Whether you’re taking the boat ride over from Vienna (just over an hour) or are already in town after a tour of Poland, Slovakia’s capital is worth your attention. Straddling the Danube, the city is younger than her neighbors and exudes a vibrant university-town air complemented by fairytale-esque medieval and Baroque architectural styles. Go beyond the city’s communist-era blocks and indulge your senses in the Gothic old town, with its cobblestone streets and historic buildings at every corner, and at the rebuilt Renaissance castle, where you can climb the 13rth-century Crown Tower for a bird’s-eye view of the city, or marvel at the 1762 late-Baroque Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Anton Schmidt. Immerse yourself in local life at buzzy beer and wine taverns, coffeehouses and restaurants. From here, it’s easy to get outside into the Tatra Mountains and Small Carpathians for hiking and other fresh-air fun. Ideal for those seeing a new European destination, Bratislava is one of Central Europe’s hidden gems.
- The stunning landscape of the Tatra Mountains
A performance at the historic Opera House