The capital of Slovakia. Bratislava is unique in its own way. This is one of the few cities. That does not just border on a neighboring state. But on two at once: Austria and Hungary.
Bratislava built on the banks of the Danube. In the foothills of the Small Carpathians. Officially, the Slovak capital divided into. 5 districts and 17 city districts.
Historical evidence suggests that the first human settlements. On this site date back to the Neolithic era. Before the arrival of the Slavs in the 5th century, Celtic, Germanic. And Roman tribes lived on the territory of present-day Bratislava. The first mention of Bratislava in the annals belongs to the year 907. From that time until 1918 the city was part of Hungary. From 1919 to 1939 – part of Czechoslovakia. When the name Bratislava appeared instead of Prešporek / Pressburg / Pozsony. Bratislava has been the capital. Of the independent state of Slovakia since 1993.
According to some, not too experienced tourists, Slovakia serves as a kind of “addition” to the Czech Republic on the market. Let’s face it: such an opinion is not only offensive, but also fundamentally wrong. This country with its beautiful nature, spectacular mountain peaks, numerous castles and fortresses (every first – with its own ghost and every second – with its own dramatic history) may well compete with the “veterans” of excursion tourism.
Pro alpine skiers in winter Slovakia almost never met (the slopes are not the same) – however, I didn’t really want to. After all, not everyone knows how to dashingly jump on the “black” slopes from morning tonight. A fair number of amateur athletes have enough not too difficult, but comfortable and safe descents – and there are just enough of them here.
Regions and resorts of Slovakia
The capital is Bratislava: small, cozy, kind of “own”. The old center – with the Main Square, which made friends with the Gothic, Baroque and Classicism, the town hall with extensions from different times, old cathedrals and cobbled streets – can be walked around in half an hour. And then – go to the outskirts, where vineyards, farms, fields thrive and enjoy the idyll of the pastoral.
The architectural dominant of Trencin is an 11th-century castle looking out over the city from a high mountain. The same medieval streets with restaurants, museums, and temples of all confessions wind at the foot. From here, the resort of Trencianske Teplice with hot springs and hammams is within easy reach. In Presov, the church of St. Nicholas flaunts, and nearby the Šarišský hrad castle, on the outskirts of which delicious beer is brewed.
Kosice does not lose touch with modernity: the historical center has been perfectly preserved, but industrial regions have grown around, supplying the country with irreplaceable resources.
The capital is Bratislava: small, cozy, kind of “own”. The old center – with the Main Square , which made friends with the Gothic, Baroque and Classicism, the town hall with extensions from different times, old cathedrals and cobbled streets – can be walked around in half an hour. And then – go to the outskirts, where vineyards, farms, fields thrive, and enjoy the idyll of the pastoral.
The architectural dominant of Trencin is an 11th-century castle looking out over the city from a high mountain. The same medieval streets with restaurants, museums, and temples of all confessions wind at the foot. From here, the resort of Trencianske Teplice with hot springs and hammams is within easy reach. In Presov, the church of St. Nicholas flaunts, and nearby is the Šarišský hrad castle, on the outskirts of which delicious beer is brewed.
Kosice does not lose touch with modernity: the historical center has been perfectly preserved, but industrial regions have grown around, supplying the country with irreplaceable resources.
The most famous ski resorts are the High Tatras (the famous Smokovec , the compact Podbanske , Tatranska Lomnica with an excellent ski school and Strbske Pleso on the shore of a beautiful lake) and the Low Tatras ( Donovaly , Jasna and Ruzomberok with trails for beginners and aces). In the list of spas – Piestany with useful dirt Smrdaky with hydrogen sulfide mineral water, Bardejovske Pools with “Oxygen Road” Rajecké Teplice with numerous baths and Dudince , whose water in composition and properties is not inferior to the legendary “Vichy”. All the details about cities and resorts in Slovakia.
Connectivity and Wi-Fi in Bratislava
There are several mobile operators in Slovakia: Orange, O2, Telekom and Swan. Orange is the leader in terms of the number of subscribers and the quality of communication. SIM cards costing 3-15 EUR are sold in company offices and supermarkets (you need a passport for registration), the balance is replenished via the Internet or using scratch cards. Orange calls to your country within cost EUR 0.47 per minute, Telekom – EUR 0.30.
There are payphones on Slovak streets that accept telephone cards with a face value of 5-10 EUR . You can buy them from post offices and newsagents and call both local numbers and abroad. Communication with the homeland from the telephone booth will cost 10-15%, and from the hotel – 30% more expensive than from a payphone.
Free Wi-Fi is available in hotels, catering establishments (you will have to order something to get access), and on the central streets of Bratislava. In large cities, Internet cafes are common, offering connections for 2-4 EUR per hour. In some places, there are free internet kiosks that allow you to check your email, send a message, or surf the web (only the connection speed is annoyingly slow).
Tax Free in Bratislava
In Slovakia, the Tax-free system operates: having forked out from 175.01 EUR in one check, you can return up to 20% VAT. First, you need to take a special form at the checkout with a list of purchased goods and enter your passport data there. At the airport, the completed form (along with a regular cashier’s receipt, passport, and freshly purchased items in undamaged packages) must be presented to the customs officer to obtain a stamp and then exchanged for cash at the Global Blue pick-up point. If time is running out, you can send a stamped Tax free check to the Bratislava office (but no later than 3 weeks from the date of registration) and wait for a refund to a bank card.
For the first time in the modern chronicle, Bratislava is mentioned in 907, when a battle took place near the city walls, as a result of which it was captured and passed into Hungary. However, the history of Bratislava is much older.
The founder of the city is considered to be the Roman military leader Piso, who founded one of the fortresses of the Danube defensive line here in the 1st century AD (during the time of the Roman ruler Tiberius). However, there is no exact information about their presence, so this is rather a beautiful legend.
For the sake of fairness, it must be said that modern excavations show that Celtic settlements were located here in the 1st-2nd centuries BC.
One way or another – the place for the city was chosen well – on the banks of the Danube, a river flowing through many European lands. In addition, land roads from Western Europe to the Balkans and the Middle East pass through the Danube lowland.
By the V century. the ancient Slavs came to these lands, who formed Great Moravia here, which became one of the largest states of the early Middle Ages, uniting the territories of modern Bohemia, Slovakia and Hungary.
However, the Hungarians who came from the Urals, wishing to seize new lands, began a war against Moravia. So in 907, a battle took place near the walls of Bratislava, as a result of which the city was captured and became part of Hungary, receiving the name Pozhon.
However, in the middle of the XII century. German colonization of the Danubian lands, occupied by the Slavs, began, and in order to keep the city, he was given the status of a free royal city. But the influence of the German Empire reached here, and the city was renamed Pressburg, formally remaining part of the Hungarian kingdom.
In the Middle Ages, the city continued to be a free royal city, here was one of the permanent residences of the Hungarian king Matthias Corvin.
Then, during the Ottoman invasion of Europe, the capital of Hungary, Buda, was captured by the Turks in 1541, and Bratislava became the capital of the kingdom. The city became a religious center: the residence of the Hungarian archbishops was located here.
In 1784, after Buda was conquered from the Ottomans, it again became the capital of Hungary. But Bratislava also did not lose its significance as a royal city – until 1848 Hungarian kings were crowned here, and the city had a state assembly.
At the end of the 18th century. as a result of the increasing oppression from the side of Austria-Hungary, a Slavic national liberation movement arose in the city. It was caused by increased oppression by the Austrians and Hungarians, in particular, the policy of forced Germanization.
But only 100 years later, after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire as a result of defeat in the First World War, on October 28, 1918, the creation of the Czechoslovak Republic was announced. The republic united the lands inhabited by Czechs and Slovaks.
On January 1, 1919, Bratislava became the administrative center of Slovakia within the new state.
