11 min read
After our Travel Expert Roxana shared how to spend 48 hours in Stockholm, this week our Head of Operations Sam travels a bit further off the beaten track and takes you to one of the most enchanting but overlooked cities Europe has to offer – Bratislava!
If you are looking to escape the crowds in some of the more well-known western European tourist honeypots, then Bratislava is just the place for you.
Slovakia’s capital city since the country gained independence in 1993, Bratislava is a secret gem when it comes to idyllic holiday destinations. Tranquil and charming, it’s perfect for a break from the madness of daily life and will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Don’t let that fool you though, the city is still packed with awesome things to see and do.
The city is located on the picturesque banks of the Danube river, surrounded by beautiful vineyards and overlooked by the Little Carpathian Mountains. It’s not a bad backdrop to the incredible and diverse architecture of the city with its medieval old town, baroque palaces, a renaissance castle, and an innovative modern bridge.
Combine all that with Bratislava’s recent transformation into a foodie heaven, its quirky statues, vibrant atmosphere and welcoming locals – I’d say we have a recipe for a pretty perfect vay-cay! Not to mention Bratislava is an easy flight of just over 2 hours away.
It won’t be long before word gets out about how amazing this destination is and visiting Bratislava becomes the next holiday craze. So beat the crowds, book your trip now and be a trendsetter! Here’s an itinerary that will show you just how much Slovakia’s Capital has to offer. Get excited people, it’s time to make some memories!
After a 2 hour flight from London Stansted, I land at Bratislava Airport (the main airport in Bratislava). I want to make the most of my time in the city so I jump in a taxi and head straight to the 4* LOFT Hotel to drop off my bag.
Located in Bratislava city center within walking distance to the historical old town, with an attractive view to the garden of the Presidential Palace, LOFT Hotel is perfect if you love quirky experiences. Designed to resemble a loft (as the name suggests), it is due to be an unique experience for all travellers.
The rooms have a splendid decor, with a touch of classy and comfort as well as modern, designed to resemble a luxury mountain cabin. With an average rating of 4.5/5, I am sure LOFT Hotel Bratislava will be an amazing experience for the BRB travellers.
The natural starting point for your exploration of Bratislava is at the medieval entrance to the city, St. Michael’s Gate. Part of the original fortification that surrounded Bratislava, the gate dates back to the 1300s. Between 1753 and 1758, a green copper roof was added to the original gothic tower, and you can spy a statue of the archangel Michael slaying a dragon near the top.
Photo Credit: @lyna_go
Simply take a moment to admire St Michael’s gate before walking through, or for a few euros, pop inside, climb to the top of the tower and enjoy a gorgeous view of the city you’re about to explore.
Photo Credit: @virrb
Walking through the gate will take you to the beautiful and charming old town. Soak up the atmosphere as you wander around the cobbled streets admiring the colourful buildings and other treasures this district holds. As you make your way through the old town there are some spots you want to make sure not to miss.
The Church of St Elizabeth, more commonly known as The Blue Church is certainly on the list. The building looks like something straight out of a fairy-tale as everything from its roof to its interior is a bright and beautiful blue!
Photo Credit: @mirigoesglobal
Also make sure to pass through the picturesque town square from where you can see the old Town Hall and the Roland fountain. Last but definitely not least, keep an eye out for Čumil, the statue of a cheeky gentleman popping up out from a manhole cover! Be sure to pop by, say hello, and take a pic!
Photo Credit: @raulrevert
Head into one of the many coffee-houses the old town has to offer for a little break from your morning of walking. If you’re looking for something a bit quirky, try out Five Points Bistro where you can order a weird and wonderful selfieccino! You upload a photo, and a special printer will recreate the picture onto your coffee!
Photo Credit: @tastefilledtravel
Feeling re-energised, get back to your exploring and check out The Primate’s Palace. The palace is considered one of the prettiest buildings in the city due to its ornate pale pink and white façade.
Photo Credit: @gringa.travel
Take a tour of the inside, where you can see portraits of past Hungarian rulers, The Chapel of St. Ladislaus, The sparkling Hall of Mirrors and some amazing 17th century English tapestries which were mysteriously found in the palace.
It’s definitely coming up to beer-o-clock and I bet you're thirsty! How does a drink with a side of local cuisine sound? Walk through the peaceful Medicka Garden on your way to Bokovka, a grocery store turned modern and edgy home-style restaurant and brewery.
Photo Credit: @pivarenbokovka
You’ll feel like a local as you enjoy a hearty meal in this welcoming and fun establishment. If you’re stuck for choice, take this opportunity to try a classic Slovak delicacy Bryndzové Halušky. This dish is made up of small potato dumplings coated in sheep’s cheese and bacon. If you don’t fancy it, get your local cuisine kick from sampling the house brew – a delicious, slightly smoky, dark beer.
