City Escapes Europe Slovakia

What’s Bratislava like for a day trip?

Dobry Den” (hello in Slovak minus the little Slovak accents which I don’t have on this keyboard) and welcome to our newest Slovakian edition of Kaptain Kenny!

I hate to begin this way but I have to mention it. “Yes” the horror film ‘Hostel’ was set in Bratislava and “no” Bratislava is not a horror city. It’s astounding how many people referenced this movie when I mentioned I was going to Bratislava.

Moving on now to more positive topics, I found Bratislava to be a really cool day trip location.  We were based in Vienna and decided to hop in the car and drive east. It was only one hour and I’d really recommend doing it. We parked at the giant shopping centre Eurovea just on the outskirts of the old town. (The address is: Pribinova 8,
811 09 Bratislava.) If you come on a weekend, parking is free for the first 3 hours! Winning.

We also managed to lose our parking ticket and although we’d parked for nearly 6 hours, the guy let us through the boom gates for free. From Eurovea, the walk to the old town is only 10-15 minutes and you can do it along the Danube river. On a warm and sunny day, this must be quite lovely!

Have a look at my Bratislava story below and as usual, drop me a message or comment if you’d like to start a conversation 🙂

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Find this building first after walking along the Danube to the old town. This is the National Theatre and it’s directly opposite my lunch recommendation. 

KORZO

Once we made it to the old town, we decided to stop for lunch. Our first choice for the day was an absolute winner. The restaurant was called Korzo and everyone at our table ordered something really tasty. (Korzo is directly opposite the National Theatre building.)

The four of us ate an entree and a main, and ordered a drink each -the total bill was 91 euros. This is by far one of the most expensive restaurants in town and it’s definitely possible to eat much cheaper than this. However, for the standard of the food and the taste, this price-quality ratio is fantastic. Highly recommended: http://www.korzorestaurant.sk/

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Very inviting interior and space.

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Smile! (The boys didn’t get that memo.)

There’s no doubt that Eastern Europe has had a bad ‘rap’ during the last few decades. There’s still somehow a little prejudice floating around about these cities being ‘dodgy’ which is is so far from the truth. Of the cities I’ve travelled through so far by myself, I never actually felt unsafe. In fact, I’d go as far as to say I often felt more unsafe in Spain, France, Italy and Germany.

Slovakia’s most recent history is incredibly interesting. This short excerpt was taken from Wikipedia. *Notice the mention about crime in the 80’s and 90’s. I’d like to point out that Bratislava is safe and civilised in 2016 and deserves your support!

After the fall of communism

“In November 1989 the city became one of the centres of the Velvet Revolution; Alexander Dubček held his first speech in the city since 1970 and one day before the demonstrations in Prague, Slovak students rally against the Communist regime on 16 November 1989; further demonstrations would follow. The first non-Communist political party, “Public Against Violence” is created on 21 November.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Bratislava was plagued by rise in criminality. From 6 October 1990 to 16 July 1991 Bratislava had two active serial killers – Ondrej Rigo and Jozef Slovák.

In 1991 the factory of the automaker Volkswagen was founded in Bratislava… On 17 July 1992 the Declaration of Independence of the Slovak Nation is adopted by the Slovak National Council. Six days later the prime ministers of the two constituent republics of Czechoslovakia agree to split the country into two independent states; the Constitution of Slovakia is adopted 1 September and signed at the Bratislava Castle 3 September. After the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1992 the city is declared the capital of independent Slovakia.”

Street Art & Graffiti

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Bratislava is cool because there are many little winding streets with street art on the walls. 

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There’s plenty of nice architecture in the old town to photograph.

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Streets like this make it a really great city to photograph. Love the combination of art with cobblestone streets atop with fresh rain.

The Urban Spaces

There are two ‘Urban’ spaces that I know of in Bratislava. There’s Urban House and Urban Bistro both within close proximity of one another. We stayed at Urban House for a few flat whites and some cake. This space was not only impressive, it was huge and the vibe was killer. If you visit Bratislava and you’re looking for a place to chill out, this is undoubtedly the place for you!

The staff members were all young and pretty funny – and they spoke perfect English so no need to worry. You can even get a flat white in here! I asked the waiter if their flat whites had one or two shots and he scoffed and said: “It’s a real one, so two.” Music to my ears! I cannot tell you how annoying it is having to explain this to people. “Yes, I really want 2 shots of coffee.”

http://www.urbanhouse.sk/

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Check out the beauty of this place!

