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A Leisurely Stroll Through Slovakia as We Visit Bratislava

Are you planning to visit Bratislava? If so then spend one day in Bratislava The main tourist attractions are found in the Old Town and have been restored to their medieval and baroque glory days.

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.

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 to explore this amazing Eastern European capital.

In this post, you’ll learn about:

A Short One Day in Bratislava

The colorful green roof of the Bratislava City Museum.
The Bratislava City Museum, with its colorful tile roof, sits like a jewel in the Old Town
Bratislava National Opera House exterior view.
The Bratislava National opera House is beautiful inside and out!
Primaciálny palác exterior in Bratislava.
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.

Visit Bratislava – Old Town

Colorful dancers in the pedestrian streets of Bratislava.
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 old town wall still stands in Bratislava.
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 statue of Napoleon found int the city of Bratislava.
Have a seat with one of Napoleon’s soldiers.
Smiling man sculpture welcomes visitors to old town Bratislava.
Top of the morning to you!
Snake sculpture we found on our Bratislava sculpture tour.
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. This is where you’ll find the majority of Bratislava things to do.

Luckily this is a relatively flat part of the city and compact enough to take a walking tour encompassing the main sights quite doable.

Street vendors at a market in Bratislava old town.
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 and more mainstream places to visit in Bratislava.

The blue church, one of our Bratislava highlights.
We didn’t get inside the Blue Church but we could here the music and smell the incense.
Soviet era buildings in Slovakia.
Some of the buildings still need an update outside of the Old Town center.
Deteriorated building we saw as we visit Bratislava old town.
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.

Maximilian's fountain in one of the beautiful city squares in the capital of Slovakia.
This was the predominate color in Bratislava, very cheerful!

Visit Bratislava with this 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, with 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.

Restored baroque building facades in old town of the capital of Slovakia.
Strolling through the streets, don’t forget to look up at the ornate roof tops.
Colorful Slovakian glass items that you'll see for sale when you visit Bratislava.
Colorful shopping options.
Who's working here? Man at work sculpture in Bratislava.
Spoiler! Geocache nearby…


Have you strolled around and spent one day in Bratislava?  If so what were your impressions and what were your favorite places to visit in Bratislava?

Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.

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


Tuesday 29th of November 2016

I really enjoyed reading this post. You have some fantastic photos as well!

Corinne Vail

Tuesday 29th of November 2016

Thank you Helena


Tuesday 29th of November 2016

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!

Corinne Vail

Tuesday 29th of November 2016

Jenn, It is a pretty nice little city.


Monday 28th of November 2016

Nice pictures! It reminds me for Krakow. I would like to go there.

Chetan Jadhav

Wednesday 30th of November 2016

Bratislava Slovakia, its truly beautiful small city. Pictures are truly fantastic, Krakow is the place even I wanna visit Keep posting :-)

Corinne Vail

Tuesday 29th of November 2016

Elisa, It is such a nice city. I'm sure you'll love it.

Juliette | Snorkels to Snow

Monday 28th of November 2016

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.

Corinne Vail

Tuesday 29th of November 2016

Juliette, I hope you do, too. It's well worth it.

Mary - A Mary Road

Monday 28th of November 2016

Haven't reached that part of the world yet. But hopefully soon! :)

Corinne Vail

Monday 28th of November 2016

Mary, You will really enjoy it. I love Eastern Europe!