What to do in Bratislava

Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and only 3 hours from Budapest by train. On my trip to Budapest, I had one day free so my sister and I decided to tick another country of our list and take a day trip to Bratislava! In this post, I will tell you everything you need to know – how to get there, what to do and few facts about the country/city. BUT before that, if any of you have seen Road trip, please disregard EVERYTHING that movie said about Bratislava. Bratislava really surprised me, it really is a gorgeous city which is very under-appreciated. I thought it would be a bit dodgy but it was beautiful! Highly recommend it!

How to get there from Budapest

  • Budapest has a huge train station  called Budapest Keleti railway station. It is an easy  10 minute walk from the hostel I stayed at – Macro Polo Top hotel.
  • At the train station look for the International ticket kiosk. You should see the sign for it on the left when you come through the main entrance, but don’t worry if you don’t; I think my sister and I had to ask two people before we realised where we had to go. You can’t access this kiosk from the main part of the train station, you will have to walk down a hall way to get around to it. Then you will have to tell the man outside the kiosk that you want to buy a ticket to Bratislava and he will give you a number. It is all a bit strange but your number will be called/shown on screen.
  • For a return ticket for my sister and I, it only cost around €30!!!! How cheap is that?
  • After that, look for the train going to Bratislava on the big screen in front of the trains (it’s hard to miss).
  • Find the platform, get on the train and enjoy the ride
  • REMEMBER: PACK YOU PASSPORT!!! Since you are travelling to a different country, you need your passport. If you forget it you will probably be kicked of the train and that’s no fun.

What to do when you get there

  • My best advice I can give you is; have a map before you go or at least have Google maps loaded! I had a few rough directions on how to get to the city centre but we were lost within 5 minutes…. oops. So be prepared because there isn’t a tourist information shop in sight! Plus, if you are there on a Saturday like we were, everything is closed and the city is pretty dead (which was kind of spooky).
  • Do the free tour. The free tour was great, our tour guide lived in the city her whole life so she knew her stuff! We got to see the must-see’s of the city e.g.:
  • Bratislava Old town (which is super cute!)
  • The blue church
  • The Cumil statue
  • Grassalkovich Presidential Palace
  • Have a sit down. Find a nice place beside the river to sit or do some people watching for an hour; your feet will thank you!
  • Take the lift to the UFO observation deck. On top of one of the bridges, they have built an observation deck that looks like a UFO. On top of the observation deck, is a beautiful view of the city and a really fancy restaurant! There are free ways to see a great view of the city, but we didn’t have much time to spend on hiking up hills, so we took the easy way out….

Where to stay:

My sister and I didn’t stay in Bratislava so I can’t recommend anywhere to stay from personal experience. But I do recommend staying in or near the Old town centre because that that my favourite part of the city- it was all sooo pretty! Plus, you will be in walking distance of every major landmark.

Fun Facts

  • Bratislava used to be the capital of Hungary.
  • On Easter Monday, the men throw water over women and hit them with sticks so they will have eternal beauty. In return, the girls buy the man a drink or give them an Easter Egg. I suggest not visiting the city on this date if you are a girl…..
  • ‘Ahoy’ means hello
  • ‘Áno’, pronounced ‘aw na’ means yes which in Northern Irish slang means ‘no’, which is very confusing for me and the Slovaks I was trying to say no to. Oops.

P.S. I didn’t get great pictures of Bratislava because it rained the whole time 😦 But trust me, it’s beautiful!

 

Thanks for reading,

Peace out my wanderers!

Lisa

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