In this post, I will help you to find Where to Stay in Bratislava first time, best areas to stay in Bratislava for tourists (with a map and video), and the best hotels in Bratislava for all budgets (including the hotel where I stayed).
You may be tempted to jump right in and start looking for places to stay in Bratislava. No one would blame you! Planning a trip to such a historically diverse city with such a unique clash of modern and post-war era culture is exciting. Before we get into the list, though, here are a few tips to get started:
Where to Stay in Bratislava?
The best areas to stay in Bratislava for first-timers are Stare Mesto (Old Town), Nove Mesto, Petrzalka, Ruzinov, and Palisády. These are popular and safe areas for tourists that offer a wide variety of attractions and amenities.
Stare Mesto/ Old Town is the overall best area for first-time visitors due to its central location. Staying here allows you to be located right in the heart of Bratislava, within walking distance of most of the major sites, restaurants, bars, and shops.
Go to Petrzalka for the best views of the cityscape. Being one of the more modernized parts of the city, you’ll be able to get a great view from any one of the city’s tallest buildings.
Nove Mesto/ New Town is a mostly residential area full of green spaces to walk around and relax in, so it’s removed from most of the city’s excitement.
With its public transport system, no place in Bratislava should be too far out of reach to get the most out of your trip, no matter where you decide to stay.
Where did I stay in Bratislava?
When I first visited Bratislava, I stayed for 3 nights at the mid-range SKARITZ Hotel & Residence. It had a central location, right in the heart of the old town, a short distance from the popular St. Michael’s Gate and the Main Square. My room was clean and really cozy.
|💖 Best Area for first-timers:||Stare Mesto (Old Town)|
|💎 Best luxury hotel:||Marrol’s Boutique Hotel|
|🏨 Best mid-range hotel:||Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel, Bratislava|
|💰 Best budget hotel:||Hostel Folks|
🎬 You can watch this short video about the best areas in Bratislava, and continue reading:
The Best areas to stay in Bratislava for tourists are:
1. Stare Mesto (Old Town)
Stare Mesto means “old town”, so it’s no surprise that this area is the most central in the city. It’s the best place for first time visitors, especially those who are nervous about finding their way around in a foreign city.
You’ll be able to reach most of the city’s top sites on foot, but if you have to venture out further, you’re just a short distance away from the city’s main train station.
Not only will you be in the historic heart of the city, you’ll be in its social heart as well. You won’t have to worry about where to go to immerse yourself with the locals with this area’s plethora of bars, cafes, and restaurants.
It may not be the quietest place to stay at night, but it’s definitely the best if you’re looking to use every minute of your trip soaking up the excitement that Bratislava has to offer.
Just going for a walk in this gorgeous area should be enough to draw you in if you’re looking for an immersive experience that will really feel like you’re in another world.
For a more laid back day, explore Old Town’s winding, cobblestone streets and stop in at a cafe for a bite to eat and some people watching.
One of the most popular attractions in Bratislava is the Bratislava Castle which was built in the 9th century.
For all you history buffs, you’ll be excited to know that it also serves as the Slovak National History Museum, and the hill the castle sits on is right within easy reach of anywhere you might stay in Stare Mesto.
The historic Danube river runs right along the edge of this area. Bratislava offers a selection of river cruises that are a perfect way to take in the beauty of the city, many of which leave right from Old Town itself.
Even if being on the water isn’t for you, Stare Mesto offers you the opportunity to take long walks along its banks for a relaxing break during your trip.
St. Elizabeth’s Church is another must-see, whether it’s your first or your fifth trip to Bratislava. While not as ancient as some other cathedral’s you may find in Europe (it was erected in 1910), what it lacks in age, it makes up for in charm.
Built in the art nouveau style, you won’t be able to miss its bright blue color and fairytale-like whimsy. This church has gone on to become one of Slovakia’s biggest landmarks, and when you stay in Stare Mesto, you’ll be right within walking distance of it.
Honestly, I could fill an entire post just with reasons to stay in Old Town between its charm and its sites and its convenient distance from everything, but, we have more areas to write about!
Stay in Stare Mesto if:
- You’re looking to do some serious sightseeing of the city’s landmarks;
- You’re a first time visitor and want to be close to everything;
- You’re wanting to be right in the heart of the city’s nightlife;
- You’re a history or architecture buff and you enjoy going on walks to explore the city.
Best places to stay in Bratislava in Stare Mesto:
- Luxury ($$$): Marrol’s Boutique Hotel
- mid-range ($$): Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel, Bratislava
- butget ($): Hostel Folks
See more: 5 Best Things to Do In Bratislava
2. Nove Mesto (New Town)
If you’re looking to get away from the crowds, then Nove Mesto (which means “new town”) is the place for you. While nearby its counterpart, Stare Mesto, Nove Mesto is nowhere near as bustling.
It’s a mostly residential area that is the home to many families in the city, a sort of suburbia in the city limits. As such, you won’t have to worry about crowds to navigate your way around and loud nightlife keeping you up.
