My year long European tour is whizzing past in a heart beat, I’ve made it to Bratislava, Slovakia – the city where ‘Hostel’ the movie was set. Reassuring. That being said, Bratislava is a great destination for a bachelor party.
I didn’t really know what my preconceptions were about Bratislava but I’ve been in some cracking cities recently so it had a lot of pressure to continue the trend. I settled into my hostel, which in fairness, was a bit out of the city.
It was raining in Bratislava, the first time in months I had to contend with shitty weather, and I’m sure that has contributed to my ambivalent opinion about the place. The first evening I stayed in and project managed some of my online stuff, but I then ended up bumping into a few dudes from England and sinking a fair few beers (probably the number 1 activity in Bratislava to be honest). The next morning was hazy to say the least, but I managed to do some sightseeing both then and the next day. Over the course of my time there I discovered that one day is enough ‘to do’ Bratislava (God I hate that phrase, my apologies).
Anyways, when you’re here, make sure to check out the top 5 things to see in Bratislava:
1) Bratislava Castle:
The castle dominates the city, it’s perched high above the rest of the skyline and is visible from most of the city. You can walk up pretty easily and it offers nice views of the Old Town. You can’t access most of the castle though, it’s been under renovation for years.
2) Michael’s Gate and Tower:
Michael’s gate features in approximately 100% of postcards concerning Bratislava, this is their icon. It looks exactly as you’d expect a gate and tower to look like in Bratislava, with it’s run down paint work and medieval architecture, if you’re lucky you can get to the top and see the city centre from above.
3) Man At Work Statue:
No visit here is complete without the quirky man at work statue, where he pops out of a man hole. Also, becoming another Bratislava institution is the mime artist who parks himself beside the statue, the looks on his face are hilarious!
4) Town Hall and Square:
The cultural centre of the city is really quanity, cobblied stones, local markets, traditional singers. Try to come down on a Saturday or Sunday to see it in full flow.
5) Monument on the Hill
This gives Bratislava a much more eastern European feel, and a hark back to its Communist Czechoslovakian history. The monument overlooks the city from behind, you can take a leisurely 30 minute walk up to it from the city and begin to appreciate the sheer size of it when you’re there. Also, great views of the castle from here too.
I ended up spending 3 nights here, and it was a quaint little city. I managed to catch up on some work which helped a lot, but if I was here for traveling alone, 2 nights, one day would probably be enough. It doesn’t reach the heights of it’s nearby counterparts (Budapest, Ljubljana, Vienna, Prague), I’d go as far to say that if you’re on a tight time budget, this would be the one to cut out. If you have more free time tho, by all means come and check it out. There are some great day trips to castles which are easily accessbile from Bratislava so 3 or 4 days are easily filled. Happy travels!