How to Spend 3 Days in Bratislava
Three days in Bratislava let you sample everything from medieval history to craft beers. Taste local specialties, stroll the Old Town’s narrow lanes, explore the hilltop Bratislava Castle, and have time left over for a day trip to the Small Carpathian wine region. See below for the best 3-day trip to Bratislava.
Day 1: Old Town Essentials
Spend your first day exploring the Old Town, the historic heart of Bratislava. It’s easy to while away a day following winding streets or lounging in street-corner cafes but since the area is packed with stories and legends, it’s worth taking a tour to get some background on each place you see. Cars are prohibited in the Old Town so choose between a walking or trolley tour—trolleys have open sides that make it easy to take photographs, while walking tours reveal hidden details you may otherwise miss. Tours typically cover highlights such as the Old Town Hall, St. Martin’s Cathedral, and Bratislava Castle, which offers panoramic views from its hillside perch.
After a day in the Old Town, join locals for a sunset walk along the Danube River; this riverside bike and pedestrian path is the perfect place to stroll.
Day 2: Wines of the Small Carpathians
Extending from Bratislava to Trnava, the Small Carpathians wine region has rolling vineyards, picturesque villages, and excellent wines: white muscatel varietals are a specialty here. Get an introduction to the Small Carpathians on a wine tour of the area, which takes you straight to the best tasting rooms and leaves you free to indulge by relieving the hassle of driving
Wine tours of the Small Carpathians generally include more than one tasting stop, which is great for getting a broad perspective on the region’s wines. In addition to wineries, many Small Carpathians tours stop at Cerveny Kamen Castle (Red Stone Castle). Inside the 16th-century castle, admire antique furniture and visit a museum that delves into the history of Slovakia’s nobility and middle class.
Day 3: Communism and Cuisine
Discover the legacy of Soviet rule on a Communist history tour of the city, which offers a different perspective of Bratislava’s history to that of the Old Town. Stops on Communist tours tend to include abandoned bunkers, housing projects, and the border of the former Czechoslovakia—some tours even transport you in vintage, Soviet-era vehicles.
In the afternoon and evening, trade brutalist architecture for some of Bratislava best flavors. Whether you’re all about craft beer, looking for local wine, or interested in traditional Slovakian cuisine, a food-and-drink tour of Bratislava offers a curated list of destinations. If you’re visiting during the winter, don’t miss the chance to explore Christmas markets, which specialize in funnel cakes, mulled wine, and other seasonal treats.