While Bratislava is not as popular of a destination as other capital cities in Central Europe, the city has a lot to offer. With beautiful historic buildings, an impressive castle and plenty of unusual and unique things to see, 2 days in Bratislava is a perfect amount of time to explore the best that the city has to offer.
Even though it’s one of the smaller capital cities in Central Europe city with a compact Old Town, there are still plenty of things to do in Bratislava.
Many people opt to do a Vienna to Bratislava day trip, and while you’ll get a good feel for the town in one day, two days in Bratislava will let you experience all the best that Bratislava has to offer.
To be honest, we weren’t sure if Bratislava was worth visiting, but I’m glad we took the chance!
We spent two days in Bratislava and while I wish we’d had more time as there are so many awesome things to do in the city, two days was perfect to see all the main sights.
So if you’re wondering what to do in Bratislava in two days, below we’ve listed the top sights to see, as well as some additional suggestions if you find you have extra time.
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Day 1 is spent exploring the Old Town and the must see Bratislava attractions. This would make a great Bratislava 1 day itinerary if you are short on time.
Day 2 takes you just outside the city, and then returns to explore more of the top Bratislava things to do that are just outside the historical centre.
Here’s how we would spend two days inBratislava.
Bratislava is the capital of the Slovak Republic, more commonly known as Slovakia. It’s conveniently located an hour from Vienna, Austria and two hours from Budapest, Hungary.
Slovakia is part of the EU, and the currency in Bratislava is the Euro.
Prices here are generally cheaper than in nearby Vienna, and expect to pay €1-2 for an espresso and ice cream cones are about €1.
Where to Stay in Bratislava
If you’re spending 2 days in Bratislava, you will need accommodations for at least one night. Bratislava, as we mentioned above, is less expensive than other European capital cities, and you can expect to get good value for you money here.
We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Bratislava. It’s located in the historic center directly across from Grassalkovich Palace and it’s only a few minutes walk from the main square or the train station. Besides its great location, we really enjoyed our stay as the rooms were spacious and clean, and the breakfast buffet was excellent.
Other good choices to stay in Bratislava are the LOFT Hotel Bratislava, a block from the presidential palace, or the Radisson Blu which is conveniently located on Hviezdoslavovo Námestie opposite the Slovak National theatre.
2 Days in Bratislava Itinerary
Day 1: Old Town
Free walking tour to explore Bratislava’s Old Town, visit Bratislava Castle, then return to Main Square and visit Blue Church
Free Walking Tour
A free walking tour is usually one of the first things we do when we arrive in a new city.
They’re a great way to get acquainted with the city and see some of the top sights, while getting a bit of history and information all at the same time.
The guides usually give tips on places to eat and other hidden gems in the city. Discover Bratislava runs a free walking tour twice daily that covers the Old Town and Bratislava Castle.
Explore Bratislava Castle
If you went on the free walking tour mentioned above, the tour ends at Bratislava Castle, which is a perfect spot to keep exploring.
If not, start your day in Bratislava by visiting the castle.
Bratislava Castle has been around since the 9th century and has gone through quite a few changes over the years. It’s been rebuilt several times, in different styles, including gothic, renaissance and baroque, and then was reconstructed again after it was damaged in WWII.
Located high on a hill overlooking Bratislava, you honestly can’t miss it.
It’s only a few minutes walk from the Old Town and even if you don’t venture inside the castle, it’s worth heading up for the views alone!
From here you can see Austria’s wind turbines in the distance and in the other direction, behind the soviet-style buildings on the other side of the Danube is Hungary.
There is an admission fee to enter the castle and the museum inside, but it’s free to wander the grounds and admire the view from the front courtyard.
In the summer, the gardens are gorgeous and there’s also a great kids playground just outside the gardens.
Visit St. Martin’s Cathedral
On your way from the castle to the Old Town, you’ll pass St. Martin’s Cathedral. This is an active church and the former church of the royal coronations.
Over the years, 19 coronations for the Hungarian Kingdom were held here, including the coronation of Queen Maria Theresa.
On top of the cathedral’s tower is a replica of the coronation crown, which weighs an impressive 150kg!
As you’re walking from Bratislava Castle to St. Martin’s Cathedral, keep an eye on the ground for crown imprints. The crown imprints designated the royal coronation route, and keeping an eye out for them is one of the fun things to do in Bratislava with kids.
Explore Old Town Hall
One of the oldest buildings in Bratislava, it’s located on the main square, Hvlane Namestie.