You may be a bit further removed from the heart of the city, but you don’t have to worry about being too far from all that Bratislava has to offer.
The city’s train and public transport system will easily connect you with the other areas in the city limits and beyond. Sure, you may not be within walking distance, but if peace and quiet are essential for you to enjoy your vacation, it’s a worthwhile trade-off.
One of the main attractions you can find in Nove Mesto is the Bratislava Forest Park. It’s a great choice for the traveler who enjoys escaping the city to spend some time in nature.
Easily reached by train, whether you’re a solo traveler or you have your whole family in tow, you’ll be sure to love the greenery and untouched, natural environment so close to the city. Go on the rope walk during the warmer months or get in some tobogganing when it snows. The forest has something to offer all year round.
Nove Mesto is also a good choice if you’re looking for a mix of Soviet and modern architecture. You’ll find some of the newest accommodations in this area, so you won’t be surrounded by quite as many characteristic buildings and winding streets.
If you like sleek and modern and you want to make sure you can find accommodation with modern amenities while still being able to keep to your budget, Bratislava’s new town is for you.
You also won’t have to worry about having to search for hours to find a vacancy during your stay. Most tourists opt for Old Town, leaving you plenty of options if you think Nove Mesto is more your speed.
If you’re worried you’ll be missing out on tradition by staying in New Town, don’t worry. It’s not all concrete jungles and city life. You’ll be near some of the country’s most important vineyards. Grab a glass or a bottle while you’re there and sample some of what the local wine makers have to offer.
Is Nove Mesto the place for you to stay on your Bratislava visit? You should stay in Nove Mesto if:
- You want some space away from the crowds of tourists and locals that you’ll find in the historic city center;
- You want easy access to the Bratislava Forest Park and the rest of the city’s greener areas for some relaxation in ture;
- You prefer modern architecture to the older buildings of Stare Mesto;
- This is a last minute trip or you don’t want to have to worry about booking a place to stay far in advance, there e usually plenty of vacancies in this lesser frequented area;
- You want modern amenities but you’re looking for hotels on a budget;
- You don’t mind using public transportation to get around.
Best places to stay in Bratislava in Nove Mesto:FIND BEST HOTELS IN NOVE MESTO
Previously one of the city’s most downtrodden areas, Petrzalka has come up in the ranks in recent history to become one of the most desirable places to stay in Bratislava.
It’s now one of the most modernized places in the city and will give you some of the most typical “city” vibes with its high rises and new architecture.
You’ll be right on the river when you stay here which will give you an interesting combination of green parks and city streets, perfect for someone who wants the best of both worlds.
If you stay here, you’ll want to check out the Most SNP, also known as the UFO bridge. It’s the 7th largest suspension bridge in the world and gets its moniker from the unique shape of the bridge’s tower observation deck, which you can and should definitely visit!
The bridge itself is in a highly frequented area, so you’ll be surrounded by locals, giving you a unique opportunity to really feel like one of the locals.
In fact, Petrzalka is considered the best place to stay if you’re looking to feel like a local. It’s the largest area in the city and it’s where most of Bratislava’s citizens call home. There are fewer tourist attractions in the area itself, but you’ll still be well within reach of any landmarks you might want to visit.
If you’re a history buff, particularly if you’re interested in Soviet era history, this may be the place for you. You’ll find the most remnants of this part of the country and city’s history in this area, intermixed with the new constructions that give Petrzalka a distinct old and new world feel.
This area is also home to Sad Janka Krála, the city’s largest public garden which dates back to 1774, making it one of the oldest public parks in Europe. Go for a long walk to break up the excitement of your trip.
While you’re there, make sure to stop by the park’s gazebo, a decommissioned church tower, that is sure to be different from anything you’ll find in other parks or gardens worldwide.
Let’s not forget the views you’ll get if Petrzalka is where you choose to spend your Bratislava vacation. Remember those high rises we mentioned? This area is home to the tallest buildings in Bratislava and you can climb to the top of some of them for a one of a kind view of the city.
If you want easy access to the best postcard panoramic view of the city, Petrzalka is the place for you.
To summarize, Petrzalka should be your top pick for you Bratislava visit if:
- You want to be right on the Danube river;
- You want to stay where the locals are, most of them live in this area, after all;
- You want to be close to some of the city’s most unique and modern landmarks, the UFO bridge;
- You want to be able to easily go back and forth between being in the city and being surrounded by greenery thanks to the areas parks;
- You’re a Soviet history buff and are interested in seeing the architecture that’s still standing from this era;
- You want to get the best views of the entire city;
- You’re looking to stay in one of the city’s newest “it” spots.
Best places to stay in Bratislava in Petrzalka:FIND BEST HOTELS IN PESTRZALKA
4. Ruzinov (Rusinov)
If you’re traveling to Bratislava for business, Ruzinov (also spelled “Rusinov”) is the best place for you. This up and coming area is the city’s largest commercial district, and, as such, it welcomes business travelers from all sectors who are looking to travel to the city for work.