Slovakia gained new independence during World War II, when the Nazis formed a puppet state here.
After the war, Slovakia, liberated by Soviet troops, embarked on the socialist path of development. Officially, this happened in 1948, when the communists won power as a result of general elections.
Finally, on January 1, 1969, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (Czechoslovakia) arose, a federal state consisting of two republics.
Under socialism, housing construction was actively carried out in the city, Bratislava became an industrial center.
However, like all socialist countries, industrially, it depended on its partners in the socialist bloc. After the collapse of which, many enterprises lost their suppliers and sales markets …
As for the national question, the Slovaks were again left out – they were not recognized as a separate nation, even the existence of the Slovak language was not taken into account. Slovakia became, in fact, an agrarian appendage of the industrialized Czech Republic, and the standard of living here was lower. All this could not but affect the relationship between the two peoples. The intelligentsia even formed an anti-Bohemian semi-underground opposition.
And from the city, which had lost its capital status, all government agencies left, and with them big business left. So there was only enough money to develop production and improve the living conditions of the working class, but there was not enough money for the reconstruction of historical monuments.
By the end of the 90s, the USSR had weakened so much that it could no longer hold the socialist countries, and in 1998, with the tacit consent of Moscow, the socialist regime fell in Eastern Europe. In Czechoslovakia, it was the “velvet revolution” in November 1989 – bloodless and calm.
In 1990, Czechoslovakia was first renamed into the Czechoslovak Federal Republic (CFR), and then into the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (CSFR). The industrially developed Czech Republic tried to keep the federation from disintegration, but it failed.
In June 1992, the first parliamentary elections were held, and in July the Slovak parliament adopted the Declaration of Independence.
Prague could only help in the transfer of power to the Slovak authorities. And on January 1, 1993, Slovakia officially became an independent state, and Bratislava became its capital.
Historical calendar in Bratislava
(A bit chaotic, but that’s how the story is described in dates in Slovak travel guides.)
5000 BC Date of the oldest archaeological finds in Bratislava (end of the Stone Age).
1st century BC Celts build fortified settlements on Devin, start to mint silver coins.
1st – 4th century AD The country south of the Danube River is ruled by the Roman Empire.
5 – 6 centuries Slavic tribes came to these lands.
623 – 658 The period of the Samos empire, the first state structure of the Slavic peoples.
7 – 8th century The territory of Bratislava becomes an important center for the Avar-Slavic empire.
9th century Creation of Great Moravia; Bratislava Castle becomes a military, administrative and church center.
864 The first written mention (in Fulda Annals) of Devin Castle as a strong frontier fortress of the Great Moravian Empire.
907 The first written mention of Bratislava (Brezalauspurc) appears in the historical records of Salzburg, when mentioning the battle between the Bavarians and the Hungarians.
10th – 11th centuries The castle in Bratislava becomes an important border point on the Hungarian border – the seat of the head of the provincial and church government.
1000 – 1038 Bratislava region comes under the rule of King Stephen I of Hungary.
12th century The city develops on the eastern side of the castle hill.
1221 Romanesque church of St. Savior built on the site of the modern Cathedral of St. Martin.
1291 The Hungarian king Andrew III grants Bratislava extensive city rights, thereby confirming its inclusion in the system of free royal cities, laying the foundation for the development of trade and crafts.
14 – 15 century The period of development of crafts, viticulture and international trade.
1430 The city received the right to mint coins of King Sigismund of Luxembourg.
1436 Sigismund of Luxembourg grants the city the right to use its coat of arms.
1464 The Hungarian king Matthias Corvin confirms all the old privileges of Bratislava with a decree (“Golden Bull”).
1465 King Matthias founds the first university on the territory of modern Slovakia, Akedemia Istropolitana.
1526 Hungarian troops were defeated by the Ottoman army at the Battle of Mohacs; King Louis II is assassinated and Ferdinand I of Habsburg is elected king in the Franciscan monastery of Bratislava.
1536 Bratislava becomes the capital of Hungary.
1543 Bratislava becomes the seat of the archbishopric.
1563 – 1830 For nearly three centuries, 11 Hungarian kings and 8 royal wives were crowned in Bratislava.
17th century Series of revolts against the Habsburg rulers of the empire.
1711 The plague kills 3860 people.
1741 The coronation of Maria Theresa.
1775 Queen Maria Theresa orders the city walls to be demolished, leading to the expansion and development of the city.
1776 Estates Theater established, with a permanent troupe of actors.
1780 The first factory in the city is opened.
1783 Joseph II transfers the central authorities to Buda, and the crown jewels to Vienna.
1805 After Napoleon’s victory in the battle of the three emperors at Austerlitz, the Peace of Presburg (Bratislava) between France and Austria is signed in the Hall of Mirrors of the palace.
1809 The city is besieged by Napoleon’s troops.
1811 May 28 – Bratislava Castle burns down.
1818 The first steamboat started operating on the Danube River.
1840 A horse-drawn railway service was opened between Bratislava and Sveti Yur.
1848 King Ferdinand V signs the so-called March Acts, abolishing serfdom throughout the empire.
1886 The Slovak National Theater was built on the site of the original Theater Estates.
1891 The first bridge across the Danube in Bratislava (Old Bridge) opens.
1895 The first tram was launched in Bratislava.
1912 The first trolleybuses entered the streets of Bratislava.
1913 79 houses in the village near the castle burned down.
1918 October 10 – The Slovak National Council is established.
1919 January 1 – Bratislava is occupied by Czechoslovak legions and becomes part of the new Czechoslovak Republic.
1939 March 14 – Bratislava becomes the capital of the newly proclaimed state of Slovakia, controlled by Nazi Germany.
1945 April 4 – the city is liberated by the Red Army.
February 25 – After a political coup, the Communist Party comes to power in Czechoslovakia.
1969 October 30 – Agreement on the creation of the Czechoslovak Federation is signed; Bratislava becomes the capital of the Slovak Socialist Republic.
1971 The villages of Chunove, Devinska Nova Ves, Jarovce, Rusovce and others become part of Bratislava.
1989 November 27 – Bratislava joins the general strike in support of the demands of the anti-violence public movement and the Civil Forum. The period of socialist Slovakia ends.
1993 Bratislava becomes the capital of the independent Slovak Republic.
The chemical industry stands out in Bratislava. Plastics, sulfuric acid, synthetic fiber, soda, varnishes and paints, phosphoric fertilizers are produced. The electrical engineering industry, machine tool building, instrument making, textile, clothing and food industries, furniture and woodworking industries are developed.
The city is an important transport hub for the country. Bratislava is crossed by international road and railway lines. The capital is also a port. City transport in Bratislava consists of the tram, trolleybus, and bus lines.
Best time to visit Bratislava
Bratislava can be visited all year round, but the best time is from May to September.
Bratislava is located in the extreme south-west of Slovakia at the foot of the Lesser Carpathians. The city is located on both banks of the Danube, as well as on the left bank of the Morava River. The Slovak capital is surrounded by charming villages, vineyards and farmland. Bratislava has a temperate continental climate with warm (slightly rainy) summers and cool winters.
The size of the country is small, most of the traffic is carried out by trains and buses. The main railway line Kosice – Bratislava runs through Spisska Nova Ves, Poprad, Zilina and Trencin. Tickets are sold at the office. The carrier’s website (in English), from the capital to Trencin can be reached for 6-8 EUR , in Ruzomberok – for 11-23 EUR , in Kosice – for 13-40 EUR (morning flights are cheaper). The Slovak Expres system operates on popular routes ( official website in English): round-trip tickets for night trains cost 18-27 EUR .
There is also water transport in the country: the Danube connects Bratislava with neighboring cities and abroad (Vienna and Budapest). The cost of a sightseeing cruise in the capital’s water area is 7 EUR for adults, 4.50 EUR for children (the schedule is on the carrier’s official website in English).