Photo Credit: @mojebistro
Throw all thoughts of winding down for the evening far away, because Bratislava is only just waking up! The city has an exciting and electric nightlife with something for everyone from rowdy beer halls to hidden night clubs.
Photo Credit: @fkgallery
Keep the drinks flowing and get ready to party late into the night! Luckily, most of the clubs and bars are relatively close together so you can wander (or stagger!) around and see what tickles your fancy. If you are big on clubbing, we recommend the three storey Channels Club. If something a bit less intense is more your style, try Casa Del Havana. This bar plays Latin music, has a small dancefloor and makes excellent cocktails.
Photo Credit: @cukycuky
Rise and shine, it’s day two in Bratislava! After last night’s antics you may be feeling a little bit worse for wear, but a boat ride and a blast of fresh river air are sure to perk you up!
Begin your day by hopping aboard one of the boat services from the city centre to the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum. The Danubiana is a modern museum located on a majestic little peninsula in the Danube river and it is an absolute must visit. The building and its location are a treat to behold, plus the museum hosts some incredible exhibitions of the latest and coolest artwork from not just Slovakia but Austria and Hungary as well.
Photo Credit: @danubianamuseum
As an added bonus, there’s a wonderful sculpture park for you to explore and a rooftop terrace which offers a unique view of Bratislava from across the Danube river. Allow your eyes to gorge on this visual feast and when you’re satisfied cruise back to the city centre.
Photo Credit: @danubianamuseum
This wouldn’t be a true BRB holiday itinerary if it didn’t include a cheeky trip to a local market, so that’s where we are heading next! The Miletičova market – or Miletička is one of the oldest and largest market’s in the city and it is the perfect place to rub elbows with the locals and experience an authentic slice of Bratislavian life.
Photo Credit: @milan_bezmapy
Dive in among the 150 bustling stalls selling all kinds of fresh produce and get lost in the fusion of colours, smells and sounds. Whilst you’re here, you have to try the street food Langose. This popular comfort food is essentially a circle of tasty fried dough with a topping of your choice - think pancake meets pizza, what’s not to love!
Photo Credit: @karelkvapil
Next up is a trip to the awe-inspiring Bratislava Castle. Built in the 9th century and standing majestically on a hill above the city, the castle is probably Bratislava’s most symbolic landmark.
Photo Credit: @hannahbrett97
The stunning, white castle is built in a large rectangle shape with towers at the four corners. Stroll through the gardens, admire the architecture and enjoy spectacular views of the city below. There’s also a Museum of History within the castle where you can learn about the development of the Slovak Republic if you’re interested.
Your holiday might be coming towards its end, but you best believe I still have some treats left in store for you! Kick of your evening with the truly incredible experience of going skywalking! The Skywalk is a walkway around the outside of the UFO Observation Deck which is located at the top of Bratislava’s iconic SNP Bridge.
Photo Credit: @conticul
Stepping out onto a ledge 85m up in the air, this is a truly unique way to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Strapped in and accompanied by a qualified instructor, you are perfectly safe, but that doesn’t mean it won’t get your heart racing! After that adrenaline rush, it’s time to tuck into a delicious dinner at the UFO restaurant. As you sip on your drink of choice, look out over the city below and reminisce on all the memories you’ve made.
Photo Credit: @ufobratislava
The memory-making is not quite over yet! You still have a few more hours to go, so make the most of them at the Red Cat Cabaret Club. This stylish, authentic cabaret joint and vintage bar is the perfect place to get a drink with a twist.
Photo Credit: @redcatcabaretclub
Every night is unique, so you never quite know what entertainment is in store but whatever combination of music, dance and theatre you get, the atmosphere is sure to be buzzing and a good time is guaranteed.
If like me you love taking short weekend breaks across Europe and spending 48 hours in cities like Barcelona, Prague, Porto, Split, Bologna, Stockholm or Venice, but if like me you hate wasting hours trawling travel sites to plan and research your next weekend break, only to be hit by increased flight prices just before booking, then BeRightBack is for you!
The team at BeRightBack believes that the mission of a travel company should be to save you both time and money.
With BeRightBack, you get three trips a year to three surprise European destinations, all for the monthly cost of £49.99, which includes your return flights and your hotel.
With BeRightBack, creating a trip takes 60 seconds. Simply tell us how you like to travel when you create your account, and our concierge service does everything else for you. You won't have to lift a finger.
Best of all, you always pay the same price for your trips, no matter when you go away and we help you spread the cost of your travel, thanks to our monthly subscription.
I hope you enjoyed my 48 hours city guide to Bratislava and do not hesitate to use our website chat or to email us if you have any questions!
Sam (Head of Operations at Berightback)
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