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Such a lovely and inviting interior. 

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Okay my friends really don’t like being photographed. 

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And a lovely colour coordinated bookcase for you to marvel at.

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Can’t believe what a large space this is – PLENTY of room for you and your friends. 

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After some cawwwfee.

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I was really a fan of this place!

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Just outside of Urban House, there are another couple of restaurants which had a lovely design to them. I didn’t have a chance to check it out but they looked quite nice.

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This belongs to the ‘urban’ group and is just a 10 minute walk from their other location.

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It also looked like quite a nice place inside. A good alternative perhaps if the other is too busy.

Walking around the Old Town.

Bratislava’s old town is charming, well-kept and lovely to photograph. As you can see from my pictures, we were stuck in rain virtually all day. We didn’t let that dampen our spirits! After living in Europe for 5 years, you quickly learn you need to invest is 100% waterproof coats/backpacks and always carry an umbrella with you.

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Right in the heart of the old town. Look at the detail on that roof!

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I’m pretty sure every travel blogger who ever came to Bratislava took a photo of this decrepit building but hey, here’s my contribution too. 

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I wonder if anyone will ever ‘renovate’ it? 🙂

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We won’t let the rain ‘rain on our parade’!

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You’d probably know by now that I love photographing crumbling buildings, graffiti and street art so for this little niche, Bratislava met those needs.

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Making our way through the little narrow roads now, towards the hill where the castle sits.

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This was one of my favourite little alleyways!

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At the end of these cobblestone streets, there was either a view of the church or the Bratislava castle.

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See the cat? See the castle in the background?

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There’s something about this street that I liked. The houses are a kind of pastel colour, the cobblestone pathway is wet from the rain and it all looks kind of enchanted.

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Heading towards the castle.

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The Bratislava Castle in the background! What a shot!

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Do you know what was really cool? Not having to share the streets with anyone. Because of the rain, we were able to enjoy it all to ourselves. 

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According to my Slovak friend, there are a lot of tourists in Bratislava during summer but I honestly didn’t see too many out during the day. Must have been because of the rain?

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What a cute and colourful street!

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Standing on the bridge which wraps around under the highway and takes you towards the castle by foot.

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I love this photo! Look at the character in this city.

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Graffiti vibes under the bridge.

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And again!

Le Senk – Craft Beer Cafe 

https://www.facebook.com/lesenkcraftbeercafe/

This was a personal recommendation from a friend who is quite the craft beer aficionado. It just so happened that we weren’t even looking for a beer house, we were just on our way up the hill towards the castle but because it started raining SO much, this place presented itself to us with a beaming halo of light. Of course we had to go in. The downside was that after drinking all that beer, we decided to call it a day because we were feeling tired and wet from the rain. 🙁 Sadly we didn’t make it to the Bratislava Castle. But I’ll come back and show you guys next time, promise.

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Cheers!

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Lots of great beer to choose from at Le Senk – Ask the waitresses to bring you a surprise and they sure will!

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Good stuff.

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Cheers again! 

Bratislava Farmer’s Market 

This was really cool. This market was 100% filled only with locals. In fact, when they saw our group (Australian-German-Slovak-Danish) speaking English, they were quite surprised. It was lovely to walk through these market stalls and buy fresh produce directly from Slovak farmers. We bought blackberries, popcorn, seeds, bread, vegetables and nectarines. All delicious!

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Many of these products were much lower in price than they would be in Vienna, even though it’s virtually right next door.

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The produce tasted really good. The fruit was all so sweet!

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Fruit heaven.

Thanks for reading! Next post: Vienna

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Jesper, The Biveros Effect
    July 19, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Bratislava really is a lovely city, especially when the sun is shining. We lived there for a year and a half before moving back to Sweden. There really are a lot to see, it just takes some time to see find most of it once you leave the old town. The old town is really nice for a day trip, but to visit places like the Devin Castle and the Slavin war memorial you will probably need a bit more time. There are also a quite interesting WWII bunker – Bunker BS-8 – a few kilometers south of the old town, at the Austrian border. 🙂

    • Reply
      kaptainkennytravel
      July 19, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Amazing Jesper! You’ve now given me so much new inspiration for my next trip 🙂 Yeah I was quite limited in what I could see given it was just a day trip AND it was raining but I could really imagine what a lovely city it must be when the sun is shining!

