Travel Tips: Three hours in Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava is a very vibrant city with a variety of Renaissance and Baroque architecture. The large main square is full of shops, restaurants and cafes.

Our main mode of transport for this trip is a river cruise. Traveling on a river cruise is not always conducive to photography. But it certainly allows for perspectives that you wouldn’t get if you traveled by car. It’s a very relaxing way to cover more ground and not have to worry about anything.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. The old town area dates back to the 18th century and is pedestrian only. One of the main attractions is the Bratislava Castle, which overlooks the Old Town and the Danube River.

We boarded the ship in Budapest and our first stop was Bratislava. Then we boarded a bus and went on a two-hour walk as part of the excursion we had booked. We ended up in the main square and we had an hour. I’ve written before about photography while hiking. There are some good tips.

Bus photos aren’t the easiest (or the best) but I can’t help it. Luckily we were traveling at a very slow pace. When you’re in a new place it’s hard not to try to photograph everything. Especially if you know you won’t be coming back. So, even if you don’t have a ton of portfolio images, take photos anyway. With your camera and your phone. Book your trip.

Bratislava Castle

The main attraction of our tour is the Bratislava Castle. You can read more about its history here. The fort is located on a hill above the old town and offers some great views.

The fort grounds are beautifully maintained and beautified. It takes a little patience to get photos without any tourists. Sometimes, you have to embrace the people and know that they help tell the story and give some dimension to the buildings.

Old town and main square

I love the variety of architecture you find in European cities. Bratislava is no different. Colors, patterns and textures look more interesting here than in most places in the house.

Throughout our trip, I decided to focus on the windows. Choosing a subject that you can search for will help you slow down a bit instead of clicking. Because you’re looking for that one thing, you’ll see many image opportunities.

What I carry

I travel relatively light. My trusty Lowe Pro Passport Sling (original model) carries everything I need. I have one camera body, a Canon 6D. On this particular trip I chose not to do a second, backup.

The Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens and the Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens are two lenses that embody my particular way of creating images.

Any personal items go in my camera bag. Important things like money, ID and the like, go in my pockets and stay on my person. If someone decides to grab my bag.

Tips for walking

  • Don’t get in the way of others in the group
  • Make sure you’re not too far behind
  • Pay attention to the tour guide once, this will help you find what’s in your photos later
  • Don’t forget to carry water and snacks with you

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