In a time of political change, as Czechoslovakia vanished from the map on January 1st 1993, Bratislava became the youngest capital in Europe. The new status stimulated numerous visible changes that over the last twenty years have contributed to dynamic development of the region and made Slovakia a deserved member of the European Union. Now the city welcomes tourists, students, businessmen and inventors with its unique atmosphere and friendly environment. The inhabitants seem to be proud of their past and open to modern solutions at the same time.
Among the interesting sites, it is worth mentioning the old, massive Bratislava Castle situated on a rocky hill, 82 metres above the river. The place recalls prehistoric times and used to be a significant centre for the Celts and the Romans. Also, the Gothic St Martin's Cathedral and Bratislava’s Town Hall (City Museum since 1868) are landmarks often admired by tourists. To be in Bratislava and not to visit the Old Town area would be a mistake to regret. You should at least stroll along the stone-paved streets and take some time for a cup of coffee or a local beer.
As far as dining is concerned, the centre of the city is full of restaurants with both traditional Slovak dishes, like Bryndzové halšky made from a soft sheep cheese or a poppy seed strudel, and also that of Pressburg, traditionally mixing different flavours and influences. Lately, a poppy seed linguini or gnocchini have become a rarity in Bratislava, so don’t hesitate to try them. If you wish to combine a visit to a restaurant with an interesting sight, go to the UFO Watch Taste Groove. Situated at the New Bridge (Nový Most), it has a special attraction: a restaurant in the shape of a flying saucer with an impressive observation deck and a club inside. The bridge itself is in the top 10 of the world’s largest cable-stayed bridges, so don’t miss it.
In addition, Bratislava is called a city of music, as it is home to the Slovak National Theatre and the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, located in the historical Baroque Reduta Building. World-famous ballet and opera performances featuring the best stars are delightful feasts for all connoisseurs. In the past, the town has hosted such famous musicians as Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn and Rubinstein. Moreover, each September there is a Bratislava Music Festival held, whereas Bratislava Jazz Days take place annually in October. That’s why autumn is always reserved for music lovers.
However, music is not the only sign of vivid life in the flourishing capital of Slovakia. Since 1999, it has become a tradition to welcome the New Year on the Main Square. Due to the spectacular celebration, the party has gained the nickname 'Welcome to Partyslava'. There are also several museums, over twenty galleries, numerous parks (the biggest one is the Bratislava Forest Park) offering a variety of sights. And if you decide you’ve seen enough, the most popular destination for a day out is Vienna, only 60 kilometres away.