Bratislava is nothing short of a mosaic of events from the past and modern world. From Gothic architecture to baroque style palaces and modern-day cafes plus shopping centers, Bratislava is a Google Search that gets better when you go beyond the first page.
Bratislava has recently become famous for its stag parties. A lot of travelers flock to Bratislava the UK and other European countries due to its low-cost flights and frolicking ecosystem. As calm the city is during the day, it is quite the opposite during the night.
It is vibrant, becalming, and it is a unique destination; here are the top things to do in Bratislava with a few money saving tips as a bonus.
1. Bratislava Wine Yards
Bratislava will serve with the best award-winning Slovakian wines that are processed and prepared just a few miles out of the city. Take a trip down this lane by either taking a self-drive car or use public transportation.
The entire wine region has a lot of activities for you. This includes visiting the National Collection of Wines, attending the workshops, and participating in wine tastings. For those who want to know more about wine history, can visit the Small Carpathian Museum.
2. Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum
This elephantine museum is located on a jutting piece of land on the Danube River and is home to several artifacts, holds exhibitions, and is surrounded by a park with more than 60 sculptures.
Plus, keep an eye on the events planned for showcase here, by the international artists. You can also feast your eyes with art galleries decorated with artworks from several art enthusiasts and patrons.
PS: You can also avail of a 20% discount if you have the Bratislava Card.
3. Bratislava Castle
Located on the hill, visiting here is one of the first things to do in Bratislava. The Castle serves as a virtual timeline to the city’s evolution from the Stone Age to the Modern Age.
Added to the glamor oozing out of the luxe castle, you can also enjoy the historical museum inside the castle. For a guided tour of the castle, the best time to visit is in July or August. This is because, for these two months, the city government organizes a guided tour of the castle every Saturday.
4. Kuchajda Lake
Even though you can travel to Bratislava at any time in the year, travel in the spring season to get the most out of your trip. One of the reasons is that you will want to visit Kuchajda Lake for the whole day.
The lake is open for 365 days, but it becomes a hotspot for cultural and water & land-based sports activities during the springs.
It is a sort of make-shift beach adorned with child-friendly playgrounds, and several eating joints spread all over the park.
5. Visit the St. Martin’s Cathedral
Surely, your things to do in Bratislava list won’t be complete without a round trip to the St. Martin’s Cathedral. Not only is it the largest, but also one of the oldest churches in Slovakia.
This church is also famous for the coronation of 19 kings and queens, including Queen Theresa. The gothic style church is one of the most prominent examples of Gothic architecture in the country.
Once you feast your eyes with the interiors, don’t forget to check out the catacombs.
6. Gallery of Optical Illusions
Art lovers of all ages will certainly find a unique refuge in the Tripland Gallery adorned with Slovakian art. Furthermore, it boasts inspiring graffiti art and illusions that will take you to the Antarctic, alongside letting you experience Asian marvels from inside the four walls.
7. Matej Kren Passage
While you will be able to self-explore Bratislava’s more visible tourist attractions, here we will list those places that seldom make the headlines. Although the Palffy Palace is a well-known spot in the city, it also has another unique experience waiting to be explored.
The Matej Kren Passage is a unique corridor surrounded by 15000 books arranged decoratively with mirrors. The symbolic representation of the passage is that it creates an infinite loop of endless space.
8. UFO Bridge
The UFO deck has become one of the most visited and popular things to do in Bratislava. A raised deck resting 95 meters above the ground is not just a lovely sunset spot, but also a great place to have the best gourmet experience in the city.
You can explore the horizon up to 100 km from the observation deck and also has a palpable and lavish meal offering. Even though the food here is not cheap, visiting here will be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. Plus, if you have the Bratislava Card, there is a 10 to 25% discount available.
9. Bratislava Forest Park
The Bratislava Forest Park takes up almost half of the New Town district. A humongous park that is sprawling with nature and technological innovations. There is a chairlift ride that will take you to the top of the Kamzik mountain located in the Carpathian Hills.
