Bratislava Travel Guide
Town square © Judith Duk
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and the country's largest city. Situated on either side of the Danube River at the borders of Austria and Hungary, it's within easy reach of the Czech Republic. It is the centre for arts and culture in Slovakia and boasts many museums, art galleries, palaces, and ornamental churches in and around its historic Old Town.
Bratislava takes pride in this cultural heritage, with a musical history going back to Mozart, Beethoven, and Hummel. Music concerts and ballet performances take place almost daily in the city, competing for attention with the likes of those in neighbouring Vienna, Prague, and Budapest.
The Old Town district is crammed with historical structures representing the different cultures and nations of its past, centring on the famous town square called Hlavné Námestie. The historic Old Town can easily be explored on foot.
The 11th-century Gothic Cathedral of St Martin is found within the Old Town, together with numerous Baroque palaces. The Old Town also contains the town hall, which houses the oldest museum in the country, as well as a gate preserved from the medieval city fortifications. One of the most conspicuous structures in the city is Bratislava Castle, a former frontier post for the Roman Empire situated on a plateau overlooking the Danube.
While still lagging behind Budapest and Prague in terms of popularity, word of Bratislava's picturesque charm and affordable elegance is spreading and the city is rapidly being thrust into the limelight as a popular European destination. An increase in low-cost flights from around Europe is also partly responsible for its rising recognition.