The capital of Slovakia located on the banks of the river Danube.
In the very heart of Europe lies the growing Slovak capital Bratislava. The dominant of the city is the Bratislava Castle [Bratislavský hrad] overlooking the river Danube and the whole city. From the castle a view opens up to the Southeast, one can see the old town as well as the largest Slovak housing development from the times of socialism – Petrzalka [Petržálka].
Unique is the UFO restaurant over the “New Bridge” [Nový Most], formerly known as the Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising [Most SNP] creating distinctive panorama of Bratislava with Carpathian Mountains [Karpaty] and Austria views.
Thanks to its location, just 60 km from Vienna and just a little further away from Budapest, Bratislava creates a unique atmosphere of a multicultural city. (ship cruise from Vienna to Bratislava, takes around an hour and makes together with sightseeing in the city a nice day trip).
Ever since Maria Theresa, who was crowned queen of the Hungarian Kingdom in St. Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava [Dóm svätého Martina] coexisted here many different nations and cultures. In the same catherdral ten other kings and eight of their consorts were crowned over the course of around 300 years when Bratislava was in fact the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary.
The original inhabitants of Bratislava [Prešporáci] spoke/speak fluent Slovak, German and Hungarian. This clash of cultures significantly influenced the region and remains, not only in the local cuisine and architecture of the city, but also the nature of the local people.
The historic city center, also called the Old Town [Staré Mesto], offers many monuments, churches, historical squares, fountains and ancient cobbled streets. You can enjoy at the romantic corners of the old town many pleasant restaurants and cafes, From Michael’s Gate [Michalská brána] through the “corso” [Korzo], St. Martin’s Cathedral, Hviezdoslav Square [Hviezdoslavovo námestie] to the banks of the river Danube.
Many restaurants offer European cuisine, but also home-made specialties such as Goulash and dumplings. In the center you can find many expensive restaurants, but also many places where you can have lunch for can be as little as a few euros.
The advantage of Bratislava being a small town is that there is no need to travel longer distances for sights, shopping or entertainment. The historical city center is just a few minutes walk from some shopping centers and newly built modern complexes. There are stores and boutiques of many world and European brands, delicious restaurants, cafes, pastry shops, ice cream stands and fast food places. You can sit and relax next to the Danube river and enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee, fine wine or beer at the sight of peacefully running the river and the surrounding greenery.
The newly re-opened Slovak National Theater [Slovenské národné divadlo] offers a variety of drama, ballet and opera performances.
Even at night the city is living, restaurants, bars and clubs are filled with young people, students, tourists enjoying themselves until early morning.
On the other hand, you can spend a quiet evening in a romantic or traditional wine cellar with some premium quality wine from the nearby vineyards.
Bratislava is quite a laid back, relaxed city, but one can find here also some very lively places going on until early morning, good food, nice people and good fun.