Rudnayovo námestie 1, 811 01 Bratislava-Staré Mesto, Slovakia
Slovakia's Culture-Mad CapitalBratislava’s architectural stock blends medieval stone buildings, grand 18th- and 19th-century palaces, many grim and boxy reminders of the Soviet era, and some whimsical and sleek modern edifices, all overseen by the dignified castle on the hill above the river. Local culture, too, blends old and new: the town, where so many Hungarian rulers were crowned and where the aristocrats of Central Europe gathered for grand balls, still holds formal dances during Carnival season, but now the entertainments include Queen cover bands, avant-garde dance troupes, and performance art. Walk the narrow streets and open squares of the tile-roofed Old Town and linger over a glass of local beer at a sidewalk café or hit the art galleries, especially Galéria Nedbalka, and witness the rich churn of a very active art scene. Rent a bike and ride the gentle trail along the Danube or stroll in formal palace gardens or the city’s forest park to catch a glimpse of more high/low contrasts here.