In the future in Bratislava: an ideal itinerary

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Right here’s my itinerary for spending in the future in Bratislava, Slovakia’s charming capital. I spent simply over every week in Bratislava just lately, so hopefully I can provide you some good suggestions on this little itinerary. To be sincere, I’d advocate greater than in the future there if you happen to actually wish to benefit from the metropolis with out dashing. However I do know lots of people will go to briefly as a part of an extended journey in Central Europe or maybe as a day journey from close by Vienna, so I wished to place this information collectively to assist anybody profit from their time. And as Bratislava is so walkable, there’s loads you may cram right into a day.

Set on the banks of the River Danube and ignored by a hilltop fortress, Bratislava is a clear, compact and compelling metropolis. It borders Austria and Hungary and has been influenced by plenty of totally different cultures over time, making it an attention-grabbing and various place to go to. It has a very good combination of Communist squares and monuments juxtaposed towards fairly cobbled streets and vibrant church buildings. That is my type of place. Oh and it has loads of pretty cafés, bars and eating places to select from, too.

So, pour a drink and let’s get into how I like to recommend spending in the future in Bratislava…

In the future in Bratislava itinerary: morning

For those who’ve stayed over the evening earlier than, begin with breakfast at Panenská Kaviareň

For those who’re visiting as a day journey, you’ll in all probability have already got had brekkie so can ignore this! However if you happen to’ve stayed over the evening earlier than and you’ve got a full day stretching out forward of you, begin it nicely by heading to the stunning café Panenská Kaviareň for some avocado/salmon/egg on toast. 

It opens at 8am, so you may very simply match it in earlier than the free strolling tour, which is the very first thing I’m suggesting you do…

Get an introduction to Bratislava and see the fortress on a free strolling tour

A free strolling tour is all the time the easiest way to get to know a metropolis, particularly if you happen to’re on a decent timeframe. And the Bratislava one is an particularly attention-grabbing, concise introduction to the town.

The Free Tour Bratislava begins at 10am/11am (relying on the time of yr; verify their web site). It lasts for 2 hours. You don’t must e-book, simply present up on the right time on the assembly level (Google Maps hyperlink).

You get to listen to in regards to the metropolis’s historical past from an area whereas seeing many of the essential sights just like the cathedral, the outdated parliament and the well-known road statues (extra on these in a second). The tour additionally takes you into the grounds of Bratislava Fortress. You get a very good view throughout the rooftops, main out to the river, from there. I need to warn you, although. The fortress isn’t any Versailles. It’s fairly plain from the skin, only a fundamental whitewashed constructing. There’s a pleasant formal backyard on the again, which is finest in spring, however visiting the fortress is especially in regards to the views from its hilltop location.

If, for no matter purpose, you may’t make the strolling tour, you may simply stroll round the primary websites your self, with out the commentary from an area. Head to St Michael’s Gate and discover the outdated city, looking for the landmarks talked about above (map them in your telephone if you happen to’re tight for time). Do look out for the Primate’s Palace, a beautiful and ornate pink constructing the place Napoleon signed the Peace of Pressburg treaty in 1805, ending the Holy Roman Empire. It has a corridor of mirrors inside, which is briefly price seeing if in case you have time. Then head as much as the fortress and benefit from the views.

Get a photograph with the well-known Čumil, or ‘the person at work’

Bratislava has plenty of road statues however none are as well-known and liked as this lad…

Have you ever even been to Bratislava if you happen to’ve not had a photograph with good outdated Čumil the sewer employee? He’s all the time up for a selfie. You’ll spot him through the free strolling tour, but when it’s a busy tour and also you couldn’t get in for a photograph, you may pop again and discover him later (Google Maps hyperlink).

It’s up for debate what this cheeky chap is doing peeping out of the bronze manhole. Is he having a break from work? Is he about to go down the manhole, devoted to his job? Or is he even a little bit of a creep, slyly popping as much as stare at passing girls? Nobody can agree and locals all have their very own tackle it. However he’s been there since 1997 and may be very a lot an emblem of the town.

If you need a pleasant cheesy memento out of your in the future in Bratislava, you should buy slightly toy of Čumil or a fridge magnet/keyring/tote bag (take your decide) with him on from all of the present retailers on the town.

In the future in Bratislava itinerary: afternoon

Do a spot of people-watching over lunch 

After your strolling tour, it’ll be time for lunch.

As you solely have in the future in Bratislava, you may wish to head someplace to attempt correct Slovak meals. Nonetheless, I’m going to advocate that you simply maintain off on that till your night meal. I’ve beneficial a very pretty conventional outdated restaurant for you later on this itinerary, however Slovak meals is SO filling and heavy that I don’t assume it’s finest for lunchtime. Nicely, not until you’re ready to forego your afternoon in Bratislava for a food-coma nap…

As a substitute, I actually advocate City Bistro for a scrumptious (and lighter!) lunch. That is one in every of my favorite eating places in Bratislava. They’ve wonderful vegetarian choices, the inside is trendy and also you’ll discover that the place is common with locals in addition to vacationers.

