Bratislava wasn’t a part of our explicit itinerary but I kept my hopes high and fingers crossed when I asked K if he wanted to visit the Slovak capital from Vienna. He had his doubts about visiting Bratislava. We’d had a good run so far. Greece, Prague and Vienna and he probably didn’t want an “old” Eastern European city to mar the experience. But, then I’ve wanted to visit the Slovak capital ever since I saw the movie Euro-trip (this was more than a decade ago!),and so to satisfy a decade long curiosity, I with K and Iy in tow set out to see the small wonder that is Bratislava!
WE fell in love with the “small-big country” the moment we stepped out of the train station. Here’s why:
My top picks on why you should visit the charming land of Slovakia.
- Bratislava is very centrally located. Trains from Vienna take less than an hour, 3 hours from Budapest and 4 from Prague to reach the main station at Bratislava.
- We travelled to Bratislava from Vienna. A return train ticket cost us EUR 16 per person which also included local transport via tram and bus in Bratislava. Trains ply between the two cities at hourly intervals.
- You may alternatively decide to take the cruise on the Danube on your way back to Vienna. Your train ticket entitles you to a discount on the same. If you were disappointed with the view of the Danube on the Viennese side, might I suggest you this option since the river on the Bratislava side has much better views.
- Assuming you would already be travelling to Europe on a Schengan Visa, you do not need any additional visa formalities for Bratislava.
- Although located only minutes away, it is far removed from the vastness and big city feel of Vienna, people smile at you and you can eat and drink for less than 10 euros per person.
- The stay is much cheaper too. I would suggest staying in a hostel to experience the real Bratislavan spirit especially during a night out with fellow travellers.
- The entire city is small enough for you to walk around and experience. Of course you can always make use of the complimentary local transport included in your train ticket from Vienna.
The Old Town square will leave you speechless. The cobbled streets and roadside cafes are very reminiscent of Prague and the fact that you can do it on foot makes it even more interesting. Shopping is much cheaper than Vienna. Infact, we saw a lot of people shuttling between the cities just to pick up their weekly groceries.
Here are some must dos should you decide to travel to the beautiful city during your next European sojourn:
- The best is to stay in Bratislava for atleast a couple of days so you can go crazy partying all night (with the super notorious absinthe) and then spend most of the next day hungover and then venture out again in the evening to party some more. If you would rather be in control, I suggest a quiet evening in the Old Town Square listening to some live music and sipping on to their award winning wines.
- Local delicacy Bryndzové halušky- Sheep Cheese Dumpling generally served with bacon but you can easily get the vegetarian version too along with a glass of local non-alcoholic beverage Kofola or a mug of chilled local beer.
- Whatever you do, for however long you decide to stay, make sure you spend majority of your time in the Old Town Square. You will notice that all places of historical interest are within walking distance from here.
I am definitely going back to Batislava, this time making sure there’s a sitter for Iy.
Originally published on Closet Buddies.