In Slovakia, there is a system of youth and student discounts; on weekends and holidays, travel on intercity buses becomes cheaper.
Public transport within cities in Bratislava
Trams, buses and trolleybuses act as urban transport. Travel is paid with coupons, which are sold in orange vending machines at bus stops – they must be composted in the salon. Tickets are valid for a limited period (15, 30 or 60 minutes), so you should buy them strictly before the trip. Single tickets cost 0.7-3.1 EUR , travel passes for 3 days – 8 EUR . They can be bought at DPHMB offices, underground passages, kiosks and railway station ticket offices.
Taxis in Slovakia are inexpensive, equipped with meters and are not very popular due to the small size of cities. Ordering them by phone is more profitable than catching them on the street. The standard fare is EUR 1-2 for the boarding plus EUR 0.50-1 for each km.
Rent a Car in Bratislava
By renting a car in compact Slovakia, you can see its main attractions in a few days: medieval cities, castles, national parks. The roads are good (though some of them are paid), there are few traffic jams, the drivers are polite and tidy. There may be problems with parking: the old streets are not adapted to the abundance of modern vehicles. Most parking lots are paid: special coupons and cards are sold in tobacco and newsstands, an hour in a covered parking lot will cost 1-3 EUR per hour (depending on the location – in the center it is most expensive).
Compact car rental – from 30 EUR , standard model – from 52 EUR , station wagon – from 56 EUR per day. Gasoline price – 1.44 EUR per 1 liter.
Car rental is possible with a driver’s license (both international and local), passport and credit card. Cash is often accepted for payment, but a credit card as a deposit is required. The amount of rent depends on the car and the rental period, as well as on the day of the week – on weekends (from 15:00 Friday to 9:00 Monday) and holidays, it is slightly higher (excluding distance). The driver’s age must be at least 21 years old, and the driving experience must be from one year. The cost of renting Czech car brands is significantly lower than all others.
The maximum permitted speed within settlements is 50 km / h, outside them – 90 km / h, on highways – up to 130 km / h. The dipped beam must always be on, the use of seat belts is mandatory. Drinking any alcohol (even beer) and talking on a mobile while driving are prohibited. Antiradars in Slovakia are illegal. For speeding by 20 km / h, the driver will have to pay a fine of 100 EUR , for 70 km / h – already 650 EUR . Driving while intoxicated can cost up to 2,500 EUR .
It is worth additionally taking out accident insurance (around 10 EUR per day) and against theft (for the same money). The insurance will cover any damage caused to the car only if the driver is sober.
Attractions in Bratislava
In Bratislava, tourists cannot be bored, there are so many interesting places to visit: ancient palaces, churches, museums and architectural monuments. Local attractions include the following:
Church of St. Elizabeth (Kostol svätej Alžbety)
WORKING hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2 pm to 5 pm, other days by agreement with the priest.
PHONE +421 2/593 561 11
ADDRESS CHURCH OF ST. ELIZABETHBezrucova, 5
How to get to St. Elizabeth’s Church
|Bus||No. 50, 95, 128|
|Tram||No. 4, 11, 12, 13, 14|
The Church of St. Elizabeth is also called the Blue Church because of the delicate shade on the facade of the building. This Catholic church was designed in the Art Nouveau style by the architect Eden Lechner. The construction of the temple dates back to 1909-1913. Not only the unusual color of this religious object attracts attention, but also its 37-meter spire. In plan, this temple is oval and forms an architectural ensemble with the building of the Catholic Gymnasium, designed by the same architect. The walls of the temple are lined with majolica from the city of Modra. Patterns are made of blue tiles that give the temple a very elegant look. The architectural details of the building are rounded as much as possible, “flowing” into one another. Above the main entrance to the church, there is a mosaic depicting St. Elizabeth. The life of this saint tells about how she gave alms to the poor, but the rich husband forbade his wife to do charity work. The interior of the church is not inferior to the external decor, the walls are also painted blue, and they are decorated with many frescoes depicting scenes from the life of St. Elizabeth. The church is active and open for visits. In front of it, you can see a monument to unborn children.
The mausoleum of Chatam Sofer Memorial
How to get to the Hatam Sofer Mausoleum
|Bus||No. 28 29 30 31 39 502 503 504|
|Tram||No. 4 10 12 17|
The Khatam mausoleum is famous for the burial of the famous rabbi Moshe Schreiber, also known as Khatam Sofer. The mausoleum was erected on the site of a Jewish cemetery in Slovakia in 2002; its opening was timed to coincide with the 240th anniversary of the birth of this famous rabbi. The cemetery at this place has a long history and is one of the oldest in Bratislava – it was founded in the 17th century. The mausoleum was created on this site in memory of the tragic events of the Second World War and the persecution of Jews. The Slovak fascists then intended to destroy this cemetery, and the flood of 1942 flooded most of it. The grave of Hatam Sofer was preserved then. After the fall of the communist regime and thanks to donations from Jews from all over the world, this heritage site was reconstructed. The tombstones have been restored.
Franciscan Church (Kostol Zvestovania Pána)
ADDRESS FRANCISCAN CHURCHFrantiškánska, 2
How to get to Franciscan Church
|Tram||No. 1, 7, 9, 10, 13|
The Franciscan Catholic Church is located in the Old Town and is considered one of the oldest in Bratislava. The temple was erected by King Laszlo IV century. honor of the victory over the Czechs in the 13th century. Initially, the church was made in the Gothic style, and later was rebuilt in the Renaissance and Baroque styles. In the XIV century, a Franciscan monastery functioned near the church. In the 16th century, this temple was the site of the coronation of many Hungarian kings. In the early 17th century, the temple suffered from an earthquake, after which the church was rebuilt, and its architectural style gradually changed. The premises of the Franciscan monastery were used in the 19th century for holding meetings of the city’s municipality. A fragment of the original temple has survived to this day, the rest of the architecture is later reconstructions. The interior of the church that visitors see now was made in the 18th century. The altar is adorned with statues of St. Stephen and Emeric. The pulpit was erected in the Rococo style; it depicts Francis of Assisi and the prophet Moses. The stained-glass windows of the church with the image of the Annunciation date back to the 19th century. Currently, the church houses the relics of St. Reparat. Next to the church, attention is drawn to the 2-tier chapel of St. John the Theologian of the XIV century, built, reconstructed in 1831. The chapel is an example of the Gothic style and is considered the earliest Gothic structure in Slovakia. Here is the crypt of the Jakubovets family, statues of Saints Francis of Assisi, Louis IX, Anthony of Padua, Clara of Assisi and Elizabeth of Hungary. The stained-glass windows of the church with the image of the Annunciation date back to the 19th century. Currently, the church houses the relics of Saint Reparat. Next to the church, attention is drawn to the 2-tier chapel of St. John the Evangelist of the XIV century, built, reconstructed in 1831. The chapel is an example of the Gothic style and is considered the earliest Gothic structure in Slovakia. Here is the crypt of the Jakubovets family, statues of Saints Francis of Assisi, Louis IX, Anthony of Padua, Clara of Assisi and Elizabeth of Hungary. The stained-glass windows of the church with the image of the Annunciation date back to the 19th century. Currently, the church houses the relics of Saint Reparat. Next to the church, attention is drawn to the 2-tier chapel of St. John the Evangelist of the XIV century, built, reconstructed in 1831. The chapel is an example of the Gothic style and is considered the earliest Gothic structure in Slovakia. Here is the crypt of the Jakubovets family, statues of Saints Francis of Assisi, Louis IX, Anthony of Padua, Clara of Assisi, and Elizabeth of Hungary. The chapel is an example of the Gothic style and is considered the earliest Gothic structure in Slovakia. Here is the crypt of the Jakubovets family, statues of Saints Francis of Assisi, Louis IX, Anthony of Padua, Clara of Assisi, and Elizabeth of Hungary. The chapel is an example of the Gothic style and is considered the earliest Gothic structure in Slovakia. Here is the crypt of the Jakubovets family, statues of Saints Francis of Assisi, Louis IX, Anthony of Padua, Clara of Assisi, and Elizabeth of Hungary.
