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When thinking of places to visit in Europe, or even Eastern Europe, Bratislava may not be the first to pop into your mind. However, there are tons of things to do in Bratislava, and it can be seen in one day or even a day trip!
Now, let’s get on to finding out 11 of the best things to do in Bratislava, so you can have the best experience there on your next trip!
1. Old Town
As with almost any European city, exploring the old town is something you must do. the old town, historic center, or city center, is typically the most beautiful, historic, and most popular place to visit. In Bratislava, this is no different, making visiting Old Town the number one thing to do in Bratislava.
Bratislava’s Old Town is really well preserved and, while it isn’t too big, it’s very beautiful and will transport you back in time. It’s also quite the contrast to some of the Soviet era buildings on the outskirts of town.
It’s definitely worth spending some time to just stroll around and soak up the atmosphere.
As you get to many of the other places on the list of 11 things to do in Bratislava, you will be crossing through Old Town, so you will get a chance to explore it while seeing of things in Bratislava too!
2. Old Town Sculptures
While visiting Bratislava’s Old Town, you will see a variety of life-size sculptures hidden throughout it.
It’s fun to try to find them all, while exploring Bratislava. Some are easy to find, while others are a little trickier. Check out Welcome to Bratislava’s guide to the Bratislava Statues, so you can find all of them!
3. St. Michael’s Gate
One of the other things to see in Bratislava’s Old Town is to find St. Michael’s Gate. This is the only city gate that is left in the Old Town. It’s also one of the oldest buildings in Bratislava.
When you enter or exit Old Town through St. Michael’s Gate, you will cross a bridge that goes over an old moat. It’s not functional anymore, but it gives you an image of what the old fortress of Bratislava looked like when the gate was built in the 1300’s.
4. Blue Church of St. Elizabeth
Most churches in Europe begin to look alike after a while, but this isn’t the case for the Blue Church of St. Elizabeth in Bratislava.
The Blue Church, as it’s more commonly known, isn’t the biggest or most elaborate church you’ll see when visiting Europe, but it’s one of the most unique with its light blue color and architectural style.
The Blue Church sits just outside of Bratislava’s Old Town and is very easy to visit. If you can’t visit the inside because it’s closed or there’s a church service, it’s worth just walking by to see the outside.
5. Slavín (Slovak War Memorial)
Moving even further from everything to do in Old Town, and on the opposite side of Bratislava from the Blue Church, is Slavín, the Slovak War Memorial. Slavín is a war memorial for Soviet soldiers who tried to liberate Bratislava from Nazi rule during World War II.
Slavín is in one of the highest areas of Bratislava. There’s a great view of Bratislava from the top, but it is definitely a hike to get up there and will probably take about 30 minutes from the Old Town to walk there. It’s located in a wealthy area with winding streets, so it’s a little easy to get lost or turned around. Make sure you have a map, or Google Maps, to help you find your way.
Going to Slavín is not exactly a must-do, but it is one thing to do in Bratislava, especially if you are there for more than one day or find yourself with extra time.
6. Grassalkovich Palace
Number 6 on our list of things to do in Bratislava is the Grassalkovich Palace. This is where the President of Bratislava lives. You will pass it on your way out of Old Town up to Slavín, or on the way back down.
The fountain out front makes for a great photo op, but chances are you won’t be able to visit inside the palace. The Grassalkovich Palace is only open to the public once a year! If you are there on that specific day, then it might be the number one thing to do in Bratislava! However, if you are there on any other day of the year, visiting the Grassalkovich Palace is just one of a number of things to do in Bratislava.
7. UFO Bridge (Most SNP)
One of the most famous places and things to do in Bratislava is the UFO Bridge. While it’s actually name is Most SNP, it’s more commonly known as the UFO Bridge because the Soviet-era bridge that crosses the Danube in Bratislava looks like a UFO.
The bridge was finished in 1973, and its style is extremely different from that of Bratislava’s Old Town. There is even a restaurant and bar inside the UFO part of the bridge. You can take an elevator from the base up to the top. If you aren’t interested in eating in the UFO Bridge, there’s an observation deck on top too.
It costs 7.40€ to ride up the elevator to the UFO Bridge observation deck. You get a fantastic view of Bratislava and the Danube River from the top. It’s one of the best views in Bratislava!
8. Bratislava Castle
Across the Danube from the UFO Bridge is the Bratislava Castle. The Bratislava Castle sits on top of a hill overlooking the Danube and Old Town. On a clear day, you can see Austria and Hungary from the Castle.
It was built in the 9th century and is a big part of Bratislava and Slovak history.
If you are visiting Bratislava on a budget, walk up to the Castle for the views, but there’s no need to pay to go inside and visit the castle. However, if you are really interested in Bratislava’s history and want to visit the Castle, it is open to the public and you can find out about visiting the Bratislava Castle here.
9. Slovak Pub
So far all of these things to do in Bratislava have been places to go, visit, or see, but what about where to eat in Bratislava?
If you are looking for where to eat in Bratislava, look no further than the Slovak Pub. There Slovak Pub has authentic Slovak food and beer, all at cheap prices. This is a must-visit when looking for where to eat in Bratislava.
Since most people visiting Bratislava don’t have any idea what Slovak food is—we had no idea when we visited— eating at the Slovak Pub will give you a fantastic chance to experience authentic Slovak cuisine, including a wonderful selection of Slovak beer. And just so you know, Slovak food is absolutely delicious!
This is one of the best things to do in Bratislava, at least in terms of food!
10. Lemontree & Sky Bar
If you are looking for one of the best views in Bratislava, you need to go to Lemontree & Sky Bar. This bar and restaurant has a fantastic view of Old Town Bratislava. They also have creative cocktails, which are a little on the pricier side, but are handcrafted and you get to drink them with that view!
The Sky Bar is on the top level of a building, but the actual outdoor area is not a very big rooftop bar at all. There are a few places to sit right on the railing though. This is definitely a great thing to do in Bratislava, especially if you are a sucker for beautiful views!
11. Grand Cru Wine Gallery
The last thing to do in Bratislava is the number one thing to do in Bratislava, in our opinion! While wine isn’t the first thing to come to mind when visiting Bratislava, they have outstanding wine in Slovakia, and Grand Cru Wine Gallery is the place to go for wine in Bratislava.
Grand Cru Wine Gallery is not only great because of the delicious wine they serve, but the overall experience is superb. The family which owns it gives visitors a first-class, personalized experience where they work with you to find wines you like. Once you find some wine you like, they’ll give you more, and more, and more.
You will leave having had an authentic cultural experience in Bratislava while interacting with locals who are happy to show off the local wine and tell you all about Bratislava and Slovakia.
Again, this is last on the list of things to do, but it’s probably the best thing to do in Bratislava, especially if you love wine!
Still not convinced that Bratislava is worth adding you your Europe itinerary? Read our post on Is Bratislava Worth Visiting? to help you decide!
There are lots of things to do in Bratislava, and even though it’s a small European capital, you can easily spend a few days there! Although if you are really efficient, you can probably do all of these things in Bratislava in one day.