17 Things to Do in Bratislava (Ultimate List)

If you’re looking for things to do in Bratislava, you’re in the right place. My wife and I just spent two weeks there and, if we could, we’d spend another two. However, when we got back and were telling our friends about our trip, one of them looked at us really confused and asked: Is 2 days enough in Bratislava? 

As it turned out, he had just booked a trip to Bratislava but was told that there’s not much to do there. However, after hearing our stories, he wasn’t so sure about that. But to answer the question – yes, 2 days is enough in Bratislava. You can see all the main attractions as it is quite a small city. However, if you decide to stay longer, you’ll also have plenty of things to do. 

The second question we were asked was: is Bratislava cheap or expensive? Here’s what I can say from my experience – it’s cheap but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it expensive. If you want to see the main attractions, it won’t cost you much. Accommodation in Bratislava can also be found at fairly reasonable prices, and as far as restaurants are concerned, there are both cheap and expensive places.

And now, let’s dive into what Bratislava has to offer and help you plan your trip.

1. Stroll Through the Charming Streets of Bratislava Old Town

The Old Town is the perfect place to start exploring Bratislava. It is brimming with interesting spots just waiting to be discovered. I recommend starting your tour at Michael’s Gate. The best part about the gate is, in fact, the tower above it. Not only is it one of the oldest buildings in the city, but it offers the best view of its charming streets. Furthermore, right under the tower you will find a “golden plate”, a circle depicting directions and distances of 29 other capital cities. But there’s more! 

My wife and I decided to walk through a tiny street beside the tower, the one we liked best when we climbed the tower. It is called Baštová street and apparently it is the most romantic street in the city. But imagine our surprise when we found out that the locals know that street as “Executioner’s Street”! Namely, in the past the town’s executioner lived in that street. 

See? I told you there are numerous interesting spots. Now, I don’t want to spoil it for you so the rest is up to you to discover. 

A street in the Old town of Bratislava, Slovakia, leading to the famous Michael's gate tower
Old Town of Bratislava

2. Check Out the Statues and Make a Wish

Two most common words people use to describe Bratislava are “compact” and “charming”. And that’s true, but the two words I would use to describe it are “numerous statues”. There are so many of them, in fact, that the city resembles an open-air museum.

The most famous statue in Bratislava is Čumil and there are several theories about what he’s doing. Some say he’s slacking off at work, some say he’s taking a break, and some say he’s just taking in his surroundings. Whatever it may be, his smile became an attraction. 

Moreover, if you rub his head and make a wish, it will come true but you mustn’t say what you wished for.

Other famous statues include Napoleon’s Soldier, Paparazzi statue and Hans Christian Andersen statue. However, one statue stood out the most – the Skater Girls Mailbox. It’s a working mailbox, and since I couldn’t remember the last time I sent someone a postcard, I thought this was a great opportunity to do so.

A picture is showing a statue of Napoleon's Army Soldier made of bronze. It looks like it's leaning on the bench
Napoleon’s Army Soldier Statue

3. Indulge in Bratislava Coffee Culture

Bratislava has an AMAZING coffee culture! Not many people know this but it’s true. Namely, Bratislava hosts two coffee festivals – Coffeefest Slovakia and Festival Káva Čaj Čokoláda (Coffee Tea Chocolate Festival). As if that’s not enough, it also hosts a competition – Two Coffee Champs.

A city with as many as 3 festivals dedicated to coffee certainly does not disappoint when it comes to the quality of these roasted magic beans. I was lucky enough to visit Bratislava at the exact time when the Káva Čaj Čokoláda Festival was taking place. Only then did I realize how much my taste buds were missing out on! 

However, in case you can’t make it to any of these festivals, there are other ways to make it up to yourself. Namely, the cobbled streets of Bratislava are full of charming cafes serving excellent coffee, and such a beautiful ambience makes its taste even better.

