Budapest is a beautiful city that alone deserves much more than 3 mere three days to visit and navigate but how can I resist from visiting nearby places?
I have been longing to visit Slovakia and its capital since long time because many people speak very badly of it and I wanted to check whether it was true or not.
It was also a chance to add a new explored country in my list, besides Hungary, now also Slovakia fell into my hands.
Why To Go
Many of you might wonder, why should I visit this place, which is so far away from Budapest and why is it a so perfect one day trip?
Well, it might be far away but if you choose the good time to leave and to come, the trip is not tiring at all and worth it.
Bratislava is perfect for one day trip because it is quite small and everything is reachable by foot there. The city is very cute, it hides many hidden gems like its churches and picturesque corners.
And then why not visiting another European capital? Even if it is small than others, it is still one 😉
How To Reach
There are many bus lines that go to Bratislava, Vienna, Berlin and other European capitals. You just need to chose one.
I booked with the bus company called Regiojet and I must say it offers a very good service, you even have two drinks for free and a small tv to entertain you during the trip.
Internet works only in Slovakia and Czech Republic though. To reach the bus terminal, you need to get off at Népliget metro station, which is directly connected to the bus station.
BUT be aware of the fact that Regiojet does not leave from the bus station but from a bus stop adjacent to the station.
Slovakia is a small landlocked country in the heart of Europe bordering Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine.
It was part of Austrian Empire and then after the war, it formed a country together with Czech Republic: Czechoslovakia, the name that many people still use nowaday to refer to it.
The newborn country was then part of Eastern block and under a heavy soviet influence; it was, indeed, ruled by a communist regime.
Nowadays it is a country on its own rich in nature and still an unexplored corner of Europe.
Although Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia, it can be defined more as a town for its size. The best part to visit is the old town, which is very cute and picturesque. Here I will list the main landmarks in Bratislava, most of them are, indeed, located in the older part.
In Slovakia’s capital different kinds of statues are scattered around and your main task is to find all of them. I just came across a few
I think the castle is the most unmissable landmark of the city. It is located on the top of a hill overlooking the whole of Bratislava and the Danube flowing through it.
The castle itself is nothing too wonderful but the view is very nice and the ambiance as well. There is a big park where you can stop and enjoy the landscape.
Of course, you can visit the castle but that time it was closed so regretfully I could not visit it 🙁 but the history of the castle is actually very interesting and long.
It was built in the 8th century by Slavic populations but the place was already used much before in the past.
The location is very strategic as it is situated in the heart of Europe and serves as a passage way between Carpathians and Alps. Thus Celts and Romans built their fortresses here.
The Town Hall And St. Michael’s Gate
St. Michael’s gate is the most famous landmark of Bratislava, a bit like the Parliament for Budapest. It is the last surviving medieval gate of the city, built in the 1300 and renovated in the 1700.
This part of Bratislava is very cute, it is like wandering around the streets of a town that came straight out from a Grimm fairytale. The center is not crowded for being a capital and is full of good restaurants selling typical Slovak food.
Another very nice location in Slovakia’s capital is the huge square where the Old Town Hall is located. The square is surrounded by nice buildings hosting several embassies.
The Town Hall was built in Gothic style at the end of 15th century by putting together three different townhouses and went through several reconstructions.
It hosts the national art gallery of Slovakia thus I wanted to visit to get to know more but on Monday everything was closed.
In the end we just wandered around trying to spot as many embassies as possible. Bratislava is a small city so the embassies are all near each other and easy to spot 😉
I came across this old and less maintained part of the city coming from the castle. There were many colorful and picturesque narrow alleyways leading to the heart of the city.
Some were renowned, others were older and crumbling but yet very picturesque and photogenic.
Nearby there is also a beautiful church, called St. Martin’s Cathedral. It was built in the XV century on the relics of a romanic church.
The church is famous for having hosted Hungarian royal family’s coronation. The bell tower, 85 cm tall, is one of the most outstanding buildings in Bratislava’s skyline.
Blue Church – Kostol Svätej Alžbet
This small but special church is further away from the city centre than any other landmarks but worth a short visit, especially if you are going to the bus terminal as it is on the way.
It is dedicated to St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who grew up in Bratislava and was formally part of the nearby Gymnasium or High School; it served, indeed, as School Chapel.
I have never seen a blue church before and so nicely decorated! Normally colorful churches are more orthodox than catholic but this is an exception. I really liked this church :3
Honestly speaking I found the food quite similar to the Hungarian one but less flavoured and spicy.
It is not bad, I enjoyed eating but of course, I cannot say much about their food as I just ate one simple dish.
Have you ever been to Slovakia or Bratislava? Did you enjoy? Let me know in the comments below :3