Bratislava is a quickly growing city that is a charming blend of old world Europe and modern cityscapes. Located deep in central Europe, this capital of Slovakia has made a name for itself despite its small population and proximity to more famous European cities. For those who visit this sparkling city, there are several must see locations to get the most out of your trip. Put these amazing sites on your European travel bucket list.
For hundreds of years this picturesque castle has risen above the city. The castle has undergone many changes in its lifetime, but today visitors can tour the grounds and inside for a minimal entrance fee. Climbing to the top of one of the four towers will provide stunning views of the city, the Danube river and allow you to see as far as Hungary and Austria.
Devin Castle, a structure dating from the early 800s, is not to be missed. The crumbling castle is just ten minutes from the city center and is perched on the banks of the Danube. The castle grounds are the perfect place to relax and walk one of the many hiking trails. The most popular feature of the castle is the Maiden Tower, the soaring remains of the original structure that is impossibly perched on a rock over the river.
If you can’t get enough of the history of Slovakia, take a trip to Old Town where you can find this informative museum. Learn about the history of the city through displays with well preserved artifacts. One of the most popular exhibits is the spooky medieval torture devices display in the museum’s basement.
In medieval days, the city had four gates by which you could enter. Today, Michael’s Gate is the only one of these structures that remains. Visitors are able to climb the nine story tower to view the exquisite baroque era statue of Saint Michael and the dragon. The area around the gate has many good cafes and restaurants for hungry tourists.
Even if you are not religious, St. Martin’s Cathedral is an awe inspiring building. With large, Gothic arches, beautiful stained glass windows and stunningly detailed alters, this is a site not to be missed. Down a narrow flight of stairs you can make your way to the church catacombs where many notable figures have their final resting place.
If you love neoclassical architecture, Primate’s Palace is a classic example of the style. It is a grand mansion that is now the home of the city’s mayor. Visitors can tour the large, richly decorated rooms. The hall of mirrors is a long room with floor to ceiling mirrors all along the walls that make for a spectacular sight. There is also a magnificent courtyard where you can admire a statue of Saint George.
Fans of military history will want to plan a stop at Slavin. This is a military cemetery as well as a war monument. The large monument memorializes those soviet soldiers that gave their lives during the second world war. Regardless of your political affiliations, you can not help but appreciate the stately grandeur of Slavin.
With a city so rich in history, it is impossible to roam the streets without stumbling across an ancient and fascinating cultural treasure. The capital of Slovakia is a unique place that is just beginning to be recognized as a must visit European city.