Situated in the beautiful scenery of protected natural reserve, only 15 minutes from Bratislava’s Old Town, one of the oldest castles in Slovakia – Devin Castle – sits on a top of 200 m high rock hill and guards, since the very first centuries, the confluence of two rivers: Danube and Morava.
Settled already in Neolithic times, the first fort was built here by the Celtic population to become later a strategic Roman military fortress. Its position was crucial in the past since it overlooked ancient trade routes going along the Danube.
The castle played an important role in the Great Moravian Empire and that´s when its first written mention dates back to 864 as Dowina which is a Slavic word meaning „a girl“.
In 1809 Napoleon’s troops blew it up and destroyed it significantly. That´s why today we can see just the remaining but still with a long and colorful history and most of all with a magnificent panoramic view of both Slovakia and Austria.
This is also the place where the former Iron Curtain directly went through and cut Slovakia off from Austria and „the West“ during the Communist era. At that time this area was one of the most heavily guarded ones in the country and many people were killed here in their attempt to flee the regime to Austria. A memorial below the castle commemorates all the victims, not a shortlist at all.
Devin area is also typical for a special blackcurrant wine production which is awaiting you, too ☺ So don’t hesitate! Come, see and taste!
A gem among the towns of Slovakia situated in the heart of Štiavnica hills – less than two hours from Bratislava, was one of the first Slovak places subscribed to the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.
When a volcano erupted here about 15 million years ago, it predestined the fate of a man and nature in this region for a long time and precious metals such as gold and silver found their way to the surface.
Take a walk and explore a charming medieval town with a unique mining history and atmosphere.
An unusual down-the-hill square of the Holy Trinity with a beautiful plague column welcomes you in the center and you can start to explore the mining history of this region in the mining museums, mining tunnels, two different castles both built as anti-Turkish fortresses, two different churches in two different styles – the catholic late Gothic St.Catherine´s Church and the protestant Baroque Church.
As a highlight of your visit, you cannot omit one of the most beautiful Baroque calvaries in Europe, located on a hill and offering a magnificent view of all the splendid natural surroundings.
Slovak specialties of this region are a must and the cozy restaurants hidden in the medieval streets are happy to welcome you. The local brewery ERB (THE COAT OF ARMS) offers a genuine Slovak beer! ☺
Come, explore, and take back home in your heart!
Have you ever heard of a female serial murderer? Not really? Less than two hours from Bratislava the ruins of mysterious Čachtice castle stand up on a hill and whisper the history of the „bloody countess“ Elizabeth Bathory who lived here at the turn of the 16th to 17th century and with her sadist habits tortured and killed more than 500 young girls. Why not take a bath in their blood and stay young and beautiful forever, right?
A true story or a myth?
Come and re-discover the mystery hidden in the picturesque natural surrounding and take a walk through the picturesque village below the castle with beautiful Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture! ☺
SMALL CARPATHIAN WINE ROUTE
Are you a passionate wine-taster? If yes, then the Small Carpathian Wine Route is exactly for you! No high hills, no deep valleys… small but still beautiful – the Small Carpathian mountains for about 100 km decorate the horizon all the way along the western side of Slovakia, starting right in Bratislava.
This is where the history of fertile vineyards and wine production goes back as far as to the Celtic period, 7th century BC. and connects former royal towns Svätý Jur, Pezinok, and Modra and a chain of small villages with viticultural tradition.
Would you like to taste new unique Slovak varieties such as Dunaj or Devín? Or possibly the most commonly grown ones here such as Veltlínské zelené (Grüner Veltliner), Rizling vlašský (Welschriesling), Rizling rýnsky (Riesling) or Frankovka modrá (Blaufränkisch)?
This region is happy to welcome you! The largest underground cellars in Central Europe can be found in one of the best-preserved castles in Slovakia – the Red Stone Castle. Come, visit and travel back in time with its precious collection of historic furniture, weapons, and fine arts from all around Slovakia! ☺
What would it be like to live in a real-life fairy-tale? One of the most visited and beautiful castles in Slovakia – Bojnice Castle – makes you try this idea. It is no coincidence that many filmmakers chose this splendid castle, built in the 12th century, as their filming stage.
No surprise that National Geographic Programme listed this castle among the TOP 10 castles in Europe in 2017!
