A cruise on the Danube River takes your guests on new journey and allows them a chance to discover the best of Europe, including Slovakia’s capital city, Bratislava! Guests receive the full experience when cruising the Danube, including other major city highlights such as Vienna and Budapest, to the more quaint towns and villages like Austria’s Dürnstein and Melk. From experience, we have created a list of must-see attractions and this month’s city in the spotlight is Bratislava!
1. Bratislava Castle
Dominating the city and overlooking the Danube River, Bratislava Castle is the major symbol of Bratislava. Originated in the 9th century, this strategic-located castle had been the home of many rulers and royalties. After a devastating fire in 1811, the former imposing castle was no more than a massive ruin, which wasn’t restored until the mid-1900s. Today the castle is home to various museums, such as the History Museum and the National Museum.
Insider tip: Aside from the museums, don’t forget to visit the local theatre performances, festivals (such as the Shakespeare’s festival) and small concerts organized in the castle courtyard during summer!
2. Blue Church
The Church of St. Elizabeth, also known as Blue Church, is an extravagant piece of Art Nouveau architecture designed by leading architect Odon Luchner. Built from 1907-1913, the relatively small church got its nickname for obvious reasons – the façade is blue, the indigenous Slovakian tiles are blue, the roof is blue. Everything, including the interior, is blue. Make sure to include this fairy-tale sight when visiting Bratislava.
3. Main Square
Located in the old town, the Main Square is often considered as the heart of Bratislava. Over the centuries, this prominent place was used for markets, public gatherings, welcoming ceremonies, military parades and even medieval theater place. Today’s square is also used for markets but is mainly occupied with outdoor café terraces where you can sip your coffee and appreciate the charm of the square.
Insider tip: Make sure to visit the impressive building on the eastern side of the square – the Old Town Hall. This historically significant building nowadays houses the Bratislava City Museum, featuring an exhibit of the city history.
4. St. Michael
St. Michael’s Street is one of Bratislava’s popular sights and strolling through this charming street you will find everything you need; cafes, pubs, quality restaurants, as well as exclusive shops. On the top of the street there is St. Michael’s Gate, the only preserved gate of the medieval city fortifications. The 51-metre high tower was built around the year 1300 and gives an amazing view of the Old Town of Bratislava.
5. Primatial Palace
With its pale pink and white exterior topped with various marble statues, the Primatial Palace built in 1778, is considered as one the most beautiful buildings in Bratislava. The palace is filled with large oil portraits of Hapsburg royalty, red carpets, sparking crystal chandeliers, golden elements, and tapestries. The most famous palace chamber is the Hall of Mirrors, known for being the place where the Peace Treaty of Pressberg (Bratislava’s former name) was signed in 1805. Nowadays it serves as the location for Bratislava City Council meetings and various concerts and conferences.
6. Devin Castle
The remains of the Devin Castle can be found approximately 9 km west of Bratislava. Standing on a massive 212 meter cliff, overlooking the Danube and Morava, the well-preserved ruins are an unusually impressive landmark. Due to its strategic position, the castle was owned by many rulers over the centuries, such as the Celts, Romans, Germanic tribes, Slavs and old Magyars. It even served as a royal fortress before the French Napoleonic army destroyed the castle. Ever since Napoleon’s outburst, these romantic ruins have been a must-see attraction of the city.