You’d be a fool to think you couldn’t manage the Slovakian capital of Bratislava in only one day. If you follow these strict instructions then you’ll have no trouble at all.
A few key things to note before you start. It’s in Slovakia. It’s a mix of old and new. It’s the only capital city that borders two countries, Austria and Hungary. For many years it was widely known as Pressburg. Nowadays you’d find a lot of Slovakians referring to it as Blava. That’s that done, now for your big day.
Breakfast at Next Apache
It might sound like a cheap clothes label but Next Apache is a great place to get fed and coffee-ed before you start your day in Bratislava. Found on Panenska 28 it’s a quaint and welcoming little coffee shop and snack bar where you can pick up some cold meats and pastries and enjoy the cool laid back ambience with a book or two from the many on the shelves.
You can’t miss this majestic and imposing building high up on the west hill in the old part of Bratislava. Some parts of the castle date back to the 15th Century and the design has remained largely the same (like a sandcastle) since. Sadly that age-old enemy of castles around the world, fire, drove the castle into a state of disrepair in 1811 and it wasn’t until the mid 1950s that the deserved restoration was completed, albeit slightly more modern and white-wash than some might like. If nothing else, it’s worth heading up to the castle while you’ve got the energy to get the most panoramic view of the whole city and get a really good sense of where the old meets the new.
Lunch at U Remeselníka
On Obchodná 64 this is an amazing little café is more of a craft-centre that an eatery. You’ll snuggle into the ancient tables and chairs and be amongst some of the funniest characters in the whole city. It seems to be where the old Mothers meet up to gossip about each other and their husbands. In terms of eating then expect the unexpected. On a normal day you could be served dumplings, bacon and sheep’s cheese, which goes by the name of halušky. It’s well worth a try if you want to say you’ve sampled the traditional cuisine.
Afternoon in the Old Market and a great museum
Wander around the old part of town in Nám SNP 25 and the colourful fruit and veg stalls that house some of the best examples of the local clientèle in the city. There’s plenty of places to stop for a quick drink too if you get tired. Then wander over to Milan Dobeš Museum on the north side of the Danube to see some of the best contemporary art exhibitions.
Top it all off in the Jazz Café
If you fancy a night of cool music that allows you to chat over drinks and maybe a bite to eat if you’re still hungry, then the Jazz Café on Ventúrska 5 is a cracking cellar bar that hosts some of the coolest people in town and will be a great place to wind down after your big day in Bratislava.
Photo of Bratislava, Slovakia by Mikelo