Slovak National Gallery
The Slovak National Gallery‘s impressive collection is so large that the organization now has buildings housing treasures from centuries of art in Slovakia in five different cities throughout the country. In Bratislava, visitors can view the permanent collection and two floors of current exhibits on display at the neo-Renaissance Esterhazy Palace. If you’re interested in seeing the evolution of art in Slovakia over several centuries, as well as seeing the very best contemporary work, the Slovak National Gallery should be your first stop in Bratislava.
The Galeria Nova is a smaller space near the St. Michael’s Gate that offers several short term temporary exhibitions throughout the year. The Gallery is closed for about two weeks between each exhibition, so make sure to check the schedule before you go. Admission for most exhibitions is free and features recent work from artists working in Slovakia, including students from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava.
Milan Dobes Museum
This gallery is also housed in a 14th-century historic residence near the St. Michael’s Gate in the heart of the Old Town. Three floors are dedicated to a permanent exhibition showcasing the constructionist pieces of Slovak artist Milan Dobes, while a fourth floor showcases temporary exhibitions. The portfolio of Milan Dobes includes optic and kinetic art; he is famous for creating intriguing optical illusions in his drawings and paintings.
Bratislava City Gallery
The Bratislava City Gallery is the second largest gallery dedicated to Slovak art and includes two large palaces in Bratislava’s Old Town. At the Rococo Mirbach Palace, visitors can admire a large collection of Baroque prints and 18th-century sculptures. At Palfy Palace, visitors can admire the Book Wall and colorful Gothic stained glass windows.
Michalský Dvor Gallery
Step away from the noisy bars and restaurants on one of the main streets in the Old Town and descend into the art-filled cellar that houses the Michalský Dvor Gallery. This art gallery presents current works by Slovak and foreign artists and includes an art shop where art collectors can shop for a unique modern piece to add to their collection. Originally opened in 1995, the gallery keeps visitors and locals interested by carefully curating the best pieces to showcase in the atmospheric vaulted-cellar viewing space.
The interior of the Nedbalka Gallery may be most famous for closely resembling the Guggenheim Museum in New York, but the gallery earns its fame for much more than its architectural value. The gallery features a permanent collection entitled The Turn of the Century – The Origin of Modern Fine Art in Slovakia, as well temporary exhibits of accomplished Slovak artists. Paintings, sculptures, and prints from artists working in Slovakia during the 19th-21st centuries are displayed on four gallery floors, so allow a couple of hours to leisurely browse the Nedbalka collection.
Zahorian & Van Espen Gallery
This unique contemporary art collection features two gallery locations; one in Prague and the other in Bratislava. Both galleries cycle through several different temporary modern art exhibitions each year. The themes and artists vary greatly, but you can get a preview online before deciding whether or not to visit the gallery when you’re in town. If you’re interested in recent developments and current works by Slovak artists, this small gallery offers an excellent sampling.
Arthur Fleischmann Museum
For those art enthusiasts interested in sculpture, the small Arthur Fleischmann Museum is a must-see. The museum is actually a specialized exhibition space of the Bratislava City Museum that exhibits works of sculpture by the Bratislava-born sculptor, who executed most of his work in Vienna and London. Fleischmann was well-traveled and visited several countries included Bali, Australia, and Africa, which greatly influenced his compelling work.
Bibiana, International House of Art for Children
If you’re traveling with young kids, make sure to incorporate a visit to the Bibiana Collection into your itinerary. The primary focus of the museum is on interactive exhibits that involve children with art in a very hands-on way. Bibiana also hosts festivals and events that promote various sorts of art for children, including theater, dance, music, and literary events that appeal to a younger audience.