Planning a trip to Bratislava? Check out these tips from local insider Mirka Germanova. She’s taken time out from her fashion blog The Blond Zebras to share some priceless advice on where to eat, drink and shop in the Slovakian capital…
“I came to Bratislava to study at Comenius University and although I always wanted to travel the world after my studies, somehow I stayed. I am a city person, so I like that Bratislava has all the advantages of a big city, but everything is much more compact here. When a friend visits me here, the first place I take them to is the old town – I think it’s the most beautiful part of the city. Walking is the best way to get around the city centre, public transport is actually pretty slow so it’s much quicker to see the sights by foot.
Stur Café is one of my favourite spots for breakfast in Bratislava, I used to come here all the time when I was in university and I still love it here. There are some really stylish cafés in Bratislava – a good place to grab a coffee is the cute Enjoy Coffee café in the old town, it’s very close to the Michalska branna (Michael’s Gate), one of the oldest buildings in Bratislava. For dinner, head to UFO restaurant at the top of the SNP Bridge – it’s a unique experience in every way.
Before you come to Bratislava you should read something about the history of Slovakia and the Austrian-Hungarian empire. A little bit of background knowledge will help you to appreciate the city much more. People who’ve never visited assume Bratislava is a quiet, grey city but it’s actually full of life with many hidden treasures that are worth seeing. Danubiana Art Museum is a place not many visitors know about but they should go there – it’s a fantastic inspiring place no matter what time of year you visit.
When the weather’s good, the best thing to do for free in Bratislava is to kick back and enjoy life with friends on the beautiful banks of the Danube. Summer is a great time to visit Bratislava, everything comes to life, the city is full of people and the whole place looks brighter.
Bratislava’s old town area has the best nightlife because it’s always full of tourists and locals looking for a good time – there are dozens of cocktail bars, music venues and cafés here.
Eurovea Galleria is a good area for shopping, here you’ll find plenty of shops, as well as easy access to the riverside. Take bus X13 to stop Nové SND, or it’s just a short walk from Šafárikovo námestie square. Visiting in winter? From mid-November to December each year there’s usually a Christmas market in the old town and the atmosphere is lovely.
If you only do one touristy thing in Bratislava, make sure you visit Bratislava castle. The castle overlooks the southwest of the old town on a hill above the Danube. There is a museum dedicated to the history of Slovakia throughout the ages as well as lawns and ramparts that give wonderful views over the city.”
Flights to Bratislava
- Fiona Hilliard