Bratislava opens its gates this weekend along with several institutions and usually inaccessible buildings


During the upcoming weekend of 20 – 21 April 2024, it will be worth visiting the streets of the capital city. Bratislava City Days will bring street shows, concerts, theatrical performances, a community market, a silent disco as well as tours of historical buildings. The doors of the Primate’s Palace as well as several city institutions will be open to the public. Thanks to the involvement of city districts, the municipal and partner organisations, more than 350 events will take place in Bratislava over the two days.

The popular Bratislava City Days festival is organised by the Bratislava Cultural and Information Centre (BKIS) in cooperation with the City of Bratislava, Capital of the Slovak Republic. Fourteen city districts, 15 municipal organisations and other partners are taking part in the programme of the 21st year of this event. They have together prepared a genre-diverse programme for all age categories, which will take place on several stages across the entire capital city. “In different periods and cultures, people have believed that keys have the power to unlock the unknown and reveal secrets. During Bratislava City Days, we unlock Bratislava and many of its doors. We appreciate that many municipal organisations, city districts and other partner institutions are taking part in the event. We can thus create a cultural city where people can share everything nice together," says BKIS director Katarína Hulíková.

A weekend full of experiences and vivid urban culture

The historical opening of the city gates will take place on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. on Primaciálne námestie – accompanied with music, fencing, drums and fanfare and with a reference to the city’s coronation tradition. During both days, you’ll be able to look around the premises of the Primate’s Palace, including the mayor’s office. Chess and other board games will be played in the palace courtyards, and you’ll find a dining area and a community table on Primaciálne námestie. On Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., you’ll have the opportunity to experience the unique Bratislava Astronomical Clock – performances by street artists on the balcony of the Primate’s Palace will announce each passing hour.

A weekend of open buildings

Aside from the Primate’s Palace and the open doors of city institutions, residents of Bratislava will have the opportunity to look into 24 historical buildings and other interesting spaces in Bratislava. The offer includes tours of the Bratislava crematorium, Klarisky (the Clarissine Church), the Slavín monument, the YMCA, the Stará tržnica and Nová tržnica (Old and New Marketplace), Albrechtov dom (Albrecht House) and Rómerov dom (Rómer House), the backstage of the P. O. Hviezdoslav Theatre, the historical premises at Biela 6 and many others. We recommend booking your place at BKIS ↗︎ as soon as you can, as places on the tours will sell out quickly.

From the centre outwards

Bratislava City Days are held throughout all of Bratislava thanks to the involvement of city districts and municipal organisations. Along with the Forestry Days on Partizánská lúka (Partizan Meadow), the municipal forests are preparing a barbecue in Hájovna Krasňany on Saturday. Nové Mesto (New Town) invites you to the opening of the revitalised park at Račianske mýto, Devín and Záhorská Bystrica to a spring book fair, and Dúbravka to the children’s theatre. On Saturday, Vajnory will open the cycling season, and the World Circus Day festival will be held in Karlova Ves over the weekend. Lamač is taking part in the Weekend of Open Buildings by opening the Kaplnka sv. Rozálie (Chapel of St. Rosalia).

Since Bratislava City Days are held close to Earth Day (22 April), the programme also includes several environmental events that develop the topic of ecologically responsible behaviour. Earth Day activities are being prepared by city districts Rača, Rusovce, Ružinov, Petržalka, Podunajské Biskupice and Vrakuňa, while the BKIS is organising the planting of seedlings and eco-workshops in the Sad Janka Kráľa (Janko Kráľ Orchard).

You can look forward to good music and street shows

The Bratislava City Days musical programme will be diverse – Tata Bojs, Gramophon Brothers, Jean Valjean Orchestra, Music of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic, Music of the Castle Guard and Police of the Czech Republic, Tamara Kramar and students from the Bratislava ZUŠ (primary school of the arts) will perform. At the Silent Disco held in Klarisky, DJs Signate and Matey will play in parallel, and DJ Raylab will perform in the courtyard of Biela 6 as part of the warm-up. Visitors to the city can expect several street shows over the weekend – in the streets of the Old Town you can enjoy a circus parade, the entertaining theatre performance Servisáci (Workmen) and a show on stilts of the Divadlo Dvor Zázrakov (Miracle Court Theatre) with the Queen of Hearts. Saturday evening will culminate with the magical Phoenix Garden from the Czech ensemble V.O.S.A. Theatre, which brings an interactive light installation with live singing, light shows and acrobatic performances to the front of the historical SND building.

Rides in historic vehicles and the Propeller

For more than 100 years, the legendary boat Propeller connected the Old Town and the Petržalka bank of the Danube. On Saturday, it will exceptionally operate again – the boat Martin will transport up to 160 passengers to the other side of the river at one time. You can also explore the city by means of a Cabrio Bus ride, where again this year the mayor of Bratislava, Matúš Vallo, will be your guide. The Bratislava Transport Company will once again take its historic vehicles to the streets during City Days. The full programme and all other information about the festival can be found at BKIS ↗︎.

The Bratislava Cultural and Information Centre (BKIS) is a city contributory organisation that arranges and implements important city-wide cultural and social events (Bratislava City Days, Bratislava Cultural Summer, the Festival of Young Wine, Bratislava Christmas, Bratislava Carnival, and others). It creates the conditions for organising cultural events through the Open Call system. It administers the oldest Tour Guide Course in Slovakia, specialised in Bratislava. It organises the series of thematic walks with the guides, the Date with the City, and prepares a podcast of the same name. It manages the Klarisky Concert Hall and the Cultural Stage in the Janko Kráľ Orchard and is ensuring the restoration of the former Zora Cinema building and the premises at Biela 6.