Bratislava has come into its own as the vibrant capital of Slovakia following the breakup of Czechoslovakia. It has a beautiful medieval center, complete with narrow, winding streets and a striking hilltop castle looking down on the Danube. The city has a long and proud history, from being the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Hungary to the fall of the Soviet era in the Velvet Revolution of 1989.
From Bratislava Castle and Bratislava Klarisky Convent to the modernist SNP Bridge and the vast communist-era housing schemes, Bratislava has some of the most striking architecture in Central Europe.
Bratislava has a compact city center based around two pretty squares: Hlavne namestie and Hviezdoslavovo namestie. The area has been extensively but tastefully renovated and is a wonderful place to walk or sit in the cafes and watch the world go by.
Bratislava is home to the renowned Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, who perform often in the beautiful Reduta Building. You can also take in ballet, opera and drama at the National Theatre.
Slovaks love to learn languages and hold lots of nightly informal events - such as the Bratislava Language Exchange Meeting and Bratislava Expat Meetup - in local bars. Turn up and get to know the locals.
Ice hockey is the national sport of Slovakia and you can catch a game featuring local favorites HC Slovan Bratislava at the Slovnaft Arena.
Bratislava has a temperate continental climate, with dry, warm summers. June-August is an ideal time to visit.
The City is served by Bratislava Milan Rastislav tefánik Airport, which has extensive international connections across Europe. The number 61 bus will take you into the city for EUR1.20 but you need to buy tickets at one of the vending machines in the arrivals hall before boarding. A taxi into town will cost around EUR20.
The main train station is Bratislava hlavná stanica, which has good international connections. A return from Vienna costs EUR16.
Bratislava is close to the borders of Austria and the Czech Republic, and it has excellent road connections. You need to buy a 'vignette' to use the motorways, which costs just EUR10 for 10 days.
There are frequent bus services from most Slovak destinations and international services from as far away as London and Paris. A single journey from Vienna costs EUR9.
The Patio Hostel on pitálska is a good budget option, with rooms from EUR11. Devín on Riečna is a lovely four-star traditional hotel right in the city center, with rooms from EUR100.
Stare Mesto - is the old town of Bratislava and is home to the well-preserved medieval center, Bratislava Castle, the two main city squares and a beautiful riverbank promenade.
Nové Mesto - is the new town to the northeast of Stare Mesto. It is home to the Kamzik TV Tower and Bratislava Forest Park.
Devin - is a former independent village at the joining of the Morava and Danube rivers. It has some important archaeological sites, including the ruins of Devin Castle.
Bratislava is served by a good network of trams and trolley buses, with fares from EUR0.70.
The starting fare for a taxi in Bratislava is EUR3.33 and you will then pay around EUR1.00 per mile.
Bratislava is easy to drive in, with good roads and extensive parking. Car rental is from EUR20 per day.
Bratislava has a number of good shopping malls, such as Aupark, Eurovea and Central, with the usual mix of fashion and department stores. Stare Mesto is better for souvenirs.
A quart of milk in Bratislava will cost around EUR0.70 and a dozen eggs are EUR1.71.
Zylinder cafe & restaurant on Hviezdoslavovo square has traditional dishes with a modern twist, with mains from EUR10. Praná bata on Zámočnícka has excellent local fare with a fixed price daily menu from EUR5.50.