must-visit, which stands out as a different type of castle compared to others you see around Europe due to it’s unique colouring. Its beauty can be seen from what seems like most of the city and is a significant landmark which stands out when looking from the Danube. Furthermore, this castle has luscious, green gardens which adds to this awesome attractions. The walk to Bled castle is a bit of a steep walk, especially in the heat of summer, but it definitely isn’t the hardest of walks and offers nice easy paths to follow. You’ll go past nice cafe’s nearby and we stopped off at a cat cafe which was very pleasant.
UFO observation deck
Next in our must visit place as part of our Bratislava travel guide is the uniquely named UFO observation deck. If you’re interested in viewpoints, then this place has to be a must. It’s a little out the way of the city but still within walking distance. However, we had to get a taxi as we couldn’t figure out how to get there. Importantly, it was definitely worth the small fare, the view was incredible and you can even eat/drink in the restaurant which still offers stunning views over the Danube.
Because the city is compact, you won’t be far from many other landmarks. As a result, there are lots of medieval streets you’ll walk on without even realising. One of the most famous ones is called Kapitulska Street, from where you’ll be able to see Bled Castle from.
St Martin’s Cathedral
St Elizabeth’s Church (Blue Church).
Have a walk and explore
Other trips and day visits
If you have extra time then there are some other nearby cities and landmarks which we recommend you checking out. As mentioned earlier, it is only a 45 minute journey to Vienna. You can also visit on a boat ride down the Danube, this would be the much more picturesque journey. Now Vienna in itself should be more than a day visit but if you have the opportunity to go, then make sure you take it. A good place to visit for ferry times and prices is here. There are also some other Austrian towns nearby which may appeal for a short visit.
Devín castle is one of the oldest castles in Slovakia and is only a nearby trip. This ruined fortress that stands high atop an imposing hillside, offering great views of the the area.
Where/What to eat?
Next up in the Bratislava travel guide is where to eat. Firstly, try some traditional Slovakian food at Zeleny Rodrigez. We loved our food here, we tried Slices of chicken leg with chilli, mushrooms and cream sauce, rice. Nicola had stuffed paprika peppers. If you’re looking for a burger, try Roxor BRGR & BEER which is a little walk out of town. Furthermore, there’s also an amazing thai restaurant called Green Buddha, which is in the centre, but make sure you reserve a table because this place fills up.
You’ll find that Bratislava presents so many photo opportunities. It is such a photogenic place and with it’s many attractions and different coloured buildings you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice. Check out some of our photos below, you’ll see some of the landmarks we mentioned earlier.
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I’m sure Bratislava is a photogenic place. It looks stunning through your lens! Thanks for this detailed guide. I’m going to use it for my trip, hopefully in 2021.
I’m glad you found it useful, you’ll have a ball 🙂