Church of St. Nicholas
OFFICIAL SITE: http://www.pravoslavni.sk
How to get to St. Nicholas Church
|Bus||Zochova – 31, 39, 80, 83, 84, 93, 94, 503|
The Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas can be visited in the Old Town of Bratislava, near the Mikulas Gate of Bratislava Castle. Although the exterior of the church is very modest, its rich and controversial history is impressive. The Roman Catholic Church was erected here in 1661 on the site of a Gothic cathedral and was named in honor of St. Nicholas of Mirliki.
During communism, the temple did not function, and after the Second World War it was transferred to the dioceses of the Orthodox Church. For a long time it was the only Orthodox church in Bratislava (before the construction of the Cathedral of St. Rostislav). Currently, the Church of St. Nicholas is active and accessible to tourists. A part of the Cross on which Jesus was crucified, as well as parts of the relics of Sergius of Radonezh and Moses Ugrin are kept here.
Bratislava Zoo (Bratislavská zoologická záhrada)
WORKING HOURS: From 10 am to 6 pm during the tourist season, from 10 am to 3 pm from November to March.
How to get to the Bratislava Zoo
|Bus||No. 204, 207, 516|
The Bratislava Zoo is located on the outskirts of the Slovak capital, on the slopes of the Lesser Carpathians, in the Mlynska Dolina. The idea of creating a zoo in Bratislava appeared in the middle of the 20th century; construction began in 1959 and was completed a year later. At present, the area of the zoo is almost 100 hectares. The zoo features about 150 species of animals and birds. At the same time, the institution specializes in breeding such rare animals as white Bengal tigers and Sri Lankan leopards. Inside the complex are cages with yellow-footed tamarins and other types of monkeys, armadillos, meerkats, aquariums with fish and terrariums with reptiles. Bears, white tigers, lions, leopards, zebras, rhinos, pygmy antelopes, wolves, ostriches, deer, pelicans, black pigs, sloths, red pandas, anteaters live in special open-air cages. flamingos, giraffes and many other animals. In 2004, the exposition “Dinopark” was opened on the territory of the zoo, in which reptiles of the Mesozoic era are presented. About 20 life-size models of dinosaurs and giant lizards attract the special attention of young visitors, as realistic figures move and make different sounds. Also on the territory of the zoo there is a children’s playground, cafes and pony rides.
Church of the Holy Spirit (Kostol Ducha Svätého)
Monday – Friday 6: 30-18: 00
Saturday 7: 00-18: 00
Sunday 6: 30-18: 00
How to get to the Church of the Holy Spirit
|Bus||No. 20 22 23 34 83 504|
|Tram||No. 1 5 12|
The Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit is an original building in terms of architecture. This temple was built in a modern style under the guidance of architects Ludovit Rezhuhi and Marian Luptak. The stone at the base of the temple was consecrated by Pope John Paul II, and the church itself was built by 2002. The church is designed in a circular layout; an original arrow-shaped dome with a height of 30 meters rises above it. The appearance of the temple sometimes shocks some “unprepared” tourists, for whom the unusual roof is somewhat reminiscent of a ski jump. However, the interior and interior decoration of the temple does not deviate from the classical canons. The altar is decorated with a forged image of the Holy Spirit, which is presented in the form of a dove. The temple is quite large and can accommodate up to 600 visitors.
Michal’s Gate (Michalská brána)
How to get to Michalsky gate
|Bus||No. 80 88 92 506|
Michal’s Gate is one of the oldest buildings in Bratislava, which has survived to this day in excellent condition. The construction of the Michal Gate dates back to 1300. The first mention of them in documentary sources dates back to 1411. Michal’s Gate originally served as an entrance to the Old Town. The structure was a tower with a gate and a drawbridge. In the 16th century, the tower was destroyed and rebuilt by 1758 in the form of a snow-white structure 50 meters high, which is now seen by guests and residents of Bratislava. In the same year, the Michal Gate was reconstructed in the Baroque style, and a statue of St. Michael was erected on the top of the building. Currently, weapons from the City Museum of Bratislava are exhibited in the premises of the Mikhal’s Gate tower, and also tells the story of the fortifications of the Slovak capital and tells about their reconstruction. Having bought a ticket to the museum, you can go up to the observation deck on the 6th floor of the tower, where a picturesque view of the Old Town and other areas opens from the terrace. An interesting fact is that the narrowest street in Bratislava passes through the gate. Also, under the Michalski Gates, a “zero kilometer” was established – this is a circle with signs of the cardinal points, the names of major world cities and the distance to them. And right next to the gate in an old stone house there is a pharmacy, the interior of which is decorated in the spirit of old establishments. A few meters from the gate, you can also see the building of the old powder tower. where the terrace offers a picturesque view of the Old Town and other areas. An interesting fact is that the narrowest street in Bratislava passes through the gate. Also, under the Michalski gates, a “zero kilometer” was established – this is a circle with signs of the cardinal points, the names of major world cities and the distance to them. And right next to the gate in an old stone house there is a pharmacy, the interior of which is decorated in the spirit of ancient institutions. A few meters from the gate, you can also see the building of the old powder tower. where the terrace offers a picturesque view of the Old Town and other areas. An interesting fact is that the narrowest street in Bratislava passes through the gate. Also, under the Michalski gates, a “zero kilometer” was established – this is a circle with signs of the cardinal points, the names of major world cities and the distance to them. And right next to the gate in an old stone house there is a pharmacy, the interior of which is decorated in the spirit of old establishments. A few meters from the gate, you can also see the building of the old powder tower. whose interior is decorated in the spirit of old establishments. A few meters from the gate, you can also see the building of the old powder tower. whose interior is decorated in the spirit of old establishments. A few meters from the gate, you can also see the building of the old powder tower.
How to get to the Old Bridge
|Bus||Šafárikovo nám. – 50, 95, 128|
|Tram||Šafárikovo nám. – 4, 11, 12, 13, 14|
The Old Bridge in Bratislava is the oldest bridge across the Danube that has survived to this day. This metal structure on stone supports stretches over the river for almost half a kilometer. The bridge was constructed during the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph at the end of the 19th century and at first bore his name. There is not only a road for cars, but also a paved path for pedestrians.
The Old Bratislava Bridge is not just an object of the city’s infrastructure, but also an architectural monument. That is why, since 2008, the movement of vehicles has been partially prohibited here and passage is available for cyclists, city buses and, of course, walking along the bridge is possible. In the near future, it is planned to completely stop the traffic flow, making the bridge pedestrian. Perhaps, only the track for the movement of the so-called “fast” trams heading to the center of Bratislava will be retained. Also, part of the bridge is planned to be reconstructed and replaced with a new one due to its insufficient height above the Danube, which does not allow large ships to pass along the river in this place.
How to get to Grad Devin
|Bus||by bus number 29 from the New Bridge to the final stop.|
|Ferry||In summer, you can reach Devin Castle by boat, which departs from the river station|
The remains of the fortification of Grad Devin are located on a cliff over 200 meters high, 8 km from the center of Bratislava. At this place the Danube and Morava rivers merge, therefore it is called the Devinsky Gate. Devin Castle is the oldest fortified structure in Slovakia, and the history of the development of this place by people dates back to the Stone Age. Celtic, Germanic, Roman and Slavic tribes were based on this place. Chronicles first mention this fortification in 864 called Dowin. Archaeological finds indicate that it was a large-scale fortress, which served not only to protect Great Moravia from enemies, but was also used as the residence of local rulers. For centuries, the fortress and the castle inside it have been completed and rebuilt. The fortress was used for the last time in the 17th century during the attack of the Turkish army. Then the castle fell into disrepair, and in 1809 it was blown up by Napoleon’s troops. The remains of an ancient cemetery and foundations of religious buildings have survived to this day. In one of the galleries of the fortress, there is an exposition composed of finds made on the territory of the fortress and telling about its history.