Picture showing the crowd at Festival Kava Caj Cokolada in Bratislava, Slovakia, 2023
source: Festival Káva Čaj Čokoláda

4. Visit Bratislava Castle and See if the Legends Are True

Bratislava Castle is an absolute ‘must’ when visiting. I mean, no tour of Bratislava feels complete without visiting this gem. In addition to offering a beautiful view of the city, it turned out to be the best place to enjoy the sunset.

Furthermore, there are several legends about the Bratislava castle. However, I will not be telling you about them. And why is that? Well, because hearing the story while you’re actually in the castle takes it to a whooole new level. Trust me.

What I will tell you is that the castle hill was inhabited since the Stone Age. Just imagine all the history that happened there. It’s really fascinating. Speaking of fascinating, be sure to take a stroll through the stunning baroque gardens of Bratislava Castle.

Things to do in Bratislava: Picture showing a view of the Bratislava castle and the surrounding landscape from the Danube river on a sunny day
View of the Bratislava Castle from the Danube River

5. Discover Old Ruins of the Devin Castle

Devin Castle is a very unique site situated on a high cliff overlooking the confluence of the Morava and Danube rivers. It is one of the oldest castles in Slovakia. In fact, they say it was first mentioned in written sources as early as 864.

Furthermore, Devin Castle is located about 20 min away from Bratislava. However, even if you’re visiting Bratislava for a day, seeing this mighty yet romantic ruin is completely doable. What’s more, it’s totally worth it, especially if you’re lucky enough to be there on a sunny day.

As someone who’s really into old ruins, I found this to be very interesting! So while I was exploring every inch of this place full of history, my wife was admiring the endless panoramic views. And truth be told – it is impossible to say which is more fascinating.

Picture showing the ruins of Devin Castle and the beautiful landscape around it
Devin Castle

6. Shop Til You Drop at Eurovea Galleria

Eurovea Galleria is a different kind of gallery. Instead of cultural upliftment, you come to Eurovea for some fashion and entertainment upliftment. Namely, this three-storey complex has more than 300 global brands. Therefore, you’ll definitely find something you like.

I had fun browsing the shops, but as usual, I got bored pretty quickly. Fortunately, there’s so much to do here. My absolute favorite was getting a massage! After that, I went to one of the bars and met my beautiful wife there, since she had just finished shopping. Then, we got some delicious food at a restaurant called Kolkovna Eurovea. It is located on the banks of the Danube so the view is spectacular.

In the end, to finish off what almost turned out to be a day trip to the mall, we went to catch a movie at the cinema

7. Explore the Stunning Primate’s Palace

In my opinion, Primate’s Palace is the most beautiful building in Bratislava. It is a neoclassical gem located in the Old Town. Furthermore, inside there is an impressive museum consisting of an art gallery, five salons equipped with neoclassical furniture, and the most famous room and my personal favorite – the Hall of Mirrors. It is open from 10am to 5pm every day except Mondays, and the entrance fee is only about 3 euros.

However, if you only want to explore the courtyards, you can do so for free. In the front yard is a stunning fountain of St. George slaying the dragon. We walked a bit through the courtyards and discovered a few more interesting statues. See – didn’t I tell you that Bratislava is a city of “numerous statues”?

Anyways, after about an hour of cultural upliftment, we sat down in a cafe called SRRRK. It is basically in the front courtyard of the palace, just behind the fountain. Their coffee is great but I highly recommend trying the elderflower lemonade. It’s so refreshing!

Picture showing the Primate's Palace, a famous historical building with interesting architecture in Bratislava, Slovakia on a cloudy day
Primate’s Palace

8. Try to Spot as Much Street Art as Possible

Did you know that the capital of Slovakia has some incredible street art? Well, now you do. In fact, there used to be a street art festival in Bratislava. However, I’m not sure if that’s still a thing. Anyways, the art is still scattered around the city. 

One of the most famous places in Bratislava brimming with street art is Kamenné námestie, a large complex of buildings located just outside the city center.

We went there for a walk and tried to spot as much street art as we could along the way. I have to admit, I didn’t win, but I was definitely amazed. However, the biggest surprise awaited us at Kamenné námestie – the street art murals there are huuuge! There are a lot of them, they are really impressive and absolutely worth visiting.

