Bratislava promises quaint, old-world charm with its cobbled streets, whimsical palaces, and outdoor cafes. Consider taking a trip to this spectacular European city if you wish to avoid the usual tourist hotspots and go off the beaten path.
If a visit to Slovakia's capitol is on your list, use this guide to help you prepare. It contains information about places to go, attractions to discover, and helpful tips to stay safe with
travel medical insurance or
Things to Do for Travelers in Bratislava
This magnificent castle overlooking the Danube was built in the ninth century and has an interesting past. Also known as the Pressburg Castle in historic times, it was the scene of the coronation of 11 kings and eight queens. Today it houses the Slovak National Museum that documents the history of the Slovaks since the middle ages.
Devin Castle lies 13 kilometers east of Bratislava castle, towering over the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers. Its ruins stand witness to the might of Napoleon, under whose orders it was destroyed in the early 19th century. Enjoy the gorgeous backdrop by taking a hike through the several trails snaking around the castle. You can also visit the museum in the upper part of the castle to know its history.
The Old Town is the historic center of Bratislava and includes many noteworthy landmarks like St. Michael's Gate, Zichy's Palace, Bratislava City Museum, and St. Martin's Cathedral. Check out the eccentric statues placed around its streets, such as the Cumil statue and the Schöner Náci statue.
The Primate's Palace
The Primate's Palace, or Primaciálny palác, is an 18th century palace with baroque-style architecture that currently serves as the seat of the Mayor of Bratislava. Visit the Hall of Mirrors, the backdrop of the historic Peace Treaty of Pressburg, signed between Austria and France in 1805.
UFO Observation Deck
This UFO-shaped open-air observation deck stands atop the SNP Bridge, which is also the seventh largest hanging bridge in the world. The deck doubles as a restaurant and bar with sweeping views over the Danube and the entire city.
Grassalkovich Palace is the official seat of the President of Slovakia, and is located between the Old Town and the main train station, at Hodžovo Square. The Palace includes a large French garden that houses the statue of Empress Maria Theresa on horseback, and the Fountain of Youth.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Bratislava
Although crime rates are relatively low in Bratislava, pickpockets can target crowded tourist spots and public transport. Be cautious around Old Town and congested marketplaces and keep your valuables out of sight.
Taxi scams can occur when the driver adds an imaginary surcharge, or doesn't run the meter at all, and can add up to you paying more than is necessary for a trip. Always insist on using the meter, and pay only what is reflected.
Theft from cars
Leaving valuables visible in a parked car is a sure way to invite break-ins, especially if your car has a foreign license plate. Always lock your doors when parking, and make a point to bring your valuables inside with you.
Bratislava has a well-known nightlife scene, but it can draw a boisterous crowd at times. Use your best judgement and avoid going anywhere you don't feel comfortable.
Bratislava Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers - FAQs
Travel mishaps can happen anywhere, and at any time; this includes when you're far away from home on a vacation. If you were to get the flu or break a bone, it may be necessary for you to seek treatment at a private facility, which can be costly. To avoid being in a situation where you're stuck paying a large medical bill out of your own pocket, be sure to have appropriate travel medical insurance.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Bratislava?
If you need to apply for a Schengen visa to visit Slovakia, then you'll be required to first purchase compliant health insurance.
If you're from the USA, Australia, Canada, Brazil, or many other countries, you can visit Bratislava and Slovakia for up to 90 days without a visa, exempting you from the insurance requirement. However, due to the potential cost of treatment, it is recommended that all visitors purchase adequate insurance.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Bratislava?
Your trip to Bratislava may include outdoor activities like skiing or hiking, which can be risky. Even if you don't opt for those activities, medical emergencies can occur with no warning. If you are not covered by proper travel medical insurance, ambulance service in Bratislava can cost upwards of €120 per transport, and far more for hospital treatment, all of which you would be responsible for paying.
If you're applying for a Schengen visa, insurance is a requirement for you. This insurance must provide at least €30,000 in medical benefits, as well as coverage for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains to be compliant.
Bratislava Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers - FAQs
Traveling abroad calls for meticulous planning, often months in advance. But what happens when you are unable to take the trip at the last minute? You would surely want to get refunds for your prepaid bookings in case something goes wrong. Since international travel is rarely an inexpensive affair, it pays well to invest in trip cancellation insurance.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Bratislava?
It's unlikely that you'd be able to just jump on a plane and travel to Bratislava on a whim tomorrow. Instead, you'd need to book your airline tickets, hotel reservations, and tickets to attractions in advance. However, these charges are often not refundable, or they'll charge you fees if you have to cancel.
You can't control if you get sick or have a family emergency right before you're set to leave. You also can't get around travel restrictions that cancel flights, or natural disasters that close down airports. Any of these situations could lead to a canceled trip, with bookings you're still required to pay for.
To make sure you aren't on the hook for bookings you can't use, get trip cancellation insurance. It can allow you to be reimbursed for your nonrefundable, prepaid expenses if your trip has to be canceled for a reason outlined in the policy.
What can be covered under trip cancellation insurance for Bratislava?
Travel insurance can provide valuable benefits in the form of trip cancellation coverage, but that's not all. Other benefits you may be able to take advantage of include:
Depending on the coverage you choose, some plans can even offer the option to cancel for any reason. To make sure you can get coverage that fits your needs, be sure to read through the policy documents of the plans available to you carefully.
Before You Travel to Bratislava - Do This
Consider nearby destinations. Bratislava lies fairly close to other popular cities for travel such as Vienna and Budapest. Consider including more than one city in your visit if you have time.
Shop early. Many stores in Slovakia do not stay open late in the evenings, and most are closed on public holidays.
Use public transport. Parking can get expensive in Bratislava. You're better off leaving your car at the hotel and using the city's excellent public transportation system to get around.
Protect your finances from the unexpected. Get
travel medical insurance or
so you have coverage.