image Spending a day in Bratislava

January 2, 2016. One day visit to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.

To get to Bratislava from Vienna, we took the train (operated by ÖBB) from Vienna Hauptbahnhof (Vienna central station) heading towards Hlavná stanica (Bratislava central station). You can get tickets at the ÖBB office in Vienna Hauptbahnhof. Group tickets are available (minimum three people) and it’s way cheaper! 16€ for return tickets. Awesome deal.

So we arrived in Bratislava that afternoon and was welcomed with a freezing temperature accompanied by cloudy skies. Perfect day for sightseeing. lol.

We walked from the station towards Bratislavský hrad or Bratislava Castle (so we thought), and got lost for like 30 minutes before getting help from locals and started heading in the right direction. We passed by The Capuchin Church on our way to the castle.

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The Capuchin Church

Bratislava Castle is located on a hill which is part of the Little Carpathians mountain range. The walk uphill to the castle takes around 15 minutes.

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Bratislava Castle
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Bratislava Castle entrance and the statue of King Svatopluk.

Want to know a Slovakian Legend? Read about The Three Twigs of King Svatopluk.

After checking out the castle, we headed downhill and walked in the direction of Bratislava’s Old Town in search for lunch. We settled at Jimmy’s Restaurant and Bar, which seemed pretty nice, only to turn out their food wasn’t that great. I asked for a typical Slovakian dish, and they offered me to try karamelizované kačacie prsia so zemiakovým pyré (don’t ask me how to read that. lol. It’s basically grilled duck with orange, apricot, and potato puree). It was not that bad, but I have definitely tasted much better ducks. My friend had some dumplings, and she said it wasn’t that good either. To be honest, I won’t recommend this restaurant to anyone. It’s pretty expensive too (my duck costed 19€).

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Grilled duck breast with potato puree

After lunch we went on a tour of the Old Town or Staré Mesto in the Slovakian language.

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Fairytale-like cobbled streets on the way to the Old Town, with Bratislava Castle in the background.

And tried to take a selfie with my dslr on the way…

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LOL

Then finally arrived at the first landmark on our list, St. Michael’s Gate and TowerThis tower was first built in the 14th century (and was rebuilt many times after) and serves as the eastern entrance to the Old Town.

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St. Michael’s Gate and Tower
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Coat of arms on the gate – in honour of Queen Maria Theresa, who brought Bratislava into glory under her reign.
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Bratislava coat of arms on the other side of the gate

We walked through the gate and I just had to take a picture of this.

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 I am 10,500 km away from home! :p

Right beside St. Michael’s Gate, you can find the narrowest house in Europe measuring only 130cm wide!

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Yup. That Zwinger Kebab house is the narrowest house in Europe.

We continued walking down the road and came to the Old Town Square or Hlavné Námestie (Main Square). Here you can find the Old Town Hall with its yellow tower. Today the Old Town Hall functions as Bratislava’s City Museum.

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Bratislava Old Town Square with the yellow Old Town Hall tower. The statue leaning on the bench in the centre is Hubert, a Napoleon soldier.

Our next stop is the famous statue of Cumil. This statue is of a man poking out of an actual manhole on the ground. ‘Cumil’ literally means ‘the watcher’. Fun fact: It is said that if you touch Cumil’s head and make a wish, it will be granted if you keep the wish a secret forever.

Bratislava is known as the city of bronze statues. Apart from Cumil and Hubert, there are many other famous bronze statues that we didn’t manage to see.

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Man at work – Cumil the sewer worker.

Next was a short stop to Slovenské národné divadlo or the Slovak National Theatre.

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Slovak National Theatre

For our sightseeing finale we headed towards the Church of St. Elisabeth, or more commonly known as the Blue Church. It is located on Bezručova street, around 1 km southeast of the Old Town (near the Slovak National Theatre). It’s a pretty little church that somehow looks like a igloo with a touch of Art Nouveau.

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The Blue Church

We spent the rest of the evening waiting for our train back to Vienna at a cafe in Eurovea Galleria shopping mall by the River Danube. And guess what, we almost missed our train!! I have never had a power-walk as crazy and nerve-wrecking as that in my life. lol XD
So.. that was the end of our day trip to Bratislava!
I personally think that Bratislava’s Old Town is definitely worth a visit, especially if you are into medieval Eastern Europe atmosphere. And you just need to spend day here to see the most important and famous places, so slip a chance stop by while you are travelling Eastern Europe.

Thanks for reading!!

Stay tuned for a post on my solo trip to Prague and Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic 😉

sources: welcome to bratislava, doc brown’s travel pictures, wikipedia.

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