Bratislava one day itinerary – Slovakia underrated destination in Europe

Bratislava is a small city but really cute to visit. You can easily discover Bratislava in one day and visit the most important sightseeing. We spent 1 day in Bratislava and we loved it even if it was the last stop in an epic trip around East Europe. The narrow streets and the most important monument, such as the Castle, will make your trip memorable.

If you are thinking about what to do in Bratislava in one day, you will be surprised to know that there are many things to do and see. Bratislava 1 day itinerary is the perfect excuse to escape to the usual routine and to visit a new capital not really known by tourists.

Bratislava is a new capital in Europe. The Slovakian Republic is the result of a division of Czechoslovakian Republic. The country is not really small, in the core of Europe, close to Austria, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. Bratislava is a newly established capital, here are based many Embassy and State departments.

Due in the last few years many financial activities and tech companies are relocating in Bratislava, the flights from the most important European city are really cheap.

All the sightseeing you have to see in one Day in Bratislava – Slovakia is an underrated destination in Europe

  • Bratislava Castle
  • St. Martin’s Cathedral
  • UFO observation deck
  • Slovak National Gallery
  • Slovak National Theatre
  • St. Elisabeth Church
  • Primate’s Palace
  • Old Town
  • Presidential Palace
  • Michael’s Gate
  • Man at Work
  • Roland Fountain
  • Michael’s Tower

Bratislava Castle – First landmark for 1 day in Bratislava

View from Bratislava Castle
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The castle should be the first monument to visit in your Bratislava one day itinerary. As you got just a few hours in the city, it is better you get up early in the morning and start to explore around. The Castle is very easy to reach by walk and the view from the top is absolutely gorgeous. The castle stands on the hill above the Danube river and should be on your list of things to visit in Bratislava in one day. The entrance to the castle is free, you only pay if you want to visit the Museum of history which the cost is 7 euros. If you are interested you can buy the ticket there as well. 

This one of the most charming buildings in East Europe, the view from the top is insane, wherever it is a clear day or a cloudy one. The guard walls of this Castle inspired us a lot, and we were able to take some of the best shots of our trip.

St. Martin’s Cathedral

The second stop of your Bratislava in one day itinerary is the Gothic Cathedral of St. Martin’s. The stunning structure has seen many historical events and even the coronations of many Hungarian kings. It’s one of the places to see in Bratislava in one day and you can’t miss it. 

The Cathedral is open every day from 9 am until 6 pm and on Sundays opens at 1.30 pm until 4 pm. To visit the nave is free of charge, and highly suggested. 

UFO observation deck | Places to see in Bratislava in one day

This is nothing related to astronomy, or sci-fi. It is called that because of its strange structure. But it’s an observation tower with a unique view of 360 degrees on the Slovakian Capital. The tower is open every day and it will give you an amazing landscape view of Bratislava and on the River Danube. It’s one of the best things to do in Bratislava in 1 day.

If you feel fancy, this unique tower in Bratislava is turned as a posh Restaurant. We suggest you reserve a table for a traditional Slovak dinner, with a glass of local wine and an amazing view. The entry fee is 7.40 euros but if you got a reservation at a restaurant you don’t need to pay for it.

The ufo tower is a must do in Bratislava as it is one of the best panoramic views. There are many tours that will take you there, we have selected few that will save you time and money. Grab the last bargain.

Bratislava in One Day - Ufo Observation deck
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Slovak National Gallery – 1 day in Bratislava

This gallery is a lovely place which you need to visit during your 1 days in Bratislava.

You will see that the gallery offers many different exhibitions and there is always something new to see. At least you won’t get bored. We recommend to sign up to take a guided tour. It will help you to understand interesting information about the gallery, that you might not be aware if you just stroll around by yourself. The Tours of the Slovak National Gallery are not expensive and really interesting. The Museum of Bratislava is open every day except for Mondays.

Slovak National Theater

24 hours in Bratislava - National Theater
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In the middle of the main square of Bratislava, there is one of the most iconic buildings of the entire young nation. The Slovak National Theatre is the oldest one, is a Neo-Renaissance architecture building and is part of our things to do in Bratislava in one day. The Slovak National Theatre offers many unique performances throughout the year.

If you got spare time and you want to buy the tickets to enjoy a lovely performance, please do it and you won’t regret it.

