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Hlavné Námestie is at the very center of the city and is the perfect first stop. The yellow façade of the Art Noveau Hungarian Exchange Bank building and the adjoining Palugyay Palace, which dates back to 1882, were constructed with acute attention to detail. Stop at the old-fashioned Shokocafe Maximilian for a cup of coffee and chocolate delicacies while enjoying the view of the square.
Although Bratislava Castle is picturesque on its own, the hill upon which it stands provides an incredible view of the famous UFO Tower and the Socialist housing blocks of Petrzalka. It’s an interesting contrast between the historic Old Town on one side of the river and the Communist-era concrete blocks on the Petrzalka side.
Bratislava Castle, Bratislava, Slovakia, +421 2 544 114 44
Photos of Bratislava Castle are best taken from other vantage points in the city to truly appreciate its grandiose appearance upon the hill. But while on the hill, get your camera ready for the Baroque Gardens behind the castle that are hidden in a small courtyard that is well worth exploring, especially in warmer months.
Bratislava’s fairy-tale St. Elisabeth Roman Catholic Church, known as the Blue Church, is just a 15-minute walk from the central square. The pretty baby-blue shade continues inside, where every detail was carefully designed by Edmund Lechner, a Hungarian secessionist architect. The church, which was completed in 1913, also represents Slovakia in miniature at the Mini-Europe amusement park in Brussels.
The Blue Church, Bezručova 2534/2, 811 09 Bratislava, Slovakia, +421 2 527 335 72
Originally constructed in 1904, this building functioned as a pharmacy until 1996 and is an excellent example of Neo-Renaissance architecture in Bratislava. For this reason, it has been listed as a culturally protected monument since 1963. The building serves as a good reminder to always look up to fully appreciate the unique buildings of Bratislava.
Sometimes the best photos come about by simply getting lost and wandering the narrow alleyways of the Old Town. Catch a glimpse of Bratislava Castle on the hill, and rest assured there isn’t a single grey or drab building in the area.
Michael’s Gate is the last remaining Medieval entrance to the city, and the adjoining tower now serves as the Bratislava Museum of Arms. Buy a ticket to the museum to learn more about the weapons historically used to defend the city, and then take in the incredible view over Old Town of Bratislava Castle from the top of the tower.
Michael’s Gate, Michalská 806/24, 811 03 Staré Mesto, Slovakia +421 2 544 330 44
This venue comes with a Euro price tag, but it is well worth it for the stellar panoramic views. Visit as the sun sets over the city for incredible photos. Pop into one of the two UFO bars to enjoy a cocktail, or head to the restaurant for a three-course dinner while you soak up the incredible sites.
UFO Observation Deck, Most SNP, 851 01 Petržalka, Slovakia, +421 2 625 203 00