Hi everyone! It has been a while since we have posted, but here is a post about Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. During this summer, I decided to visit Central Europe instead of the usual Western Europe. The reason behind this is simply because I wanted to explore the more quiet, relaxing side of Europe that is rich in historical monuments and pretty castles. Since Bratislava looked pretty tiny on the map, I decided that staying one entire day would be sufficient to discover most parts of the city. Therefore, I arrived in Bratislava in the morning and stayed a night there before leaving to Budapest the next morning. For starters, Google Maps and Apple Maps didn't provide any information regarding the local transportations there - so it was a huge struggle to figure out to where each bus rides from the train station to my hotel 😅. So a tip for those who are planning to visit Bratislava soon, please help yourself and download the public transportation app in advance or Uber 😆 will help you get around the city way easier.
For this post I will summarize the places I have visited during my one day trip here in Bratislava.
Just like in any other European cities, Bratislava also has a marvellous Baroque castle on a steep hill. The Bratislava castle was constructed in the 9th century, but it was almost destroyed after a fire broke out in 1811. Hence, the castle looks quite modern and clean in the color white and orange after the recent reconstruction. The interior is decorated in white and gold and have many artworks and old paintings on display. I was so in love with the castle’s interior, as it has a classy and clean feeling😍. Inside the castle, you will find a museum displaying the history of Bratislava and other exhibitions with paintings and artefacts.
The Castle's interior
The main entrance of Bratislava Castle
However, in one of the corner tower, the holy crown of Hungary was secretly hidden in there. The Crown Tower is the oldest and still standing structure of the Bratislava Castle, and its interior is not reconstructed into plain white walls at all. The current tower still has its Gothic architectural touch, and you can experience it the moment you take a step into the tower. The disadvantage of visiting the crown tower is that there is only entrance via a particular floor (on the 3nd floor I believe), and then you would have to climb down the two floors of tiny stairs to get to the 1st floor where the holy crown is located. I was a bit disappointed with the display of the holy crown, because there was not much ventilation there and the space on that floor was so small that not many people could fit there at once.
After visiting the holy crown on the first floor, I went up to the highest floor (which is the 6th floor i believe) and found a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. When you reach the highest floor, you will find an empty room full with small windows in 360 degree shape. Worth climbing 6 floors in the heat wave? Check out the pictures below and tell me XD
First view on 6th floor
The view through the windows
On another note, there is also a small garden next to the castle. The Baroque garden has many small ornamental plants along with a small water fountain in the middle. In addition, there’s a small story behind this garden’s new reconstruction, as it is a reminder of the castle’s baroque style before its destruction in 1811.
The Baroque Garden
The Garden is right next to the Castle
St. Michael’s Gate
One of the historic monuments that cannot be missed is St. Michael’s Gate, the only standing historic gate in Bratislava. Inside this tower, there is a small museum and on the top floor there is an observation deck where you could see the entire Old Town. The view at the observation desk is pretty cool since you get to be surrounded in the orange roofed-buildings and also see the white castle from far. Another cool thing is that there is a Kilometer Zero under the St. Michael’s tower, indicating how far certain famous cities are from Bratislava.
After you walk through the gate, you will find streets full of restaurants, bars and shops. There are many overpriced restaurants in this area. To find more authentic and affordable meals, I suggest walking a street or two away from here and you will be able to find some good ones.
Kilometer Zero under St. Michael's Gate
Already spotting the gate from far away
The Blue Church
Also known as St. Elizabeth’s Church, the Blue Church is one of the most cutest and colourful churches I have ever seen. I happened to visit the church when there was a service happening (which is after 18:30 PM) and there were many people who joined the service, but also many tourists standing outside the church taking pictures of this art nouveau building. The best part is the interior, which decorated in white, yellow and blue paints and a floral shaped chandelier hanging in the middle of the church. Unfortunately, I was not able to take any pictures inside since the church service was happening at that time. Seeing this church was a good experience, since many European cities have breathtaking cathedrals and minimal cute and colorful churches like this one.
Is one day enough for Bratislava?
After spending literally one day and one night here, I can say that many of the must-see activities in Bratislava were covered. As long as you are able to do all the activities that have an early closing time (around 5 to 6 PM) like visiting the Bratislava Castle or the St. Michael’s Gate, then you will have enough time to check the other activities out too that doesn’t have an early closing time. For instance, after dining at the Bratislava Flagship restaurant, I went to take a walk to the the Primate’s Palace and the Old Town area. I also managed to pay a visit to the St. Martin’s Cathedral before visiting the castle, as it is very nearby. The cathedral is free of charge, and the interior is quite unique too, since there is an ‘open’ grave where you can see skeletons through the glass under the floor. The Kapitulska Street is also a nice place to walk around, with the colourful and old abandoned houses. However, be careful when touching the wooden gates since they’re so old that chances are you will get wood splinters on your hands (I got 5 splinters after accidentally touching them). In short, Bratislava was a small yet calm city and the buildings are really beautiful and not exaggerated in designs. Once you’re in the centre, you will be able to walk to most of the main attractions without having to take the public transportation.
This wooden gate will be forever remembered after giving me splinters
St. Martin's Cathedral
On another note, I gotta mention that the locals here are super welcoming and warm, as they are always ready to help you and are also more relaxed here. So if you want to go to a less touristy place or just a short trip to the Central Europe, then Bratislava is a good place to go.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day! <3