The charming but minuscule Old Town lies at the historic heart of Bratislava, the mini-capital city of Slovakia, clustered around the much-restored, landmark Renaissance castle and crammed with fountain-filled piazzas connected by a warren of medieval cobbled alleyways. It is a cosmopolitan district of red-roofed, pastel-colored townhouses brimming with high-end designer stores, souvenir shops, sophisticated restaurants and local bars, with more than its fair share of Baroque churches and Neo-classical palaces.
The area's great Gothic Cathedral of St Martin was the coronation venue of Austro-Hungarian monarchs, and there are also museums aplenty to explore—with collections encompassing artwork, weapons, music and Jewish history—and a thriving cultural life thanks to the Slovak National Theatre.
Come Christmas, festive markets fill the streets, while summer sees music festivals and classical concerts. To catch the best views over Bratislava Old Town, head for the UFO Observation Deck high above the Nový Most (New Bridge) across the River Danube.
Old Town is the historic center of the city of Bratislava, and at 3.7 square miles, it is easily walkable.