Added to this, there is a plethora of rides, hikes, and recreational running inside the park. Plus, you won’t want to miss the hike to the TV tower and a ride down on a custom-made bobsleigh, which runs for the whole year except for the winters. Because in winters, you can toboggan down amidst the snow.
10. The other side of the coin – Nightlife
As the sun goes down, Bratislava experiences a radical shift. It is almost like magic is set upon the city with the moon’s light, and it brings you face to face with the energetic side of the city.
In the last few years, Bratislava nightlife has become excessively popular due to its cost-effectiveness. Not only this, but the Old Town area, which boasts several monumental and historical destinations that light up the night sky with their unique new aesthetics.
Money Saving Tips Bratislava
1. The Bratislava Card
If your motive for visiting Bratislava is sightseeing and get the most out of your stay, then you have got to secure the Bratislava Card. With this card, you can get zero-cost access to 16 museums and galleries in the city.
Furthermore, the recipients of the card will also get a free pass to an hour-long guided tour through the historic center. But you have to book your spot for 2 hours in advance. Even better, having the card means free travel within the city via public transportation. Plus, if you are lucky enough, some stores also offer up to 50% off on the purchase to the Bratislava Card holders.
The card cannot be bought online but can be purchased by the Bratislava Tourism partner stores present across the city.
2. Getting Around the City and Bike Sharing
One of the first pieces of advice any local Bratislavain will give is to buy a great pair of shoes. The reason being that you can cover most of the city on foot, well it is more circumstantial than a trick to save on travel expenses.
If not on foot, getting around in public transportation is also easier and cheap. However, make sure to buy tickets in advance from the automatic ticket dispensers. You will find them outside the convenience stores or newspaper stalls. But, if you have the Bratislava card, no need to worry about the tickets.
Don’t worry if you could not get a Bratislava Card; there are several other ways to reduce your travel expenses. One of those methods is bike-sharing. There are daily and monthly rental programs. The daily rental starts at €6. To get the bike, you first need to register and pay the fee online via the official Slovnaft website.
3. Access to Cost-Effective Food
Have you ever tried chicken with peach? Well, the gastronomical unusual food combinations in Bratislava will certainly surprise you. Also, when it comes to satisfying your taste buds, Bratislava knows very well how to do it.
However, to fulfill travel cheap Bratislava, crawl the city for pubs and bars to satisfy your hunger pangs. The reason is that the restaurants in the city center and the surrounding areas serve expensive food. And you can get the same flavor and taste in the beer bars and pubs at lower prices.
4. Affordable Staying Options
If you want to enjoy your stay while taking care of budget friendly travel Bratislava, do not look towards the areas of Old Town (Stare Mesto) and New Town (Nove Mesto). These areas have the best accessibility to almost all the tourist attractions Bratislava. Due to this, accommodation in these parts is expensive.
However, try booking your hotel or apartment away from the city center. Explore areas like Petrzalka and Ruzinov. These areas are not less populated with tourists and bustling with local life.
5. City-Wide Tours
Another one of the tricks to save money while checking out other places to visit in Bratislava is joining the themed and regular city tours. You can find a plethora of tours listed on the official tourism website for Bratislava.
Walking tours, Coronation Bratislava, Myths and Legends tours, Historical tours, among others, are a few of the amazing tours to enhance your travel experience. City-wide tours and itineraries are prevalent in almost every tourism-friendly city. Thus, this is a great money saving tip for Prague, Warsaw, Bucharest and other similar places.
The Story Never Ends…
Bratislava is not a story that ends here. Once you visit the city, you will find that it’s quickly gaining on the more popular and lavish European cities like Prague and Warsaw. Having said that, Bratislava is unique from almost every aspect. Be it culture, attractions, nightlife, locals, among others.
Our list of things to do in Bratislava will help you get a better insight into what is worth your money and time here. So, note down everything you wish to do and explore the city on your own terms. See you in Bratislava.