After a number of failed attempts at getting to Bratislava, I finally made it there last month. We had a few days in Vienna, before heading to Krakow, which was plenty of time to include a day trip to Bratislava.
Vienna to Bratislava is only an hour or so by train and they have a special return day trip ticket for 15 euros which includes public transport in Bratislava. We got the tram to Sudbahnhof but it doesn’t stop right at the train station so we had to run to make the train. You save 3 euros if you buy the ticket before you board the train but we had no chance to do that but it was still a good deal.
I didn’t know anything about Bratislava before going and didn’t even have a map so when we got out from the main train station we just followed the crowd down the hill towards the old town. The first square we came across was kind of like a welcome to Communism:
Not far from there we stumbled upon the Presidential Palace.
It was then on to the old town with its typical cobblestone streets, pretty squares, statues, fountains, and traditional coffee houses.
The cute main square has a few cafes where you can relax or you can go around the corner and admire the Primate’s Palace.
Bratislava is small and easy to get around on foot. I loved walking around the streets, visiting the local shops. I was surprised to discover they use the euro in Slovakia as I figured they still used their own currency like their neighbours Hungary and Czech Republic do.
Not far from the main square is the Opera House. There are lots of places to eat in that area and we chose a little pub type place with a great atmosphere but inedible food. The food was typical of the region with goulash and chicken paprika etc on the menu. It looked delicious but was like eating pure salt. F said the local Slovakian beer was fantastic though.
Next we headed up to the castle where you get great views of the city, including the thousands and thousands of high rise, communist era apartments.
Bratislava has these quirky statues which all the tourists seems to think is a great photo op. I have no idea why but we did it too.
We finished the day with a hot drink and cake at one of Bratislava’s top Viennese style coffee houses, Cafe Meyer, right on the main square.
We then got the tram back to the train station and headed back to Vienna. I had a fantastic time in Bratislava. It’s a pretty city, very similar to Prague but much smaller and without the crowds. You can easily see everything in a day but it would also be a nice destination for a relaxing weekend getaway.