Short guide to Bratislava visitors
When life throws you opportunity to visit and meet city and people in another country, you should accept it. Especially if you like traveling and meeting new cultures. I’ve changed my job recently and got opportunity to live in Bratislava for one month. This city trowed me a few centuries back in cobblestone streets, Baroque architecture during my time in Stare Mesto or during exploration of Bratislava Castle. Castle dates from the 9th century and restoration was started in the 1950s. On the other side, visits to shopping malls brings me back to our time. If you like museums, historical details, fine arts, paintings and sculptures you can visit Bratislava City Museum or Natural Science Museum.
One of the first things that you will notice in this city is SNP Bridge or Most Slovenského národného povstania (called Nový most from before 2012), bridge that connects two sides of Bratislava over the Danube river. On the top of the bridge is located UFO shaped structure with a restaurant called simply – UFO. From 10:00-23:00 every day you can get wonderful views of the town from the top of this restaurant. Entrance costs €6.50 but if you eat or drink in the restaurant view is free of charge.
If you using your own car, you will find that Bratislava is peaceful place with calm drivers. Everything is easy to find and well organised. Taxi isn’t expensive if you use city taxi. For example, from city centre to Zlate piesky lake you will pay around €10. Other way to transport is using public transportation. Tickets for public transport (buses, trolleybuses and trams) in Bratislava:
tickets for single journey:
60-minute through-ticket (90-minute during non-working days),
90-minute through-ticket for night lines,
70-minute SMS through-ticket (available to customers of Slovak mobile operators),
tourist tickets: 24-, 48-, 72- and 168-hour tickets for unlimited travel,
prepaid tickets: 30-, 90- and 365-day ticket (personal chip card is needed).
You can find more info here – IMHD – Tickets.
Mobile services and internet
During my time in Bratislava, WiFi was best option for having internet. Most of shopping malls, restaurants, hotels and public places are offering WiFi. But if you find yourself somewhere outside or in transport and you really need Internet, then telecom operators offers are best way to get it. You can get post paid or pre paid SIM card and in both cases you will need personal ID or passport due to Slovakian law.
International country code: +421
Emergency number: 112
First aid: 155
Best prepaid services
There are many of tariff packages for prepaid cards available in Slovakia. My choice was Orange, mostly because of nice sales persons willing to help me choose best option for me. Price is €7 and you will get same amount for usage. Some of cool features/benefits for users are:
Internet for 40 cents per day – 250 MB
Calls after the first minute for free
7 cents for everything (calls / SMS / MMS / data)
More details here – FunFon Slovakia
Eat and drink
Small dumplings with cheese and small amount of meet – halušky is the national dish of Slovakia. Garlic soup, goulashes and other foods are similar to Hungarian kitchen. If you like Cola-like drinks, you can try Kofola, Czech and Slovak drink black as Coca Cola, but lower in carbonation, sugar and caffeine. You can find plenty of nice bars and restaurants in old town and across the town as well.
When I visit some city for a first time, usually food and drink are best way to “taste” the city. Slovak beers, such as Zlatý Bažant, Šariš and Topvar, are available in Old Town bars: Bar Parada in Hviezdoslavovo square Rock Caffe. Beers are cheap, around €1 per big glass of beer (0.5l). Stein beer is a beer brewed in Bratislava.
In case that you like spirits, you may enjoy Becherovka or Slivovica (but best one is in Serbia). Worth of mention are wines. Tokajské víno wine is produced in the Slovakian part of Tokaj wine region.
Slovakia is a country amayingly rich in nature, lakes and reservoirs. In and around Bratilsava you can find following lakes:
Slnecne jazera (Sunny Lakes)
Zlate piesky (Golden Sands)
Natural lake only few kilometers from the capital’s old town. The water area is around 400 metres, the grassy shore is awesome surface for summer sports.
Kuchajda is located near big shopping mall and offers great sport activities fields such as volleyball, fitness, running, football, basketball and many others.
Visit to Vienna
Bratislava was a small town nearby the Vienna for centuries. Bratislava’s old town is sometimes used as a backdrop for movies set in Vienna. Since Vienna is 50km far from this city, you can visit Vienna on a tight budget. Bus ride is around €7.5, train is probably even more cheaper. Most attractive way to visit Vienna is on a Boat Bratislava Vienna – Book top Bratislava Day Trips.