Did you know that Slovakia has the highest number of castles per capita in the world? Indulge in the charm of more than 180 castles and 425 châteaux scattered throughout the country in the heart of Europe, once ruled by mighty monarchs, and explore the captivating history of this old crossroad of cultures.
Watch the royal past come to life in Bratislava
Start your royal trip in the capital, which was also the coronation city of the Hungarian Kingdom, for almost 300 years. Make sure to visit monumental Bratislava Castle, a former royal residence perched above the Danube. Besides seeing the attractive exhibitions on display, climb up the Crown Tower for stunning views of the city. Spot a huge, gold-plated replica of the St. Stephen crown situated on the top of an 85-meter high tower at St. Martin’s Cathedral, where 18 monarchs, including Maria Theresa, were crowned between 1563 to 1830. Enter this biggest church in the city and relish the quiet atmosphere within its impressive Gothic interior, where Beethoven chose to premiere his Missa Solemnis. Then head to the center for more of the city’s history plus festivals and chic café culture: the Main Square, with architectural finery in almost every direction. Take a picture with the statue of a Napoleonic soldier leaning over a bench or have a nice cup of coffee beside the fountain featuring a statue of the first king crowned in the city.
The city’s majestic past comes to life every July during Bratislava Coronation Days. Witness the ceremonies from up close as they are reenacted by actors wearing period costumes. While you enjoy theatre, musical performances, and jousting tournaments, you may get the feeling that time travel is possible.
Step into a fairytale in Bojnice
Fulfill your Disney fantasies and discover fairy-tale-like Bojnice Castle, located 180 km northeast of Bratislava. Blushing sandstone towers and crenelated turrets make this romantic castle one of the most visited landmarks in the whole of Central Europe. Does the castle seem familiar to you? That’s because the last owners took inspiration during reconstruction from the castles of France’s Loire Valley. Its breathtaking aesthetic has also made it a popular filming location for fantasy movies.
Uncover stories of its glorious past, starting with the 12th century, while exploring the noble chambers furnished with period furniture and art from across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Make sure to visit the castle chapel with a 14th-century altar comprising ten-panel paintings by a medieval Florentine maestro. Under the castle is a beautiful karst cave with stalactite formations, and two lakes with crystal clear water are waiting for you. Your kids will fall for a falconry show or a tournament of skilled knights. You can also visit the town zoo.
In Slovakia, you can enjoy your royal trip to the fullest!
Discover the capital of Slovakia, once the coronation city of Hungarian kings
Bratislava Castle, sometimes described as upside-down table
Fairy-tale Bojnice Castle in Central Slovakia evokes romantic legends
Bojnice Castle: The richly decorated interior features art from around the world
Exciting Bratislava Coronation Days take place July 29-31
Young or old(er): Mechelen welcomes you all.
Immerse yourself in a magical world.
Mystery abounds in every European country. You just have to know where to look. Welcome to the spooky side of Europe, home of ghastly ghosts, haunted happenings and eerie experiences for only the most adventurous of souls. Turn off the lights, get under your covers and dare to get familiar with some of the creepiest, scariest and most mysterious places in Europe.
Explore the Carpathian garden…