On a sunny day, you may sit outdoors and do a spot of people-watching when you eat. City Bistro is situated on Michalská, the pedestrianised road resulting in Michael’s Gate, the doorway to the town. So there’s all the time lots of people going previous, vacationers and locals alike. Excellent viewing.

Marvel on the Insta-famous blue church

When you’re revived by lunch, it’s time to absorb my favorite Bratislava landmark. You received’t have seen this on the strolling tour nevertheless it’s positively price going to even if you happen to solely have in the future in Bratislava.

The Blue Church (Google Maps hyperlink) is likely one of the most uncommon buildings I’ve seen. First off, it’s blue. However not the type of wishy-washy blue that blue buildings in European cities are typically. It’s a very vibrant sky blue. Even the inside is blue. And it kind of appears to be like like a cake… or at the very least a constructing manufactured from fondant.

It’s completely attractive and jogs my memory a little bit of Gaudi’s work in Barcelona. But it surely was truly designed by the architect Edmund Lechner within the Hungarian Artwork Nouveau fashion. It was constructed between 1909 and 1913, initially because the chapel for the secondary college subsequent door. You’ll in all probability clock the college as you strategy the church: it’s the identical cake-like fashion however in peach quite than blue. 

The Blue Church’s actual identify is the Church of St Elizabeth, however after all it’s hardly ever generally known as that. If you wish to go inside, verify the opening occasions on the church web site as a result of they’re fairly uncommon and differ day-to-day.

See one of many ‘ugliest buildings on the earth’

After you’ve loved the undeniably stunning Blue Church, it’s time for one thing fully totally different. 

Regularly voted into the highest spot in worldwide lists of the ‘ugliest buildings on the earth’, the Slovak Radio constructing is sort of a sight (Google Maps hyperlink). Simply have a look at it!

An upside-down pyramid wouldn’t be my first selection of constructing form, however I truly assume it’s fairly enjoyable and retro-style quirky. It’s nowhere close to as ugly as some hideous skyscrapers I’ve seen in large cities all over the world (particularly within the Center East). I suppose it’s so uncommon that it’s a little bit of a Marmite love/hate factor. I’m on the love aspect.

It took 16 years to construct, accomplished in 1983, and has all the time been house to the Slovak Radio firm, because the identify would counsel. You possibly can go inside, however there’s not likely something to see until you’re attending the music venue it has. That is house to the Slovak Radio Symphonic Orchestra, which places on common concert events. 

Have a cuppa and cake at Pasteleria

You’ll be glad that you simply didn’t have an enormous heavy lunch given my subsequent suggestion in your Bratislava itinerary. It’s cake o’clock.

Pasteleria is a cute and cosy café with two branches on the town. I like their new one on Laurinská finest (Google Maps hyperlink) as a result of it has its personal little present store inside promoting good playing cards, ceramics, make-up luggage and so on. You recognize the type of stuff. Excellent to take house as presents for pals (or higher nonetheless, for your self). However if you happen to’re nearer to their unique location, that one can also be pretty (Google Maps hyperlink).

The employees are actually pleasant right here and converse good English. They do a number of teas and coffees, however the primary attraction is all of the very good do-it-yourself cake. I ate a LOT of cake throughout my current week in Bratislava and nothing got here shut to those. If the poppyseed cheesecake is on while you go to, please have a slice for me.

Go to the small however completely shaped Nedbalka Gallery

One of the crucial attention-grabbing cultural issues in Bratislava is the Nedbalka Gallery, a small artwork museum on Nedbalova (Google Maps hyperlink).

The museum is about out in a cylindrical form, with every of its 4 flooring encircling a gap within the center the place you may see onto the opposite flooring. It’s very gentle and a pleasure to browse.

I all the time take pleasure in discovering native modern/trendy artwork wherever I’m visiting on my travels, and this is a wonderful museum for that. It focuses on Slovak artists from the nineteenth century to the current day, with an ever-changing exhibition in addition to a everlasting assortment of native artwork. Like once I first visited Zagreb and was blown away by all of the artwork there from artists we merely don’t hear about within the UK sadly, it’s stuffed with attention-grabbing and weird items that make you wish to go away and search for the artists to be taught extra.

There’s additionally slightly café and a good store on the bottom flooring. The value of your ticket (6€) features a tea or espresso within the café.

Like most museums in Europe, Monday tends to be when it’s closed. Be sure to verify opening occasions on the official web site earlier than your go to. 

