#Innsider’s Guide to Bratislava
Small but perfectly formed, Bratislava is Slovakia’s capital city. Nestled on both banks of the Danube and with an exciting mix of old and new, read our guide to Bratislava for #Innsider tips on what to do when you get there.
© Chris Shervey
Sample some history
Head through the Old Town and seek out St. Martin’s Cathedral. Known as one of the oldest and arguably most important churches in Bratislava, the building was once used for the coronations of the monarchs of Hungary. The church was built in the 14th century, with additions from the gothic and baroque periods. What makes the inside most intriguing though, is a glass floor through which you can see exposed skeletons from an 11th century grave.
Spend a little time at the clock museum
In the Jewish Quarter, you might stumble across a strange looking, skinny yellow building – the House of The Good Shepherd. This unique 18th century building houses a tiny museum of clocks and watches. Worth a look for the architecture alone (some say it is the narrowest building of its type in Europe), but the exhibition of timepieces may also pique your interest!
© Ivailo Djilianov
Party like an extra-terrestrial
Well, not quite. The UFO observation platform is a flying saucer-shaped structure built 85m above sea level on part of the of the 1960s built ‘New Bridge’. Accessed by an elevator which runs up through one of the bridges plinths, it offers panoramic views of the city and now houses a trendy restaurant and a nightclub. Diners at the restaurant can access the viewing platform for free, otherwise there is a small fee. A word of warning though, the height of the platform, with the Danube flowing below, can give the feeling of vertigo to some visitors!
If you prefer your feet on solid ground, take a trip to the Danubiana Meulensteen. A center for modern art on a narrow peninsula jutting out into the Danube. The permanent exhibition includes a collection of fascinating Slovak and international contemporary pieces. Surrounding the exhibition is large sculpture park, featuring more artworks on the backdrop of the Danube to create a sight to behold. The museum also hosts visiting exhibitions and events. Check the museum website to see what’s on.
Quench your thirst
If all that activity has made you thirsty, head off the beaten track to some of the city’s microbreweries. Check out Richtár Jakub, an understated pub close to the city’s university. The beers on offer are listed on a blackboard and are usually (thankfully) available in 100ml tasting glasses. As well as brilliant beers, it also offers food and snacks to soak up some of the alcohol. If you love cheese almost as much as beer, head to Starosloviensky Pivovar. Decorated like a log cabin, this cozy bar offers local ales as well as traditional Slovakian cheeses. What’s not to like?
© Andrew Nash
Make some famous friends
Dotted around the town are various bronze statues, but rather than standing on plinths they mingle in with everyday scenes. On your travels, look out for Cumil, peeping out of a manhole cover at street level. You might also spot Napoleon Bonaparte leaning against a bench, Andy Warhol sat outside a restaurant or a member of the paparazzi peering round a corner ready to snap his subject.
Where to stay
The Park Inn by Radisson Danube Bratislava Hotel is situated in the heart of the historical town and boasts 261 rooms with Free High-speed Internet. The hotel also has a well-equipped fitness centre and restaurant.
Top image:© Xlibber