Traveling in time before Christmas includes checking out Christmas markets in the city squares, drinking mulled vine, shopping for Christmas decorations at the stands, you can try out ice skating on ice rinks and marvel at the lights on Christmas trees. Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is no exception to the Christmast decorations. (If you don’t like travelling in Christmas time, scroll down for some tips on what to see in Bratislava all year long.)
1. Bratislava in Christmas time
Bratislava’s squares in the Old Town are filled with Christmas stands, the streets are nicely decorated and you can go ice skating on two ice rinks. To get a great view of it all, I suggest climbing up the tower of Old Town Hall.
The best Christmas markets are on the Main square, in front of the beautiful Primatial Palace and in front of the Slovak National Theatre – Opera & Ballet House.
In the evening the lights live up the city and also the Grassalkovich Palace, which is the presidential palace of Slovakia, has Christmas lights and a tree in front of it.
At the stands you can get varené víno (mulled vine in Slovakian) or punch and typical Slovakian food, for example potato pancakes or goulash, there is also a smell of onions everywhere. They put them on top of pork fat which is smeared on a slice of bread. If you would like to warm up, the winter here is cold, you can eat in a restaurant and try the Slovakian dumplings named bryndzové halušky. They are good!
2. Bratislava all year long
However, if you are visiting a city in December, that does not mean you can’t go away from the Christmas stands in the Old Town. Walk St. Michael’s street to St. Michael’s gate and explore the streets around it.
Then take a stroll along Danube to St. Elizabeth’s Church. I promise, you have never seen a church like this before! It’s blue, like it was built for the Smurfs land. For more traditional-like church visit St Martin’s Cathedral in the city center. In the meantime, seacrh for some of the interesting statues in the city, the most known are the Schöner Náci Statue, the Statue of Napoleon’s Army Soldier, the Čumil and the Paparazzi.
Climb up the castle hill to Bratislava Castle for a great view of the city, the Danube river and the UFO Bridge. It’s also nice at night to see all the city lights. And of course don’t forget to see all the spots in Bratislava’s Old Town described in the 1st paragraph named Bratislava in Christmas time.
Visited: December 2015