“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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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/
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
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.”
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.
Le Senk – Craft Beer Cafe
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.
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!
Thanks for reading! Next post: Vienna