With its extraordinary and diverse styles of architecture, amazing cuisine, and nightlife, and an international, vibrant atmosphere, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is one of the most interesting cities of emerging Central Europe. Check out our guide on the best things to do and see in the Bratislava Old Town.
Although its official name is the Church of St. Elisabeth, this one is better known as the Blue Church. It is the bluest building in all of Bratislava, with its candy-colored walls and roof, and the cutest azure pews inside. It is the most beautiful secessionist building of the city too, located in one of the quieter streets of a lively Old Town, visited by many tourists who often refer to it as a fairy-tale spot. Built at the beginning of the 20th century by the Hungarian architect Edmund Lechner, the church was initially a part of the neighboring high school designed by the same artist and served as the school chapel.
Church of St. Elisabeth, Bezrucova 2, Bratislava, Slovakia, +421 2 5273 3571
See the city from UFO Observation Deck
There is no better view in Bratislava than the beautiful sunset over the Danube from the UFO Observation Deck. At the height of almost 100 meters, thousands of visitors yearly are able to enjoy the landscape spreading out in all directions here. Located just a few minutes’ walking distance from the Bratislava castle, the observation deck also boasts a modern restaurant that offers delicious meals and a tasting of Slovak specialty wines and beers. The UFO is a part of the futuristic, Soviet architecture Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising, known also as the New Bridge, that was opened in the 1970s to commemorate Slovak resistance to the 1944 German invasion.
Located on a hill above the Old Town, Bratislava Castle is the landmark of the city. The fascinating history of the knoll reaches back to the Stone Age and can be discovered at the archaeological exhibition and the Museum of History documenting the ethnocultural roots of Slovaks and presenting the numismatic collection from the ancient times that are inside the Castle. In the west courtyard of the Bratislava Castle, there is a restaurant called Hradná Hviezda (The Castle Star), with a beautiful historical interior that offers meals of modern and regional cuisine.
Bratislava Castle, Zámocká 2, Bratislava, Slovakia, +421 2 54411444
The Old Town Hall
At the beginning of the 13th century, the Romanesque building of the Old Town Hall was the house of the mayor of the medieval town. Over time, other buildings were annexed to it, and with new architectural styles emerging, the hall got new attributes, like the neo-Gothic chapel of St. Ladislav with wall paintings dating back to the 15th century, and a renaissance arcade from the 16th century. Since 1868 the building has housed what is now the oldest museum in Bratislava, the City Museum, featuring an exhibition unraveling the feudal justice system and an uncanny interior with original furniture from the municipal court.
What is the story behind this funny monument of a plumber in the heart of the Old Town? Well, although many people try to attribute different biographies to Chumil, the truth is that there was no such a person and no legend behind this statue. In fact, the author of the sculpture, Viktor Hulík, admitted that during the renovation of the Bratislava Old Town there was an idea that the pedestrian zone needs some tittle-tattle, something to give the city center an edge of humor. And that is how the concept of three monuments emerged. Sculptures of Chumil, Schöne Ignac, and Napoleon’s solider. Chumil, in contrast to most of the enormous statues of the historical characters, does not pretend to be an example of high art, but is funny and makes people smile.
=Monument to Plumber Chumil, Panská 1, Bratislava, Slovakia
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