Bratislava is a city teeming with things to do, history to soak in and sights to see, and three days is a perfect amount of time to drink it all in.
Day One: Gothic and Baroque
Spend your first day in Bratislava exploring the narrow side alleys, sweeping piazzas and majestic Baroque churches, palaces and townhouses of the Starý Mesto (Old Town). Kick off with a trek uphill to Bratislava Castle, the much-restored iconic Renaissance palace that dominates the city. Check out the Gothic Chapel of St John the Almsgiver in St Martin’s Cathedral, and stop off in Franciscan Square for lunch in a sidewalk café. In the afternoon check out the rare 17th-century tapestries in the Primate’s Palace before heading up to the UFO Observation Deck on the Nový Most (New Bridge) for spectacular vistas of the castle illuminated after dark.
Day Two: Castles and Rivers
Take the bus out to Devín Castle, a 7.5-mile (12 km) journey west from Bratislava city center to explore the atmospheric ruins of a castle with origins dating back to Celtic times. Perched on a rocky outcrop above the meeting of the Danube and Morava rivers, summer sees plenty of family-friendly activity at Devín, including archery and falconry demonstrations, as well as spectacular views across the water into Austria. Take a hike along the waterside trails and dine in Devín to sample Slovak cuisine at one of the many waterside fish restaurants.
Day Three: Wine Country
Hit the Small Carpathian Wine Route between Bratislava and the Baroque town of Trnava for 25 miles (40 km) of sampling decent Riesling and Lemberger wines in the cellars of vintners along the drive. Stop off in Modra to buy decorative majolica ceramics and wind up the day at Red Stone Castle for tastings in the largest wine cellars in Europe.