Bratislava at a Glance
Moving to Bratislava
About the City
Located on the banks of the Danube and Morava rivers, Bratislava is the capital and largest city of Slovakia. As it is situated in the south-west of the country, Bratislava borders both Austria and Hungary, and as a result is the only city in the world that borders two independent nations. As the capital city, and political, cultural and economic center of Slovakia, Bratislava is home to around half a million people. Of its population, around 90% are native Slovaks, but due to its close proximity to Hungary and Austria, there are also large Hungarian and Austrian communities, as well as Czechs, Germans, Moravian, and Croats. Although Slovakian is the official and most commonly spoken language in the city, many people also speak either German or Hungarian as a second language. Due to Slovakians closeness to Czech, this is also widely understood. Although some people will speak English, it is not as commonly spoken as in some other European nations, so learning some Slovakian is recommended for foreigners moving to Bratislava.
The Climate in Bratislava
As it is located in the North Temperate Zone, expatriates moving to Bratislava will need to adjust to a moderate continental climate, which is characterized by hot, humid summers and cool winters, with rainfall spread evenly throughout the year. With yearly average rainfall of around 565 mm (22.24 inches), Bratislava is one of the driest places in all of Slovakia, as well as one of the warmest. The hottest month of the year is August, during which the temperature is around 27.0°C (80.6°F) on average, however highs of 36.3°C (97.3°F) are not uncommon. By contrast, the winters tend to be much milder, with average temperatures of around −0.4°C (31.3°F) in January, which is the coldest month of the year. Although snow does fall during the winter months, it is becoming less common. As Bratislava is located on the Danube and Morava rivers, flooding can be an issue in some parts of the city, particularly in areas like Devín and Devínska Nová Ves.
Visas for Slovakia
Whether or not you will need a visa for Bratislava depends on your nationality or citizenship. As Slovakia is a full member of the European Union, citizens of EU/EEA nations and Switzerland will not need a visa to enter the country, or to move to Bratislava for an extended period of time. However, you will need to register your presence with the Slovakian immigration authorities on arrival in the city. Once EU/EEA and Swiss nations have lived in Bratislava for ten years, they will be able to apply for citizenship of the country. However, non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens will need a visa to move to Bratislava, and may need one to enter Slovakia. Tourist and short term business visas last for up to 90 days, and can be applied for through your local embassy or consulate. However, if you wish to stay for longer than this period then you will need to apply for a temporary residence permit (TRP), which lasts for one year. You will need to apply for this before moving to Bratislava in your home country. Again, after 10 years, you will be able to apply for permanent residency and citizenship.