You’ll find plenty of accommodations here with everything you need to get work done. There may not be as many frills as in some of the other areas on this list, but if you’re in the city as a professional, Ruzinov has everything you need.
This area is also the closest to the Bratislava Airport so you can get right where you need to go as quickly as possible as soon as you land. A must for all busy travelers who are in the city for business.
Like much of the city, this area is well connected through the public transportation system, so you don’t have to worry about getting anywhere outside of Ruzinov if you have to.
This district is also your go-to place if you’re looking to do some serious shopping while you’re in Bratislava. You’ll find multiple shopping malls where you’ll be able to find a mix of well-known international and more local and lesser-known shops.
If you’re looking for a more interesting shopping experience, or you have lots of souvenirs to shop for, make sure to stop at the Mileticova Street market on a sunny day.
This farmer’s market is the perfect place to pick up locally grown and prepared food as well as handmade items that will make the perfect souvenirs for loved ones. While you’re at it, make sure to get a few things for yourself to remember your trip by.
When you’re all shopped out, you’re just a short distance away from the Bratislava Castle, the Danube river, or one of the city’s hop-on/hop-off bus tour stops.
Do you think Ruzinov is the place for you? You should stay here if:
- You’re traveling to Bratislava on business;
- You want to be close to the airport;
- Shopping is a priority for you, whether it be for local food, handmade goods, or more commercial items
Best places to stay in Bratislava in Ruzinov:
- luxury Sheraton Bratislava Hotel
- mid-range PREMIUM Business Hotel Bratislava
- budgetFelicity Garni Hotel
This one may be considered a bit of a cheat. Palisády is technically part of Stare Mesto, but we think this particular part of the district is distinct enough from the rest to deserve its own spot on this list.
Palisády is the perfect place for families or couples who want the same traditional feel of Old Town without all the hustle and bustle of the crowds. You’ll still get the convenience of having most of the city’s biggest and most important landmarks within walking distance.
Palisády has been described as giving its visitors an “authentic” feel. It’s true. With it being quieter than the rest of Old Town, you won’t find as many tourists as you might in other parts of the district.
You’ll get the same feel of being in another world, but with the added bonus of also feeling a little more like a local. The lack of obvious tourist shops and increase of local cafes that are actually frequented by locals will help to add to the feel that you’re living a version of the genuine Bratislava experience.
One site that has to be on your must-visit list if you decide to stay in Palisády is the Slavin War Memorial. If you’re interested in learning about local history, you’ll want to see this landmark that commemorates the country’s soldiers who lost their lives at the end of World War II.
Even if you’re not a history fanatic, you’ll definitely enjoy the view this area offers. The monument sits on a hill overlooking the city and is easily reached from this part of Old Town.
This area is also the best if Bratislava Castle is high on your list of places to visit. It’s been mentioned in this list before, as, being one of the city’s most famous sites, it’s easily reachable from nearly any place in Bratislava.
However, if you want to stay in the area with the most convenient way to get there, Palisády is your place. Palisády Street leads you right to the castle from Stare Mesto, you don’t have to worry at all about navigating winding streets or getting lost. If you stay here, getting lost along the way to the castle is impossible.
If you’re looking to spend a morning or afternoon doing something a little different, hop on over to the Goat’s Gate Cemetery, an 18th century cemetery that seems like it belongs in a storybook. It’s lush, green, and often overlooked, so you’ll have the added bonus of visiting someplace most tourists don’t even know about.
To summarize if you’re thinking Palisády may be where you want to stay during your Bratislava vacation, you should stay in this area if:
- You like the idea of staying in the city’s Old Town but you don’t want all the crowds;
- You’re traveling as a family or as a couple and you want some moments of quiet;
- Visiting the Bratislava castle is high up on your list of places to visit;
- You’re looking for a mix of local and culturally characteristic vibes;
- You want to be within walking distance of Bratislava’s major landmarks;
- Since Palisády is is part of Old Town, most of the reasons for staying in that district also apply here:
- You’re a first time visitor to Bratislava;
- Going on walks to explore the winding city streets sounds like a nice way to spend your trip.
Best places to stay in Bratislava in Palisády:
- luxury Grand Hotel River Park, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bratislava
- mid-range Loft Hotel Bratislava
- budget Art Hostel Taurus
Bratislava, the gorgeous capital of Slovakia, is a one-of-a-kind city that is definitely worth visiting, despite not being as talked about as other European capitals like Paris and Rome. Its plethora of landmarks that span centuries are varied enough that any type of traveler, whether an outdoors type or a museum goer, or anything in between, would easily find enough things to do to fill an entire trip.
In conclusion, Stare Mesto (Old Town), Nove Mesto, Petrzalka, Ruzinov, and Palisády are the best places to stay in Bratislava for tourists. Overall, Stare Mesto is the best area for first-time visitors due to its central location. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of the action!