Bratislava Travel Guide
Town square © Judith Duk
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and the country's largest city, situated on either side of the Danube River at the borders of Austria and Hungary, and within easy reach of the Czech Republic.
It is the centre for arts and culture, and boasts many museums, art galleries, palaces and ornamental churches in and around its historic old town. Bratislava also takes pride in its cultural heritage, with a musical history going back to Mozart, Beethoven and Hummel. Music concerts and ballet performances take place almost daily in the city, competing for attention with the likes of those in neighbouring Vienna, Prague and Budapest.
The city is ideal for strolling around, taking in the sites of the city. The Old Town district is crammed with historical structures representing the different cultures and nations of its past, centering on Hlavné Námestie, the town square. Numerous Baroque palaces are contained within the old town, as well as St. Martin's, an 11th-century Gothic cathedral; the town hall, housing the oldest museum in the country; and a gate preserved from the medieval city fortifications. One of the most conspicuous structures in the city is Bratislava Castle, a former frontier post for the Roman Empire situated on a plateau overlooking the Danube.
As Europe's newest capital city, Bratislava is still lagging behind Budapest and Prague in terms of popularity, but word of its picturesque charm and affordable elegance is spreading, and the city is rapidly being thrust into the limelight as a popular European city break destination. An increase in low-cost flights from around Europe is also partly responsible for its rising recognition, and lately Bratislava has also become a popular weekend destination for stag parties, primarily from the UK. The city is also the cultural capital of the region, and diversions ranging from restaurants and nightclubs to ballet and boutiques are on offer.
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