Welcome to Europe's most glamorous city! Welcome in Bratislava!

Well OK, not quite.  And truth be told, Bratislava, with fewer than half a million people, is never likely to be.  But it might be Europe's most relaxed, because what this city does have is old-town charm, sophisticated restaurants, traditional pubs, good music ranging from jazz to opera, stylish people, and a human scale which means that as a visitor you will not spend half your day trekking in and out of underground stations or getting from the airport into town.  All this, and Europe's greatest river as a backdrop.  What more could you want?

Bratislava is known as Pressburg to German-speakers or Pozsony to Hungarian-speakers. The city has a long and proud history that dates back to pre-Roman times.

The hillsides on the edge of the city have been home to vineyards for centuries, and close to Bratislava are wine towns where you can taste the best - and it is startlingly good! - that Slovakia has to offer.

In the city itself there is plenty to see and do.  Bratislava's long history - as home to Celts, Romans, Germans, Hungarians, Jews, and of course Slovaks - means there is an impressive range of architecture, languages and cuisine.

The handsome homes of the Austro-Hungarian noble families who built palaces here dot the city, and many of them are now open to the public as museums and galleries.  The castle, with its long and chequered history (it has been destroyed more than once), is now undergoing a major restoration.  There are great views over the mediaeval old town and the Danube valley from its fortifications.

Big pop acts often play concerts in Bratislava, while the Slovak Philharmonic and the opera and ballet of the Slovak National Theatre regularly put on world-class performances.

And if, after all this, you still want some big-city 'glamour' - and, along with it, busloads of gormless tourists - Vienna, Budapest or Prague are close enough for a daytrip.(

© 2011 by DLWRM FCE STU in Bratislava. Realization Fusion IS, s.r.o.