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Touring Bratislava with Viking River Cruises: The Beautiful Gem of the Danube

Touring Bratislava with Viking River Cruises: The Beautiful Gem of the Danube

Come along on a voyage with Viking River Cruises as I recount the wonder of Bratislava, Slovakia—a sight to behold and a memory to cherish. Nestled beside the mighty Danube, Bratislava charmed its way into my heart, ranking high on my list of must-visit spots, just shy of the majestic Budapest.


Bratislava Uncovered: A Walk Through Time

Prepare to be whisked away by the allure of this hidden European capital. Imagine strolling down cobblestone lanes, surrounded by whimsical statues and gardens bursting with spring’s vibrant daffodils—a true feast for the senses and ideal for those seeking to drench their social feeds in beauty.

Perched above the city, the Bratislava Castle, straddling the Danube River, promises to catch your eye. With its striking white walls and vibrant orange roof, the castle is a beacon of history that beckons you through its grand Vienna Gates.

While you can explore its interiors, sometimes just basking in the panoramic vistas and wandering its gardens is all the soul needs.


Time-Honored Elegance Abound

Victorian grandeur awaits at St. Martin’s Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece that whispers tales from its past as the coronation church for Hungarian royalty from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Delve beneath to uncover the crypt and catacombs—a side of Bratislava rich with hidden stories.


No tour would be complete without a trip through Michael’s Gate. Sporting a distinctive green copper dome, it’s the lone guardian of Bratislava’s medieval fortifications. Standing beneath it, you’ll feel the echoes of centuries past.

Note the regal statue of Archangel Michael slaying a dragon atop the gate.

The Enchanting Streets of Bratislava

Wandering the colorful medieval boroughs, treat yourself and find keepsakes or souvenirs at boutiques dotted across Franciscan Square. From unique tomato jams to other culinary delights, there’s no shortage of treasures to discover.


In the heart of it all, the splendid Town Hall and its Maximilian Fountain emerge in stark yellow, making for a postcard-worthy tableau. It’s a window into Bratislava’s celebrated history—an ideal spot for a pause and reflection.


A Sweet Escape at Konditorei Kormuth

No visit is complete without indulging in Bratislava’s sweeter side at Konditorei Kormuth—an ornate dessert haven. Here, decadence meets narrative, from the mural-adorned walls, antique chandeliers, and ceiling frescoes to the antique sweet showcases.


While the hot chocolate may come tepid, it lacks nothing in richness—a perfect complement to the eye-candy delights. I truly felt like I was walking in a Hansel & Gretel fairytale. The macarons were incredible!


In Search of Čumil

Amidst my explorations, Čumil—”The Peeper”—stood out. I’d seen and read about this social media sensation before visiting Bratislava. Čumil is a bronze male sewer worker popping out from a sewage hole, a work by sculptor Viktor Hulík. He is convincing enough to get passersby on the ground for a playful photo, myself included.

Visitors left fresh flowers on the street beside Čumil; I wondered if this was typical.


The Call of Bratislava

Our half-day Viking River Cruises tour wrapped up all too soon, leaving me with a longing to return. Bratislava, “Beauty on the Danube,” has etched itself onto my travel wishlist for a deeper, more leisurely exploration. It’s a slice of Europe that dares you to uncover its layers—each one a story waiting to be told, perfect for enthusiasts hungry for authentic, uncharted experiences. 

Bratislava, with your charm and treasures, I’ll be seeing you again.


Check out our other posts related to our Viking River Cruises:

Passau, Germany (cruise embarkation city)

Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

What to Do at the Cruise Ports of Germany

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Jason Reid

Friday 15th of February 2019

Fantastic read. I'm so glad I squeezed in some time here between visiting Budapest and Vienna. You got some great photos too! Hopefully you'll go back some time.


Monday 18th of February 2019

Thanks so much!

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