Walk slow and absorb the picturesque views of 18th century rococo buildings in pastel colors, with the backdrop of castles, then sip a cup of hot cocoa at a street corner cafe. Welcome to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.
Text and Photos by Jennifer Ellson
The best thing to do in this capital city, and what Germans still call Pressburg, is to walk around and get lost in maze-like cobblestoned alleys and take in the views.
To fully enjoy Bratislava, you have to take it slow and absorb the picturesque views of 18th century rococo buildings in pastel colors, with the backdrop of castles, and then stop at any of the cafes in every street corner and just watch. Observe. Chill.
Forget your planned itinerary and just blend in and disappear among the beauty around you. And when you think you’re done sight-seeing, walk some more and you will discover something else, guaranteed. Whether it be an old church here, or a weird tower there, your sense of sight will surely be overwhelmed.
Your sense of taste, unfortunately, will be slightly underwhelmed. The three meals that I’ve tried were nothing to rave about. It’s probably because there is no real Slovak cuisine to speak of, says Slovak-Republic.org, but there are traditional Slovak recipes that are heavy on meat, potatoes and cabbage.
But let’s not be a brat about this, because the beauty around you makes up for the disappointing food, I promise. Besides, Vienna is just an hour away by train, so just save your appetite for a food trip to the Austrian capital. While in Bratislava, take advantage of the quirky cafes lined up at the labyrinth-like streets of the old town and opt for a quick bite.
The local beers, however, are another story. Being part of the former Czechoslovakia, it is no wonder that Slovakia knows how to brew fantastic beers, just like the Czechs who invented the original Budweiser.
Bratislava is really worth a day trip, at least, just for its sheer beauty, pretty little cafes, and wonderfully cheap beers!
All rights reserved (Jennifer Ellson).
- A Vienna-like city without the crowds (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Slovakia tries to impress again. (foodstaycation.com)