Bratislava I (a prime area) is the city’s centre, its Old Town, and its only borough. It is the city’s smallest district, but it is the heart of its social and cultural scene and Bratislava’s business centre.
Properties in Bratislava I are much sought after and getting increasingly difficult to find, thanks to high demand and lack of construction space in the historic centre; the rent is higher here than in other parts of the city. Modern new apartments are particularly popular with Slovak buyers.
Bratislava’s Old Town, or Staré Mesto, is the beating heart of the city. While its historic buildings and streets are well-preserved, new buildings are always going up in and around it—government offices, banks, shops and restaurants. The centre is also vibrant with young people—three of Bratislava’s six universities are in Staré Mesto.
The most historic and certainly most atmospheric area in the capital is the Staré Mesto, or Old Town. Its mixed, but mainly Baroque, architecture is mostly made up of brick or stucco apartment buildings, although there are also some sprawling villas.
There are three universities in Staré Mesto, and there are always students out and about. Their youthful presence has acted as a catalyst on the city centre—restaurants, bars, banks, and shopping centres have been popping up, transforming the town into a more dynamic, youthful area.
There is a large pedestrian area around the central square. Do not be misled by the shoddy façades of some buildings; most of the interiors have been completely renovated. There are foreign embassies and large residences near Horský Park and the Slavin Monument and Ministry buildings in the east, giving the area a cosmopolitan, international air.
The Old Town is the most expensive part of Bratislava. Expatriates love its beauty and elegance, and the quiet of the pedestrian centre. Art galleries and an opera theatre make this an important cultural centre. It is also a business district; there are multinational organizations, accounting and international law firms, and advertising agencies here.
There is good public transportation, and the major commercial areas are within walking distance from the square. A possible downside may be the shortage of parking spaces. Reserved parking is not available in old buildings, although some buildings have automated systems that tell drivers if parking slots are available or not.
The centre of Bratislava’s Old Town is its main square, Hlavné Námestie. It used to be called Námestie 4 Apríla, in commemoration of the day when the city was liberated in World War II. The 16th century Maximilian Fountain, also known as Roland Fountain, is the focal point of the cobblestoned square, which is surrounded by cafés, restaurants and old burghers’ houses.
Next to the main square is another square, Františkánske Námestie. It is notable for the 400-year-old Church of the Holy Saviour, and the Mirbach’s Palace, which houses a collection of Renaissance religious art.
The upscale neighbourhood of Castle Hill is one of Bratislava’s most prestigious addresses. Embassies and large villas characterize this district in the hills.
The towering Slavín Monument, built to honour the memory of the Soviet soldiers who liberated the city, and Horský Park, a lovely forest park in the middle of the city, are in Castle Hill. The park’s green tranquillity combines with the area’s accessibility and location to make it a prime property area.