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About Bratislava, Bratislava Accommodation, Bratislava Attractions, Bratislava Tourism, Bratislava Tours, Bratislava Transportation.


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About Bratislava

Bratislava Background Information

Also known as Pressburg in German and Pozsony in Hungarian, Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia.

St. Martin's Cathedral and Bratislava Castle

It's position on the banks of the River Danube, at the very heart of Europe, predestined the city of Bratislava for life at the crossroads of trade routes and a joining of various cultures.

First settled during the late Stone Age, it wasn't until the Boii Celtic tribe came to the region, in around 200 BC, that Bratislava's location was established as a strategic power centre with a defensive function.

The arrival of the Romans, expanding their Limes Romanus defence system to the banks of the River Danube, also brought wine-growing to the area.

During the movement of nations, the Frankish merchant Samo settled in the area of present day Bratislava and created the Empire of King Samo; the first known organised community of Slavs.

Bratislava Castle (or Brezalauspurc) was first mentioned in the Salzburg chronicles of 907; after a battle took place near the castle, between Hungarian and Bavarian troops. The Magyars won the battle, to take control of the eastern part of Great Moravia.

At the end of the 10th century, Bratislava (then called Braslava or Preslava) became a part of the newly formed Kingdom of Hungary, under the rule of Stephan I (1001-1038); better known as Istvan in Hungarian.

In 1436 the city was granted a coat-of-arms by King Sigismund of Luxembourg; reaffirming the older donations and privileges for the city, granted by the Arpads and Anjous.

After the Hungarian, King Lajos fell in the 1526 Battle of Mohacs, against the Turks, Ferdinand Habsburg was appointed as the new Hungarian king and the Hungarian capital was moved to Bratislava, in 1536.

Between 1536 and 1830, eleven kings and queens were crowned in Bratislava's St. Martin’s Cathedral.

During the reign of Maria Theresa (1740-1780), Bratislava became the largest and most important city in the Kingdom of Hungary; with many new palaces, monasteries, mansions, and streets added, as Bratislava was now the centre of social and cultural life in the region.

Then in 1783, Maria Theresa's son Joseph ordered the governing council and other central authorities to relocate to Buda and, on 13th May, took the royal crown from Bratislava Castle to Vienna.

Bratislava then became a centre for the Slovak national movement, with the Presspurske Nowiny the first Slovak newspaper to be published.

Following the Battle of Austerlitz (Slavkov), the French and Austrians signed the Treaty of Pressburg in the Mirror Hall of Primate’s Palace in Bratislava, in 1805. The treaty didn't last though and in 1809 Napoleon's army destroyed Devin Castle.

After World War I and the formation of Czechoslovakia, Bratislava (Pressburg, Pozsony, Prešpork) was incorporated into the new state; despite its representatives' reluctance.

A new name for the city was approved on 27th March, 1919; Bratislava officially appeared on the map of Europe.

During World War II, Bratislava briefly became the capital of an independent Slovak state but would have to wait until 1st January, 1993 for the time of nationhood to come again.

A lot of restoration has taken place in Bratislava and your money goes further than in nearby Vienna.

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Bratislava Accommodation

Where to Stay in Bratislava

There is a wide choice of accommodation in Bratislava, for all budgets, but my favourites are the Hotel Danube (for views of Bratislava Castle or the River Danube) and the Carlton (for its historical elegance).

The Crowne Plaza is opposite the Presidential Palace, at the top of the old town.

The Hotel Devin (on the Danube) looks like it's had its day and the Botel Gracia (the boat hotel nearby) has lost its grace.

Close to the castle are the Ibis Bratislava and Chez David (Pension and Jewish restaurant).

Official Hotel Website. Crowne Plaza Bratislava: Hodzovo Namestie 2.
If you want to be close to the Presidential Palace and within walking distance of the old town then this is the hotel for you. It's not really my choice; although I do stop by for a coffee. Dining options are the Restaurant Fusion (for Euro-Asian dishes) or the Restaurant Magd a Lena (for traditional Slovak dishes). The Regency Casino and Night Club are also on the premises as are a number of meeting rooms.

