From the colorful medieval buildings of the Old Town to communist-era apartment blocks of the Petržalka neighborhood and modern high-rises towering over the Danube River, Bratislava’s diverse skyline reflects centuries of architectural history. Here are the must-see buildings in the Slovakian capital.
Built by architect Melchior Hefele in the 18th century, the Primatial Palace is one of the architectural highlights of Bratislava Old Town. Its fanciful neoclassical facade is a vision of pale pink and gold; inside is an impressive Hall of Mirrors and a collection of rare 17th-century English tapestries.
The Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary is better known as the Blue Church for its distinctive powder-blue facade and lavishly decorated blue-and-gold interior. Built in the early 20th century by Budapest architect Edmund Lechner, it’s an art nouveau masterpiece.
Slovak Radio Building
Shaped like a gigantic upside-down pyramid, the Slovak Radio Building attracts attention from miles around. Designed by local architects Štefan Svetko, Štefan Ďurkovič, and Barnabáš Kissling, it’s most atmospheric at night, when it’s dramatically illuminated.
St. Martin’s Cathedral
Standing at the heart of the Old Town, St. Martin’s Cathedral is known as the coronation site of 19 Hungarian monarchs. The three-nave Gothic cathedral was built on the site of a 13th-century Romanesque church, making it one of Bratislava’s oldest churches.
Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum
Perched on a manmade peninsula that stretches out into the Danube River, the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum is an award-winning complex featuring a modern ship-inspired building surrounded by landscaped gardens and an eclectic selection of contemporary sculptures.
The modern shopping mall of Eurovea is a sprawling complex of shops, offices, and cafés located along the Danube riverfront. Architectural highlights include the striking glass-panelled central tower and the glass canopied roof, while the surrounding park is dotted with sculptures by English artist Colin Spofforth.