In addition to the remains of a fortress and a castle on the territory of Devin Castle, tourists are attracted by the picturesque views that open up to Bratislava and its surroundings, as well as to the emerald waters of the Morava and Danube. It is not for nothing that in 1985 the Castle of Devin was declared a national natural monument. By the way, Devin settlement is a center of eco-tourism, famous for local folk festivals and excellent wine. Of the interesting facts related to the Devin Castle, it can be noted that the border with Austria runs along the water surface of the Danube. During communism, one Slovak even took the opportunity to illegally cross this border: from the Castle of Devin, he flew to Austrian territory on a hang glider. After this incident, the wall of the fortress overlooking the river was closed to tourists.
New Bridge (Most SNP)
WORKING HOURS: The observation deck is open from 10 to 22 hours, and the restaurant from 12 to 23 hours.
How to get to New Bridge
|Tram||No. 17, 4, 12, 10.|
A new bridge was built in the Slovak capital in 1972. The bridge is unique in its own way in that it has no supports in the Danube – and this is with a length of almost half a kilometer. Among such bridges, the New Bridge in Bratislava takes the honorable first place for the originality of its design in the style of futurism. The structure is supported on the ground, from which the ropes that support the bridge diverge. There is four-lane traffic on the New Bridge, while the road is thought out not only for cars, but also for pedestrians and cyclists. The special attention of tourists is attracted by the restaurant “UFO” (“UFO”), which is located at the top of the tower. From the premises of the restaurant you can go to the observation deck with a wonderful view of Bratislava.
How to get to Apollo Bridge
|Bus||No. 68 87 88|
Tourists should pay attention in Slovakia not only to ancient architectural monuments with a long history, but also to works of modern art and construction – for example, the Apollo Bridge. The name of the bridge is beautiful, but its origin is quite prosaic. It was named after the Apollo oil refinery that operated nearby at the beginning of the last century. This bridge was built in 2005, and it connects the banks of the Danube. The bridge has an impressive length of 850 meters and an equally impressive width of 32 meters. Smooth lines in the construction of the bridge attract attention – there are almost no right angles here. The curved lines and the shape of the arch make the Apollo Bridge a real gem in Bratislava. Moreover, it is the most important transport artery of the Slovak capital. This structure looks especially impressive at night, when hundreds of lamps illuminate the bridge.
Old Town Hall in Bratislava
WORKING HOURS Museum:
Tue-Fri 10: 00-17: 00,
Sat-Sun 11: 00-18: 00
TICKET PRICE: 3.32 €, children, students – 1.66 €
How to get to the Old Town Hall of Bratislava
|Bus||Jesenského – No. 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17|
The Old Town Hall is one of the oldest buildings in Bratislava. The Gothic town hall was erected in the 14th century, and its annexes were completed by the 15th century. Due to an earthquake in the 16th century and a fire in the 18th century, the building was rebuilt, and elements of the Renaissance and Baroque styles were added to its architecture. At the beginning of the 20th century, a new wing in the Neo-Gothic and Neo-Renaissance styles was added to the Town Hall.
Since the 15th century, the town hall has been used by the city council for holding meetings, as well as a prison and a mint in different historical periods. During Napoleon’s attacks at the beginning of the 19th century, a cannonball hit the town hall, which is still kept here. Currently, the building houses the City Museum. The most ancient part of the Town Hall, preserved from the beginning of its construction, is the corner tower. It is one of the tallest buildings in Bratislava, and climbing it, you can explore the picturesque surroundings of the Slovak capital.
Fishing Gate (Rybarska brana)
How to get to the Fisherman’s Gate
|Tram||Jesenského – 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17|
At the time when Bratislava was a fortified fortress, the role of one of the 4 gates to the city was played by the Fishermen. According to scientists, this was one of the first gates built in the XIV century, and the smallest in size.
The gates are named in honor of the fact that fishermen passed through them, carrying their catch for sale. The name of the gate changed several times during the difficult history of the fortress, and during the invasion of the Turks in 1529, this gate was walled up. They were last renamed Theresian and demolished in 1776. Since then, of all the gates leading to the fortified city, only Michalskie has survived to this day. Why is the Fisherman’s Gate considered a local landmark if it has not survived to this day? The fact is that in 1990, archaeologists discovered the masonry of this gate, and a memorial plaque was erected at the site of the discovery in memory of the historical significance of this structure.
WORKING HOURS: From 9:00 to 17:00
How to get to Bratislava Castle
|Bus||No. 203 207 516|
|Trolleybus||to the stop “Grad”|
Bratislava Castle is considered one of the central attractions of the Slovak capital. It is located on one of the spurs of the Small Carpathians, above the Danube bank. Bratislava Castle was rebuilt from ruins in the 20th century and is a castle with various buildings. This snow-white castle is visible from any point of Bratislava, it looks especially impressive at night, illuminated by numerous searchlights.
The first buildings on this site date back to the 3rd millennium BC. e. , and the first mention of this large-scale structure was in a written certificate of Bratislava in 907. The medieval castle was for centuries the place where Hungarian kings were crowned. Bratislava Castle received its modern appearance in the 15th century: in 1431-1434 a two-story Gothic palace was erected. Later Bratislava Castle was supplemented with fortifications, bastions and entrance gates. In 1811, most of the Castle burned down, and only ruins remained from it. The restoration of this unique attraction was started only in 1953, having finished the reconstruction in 1968. After its renovation, Bratislava Castle acquired the appearance that it had at the end of the 18th century.
Many tourists visit the Castle because of the beautiful views of the Slovak capital and the Danube. From the terrace in front of the Castle façade you can see the Petrzalka district of Bratislava, and from the place where the wine cellar is located, you can see the Old Town. A little below the castle, there is a park with statues and many benches where you can relax and take photos of the surroundings. If you are visiting the Grad in the fall or winter, dress warmly as it is always windy on the cliff.
Cathedral of St. Martin (Katedrála sv. Martina)
WORKING HOURS: From Monday to Friday from 10 am to 11.30 am and from 2 pm to 4.30 pm.
on Saturday from 10 am to 11.30 am; on Sunday from 2 pm to 4:30 pm.
How to get to St. Martin’s Cathedral
|Bus||No. 28, 29, 30, 37, 70, 88, 91, 128, 133, 191, 502|
|Tram||No. 4, 10, 12, 17|
The Cathedral of St. Martin is considered one of the symbols of Bratislava and is visible from many points of the city, as it rises on a hill. This Catholic cathedral is an active cathedral church. Its construction dates back to the XIII century, but the modern look and layout of the cathedral took over in the middle of the XIX century. In the period from 1563 to 1830, the kings of Hungary and some emperors of the Habsburg dynasty were crowned here. The cathedral is a three-aisled structure, crowned with a tower 85 meters high, on top of which there is a copy of the crown of Hungarian kings 1 meter high. After numerous reconstructions, the cathedral still retained its Gothic features. Several chapels were built near the cathedral: in honor of St. Anne, St. John and St. Sophia. On the territory of the cathedral you can see the statue of “Saint Martin and the Beggar” by the sculptor Raphael Donner, where Saint Martin is depicted on a horse with a sword raised over a beggar to cut his jacket in half and share with the beggar. Behind the portal, which was the gates of the cathedral, there is a relief depicting the Holy Trinity. Inside the building, a gallery has been designed, where kings once sat during mass. And under the galleries, a plaque tells that in the 18th century Beethoven’s oratorio No. 123 premiered here. It is also known that in the 19th century, Franz Liszt conducted the coronation Mass in the cathedral. that in the 18th century the premiere of Beethoven’s oratorio No. 123 took place here. It is also known that in the 19th century, Franz Liszt conducted the coronation Mass in the cathedral. that in the 18th century the premiere of Beethoven’s oratorio No. 123 took place here. It is also known that in the 19th century, Franz Liszt conducted the coronation Mass in the cathedral.
