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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Exploring Bratislava in 1 Day

We made our way northward on our Euro Road Trip. We spent time on the eastern side of Slovakia at the beginning of the trip, but to avoid extra driving during our first visit, we visited the western part of the country on the northward part of our loop (about 2 months later). We only had one day in Bratislava, but we’re glad we didn’t skip it completely. It had a laid back feel and one of the biggest café cultures we have experienced so far during our trip. It is also known for its great nightlife, which we obviously didn’t get to experience, but we also experienced some local fun just outside the city as well!

While we visited several of the ‘must-see’ places of Bratislava, for the most part we just enjoyed wandering around and exploring the vehicle-free Old Town. They had some cool architecture, as it had been influenced by several different cultures over the centuries, and some cool art as well. And tons of cafes and gelato shops!

However, if you’re looking for something a little more structured, there are these Old Time cars that take groups around the city to explore with a guide, as well as we saw several walking tours. Another interesting fact we learned was that up until 1919, the city was known as Pressburg (a German name) as it was part of Austria-Hungary up until then.

Red Old Timers tourist car in the main Old Town Square in Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava Old Town Main Square with the Old Time Cars City Tour

Unique Bratislava Landmarks

The Danube River runs through the center part of Bratislava and is beautiful, but probably one of the most unique parts about viewing the river is the Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising, or more informally known as the ‘UFO Bridge.’ This bridge is unique in that it is the world’s largest cable bridge with only one pylon to support the entire bridge. You can go to the top of the ‘spaceship,’ but when we looked into the prices, it was going to cost about 30 Euro-ish for our entire family.

Single cable bridge in Bratislava, Slovakia over Danube river.
Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising (or 'UFO Bridge') in Bratislava

Church of St. Elisabeth – ‘The Blue Church’ – was so beautiful in person and is only about a 10-15 minute walk outside the Old Town on Bezrucova Street. It was the most unique church we have ever visited. The church was designed by a Hungarian architect in the 20th century in the art nouveau style. While you couldn’t fully go inside to explore, they did have the entry way open so you could peak inside the sanctuary, which is decorated in shades of blue as well. The one good part about it, was it was completely free.
Blue Art Nouveau church in Bratislava, Slovakia
Church of St. Elisabeth - 'The Blue Church' - Bratislava, Slovakia

The Bratislava Castle sitting at the top of the hill overlooking the Danube is an iconic spot in Bratislava. This castle was built in the 9th Century and was home to a variety of leaders as Bratislava fell under different rules. We opted not to go in the castle, but there is quite a bit you can explore from the outside, including going on the terraces in the front of the castle as well as the ability to walk through the castle gardens on the back side. There is also a playground up top that the kids enjoyed playing at! All in all, Bratislava was a cheap place to explore, as there is quite a bit you can discover just on foot.

Exploring Bratislava - sometimes you just stumble upon places…

The biggest surprise as we explored was finding a Children’s Art Museum. It was only 6 Euro for our entire family to go in an explore. It was relatively simple, but the kids enjoyed it. There was an exhibit that was all about illustrated children’s books and the kids could make their own shadow puppet. Then another area to just explore animation and imaginative play, as well as a little craft table where they could just be creative and make their own art. We only spent an hour or so here, but it ended up being a good break for the kids.

Enjoying a Locals’ Activity – Corn Maze

After our full day in Bratislava we had one more day in Slovakia before we headed to our next stop, so Alex planned a 'fun' day for the kids (he didn’t even tell me!) and surprised us with a trip to the Corn Maze. (We had a hard time finding accommodation short notice for our next stop and the next Airbnb wasn’t available until the day after we finished in Slovakia.) The Sezaland Corn Maze is just outside of Vlckovce. The maze is only open on weekends during the month of September. However, it looks like if the corn grows well, it is open earlier in the summer months and weekdays during the summer. Admission was super reasonable as well – adults were 3 Euro. In addition to the corn mazes they had some games like a ball and ring toss. However, it was definitely off the tourist path, as we were the only non-Slovakian people there and all signage was in Slovak.

They had two different mazes – one small and one large. Both mazes had 9 questions that you had to look for and then fill out the form to get a prize at the end. Each year the mazes have a different theme. This year the small maze was all about insects and the larger maze was about space. Thank goodness for Google Translate -- using it we were able to find the answers to all the questions in Slovak!

Although our return to Slovakia was short and sweet, we were happy to explore Bratislava and see more of the Western side of the country!

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