7 Photo Spots for your next Trip to Bratislava
Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is conveniently located at the border triangle of Slovakia, Hungary, and Austria. From Vienna, you can get to Bratislava within an hour by train and if you can spend a little more time, take the speed boat from Vienna to Bratislava.
Because of the proximity of Bratislava and Vienna, Bratislava is a good destination for a spontaneous photo trip. Like recently, when I packed my Gonex packable backpack, hopped into a train and spent a day in Bratislava photographing.
So here are 7 of my favorite photo spots in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The most famous photo spot in Bratislava: The UFO Bridge
The famous Most SNP, or UFO bridge, has its name from a restaurant and platform on top of the bridge that looks like, well, a UFO.
For 8 Euros, you get a ticket and can go up to the windy platform two times on a single day.
Especially at night, the UFO bridge itself is a great photo spot because the bridge, tower, and the UFO are well illuminated. One of the best places to take a photo of the bridge and the UFO is the old town side of the Danube, from where I took this photo.
For this photo, I used the iPhone night mode camera.
The iPhone 11 chose an exposure time of 3 seconds for this photo, and it chose that wisely. For such a long exposure, I had to use a tripod for iPhone. Otherwise, it would have been impossible to get a sharp photo.
By the way, right behind the UFO bridge, within a 10 minute walk, is a shopping mall with a food court. Well, usually I avoid two things during a trip: shopping malls and food courts in shopping malls. But you have no other option in this area except for the rather expensive UFO restaurant.
Starý Most, the old bridge
Another beautiful photo spot is the old bridge. Be really careful here. Trams are crossing the bridge every other minute, and to take a photo, like the one you see below, you need to stand in between the rails. There are barriers to the left and right. So if you hear a tram coming, run!
As you don't have much time in between the passing trams, I tried this one handheld without a tripod. It took me a few attempts to get a satisfying result with the iPhone night mode. The iPhone detected that I didn't use a tripod, probably using the motion sensors, and chose an exposure time of 2 seconds, which is a bit difficult to hold by hand. But eventually, I got a sharp photo.
The inverted Pyramid
The inverted pyramid is the building of Slovakia's national radio. This one was a candidate for a black and white edit.
I converted this one to black and white using Lightroom Mobile, just as I've outlined in the tutorial about how to convert a photo to black & white with Adobe Lightroom mobile
The abandoned Hospital
If you walk through Bratislava with open eyes and enough curiosity, you'll find some abandoned buildings like the one below. Allegedly, it was a former hospital, and I would have loved to see it form the inside. But unfortunately ...
First, I tried to focus on the lock and the chain, blurring the background. But this way, I felt the photo would be just another photo of a lock and a chain. So I tried it the other way round, like "I see something where I want to go (the door), but something is keeping me from doing that (the lock).
The Blue Church
I have no idea why they painted this church blue. The good thing is that you can't miss it.
One more cool place to take photos is the castle tunnel. Similar to the old bridge, be very careful here. Trams are passing by every few minutes.
After this photo spot I needed a break 'cause the battery of my iPhone 11 was dying. I was down to 20%. But the Anker 26800 mAh power bank charged it in no time and I could continue to photograph. I even had to charge it a second time during the train ride home while I edited photos.
As I didn't have much space there to put up my tripod, I used Live Photos to take a long exposure of a tram going into the tunnel.
You can't miss the castle in Bratislava. It's on top of a small hill and well illuminated at night.
An excellent place to take a photo of the castle is from the viewing platform of the UFO, where you will need a Moment telephoto lens in addition to the built in iPhone telephoto lens. I used this setup for this photo: