Located only an hour’s bus ride from Vienna, it seemed almost rude not to explore the quaint city of Bratislava while in the area.
This guy featured below called Cumil is currently #11 on things to do in Bratislava according to TripAdvisor so it’s safe to say it’s not a place with a lot of attractions to see. The best part is really just wandering the Old Town (Staré Mesto) and Hviezdoslavovo Namestie area which is filled with statues and restaurants.
A couple statues from the Old Town
The Church of St. Elizabeth or the ‘Blue Church’ is worth a walk to, only about 15 minutes by foot from the heart of Old Town. Unfortunately my friend and I made it there too late to go inside but even the exterior is beautiful and across the road there was some pretty cool remnants of another era left behind in stone.
The Church of St. Elizabeth
Opposite the church
St. Martin’s Cathedral is quite misleading in name as it’s very small in size but it’s an icon of the city since it once was the location for the coronation of monarchs from the Hungarian empire and today is the main feature in tourism pics.
You easily pass by it on the way to Bratislava Castle, which is hard to miss since it looms overhead and again is only a short walk up to from Old Town.
There’s some lovely city views here or you could pay the 6.5 euro fee (for adults, kids and students are less) to go to the top of the UFO, which also has a restaurant where a meal or drink can be had while enjoying the scenery.
St. Martin’s Cathedral as seen from Bratislava Castle
City views from the top of the UFO
After a day my friend and I safely decided we’d seen a fair amount of the town and decided to check out the ‘DinoPark’ that really was just a section of the local Bratislava Zoo which I’d wish I’d had realised before going since I’m not really a fan of zoo’s let alone one’s like this which are a quite run down.
There was a fully grown bear in a tiny enclosure and I think there may have been two other people in the entire place the same time we were. Definitely give it a miss!
DinoPark’s main feature
The crowds at DinoPark
To Bratislava’s credit, I didn’t have a bad meal here. In fact there was an Italian place where I had the best risotto of my life. It came in an edible parmesan bowl!
I’m horrible at remembering names and didn’t get a snap of it myself (thankfully I’m not a food blogger, that wouldn’t turn out well) but after scouring TripAdvisor reviews I’m almost certain it was called Al Dente.
Opposite the Hotel Skaritz there is a variety of Slovakian restaurants aimed at tourists (actually these are scattered through Old Town) and I checked out one of the underground options (obviously I’ve forgotten the name) and had a tasty goulash and cheap beers.
You can definitely get a good idea of the city in a day, I spent two there and thought it was plenty but I didn’t get to any museums in Bratislava which depending on your interests may keep you busier here than I was. Also, Devin Castle is located fairly close to the city, which used to be a part of the Roman empire and is probably worth checking out if you’re a history buff.
Bratislava isn’t a place I feel like I need to see again but if I was ever to return I’d want to check out this tour run by Authentic Slovakia. I went on a similar one in Belfast and it was amazing, I learned so much history plus being in a retro car is always pretty fun!
Pictures from Old Town