Bratislava’s Old Town pedestrian zone gets closed up for NYE for a street parade which takes place at several squares and streets simultaneously. Multiple stages are scattered throughout the Old Town featuring the best local bands, dance groups and other performers entertaining the crowd all night long. The key points of action are Hlavne namestie (the Main square) by the Town Hall and Hviezdoslavovo Namestie (Hviezdoslav square) which is also where the Bratislava Free Tour starts.
The old pedestrian zone called Korso gives you the comfort of walking and dancing around undisturbed by cars or buses. For even more convenience, the city magistrate places security guards by all the entry points into the Old Town to check for pyrotechnics so that you can enjoy the night without getting injured by a firework gone haywire.
Bratislava is still a very cheap place although the prices are going up every year so if you are bored by the street programme you can always enter one of the biggest clubs for just a symbolic price compared to other European cities. If you come a few days before NYE, don’t miss out on the Bratislava Pub Crawl which will give you a useful rundown of the city’s best local clubs which will make your decision on the NYE club easier.
The fireworks go off at midnight by the castle over the river which makes for a nice reflection of all the colours in the Danube. 15 minutes before midnight the whole crowd from the Old Town gathers by the river bank to grab the best spots for watching the spectacle.
However, if partying isn’t your thing or you’re just not in the mood to do something special in Bratislava around New Years, you can still try out old favourites such as ice skating on one of Bratislava’s many frozen lakes. Bring a bottle of vodka and you’ll soon be figure skating like there’s no tomorrow. End of December in Bratislava usually sees a lot of snow and so bobsleighing from a hill in the middle of the town might also be an activity to indulge in. Remember, you’re never far from a drink in Slovakia and there are always a few pubs and bars on the top of the hill to give your ride that extra zip.