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What to do - Sightseeing tours
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Bratislava is the youthful, dynamic, and bustling capital of Slovakia. It is also an historic town full of traditions, nostalgia and music, and proud of its rich past. This is where three different countries meet with their languages, traditions, and cultures producing something very pleasant and attractive, a certain microcosm of central Europe.
Bratislava lies at the south-western edge of Slovakia, a few minutes’ drive from Austria and Hungary. The city occupies both banks of the Danube River, and is the largest city in the country with a population of around 450,000.
Bratislava, formerly known as Pressburg in German or Pozsony in Hungarian, is a city with a rich history dating back at least six thousand years. The site of Bratislava has been inhabited as early as the Stone Age. In the course of later centuries, the Celts, Romans, Slavs, Germans and the Hungarians have ruled the area.
Although the economic and political boon started here in 1291, as the city was granted extensive municipal privileges, the real heyday of Bratislava begun in 1536, when the greater part of Hungary was seized by the Turks and Bratislava became the political centre of the country.
During the reign of the Empress Maria Theresia, Bratislava became the most important and largest city in Hungary. After the defeat of Turks by the Habsburgs, most government offices moved back to Buda and Bratislava fell on hard times. Now it is enjoying its new freedoms and becoming an important tourist and business centre with good shopping, excellent hotels, and some fine restaurants.
There is much to see in the historic Old Town. Small art and antique galleries and shops mingle with restaurants and cafes. These attractions are within walking distance of each other.
There are more details shown in Top 10 sights section.
The Old Town is where you need to concentrate your activities. Most of the Bratislava Old Town and the Bratislava Castle can be explored conveniently on foot. Scheduled walking tours are available all-year-round leaving every day at 2pm from the Bratislava Tourist Service Information Agency office at Venturska 9. The tours are conducted in English and German. Of course, you can use a Bratislava guide-book or visit the official Bratislava Tourist Information Centre in the Primatial Square for a map and some local information.
Weekends become very crowded because Austrians and Hungarians flood in to sightsee and buy at prices cheaper than at home.
Apart from this, the only real option is to take the tour in the red mini-trains. Two operators presently offer tours of the city using these vehicles.
The Presporacik, a bio-fuel powered vehicle traveling at a leisurely pace, is available for hire in the Main Square from 9am to 5pm for half-hour and full-hour tours around the Old Town.