After Prague I thought that things would not get any better. Therefore I was totally and pleasantly surprised what I found in Bratislava. The city itself displays plenty of history yet it is small enough to be able to be explored by foot.
Initially when I arrived into Bratislava I was left feeling disappointed. It was Sunday afternoon and when I stepped out of the bus station it was though I was transported back to the 1970s and communism. The trolley bus looked rickety and dated. Having said that it did take me to the stop nearest the hostel.
After being advised by the hostel to take the free walking tour it was then I discovered the delights of Bratislava. There is a lot of history in Bratislava but there is also a lot to see that made me smile. The city does not take itself too seriously. Bratislava was a major city of the Austro-Hungarian empire. At one point the Emperors were crowned in St. Martin’s Cathedral. A lot of the old city was demolished during the 1970’s to allow for a flyover. One could only think how much more beautiful the city would look.
There are a lot of colours with Bratislava whether it is the bright blue of the St. Elisabeth’s Church or the greens and yellows. This is something that town planners in the UK should consider. A splash of colour is a great way of brightening a place. I suspect that it would not cost too much either.
It is also a city that does not take itself too seriously. There are indicators of this with some of the statues you find dotted around the city centre.
Being so compact Bratislava offers the cafe culture that I loved. Plenty of bars, cafe’s and coffee shops to enjoy. It allows you to watch the world pass by. It has that kind of vibe.
This is an ideal city for a long weekend. Spend the first day exploring the city centre. The next day I would go and see the spectacular ruins of Devin Castle. Spend the afternoon cycling in the surrounding countryside that hugs the Danube river. It is only a thirty minute bus ride from Bratislava.
My five must see attractions in Bratislava are:-
- Bratislava Castle
- Devin Castle
- St. Michael’s Cathedral
- St. Elisabeth’s Church
- Slavin War Memorial
I would also include a trip to Shtoor Home Made Cafe. A perfect place for good coffee, sandwiches and excellent cake. What more can a man want from life.
To sum up Bratislava I would say that it is one of Europe’s secrets. How long it will stay like this I would not like to say. Whatever happens it will always have a small city feel that I love. I cannot wait to go back.
Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.