When the city is lit up by colorful flashing lights, when the sweet fragrance of cinnamon wafts through the air, when you warm up your frozen hands on a hot cup of punch while carols sound in the background, it is an unmistakable sign that Christmas has come to Bratislava.
Cinnamon, vanilla, hot, Christmas
A winter evening, when Christmas trees in the square are illuminated by thousands of Christmas lights, is magical not only for children but also for adults. Christmas markets in Bratislava have a long tradition, and they represent a kind of small city within a city. It is said that the local Christmas markets are cosier and less commercial than those in Vienna. It is a place of friendly meetings and the time passes a little more slowly there. People warming up over mulled wine or punch are kinder and more open.
The Christmas atmosphere is perfectly complemented by traditional music programs most often happening on the Main Square. Adorable red-white stalls attract visitors to traditional Slovak delicacies such as lokshe, potato pancakes, sliced bread with lard and onions, gypsy roast and mulled wine from local winegrowers, warm or grog. There are also all types of sweets there which are simply irresistible. Cinnamon trdelnik, poppy seed strudel or hot chocolate with chestnut puree are favorites, which you just have to taste. We warn you in advance to visit the Bratislava Christmas Market principally on an empty stomach :)
Christmas is the season of love, joy and generosity. Thank those closest to you for the year which has gone by and bring a smile to their faces with small original gifts. If you do not know how to select the right gift, visit the Christmas markets and get some inspiration. Vendors will be happy to assist you and you certainly won’t go away empty-handed. You will find the high-quality work of Slovak craftsmen and artisans there, whether it’s porcelain, pottery, objects carved from wood or tiny crocheted angels.
In many cases, buying small things at Christmas markets also supports the charitable organizations that help those who need it the most. Christmas is not only about gifts. For many, this festal period is more associated with spiritual values. During advent, at the Cathedral of St. Martin, but also at smaller churches, Christmas concerts by local choirs and musical groups are held. Enjoy these precious moments with family or friends and let the true message of Christmas come to you as well.
Christmas on ice
Winter in Bratislava brings many other pleasures with it. How about skating around a rink in the centre of the city under the open sky? If you still haven’t stood on skates, now is the right time. Not only will you warm up during this nice activity, but you will also smile a lot. Passionate skaters will once again enjoy their moment of glory in the glow of the Christmas tree. Ice skating rinks can be found in just two places, on Hviezdoslav Square and Primatial Square and you can enjoy them throughout the winter. Skates, fans and an excellent atmosphere are all ensured for you on-site.
However, KHL teams definitely deserve their fans as well. Bratislava lives for hockey and every year it hosts prestigious KHL matches. The euphoria in the full ice hockey stadium, cheering with all your heart and the victory of “your” team are things you must experience for yourself. It’s a memorable hockey experience from which you will draw energy for a long time.
As on New Year’s, so it is the whole year
If you are still hesitating about where to spend New Year’s Eve this year, Bratislava is an obvious choice. During this night, the city is immersed in celebrating the New Year and many Bratislava businesses have special offers prepared for visitors. It certainly pays to come out into the streets of Bratislava and enjoy the music of popular bands in the center of the city.
Shortly before midnight, the festive atmosphere culminates and people count down the seconds which divide them from the New Year together. When the clock strikes midnight, the sky over Bratislava begins with a spectacular performance. The fireworks over Bratislava castle and their reflection in the Danube is a view that you’ll love. Start off the New Year on the right foot and feel free to give yourself some New Year’s resolution. For example, that you will definitely return to Bratislava within a year :)