If you are staying in Bratislava for more than one day (which you obviously should), hrad Devín or Devín Castle is the ideal trip from the city centre. This ruin atop a massive rock has always been an important place in Slovak history. Strategically located at the confluence of the river Morava and the Danube, it overlooks the Austrian chequered fields of the Marchfeld plain. Before 1989, the Iron Curtain ran just below the castle, and those fields, although very close, were unattainable.
Every part of the castle’s vast grounds offers a different view of the surroundings. The central area gives you an almost 360° view – with the rivers Morava and Danube on one side and the Devínska Kobyla hill with Devín village tucked below it. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb up the highest terrace.
Devín also has a little promenade right below the ominous-looking castle rock and there are plenty of pubs around. I recommend you try the local speciality – red currant wine or ríbezľové víno.
You can reach the castle by bus no 29 from the SNP Bridge in Bratislava’s Old Town. A great way to reach Devín during the high season (starting towards the end of April) is by boat. Check their timetable here. I can’t recommend enough the forest walk from Devín to Sandberg (check the Sandberg article) located above the neighboring Devínska Nová Ves.
During the winter season, the castle grounds are open but not the exhibition areas. Last entry in the castle 30 minutes before closing.