Park Inn Bratislava - Official Hotel Website Park Inn Bratislava: Rybne Namestie 1.
The Park Inn Danube Hotel has a great location by the Novy Most (new bridge); facing both the River Danube and Bratislava Castle.

The Carlton Bratislava - Official Hotel Website Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel: Hviezdoslavovo Nam 3.
Located between the American Embassy and the Slovak National Theatre, the historical building (dating back to 1850) has been fully reconstructed and renovated to the highest standards while still maintaining the glory of a former age. The hotel's Mirror Bar is a masterpiece of turn of the century Art Nouveau architecture and the Opera Brasserie serves international cuisine.

Hotels in Bratislava.

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Bratislava Attractions

What to See in Bratislava

Most of Bratislava's sights can easily be covered on foot.

Bratislava Castle should not be missed, nor should St. Martin's Cathedral. It's probably best to start at one and follow the 'Royal Route' to the other.

The 13th-century cathedral was restored in the second half of the 19th century and the ruins of the former royal palace of Hungary are on a hill overlooking the city.

Venturska is the main pedestrian shopping street, leading up to Michalska and through Michael's Tower. Further north is the Presidential Palace.

The Slovak National Theatre and Slovak Philharmony are close to the Carlton Hotel (an attraction in itself) while just around the corner (towards the Danube) are the Esterhazy Palace and Slovak National Gallery. From here you'll get a view of the Novy most (New Bridge).

To the east of Venturska are the Pallfy Palace, Mirbach Palace and Primatial Palace; just off Hlavne namestie.

Further east is the Little Blue Church.

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Bratislava Tourism

Official Bratislava Tourist Information

Visit Bratislava:
There are four Tourist Information Centres in Bratislava. The main Tourist Information Office is located in the old town at Klobucnicka ul. 2. There are also tourist information booths at the airport, passenger port and main train station.

Bratislava Culture and Information Centre:
Promotes events, services and products in the field of culture, tourism, sport and social life of Bratislava.

What's On in Bratislava and Slovakia:
You can pick up this monthly publication in most good hotels in Bratislava. The online version is good for tips of the month and dining in Bratislava.

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Bratislava Tours

What to do Around Bratislava

Close to Bratislava are Devin Castle and Slovakia's wine-growing region.

Bratislava Sightseeing:
Travel through the heart of Bratislava's historic Old Town, in the Presporacik-Oldtimer tourist train.

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Bratislava Transportation

Getting To and Around Bratislava

Bratislava has excellent motorway connections with a triangle of three capital cities: Vienna (60km), Budapest (200km) and Prague (300km).

Bratislava by Air

If you're flying you can choose between two international airports; the airport in Bratislava or Schwechat airport in Vienna.

Bratislava Airport:
Situated 9km to the north-east of the inner city, Bus No. 61 serves the airport. If travelling by car, use the D61 motorway and take the Letisko (airport) exit.

Bratislava Airport transfers can also be booked online for travel from Bratislava Airport to Bratislava hotels or from Bratislava hotels to Bratislava Airport.

Bratislava by Boat

There are regular cruises to and from Budapest, while the Twin City Liner shuttles between Bratislava and Vienna.

Boat trips are also available to Devin Castle, on the picturesque confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers, or to the nearby Austrian village of Hainburg.

Lodna Osobna Doprava: (LOD)
Operates regular hydrofoil express boat trips to Vienna and Budapest (from April to October) and local sightseeing trips around Bratislava and Devin.

Bratislava by Bus

Eurolines runs international coach line routes from destinations in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Slovak Lines operates domestic coach line services from Bratislava to various regions of Slovakia.

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Slovakia Travel Guides

Bratislava (Bradt Travel Guides) Slovakia: National Geographic: Adventure Map (National Geographic: Adventure Map (3323))

Slovakia Travel Guides - Slovakia Maps.

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