Though Western Slovakia is not a region of lush vegetation and glacial lakes, it has plenty of charm via its mountainous realms and the nation's underrated capital of Bratislava.
Whereas the capital cities of most European countries have given way to mass commercialism and big crowds, there is a beauty and urban artistry to Bratislava, without accompanying congestion, that is unlike other comparable cosmopolitan areas. The settlement along the banks of the Danube offers a strong heritage and beautiful architecture in its august structures. The old city and the castle are the highlights; the Municipal Museum has many vestiges of the past, from medieval torture chambers to vintage wine-making presses, with two palaces in addition to Bratislava Castle with its Roman influence and residue of the first century. Nearby is the city square, where the finer restaurants and clubs are located.
Outside the city, you'll find a rugged region suited perfectly for the adventurous traveler seeking hilly activities or a sense of medieval times. The castle Devin is just a few miles outside the Bratislava city limits, while the Small Carpathian Mountains lead to the Vah Valley and are a major wine-growing region crisscrossed by well-traveled walking trails. Among other highlights of the plains and hills of the west are the medieval environs of Trnava; the artisanry of Modra; farmlands and bounty of Nitra and the gothic cathedrals and castles nearby the Baroque Palace of the Bishop of Nitra. If that's not enough, there are also two spa towns on the Vah. When visiting the Tokaj region, make sure to try to the wines, while Bratislava features a sparkling vintage favored by many.
After your soul receives its fill, the Slovakian cottages, parks and lodges will refill your body and recharge your mind.
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