Although much of Bratislava's Old Town has been restored and renovated in more recent times, there are still parts which give a clear indication of what it was like during the years when such things were not considered important.
But whether renovated or still in a state of decay, this small part of the larger city repays a slow exploratory wander. There are hidden glimpses which bring pleasure, an occasional clue to how things once were...and, anyway, it's just nice to wander the old streets (especially as they are almost all pedestrianised).
This was my absolute favorite part of the city...I spent hours wandering these narrow, colorful streets. It is also the most picturesque part of the city. This area of the city includes Bratislava Castle, some embassies, Grassalkovich Palace, and Michael's Gate. Don't forget to bring your camera! :)
Walking around the streets of the old town is a common activity for most of the tourists. It gives you the chance to enjoy the history and architecture of Bratislava. You should spare at least 1 to 2 hours for this activity. You can also give your lunch break in this area.
The Town Hall is very well preserved/restored and has a really lovely courtyard where part of the Christmas Market takes place. It also houses a museum which I have not visited. A very pleasing environment.
One day is more than enough to see Bratislava centre. It is a compact city and you need no guide. It is a popular day trip from Vienna. That's why it is better to visit on a weekday. Vienna is close by and has regular train connections. (1 hour, 50 mins) Most people in Bratislava speak English. The following travel report includes a walking tour through the city
Bratislava old town houses many historic monuments and old beautiful buildings. It also contains many Slovak governmental institutions. It's a cozy area with small restaurants, bars and narrow streets with typical stone paving.
According to Lonely Planet, Bratislava's old town is "miniscule", and they're not wrong. In two hours of wandering around, I must have seen the main sights about 3 or 4 times over. It's pleasant enough, though nothing special. The best bits are the two churches, St. Michael and St. Martin, the national theater, the main square and the tidy, tight little old streets lined with cafes and boutique shops.
The old town of Bratislava had a city wall around it and many fortification and city gates. Rybarska Brana wa one such gate built during the 14th century but destroyed in 1776. The site of this gate is marked by this inscription on the ground there which lies close to the state theater.
The Roland Fountain (sometimes referred to as Maximilian Fountain, the most famous fountain in Bratislava It is located in the Old Town, in the Main Square. Its construction was ordered by Maximilian II, the king of Royal Hungary, in 1572 to provide a public water supply. The fountain is topped by a statue of Maximilian portrayed as a knight in full armour .It is one of the downtown's favorite meeting points.
We walked around parts of the Old Town and it is a mostly deserted cobblestone area .We wondered why it was in ruins. In areas it looks like it is being reconstructed but it has a long way to go. Much remains to be done, and there are still areas of boarded up or crumbling buildings. It was an interesting stroll though.
Strolling through Bratislava's Old Town shows not only historic buildings,
but also some workshops of sometimes historic crafts, still in operation.
Here an optician in fourth generation is offering his skills and crafts.
One of Bratislava's advantages is the rather small size of its Old Town, that can easily be explored on foot. Countless big and smaller palaces, narrow streets and squares as well as beautifully refurbished architectural monuments make a stroll across the old town a most interesting and rewarding
Bratislava's Stare Mesto is the oldest area of the city and the most interesting area for tourists. The area is well preserved and escaped much of the communist era remodelling. The area is filled with interesting buildings and churches such as the Old Town Hall, Premacial Palace and Michael's Gate, the only remaining gate of the city's original four.
The area also has many bars and restaurants.
Maximilian fountain was built in 1572 in the Austrian stone workshop of Andreas Lutringer, with
a financial contribution from the Hungarian king Maximilian II. However, it is better known under the name of Roland’s fountain. The town’s population still attach a mystery to this fountain to this day. The knight Roland stands in his place, with his face turned towards the town hall. However, once a year, precisely at the stroke of midnight at New Year, he turns and bows in the direction of the
former town hall, honouring the twelve councillors who in the past gave their lives in order to save the town. He is also rumoured to come to life on Good Friday. On this occasion, in broad daylight he moves from his pedestal and waves his sword, Durandal, in all four directions, so that the town can feel that it still enjoys his protection. However, he can be seen only by a born and bred citizen of Bratislava, with a pure heart, who has never harmed anyone.
Old Town Bratislava is quite small and easily explored in a day or less. Winding through the cobbled streets it’s impossible to miss the few standout buildings including the Old Town Hall, Primate’s Place, the Slovak National Theatre, and St. Martin’s Cathedral. Truth be told, however, the architecture here is not nearly as rich as in neighboring capitals.