To be completely honest, El Hombre and I flew to Brastislava because it was the cheapest way to get to Vienna (yes, Ryanair) BUT… DON’T STOP READING! I loved it!!
First thing you need to know about Bratislava, if you are as ignorant as I was, is that it’s the capital of Slovakia. The history of the city has been influenced by Austrians, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Jews, Serbs and Slovaks. It used to be the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary, a part of the larger Habsburg Monarchy territories. From 1919 it was capital of Czechoslovakia until 1993, when became the now known independent Slovakia, but Nazis and Communists came, stayed and left throughout the years.
Once you know that, it’s very useful to get a travel guide, so you can read a bit about the history, culture, cuisine, landmarks… in advance. Because our journey was very long, we both had enough time to read it, taking turns. We only had 24h in the city, so we agreed on the food we would eat and a long walk around the old city.
When you get to the tiny airport, first thing you have to do is going to the information point. The guy there is very helpful, at least the one we met, and he’ll sort out everything for you. Also, get a map of the city. We chose taking public transport, which didn’t take long at all. Number 61 and another change of bus made it for us. 60 minutes ticket is 0,90 cents, 24h ticket is 4,50€.
Don’t panic with the tram map. It’s ok, you can do it.
We got off at Obchodná street. We were moody and starving, so, first things first, we went in search for food. We should have gone for food to Slovak Pub but we walked closer to the Old city and ended up in Slovenska Restauracia instead. And I’m saying we should have stayed at Slovak Pub because it was recommended on the travel guide but we thought it looked like a touristy place but we had the chance to go for dinner and, OhMyGodness!! The food was nicer and cheaper and the ambience was more friendly. Highly recommended. And we ordered:
1. Bryndzové Halušky (sheep cheese gnocchi): Sheep cheese gives a unique flavour to the meal by itself, but it’s even more tasty with small pieces of bacon and chives or dill. OHLALÁ!! AMAZING!
2. Gulyás (Goulash): is a soup or stew of meat, and vegetables, seasoned with paprika and other spices. Originating from the medieval Kingdom of Hungary,
3. Zlatý Bazar: national beer.
And when we could think clearly, we started walking around. The streets reflected better days: a mix of grand houses, poor ones, modern and old. Communist across the river, Baroque, Gothic… See our route below:
And the next morning, after a nice breakfast, we took a boat to Vienna on the waters of the Danube River.