Bratislava (population 425,500), situated in the south-west of Slovakia stretches on both banks of the Danube and in the foothills of the Little Carpathian Mountains. Thanks to this favorable position it was always a commercial center. Today the historic places witnesses to the rapid development of the young Slovak Republic. In spite of its exciting history, Bratislava is one of the youngest capitals of the world and its population is also very young. The modern metropolis is opened to Europe and to the world as proved by the increasing number of foreign visitors of most diverse countries. They are attracted by the cosiness of the rather small city that nevertheless possesses a throbbing social life and historic charms combined with the most recent trends. Palaces, modern shopping and trade centers, admirable arts of the Slovak cooks and brewers, friendly people and various international cultural or sports events, exhibitions, and business opportunities are the reasons why it is worth visiting.