Garden of Janko Kral is one of the oldest municipal parks in Europe. Get to know its history, main spots and reasons why it is one of the most popular outdoor places for a meet up!
Garden of Janko Kral is a park in Bratislava’s Petržalka borough. It spreads along the Danube bank from Petržalka side (the side where the UFO tower is standing) and lies right next to the popular shopping mall Aupark.
To get there from the Old Town you will need to walk across the new bridge. It is a very nice walk and will take you only 5-10 minutes. The park will be on your left side.
Getting there by car is a good idea as well and you can park it on the Viedenska Street next to the Magio beach. No opening hours apply, you can come 24/7.
This area has been originally covered by the alluvial forest. They transformed the forest into a natural park in the second half of the 18th century, during the reign of Maria Theresa. The park became accessible not only to the privileged aristocracy but also to the wide public. Thanks to that, Bratislava has the oldest public park in the Central Europe and one of the oldest ones on the whole continent.
It had originally a baroque-classical form with a star-shaped alleys and was later changed into a typical English park with the green lawns and flowerbeds.
THINGS TO SEE
One of the liveliest spots in the park is the area around a statue of the Slovak poet of the romanticism period, Janko Kráľ, after whom the park carries its name.
Another popular spot is a green area around a Gothic Tower which has been removed from the Franciscan Church in 1839 and serves as a garden arbour now.
You can also enjoy the Danube embankment which you can easily access from the park by crossing the Viedenska Street where you can admire beautiful view of the river, the Castle and of the St. Martin’s Cathedral. During the summer, the river bank turns into a popular sandy Magio beach which is one of the best summer chill out spots in Bratislava.
The historical building of the Arena Theatre stands in the park area between the Viedenska Street and the Danube river bank. You can also find here a popular restaurant Leberfinger, replica of a former historical restaurant Au Cafe as well as the Auspic restaurant with its tasty Slovak and Hungarian meals.
THINGS TO DO
It is probably the most popular place to meet for picnics (and thus it made it to our list of the best picnic spots), to take photographs, organize small markets or enjoy concerts.
There is a community that organizes picnics here regularly on Sundays in summer which you can join if you want to meet new people :)
Thanks to the project „Music in the Park“ which is organized as one of the accompanying events of the Viva Musica! festival, you can enjoy here a series of delightful open-air chamber concerts each summer. During the concerts, the park resounds to classical music rendered by established artists and professional chamber ensembles. These concerts preserve the indispensable atmosphere of the park, with no podia to disturb it. The concerts are free of charge.
Another regular event held in this park is called Swing Thursdays offering summer swing social dance at no admission!
Sounds like many reasons to visit it by yourself, right?