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St. Elisabeth Church – What to do in Bratislava in one day

Known as the Blue Church, The Elisabeth’s church is one of the places to see in Bratislava in one day. The soft blue exterior is the most engaging art nouveau building. You will feel to be in a fairytale location and if the weather is nice as well you will enjoy even more the Blue Church. The church is completely free and it is open from 6.30 am to 8 am and 5.30 pm to 7.30 from Monday to Saturday and on Sundays from 7.30 am to 12 pm and from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm.

Primate’s Palace – Bratislava one day itinerary 

Another landmark to include in your itinerary of Bratislava in One day is the Primate’s Palace.  The most popular destination in the palace is the Hall of Mirrors. This room is the only one where you are allowed to take pictures. This chamber is famous for being the seat of signing the Peace Treaty of Pressburg between Austria and France. 

The entrance is only 3 euro and is really worth visiting. The visit to this palace is included in the tour of Bratislava, really worth if you have just 24 hours in Slovakia.

Afternoon itinerary for your 1 day in Bratislava

Our tailored itinerary of Bratislava in one day will see a relaxing way to discover the Slovakian Capital. After long walks around the main sight of Bratislava, you deserve to relax a bit and chill around the old town. The city centre of Bratislava, as we said before is really small and cute. The following path will see a few stops for a coffee or a hot chocolate, worth if you are visiting Bratislava in Winter. This is will be also the best way to stay in the old town in the evening, when, there are many markets taking place.

Bratislava in Christmas is really magical, with all the glamour lights blinking and the chestnut sold at every corner. Smell the classic atmosphere of the period, through one of the best Christmas Market in Europe in the central Square of the Old Town, just in front of the local council.

Old Town | Bratislava in one day

The Old town hall is located in the heart of Bratislava city centre, between the Primate’s square and the main square, which is Hlavne Namastie. With many cafè and restaurant is one of the most trendy places in Bratislava. If you are willing for a late lunch, or just a quick coffè this is the right place to relax. An extensive one day in Bratislava could be exhausting, think about some walk cut off by the way.

The Old Town is really nice to visit even during the night, as the fountain and the tower clock are lit up. Sign it in the list of places were hung out in Bratislava.

Presidential Palace

As you can guess, this is the official home of the President of Slovakia and during your Bratislava one-day itinerary, you should pay a visit. The style of the building is a Rocco-late Baroque with a nice French garden. The entrance to this palace is just awesome and soon you get in the main square, you will be fascinated by the central funtain. The globe right in the middle of the funtain is gorgeous, at night it is light making it more charming.

Michael’s Gate and Tower – One day in Bratislava 

Michael’s Gate is the only city gate in the country which has been preserved and saved.

It is considered one of the oldest places in all the city and works as the entrance to the Old Town. Michale’s Gate highlight is the baroque architecture and the impressive roof that shine under the sunlight. This gate has a tower, with an amazing museum on the top of Michael’s Tower.

We will highlight the gorgeous bridge at the back of the gate. Approaching the sightseeing of Bratislava, from Obchodna Street, you will walk through an old bridge. This is a pedestrian only street and the bridge was built in the 17th century. It is an active area of the city, full of tourists bewitched by street artists

Man at Work – Manhole of Bratislava 

Manhole in Bratislava - Sight of Bratislava in one day
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This was the first statue we saw during our 24 hours in Bratislava. It is one of the most photographed monuments of the city and today is considered the symbol of the modern Bratislava. There is a myth which says that a wish will come true if you touch the head of the man, only if you keep it a secret forever.

It is really easy to find this statue, if you stroll around the Old Town you won’t miss it. Watch your feet along the side of the street, it will pop up from a manhole.

Roland Fountain | 1 day in Bratislava

Maximilian Fountain or Roland Fountain is situated in the middle of the Main Square of Bratislava.

There is legend still attached to the fountain. The knight usually stands with his face turned to the town hall. But, once a year, at the stroke of midnight on New Year, he turns and bows in the direction of the former town hall valuing the twelve councillors who in the past gave their lives to save the city.

How to get from the airport to the city centre

Bratislava airport can be reached in 15-20 minutes. The easiest and cheapest way we found was using the bus, number 61 and the ticket is just 0.70 euros per adult. 

Line 61 is available from 4.45 am until 11.30 pm

The bus station at Bratislava Airport is located outside of the main terminal building, next to the taxi rank in front of the arrivals hall.

