We got the train from Budapest – it is quite near – only taking 2hrs 40mins.
We only had a day trip to Bratislava on our way to Vienna.
We arrived to find the station is quite far from the old town. We walked through an area full of concrete buildings and eventually reached the old town. We had lunch at a small place near Michael’s Gate called Sibyla. It was cheap, but served very nice food.
After lunch we wandered into the quiet old town. Bratislava isn’t very touristy so it is lovely and chilled. We found the town hall, which looks like a church and the blue church, which is, as the name suggests, blue. It looked like it had been iced, but in a good way.
We walked along some more through the lovely empty streets and found ourselves by the river Danube. There is a bridge called the UFO bridge which has a flying saucer shaped restaurant/ viewing platform on it. There is also a lovely cathedral – St Martin’s cathedral.
We could see the castle from where we were standing and wanted to take a closer look. Becky found what looked like a path on the map, so we headed for that. We found that it was quite overgrown, but pressed on, eager to reach the castle as it was very hot. But it became apparent that this path had not been used in a very long time and was so overgrown that we had to fight through the foliage until we found the way was blocked. We reluctantly headed down and walked around the side of the hill until we found another way up.
The climb was long and hot and we missed the small entrance in the side of the castle wall so walked round pretty much the entire castle and back before we realised our mistake. We finally got in and it had been worth all the effort. The stunning white castle towered above us against the blue sky. The views were breath taking.
There is a restaurant up by the castle which looks out over the city. We sat there for a while with big pitchers of incredible lemonade (one was orange, lemon and lime and the other was grapefruit and mint), chatting and admiring the view. We also decided to order dessert – I had strudel, Becky had pancakes and Hayley & Emily had chocolate fondants – they were very tasty!
The clouds began to roll in and we wanted to get our train, so we headed down the hill and back to the old town. As we got to the bottom of the hill it began to rain heavily, so our journey back to the station was rather uncomfortable, especially as Becky was the only one who had her waterproof as we had left our bags in the luggage storage at the station. We skirted the buildings and jogged along, stopping under a restaurant umbrella when it got really heavy.
We made it back to the station and headed on to Vienna, wishing we’d had a little more time in the calm and picturesque city of Bratislava.
Tips for Bratislava:
– Go for at least two full days.
– If you want to see Vienna too, stay in Bratislava and travel into Vienna – Bratislava is lovely and cheap as it is eastern, despite being only an hour’s train from Vienna!
– If we had had more time, I would’ve liked to go into everything, especially the castle and the town hall.
– Go to the restaurant by the castle and get a pitcher of one of their lemonades – they are seriously refreshing on a hot day!