BRATISLAVA is one of six border towns deemed by CNN in mid-March to be the most fascinating in Europe. The other five are Lille, France; Malmö, Sweden; San Sebastian, Spain; Trieste, Italy; and Kirkenes, Norway.

“Close to the border of both Austria and Hungary, the proud capital of Slovakia has only recently emerged from a centuries-long identity crisis that still resonates around fairy tale streets that once charmed Hans Christian Andersen,” CNN writes on its website.

CNN recalls that Bratislava, which in the past was known under the names Istropolis, Bresburg, Pressburg and Wilson City, was for 300 years the capital of the Hungarian kingdom and that its close ties with nearby Vienna once saw the two cities share a tram line. It recommends the reconstructed Bratislava Castle as a good place to savour a city that has enjoyed a unique place at the crossroads of central Europe, as well as the commanding views over the nearby borders.

When the weather is good, it is possible to see from the castle’s Crown Tower Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.