Considering that Bratislava is the city where I was born and raised, it took me quite a long time to do a post about it. I don’t even know why – maybe because other places and new destinations were more appealing, I guess. That being said, even though I don’t talk about my hometown very often, I still think it’s a great place for a weekend break, especially if you live in Europe and prefer low budget trips.
1. Proximity to other European capitals
Proximity to other cool European cities like Vienna, Budapest or even Prague (four hours by high-speed train) make it a small, Eastern European hub. It’s very easy to add another city to your itinerary from here so why not to combine nearby cities into an ultimate European trip?
2. Pleasant weather for most of the year
If you’re after warm weather, you’ll love the most days from late April to early October. Expect 20+ degrees and don’t forget your sunscreen! On the other hand, winters are traditionally spent on slopes, mainly from January until March.
3. Friendly prices
Bratislava is very budget friendly, at least for foreign visitors. Think €5 for a good, inexpensive meal and a 3-course dinner for two for €25. Or a beer for €1.5 and a one-way ticket for public transport for less then one Euro. The current economic situation isn’t great for locals but on the other hand, it allows you to do a Slovak trip even on a shoestring budget so why not make the most of it?
4. City centre
Bratislava has a small historical centre (also known as the old town), but still very charming. So small that it can be done on a sunny afternoon. The rest of the day can be spent in one of many lovely parks or restaurants, exploring local cuisine.
5. Clubs & coffee places
Considering how small the city is, cool pubs like KC Dunaj (with nice views from the terrace), Sky Bar (with even cooler views over the old town) or Subclub (situated in an old vault) are abundant. Same goes for cool coffee places with complimentary wifi and home made bites. Try Gorila Urban Space, which is right in the city centre and always reminds me of Hipster venues in Shoreditch but with more personal touch and quiet ambient.
I don’t drink alcohol but people who do very often praise beer that you can get here. This includes famous Czech beers as well as some imported specialty beer. Mind you, local brands can be stronger than what you’re used to, so enjoy in moderation.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard about Danube, which also flows through Bratislava. With its riverside and adjacent canals it’s nice for a stroll, cruise (there’s a frequent line going to Vienna if you like) or outdoor activities like rafting.
8. Everything is within an easy reach
Bratislava’s compactness means that whatever you’re after – be it hikes, nice views, shopping, historic buildings and architecture – lies within a comfortable distance.
9. Devin castle
Devin castle (known also under its historic name Dowina) or its ruins, at least, is located out of the centre but still conveniently accessible by public transport. Not only is Devin really picturesque but also a great place for a nice stroll right next to the Danube river. Views of Austria are included!
10. The rest of the country
Bratislava is also a great gateway to other areas in Slovakia if you have a spare day or two. Try to get out of town and head north-east for beautiful mountains (High Tatras, Low Tatras, Velka Fatra or Mala Fatra are worth checking out), natural mountain lakes, reservoirs and endless woods. You’ll also love historical towns like Kremnica, Banska Stiavnica or the Spisska Sobota part of Poprad.
If this post has left you hungry for more, check out my board dedicated to Bratislava on Pinterest.
Does Bratislava (or Slovakia) look appealing to you? Would you consider it as your next weekend break? Or have you been to my hometown already? Let me know in the comment section!
And if you ever plan a trip to the Slovakian capital, drop me a line and I’ll give you a couple of special tips 🙂