27 best sights in Bratislava – descriptions and photos

Bratislava Sights

Bratislava Castle New Bridge Clock Museum Holocaust victims Memorial Presidential Palace Old Town Hall St. Martin’s Cathedral Paparazzi Monument

The site contains Bratislava attractions – photos, descriptions, and travel tips. The list is based on popular guidebooks and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you can find answers to questions: what to see in Bratislava, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places in Bratislava.

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle (photo)

Bratislava Castle is a castle in Bratislava. It is one of the most famous attractions of the city.

The castle was restored in the second half of the 20th century. The first building on this site appeared as early as the second half of the third millennium BC. The oldest written evidence of the buildings here dates back to 907. The castle acquired its present appearance as a result of reconstructions made in the XV-XVIII centuries. Under Empress Maria Theresia the castle was rebuilt in the baroque classicism style. On May 30, 1811 the Bratislava Castle burned down and gradually began to decay. The restoration of the castle was completed in 1968. Today, the premises of the Bratislava Castle are home to the Slovak National Museum.

Coordinates: 48.14239400,17.09956400

New Bridge

New bridge (photo)

The SNP Bridge (New Bridge) is a bridge over the Danube River in Bratislava.

It is a single pylon steel road bridge of fan design. Its length is 430.8 meters. The bridge was built in 1967-1972 by the organizations Doprastav Bratislava and Gutne montage Ostrava. It was designed by architects Josef Lacko, Ladislav Kušnir, Ivan Slamen, Arpad Tesar and Josef Zvar.

To build the bridge, a large part of the Bratislava Podhradj had to be destroyed, but this construction significantly improved the transport situation of the large residential area of Petrzalka. The main attraction of the bridge is a restaurant, located at a height of 85 meters – UFO watch.taste.groove. (formerly Bystrica). The restaurant is connected with the observation deck. UFO watch.taste.groove. is very popular among tourists, each year it is visited by about 200 thousand people.

Coordinates: 48.13818400,17.10458500

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Clock Museum

Clock Museum (photo)

The clocks on display are predominantly made by Slovak craftsmen. However, clocks are not all that are worth seeing.

The house housing the Museum of Clocks is also very interesting. It is one of the oldest buildings in the Bratislava Castle area and was built between 1760 and 1765.

There was a time when the building was used for more pragmatic purposes – the lower part was used for industrial production, the upper floors were rented for housing. In other words this house is an example of European burger architecture.

Coordinates: 48.14231400,17.10399600

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Monument to victims of the Holocaust

Monument to Holocaust victims (photo)

Every year Slovakia commemorates September 9. On this mournful day, the whole country commemorates the victims of the Holocaust and racial violence. September 9 is considered one of the saddest dates in the life of the country, because on that day in 1941 the pro-fascist government passed a set of laws on the total disenfranchisement of Jews.

To commemorate that day, two monuments related to the genocide of Slovak Jews during the war have been erected in Bratislava, on the square near the overpass that separates the Old Town from the Castle Hill. On the square is a monument to Holocaust victims and next to it is a granite slab depicting the Bratislava synagogue.

This monument was created by sculptor Milan Lukács and architect Petr Žalman and it consists of a table of memories with the names of Bratislava Holocaust victims. On top of the monument there is a Star of David as a symbol of the Jewish people and religion and on the bottom there is an inscription with only one word: “Remember!

Coordinates: 48.14148500,17.10480100

Presidential Palace

President Palace (photo)

The Presidential Palace, located in the Slovak capital of Bratislava, is considered one of the most famous architectural landmarks of the city. It was built in 1765 in the Renaissance style from white and grey brick, commissioned by Anton Grassalkovich, advisor to Empress Maria Theresa. The building is decorated with sculptural bas-reliefs on the façade, arched windows and shaped porticoes. The dome of the central part of the building is crowned with a spire. During the reign of Grassalkovich, whose name the building still bears, the palace was the venue of many important events, such as the wedding of Maria Theresa, the empress’s daughter, with the participation of the famous composer Joseph Haydn.

