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.

In this post I assembled 10 essential reasons why is Bratislava a good idea for your next getaway.

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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?

 

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is only 2h45 by train from Bratislava.

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.

Slovak nature on a beautiful day

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?

Strudel

You can find great meal in Bratislava surprisingly cheap. Sweet strudel just like on a picture above is certainly a treat not to miss.

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.

Cumil statue, Bratislava

Have a stroll around the old town (also known as ‘Korzo’) and you may easily bump into this guy!

 

Old town, Bratislava

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.

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Gorila Urban Space – a cozy and pleasant place to spend hours with coffee, yummy bites and complimentary wifi

6. Beer

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.

Zlaty Bazant - one of the most popular beers in Slovakia

Zlaty Bazant (or Golden Rookie) is one of the most popular beer brands in the country.  Used to be my favourite beer too!

7. Danube

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.

Apollo bridge, Bratislava

The distinctive Apollo bridge is a popular backdrop for photographers

 

SNP Bridge in Bratislava

The SNP bridge with a restaurant known as ‘UFO’

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.

Main square, Bratislava

Bratislava’s main square isn’t vast, but charming nonetheless

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!

Devin castle, Bratislava

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.

Banska Stiavnica, Slovakia

Banska Stiavnica, one of the prettiest towns in Slovakia

Kremnica, Slovakia

Beautiful architecture and unspoilt nature… What is there in Kremnica not to love?

 

If this post has left you hungry for more, check out my board dedicated to Bratislava on Pinterest.

Follow Travel’s board Bratislava, Slovakia 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 🙂

 

Photo credits:

César González Palomo

Miroslav Petrasko

Matúš Benian

Kurt Bauschardt

Aleksandr Sannikov

Gorila Urban Space

Guillaume Speurt

Michal Hrabovec

Martin Deák