      Are you back in Sweden now?
      Phoebe

      • Jesper, The Biveros Effect
        July 19, 2016 at 9:40 am

        Yes Phoebe, back in old boring Sweden. But there are always a trip planed somewhere. 🙂

        Nice to be able to inspire, let us know in case you return to Slovakia and we can give you a lot of suggestions depending on what you want to see. 🙂

      • kaptainkennytravel
        July 19, 2016 at 9:50 am

        I will definitely do that! You know what Europe is like, there’s so much to see and it seems like so little time to see it all!

      • Jesper, The Biveros Effect
        July 19, 2016 at 9:54 am

        Indeed, my list of places I want to go to has exceeded the number of places I have actually visited. It is like each time you visit one place, you find two new places you want to go to 🙂

      • kaptainkennytravel
        July 19, 2016 at 10:10 am

        Yes I know this vicious circle! A lot of people say: “oh you travel a LOT!” But my list of must-see places is getting bigger and bigger…..

  • Reply
    Megan (@MeganCStarr)
    July 19, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I am a huge fan of Bratislava. It kind of gets shit on and neglected compared to the other cities in the region, which is a shame. I’ve been three times and I discover new hotspots every time I go back. I even spent a week there in 2014 because I couldn’t bring myself to leave. The Old Towne is cute, but I never really spend much time there because it is just like any other Old Towne- touristy, food that isn’t completely reflective of the culture, and showy. I did find a small kiosk in the Old Towne that carried La Costena hot sauces and some delicious whole food bars from a local entrepreneur one time that was really cool. And Le Senk is a nice place, even if not situated in the Old Towne per say.

    And I love the Urban Space locations! They are popular amongst tourists and locals alike. Now I have the urge to go back there! Ed and I spent quite a bit of time there last summer before a wedding in Hungary and found some of the coolest spots to chill out around the city.

    Hope all’s going well!

  • Reply
    Sebrin Elms
    July 19, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Wow! Bratislava looks rad!! I have a friend from there and honestly, I just remember it from Eurotrip. You have definitely made me want to add this place on my bucketlist!

    • Reply
      kaptainkennytravel
      July 19, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      A lot of Eastern European cities have a bad image for some reason but in all honesty, they are cooler and more creative than western euro cities! You just need to do some research 🙂 That’s why I’m currently on a solo trip through Eastern Europe – to get some info & take some photos for the blog. Hopefully then people will see there’s soo much to discover here! And it’s a lot cheaper than where I live in Germany. I’m currently in Budapest and so far it seems to be my favourite European city to date. I’m in love!

      • Sebrin Elms
        July 19, 2016 at 4:52 pm

        OMG I’m so excited for you! Eastern Europe probably feels like such an adventure and I bet locals are excited for you to be visiting their city 🙂 Have so much fun!!

  • Reply
    rANG bIRANGE
    July 23, 2016 at 4:37 am

    Very interesting post. N Bratislava is quite beautiful

    • Reply
      kaptainkennytravel
      July 23, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Glad you liked the post! That makes me really happy to read 🙂 Bratislava is indeed a super cool city. Cheers, Phoebe

  • Reply
    Daniel
    July 23, 2016 at 9:29 am

    We are with my wife in Bratislava since more than one year (we are from Belgium, on expat assignement). We really enjoy the life here, beautifull historical city, good restaurant and night life, clean, people so respectfull, living cost attractive, shopping centres open every day, safety, proximity of Vienna, Budapest, Praha. Also for travel, Bratislava airport close to center and 30 minutes drive to Vienna airport. Croatia just 4/5 hours drive. Really nice location to live in Europe. We think about it as an option for our retirement.

    • Reply
      kaptainkennytravel
      July 23, 2016 at 11:09 am

      Hey Daniel,

      Wow! You’ve had such a great experience there – you’re absolutely right that B.L is perfectly placed for surrounding trips. Obviously Belgium has a good location too but for visits to other types of destinations. 🙂 I’m glad you guys are enjoying yourselves so much there. How are you getting along with the language? Have you made a lot of Slovak friends? Cheers, Phoebe

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