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After the declaration of the Slovak Republic in 1919 the palace was used as the seat of various state organisations – the Palace of Pioneers, residence of Josip Broz Tito. Since 1996, the former Grassalkovich Palace became the Presidential Palace, the residence of the Slovak president. The park of the palace is a beautiful place for walks, you can see the fountain in the shape of a globe, which symbolizes peace in the world, and the guard of honor in the traditional Slovak military uniform.

Coordinates: 48.14911800,17.10783400

Old Town Hall

Old Town Hall (photo)

The Old Town Hall in Bratislava is the oldest town hall in Slovakia. It is one of the oldest buildings in the city.

The town hall is situated between the Main Square and Primate’s Square. It was built in the Gothic style. The town hall tower dates back to the 13th century, and the annex building was completed by the 15th century. The town hall was damaged by an earthquake in 1599 and a fire in the 18th century. After that, there were elements of Renaissance and Baroque style. In 1912, a wing was added to the Old Town Hall tower, which combined neo-Gothic and neo-Renaissance elements. In the 15th-19th centuries the town hall was used as a seat of the town council and later it was used at various times for the archives, the mint and the prison. During Napoleon’s army attack in 1809, a cannonball hit the town hall and it remains in the building to this day.

Today, the Old Town Hall is a museum.

Coordinates: 48.14379100,17.10861700

St. Martin’s Cathedral

St. Martin's Cathedral (photo)

St. Martin’s Cathedral is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Bratislava. It is the largest Gothic temple in the city.

The construction of St. Martin’s Cathedral began in XIII century. For three centuries, coronations of Hungarian kings were held in the cathedral.

The temple is located in the central part of the Old City. Its main tower is decorated with a gilded crown, which weighs about 300 kilograms. It took 8 kilograms of gold to gild the crown. Inside, the cathedral is decorated with a Baroque sculptural group of St. Martin and colored stained-glass windows. In the cathedral catacombs are burial places of members of the clergy and noble families.

The catacombs are accessible to the public. In the XIX century in the temple was created musical society.

Coordinates: 48.14202100,17.10470400

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Monument of the Paparazzi

Monument of Paparazzi (photo)

The Paparazzi Monument is the most original structure in the Slovak capital Bratislava. It depicts a nimble and sneaky journalist-photographer who keeps a close eye on those around him. The monument has become one of Bratislava’s calling cards.

The monument is situated on the corner of the café of the same name, which has an impeccable reputation, and the monument dedicated to paparazzi only adds to the entourage of this institution. The monument depicts a man with an unpleasant face, which, according to the sculptors’ idea, is exactly what a real paparazzi is.

It is interesting that the inquisitive and ubiquitous tabloid first appeared in the famous film “La Dolce Vita” by Federico Fellini, where the main character’s friend is a real paparazzi.

Coordinates: 48.14338200,17.10912500

The most popular attractions in Bratislava with descriptions and photos for every taste. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Bratislava on our website.

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Bratislava sights

Bratislava is a cozy city on the banks of the Danube, with arrows of modern bridges stretching across it. Its northern part lies on the spurs of the small Carpathian Mountains, and the southern part – on the very border of Austria. For centuries, the modern capital of Slovakia was a part of the Austrian Empire. It was also the capital of Hungary. The city has experienced the cultural influence of the neighboring Vienna. In this article I will tell you what must-see sights, where to go and where to take beautiful pictures.

What sights to see in Bratislava in one day

The best place to start is Bratislava Castle, which offers spectacular views and is easier to navigate. Then you can go to the old neighborhoods. The center of Bratislava is located compactly, and most of the memorable places you can get around in a couple of hours.

Save time and energy can help tour by train. The trains leave from the main square and Hviezdoslavovo square, the routes are designed for an hour and a half. Afterwards, you can go to Slavin Hill or climb the observation platform of the SNP bridge. Or you can sit in Jan Kraal’s garden on the other side of the Danube.

One day is quite enough to see the main sights of the old city

One day is just enough time to see the main sights in the old town.

