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Hockey Guide: Bratislava historical centre

Read more about the Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia in our Hockey Fan Guide.

The Hlavné námestie, formerly Bratislava‘s main marketplace(Source: Jana Liptáková)

Read more about the Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia in our Hockey Fan Guide.

Bratislava is the only European capital that borders two other countries (Hungary and Autria), and Vienna is less than 60km away, making the cities two of the closest capitals in the world. The city has a surprisingly long history as a capital. After the Ottoman armies occupied Budapest in the mid-sixteenth century the Hungarian court decamped to Pressburg and the kings and queens of Hungary were crowned at Gothic St Martin‘s Cathedral (page 24, map B7) for more than two and a half centuries. A metre-high replica of the crown of St Stephen sits atop the cathedral spire, recognising the building‘s status.

Its tight old town, huddled beneath the castle on the banks of the Danube, is characterised by Baroque palaces and condensed, narrow, medieval streets.

Most tour parties meet in front of the historical theatre at Hviezdoslavovo Square (pg 24, map D7). The tour usually heads north-west out of the square, along Rybárska brána, and past one of the city‘s many quirky statues: the sewer workman Čumil and Schöne Náci (pg 24, map D7). The Hlavné námestie (pg 24, map D7 and D6), formerly Bratislava‘s main marketplace, is still a hugely magnetic centre-point to the old city. The town hall (pg 24, map D6) also marks moments in history: a cannon-ball from a Napoleonic invasion is still lodged in the tower, while a tablet marks the height reached by the Danube during a flood in 1850.

Adjoining the main market square, and reached down Bratislava‘s shortest street, beside the town hall, is yet another picturesque square (Primaciálne nám.), containing the splendid Neoclassical Primate‘s Palace (pg 24, map D6).

North out of the Main Square, Františkánske námestie (pg 24, map D6), leads up to St Michael‘s Gate (pg 24, map C6), which was previously the largest entrance to the old town. South from St Michael‘s Gate, Michalská and Ventúrska streets,running into one another, are something of a boundary between the restored and undeveloped areas of the old town.

ATTRACTIONS AND TOURS / ATRAKCIE A MINI ZÁJAZDY

 City train / Mestský vláčik Prešporáčik (8-10 €)
An uniquely-styled vehicle with sunroof and audio guide in various languages. Tours start from 9:00 at Hlavné Námestie (Main Square) and Hviezdoslavovo Námestie.
www.tour4u.sk, tel: +421 (0)903 302-817

 Cable car / Lanovka (4 €)
Running from Železná studienka (a popular leisure area) to Kamzík (bobsleigh, rope course, ski centre, trails)
(www.lanovky.sk, tel: +421 (0)2 4425-9188,
(0)2 5479-2503, return ticket/spiatočný lístok 4 €)
 Ship tours / Plavba loďou (4-99 €)
Most of these tours leave from the river port (page 24, map F9)
Bratislava – Vienna (return ticket/spiatočný lístok 27 €)
(www.twincityliner.com, tel: +43-1-58880),
Bratislava - Budapest (return ticket/spiatočný lístok 99 €)
Bratislava - Devín (return ticket/spiatočný lístok 6 €)
Around the city / okolo mesta (4 €)
(www.lod.sk, tel: +421 (0)2 5293-2226).
 ZOO (4.30 €)
Located in the Karlova Ves region of the city. The zoo’s 152 animal species, including white tigers, bears, giraffes and the ever-amusing meerkats, enjoy sizeable enclosures and a remarkably clean environment. There is also an on-site dinosaur exhibition.
(www.zoobratislava.sk, tel: +421 (0)2 6542-0985)

 Tourist guides / Turistický sprievodca
www.bkis.sk, +421 (0)2 5443-4059, www.touristguides.sk, tel: +421 (0)905 231-292 (total costs for 90-minute city tour, 70 € / group 1-10 persons)

 Cinemas / Kiná (6 €)
Multi-screen cinemas in the Polus, Eurovea and Aupark shopping centres.
(www.palacecinemas.sk, tel: +421 (0)2 6820-2222)

Read more about the Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia in our Hockey Fan Guide.

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