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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![box type=”info”]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![/box]
1) Walk through the Old Town
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
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
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.
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
Fred via Compfight
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
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.
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.
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!