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Tips for trips

Old Town Tours by Minibus & Minitrains

There are two companies and 2 types of historical vehicles by which operators presently offer their tours. Charming red mini-train The Presporacik is bio-fuel powered vehicle traveling at a leisurely pace and is available for hire in the Main Square from 9 am to 5 pm for half-hour and full-hour tours around the Old Town. The Presporacik operates around the Old Town in any weather with tours in English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Slovak, Japanese and Dutch.

The second one runs tours by slightly larger vehicle which depart daily from Bratislava Passenger Port.

Walking Tours

Whole Bratislava Old Town including Bratislava Castle can be explored conveniently on foot. A free walking tour is available in Bratislava Culture and Information Centre at the Primacialne Square where you can purchase The Bratislava City Card.

If you prefer organized groups join scheduled walking tours that are available all-year-round in Bratislava Tourist Service.

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle or Hrad sits on a hill overlooking the city. Initially a Roman frontier post, there has been a castle at this site since the 9th century. In 1881, it was reduced to rubble due to a fire and wasn’t reconstructed until the mid 1900s. Its appearance has been likened to an upside down table with four corner towers that look like table legs. In spite of its drab exterior the Castle is worth a visit for the museums housed inside as well as the panoramic views over the city.

St Martin's Cathedral in Bratislava

Situated on the edge of the Old Town, St. Martin’s Cathedral is Bratislava’s foremost Gothic structure. The church, originally built in the 13th century in the Romanesque style, was replaced by a 3-nave Gothic Dome in the late 14th century. The new St. Martin's Cathedral was consecrated in 1452 and underwent several lengthy reconstructions in later centuries. In the 16th century, the Dome became the coronation church of Hungarian kings and there were 19 Hungarian Emperors (including Maria Theresia) crowned in the cathedral until the 19th century. The cathedral was actually built into the town's outer walls as part of its fortification.

Primatial Palace in Bratislava

The Palace, built in 1778 and located in the centre of Old Town is considered as one the most beautiful building in Bratislava. Its pale pink and white exterior is topped with various marble statues and a large cast iron cardinal’s hat. The hat is a symbol of the Archbishop, for whom the palace was built, and of the various cardinals who lived here throughout the years.

Devin Castle

Devin Castle above the confluence of the rivers Danube and Morava is one of the three oldest historically acknowledged castles in Slovakia. The village of Devin is now a part of Bratislava. Oldest traces of settlement there date back to the 5th century B.C. Due to its advantageous geographical position, it was able to control the most important trade routes along the Danube as well as one part of the Amber Road. In the 1st century B.C, the territory was populated by Celts. The castle played an important role as a boundary fortress as a part of the Limes Romanus fortifications against enemies at the times of the Roman Empire and as a military station and trade centre at the times of the Great Moravian Empire the first Slavic state. The first written reference to the castle and its ancient name – Dowina comes from 864. After the fall of the Great Moravian Empire, the castle served again as a boundary fortress under the reign of the Hungarians. The castle was altered in 13th and 16th century and destroyed by Napoleon's troops in 1809.

The Slovak National Theatre - Opera & Ballet House

The Neo-Renaissance Slovak National Theatre, standing at the end of the long Hviezdoslav Square (Hviezdoslavovo námestie), was built in 1885-1886 during the time of Austria-Hungary, based on a design by the Viennese architects R. Fellner and H. Helmer, who designed theatre buildings in 10 European countries. It was opened as the City Theatre on September 22, 1886 with the opera Bánk Bán of F. Erkel. Bratislava native sculptor Victor Tilgner crafted the famous Ganymede's Fountain in 1888, now located immediately in front of the theatre.

St. Michael's Street and St. Michael's Gate in Bratislava

St. Michael's Gate and Street are one of Bratislava's popular sights and is a quaint street lined with many shops and restaurants. In the summertime, the Michalska Ulica is teeming with tourists, street bands, and locals enjoying the cool Slovak summer nights.

Most of the building on the Michalska Ulica (street) date from the 18th Century and have survived several wars, occupations, and Communist rule, which was notorious for tearing down old, historic buildings throughout then-Czechoslovakia and replacing them with unattractive cell-block like high-rise apartments.

Novy Most (New Bridge) and Observation Deck

If you want more spectacular views of Bratislava and its castle, it is worth a climb up to the observation deck on top of the Novy Most Bridge on the outskirts of the Slovak capital.