Inside the tower you’ll find the Bratislava City Museum, where you’ll learn about local history as well as information on the town hall, including what it looked like over the years.
At the top, there’s also a walk around outdoor terrace where you’ll have an excellent view of the main square below. If you’re in Bratislava in December, below you’ll see the largest of Bratislava’s Christmas Markets below.
Explore Old Town
While you’ve probably covered a fair bit of the old town in the free walking tour, if you did it, it’s still worth wandering through the streets and squares and soaking up the atmosphere.
If you didn’t do the walking tour, some of the highlights to see are:
- Michael’s Gate – the only surviving gate from medieval Bratislava
- Primate’s Palace – located just behind Old Town Hall and home to the Hall of Mirrors
- Grassalkovich Palace – the Presidential Palace, which is not open to public but the gardens are open all year round
- Statues of Cumil and Schone Naci
- Hviezdoslavovo Namestie
- Slovak National Theater
And there are several interesting museums and excellent views to be found in the historic centre.
Bratislava CARD: Similar to the Vienna PASS and tourist cards in other cities, the Bratislava CARD offers discounts on attractions, includng free entry to many museums and attractions in the Old Town, as well as free rides on public transportation for the duration of the card. Details on the card and discounts offered can be found here.
Bratislava is an interesting city with some fun and quirky attractions.
One of these being Cumil, the “man at work” statue that’s become a well-known attraction in the Old Town.
As you leave the main square and head towards Hviezdoslavovo Namestie, you’ll pass this curious statue peeking out of the ground.
Apparently it’s good luck to rub his head! There are a few other fun statues throughout town, including Schone Naci, Napoleon and Hans Christian Anderson.
This large square is a delight in the summer, with benches to relax on and cafes to sit at. In the winter, this square is home to another of Bratislava’s Christmas Markets.
At one end you’ll see the Slovak National Theatre, an impressive building that’s worth a view. Just in front of the National Theatre is the meeting spot for the free walking tour we mentioned above.
Aptly named, this church is entirely blue – even inside!
Actually, it’s proper name is Church of St. Elizabeth but it’s more commonly known as the Blue Church.
Either way, it’s a gorgeous building and one of the iconic symbols of Bratislava. It’s only a few minutes walk from Hviezdoslav Namestie, and even if you just stop by to admire from the outside, it’s worth the walk!
Where to Eat in Bratislava
Bratislava has many great restaurants to choose from. There are plenty of options along Hviezdoslavovo Namestie to choose from or near St. Martin’s Cathedral, the Slovak Restaurant is a good choice. Flagship is also a good choice for Slovak dishes.
Day 2: Around Bratislava
Head to Devin Castle, 20 mins away, return to Bratislava and visit the Slavin monument, take a break in Horsky park, then visit the UFO Bridge for another fantastic view, sunset is best time.
Now in ruins, but still an interesting castle to see. This area has been settled for thousands of years, and over the years settled by the Celts and Romans.
The current castle, or ruins of, have been around since the 9th century, wander around the ruins, castle is open summer months, grounds open all year.
It’s also worth visiting Devín Castle for the view, as the castle is at the spot where the Danube and Morava rivers meet.
You can get the bus from the station under the UFO/SNP Bridge, or take a private guided tour from your hotel.
The Slavín Monument is both a tribute to Soviet soldiers who fought in WWII and memorial to liberation of Bratislava in 1945. It’s a sober spot for many locals in Bratislava but also a spot with fantastic views of Bratislava.
Nearby Slavin Monument is Horsky Park, which is a great spot to get out into nature. There are plenty of paths through the park, but it’s hilly so be warned that it might be a bit of a workout!
This interesting bridge goes by many names; the UFO Bridge, SNP Most or simply, New Bridge.
It’s a unique bridge as it only has one pylon, and it’s the 7th longest suspension bridge in the world.
Take the elevator up to the observation deck for some excellent panoramic views over Bratislava.
There is an admission fee, or you can dine at the restaurant and enjoy the view as you dine. (It is known to be one of the most expensive restaurants in Bratislava, but it does come with an amazing view….)
Sunset is a fantastic time to visit.
If you have extra time or more than 2 days in Bratislava, here are some other suggestions:
- Slovak National Theatre
- Eurovea Shopping mall
- Slovak Radio Building
- Slovak National Museum
- Bratislava Forest park, where you can take a cable car to the Kamzík TV tower
- If you’re visiting with kids, there’s also a trampoline park, adventure park and water park, plus nearby attractions like Abeland, Biofarm and the Malika Big Cats Rescue.
