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Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, was was definitely a destination that really surprised me. The city is small and doesn’t have loads of attractions, however I would definitely recommend visiting Bratislava. A two day itinerary is ideal for Bratislava as you can enjoy all the important bits, whilst still having time to relax.
BRATISLAVA 2 DAY ITINERARY
How to get to Bratislava Slovakia?
I came to Bratislava from Krakow on a 7 hour overnight train during my 2018 Interrail Trip. A train to Vienna from Bratislava takes just over 1 hour. A train from Bratislava to Budapest takes around 3 and a half hours. Bratislava airport is around a 15-20 min drive from the city centre. You can do this journey on the no.61 bus.
Dream Hostel (now called Safestay Hostel) – £18/night
This hostel is just a 15 minute walk from the train station, so an excellent backpacker spot. They provide on site breakfast with unlimited tea and coffee (not included in the price). The hostel had a kitchen, spacious communal area, comfy beds with a privacy curtain and excellent bathroom facilities.
Bratislava Itinerary: Day One
1. Free Walking Tour
Your first port of a call in any new city, and first on this Bratislava itinerary is a free walking tour. Free tours in Bratislava are run by Be Free Tours, and they run a morning and an afternoon tour everyday. The tour lasts for around 2 and a half hours covering some aspect of Slovakia’s communist history and looking at the main sites of Bratislava.
Bratislava Sights Covered in the Free Walking Tour:
The Old Town Hall is home to some beautiful architecture, with the Roland Fountain in it’s forecourt. Inside you can visit the Museum of City History, see examples of Medieval torture instruments and at the top of the tower you can see a view across the Old Town’s main square.
The statue of Cumli is simply just of a man who works down the sewers – it has no other meaning or significance. A warning sign has had to be placed next to him as he has been run into by cars a few times!
Officially named the Church of St. Elizabeth, the Blue Church is a Catholic Church in Bratislava Old Town. It’s beautiful exterior colour is replicated on interior mosaics. It’s also sometimes nicknamed the Marshmallow church – although I have never seen a blue marshmallow!
St. Martin’s Cathedral is the former site of coronations in the old Hungarian empire between 1563 and 1830. Beneath the cathedral is a maze of catacombs that you can check out. The surrounding area of the cathedral boasts some really quaint and picturesque streets to wander round.
The entrance to the Old Town is guarded by St Michael’s Gate. It is the only city gate to have been preserved since medieval time. You can still see the original wood from the old drawbridge. The upper floor of the building is home to the Museum of Weapons and City Fortifications and whilst you’re up there you can get a good view across the city.
2. Try some Slovak cuisine at Bratislavy Mesriansky Pivovar
This place is actually a craft brewery, found at two different locations in the city, but it’s a great place to try Slovak Bryndzové Halušky (potato dumplings with sheep cheese). Traditionally the dish comes with fried bacon but as a vegetarian I asked for it without. I ordered potato dumplings filled with sheep cheese, roasted onion and sour cream.
Quick tip – the menus on the table are all in Slovakian, just ask one of the waiters for an English menu!
3. Sunset at Bratislava Castle
Bratislava Castle is undoubtedly one of the most dominant and definitive features of the city, and has been for centuries, so is a must on your Bratislava 2 day itinerary. It’s sheer size and positioning on an isolated, rocky hill in the centre of Bratislava makes it impossible to miss.
Just walking up to the top of castle hill is an experience – the view gradually gets more and more impressive. There’s an excellent panoramic view across the city from here. You can even see out to Austria and sometimes Hungary on a clear day. This makes it the perfect spot to watch the sunset!
The castle also overlooks the Danube river which is lit up by Most SNP (The UFO Bridge) at night.
Bratislava Itinerary: Day Two
1. Morning Coffee @ ‘Art, Books, Coffee‘
No bratislava itinerary would be complete without cute, independent coffee shop recommendations. This aesthetically pleasing coffee shop is split into three sections:
- A small art gallery in the first half of the cafe
- A coffee shop in the middle with a small selection of tables
- Large book shelves in the back section with comfy chairs for you to read in
- It’s definitely one of the best coffee spots in Bratislava and one of my favourite coffee stops around the world. I really recommend the chai latte here!
2. Nedbalka Gallery
This art gallery is just a 6 minute walk from Art, Books, Coffee. The gallery is spread over four floors and your 5€ entry ticket gives you a free hot drink at the Gallery Cafe. The gallery contains works from Slovak masters dating from the 19th century up to the present day. Nedbalka Gallery is located within a former Old Town palace, which has been completely remodelled and done up to cater for the gallery.
3. Devin Castle
Take a 20 minute bus journey out of Bratislava city centre to the village of Devin and explore the ruins of Devin castle. Located on the outskirts of Bratislava, it’s great to get a break from the hustle and bustle of the capital city.
It’s easy to get to the castle by bus. Take Bus 29 from Stop 6 at Most SNP to Devin Hrad. Make sure you get a ticket from a ticket machine before you get on the bus. The ticket should cost 0,90€ each way.
There is a 2€ entry fee at the castle. The castle stands just inside the Slovakian-Austrian border. The views of the Danube and the mountains surrounding Devin castle are so beautiful so it’s easy to spend a couple of hours here.
4. Enjoy more local cuisine at 1 Slovak Pub
This authentic Slovak pub is found just a short walk from the Bratislava centre and is branded one of the biggest restaurants in Bratislava. This makes it the ideal place to get some traditional Slovakian food. I once again ordered Slovak Halusky and had extra smoked cheese on the top, instead of the bacon / pancetta.
All the food here was incredibly reasonably priced and the staff were amazing. So, I couldn’t recommend coming here enough to any Bratislava tourist.
Enjoyed reading this 2 day Bratislava itinerary?
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