Bratislava is the capital city of Slovakia and located beside the Danube river. Things to do in Bratislava include.
- Bratislava Castle (Hrad Castle)
- Devin Castle
- St. Martin’s Cathedral
- Primate’s Palace and Bratislava City Museum (Old Town Hall)
- Michael’s Gate
- Most SNP (UFO Bridge)
- Man at Work Sculpture
- Historical building of the Slovak National Theater
- Franciscan, Trinitarian and St. Stephens Church
Hotels in Bratislava are very good value, you’ll find your favorite hotel chain here at a lower price than other major cities.
Bratislava Castle (Hrad Castle)
You’ll see Bratislava Castle when you first arrive in Bratislava as it’s located on top of Castle Hill. Castle Hill is 85 meters tall which makes it a short and steep walk from the center. From the top of Castle Hill not only can you visit the castle but you get a wonderful view over the old town and River Danube. On clear days it’s possible to see Austria and as far as Hungary.
Although Bratislava Castle dates back to the 9th century it has been heavily restored and looks new. It’s free to climb the hill and explore the grounds but you must pay a few Euros to enter.
Located in Devin which is a short bus ride from central Bratislava is Devin Castle. Devin Castle, like Bratislava Castle dates back to the 9th century but Devin Castle has not been restored giving you the true castle experience. The castle is located next to the Danube river which is the border with Austria. It is built on a cliff which is 212 meters high, perfect for controlling the area. Finally, the most photographed part of the castle is the small watch tower (above).
St. Martin’s Cathedral
When you look over the city of Bratislava from Bratislava Castle hill, the most prominent building is the St. Martin’s Cathedral (above right). St. Martin’s is the tallest cathedral in Bratislava and is the same height as Castle hill at 85 meters tall. The cathedral dates back to the 15th century. In addition, the best place to photograph it is either from the castle or facing its facade from the other side of the road.
Church of St. Elisabeth (Blue Church)
A short walk from old town is the Church of St. Elisabeth which is more commonly known as the Blue Church. You can guess why it’s called the Blue Church by looking at it (above). The interior of the church features a lot blue as the exterior does, the tower is 36 meters tall. It’s located in a residential area and surrounded by parked cars and fences making it difficult to photograph. Of all the things to do in Bratislava, the blue church is the best Instagram spot.
Primate’s Palace and Bratislava City Museum
Located behind the Old Town Hall is the Bratislava City Museum (through the small alley). Roland Fountain is also located on the plaza which is the center of Old Town. Around the central area are lots of cafes and souvenir shops. Bratislava is the 4th cheapest place in Europe for beer with an average price of a beer being about a dollar. You’ll find lots of bars all over Bratislava to sample a few beers. Something else scattered around the town are lots of amusing statues. These Instagrammable statues are a new addition to the city.
Things to do in Bratislava – Michael’s Gate
Michael’s Gate is the last remaining gate of the city walls of Bratislava. Originally there were 4 gates which were the only way to enter and exit the city. The remaining gate dates back to the Medieval Times of the 14 century. It was reconstructed in the 18th century and is now Baroque style. Nowadays it’s one of the most photographed buildings in the city. There are many cafes located around the gate if you you feel the need for an overpriced refreshment.
Most SNP UFO Bridge
Passing over the Danube River are several bridges. The world’s longest cable-stayed bridge (above, bottom right) is known as the UFO Bridge. There is a UFO, flying saucer shaped restaurant on top of the structure. The UFO is 85 meters high, the same height as St. Martin’s Cathedral and Castle Hill. Inside the UFO is a restaurant offering views of Bratislava, The Danube and the castle. Another bridge further down is known as Old Bridge or Stary Most in Slovakian. This used to be the oldest bridge in Slovakia until it was replaced in 2015. It is used by pedestrians, bikers and trams whereas the UFO bridge is a motorway.
Man at Work Sculpture
As you walk around old town Bratislava, you’ll see several interesting sculptures. The most famous of these is the Man at Work sculpture, as a result there’ll be a line of people waiting to take a photograph with it. As a matter of fact, one of the top things to do in Bratislava is photograph the various sculpture throughout old town Bratislava.
Historical building of the Slovak National Theater
In the Old Town you’ll find the Historical building of the Slovak National Theater. The building was completed in 1886 but has now been superseded by a modern National Theater which opened in 2007. Both theaters are still hosting opera however, I thought this was the most beautiful building in the city.
Franciscan, Trinitarian and St. Stephens Church
In the old Town of Bratislava you can find many churches. There is the Franciscan church which is the oldest in the old town dating back to 1297. There is the Trinitarian Church was completed in the 18th century. The Trinitarian is a difficult church to photograph as there are several telephone wires in front of it. The second most Instagrammable church in Bratislava is the lesser known Church of St Stephen (above). Of course, the blue church is the best Bratislava Instagram spot!
How to get from Bratislava to Budapest by bus
The best way to get from Bratislava to Budapest is with Flixbux which takes less than 3 hours and costs around $20. The bus station is located in the center of the city under the UFO bridge. As always with Flixbus you get your own charger, free WiFi in addition to plenty of legroom.
You can also go by car. You can rent a car from many rental companies and affordable prices. This also gives you the flexibility you need with regard to your journey. When driving through the country, you will see many amazing sights. This is one of the things that makes a car road trip amazing.
I caught an overnight train from Warsaw Poland to Bratislava a couple of years ago and was not sure how I would go but I loved it. I did not realise that a bus from Bratislava to Budapest is the only 3hrs if I knew that I would have added that on to the end of my trip. I really enjoyed seeing Devin Castle when I was in Bratislava such an interesting place and lovely backdrop with the river below.