Picture showing parts of the old town of Bratislava and some street art painted on a long wall nearby
Street art in Bratislava

9. See Infinity in the Multium Gallery

Multium Gallery is a place where closed space and infinity become one. I’d say it kind of looks like a museum of illusions. However, all the illusions are made of mirrors to create different infinity patterns throughout 6 rooms

I liked it a lot, it’s an interesting experience, but the tour doesn’t take more than 20-30 minutes (time spent on selfies included). For what it’s worth, the entrance fee is only about 5 euros. So, it’s worth it. 

In addition, when we were done with our tour we discovered that right next to the gallery there’s a cat cafe! It’s called Mačkafé and the entire staff is super friendly.

10. Admire Literally Everything at Nedbalka Gallery

Nedbalova is one of the oldest streets in Bratislava. It is also the street where we happened to stumble upon the Nedbalka Gallery. Although this is a fairly well-known gallery in Bratislava, we did not plan to visit it. Well, at least not before we chanced upon it while enjoying an afternoon stroll and looking for a cafe where we could have a nice cup of coffee.

One thing led to another and – we cheated on our cup of coffee with an art gallery. And, frankly, we’d probably do it again. Yes, we love it. It’s four storeys of priceless beauty and every inch of it is worth admiring. 

What’s more, the interior looks A LOT like that of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. So, in case you can’t make it to New York’s Guggenheim, Bratislava’s Nedbalka Gallery is a good alternative.

Picture showing the interior and part of the exhibition at Nedbalka Gallery, a famous gallery in Bratislava, Slovakia
source: Galéria Nedbalka/facebook

11. Enjoy the Colors and Shapes of the Hotel Galeria Spirit

I need your complete and utter attention for this. Are you ready? Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you – the Hotel Galeria Spirit, a true architectural masterpiece!

We decided that this hotel, known locally as the “Butterfly House”, would be our last stop. It is located about 5 minutes’ walk from the main train station and about 15 minutes from the Old Town.

Unfortunately, we did not book accommodation at Hotel Galeria Spirit, so I cannot tell you about their service. However, we had the opportunity to take a peek inside this colorful wonder.

And guess what? There are even more colors inside! The whole place literally looks like an art gallery. Not only that, but it looks like an art gallery where Picasso and Pollock collaborated.

I would say this is the best last stop you can make in Bratislava. This building gives off such happy vibes that you are left with a sense of satisfaction and there is no better way to end your trip.

12. Admire the Views From the UFO Bridge and Tower

When searching for things to do in Bratislava, I found out there’s a UFO tower and bridge. So many questions popped into my head. The first, of course, was “why is there a UFO in Bratislava?” Well, it turns out that an ancient civilization that once lived in that area documented signs of aliens.

No, I’m just messing with you. The UFO tower and bridge were built in the 70s, but I’m still not sure why they chose that out-of-this-world design. Nonetheless, it’s very interesting. 

My wife and I booked a table at the UFO restaurant in the tower. It’s really difficult to tell which was better – the view, the food and cocktails or the service. Impeccable in every sense, this experience was just like the tower’s design – out of this world. I highly recommend it, it is worth every penny.

Picture showing a famous UFO tower and bridge in Bratislava, Slovakia. It is a popular dinner location because it provides a great panoramic view of the city.
UFO Tower and Bridge

13. Go Back in Time at the Bratislava Transport Museum

If there’s one thing I really wanted during our visit, it’s Bratislava Transport Museum tickets. Would you believe me if I said I’ve been to this museum three times but I’ve only visited it once? Yup.

Namely, the first time I got there after 4.30 pm, the second time I went there on a Monday (they’re closed on Mondays) but the third time I got everything right and got my ticket. I guess it’s true when they say the third time’s the charm. 