Grassalkovic Palace (Grasalkovičov palác)
WORKING HOURS: From 10 to 19 hours without days off, during the summer season – from 8 to 22 hours. The park is open during daylight hours.
How to get to the Grassalkovich Palace
The Grassalkovich Palace is also called the Presidential Palace, since it is currently the official residence of the Slovak President. The palace is often called the “Slovak White House”. This is a snow-white Rococo building with baroque elements, which was built by order of the adviser to the Empress Anton Grassalkovich in 1760. In the 18th century, the palace was a meeting place for the Hungarian aristocracy, where classical music concerts were held. At the beginning of the 20th century, the palace was the seat of Archduke Friedrich. The palace and the area around it are open to the public and are a popular walking place for tourists. In front of the palace, there is a fountain designed in the form of a globe. On the rear side of the building, there is a small picturesque garden that adjoins the ensemble of the Archbishop’s Palace.
Chapel of St. James (Kapelle des St. James)
WORKING HOURS: Tours are held 2 times a year on the days of St. James
How to get to the Chapel of St. James
|Bus||Námestie SNP – 1, 7, 9, 10, 13|
From the chapel of St. James of the 15th century, only ruins and an ossuary with remains have survived to this day. The chapel, which is located in the Old Town of Bratislava, was originally erected in the Romanesque architectural style, and later rebuilt in the Gothic. The chapel stood on the territory of the cemetery, and not far from it was the church of St. Lawrence of the 12th century.
The chapel and church were demolished during the siege of the city by the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. The remains of the chapel were discovered at the end of the 20th century. According to scientists, this church was one of the oldest in the Slovak capital. Currently, the ruins of the chapel are surrounded by a glass pavilion and are under the jurisdiction of the Bratislava City Museum. Tours here are held twice a year for four hours on religious holidays dedicated to the Apostle James.
How to get to the Istropolitan Academy
|Bus||No. 20, 22, 34, 83, 504|
|Tram||No. Trams 1, 5, 12|
The Istropolitan Academy is the oldest university in Slovakia, the building of which has survived to this day. The name of this institution Istropolis can be translated from Greek as “city on the Danube”. The university was founded in 1465 by the Hungarian king Matthias Corvin. At first, the theological, medical, legal and philosophical faculties worked at the Academy. Much attention in all academic disciplines was paid to the study of nature, astronomy, medicine and mathematics. The first teachers at this institution came from the University of Vienna, and then from Poland and Italy. By 1490, the university ceased to function and was closed after the death of Matthias Corvin, because it was he who financed this educational institution. At present, the theater faculty is located in the building of the Istropolitan Academy. The facade of the building is made of natural stone and is decorated with numerous windows. The interior of this establishment is classically simple: light walls and exquisite wooden furniture. Even though the Academy was built over 500 years ago, it has retained its original splendor.
Slovak National Theater (Slovenské národné divadlo)
WORKING HOURS: on weekdays from 9 am to 8 pm, performances start at 7 pm.
OFFICIAL SITE: http://www.snd.sk
How to get to the Slovak National Theater
|Bus||No. 50 70 78 502|
The National Theater in Slovakia was created in 1886; its project was developed by architects F. Fellner and H. Helner. The neo-Renaissance theater building is the hallmark of the Slovak capital. The interiors are decorated with frescoes and paintings, and the Ganymede fountain functions in front of the building. The first performance at the Slovak National Theater was F. Erkel’s Bank-Ban, while most of the performances were initially performed exclusively in Czech. At present, performances are taking place both in the old building and in the new one, the hall of which will host 1,700 people. The local theater staged drama, ballet, and opera, and local performances are considered some of the best in the world, almost on par with the famous Viennese opera. Since the theatrical season in the theater coincides with the tourist season, you should definitely visit one of the performances. Librettos for operas are published in Slovak, German, and English. You can book tickets and learn about the repertoire not only in the theater building but also on its official website.
Since January 1, 2009, the official currency of Slovakia is the euro.
Banks are open daily, except Sundays, from 9:00 to 11:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00. Saturday – until 12:00. Exchange offices on weekdays are usually open from 7: 00-8: 00 to 17: 00-19: 00 with an hour lunch break (some – around the clock). On weekends, as a rule, from 8:00 to 12:00 – 15:00. Currency can be exchanged at exchange offices (zmenaren), hotels, banks, post offices and transport agencies. The exchange rate in banks, as usual, is less profitable than in exchange offices.
The commission fee can vary significantly even in closely located exchange offices, so you should carefully read the terms of the exchange before making a decision.
Credit cards are accepted in almost all banks, in most large hotels, gas stations, large restaurants, and shops. Tipping is approximately 10% of the bill and is due to staff for good service. In a taxi, it is polite to round the amount on the counter upwards, in hotels it is not customary to give tea, but it would not hurt to reward a particularly diligent maid with a coin of 1 EUR.
Most stores are open daily, except Sundays, from 9:00 to 18:00 (large supermarkets and shopping centers on Thursday usually open until 19: 00-21: 00). Opening hours of grocery stores: from 7: 00-9: 00 to 18: 00-19: 00 (often with an hour lunch break). On Saturday, most points are open from 8:00 to 12:00.
From 20:00 to 5:00, groceries can be bought in shops marked with the “vecierka” sign.
From Slovakia, they bring decorated Easter eggs, figurines from grains, ceramics, wooden figurines, handmade dolls “supolka” in national costumes, things made of sheep’s wool, graceful flutes “fujara”. The country has a single retail chain selling handicrafts – ULUV; there are stores in almost all major cities. Their prices are fixed; in private shops, on the contrary, it is not a sin to bargain. The finest Slovak crystal, wooden mugs-jugs “chrpaki”, decorative painted axes “valaska” and cosmetics based on medicinal mud are also popular.
The delights of the sweet tooth are curly honey cakes, Tatranka cookies and Figaro chocolate. The list of edible souvenirs is complemented by local cheeses (classic feta cheese, soft parenitsa, smoked oshtyepok) and pumpkin seed oil. Slovak wines, brandy, plum brandy and liqueurs are good alcohol, and the sparkling Hubert is considered one of the best in the world.
The largest stores and shopping centers are concentrated in Bratislava: there are both clothes, shoes, and other products of world brands, as well as something more specific, like equipment for extreme sports. In the cities, there are antique shops with a good assortment of antiques and works of local artists. The most exciting shopping is at the flea markets, the most famous of which is set up every month at the walls of Devin Castle.
Food and Drink in Bratislava
What can you eat on the street in Bratislava
- Sandwiches and kebabs 1,7 – 3 USD = 1.60 – 2.60 EUR for about 300g.
- In kebabnoy lunch of grilled meat with rice EUR 5. shawarma 3.2 EUR
- Boiled corn 0.30 EUR per 100g.
- Fried potatoes 0.50 EUR per 100g.
- Pizza, slice 1.00 EUR
- Ice cream 1,1 USD = 1.00 EUR per ball.
- Beer from 1,7 USD = 1.50 EUR for 500ml.
