A Leisurely Stroll Through Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava City Museum
The Bratislava City Museum, with its colorful tile roof, sits like a jewel in the Old Town

A Short Visit to Bratislava

We’re always on the lookout for new places and cities to discover and since we like to drive it’s easy to take a diversion off the planned route for exploring. That’s how we found ourselves in Bratislava for an overnight stay on our road trip to Budapest.

A Leisurely Stroll Through Bratislava, Slovakia
The Bratislava National opera House is beautiful inside and out!

Looking at the map, it seemed like a no-brainer as there were two route choices between Nuremberg and Budapest. The first would take us through Vienna ( a great city worth a visit for sure but we’d already been) or the second one through Bratislava, since we are always on the lookout for more ways to check out this amazing country and visit Slovakia, we knew which route we would take right away.

A Leisurely Stroll Through Bratislava, Slovakia
Once a palace, the Primaciálny palác now houses a music hall and the mayor’s office.

We arrived in Bratislava around noon so we knew we had only a few hours to make the most of our visit. Luckily we found a room in a central hotel with parking. This can be surprisingly hard to do in most European towns so we were happy to see Bratislava had a few hotels to choose from that were very near the old town.

Walking Through the Old Town

Colorful dancers adorn the streets of Bratislava! Click here to find out what you can do in this beautiful city!
We were greeted in the Old Town by these colorful dancers.

With the car parked, the bags safely stowed in our room, we took off to explore all that Bratislava could offer in the short time we had. We were impressed with the amount of renovation and reconstruction that has taken place here. The main tourist areas of the town have been restored to their medieval and baroque glory days with many of the buildings repurposed for visitors for shopping, eating or as museums.

The capital of Slovakia, Bratislava is a gorgeous city. Click here to find out what to do there!
A view of the old city wall on the walk from our hotel to the Old Town.

Another interesting attraction for the city was the number of bronze statues hidden around the old town. These whimsical creations could lead you on a fun hunt through the cobbled streets. My favorite was the “Man at Work” poking his helmeted head up through a manhole. For those geo-cachers out there, you should know there is a particularly tricky cache to be found nearby.

Bronze statues are found throughout the city of Bratislava. Click here to find out what else there is to see.
Have a seat with one of Napoleon’s soldiers.
The capital of Slovakia, Bratislava is a gorgeous city. Click here to find out what to do there
Top of the morning to you!
The capital of Slovakia, Bratislava is a gorgeous city. Click here to find out what to do there
I’m not really sure why the snake is strangling this duck, anyone have an answer?

Bratislava has a clean and comfortable public transportation system that will get you around the greater metropolitan area, but for a trip into the old town where most of the sites can be found, you’ll be venturing about on foot. Luckily this is a relatively flat part of the city and compact enough to make a walking tour encompassing the main sights quite doable.

A Leisurely Stroll Through Bratislava, Slovakia
Some stalls are set up in the main square for souvenirs and some snacks.

We really wanted to visit the Blue Church which was a little further out of the pedestrian zone and debated hopping a bus. Instead we opted to walk through the residential areas leading to the church. We immediately noticed a stark difference in the building conditions. As we moved further from the city center and the recent repairs and fresh paint, we found crumbling plaster, graffiti, and more of the rich patina of hundreds of years that was missing from the shining city center.

The blue church of Bratislava - click here to find out what else there is to see in the gorgeous city.
We didn’t get inside the Blue Church but we could here the music and smell the incense.
A Leisurely Stroll Through Bratislava, Slovakia
Some of the buildings still need an update outside of the Old Town center.
A Leisurely Stroll Through Bratislava, Slovakia
Some of the patina from an era gone by.

All of this walking really worked up our appetites so we were desperately looking for something close to the hotel that wasn’t obviously just catering to tourists. Nothing really sparked our interest, but the brew pub nearby to our hotel did hit the spot with a delicious cold golden ale perfect for the hot summer evening. After a drink or two, a plate of steaming dumplings and some dinner we relaxed and contemplated our time in Bratislava.

One of the beautiful Bratislava city squares. Click here to find out what else there is to see in the capital of Slovakia!
This was the predominate color in Bratislava, very cheerful!

Practical Information

  • Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia so you will find all of the country embassies here
  • It is a medium sized city of around 500,000 and easy to navigate
  • The medieval Old Town is traffic free, no smog and no worries of dodging traffic
  • On major train and driving routes, easy connections to Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Munich
  • Service by cheap airlines like Ryanair and Smart Wings

We were comfortable at the Ibis Bratislava Centrum. It was nothing fancy, but if you’re familiar with Ibis hotels, then you know what to expect; comfortable, clean rooms at an affordable price. This one included secure parking and is only a two or three minute walk to the Old Town. And no, we’re not brand ambassadors but sometimes they are the best choice for us.

A Leisurely Stroll Through Bratislava, Slovakia
Strolling through the streets, don’t forget to look up at the ornate roof tops.
A Leisurely Stroll Through Bratislava, Slovakia
Colorful shopping options.
Who's working here? Click here to find out all the wonderful things to see in the beautiful city of Bratislava.
Spoiler! Geocache nearby…

Have you strolled around Bratislava?  What were your impressions?

Pin Bratislava for later.

The Blue Church, beautiful and iconic, but not the only thing to see in Bratislava. Click here to see what you can do!

32 thoughts on “A Leisurely Stroll Through Bratislava, Slovakia”

  1. Bratislava is a stunner! Your photos are wonderful… I especially enjoyed the colorful dresses on the girls! I’ll add this city to my list of places to visit!

  2. What a fascinating place to visit! The architecture is quite something and I LOVE the bronze statues everywhere – especially the worker coming out of the manhole. So much history, I really hope to get to Eastern Europe one day.

  3. The blue church is great! One essential for visiting Bratislava is not to visit on a Monday, most sights are closed – so I guess I’ll have to come back!

  4. Braitslava looks really cool. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much of it before but now I really want to visit. Especially the old town with all those sculptures!

  5. That must have been a good stroll in an afternoon. And, like you, love resting for the night at an IBIS!

  6. I recently considered spending a few days in Bratislava en route to friends in Poland but now think that might have been a bit too long for what seems like quite a small city! However some of the buildings look gorgeous and it sounds like it would be worth spending a few hours in. Great photos!

    1. Shannon, Slovakia is a beautiful country, and Bratilava a great city, but I agree on not just stopping by for more than a day there. The rest of the country really warrants taking some time and going around. It’s a little off the beaten path.

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