Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe!

Tripoto
26th Aug 2012

I am sure you came across this article searching for offbeat things to do, offbeat experiences, offbeat places or offbeat paths! And that's exactly what happened with me while I was planning my next Euro-trip to an offbeat destination. Yes whilst researching for offbeat things to do in Europe my search came to a halt at this trivial country of Slovakia right in between the most visited and touristy countries of Austria and Hungary! Being guarded by stronger tourist destinations on all sides the capital of Bratislava is known as Pressburg for the Germans, Pozsony for the Hungarians, Požun for the Croatians it is. All these synonyms dint matter to me. All I knew was I was definitely making my stop at the wonderful Slovakian capital of Bratislava.

Having squeezed in few days at this city I was ready to explore the city on the very first day visiting Bratislava's most popular attractions, the Bratislava Castle! Upon arriving at this magnificent dictating white structure that houses the museum and Slovakian treasury, every corner spoke volumes of the 2000 years of rich history dating back to Celtic times. For a history buff like me a trip to Bratislava wouldn't have been complete without making the climb up to the whitewashed castle building of Bratislavsky Hrad.

Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! 1/5 by globetrotting365days
Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! 2/5 by globetrotting365days
Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! 3/5 by globetrotting365days
Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! 4/5 by globetrotting365days
Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! 5/5 by globetrotting365days
Photo of Bratislava Castle, Bratislava, Slovakia by globetrotting365days
Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days
Photo of Bratislavský hrad, Bratislava, Slovakia by globetrotting365days

Most of the European cities being divided into The Old and New Town, I preferred to spend my time at The Old Town as that's how I was bound to know more about the Slovak culture and finding out what Bratislava is all about. The Old Town however amazed me with the offerings it had! Walking along narrow streets here I noticed some of the quirkiest statues that were added in an attempt to add some humor and life to the communist-era architecture.

Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days

The bronze statues donating funny postures definitely made the walk worth. The area is buzzing of pubs, restaurants, hostels, and hotels, so much to do that you can spend your entire evening here without lashing an eyelid!

Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days
Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days

St Michaels Gate that's marks the entrance to this town is the last standing gate in Bratislava. Once you witness the grandeur of this tribute you will know why it's the most photographed and recognisable spot in the entire city.

Photo of St Michaels Gate, Shrewsbury, United Kingdom by globetrotting365days

I caught my chance at it too! Rambling through the Gate, I found this interesting golden circle, known as 'Kilometer Zero', which illustrated the distances from Bratislava to 29 other capital cities. Like really 29 places! Now this little circle definitely got my soul wanderlusting for more!

Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days
Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days

Only a few short minutes away from St Michaels Gate was the Town Square. This came across as a good rendezvous point to unwind and relax my evening after a hearty meal.

Of all the quirky and eccentric things to do in the city the Blue Church Bratislava caught my attention the most. Located somewhere amidst downtown coming across this interesting structure gives you a fairy tale feel when you first catch a glimpse of it. A church so picturesque you cannot miss it while wandering away in the narrow streets of the downtown!

Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days
Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days

Just few minutes away from my first uncanny stop, I came across this inverted brown pyramid house. Known as the Slovakia Radio HQ this Eastern Europe city made me believe that they definitely believe a lot in bizarre socialist architecture. They claim it's unique, and I can believe that. Who else would build something like this?

Photo of Church of St. Elisabeth, Bezručova, Bratislava-Old Town, Slovakia by globetrotting365days
Photo of Church of St. Elisabeth, Bezručova, Bratislava-Old Town, Slovakia by globetrotting365days

Now if that was not it, at dusk I stopped over to the New bridge to catch the sunset over the Danube River. I was all elated inching closer to the flying saucer-shaped structure right atop the bridge at the center.

Photo of Danube River, Donaueschingen, Germany by globetrotting365days

It housed one of the swanky restaurants called 'UFO'. Yes one more among the uncanny explorations for the day. The walk to reach this restaurant was rather very quarantined, but in seconds entering the bridge tower I was taken to the observation deck at top most level of the restaurant from where I enjoyed the spectacular views of the Old Town and the Castle!

Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days
Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days
Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days
Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days

Glancing at the city view at which I would have been for hours, I made my way to the restaurant for a 7-course meal. The restaurant was very swish and gave a 360view of the city. However the most interesting part of dining here was that it makes you feels like you are definitely in middle of the sky in-between nowhere. It was one of the most lavish meals & experiences for a price I paid that night!

Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days

Another thing Bratislava is known for are the hidden cafes and night parties that nestle hidden in The Old town. Not wanting to miss my fortuitous to explore a place concealed behind unmarked doors. And what better than having a drink or two at such a hidden spot post midnight hours! Yes that's how my last night looked like. Exploring the hidden blasts and moreover the traditional Slovak drink! Yes a must try, Slivovica devouring a plum taste, is quite strong (30 - 52 %), but when served chilled that's the best drink you could have had in the city!

Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days

This city unquestionably lived up to the offbeat experience I was looking for!

  • A dining experience at the UFO restaurant overlooking the Danube River
  • Exploring the Bratislava Castle
  • A must stop at the Blue Church Bratislava
  • Explore like a local the night hideouts at The Old Town and try the Slivovica!
GlobeTrotting365Days: Bratislava 29th August 2012.
Photo of Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe! by globetrotting365days

This blog was originally published on 'globetrotting365days'