Bratislava’s historic centre
Our walking tour of Bratislava begins at the Danube river quay, right next to the Twin City Liner landing stage, and leads via Ľudovít Štúr Square, which was once the square where monarchs were crowned, to the Slovak National Theatre (an opera house) on Hviezdoslav Square. This was where Slovak singers Lucia Popp and Edita Gruberová launched their international careers. The tour continues through the pedestrian area of the oblong-shaped Hviezdoslav Square to St. Martin's Cathedral, where Maria Theresa, the only female head of the Habsburg Dynasty, was crowned Queen of Hungary.
St. Martin’s Cathedral is the perfect place from which to start the walk up to Bratislava Castle. No stay in Bratislava is complete without a visit to the castle, built on a hill 85 metres above the Danube. The few houses situated between the castle itself and St. Martin’s Cathedral form part of the outer ward. The people who lived here enjoyed numerous privileges, such as the right to their own municipal representation. From here, enjoy an impressive view over the city and the Danube. On some days, you can even see all the way to Vienna. The castle is the city’s largest historical building.
A stroll through medieval cobblestoned alleys takes you back to the old town and Ventúrska Street, where you can visit magnificent 18th-century palaces, Bratislava’s first university – the Academia Istropolitana – and the fabled Michael’s Gate, which dates back to the 13th century. Alongside the castle and the Old Town Hall, Michael’s Gate is one of Bratislava’s landmarks. It is the only one of the four city gates which remains intact to this day.
Leaving Michael’s Gate and heading away from the city centre, you arrive at what is today the residence of the president of Slovakia – Grassalkovich Palace. This simple baroque complex is located at the southern edge of a large park.
By heading back through Michael’s Gate and walking along Ventúrska Street, you reach the Main Square (Hlavné námestie). The Main Square is home to numerous attractions: the Old Town Hall, Maximilian’s Fountain, many smaller palaces which formerly housed counts and princes, a splendid art nouveau building, many restaurants and the historic Café Mayer.
Passing the opera and the Reduta, where the Slovak Philharmonic is based, the tour leads back to the Twin City Liner landing stage. The new landing stage is located directly next to the “Nový Most”, or “New Bridge”, with its landmark “UFO” – a former observation post from the communist era. Today, the “UFO” is a viewing platform and a trendy restaurant with a fantastic view.
Twin City Liner’s tourism partner Flora Tour offers daily tours of the city. From November to March upon request. Individual city tours are also possible upon request.
Telephone: 00421 903 610 716 (we speak English)
More information: www.floratour.sk