Known for centuries as Pressburg, Bratislava was the capital of Hungary for almost 300 years. Nobles erected numerous palaces during this period, many of which still stand on the car-free squares and cobbled lanes. The city does not have any blockbuster attractions, but that is not to say it is devoid of interesting sights. One favorite stop is the Pálffy Palace, which presents changing exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. The city’s old quarter has its problems, but even unpromising-looking façades often conceal surprisingly chic restaurants and bars. In season, Bratislava is a refreshing antidote to crowded Prague.