Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and is situated on both sides of the river Danube. For the most, it is a beautiful, charming, historical city, interspersed with its fair share of gloomy, gray communist building blocks. Do not dismiss these on your site seeing as they too are part of history.
It has a rich history dating back to Roman rule in the 1st century. In more recent times it was under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Most of the old buildings are situated near the city center, so it is relatively easy to see on foot. This area is also a traffic free zone and pedestrians are free to roan about without the distraction of city traffic.
Important and must see monuments include Bratislava Castle, St. Martin's Cathedral, the Old Town hall and the Presidential Palace to name a few. It has a variety of museums such as the Municipal Museum, Natural Sciences Museum and the Museum of Wine Production. They all contain a wealth of knowledge.
As with many Eastern European cities, Bratislava has seen rapid changes since the end of Communist rule. The drab preconceptions of a Communist town no longer hold true and there has been a renaissance of building activity.
Emphasis has been on restoring many of the historical buildings and monuments to their former glory. New architecture is replacing the often mono-builds, typical of the communist era. The city is continually moving forward and new buildings and industries continue to grow.
Bratislava regularly attracts international festivals and exhibitions such as the Bratislava Music Festival and Bratislava Jazz Days. It offers a variety of accommodation to suite backpackers to those wanting five star luxury hotels. There is an array of local and international food and the nightlife is alive and well.
Bratislava is a friendly city, with a well-defined transport system, including tram lines. It appears to be less crowded than other more popular, well known capital cities but this will probably change a more and more travelers realize its potential.
The city is only 80km away from Vienna by road, which means less that one hour by car. Trains leave every half an hour from Wien Südbahnhof and tickets cost as little as 29 euros. It is also possible to get the bus from Sudtirolerplatz Bus Terminal, although this takes a bit longer than the car or the train (about 1.5 hours).
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