A Week in Bratislava

29th January 2016

From Budapest; I decided to stop off in Bratislava. You never hear much about the city and is lies between Budapest and Prague, so I decided to spend a week there.

Leaving a foggy Budapest at 9am, the sun was still low in the sky and the countryside looked amazing. The train goes alongside the Danbue river at some points for some good views. I was too busy eating my paprika crisps to try and take any photos. After getting into the city and arriving at the Patio Hostel, I had the weekend to scope out the city.

Old Town - Bratislava, Slovakia
Old Town – Bratislava, Slovakia
Overlooking Bratislava
Overlooking Bratislava

I always like to compare the cost of living to other places i’ve stayed and it is cheap here. First impressions are that prices are roughly the same as Budapest. I went into a coffee shop one day and they were selling ‘craft lemonade’ for €5; that’s 5 times the price of a beer. Not everywhere sells €5 lemonades, it’s quite cheap in the non hipster coffee shops.

Walking around the old town it’s reminiscent of an eastern european city. It’s much smaller and not as fancy as Prague or Budapest and I like that. I took a walk up to Bratislava castle on the Saturday afternoon and you get a good viewpoint over the city. Walking round the city on a weekend was a bit strange because the streets were empty. It’s not a tourist destination here and it is obvious.

Slovenský rozhlas - Bratislava, Slovakia
Slovenský rozhlas – Bratislava, Slovakia

This week has been busy; i’ve been in three countries and spend spare time working on two projects. I managed to upload an updated layout for my website (still changes to make) and work on the beginnings of another project. A good cafe to work from or just have a coffee is Urban House and I spent a lot of time in there. It’s better than a lot of coffee shops i’ve worked from.

Vienna is an hour away from Bratislava by train or bus and I decided to take a trip there for the day. I wouldn’t rush back there any time soon; it was nice, it’s just a bit fancy. It’s a famous city to go to but big and fancy is a bit boring. I like places with character and everywhere seemed a bit clinical. Vienna has a lot of architecture and it is a good city to just walk about. I preferred Bratislava.

I have enjoyed my stay in Bratislava; i’ve found some good coffee shops and a little backstreet bar. Food here was a disappointment. Budapest was full of good food but here there wasn’t anywhere that stood out massively.

Prague is 4 hours on the train from Bratislava so that is the next stop. A train ticket costs €27 (about £20) which is reasonable. Somebody suggested getting an inter rail train pass for Europe. Judging by the prices of just buying tickets between cities I don’t think it’s worth buying a interrail ticket. If you are planning on traveling around Europe and taking long 18 hour journeys then it is worth the money.

Bratislava Castle
Bratislava Castle