Europe Travel

Travel || A 48 Hour Bratislava City Break

old town square

I had no notions of what to expect when I visited Bratislava for the first time. In fact, I hadn’t really known anything about Slovakia in general. And here’s my biggest ignorant American confession: I only could have vaguely pointed to its general direction on a map. 

Little did I know that Bratislava is only an hour away by train from Vienna. The only thing I knew before booking my trip is that one of Sam’s brother’s went on a stag do to Bratislava because beer was cheap, so I only had vague “Brits abroad” references in my mind. 

But I’m glad that I didn’t know anything about Bratislava before I went, as it ended up being my one of my favourite solo-trips ever. Perhaps, second to only Copenhagen. (Copenhagen still holds the ruling solo-travel place in my heart.) 

People in Bratislava were friendly and helpful, the city itself was absolutely stunning and awash in history. There was so much to see and do and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough for a weekend city break. 

I actually think it could be quite a romantic city break, so tuck that one aside if you are thinking about a romantic (but extremely reasonably priced) Valentine’s city break alternative to Paris, Vienna, Rome or Prague. 

Planning a Bratislava City Break 


SEE / DO:

There’s actually so much to see and do in Bratislava that I have a whole post planned just recommending my favourite attractions and monuments that I think that you should visit. Because it rained almost the majority of my weekend there, I ended up spending even more time in museums than I usually do, so I’ve been in nearly all of them in Bratislava now! 
michaels gate


STAY: 

I stayed in the Hostel Possonium. Just like my Dublin and Gdansk city breaks, I was trying to stay as cheaply as possible. Whilst still at the same time only staying in private rooms because I really don’t want to share a room with people I don’t know. Been there, done that. Prefer being alone. Anyways, I digress…. 

The staff at Hostel Possonium were really lovely. The bathrooms were super clean and the rooms were fairly stylish for a hostel. You have to pay for breakfast, but it’s cheaper than many alternatives found around the rest of the city. Most importantly, I felt very safe during my stay. 

If Hostel Possonium is full, I’ve also heard really good things about the also very reasonably priced Freddie Next to Mercury hostel.

hostel possonium room
hostel possonium
hostel lofted bed
hostel wine bottles


TRANSPORT: 

It’s really easy to get from the old town city centre to the airport. You just need to catch Bus 61. The easiest place to catch it is from the main railway station. Here’s the only confusing bit: you MUST buy a ticket for the bus before you board. When you buy a ticket there’s an option for a 30 minute ticket or a 60 minute ticket. And although the ride to the airport only takes about 30 minutes, you have to buy the 60 minute ticket. 

But don’t worry, that will only set you back around €1.50. (Whereas taking the taxi or a train is miles more money). If your flight is arriving after 11:00 pm, never fear. The 61 route has a night bus. Handily named, the N61. 

Because my flight was so delayed when I landed in Bratislava on that Friday night, I missed the last 61 bus, so I waited around 30 minutes for the N61. Yes, that was a fair bit of time, but to me it was preferable to spending €20+ on a taxi. 


EAT: 

Well, when in Slovakia, you have to try their version of dumplings and goulash. They are also quite famous for the cakes and buns. The most famous buns is one that is swirled with a bunch of poppy seeds, in fact it’s more like a croissant and pre-dates the French croissant. I recommend going to FantastiCo where you can order them by looking out for the “Bratislavske rozky”. 

And although the Zeppelin Cafe in the centre of the Old Town, might look like a bit of a tourist trap, their cakes are legendary and people from around the city pre-order them and pick them up to go. Their most popular cake, and the one that I tried, is the Jablkový Koláč, a traditional apple cake. 

If you’re a vegan, you don’t have loads of options in Bratislava; however, I stumbled across Balans Bistro, which is a really well-reviewed vegan and vegetarian restaurant.  
zeppelin cafe
apple cake
coffee at zeppelin
apple cake at zeppelin
urban bistro urban bistro inside urban bistro coffee urban bistro avo toast


wonderful walls
streets street near train station statue 1 statue bratislava
old town square michaels gate 1 michaels gate bratislava
fountain near presidents palace
building
48 hours in bratislava
me in bratislava main square in the evening in wine in beer i heart bratislava
bratislava city walls bratislava building
Have you visited Bratislava before? What are your top recommendations? 

If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy: 

24 Hours in Dublin 
A Gdansk, Poland Guide 
24 Hours in Copenhagen 
10 Things to Do in Berlin

Pin it for later: 
city break guide to bratislava

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  • Ooh I never thought of going to Bratislava but it looks like a great place to explore!

  • What I’m wondering, is where was your bed? Up the sort of ladder into the netted bit? I like the quirkiness of the bottles, and I’m forever jealous of your spontaneous weekends away solo, Perhaps I should try and do that too this year. A goal for 2018! Alice xxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

    • Bingo! It was in the netted bit at the top. Not the easiest climb into bed but for the price and the quirkiness you couldn’t beat it! X

  • I did a day trip from Vienna and I thought it would be a great place to spend a weekend!

  • RosieBaillie

    I definitely need to try and do some more European city breaks, Bratislava looks great. It’s so cool that you were able to find somewhere vegan to eat, too.

    • I’m a plant based diet had really only required a tiny bit more research when traveling. (And some extra apps on my phone for scanning labels) I quite like trying to find vegan restaurants- it’s like an Easter egg hunt! X

  • Amy

    I went to Bratislava last April and loved it! For a small city, there’s lots to see and do. We went to Vienna for the day and also took a tour of the post-Soviet locations around the city, where the guide picked us up in a 1970s Skoda and drove us to all kinds of interesting places.

  • I’ve never thought about going to Bratislava either, but it looks so beautiful! Especially that architecture is really stunning. x

  • Ashley Angle

    Wow, what a cool town! The foods look yummy too. Going to check out your Dublin post again. I’ll be there in 1.5 weeks!
    Ashley @ A Cute Angle // acutelifestyle.BlogSpot.com

  • Ashley Angle

    Wow, what a cool town! The foods look yummy too. Going to check out your Dublin post again. I’ll be there in 1.5 weeks!
    Ashley @ A Cute Angle // acuteangleblog.BlogSpot.com

  • This has been on my list for ages, especially after Prague to see the other side! Can you do a post about your solo travel? I feel like you’re so good at it, questions I have to help me:
    1 Why solo travel?
    2 Does Sam not want to go on holiday?! Or do you purposefully say no? It’s always something I wonder if I just told Paul that I was off on hols
    3 Is it better to do short solo than long solo?
    4 Do you try and make friends or just do it all alone? So many solo travellers seem really keen on meeting people but tbh I’d rather just hang with myself and a book I reckon
    5 If I want to do a solo travel where is the best place to start?

    Anyway sorry this comment was random, just have lots of thoughts bubbling in my head!!

    • These are all such wonderful suggestions for a post, I’ll certainly utilise them later! Thanks so much Jasmin! xx

  • We daytipped to Bratislava, but it was so cold that we spent most of it inside a coffee shop with a hot chocolate…

  • There’s nothing better than a city break at this time of year! Will have to put this on my list (as well as Copenhagen, great shout!) for next winter xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    • Both are incredible places! I’d go back to both in a heart beat (but especially Copenhagen!) x

  • bratislava seems lovely! i have to admit i don’t know much about it either, but will definitely have to add it to my travel list, haha. looking forward to seeing and hearing more about the city, too! xx

    • I’ve gone from not knowing anything about it to absolutely loving it, so I’m definitely a convert! X