If you have 2 days at your disposal, it is definitely worth a trip to Devin Castle, using the map. Many believe that it is not inferior to Bratislava Castle.

In the remaining time you can visit churches, museums and art galleries. Noteworthy are the Grassalkovich Palace and the Church of St. Elizabeth.

What to see in the city in three days

In three days you can see Bratislava in great detail. For lovers of antiquities, Gerulata will certainly be of interest. Visitors with children can recommend the zoo.

Art lovers will have time to visit the theater or the Philharmonic Hall, and those who prefer the history of religion will have more time to visit temples.

On the first or second day you can take a city tour, and then proceed to explore on your own.

In three days you can visit several interesting excursions

In three days you can visit several interesting excursions

Places in the city where you can take beautiful pictures

Beautiful pictures should turn out from the walls of Bratislava Castle. The high fortress offers stunning views of the Danube. You can also admire the bridge of the CNP and the right bank of the city.

A great place for photo sessions is the observation deck on the SNP bridge. However, a ticket for it costs about 7 euros. Very picturesque surroundings of Devin Castle, which, like Grad, towers over the river.

Bridge of Apollo

The name hints at the graceful shape of the bridge, but in fact it refers to the Apollo company, which was engaged in oil refining. Today it is called Slovnaft. This modern bridge over the Danube was built in the early noughties and opened in 2005. It is more than 800 meters long. It is perfectly visible from the neighboring bridges and city embankments.

Petrzalka

A new district of the city on the low right bank of the Danube. It is well visible from the height of Bratislava Castle. In fact, it is a large residential district with monotonous high-rise buildings. More than 100 thousand people live here. Interestingly, Petrzhalka is adjacent to the border with Austria. From here you can ride a bike to the neighboring Austrian town. The most interesting place for a visit is Janko Kraal garden – a large landscape park near the Danube.

Mirbach Palace

The palace was built in the second half of the 18th century for the brewery owner Martin Spech. Later it belonged to Baron Emil Mirbach, who bequeathed the building to the city on the condition that an art gallery was located there. This wish was granted in 1949 and the building now houses a gallery of 18th and 19th century paintings, engravings and sculptures. The interiors of the building are distinguished by luxury and sophistication.

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Church of the Holy Spirit

A bright modern building, topped with an arrow-shaped dome, was built in 2002 in one of the new neighborhoods – Dubravka. The foundation stone for the church was laid by Pope John Paul II himself during a visit to Dubravka in 1995. Instead of an altarpiece, there is a statue of a soaring dove, cast in metal.

Bratislava Zoo

The Great Zoo spreads out on the hills in the northwestern part of the city. You can see the spurs of the Little Carpathian Mountains from here. The zoo is home to about 1,400 animals, yet it is inferior to many famous zoos in Europe. Children will certainly be interested in the Dinopark, an exhibition of giant dinosaur models that move among the trees and bushes. The territory of the zoo is quite vast, you will have to walk a lot. Prices for entry are moderate – a ticket for an adult costs about 5 euros.

Gerulata

Gerulata is a Roman camp discovered in the 20th century by archaeologists. Along the Danube in the 1st-4th centuries was the northern border of the Roman Empire. In the 5th century Germanic tribes broke through the defenses, and for several centuries the place was abandoned. Later a settlement of Slavs arose there, which eventually gave the town its name – Rusovce. Now it is a suburb of Bratislava on the right bank of the Danube, about 8 km from here to the center. Not far from Gerulata is Zihi Castle (or Rusovce) – a gorgeous Tudor-style palace, surrounded by an English park.

Philharmonic Hall

The small but stylish Philharmonic building spectacularly complements the ensemble of Hviezdoslav Square. Its second name is Reduta Palace, or Reduta. The neo-baroque building was built in the early 20th century. It was intended for plays, concerts and other entertainment. After World War II it was home to the Slovak Philharmonic. It regularly hosts classical music concerts.