In the future in Bratislava itinerary: night

Take pleasure in night drinks and views from a UFO

A visit to Bratislava can be incomplete with out some alien abduction drinks up the long-lasting Most SNP constructing (Google Maps hyperlink).

It’s not arduous to see why this weird flying-saucer-shaped construction on high of the town’s essential bridge over the Danube is affectionately generally known as the ‘UFO Tower‘. You go up a carry (thank goodness) within the constructing to get to its restaurant, bar and statement deck, all of which have good panoramic views throughout the town and down the river. The restaurant is a little bit of a complicated and dear one and the drinks within the bar mirror this, however you’re paying for the view so it’s price it to have a cocktail there.

I’d say that the UFO is a greater spot for views in contrast with the fortress; the view is prettier with the fortress itself in it, with the river within the foreground. The duvet picture for this information is taken from the statement deck, so that you get the concept (and assume how a lot nicer it’d be with good climate!).

The most effective time to go to the UFO Tower is simply earlier than sundown, no matter time that’s while you go to. As you may inform from all my gloomy images on this information, it was foggy for many of my week in Bratislava so I missed out on getting pretty golden sundown images right here. However I’ve been up so many towers round Europe now that I’m a little bit of a stickler for going at the very best time with the intention to get ‘golden hour’ images… fog allowing.

It prices (9,90€) to go up the tower. You purchase tickets on the reception on the backside of it; verify opening occasions on the official website earlier than you go. 

Have a standard Slovak meal within the night

Now, as I discussed within the lunchtime little bit of this Bratislava itinerary, Slovak meals tends to be VERY hearty, heavy and filling. However you must attempt it when you’re there, after all. Simply be able to be bursting on the seams.

My favorite restaurant for conventional Slovak meals in Bratislava is Bratislava Flagship (Google Maps location). I don’t eat meat, so I liked the sheep’s cheese pierogi (mushy potato pastry) and the halusky (potato dumplings) at Bratislava Flagship. I simply requested for them with none of the bacon lardons they normally placed on high and that was fantastic. The sheep’s cheese is from their very own farm and is superb. You too can get a aspect of greens to stability out all of the creaminess and carby-ness. Every thing is do-it-yourself and scrumptious, particularly on a cold night when this type of warming, cosy meals is finest. For those who do eat meat, there are a great deal of different Slovak dishes on the menu you may gorge upon.

Though the meals is clearly the primary draw for visiting Bratislava Flagship, the constructing itself is attention-grabbing too. It’s a former monastery that additionally served as a hospital and as a cinema in newer years. And it’s HUGE: one of many largest eating places in Europe. Regardless of being large, the inside may be very cosy and atmospheric. Suppose wood panelling, crimson gingham tablecloths and benches for seating. It jogs my memory of the inn the place Gaston has his singing scene in Magnificence and The Beast with all of the flagons of beer being chucked round. They usually truly brew their very own pilsner-style beer in a small brewery on the bottom flooring. You’ll be needing a pint of that to clean down all of the meals.

You possibly can reserve Bratislava Flagship on their web site if you happen to’re visiting when it could be busy. I positively advocate it if you wish to expertise correct Slovak meals and vibes.

Absorb the night café tradition at some craft beer bars

When you’re completed at Flagship Bratislava, if you happen to can match anything in, there are some good locations for drinks to toast the tip of your day in Bratislava.

You’ll have had a pilsner-type beer on the restaurant however I do know most of my readers favor extra trendy, hoppy beers. So for the very best craft beer in Bratislava, attempt these:

  • Pivovar Shenk – this bar is house to their very own Shenk Brewery and so they do ‘tank’ beer, which is served straight from giant brewing equipment quite than it first being distributed into kegs. That is one thing chances are you’ll discover fairly a bit round Slovakia and neighbouring international locations. The bar is brilliant and properly styled, and on a sunny day you may sit outdoors. It’s useless common with locals and has a very good environment. Simply to confuse issues, it’s mapped twice on its Google Maps location as Pivovar Shenk and as Výčap U Ernőho, which I feel have to be the unique identify of the bar earlier than it additionally turned a brewery.
  • 100 Pív Craft Beer Bar – one other good craft beer bar in Bratislava’s outdated city (Google Maps location), this one is small and pleasant with six (on the time of writing) well-chosen native choices on draft. It additionally has a great deal of cans and bottles. I really like this one as a result of they all the time have a number of very nice bitter beers, which is my beer of selection. You possibly can inform that they actually know their beer and solely serve good high quality.

Bratislava additionally hosts an everyday craft beer pageant, Salon Piva, within the outdated market corridor subsequent to Pivovar Shenk. It’s positively price checking whether or not you may plan a go to round that if you happen to’re into craft beer. There are a number of wonderful native breweries which have stalls there, in addition to a number of from totally different locations (and a few generic ones that you could simply bypass!). The environment is buzzing; that’s the place my picture under is taken.

