Bratislava's history goes back deep into history. Throughout time it has seen many different royal kingdoms and groups of people taking over it, claiming it, or simply passing through. From the Romans, the Celtics and the Slavs the area has been a hotspot of activity since early human history. When it was the capital of the Hungarian empire, it was the site of the royal crownings and it has also played a very important role in Jewish history. Reading up on the incredible past of this city will definitely enhance your understanding of its culture and thus enrich your stay here. Picking up a guide with some Slovak phrases is also a great idea!

A good place to start is with the history of course and you can do so by checking out any of the following: "Slovakia in History" by Mikuláš Teich, Dušan Kováč and Martin D. Brown,   "The Slavs in European History and Civilization" by Francis Dvornik, or " Return to Diversity: A Political History of East Central Europe Since World War II" by Joseph Rothschild and Nancy Meriwether Wingfield.

The following are also great choices when it comes to more general books and guides on Bratislava:

There are also several local tourist guides that can be purchased at various places in the city center (e.g. Bratislava Tourist Service, Venturska St. No. 9 or Interpress, Sedlarska St. No. 2).  They contain more detailed and more recent information than guides mentioned above. Probably the most concise and detailed guides you can get are "Bratislava Active" by Martin Sloboda and recent "Bratislava City Guide - Spectacular Slovakia" :

The Slovak Spectator is English language newspaper in Slovakia and you can get a lot of useful information from their webpages or printed issue you can buy in newsstands.