Our next stop is Bojnice, a historical town in Slovakia and highly underrated place to visit. Make a day trip out of Bojnice by first visiting the romantic Bojnice Castle, one of the most visited castles in Slovakia.
Although used as a background for many fantasy and fairy-tale movies with happy endings, the Bojnice Castle doesn’t have a similar finish. The last owner of the castle was from the highly influential Pálffy family, Count János Ferenc Pálffy, who made complex romantic reconstruction to the castle as a gift to a beautiful French maiden. Unfortunately, work took too long and due to the large age gap between him and the maiden, she chose to marry someone else. Count Pálffy died a bachelor and is buried in the castle.
Slovakia would not be complete without a trip to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Start by exploring Old Town, where most of the attractions are.
There is a train tour that starts and ends at the city square and brings visitors around prominent attractions, such as Pálffy Palace (by the same family of Count János Ferenc Pálffy), and the Bratislava Holocaust Memorial. Traverse on foot if more time is available to really enjoy the comfortable pace of life of the Slovaks and to appreciate the historical monuments at every corner.
From Old Town, climb up the hill to reach Bratislava Castle that overlooks the Danube River. From the observatory balcony, it is also possible to see blocks of high rise apartments built during the Communist era. Local Slovaks will tell you that the apartments are an eyesore and just a painful reminder of their lives during the Communist era and it is a far cry from the opinions of Asians living in countries, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, who deem such government-provided housing a symbol of efficiency and smart governance. Apart from the view, the castle also houses exhibitions of the Museum of History of the SNM inside.