If craft beer isn’t your factor, attempt Spin Cocktail Bar or Cork Wine Bar. These are handily shut sufficient to one another for a really small bar crawl.

If you wish to keep longer than simply in the future in Bratislava…

Nicely, that’s the tip of the itinerary. As you’ve in all probability gathered, in the future in Bratislava isn’t sufficient to correctly get into it and get beneath the floor of the town. Hopefully it’ll provide you with a very good introduction although.

If you wish to e-book a return go to otherwise you’re in a position to prolong your journey a bit, you would simply do 2 or 3 days in Bratislava and get to understand it higher. I’d additionally advocate some unbelievable stuff outdoors of the centre.

… these can be wonderful days out

Possibility 1: Danubiana Artwork Museum – I’m placing this primary as a result of I LOVED it (additionally together with a photograph under). It’s a unbelievable modern and trendy artwork museum situated on the banks of the Danube (a critically dramatic setting), with a great deal of superb Slovak artwork and an excellent sculpture backyard. AND a wonderful cafe. This was in all probability my favorite factor I did throughout my week in Bratislava, so if you happen to can prolong your journey to take it in then I totally advocate you do. There’s even some Andy Warhol artwork as a result of do you know his dad and mom had been Slovak? However that’s not the very best stuff; essentially the most attention-grabbing artwork was all from Slovak artists I’d not heard of however instantly liked. You will get to the museum straight by bus quantity 90 from the College of Economics (Google Maps location), which takes about half-hour.

Possibility 2: Devin Fortress – One other good time out however a extra historic one. Principally, somebody discovered the best place to construct a fortress. In the event that they had been in search of it on Location, Location, Location, it’d be an prompt sale. Devin is about excessive on a cliff, bang on the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers (the Slovak/Austrian border), overlooking the countryside in all instructions. The fortress is usually in ruins now. It’s an atmospheric spot and a straightforward afternoon out. Get the bus from the Most SNP cease or in summer time, you will get a ship. 

Possibility 3: Trnava – Lastly, if you wish to see one other city in Slovakia, Trnava is an efficient choice. Referred to as ‘Little Rome’ or ‘the Church Capital’, Trnava is a picturesque little city that’ll provide you with an perception into the charming, quieter aspect of Slovakia. It’s very doable as a day journey: round half-hour by practice.

… and naturally, you would additionally simply have one other day in Bratislava centre having fun with all the ins and outs you couldn’t match into in the future.

In the future in Bratislava itinerary – helpful info in your journey

Learn how to get to Bratislava

I visited Bratislava as a part of a 3-month practice journey round Europe so I arrived at its essential railway station. However Bratislava truly has two stations: the Most important Station and Petržalka. You’ll in all probability come into the town through the primary one, which is rather well related to the remainder of the town by trams and buses, or it’s beneath quarter-hour to get to the guts of the town on foot. The latter is slightly additional out however nonetheless has loads of buses to get you to the place you’re staying.

For those who’re flying, the airport isn’t removed from the town centre. You will get bus 61 to the primary practice station then stroll or hook up with the centre.

The place to remain in Bratislava 

Even if you happen to solely have one evening/day in Bratislava, you’ll need someplace good to remain. There are many choices however it may be fairly dear. Listed here are a number of I’d verify in your dates. All costs are right on the time of writing.

  • Metropolis Fortress Flats – I really like staying in flats once I journey as I like having my very own house, feeling like I’m residing there and having the ability to purchase one thing for breakfast to eat whereas I’m doing my hair within the morning. Costs differ on this well-rated complicated of vacation flats, however the one I’d decide is about 100€ an evening.
  • LOFT Resort Bratislava – For those who favor lodges, this pretty one is about 130€ an evening for a really trendy double room. There’s additionally an on-site craft beer bar – bonus.
  • Aparthotel Virgo – Aparthotels are a pleasant center floor: your personal house however you may choose to have breakfast within the restaurant and so they have a reception. That is model new and solely about 80€ an evening.

Learn how to get round Bratislava

Every thing is walkable within the centre. But when it’s essential get round by public transport, there are buses, trolleybuses and trams. Get your tickets from a machine on the cease if there’s one, or from a information kiosk. You simply validate them when you’re on board and so they’re very low-cost.

When to go to Bratislava

I visited in October and the climate was good for exploring – heat sufficient to stroll round with out solely a denim jacket or light-weight trench coat on. Sadly, it was fairly overcast and foggy, therefore the images! However very nice for getting about. And it wasn’t too crowded both. Spring would seemingly be comparable in how busy it will be.

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