Bratislava Essentials:

How big is Bratislava?
Straddling the banks of the Danube River, Bratislava covers an area of 367.5km2.
How many people inhabit it?
Around half-a-million people call the Slovakian capital home.
What are the language and the currency?
In Bratislava the official language is Slovak but English is also widely spoken. Money-wise, it’s the Euro you’ll be using during your stay here.
  • At the Slavin Monument
At the Slavin Monument Modry kostolik - the Blue Church Grassalkovichov Palace Hlavne nam - the main square Devin Castle

Things to see in Bratislava

Modry kostolik or Blue Church
Tell me about one of the main attractions in Bratislava?
Grassalkovich Garden is one of the city’s most popular attractions, both with locals and visitors to Bratislava.
What’s so great about it?
Well, this stunning garden park is located behind the Grassalkovich Presidential Palace. It’s free to enter and inside you’ll find a wonderful place for a wander. Not only does the garden boast a large fountain and numerous well-kept grassy areas and colourful flowerbeds, it also hosts a selection of playground areas that can be enjoyed by the young and the young-at-heart!
Anything else which shouldn’t be missed?
Plenty! Check out the Blue Church; its blue-tinged interior and exterior making it a unique and interesting house of worship. Another church that’s well worth a visit is St. Martin’s Cathedral. Along with a number of stunning stained glass windows, this church also sports a treasury and a creepy crypt. If you’re interesting in museums and galleries, Bratislava has much to offer. Both the Natural Science Museum and the Slovak National Gallery are well worth a look. One of the most interesting galleries has to be the Bratislava City Gallery, part of which is housed inside the 19th-century Pálffy Palace. Here you’ll find the ‘Passage’, a fascinating exhibit consisting of a corridor of mirrors, giving the effect that you’re standing between endless walls of books. An important historical monument for Bratislava, the Slavin Monument is well worth a look. It’s a pretty solemn experience, as the 39.5-metre monument was built to honour the almost 7,000 Soviet soldiers who died in the city during WWII. Some of these soldiers’ graves surround the monument. Another popular green space in Bratislava is the Sad Janka Kral’a Park, located across the Danube from the Old Town area. This large open park is very popular with locals and visitors looking for a respite from city life. Filled with tall trees and beautiful flowers, it is also home to some funky pieces of art as well as a large fountain.
Say I want to hit the shops. Where should I go?
There are a couple of major shopping malls that should be on the list of any shopaholic visiting this city. First off is AuPark. Located beside Sad Janka Kral’a Park, AuPark stretches over three floors and is home to a number of well-known international brands including Esprit, Benneton, Mango, H&M, C&A and Swarovski. Polus City Center, which you’ll find in the New Town area around 20 minutes by tram from Old Town, is Bratislava’s other main shopping mall. Here, avenues filled with local and internationally renowned stores branch off the domed atrium. Bratislava’s main shopping street is Obchodná, which also boasts its own open-air market.

Going out in Bratislava

Slovak National Theatre at night
Where are most of the bars found?
A large portion of Bratislava’s bars and clubs can be found in the Old Town area.
Do I need to carry my ID with me when going out?
It’s generally a good idea to carry some ID with you; however, you probably won’t be asked to show it.
Where would you recommend?
Rock fans should definitely check out Aligator on Laurinská. This low-lit bar offers a wide selection of cheap drinks to be enjoyed while listening to great music. Sometimes live bands provide the soundtrack. To top it off, both the staff and crowd here are very friendly. If you’re craving cocktails, make sure to visit Cocoloco on Nám SNP. One of the best cocktail bars in Bratislava, Cocoloco boasts an extensive drinks menu and a lively crowd. There’s space to dance to the loud music pumped around the bar, while the tables in the alcove area provide a bit more privacy. Downtown on Klariská is a great place to sit outside with a drink as the sun sets. There are plenty of seats inside too, along with a large TV and a pretty funky sound system. Drinks are numerous and reasonably priced, and the crowd is a happy mix of locals and visitors.
Anything to do that doesn’t involve alcohol?
Sure! If you’re looking for something a bit more culturally focused, you could check out a performance at the Slovak National Theatre. Another option would be a visit to the Reduta, which is home to the Slovak Philharmonic.

Eating Out in Bratislava

Dinner from Verdict on Panska
Is it expensive to eat out in Bratislava?
Not at all! It’s actually great value to eat out here, with lots of places offering daily specials. Regular prices are quite low, too, so it should be no trouble to stick to your budget while still finding great places to eat.
Where is the best selection of restaurants in the city?
That would be Old Town. A wander through this area will provide the most choice in terms of restaurants and cafés. Check out connecting streets Panská and Laurinská for a great selection of places. Obchodná is also a good spot to try, with a number of eateries dotted along this popular shopping street.
Are international cuisines well represented?
They are! In Bratislava you’ll find an abundance of Italian restaurants; however, lots of other nationalities are also represented including Chinese, Mexican and more.
Any places you’d recommend?
Well, if you’re looking for somewhere to start the day Bagel & Coffee Story is a great choice. In four locations throughout the city, it offers a great range of breakfast bagels. A multitude of fillings are offered, and you can wash it all down with a coffee, fruit juice or even a virgin cocktail. Check out Verdict on Panská for a great selection of dishes including salads, sandwiches, hot meals and much more. Here you can sample some traditional Slovak dishes such as bryndzové pirohy (pictured), a type of dumpling. Seats are available both inside and outside on the decking area. Service is friendly and prompt and prices are very reasonable. Another place to get an incredibly good value dinner is Bella Napoli on Drevená. This Italian restaurant offers an extremely extensive selection of dishes including pastas, risottos and pizzas. These large pizzas are especially good value as they cost less than €5. A popular spot, it has lots of tables both inside and outside so you shouldn’t have to wait long for a seat. If you’re looking for a stunning view to accompany your meal, you can’t do much better than Sole Mio on Grösslingova. This relaxed and friendly restaurant is located a mere stone’s throw from the beautiful Blue Church. Here you’ll be offered daily specials on pizza and pasta dishes along with a plethora of other choices.
Anything else I need to know?
Bratislava has its own locally produced soft drink called Kofola. A kind of cola, this carbonated beverage is hugely popular in Bratislava. As well as the original flavour, various alternatives are also available, including cherry and lemon.

Transport in Bratislava

A trolleybus
How many different modes of public transport are there in Zurich?
There are three main forms of public transport here - trams, trolleybuses and buses.
Will I need to use public transport at all?
Probably! Despite the fact that most of the main attractions are located in and around Old Town, you will need to use public transport if you want to go a little further afield to see things like Devín Castle or the Bratislava Zoo.

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  • Posted: Tuesday, August 4, 2009
  • Comments: 0
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