Bratislava (approximately 425.000 inhabitants) is the capital of Slovakia. This old city has a long history and many sights. Bratislava Castle dominates the city, around the castle you find a couple of interesting museums, such as the Museum of Jewish Culture and the Municipal Museum. Opposite is the Blue House, which houses the Exhibition of Arts and Crafts.

South of the castle hill is the preserved remains of an ancient tower that protected the Danube ford. Sights close to the castle include the Baroque Church of the Order of the Holy Trinity and the Renaissance Bramer Manor House, where the Archeological Museum is housed.

The Main Square of the medieval town constitutes the center of the historical city. The most important events have happened here since the 14th century. Besides regular markets, all gatherings, festivities and executions took place here. All the houses on the square have an older Gothic core; several of them were built prior to the fortification of the town as defensive houses with towers. The sandstone Renaissance Maximilians Fountain and circular reservoir stand in the centre of the square. The square is dominated by the Town Hall.

The narrow Kostolna ulica next to the Old Town Hall leads to the Primates Square that served as a market place in the Middle Ages. On it you find the Primates Palace, which is the most beautiful Classicist structure in Slovakia.

Koliba is a large forested area and a mere 20 minutes from the centre with a number of great views over the city. Small bars are dotted up the hill, many locals head up there for a bit of relaxation as it’s a good place to jog, walk the dog, or let the kids run around. An added bonus is the view, by looking North-east you get to see the Carpathians or west into Austria. Koliba also has a small ski run if you happen to be there in winter.

If youre put off by hills then head to Devin a Moravian town about 13kms outside the city. The village is dominated by the ruins of a spectacular castle that sits on a cliff over looking the Danube (the sister community of Hainburg in Austria & its castle can be seen from the battlements). A cycle path runs alongside the river, a few excellent restaurants have set themselves up serving fish and other local delicacies. Many locals head to Devin from the city so expect it to be swarming during weekends, especially in summer, but well worth the visit.

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