There’s a lot to see and do around Europe, with interesting destinations to see, new cultures to explore, food and drink to try and much more. If you want to see as much as you can in one trip, there are few better ways than by cruising the many beautiful waterways. |
In this article, we’ll run through several of the best things to do in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava – which is an essential stop on any Danube river cruise.
Visiting the B-S 4 Museum
We start out with a spot of history at this museum. Although it’s focused on the Second World War, and even housed in an underground bunker from that era, it also exhibits a variety of weapons used in various conflicts over the past century.
All this makes for an interesting crash course in some of the country’s fraught history. In fact, even the name of the museum hints at the area’s past: it’s also known as the Czechoslovak Fortification Museum, referencing the country that no longer exists.
Shopping for Unique Local Goods
Don’t worry if all that history sounds a little heavy because there’s plenty of fun of a different kind as well. We wouldn’t want you to leave your Danube river cruise without a few fun souvenirs to show your friends back home, and there are lots of opportunities to find them.
While the city has many options for shopping, if you want authentic, locally made crafts and produce, you need to head to the Old Town. In addition to enjoying the intricate medieval architecture, you can find some truly great shops among the more ‘touristy’ places.
Zeppelin Café and Souvenirs offers a mix of jewellery, embroidery and home décor, while Ceramel honey shop is home to a staggering range of locally made honey – a renowned delicacy of the city.
Grabbing a Bite to Eat in an Old Town Café
In addition to its shops, the Old Town is also great for cafes. This is convenient as, even if you didn’t spend much time looking for things to buy, you’ll probably be a few days into your Danube river cruise at this point, so some people watching will probably be in order. The chance to enjoy some of Bratislava’s best food and drink is, if you’ll pardon the expression, just icing on the cake.
Great coffees are available at Urban House, Café Mondeiu and others, but you’d really struggle to go wrong in any of the places you encounter. Although the Communist era was something of a blip, Bratislava has been home to a thriving café culture for a long time, and that means high expectations and strong competition helping keep quality up across the board.
Seeing the Sights at Bratislava Castle
Towering over the Old Town, this huge Baroque palace marks a great place to wrap up your time in Bratislava. The stroll to the top of the hill takes about 15 minutes, and once you arrive you’re rewarded with a variety of options, including a museum within the castle and some ornate gardens outside.
Whatever you choose to do, though, don’t miss the incredible views you can get from the top of the hill – and make sure to bring your camera to capture them!
Getting Ready to Go
While you can, of course, visit the city on your own, why would you want the stress of planning and booking everything yourself? In addition to the extra exploration you’ll get with a Danube river cruise, many specialist companies offer excursions around the places you stop off at too – which is the perfect way to make the most out of your time.
We hope that this guide to some of the best things on offer in Bratislava has got you excited. Why not check out the options for a Danube river cruise and see what else you can expect to see?
Author Plate Perry Mahoney is the Director of GN Holidays, a holiday company specialising in adult weekend breaks, cruises and other excursions for the over 40s. If you're looking to enjoy a Danube river cruise, a getaway with non-stop 60s and 70s sounds or just an opportunity to bond with some like-minded travellers, GN Holidays will be sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience.
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