Unique folk architecture with geometrical patterns originated some 200 years ago, in a small village of Čičmany, is a hidden gem of Strážov mountains.
One of the most famous open-air museums in Slovakia is ready to introduce you to the lovely traditional wooden houses, folk costumes, and customs of our ancestors!
If you think the Roman Emperors stayed mostly in Rome, the opposite is true. About 2000 years ago the legions of one of the most powerful empires in history together with their Emperor Marcus Aurelius reached this area and set up their military camp known as Laugaricio right under the Trenčín castle.
The historically precious Latin inscription on the castle rock recalls the Roman presence and victory over the Quadi in 179 AD here. The castle above the rock was once a residence of one of the most influential oligarchs in the country in the early 14th century – Matthew Csak – who seized two-thirds of the territory of present-day Slovakia.
Many different exhibitions, medieval games, and attractive night sightseeing are organized at the castle throughout the year. The pleasant medieval Old Town below the castle offers a gorgeous walk through its narrow streets with different architectural styles.
Apart from being polite and helpful locals, Trenčín also has a great selection of pubs, restaurants, and cafes with a special comfortable atmosphere.
Come and breathe the history here!
Hardly anyone would look for an elephant ear below the Earth´s surface, right? In western Slovakia, less than 60 km from Bratislava, a breathtaking underground world full of special limestone stalactites and unique dripstone shapes (such as the elephant´s ear:) is hidden in the Small Carpathian mountains.
Driny Cave is the only accessible cave in this region and one of the main tourist attractions. A complex of narrow passages and small halls offers a 450 m long tour which is definitely a unique experience.
Don´t miss this natural marvel so close to Bratislava!
Is the history, music, and arts or high-quality shopping what interests you the most?
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Sissi – the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Sigmund Freud… these well-known personalities of music, fine art, Austro Hungarian empire´s history or psychoanalysis are just a tiny fragment of everything what the capital of Austria – Vienna – has to reveal you.
The historical city center with St.Stephen´s Cathedral, the imperial Hofburg complex, Schönbrunn or Belvedere palaces, Staatsoper, and Burgtheater form the unique heart of this imperial and music city on the Danube.
Albertina houses one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world with approximately 65,000 drawings.
On top of all don´t miss the opportunity to try the typical Viennese specialties such Wiener Schnitzel or Sacher cake!
„The Paris of the East“ – this is just one of many awesome nicknames Budapest was attributed. Why? For many people the Hungarian capital is one of the most beautiful capitals of the world thanks to its stunning setting along the two banks of the Danube, combining tremendous medieval history, wonderful architectural heritage with a unique atmosphere.
Budapest is full of architectural gems, charming streets, and pleasant parks. The river Danube cuts the city into two parts: Buda and Pest which are different.
Pest is completely flat (this includes downtown Budapest), while Buda is a hilly area, and includes two of the most popular vantage points of the city: Castle Hill and Gellért Hill. Definitely, the best place to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and admire the European third largest Parliament built right on the river bank.
Budapest is also famous for its numerous (more than 120) steaming thermal baths and that´s what makes it a paradise, too!
So come and visit the romantic „Pearl on the Danube“!
CARNUNTUM – FORMER ROMAN MILITARY CAMP
You don´t need to travel far from Bratislava to see ancient Roman history. Less than half an hour from the Slovakian capital, The Carnuntum Archeological Park offers a fabulous journey back to Roman times in its open-air museum which stands right on a place of a former Roman military center of the Roman province Pannonia.
The history was definitely reconstructed in a unique way here!
Get the latest info about this spectacular place: Römerstadt Carnuntum.
Special attractions include numerous reconstructed Roman buildings and an ancient amphitheater, too.
Feel free to travel back in time and experience the Roman Empire!
ZOO PARK SCHONNBRUNN – VIENNA
Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna is the world’s oldest zoo and has already been for several times voted Europe’s best zoo.
This was the first place in the world to see the birth of an African elephant and the birth of a panda baby.
The zoo is also comprised of a Desert House where the flora and fauna of the driest regions on Earth can be explored.
Opening hours and detailed information on Tiergarten Schönnbrunn.
So are you ready to see what more than two million visitors every year don´t want to miss here?
Thank you for reading our Travel Blog about TOP 11 Day Trips from Bratislava.
The next Travel Blog will be about UNESCO Heritage sights in Slovakia.
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