Capuchin Church of St. Stephen

This elegant little church stands on a small and intimate square with a streetcar running through it. The church was built by the Capuchin order in 1711 and took its present form in 1850. In front of the temple rises a column with a statue of St. Mary. Under the temple are the catacombs, which were once buried wealthy citizens. On the square one can sit on benches and admire the Bratislava Castle, which is clearly visible from here.

Clarisok Church and Monastery

It is one of the oldest church buildings in Bratislava. Built in the Gothic style, it is located at the city walls near the cathedral of St. Martin. Once it was the convent of the Clarisks (female Catholic order of St. Clara). Later the building was taken over by the university. Today the church houses a concert hall and the university library is located in the monastery buildings.

Church of the Franciscans

The oldest religious building in the city. The church was consecrated in 1297 in the presence of the Hungarian King András III. The building was originally in the Gothic style, but in the 17th century it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style, and later added to this Baroque. The interior decoration of the church dates back to the 18th century. From the 14th to the 18th century there was a Franciscan monastery, abolished during the reign of Joseph II. The church is located in the old town near the Main Square.

Old Town Hall

The main square in Bratislava is dominated by the Town Hall, which is dominated by a clock tower. The tower was built in the 13th century but the annex was added to it in the 15th century. Subsequently it was rebuilt and renewed several times. Until the end of 19th century the town council used to meet here. Today the building is a museum. There is a cannonball in the front of the Town Hall from 1809, when Napoleon’s army stormed the town.

Slovak National Theatre

The elegant neo-Renaissance building was built between 1884 and 1886. The facade is decorated with a group of statues depicting the muse Thalia, the patroness of comedy. At first performances were staged here in Czech. The first Slovak opera was staged here in 1926. In 2007, a new theater building was opened on the banks of the Danube, and plays are now staged in two locations. The historical building is on Hviezdoslav Square. Next to it is the fountain of Ganymede, built in 1888.

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Nedbalka Gallery

The Nedbalka Art Gallery is located in the old town. There are exhibitions of modern Slovak artists. Visitors to the gallery leave a lot of good reviews on the Internet and especially note the excellent organization of the museum space. The gallery has a cafe where you can sit with photo albums of paintings. The cost of tea or coffee is included in the price of admission. At the entrance, visitors are given tablets with information about the museum.

Statue of Handsome Nazi.

A short, smiling man greets you by taking off his hat. This is a monument to Ignac Lamar (1897-1967), a resident of Bratislava. Bright, with an unusual appearance, he was a simple janitor, but dressed in a suit and tailcoat. For which he eventually earned the nickname “Handsome Nazi,” a diminutive of the name Ignatz. The monument is located in the old town, not far from another famous monument, the plumber Chumil.

Monument to the Plumber Chumil

The plumber Chumil looks out of a manhole in one of the streets of the old city. He is also called “the man at work. But there’s another story associated with him – during World War II, Bratislava residents hid in the sewers from the bombings. This monument symbolized the end of the war and the beginning of peacetime. The monument is located near the Hviezdoslavovo square.

Primate’s Palace

The Primate in the Catholic Church is the chief ecclesiastical hierarch of the country. The palace was built between 1778 and 1781 for the Primate and Archbishop of Hungary, Josef Batjani – at that time Bratislava was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary. The facade of the palace, built in the classical style, is decorated with the archbishop’s coat of arms and the cardinal’s hat. Interestingly, Napoleon and the defeated Austrian Emperor Francis I signed peace in this building. Currently, the palace is the seat of the Bratislava City Council. It can be visited as a museum, either on its own or with a guided tour.

Michael’s Gate

The 52-metre high tower is crowned by the figure of the Archangel Michael. It recalls the Church of St. Michael, which used to be nearby and gave its name to the gate. It is the only one of the four gates of the city fortress, preserved to this day. They were built in the 13th century. The tower above the gate was built in stages – the foundation in the 15th century, the octagonal superstructure at the beginning of the 16th. It received its present Baroque appearance only in the 18th century. Today there is a museum of arms.