Novy Most or Most SNP (New or SNP Bridge) was completed and opened to traffic in 1971. Unlike most monstrosities of Slovak Communist architecture, the Novy Most and tower actually blend into Bratislava''s centuries old architecture. Situated about 300 feet above the Danube River, the Novy Most, to me looked like the Seattle Space Needle from the distance.

Small Carpathian Wine Route

Those who have the chance to take Small Carpathian Wine Route, a trip to the small cities and villages under the hills of the Small Carpathian, can encounter their beautiful scenery with vineyards and small towns at their foot similar to a string of pearls.

Life in that region equals wine above all. Wine made local people to cut the woods on the slopes of Small Carpathians, to plant vine, to develop trades and crafts for making and storing wine but also to drinking it in a noble manner. Wine brought well being to the Small Carpathian towns of Pezinok, Modra and Svätý Jur and helped them to be granted the status of privileged royal towns in the beginning of the 17th century.

Slovak wines are not known beyond the borders of the country. Slovakia produce 0.3 % of European wines and Slovaks are able to consume all wine they make. However, small amounts are exported, even to Japan. Some fifteen-twenty years ago Slovak wines were not very famous. Produced industrially in large amounts it were mainly sweet wines mixed of various sorts with high addition of beet sugar. Such wines were popular then and some remain even now, e.g. Nitrianske knieža (Knight of Nitra) or Kláštorné červené (Red from Monastery), which are served in some restaurants or pubs with low respect to wine.

But it can hardly happen in facilities marked with small white boards reading Malokarpatská vínna cesta - Small Carpathian Wine Route. Wine served here is usually a quality dry sort wine grown in region of Small Carpathians, mainly Welschriesling, Riesling, Veltlin, Lemberger or St. Laurent.

The best way to taste wine is to visit cellars of private vintners who started their business after the fall of Communism.

Return to the past in Červeny Kameň Castle (Redstone Castle)

There are only two non-ruins castles around Bratislava. The first one is the Bratislava castle that was rebuilt in the last century and the second one is the national cultural monument Červeny Kameň Castle. Cerveny Kamen is situated in the picturesque surroundings of the Small Carpathians Mountains and through its advantageous position and unique collections is one of the most visited castles in Slovakia. Its distance to Bratislava is 28 kilometres only.

There is a museum at the castle, which makes available records of the development of the residences of the aristocracy from the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century. A part of the museum is exhibition of historical arms.

Cellars of the Cerveny Kamen Castle, remnants of the Fugger family era, represent with their extensiveness, ingenious architectonic design and connection of individual halls a work of immense value, unrivalled in Slovakia. Guided tours last approximately 1.5 hours.

How to get there
From Bratislava via the route No. 202 it is only 28 kilometres to the castle. Cities, and villages on this route are part of the Small Carpathian Wine Route: Svaty Jur, Pezinok, Modra. After Modra the castle is visible on your left. 6,5 kilometre after Modra turn on the left to Pila village. The castle dominates over the village. There is a paid parking just in front of the castle.

Roman Military Camp Gerulata in Rusovce

If you want to move in time and get several centuries back and get to know fascinating military and civil life of Romans, we invite you to visit Roman military camp Gerulata which was a part of unique fortification in the north boundary of Roman imperium - LIMES ROMANUS. Roman LIMES was spreading from Britain to Balkan in length of 3000 km and existed more than 400 years. Its Germanic part is listed in The List of European Cultural Heritage UNESCO.

Ancient Times Gerulata National Cultural Monument, the exposition brings the history of Roman Empire in the territory of Slovakia closer. The museum is located in the space where a Roman military camp Gerulata used to be. Province Panonia is the only one in our territory that was an integral part of the Roman Empire. It was built in the 2nd century as a part of the Limes Romanus system. It was abandoned in the 4th century, when Roman legions withdrew from Pannonia.

Castle Ruins of Pajstun & Plavecky Castle

Castle Ruins of Pajstun and Plavecky Castle belong to 33 nicest castle ruins within Slovakia. Follow the long-ago tracks and get to know fame of former royal frontier guardian castles of Hungarian region from 13th century. In 16th century, one of the first press room for books in Slovakia seated in Playecky castle. Both castles belong to popular tourist destinations and for the visit you will be repayed by beautiful view on Small Carpathians, Zahorska lowland and Austrian Alps.

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