Irene Clunie, City Breaks Specialist

"Expect charming streets and squares, because Bratislava is filled with them, making Bratislava the delightful environment you need for winding down and enjoying yourself. I love finding an ancient wine cellar in the city centre or a small brewery in the Old Town, these are the best places for your beer or wine fix! If you’re a cultural buff then you will appreciate the terrific city walls and St Michael’s Gate, the bell tower and the castle."

Bratislava at a glance

What Bratislava lacks in big city attractions it more than compensates for in its welcoming, relaxed pace and atmospheric riverside setting. Serving as the capital of Slovakia, the city rests on the banks of the Danube, with the scenic hillside vineyards and forested Carpathian Mountains a short distance away.

Evidence of a Linear Pottery culture along the riverbank dates Bratislava’s settlement to 5000BC, with winemaking later introduced by the Romans, influencing the present tradition of vineyards in the region. Developing as a key economic and strategically placed city, Bratislava, known as Pressburg up until 1919, grew in importance under the Hungarian rule, surviving World War I and II and a Communist regime to finally become the capital of the Slovak Republic in 1993.

The pedestrianised Old Town is a great place to soak up the city’s rich, historic atmosphere with its colourful pastel buildings, museums, palaces and pavement cafés. Dominating the Old Town, Bratislava Castle provides a great view, high above the Danube. A range of attractions including the Slavín Memorial Monument and Museum of Jewish Culture, tell of the city’s diverse past.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Picturesque setting
  • Weekend short break
  • Arts and culture

Getting around

Transportation networks in Bratislava include busses, trams, trolleybuses and a metro system. Tickets can be purchased for single journeys in increments of 15, 60 and 90 minutes. Tourist tickets are also available for unlimited travel. Tickets must be purchased before travel at ticket machines or ticket shops and are validated after boarding.

Shopping 

In more recent years Bratislava’s shopping scene has grown to reflect the status of a capital city, with new malls, such as the Aupark and Eurovea, providing an extensive selection of designer name brand shops.

For something a little different, head to the boutiques of the Old Town for a variety of interesting shops selling everything from books, antiques and souvenirs to jewelry, wine and clothing.

Dining in Bratislava

Bratislava’s cuisine is a creative mix of influences reflecting its ethnically diverse heritage, with Slovak, Hungarian, German and Jewish traditions all playing a role in its traditional faire. 

At one time the region provided wine to the monarchy. With a lasting tradition of fine wine production, a number of local specialties are on offer, from the white Riesling and Veltliner to the Devin variety, known for its spicy aroma and citrus scent.

Must-try local dishes

  • Bryndzové halušky – boiled potato dough, similar to gnocchi, served with sheep cheese and bacon
  • Treska – a salad made from Codfish and mayonnaise with vegetables such as onions and carrots
  • Žem?ovka – a sweet pudding made by combining apples or pears with white bread steeped in sweet milk

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 411,228
Languages Slovak
Currency Euro
Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Distance from airports
Bratislava 12 km