- Instant coffee, tea from 0,75 USD = 0.70 EUR
- Espresso 1,7 USD = 1.50 EUR
- Americano 1,7 USD = 1.60 EUR
- Latte 2,3 USD = 2.00 EUR
- Water from 1,3 USD = 1.00 EUR
Cafe in the shopping center Britislava Mall
- Grilled meat with salad or vegetables 5,5 – 6,2 USD = 4 – 5 EUR
- Krudki chicken with potatoes EUR 5
- Mexican burrito 4.3 EUR
- Salmon steak with potatoes 8.6 EUR
- Paella with seafood EUR 6
- Big sandwich 3,2 – 4,3 USD = 2.5 – 3.5 EUR
- Hamburger, roll 3,3 USD = 3. EUR hamburger-based lunch 6,7 USD = 5 EUR
- Pasta Carbonara 4.75 EUR
- Plate rolls and sushi (8 pcs.) 532 RUB = EUR 6
- Soup -bulon 1.5 EUR
- Fish soup 3,2 – 6,7 USD = 2.5 – 5 EUR
In a coffee shop on the waterfront near the center “Bratislava”
- Espresso 2,3 USD = 2.1 EUR
- Cappuccino 2.8 EUR
- Lemonade EUR 4 per 0.5
- Milkshake EUR 4
- fresh juice 0.3l 3,2 – 4,7 USD = 2.5 – 3.5 EUR
- Smoothies 3,2 – 4,6 USD = 2.5 – 3.5 EUR
- Ice cream 124 RUB = 1.4 EUR
- Alcoholic cocktail 6,1 – 7,2 USD = 5.2 – 5.7 EUR
- Beer 3,2 – 3,9 USD = 2.5 – 2.7 EUR
- wine 3,1 USD = 3 EUR for a glass 1 330 – 2,9 USD = 15 – 21 EUR is a bottle
How much does lunch cost in an inexpensive canteen in Bratislava
- Assorted salads in the dining room 0,75 USD = 0.6 EUR per 100g.
- Lasagna in the dining room 3.90 EUR per 200g.
- Hot dishes 3,2 – 4,9 USD = 2.50 – 3.80 EUR
Meat cafes and restaurants in Bratislava
- Burgers for 400g, chicken, meat, cheese with bacon 8.5 – 10.5 EUR
- Steaks 15 – 20 EUR for 200-300 gr.
- Salads 5,88 – 8,7 USD = 5.5 – 6.5 EUR for 300g.
- Grilled chicken breast 7.20 EUR per 250g.
- Grilled Salmon 12 EUR per 250g.
- Lamb with potatoes 20 EUR per 450g.
- Dishes with meat on the ribs 13 – 21 EUR for 800-900gr.
- Dishes with seafood 14 – 20 EUR for 150-250gr.
Slovakian cuisine and restaurants in Bratislava
Slovakian cuisine combines the features of European schools and strong national ingredients. Local sheep cheeses, “oshtepki” and “parenitsy” are especially popular, and vegetable soups, broths and various complex soups from meat and vegetables, dumplings with feta cheese, potato dumplings, bryndza dumplings, as well as poultry dishes are considered the hallmark of the local cuisine. … You should definitely try the national soup “cabbage” (made from sauerkraut) and Segedin goulash.
In Slovakia, excellent local wines are produced, which occupy a worthy place among the best European varieties, and at the same time are very inexpensive. The most popular spirits are plum brandy (plum vodka) and borovichka (juniper vodka), as well as a variety of herbal liqueurs. The best desserts are walnut roll “walnut”, steamed buns with plum jam, poppy seed cake “makovnik”, strudels and “trdelniki” (spiral tubes made from yeast dough).
Notable restaurants and cafes of Bratislava:
- Wine Gallery Grand Cru Wine Gallery
- Pub Bratislavsky mestiansky pivovar
- Restaurant “Restorauracia u Prasitka”
- Restaurant “Staroslovenská krčma”
- Brewery “Patronsky Pivovar”
- Bratislava gourmet tavern
- Antica Toscana Restaurant
- Modra Hviezda Restaurant
- Cafe “Mayer”
Safety in Bratislava
Slovakia is a hospitable, calm and safe country: crimes against tourists are extremely rare. Pickpockets operate in public places and transport, so the traveler’s golden rule – to keep large sums of money, documents and valuables in a hotel safe – should not be canceled. Another caste of local scammers are fortune-tellers who offer an “accurate” forecast for the future for a small reward: a sure “no” will be enough.
The most dangerous area of Bratislava is Petrzalka, but in general you can safely walk around the cities even in the evening: the police regularly patrol Slovak streets.
It is reasonable to change money only in banks and official exchangers. In a parked car, it is better not to leave valuables in visible places. Particular vigilance is required in the mountains: you should carefully follow the weather forecast and not turn off the beaten path. In nature reserves, it is forbidden to set up tents outside hotels and campgrounds, as well as litter, and even pick flowers.
In some public places – at bus stops, on trains, hotels, taxis, etc. – smoking is prohibited: fines can reach 166 EUR. The punishments for negligent motorists are also severe: EUR 300-3000 for driving on toll roads without a vignette, EUR 66 for talking on a mobile, EUR 30 for a cigarette butt thrown out of a window, and EUR 300 for drunk driving.
Activities in Bratislava
Near Bratislava, there are good diving conditions – on the Senecke Lakes and Lake Gulashka, and with good visibility (early spring and late autumn) – also on the Golden Sands and Strkovetskoe Lakes. You can also dive on the Danube Island, in the vicinity of the towns of Banska Stiavnica (lakes Rikhniavskoe, Vindshakhtskoe) and Kraliovani (Shutovo), at the Liptovska Mara reservoir, at the Dedinki and Ruzhin dams.
The best time to dive is late spring and early autumn. The water in the Slovak lakes is surprisingly clear, but almost always cool, so you have to tune in to the thrill in advance. The bottom is mostly rocky, overgrown with all kinds of greenery; at the depths there are carps, eels, pikes and small fish. Diving equipment can be rented at schools and clubs in Bratislava and some other cities. The average cost of a two-hour rental is 10-15 EUR , diving with an instructor will cost 55-70 EUR , two-week diving courses with theory and practice – from 350 EUR .
Alpine skiing is one of the most popular sports in Slovakia. No wonder, because a significant part of its small territory is covered with mountains. The season in the Low and High Tatras lasts from December to April: there is a lot of snow (if anything, snow cannons come to the rescue), the weather is excellent.
The price of a one-day ski pass in Slovak resorts starts from 21 EUR .
The High Tatras resorts are aimed at beginners: there are schools with qualified instructors, safe tracks, and comfortable lifts. The most “promoted” skiing region is Strbske Pleso with a picturesque lake, on the banks of which slalom and downhill slopes, jumping jumps, a stadium, and an indoor pool are equipped. Smokovec boasts a well-thought-out infrastructure and rich history; it is good to relax here with children. In the Low Tatras, there are more opportunities for experienced climbers: prestigious competitions are regularly held in Jasna, in Donovaly there is a separate area with extremely difficult slopes for the pros.
The conditions for boarding in skiing Slovakia are specific: people regard fanparks with halfpipes as a whim, but as one they dashingly cut through the virgin snow on the plains and in the forests. In Otupne (Tatra) there is a newly built state-of-the-art snow park, where both beginners and experienced snowboarders can find something to do. Another popular place is the Mlynicka Valley sports complex. Nothing fancy in terms of phantrasses, but good conditions for freeriding. Snowboard trails can also be found in the Tatranska Lomnica resort.
There are 63 water streams in Slovakia suitable for boating. The local rivers are used by boats, kayaks, kayaks and canoes. In Eastern Slovakia, the most popular rivers are Poprad, Hornad, Torisa, Toplja, Ondava and Laborec, in Central – Hron, Orava, and Slana, in Western – Vag, Nitra, Small Danube, and Danube.
