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7 free things to do in Bratislava, Slovakia

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The town of Bratislava is the capital of the Eastern European Slovak Republic -short: “Slovakia”- located on the beautiful Danube River. Due to the fact that Vienna is only 62km away it became more and more attractive to travellers in recent years. Take this list with free things to do in Bratislava from a local to discover the city on the cheap!

This article is part of the free Backpacking in Europe Guide where you find more great information, resources and destination guides to plan & organize your trip to Europe!

1) Walk through the Old Town

Bratislava’s historic centre is very small but also very nice as most of the historical buildings have been restored. While walking through the streets of the old town, you should look out for the four “Curious statues of Bratislava”. You will find Čumil peeking out from a hole in the street; Paparazzi; Napoleon’s soldier leaning over a bench and Schöner Náci who used to walk the streets of Bratislava greeting everyone who passed by to bring happiness to the city.

Additional Tip: Bratislava has many museums, but if you are really interested in art collections, buy the 11 euro return ticket to Vienna and spend the day there. But there is one special museum definitely worth visiting. The international house of art for children Bibiana is a unique museum that presents various temporary exhibitions authored usually by creative local designers. Bibiana is lots of fun even if you are not a child anymore or trying to entertain one! Bibiana is located at Panská 41, next to the St. Martin‘s Cathedral and the entrance fee is just 1 euro. Not one of the free things to do in Bratislava but it’s worth the money!

2) Bratislava Castle

Different angle
Miroslav Petrasko via Compfight

The castle is one of the dominating features of Bratislava and a must of the free things to do in Bratislava described here. The castle hosts festivals and shows – many of those for free, so check out www.citylife.sk to find out what is going on during the days of your visit. Walk up the hill to enjoy the view of the city and explore the castle surroundings (great picnic places over there!).

Additional Tip: If you get tired from all the walking, make a stop at the Vydrica bar for a cold beer. The bar is located on the street that leads to the castle.

3) Walk the New and the Old Bridge

This is one of my favourite walks. Start from the old town; take the left side of the New Bridge and cross the river. Once you are on the other side, take the sidewalk along the river until you reach the shabby looking Old Bridge. It might look a bit dangerous to cross, but do not worry. It is safe and living on the edge is always fun!

Now that you are back in the old town, you can continue along the river to your left to enjoy the promenade of the lively Eurovea Galleria shopping centre.

Additional Tip: Why don’t you have your afternoon coffee in one of the bars overlooking the river?

4) Grassalkovich Palace and its garden


Palace of President
Creative Commons License Juraj Kubica via Compfight

Slovakia’s White House is usually closed to public but it has a beautiful garden with lots of interesting sculptures. Walk through the garden and look to see if there is a tree planted by a dignitary from your country who visited. Make sure you are around the palace at full hour to see the guards change.

5) Slavín

Slavín memorial is a tribute to Soviet soldiers who died during the liberation of Bratislava in 1945. The monument is very calm and impressive. You can walk up there from the city centre or take the bus 203 to its last stop in BUDKOVA direction (the bus stop is in front of Grassalkovich Palace).

6) TV Tower

From Jacques' Balcony
Fred via Compfight
The TV Tower of Bratislava offers amazing views of the city. The tower has a restaurant (which i recommend to avoid) and a coffee shop. The elevator to the top is free of charge; you just need to order something. To get there, you can take the bus 203 in KOLIBA direction. The bus stop is in front of the Grassalkovich Palace. Get off on the last stop and walk up the hill to the TV tower.

Additional tip: A bit more expensive but very cool alternative to this one is visiting the UFO open-air observation deck above the New Bridge. Admission is 6, 50 euro.

7) (Boat Trip to) Devin Castle

This one is not for free, but if you have time I really recommend doing this! Devin castle is in one of the boroughs of Bratislava. The boat ride to the ruins of the castle takes about 1, 5 hour and the return ticket costs 7 euro (schedule available at www.lod.sk). If you want to save the money for the boat you just have to pay 3€ for the entrance fee (so, this is almost free, huh?)

Devin castle is a national cultural monument with rich history; it is situated in a beautiful place above the confluence of rivers Danube and Morava.

Accommodation, Transportation & Must Eat

Sleep
The Blues Hostel is located in the very center and very famous for their friendly staff – they offer Dorms and Privates for reasonable prices!
 
Get in & around
Beside the airport of Bratislava you should also consider flying in to Vienna as it is just a short bus ride (1h) from city to city!

by plane – Bratislava (BTS) is a big hub for low-cost carrier Ryanair, if you prefer better service and treatment focus on Vienna (VIE). Check Skyscanner for the cheapest connections to Bratislava and Vienna.

by train – The main station is called „Bratislava hlavna stanica“, from there you can get to the center with bus X13 or 93. There are regular connections to Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Budapest, Warsaw, Belgrade and Kiev. Check RailEurope for connections.
 
Must Eat
The national dish of Slovakia is „Bryndzové halušky“ – dumplings with sheep’s cheese and topped with pieces of meat. Go for one of the local breweries, they mostly offer slovakian cuisine!

Do you know more free things to do in Bratislava?

We love to hear them! Just share it below in the comment section – i will add the additional tips from time to time.

About Dominika
I’m a student from Bratislava, trying to travel as much as possible to find the right place for me in this world. I was very fortunate to get opportunities to study and live abroad; this experience left me very hungry for more globetrotting.Visit Dominikas Blog for more!


Featured image taken from Flickr (c) by Miroslav Petrasko

  • I was in Bratislava a few years ago for the town’s Christmas markets – another great free thing to check out if you happen to be there when it’s on!

    • Steve

      …good tip for the christmas time – Thx Simon!

  • Nice Pictures .The information is very useful. It will give lots of traveller a right approach when in

    Slovakia.