Therefore, checking Bratislava Transport Museum working hours is a good idea. That is, it’s a good idea regardless of which attraction you’re visiting. Anyways, the exhibition is amazing! And much bigger than I thought. That was a very nice surprise although I knew in advance I was going to love the museum. Another surprise was that my wife really enjoyed it too. But the surprises don’t end there. Namely, every first Wednesday of the month, the museum offers free entry!

14. See What All the Fuss Is About the Radio Building

Giza might have the tallest pyramid in the world, but Bratislava is the only place with an upside-down pyramid. It was built in the 80s and is certainly a very interesting piece of architecture. However, while many Slovaks consider it to be one of the country’s most important buildings, others disagree and claim that it is not only ugly, but also a reminder of communist oppression. 

I don’t agree or disagree with either side, but I would say that the Radio building is not that special. But that’s just my opinion. Also, I feel like if you’re thinking of adding it to your Bratislava itinerary, and you’re not an architect or studying architecture, you won’t have much to do there. Like I said, it looks interesting, so if you really want to see it with your own eyes, do so if it’s already on your route to somewhere else. 

Picture showing the famous Radio building standing out among other buildings in Bratislava, Slovakia
Pyramid-shaped Radio building standing out among other buildings

15. Enjoy a Walk Around Rusovce Mansion and Roman Ruins

Visiting Rusovce was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. This neoclassical mansion surrounded by an English garden and guarded by a lion statue is located in the urban district of Bratislava. It took us maybe 15 minutes by car to get there and then we enjoyed a lovely walk in the park. The mansion itself is, unfortunately, closed to the public. 

Unaware of this before we got there, we were a bit disappointed. However, we met another couple during our walk and started talking. 

They were locals and knew A LOT about all the attractions and their history. It turned out that he was a history professor and she was a tour guide. Imagine our luck! They told us that just a few minutes away there is a UNESCO site with Roman ruins called Ancient Gerulata Rusovce. The site is absolutely amazing. I don’t know how we missed adding it to our Bratislava itinerary, but thank you Tomas and Zuzana! We hope to see you again next time we visit Bratislava.

Picture showing the abandoned Rusovce mansion surrounded by nature
Rusovce Mansion

16. Go on a Hiking Adventure at Devinska Kobyla Missile Base

The Devinska Kobyla Missile Base is a great place for hiking, as well as witnessing the return of nature over human-built structures. Also, it’s about an hour and a half walk from Devin Castle, so it’s a good idea to pair these two sites.

A walk through this abandoned missile base is very interesting because there are about 15 buildings and bunkers that are slowly being conquered by nature. However, be careful while exploring because there are several holes in the ground. Otherwise, you might end up like Alice in Wonderland.

Furthermore, this attraction is very different from other attractions in Bratislava. Therefore, I highly recommend it if you’re adventurous and like to explore. 

Picture showing a lookout tower in Devinska Kobyla Missile base in Bratislava, Slovakia
Lookout Tower in Devinska Kobyla

17. Boat Tour, Wine Tour, Beer Tour, Food Tour – All the tours!

If you want to see Bratislava from a different perspective, I recommend booking a cruise along the Danube. It’s nice and slow, and along the way we enjoyed delicious food and gorgeous views.

As for the wine tours, we didn’t book the one with the city tour because by then we had already seen everything we wanted to. Therefore, we went for something called ”wine tasting in the dark”. And that’s what it basically is. It was a very interesting experience and we got to try 4 Slovak wines. The price is only about 16 euros per person, so if you have time, I’d definitely give it a try.

When it comes to beer tours, we went on the one with craft beers, but honestly, 3 hours was a bit much for us so we left earlier. However, the beers were pretty great.

And now for the best part – the food tour! This was definitely our favorite because we had the opportunity to try traditional Slovak food. It also lasted 3 hours, but we made it till the end. However, I recommend wearing comfortable clothes as your taste buds will be working hard.

Things to do in Bratislava: Picture showing a duck on one bank of the Danube river and the Bratislava castle on the other with tour boats on the river itself
Boat tours on Danube River in Bratislava

Et voila! You’re all set to fill your itinerary with these popular things to do in Bratislava.

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