Why Bratislava is the Hidden Gem of Europe!

Updated: Jan 9, 2019

If I could I would go back here a million times! Bratislava was the cutest little city. We had planned for only a day trip but we were thrilled when we arrived and had agreed to stay for the night. The orange rooftops, brightly colored buildings, and green decorated domes on top of churches and other places around the city were enough to get us really excited for our coin toss destination.

We were only at Hostel Folks for one night but I would take so many trips back to Slovakia just to explore this country with such a rich culture. It is probably one of the most underrated countries in Europe! The hostel was super clean and the staff were really friendly. It was a newer hostel and they upgraded our room from a dorm to a private room which was so lucky. The woman at the front desk was pleasant and the people of Slovakia in general were so sweet. (It was about €13 for one night here!)

While we didn't need any transportation throughout the city, and walked everywhere we went, we did arrive by bus from Vienna for only €5 each through a student discount agency called regiojet. We used regiojet a lot and I would highly recommend them for transportation throughout central/eastern Europe. Not only is it cheap but for the price it's surprisingly comfortable and accommodating.

Slovakia uses the Euro (€) which made our transition from Vienna to Bratislava very easy. The price of an inexpensive meal is only €6 and beer is around €1.75. Slovakia is probably the cheapest country i've traveled to that uses the euro. Apart from the hostel and bus I spent under €32 for a one night trip to Bratislava.

Slovakians speak Slovak. They definitely like it if you try to speak their language so we asked our waiter at the restaurant to write down how to say thank you in Slovakian! Dankujem! He was really appreciative of the fact that we wanted to speak a little bit of his language.

Our only issue with this trip was that we traveled on Easter Sunday so our second day in Bratislava was a little complicated because they celebrate Easter Monday.

*Fun fact: In slovakia it's tradition that the women in the family get buckets of water poured on their heads and get whipped on Easter Monday. It sounds a bit farfetched but it's supposed to be good luck!*

It was hard to find restaurants that were open, but we enjoyed everything we ate. The best meal i've probably ever had in my life was from Bratislavské Meštiansje Pivovary. It is a brewery that serves traditional foods. We stumbled upon this place while searching for an authentic place for lunch that was still open on Easter Sunday, and we got pretty lucky! We ate the cabbage soup, had the local beer, and ate the most delicious dumplings! Keep reading below to find out the food that you must try!!!

While exploring we discovered the medieval city walls, St. Martin's Church, and Michael’s gate. You'll also notice that throughout the city there are random sculptures and the most famous one is the man at work sculpture. We also were able to get into Bratislava castle for FREE because it was the first Sunday of the month! People call the castle "Mario's Castle" because it looks like the castle from Super Mario Bros. Bratislava felt like a hidden fairytale location. We also saw the blue church or The Church of St. Elizabeth, which was just as beautiful outside as it was on the inside. Get ready to do some wandering outside of the center to find this! It is totally worth it. We ate dinner and had breakfast the next day at Urban bistro (mostly because nothing else was open). This was not traditional food but it was more of a new concept restaurant and we enjoyed it a lot! Especially their cocktails and coffee drinks!

  • Halušky - DUMPLINGS - if you do anything right in Bratislava it would be to try these delicious things!

  • Zemiakové placky - Fried potato pancakes

  • Gulášová polievka - traditional slovakian goulash soup

  • Kapustnica - Cabbage soup!

  • Bratislava Castle

  • St. Martin's Cathedral

  • Old Town Hall

  • Primate's Palace

  • Michael's Gate

  • Grassalkovich Palace

  • Blue Church

  • UFO Bridge

  • Devín Castle

  • Matej Krén Passage

I hope you enjoy your time in Bratislava!

The Localist Abroad
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© Ashley Nicole Weimar.