Print 

- Mr. Plitko, what are the main activities of the Bratislava Tourist Board?

- There are three main directions in our work. The first one is the promotion of the city as a tourist destination with wide offer of attractions, places and activities for all kind of tourists. The second one is monitoring the tourist flows. We track the number of tourists, which countries they are from, how long is the duration of their stay in Bratislava. The third are the tourist products that we offer to our guests. This for example is the special Bratislava City Card, which gives the benefit of free public transport, free guided tour of the city and discounts up to 50%for selected restaurants, museums, accommodation, etc. It can be purchased for one, two or three days, depending on the stay of the tourists. Another product is our site www.visitbratislava.com, in which you can find all important information about the city.

- What is the number of tourists visiting the Slovak capital annually?

- We are proud that last year Bratislava had over 1 million visitors for the first time. This year - so far - we report an increase of 20% compared to the last one. And we assume it will be better for tourism than 2015.

– Is there a bigger flow of visitors due to the Slovak Presidency of the EU Council?

- I do not think the presidency has affected the number of visits to the city. People who arrive here because of it are generally participants in the sessions. They are not tourists; they come on business in the city. But they can promote Bratislava and this can bring tourists. It is about their good feeling from Bratislava during their stay.

- What methods do you use to advertise Bratislava?

- The best method for us is having a nice, clean and good functioning city. If people make sure that Bratislava is a well developed city, they will share their feelings to others and become the best advertisement for us. We always work for improving ourselves.

- How can your guests explore the city...

– We offer walking guided tours through the historic landmarks for the tourists. There are also trips with the „Presporacik Oldtimer“ trains. They have different routes and duration and are equipped with electronic guides with headphones in 13 languages. With them one can visit the Bratislava castle or make a tour of the Old City.

Also we offer boat tour through the Danube River; you will visit Museum of Modern art – Danubiana located on Danube peninsula or Devin castle on the border with Austria.

You can try also running, segway, bike and other tours.

- What is your favorite place in the city?

- I love the Primates Palace very much. For me it is an interesting place with its setting, its details, and the yard.

- Do you try to bind the visits to the capital with other sights of Slovakia?

- Bratislava Tourist Board deals with the sights in Bratislava and the region around. We have a lot of things to see and do. You can explore the city, taste local wines, do some sports on the Danube River or relax in luxury spas in the forest or by the lake.

- Do you have affiliations with other European capitals such as Vienna, which is only 60 km away from you?

-  We have no specific links. But the „City cards“ are now available in many European cities - London, Vienna, Budapest, even Sofia and representatives of tourist organizations that offer these cards periodically have meetings. There they discuss the cooperation in different directions and for specific events.

- We saw a lot of young tourists around the city. What do they find here?

- They are mostly interested in the sports attractions. Therefore, we provide an opportunity for boat trips on the Danube. With them they can reach the Devin fortress or Čunovo town, which I already mentioned and where Danubiana is. There we have also a sports complex built on an artificial channel of the Danube, which is called „Wild Water“. This is the place for rafting, surfing or other sport. Those who love the extreme can bungee jump from the Lafranconi Bridge.

We try to offer routes for bikes that can be borrowed from the SNP Bridge. The Volkswagen factory offers cars for off-road test drive.

Families with young children have the opportunity to visit our beautiful Zoo, the Botanical garden, Children's Museum and many other places.

- What musical events could attract them?

- One of our most popular events is the „The Cultural summer“ and „Castle festival“ with concerts in the courtyard of the Old Town Hall and on some squares there are music events of various kinds. In the field of classical music the most popular festival is „Viva Musica!“, that are series of concerts, which were first organized on the Main Square - the center of the social life in the city. Now they are in some halls, parks and unusual places. Some concerts are in a very beautiful garden, opened in the 18th century named „Sad Janka Kráľa“.

In Bratislava one can find the Slovak Philharmonic, the new and the old Slovak National Theatre and many other small or bigger theaters. Our guests can find most of the events on www.bagoclassical.sk.

- But surely you have no problem with the culinary tourism. Your countless restaurants are full in the evening ...

-Yes, we have not. We are destination of many tastes. That is the reason we made special culinary brochure full of tips.

The historical center is the best place to meet your family, friends or colleagues and our goal is to bring some new inspiration. Bratislava region is famous for its good wine and local cousin. A well-known place in Bratislava is the National Wine Salon. There you can try the best Slovak wines. And in the autumn, when the vintage is over, there is one more event –Small Carpathian wine route. You can taste different wines in the towns near by Bratislava (Modra, Sv. Jur and others).

On the other site, some of the restaurants have their own breweries, which is like a little paradise for the beer lovers.

 

Photo: archive Mr. Plitko