15 things to see and do in Bratislava

Bratislava Slovakia

When I told people that I was going to Bratislava for my first solo trip, most reacted surprised. Why Bratislava? What’s to do there anyway? Well, truth is, I went to Bratislava because it gave me the chance to visit a new country AND also to mix Vienna into the same trip. I didn’t know that much about Bratislava before going there. But I am glad I do know! What I found there was a charming and quirky city. Charming because of its picturesque Old Town, which is full of pastel-colored churches, palaces and towers. Quirky because of its futuristic architecture, feel good statues and converting public toilets into bars. Are you ready to discover the underrated capital of Slovakia for yourself?

1. Blue Church

The Blue Church (officially the Church of Saint Elizabeth) has to be the most iconic building of Bratislava. If not the most iconic, then at least the most eye-catching one. No folks, this isn’t just the work of Lightroom. The blue color of the church is really that bright! No wonder that the Blue Church is one of the most popular wedding locations of Bratislava. I was told there’s a waiting list of one year to get married here!


Opening hours

Monday through Saturday: 06.00-08.00 AM and 05.30-07.30 PM

Sunday: 07:30 AM-12:00 PM and 05.30-07.30 PM

Blue Church Bratislava

2. Michael’s Gate

Michael’s Gate is the last remaining gate of Bratislava, and today it serves as one of the entrances to the Old Town. Its tower houses the Museum of Arms and offers a nice view over the Old Town.


Price: €5

Opening hours

Monday: closed

Tuesday through Friday: 10.00 AM-05.00 PM

Saturday and Sunday: 11.00 AM-06.00 PM


Michael's Tower Gate Bratislava
Michael's Tower view Bratislava

3. Grassalkovich Palace

The white house of Slovakia, that’s Grassalkovich Palace. This elegant building is the seat of the Slovak president. You can tell if she is in Slovakia by looking at the flag on top of the palace. Is the flag up? That means she is home. Is it down? Then she is doing her presidential duties abroad.


Opening hours

Grassalkovich Palace is not open to the public, but you can witness the changing of the guards at 12 PM from Monday through Friday.

Primate's Palace Bratislava

4. Slovak Radio Building

Built in the communist era of Bratislava, the Slovak Radio Building is considered to be one of the ugliest buildings in the world. I don’t agree with that though. I think the upside-down pyramid looks pretty cool! This unique shape of Slovak Radio Building even earned it an appearance on the movie Red Sparrow.


Opening hours

Slovak Radio Building is not open to the public.

Slovak Radio Building Bratislava

5. Trinity Church

Not as famous as the Blue Church, but highly photogenic as well. The salmon-colored Trinity Church is located right outside the Old Town, you simply can’t miss this beauty. Interesting fact: the official name of the Trinity Church is Church of Saint John of Matha and Saint Felix of Valois. Good luck trying to remember that!


Opening hours

The Trinity Church is always open. There are special church interior tours on Sundays from 3 PM to 5 PM (except in December and January).

Trinity Church Bratislava

6. Primate’s Palace

In Bratislava, not only the president is entitled to a palace. The mayor is seated in one too and it’s called the Primate’s Palace. I even think Primate’s Palace is prettier than Grassalkovich Palace, ‘cause pink! You can visit the Hall or Mirrors and the courtyard inside Primate’s Palace.


Price: €3

Opening hours

Monday: closed; Tuesday through Sunday: 10.00 AM-5.00 PM 

Grassalkovich Palace Bratislava

7. Saint Martin’s Cathedral

The cathedral of Bratislava was built around its city walls, and its turquoise-colored cupola stands high above the Old Town. Also check out the paintings right outside the entrance of the cathedral.


Opening hours

Monday through Friday: 09.00-11.30 AM and 01.00-06.00 PM

Saturday: 09.00-11.30 AM

Sunday: 01.45-04.30 PM

Saint Martin’s Cathedral Bratislava
Saint Martin’s Cathedral Bratislava

8. UFO Tower

A tower and a bridge in one, that’s the UFO. Well, the bridge is actually called Most SNP but it is suspended to the UFO tower. So cross this bridge and observe what is supposed to be one of the best views of Bratislava (I cannot confirm if this is true because it was very misty during my visit, too bad!).