What an absolute gorgeous city Bratislava is! That view from the Bratislava Castle Hill don’t look real – it’s like it is just a painting! The architecture and the amazing natural views combine to make this a breathtaking city worth visiting. The UFO bridge and the restaurant makes me really curious to try it!
I love your photographs! Great post Bratislava is on the list!
Having Inter-railed round Europe I can totally relate to this, sadly we didn’t get to see Bratislava, after reading and seeing your photos, I really wished we stopped in Slovakia! I never realised how beautiful the architecture and rich history it had! The church of St. Elisabeth is such a stunning blue, I’ve never seen a church painted so brightly!
Oh I missed Bratislava when I was in Prague. This city is really picturesque with its stunning architecture and nature. The UFO bridge and restaurant sound awesome and I suppose all the bridge over Danube river are so beautiful and famous. Slovak National Theatre is truly a most beautiful building of that city.
Bratislava is such a beautiful city, in your photos it looks colourful. I didn’t know Bratislava was only a 3 hour bus ride from Budapest, that’s so convenient. The Bratislava Castle is so bright, on a beautiful day the view from up there over the city and Danube must be incredible.
I have never been to Bratislava but I have gone to Budapest! While I was in Eastern Europe, I visited Prague, Budapest, and Vienna and travelled through those cities by a bus I had booked previous to my trip. It is quite easy to get around by this transportation since many many tourists use it during the year! Your pictures are out of this world, but my favorite has to be Church of St. Elisabeth the Blue Church. It is just so unordinary and grabs your attention!
Sadly I didn’t make it to Bratislava when I was in that area of the world. My friend claims that Bratislava is actually her most favorite city in the whole world. It’s easy to see why. I would love to see the Blue Castle and the various structures that are still around from the old days.
Loving all these Bratislava photos! I’ve not been to Bratislava yet, but your pictures make me really want to visit! I love the architecture and the character of each of the buildings featured. I would love to climb Castle Hill to appreciate the views over Old Town and the Danube.
Bratislava seems to have a lot to offer with all the bridges and architecture. I would love to see the Blue Church, it could be from a Disney movie! The trip out to Devin Castle looks worthwhile, I love seeing ancient castles.
Travelling by bus is a lovely way to explore places, full of beautiful views. Traveling through Europe in a Bus is definitely on my bucket list. The bus from Bratislava to Budapest seems good value and it’s only 3 hours, I thought it would be longer.
I thought Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. I would definitely love to visit Bratislava and visit all those heritage buildings. I love traveling by Flixbus around Europe. Such a convenient and cheaper option.
I can hear Bratislava calling me……Oh yes, I can hear her call me. Really, I’d love this city. A friend of mine asked that we travel together to Blatislava but your post is making me fall in love with the city more.
Bratislava surely has some charming historical buildings. The castle, the blue church, and the UFO bridge would definitely be the reason we would want to visit the gorgeous city. The bus connecting Bratislava and Budapest looks like the cheapest and convenient option to visit two countries in a go.
Something about a bright blue sky that makes all the pictures seem even more amazing!! The blue church with the blue bakcground is like something out of a magazine. Never heard of this place but would love to go.
I didn’t realize this route was as easy! I would love to explore more of Europe and both Bratislava and Budapest are on my bucket list! I agree that the Historical building of the Slovak National Theater looks the most beautiful building (from your pics anyway). I’d love to climb up castle hill for a view of the city too.
I am going to Budapest next year on the way home from Asia and I decided against going to Bratislava and after reading your article and seeing what I am missing out on that’s a big mistake missing it! A great article though!
I wish I knew there was a bus between Bratislava and Budapest when we did out Europe trip. I would totally tacked on a visit! My partner actually visited before we met, but I would love to go and see everything for myself instead of relying on his (drunken) memories!
FlixBus was such a lifesaver for me! I actually ended up missing a bus from Budapest to Prague so I didn’t get to see that much of Eastern Europe. I have fond memories of the Danube and have high hopes to return back to Europe to explore more of it in the future.
Looks very cool! Love knowing about the FlixBus option. I’m going to be visiting the HIgh Tatras this fall, maybe I’ll stop by Bratislava on my way to Budapest as well!
You’ve explored eastern Europe so well. I hope to do it next year! Let’s see!
Devin Castle looks interesting. Is it possible to reach that small watch tower atop?
The view from St.Martin’s Cathedral looks awesome. UFO shaped restaurant? I’d want check that out!
Bratislava is beautiful. I’m not much for buses but Flixbus sounds like it might work with legroom and wifi. I’ll have to look into it when I get to Budapest. As always, great pics and info!
Love your bus trips and this town Bratislava delivers. You covered some great places to visit while there. Great photos and information. Pinned for later! Thanks for sharing.
I haven’t been to this part of Europe, but that needs to change. I love castles and cathedrals, even the ones in ruin. Bratislava seems prime in Medieval architecture, which is one of my favorite eras!
I really enjoyed Bratislava but I was only there for a few hours and your post definitely makes me want to visit again! Its proximity to other European capitals does make it quite easy to visit as part of a bigger trip! Love the beautiful architecture in the Old Town!
Devin Castle looks enchanting, I do love the little watch tower at the top. I had no Bratislava was so stunning and afforable, I will be adding this to my list.
Looks absolutely beautiful James! I have only travelled across Slovakia by train to get from Budapest to Prague but I think next time we will definitely add a stop as it looks well worth visiting!
Great tips – Michael’s Gate looks like an interesting place to visit. Dollar beers are definitely a bonus!
Slovakia is fast becoming a place of great interest for me! I am interested in it’s history and the architecture you have shown here is wonderful but then again, I do love a good castle! As always, great travel advice for getting there! Pinned!