Another option which you can think of is taking a taxi which will cost you 20 euro.

TopTips: If you got an early flight we high recommend to buy the ticket in advance or at least ask someone to show you where to buy them. Close to the bus stops, there are automatic machines where you need to purchase the tickets. Have some coins with you as you will need them.

Vienna to Bratislava day trip

Did you know you can organize a day trip from Vienna to Bratislava? 

Yes, you can. There are buses going every hour from Vienna to Bratislava and the cost is less than 10 euro per person. We bought the ticket online with Flixbus and we paid 10 euro for both of us and the journey was only 1 hour.

It’s the same if you are in Budapest with 2 hours you can easily reach Bratislava and the price for the bus ticket is cheap as well.

Usually, people fly to or from Bratislava as the price for the flight tickets are cheaper and plan a day trip to Vienna, Budapest or Prague. 

Where to eat in one day in Bratislava

As far as I know, everybody has to eat something during a long day exploring Bratislava. Traditional Slovak food is just delicious. We have tried to give you some highlights for your morning cafè, traditional lunch and well-done meat dinner at a famous place in Bratislava.

The first suggestion for a well deserved morning relax, is to visit the Urban House coffè. This is a new concept bar for the area, with influences from the typical British coffee shops. We have used it as a base for having some work done during our stay in Bratislava. The Urban House is the right place for digital nomads or just freelancer that needs a laptop-friendly place where get the work done. Excellent coffee and tasty cake, some as Brownie revisited in a Slovakian Traditional way.

In the afternoon you can go for lunch at the Bratislavsky Mestiansky Pivovar. An award-winning brewery, with the front, turned as a restaurant. This is the right place to visit if you want to taste real local life. No tourists are around. I can clearly remember the taste of the beer in my mouth right now. Anyway, the food is excellent and they serve it in the traditional Slovak way, that will seem to you rude but is actually tasty.

Evening dinner time to spend in front of an amazing burger at a typical nightlife place of Bratislava. The Barrock is an institution of the freedom of Bratislava. It is a bar, pub and disco club altogether. On all the walls there are pieces that remember you the rock music genre. This is the alter-ego of the Hard Rock café in a Slovakian way. Prices right, nice atmosphere and good burger here.

Where to stay in Bratislava for a night

If you fancy a night in Bratislava, you will be surprised by the amount of accommodation there are in the city. The prices are really cheap, better than expectations with high standards. Slovakia is a quiet new touristic location, and they are trying to leverage the quality. We have some suggestions for you if might think to spend a night in Bratislava.

If you are looking to a budget way to spend a night in Bratislava, Airbnb is active here as well. With our discount code, you will get up to 25 euro free. If you are looking for a hotel we can suggest a few that will help you to spend the best day in Bratislava.

The Botel Pressburg is an alternative way to stay in Bratislava. This a hotel boat on the Danube River with a nice restaurant as well.

The Park Inn by Radisson Blue is a four-star hotel with a pool, spa and many other amenities. The excellent position of the hotel is what you need for a quick visit to Bratislava.

Pack your bag and explore Bratislava in one day 

Bratislava is a really cute city where to spend a day trip. If you are planning a road trip touching Vienna, Budapest or Prague, you should consider Bratislava one day trip. You can easily visit Bratislava in one day without missing the top places to see in Slovakia. Bratislava in a day is possible and with our detailed itinerary, you will see all the main attractions in the city in an easy way. Of course, if you are thinking about Slovakia where to go you need to visit the Capital. A gorgeous city, small but with its charm.

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5 thoughts on “Bratislava one day itinerary – Slovakia underrated destination in Europe

  1. Laura says:

    I didn’t know much about Slovakia and have never had it on my list but this article may have changed my mind. Thanks

  2. Kelly says:

    Thank you for sharing this itinerary for 1 day in Bratislava. I have never heard of this city let alone thought of visiting it. The architecture looks spectacular and I love the fact that it’s not a huge city and is so quaint. It seems like it has it all!

  3. Jesper, The Biveros Effect says:

    Is it only me that consider that you should do the day trip from Bratislava to Vienna and not Vienna to Bratislava? 🙂

    You have really listed the main sights that you can fit into one day, there really wouldn’t be much more time left to explore the areas a bit futher away from the old town. If staying for two days I would really recommend the Slavín War Memorial, Devín Castle or the WWII bunkers along the Austrian border. 🙂

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