Price: €7,50 but it gets deducted if you order something at the restaurant

Opening hours: daily from 10 AM to 11 PM

UFO Bridge Bratislava

9. Bratislava Castle

Is there anything more quintessentially European than a castle on a hill? Well, at least this proves true for Bratislava. You can’t travel to Bratislava and not visit its castle. The white castle houses the Slovak National Museum and has a baroque garden. A beautiful spot for photos!



Castle grounds and baroque gardens: free for everyone

Museum + treasury: €10 standard, €4 students and seniors, €12/€20 families (depends on the size), €23 annual ticket

Treasury: €3 standard, €2 students and seniors

Both free of charge for disabled people and children under the age of 6


Opening hours museum

Summer season between 1 April and 31 October

Monday: closed, Tuesday-Sunday: 10 AM to 9 PM (last admission at 5 PM)

Winter season between 1 November and 31 March

Monday: closed, Tuesday-Sunday: 9 AM to 5 PM (last admission at 4 PM)

Bratislava Castle

10. Slavín Memorial

Located on top of another, even higher hill, you will find the Slavín Memorial. This is the final resting place of thousands of Soviet soldiers who sacrificed their life to liberate Bratislava during World War II. The endless rows of gravestones left me speechless, and the evening fog created an even more eerie atmosphere at Slavín. Nevertheless, I think it’s an impressive place to see.


Price: free

Opening hours: always open

Slavín Memorial Bratislava

11. Devín Castle

Take bus 28 or 29 by the UFO Bridge and head to Devín, a small town just outside Bratislava. There you'll find the ruins of a castle. The location of Devín Castle forms the natural border between Slovakia and Austria, and it also served as the border of the Iron Curtain. There is a monument for that on site as well.



€5 adults, €2.50 students/children/seniors, €10 families with children under the age of fourteen.

Opening hours

April-September: open daily from 10.00 AM-07.00 PM (last admission at 06.30 PM)

October: open daily from 10.00 AM-05.00 PM (last admission at 04.30 PM)

November-March: open daily from 10.00 AM-04.00 PM (last admission at 03.30 PM)

Devín Castle often closes down during bad weather conditions, so check before you go!

Devín Castle Bratislava

12. Spot artsy statues and murals

Bratislava is home to many quirky murals and statues, and seeing them will definitely put a smile on your face. Pictured right below is Čumil, aka Man at Work. He ‘suddenly appeared’ in 1997, to cheer up the city after the communist era. However, car drivers tended to overlook the statue and beheaded Čumil a few times. To prevent this from happening again, Čumil received his very own iconic Man at Work traffic sign.

street art Bratislava
Čumil Man at Work Bratislava

13. Join a walking tour

Being a small city makes Bratislava perfect for walking tours. In fact, you will see most of the above mentioned sights during the walking tour. The guide will tell you all the fun stories and history behind the sights, and show you the best way to walk around town. After the walking tour, you can always go back to the sights that interested you the most and explore them at your own pace. O, and it’s a great way to meet people if you’re traveling solo!


Price: tip-based

Tours and times:

City and Castle Tour: daily at 11.00 AM and 14.30 PM

20th Century Tour: Friday-Saturday at 14.30 PM

Spooky Legends Tour: Friday-Saturday at 07.00 PM

Take a look at the website of Free Tour Bratislava for more details.

Františkánske námestie 7 Bratislava

14. Try traditional Slovak food

When in Bratislava, you must try their national dish bryndzové halušky! Often compared to gnocchi, bryndzové halušky is a potato dumpling stuffed or topped with a sheep cheese sauce (and bacon, but I asked without it). You can order this at Slovak Pub, and many other restaurants.

Bryndzové halušky Slovak food
Slovak Pub Bratislava

15. Go to a bar that was once a public toilet

Of all things I’ve seen and did in Bratislava, I think this is the most quirky one. Many of Bratislava’s most popular bars were once used as public toilets! At first, I didn’t like the idea that much and I wasn’t planning to go to one of those bars. Instead, I wanted to explore Bratislava’s secret cocktail bar scene. But then I found out that all cocktail bars are closed on Sunday (an extra tip for you!), so I gave in and ended up at this place called Steinplatz. Turns out it was pretty cool. Kinda looks like an oldschool, underground living room and it has a very relaxed vibe.

Steinplatz Bratislava

That was it folks, a list of fifteen things that I did and saw in Bratislava. Hopefully this list will show you that there’s plenty to do in the Slovak capital, and inspire you to visit this hidden gem as well 🙂 And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more travel photos and stories!

Ayo, AR x

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