For more information and ideas, we’ve got a full post on what to do in Bratislava with kids.
One Day in Bratislava
Is one day enough in Bratislava? To be honest, I don’t think so, but any amount of time is better than none!
If you only have 1 day in Bratislava, be sure to see the highlights and attractions that are listed for Day 1 of this Bratislava 2 day itinerary.
Those are the most popular attractions and top things you must see in Bratislava. And while it will be a busy day of sightseeing, it is possible to see the Old Town of Bratislava in 1 day.
Best Tours in Bratislava
If you prefer not to explore on your own, this guided walking tour leads you past the highlights in Bratislava, or if you’d rather not walk, the Sightseeing bus or tourist train are excellent ways to see the best of Bratislava.
There’s also the Bratislava Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & City Tour, which is excellent way to see the best of the city when you’re visiting with kids – you can go at your own pace but in a fun way!
FAQ: Visiting Bratislava
Is Bratislava worth visiting?
We’ve heard many people as if Bratislava is worth visiting.
And while I wasn’t sure at first, mostly because I hadn’t heard anything about it, after we spent 48 hours in Bratislava, I’d have to say it’s absolutely worth visiting.
Even if you only have time to spend the weekend in Bratislava, there are plenty of things to do.
How many days in Bratislava?
Two days is perfect if you’re wondering how long in Bratislava is ideal.
You’ll have time for all the Bratislava must see sights, as well take a day trip to explore nearby sights like Devin Castle and Slavin monument which is outside of the historical centre.
Is it cheap in Bratislava?
While Bratislava isn’t as cheap as other places in Eastern Europe, prices in Slovakia are definitely less than in neighbouring Austria.
An espresso is about €3 in Vienna, and only €1 in Bratislava.
Accommodations and food were definitely cheaper in Bratislava than in Vienna, or even Prague.
When is the best time to visit Bratislava?
There’s no bad time to visit Bratislava!
The summer months will have the nicest weather, with temperatures often in the 30’s.
May and June, and September and October are cooler but still nice enough to explore the city.
If you’re visiting the city in late November and early December, plan to visit Bratislava’s Christmas Markets!
In the winter months, temperatures dip below zero and the city is beautiful under a covering of snow.
How to Get to Bratislava
By air: Bratislava’s main airport (BTS) offers service to and from many European destinations. It’s about 16 minutes drive from the city centre or 30 minutes by bus – Line 61 connects the airport to the main train station.
Vienna’s airport (VIE) is also easily accessible, about 35-45 minutes from Bratislava’s city centre by bus. Flixbus runs every hour from Bratislava’s city centre (3 different locations) to Vienna’s airport and is reasonably priced.
Alternatively, private transfers are available from Vienna’s airport to Bratislava’s city centre.
By train: Bratislava Hlavna Stanica is the main train station in the city. It’s about a 15-20 minute walk from the main square, or city buses can be found right outside the entrance. Tickets for city transportation can be bought from the kiosks beside the bus stops.
By bus: Although you will find bus stops at the train station, the bus station is actually located at the other end of the city at Autobusova Stanica Nivy. Because we made the mistake of thinking it was at the train station, we can tell you that there’s a quick 11 minute bus between the train and bus stations, or a taxi will be about 20 euros.
Getting Around Bratislava
Bratislava’s compact city centre means that it’s very walkable.
But if you tire of walking, or need to get to some of the attractions outside of the city centre, there are well-connected tram and bus routes to get you wherever you need to go.
Ticket kiosks are outside most bus and tram stops.
The Sightseeing Bus is also a great way to get around Bratislava.
Top 10 Places to Visit in Bratislava
Conclusion: 2 Days in Bratislava
In fact, we’d love to return and spend more than a few days in the city to really experience the best that Bratislava has to offer, but even if you only have time to spend 2 days in Bratislava, it’s worth it!
We fell in love with Bratislava and were pleasantly surprised by the small town vibe, even though it was a capital city.
Bratislava is a great option for a city-break weekend, or if you are travelling around Central Europe and have some extra time, 2 days in Bratislava would be perfect to add to your itinerary.
If you’re short on time, while we recommend spending two days in Bratislava, it is possible to visit the Old Town and the top places to see in Bratislava in one day. But I guarantee you, you’ll be wanting to return to this great city and spend more than 48 hours in Bratislava.
Have you been to Bratislava? What are you favourite things to do in 2 days in Bratislava? Let us know in the comments below.