SNP Bridge

A unique, unsupported bridge in the Danube links the right bank of the river with the center. International buses stop there. On the top of the bridge at a height of 95 meters there is an observation platform in the form of a flying saucer. There is also a restaurant. The bridge is known by two names – SNP (Slovak National Traffic Bridge) and New Bridge. Its northern exit divides the Old Town and the Bratislava Castle.

Grassalkovich Palace

In the 18th century this area was outside the city walls. The palace was built for Anton Grassalkovich, an advisor to Empress Maria Theresia. Honorary receptions and balls were held here, and the Hungarian nobility gathered. In 1771, Joseph Haydn gave a concert in this building. Today it is the presidential palace, and next to it the extensive park. You can walk there from the old town in 10 minutes, passing the Michael’s Gate.

Slavin Memorial Complex

The memorial is situated on the top of Slavin Hill and is dedicated to the Soviet soldiers who liberated Slovakia in 1944-45. More than 6,800 soldiers and officers who died fighting for the city are buried here. It is a sad and spacious place. From the hill there is a beautiful view of the city, because Slavin is the highest point of Bratislava. The height of the pylon with the figure of a soldier is 52 meters, so it is one of the most majestic monuments of its kind. The monument was unveiled in the spring of 1960 – the 15th anniversary of the liberation of Bratislava.

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Main Square

The square with the town hall and fountain is one of the symbols of the Slovak capital. During its history, present-day Main Square has had more colourful names. In the 19th century it was named after Franz Josef, while during the Soviet times it was called April 4th Square. (On that day in 1945, Bratislava was liberated by Soviet troops). Its first name was Market Square. The oldest fountain in Bratislava, the Roland Fountain, was built in the 16th century to provide the city with drinking water.

St. Martin’s Cathedral

This Gothic-style cathedral was built for more than a century, from 1311 to 1452. For 300 years crowning of Hungarian kings took place here. Empress Maria Theresia was crowned in the cathedral. Today the top of the 85-meter high spire is decorated with a gilded crown in remembrance of the coronations of those years. In the cozy silence and coolness of the cathedral it is good to relax on a hot summer day, feel the stopped time. The cathedral is located at the western border of the old town, near the Bratislava Castle.

Church of St. Elizabeth

This unusual church with the color of sky was built in the art nouveau style at the beginning of the 20th century. It was consecrated in 1913 in honor of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. An urban legend links its construction to Emperor Franz Joseph, who wanted to perpetuate the memory of his murdered wife Elisabeth (Sisi). However, there is no proof of this. This particular church represents Slovakia at the Mini-Europe exhibition in Brussels. The building is outside the old town, and can be reached on foot from the center in 20 minutes.

Chateau Devin

Devin Castle is located in the green hills to the west of the city, at the confluence of the Morava River into the Danube. There used to be a Roman fortress, and in the 9th century a castle was built to defend Moravia against the Franks. The castle was rebuilt many times in the 15th and 17th centuries. In 1809 it was destroyed by Napoleon’s army, and has remained in ruins ever since. On the opposite bank of the Danube stretches a valley, which belongs to the territory of Austria. You can get to the castle from downtown Bratislava on buses 28 and 29.

Bratislava Castle

The history of Bratislava began with the castle, which rises above the Danube River. The first written mention of the castle dates back to 907, although archaeologists think that the fortifications there were in the era of the Romans. The castle took its present appearance in the 15th century. It was rebuilt many times, the defensive purpose of the castle was gradually replaced by its cultural value. But in 1811 there was a fire, and the castle lay in ruins for more than 140 years. It was rebuilt only in the second half of the 20th century. Today the white edifice with red roofs can be seen from various points of the city.

Old Town Bratislava

The Old Town includes most of the sights described in the article. Cozy, with narrow streets, like many European cities, it is compactly located on the northern bank of the Danube. The territory of the old city is less than a kilometer in length and width. To the west rises Bratislava Castle, and to the east are the sleeping areas. Most of the streets here are pedestrian, with restaurants and pubs, where you can relax and eat. In the warmer months there are tables along the buildings. The Main Square and Hviezdoslavovo Square deserve special attention as they are the centers of tourist life.

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