A two-hour rafting on Bela or Vagu will cost 23-30 EUR including equipment and an instructor’s accompaniment.
The most turbulent river in Slovakia is the Bela, which descend from April 15 to September 30. Rafting down the Vag river in the section from Cerveny Klastor or along the bend of this river through the Bolshaya Fatra under the ruins of Strechna castle is less difficult. Beginners and even families with children have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature during an easy descent along the Orava River (from Parnitsa in Zhashkov Brod to Kraliovan). Descent along the Dunajec in the Pieniny National Park and the mountainous sections of the Hron River, which is characterized by an alternation of quiet and stormy currents, promises vivid sensations.
Holidays and events in Bratislava
anuary 1 in Slovakia is not only New Year, but also Republic Day, so the fun is in full swing. The main holiday of spring is Easter with solemn divine services, warm family dinners and ancient customs such as dousing with water. May 1 – Labor Day (greetings from the socialist past), 8 – Day of liberation from fascism. On July 5, Cyril and Methodius are honored, who once visited Moravia on a Christian mission. August 29 – Day of National Uprising against the dictator Tiso, September 1 – Constitution Day. On November 1, deceased relatives are commemorated, and on November 17, students who participated in the 1989 demonstrations are celebrated.
December passes under the sign of Christmas: a special, fabulous atmosphere reigns in the dressed cities throughout the month.
Festivals are loved in Slovakia: Jazz Days are held in the capital in autumn and Coronation Day with colorful theatrical processions in summer. The local analogue of Shrovetide is Fashank with songs, dances, and street fairs; they lead round dances on Ivan Kupala (St. John) and guess at the betrothed. In October the International Peace Marathon starts in Kosice, in December the cities pass the baton of the Febiofest film festival to each other. In Trencianske Teplice, music shows are thundering all summer, in Kezmarok a large-scale craft fair is organized in July, and in Pezinka, in September, Vinoborne is organized – a wine festival with competitions for the best Slovak alcohol.
January 1 – Day of the foundation of the Slovak Republic
January 6 – Revelation of the Lord (Epiphany and Orthodox Christmas)
March / April – Easter
April 30 – Bojnice Ghost Festival
April – festival – of flowers in Bratislava
May 1 – Labor Day
May 8 – Day of Liberation from Fascism
Mid July – Bratislava Beer Festival
July 5 – Day of the Slavic preachers Cyril and Methodius
June 24 – St. Jan’s Day
August 29 – anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising in 1944
September 1 – the day of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic
Early September – Coronation Day or Carnival in Bratislava
September – Winery in Pezinok, in honor of the harvest of grapes and young wine
October 28 – Education Day of Czechoslovakia
November 1 – Feast of All Saints
December 24, 25, 26 – Christmas.
FACTS ABOUT BRATISLAVA
Fact 1. Miniature capital
Bratislava can be safely called a pedestrian city, where the entire center, which is closed off from car traffic, can be bypassed at a leisurely pace in a few minutes. Cozy and picturesque winding streets lead to the center, and after driving just a few kilometers from the city, you can admire with affection the vineyards, farms, and tiny well-groomed villages.
Fact 2. Funny horror stories
Celebration of the New Year in Slovakia and in Bratislava in particular starts long after our usual date, or rather, December 5th. And if you are lucky enough to come here at this time and witness bright festivities, then do not be alarmed, because instead of the usual Grandfather Frost or Santa Claus, Krampuses (demons and devils) are walking along the city streets.
Fact 3. Countess strife
During excursions in Bratislava, guests of the city will learn a lot of interesting and sometimes creepy things. For example, the 16th century was marked by an event, the rumor of which is still transmitted in a whisper and without jokes. We are talking about the bloody Countess Bathory, entered in the Guinness Book of Records as the most cruel woman-maniac. According to rumors, the spirit of this serial killer is still roaming the stone “guts” of the Chakhta castle.
Fact 4. Unique location.
Note to tourists! As mentioned above, Bratislava is located in the very center of Europe. This allows travelers, having arrived here, to make a large number of combined tours in neighboring states. A tourist literally in one day can visit many attractions, ranging from medicinal mineral springs and ski resorts, to historical monuments and castles of the 13-17 centuries, included in the UNESCO list.
Fact 5. Lunch at bird’s eye view
In Bratislava, relatively recently, a new bridge was erected, which immediately became one of the city’s attractions. And the point is not only in the original performance and novelty of the structure, but in the fact that a restaurant was placed on the top of one of its pillars, at a height of 85 meters. Here, not only are they deliciously fed with national dishes, but they give the opportunity to admire the stunning views that open for miles around.
Fact 6. Unconquered city
Bratislava earned this fame due to the fact that its main castle was never taken by assault. The fact is that Bratislava Castle is surrounded by a double wall with a superbly thought-out defense system. You can see how the fortress is arranged and even take a photo for memory every day from 10.00 to 18.00.
Fact 7. Humor is our everything!
The local population has a peculiar sense of humor, and although this trait is inherent in many nationalities, nevertheless, Slovaks are able to surprise. For example, one of the most popular monuments “Man at Work”, depicting a worker climbing out of a manhole. Even the guide will find it difficult to answer the question of what it symbolizes, but the next question, they say, why there is a warning road sign next to it, you will be gladly informed that cars have run over it so many times that it was decided to install a warning.
Fact 8. Champagne “Hubert”
In the center of Bratislava, for those who like to take a couple of original photographs as a keepsake, there are unusual sculptures and monuments, each of which an experienced guide will tell a lot of interesting things. For example, walking around the city center, you may notice a bronze barefoot soldier leaning on a bench. The monument has a real prototype – the wounded soldier Johan Hubert, who fell in love with the nurse caring for him. After the end of the war and his recovery, Johan stayed in the city, establishing the production of the most famous champagne in Slovakia. You can also taste his creation, or rather a sparkling drink made according to the tradition called Hubert.
Fact 9. The secret pearl of the Danube
It is noteworthy that people rarely come to Bratislava on purpose. This small and cozy city has always been in the shadow of its brighter and more luxurious neighbors, but those who nevertheless came here for the purpose of acquaintance, after leaving with love, call the city the “Secret Pearl of the Danube”. And this not the last interesting fact about Bratislava will complete the beginning of our acquaintance with the Slovak city. Charming Bratislava is worth coming here and forever falling in love with the small capital, where there is everything that even the most demanding tourist might need. In the meantime, while you’re booking your tickets, check out what’s in store for you at your local dinosaur park.
Where to stay in Bratislava
Within the Stare Mesto (Old Town) there is a well-developed infrastructure, all major tourist attractions are within walking distance, but housing prices are high compared to other areas. It is also quite crowded and noisy in the evenings.
District of Bratislava, Charles All (Karlova Ves) is well landscaped, you can visit the Zoo and Botanical Gardens in the beautiful Mill Valley in the foothills of the Little Carpathians. Karlova Ves is more suitable for families with children.
The Petrzalka area is located on the right bank of the Danube. From what was once a “concrete jungle”, it has evolved today into a beautifully landscaped, developing urban area with two lakes. On Petrzalka there is a cycling trail along the Danube to Austria and Hungary, as well as the Croatian water canal.
One of the safest areas in Bratislava – Devinska Nova Ves is located on the very border with Austria. It is quite far from the Old Town and it is not easy to get there during rush hours. However, there are excellent conditions for active recreation: expanse for cyclists, clean air, favorable ecology. The ancient Austrian castle Schloss Hof and the Danube embankment are nearby.
In the new modern district of Ruzinov, you can get to the largest market in Bratislava on Mileticova Street, here on Tomasikova Street there is a functioning Orthodox church. A wide variety of boutiques and shopping malls make the area attractive for shoppers. Sports fans will find here swimming pools, tennis courts, the Winter Stadium.