Whether you just have one day in Bratislava whilst you’re travelling through Slovakia and Central Europe, or you plan to only spend a day sightseeing in Bratislava on your trip, here are the best things to do in Bratislava in one day!
Bratislava is only a small city and to be honest, you can see all of the top Bratislava attractions within just a few hours as most of them are within the streets of the Old City.
There are ways to pad out your day and days in Bratislava though like popping to Vienna, Austria by boat and taking a free walking tour which will likely take up most of your morning to help understand the history of this old city.
One Day in Bratislava
How many days do you need in Bratislava?
Because Bratislava is a fairly small city, you can see a lot of Bratislava in just one day,
Many people visit Bratislava for the nightlife which means you’ll want 2-3 days to have 1-2 nights in Bratislava.
And many people visit on a wider Central Europe itinerary and visit between going to Budapest, Vienna, Ljubljana and Prauge. In this case, if you are tight on time, one night and one day in Bratislava is enough!
I was passed through Bratislava after hiking in the Tatras Mountains further North in Slovakia. I enjoyed my day in Bratislava but am glad I didn’t dedicate more time here and instead saw more of the places to see in Slovakia!
Bratislava in a Day
Bratislava is a very walkable city so you don’t need to worry about public transport although there is a tram if you need help getting around.
There are also tourist trains which I touch on below in this list of things to do in Bratislava in one day.
Where to Stay in Bratislava
One of the things I loved about looking into accommodation in Bratislava is the prices! It’s so much cheaper than many other cities in Europe!
It’s best to stay in the Old City so you are within walking distance of everything.
I loved the look and location (and price!) of AC Hotel by Marriott Bratislava Old Town.
I recommend staying for at least 1 night in Bratislava so you can see the city in the evening.
If you’re on a wider Europe itinerary going to Vienna before or after Bratislava as many people do. Consider staying a night in Bratislava and then heading to Vienna in the morning because accommodation will be much cheaper in Bratislava than in Vienna!
Things to do in Bratislava in One Day
The below 13 things to do in Bratislava in one day will keep you busy, but for even more ideas of what to do in Bratislava, read my full things to do in Bratislava guide!
1. Bratislava Free Walking Tour
Bratislava is a city with a lot of history and if its buildings could speak, they would have a lot to say!
Luckily, there are many free walking tours in Bratislava on offer with local guides to give you a real insight into the history here.
Whether you want a free Bratislava Castle and City Tour, Legends and Myths Tour, or you’re into Communist History there are available here.
I love starting my day with a walking tour in Old European Cities to get an understanding of the city from a local and afterwards, you can explore places again on your own.
With Bratislava being so small, you can certainly fit a city tour within your one day Bratislava itinerary.
2. Bratislava Castle
Easily top of the list of the top tourist attractions in Bratislava. Bratislava Castle cannot be missed.
Note that the Museum inside the Castle is closed on Tuesdays, but the grounds are open all day all week.
Bratislava Castle is sat on top of the hill opposite the Old Town and provides incredible views over the Old Town, Danube River and wider city.
I didn’t go into the museum as I didn’t leave enough time on my 1 day in Bratislava but I saw many people go in. Instead, I enjoyed the views and castle gardens with are free to enter.
If you’re looking for free things to do in Bratislava, head to the castle but don’t go into the museum and you’ll still enjoy it!
3. Micheal’s Gate
Bratislava is a medieval city and Michael’s Gate is the only remaining fortified gate.
You really can’t miss this when sightseeing in Bratislava because it feels like all streets in the Old City lead here and it draws you in as soon as you see it.
For one of the Bratislava Viewpoints, head to the top of Michael’s Gate, but note, it’s not open on Mondays.
4. St Martin’s Cathedral
St Martins Cathedral is another one of the things to see in Bratislava. It’s worth pinning it on your map so you don’t miss it but it’s likely you’ll walk past it anyway.
I went past on my way from Bratislava Castle over to the Old City.
5. UFO Tower
The UFO Tower looks like a UFO on top of a bridge and it is literally called this too.
It’s one of the super unique things to do in Bratislava and a reason to spend 1 evening in Bratislava as well as 1 day in Bratislava so you can dine at the top of here, or visit for a sunset drink.
There are a few options for visiting though. There’s an observation deck at the top of the UFO Tower which you can visit without needing to go to the restaurant or bar, this is another one of the best Bratislava viewpoints.
Or, you can go for dinner and dine 85 meters high, or for a drink in the bar. I believe if you visit the restaurant for dinner, you get access to the observation deck for free, so be sure to check this if you go!
6. Walk along the Danube
Slovakia is one of the 10 countries the Danube River passes through (here’s the Danube Route in case you aren’t familiar with it).
So, spending part of your 1 day in Bratislava walking along it, even a small section is one of the lovely things to do in Bratislava in one day.
7. Danube Boat Cruise
Fancy getting out onto the Danube River instead of just walking along it? There are Danube River Cruises in Bratislava available.
This website gives cruise options, or, you can head down to the River and see what boats are ready to leave soon.
If you want to explore Bratislava with a guide, by boat or by bus, there are lots of tour options to book like this:
8. Presidential Palace
I love European Cities that have Palaces right in the middle of them and this is the case with Bratislava!
Known as Slovakia’s White House the Palace is just a few minutes walk from Michael’s Gate.
Access inside isn’t allowed but the gardens are open to the public and are a great place to eat a quiet lunch as well as taking in the unique statues within the gardens.
9. City Train Ride
I saw a cool train running many times around the city in my day in Bratislava and it’s known as the Bratislava Tschu-Tschu Train!
As I’ve mentioned, Bratislava is only a small city and very walkable, but if you have children, issues walking far, or fancy giving your legs a break, this is a fun way to see the city.
Book the hop on hop off Bratislava sightseeing Tschu-Tschu Train for as little as £10.00 which includes an audio guide and transport around the city to all of the best places to visit in Bratislava!
10. Statue Spotting
Bratislava is full of interesting, and unique and sometimes funny statues. Many of which will make you look twice as you walk past them.
They’re great for photo opportunities so look out for them during your 1 day in Bratislava, and here’s a guide to the statues in the city!
11. Eat Chimney Cake
Can you be in this part of Europe and not eat a Chimney Cake? I don’t think so!
Located down the street to the right of Micheal’s Gate is the only Chimney Cake shop I saw in Bratislava. It has a constant queue outside and after trying mine, I can see why!
12. Try Slovakian Food
I love a country and city where the food is unique and you can get a feel of the country in just 1 local dish. I think this is certainly the case in Slovakia.
Although not great for vegetarians, and definitely not for vegans, there is a wide range of Slovak dishes on offer which you can try easily in Bratislava. I opted for fried cheese!
There are many restaurants along the streets of the Old Town in Bratislava. These will cost you a bit more because they are touristy places but most offer nice views and atmosphere plus menus in many languages so they are easy to eat in.
13. Bratislava Museums & Galleries
There are a range of museums and galleries in Bratislava. Here’s a great list of them, if you are looking for things to do in Bratislava when it rains, one of the museums of galleries is a great idea!
I hope this has helped you plan your one day in Bratislava with things to do in Bratislava for 1 day!
- For more of my Europe blog posts see:
- 20 Best Things to do in Bratislava!
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- 3- 5 Day Norway Road Trip Itinerary! Bergen to Alesund & Atlantic Ocean Road.
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