Have you ever had a situation, that you saw somewhere a photo from someone’s else trip and it pushed you to pack your backpack and just travel? It happened to me recently and it was split second in my mind, where I decided to leave Budapest for a while and travel somewhere. The closest option was Bratislava, as only 2,5 h away from Budapest. I had exactly 30 min to book a room and pack my clothes, in order to catch the train. When you are in a hurry you can usually make couple of serious mistakes, like booking the room in the end of the city (thankfully I managed to cancel it, but I lost 16 EUR) forget to pack your warm socks or hair brush, not to mention exchanging money to Euros. But who actually cares? Sometimes you just have to follow your instinct.
All in all I managed to catch the train and to my surprise I also met a girl from Slovakia, with whom I had extensive conversation. That’s the best part of traveling by train, there is always a chance of meeting some locals, who can give you good hints regarding their own city.
So as you know me, I won’t be writing here what kind of monuments you should visit in Bratislava, but rather where to go to eat/drink or shop. If I have to be honest with you, Bratislava is not the prettiest city I’ve seen, but I still decided to give it a second chance. Even if great architecture is mixed with super ugly communistic buildings or bridges (which I truly hate) there are still a few hidden spots, which you can visit with your friends or even alone (like me!).
Let’s start with food. In Bratislava I managed to eat one of the best pancakes (and I tried them in different cites multiply times). If you wish to taste heaven, you need to visit Pán Cakes, located at Suché mýto 4 . I got pancake stuffed with nutella and raspberry jam plus other one with mozzarella and fresh tomatoes and it was definitely the most pleasant part of my evening. Worth to mention nice interior and friendly staff (which is always a plus).
Credit: Pán Cakes
After not so calm night (when you have bunch of crazy Arabic guys behind the wall, who just don’t know how to shut up, do not expect to wake up happy and fresh), I want to leave my hostel as soon as possible. For breakfast I chose Bon Bon Jazz bar located at Štefániková 31 (yes, usually jazz bar is a night choice), which I spotted by chance the previous evening. I felt in love with the interior of this place, which was super cozy and had quite artistic vibe (maybe let’s skip the fact, that bartender was super rude, but can be something worst than Hungarian customer service?). A lot of black and white photographs, old school bar and good music was perfect kick off the day. Toilet of this place was a separate story, reminded a small living room, because how would you explain a table with nice cloth and a chair next to WC? Maybe some people like to feel cozy while pooping? Well, we all have our own habits.
Credit: Bon Bon Jazz Bar
While walking through the city, I found another hidden spot – Dunaj (located at Nedbalova 3), which is serving multicultural menu – including live shows, club nights, literature, visual arts, theater and social events. There was one hilarious sticker on the main door:
I will be remembering not to take a gun with me when I will plan to visit this place again (yes, I will leave knife at home as well).
Cold weather brought me to another great place: Urban House located at Laurinská 14. This place looks like a dream! Industrial, rather cold interior has been mixed with beautiful furniture, like velour and leather couches and armchairs. You found there also many wooden elements and toilet was another interesting part (no, I do not spend most of my time in toilets, but I do pay attention to interior of each room!). You will find in the menu trending food, like avocado toast, different types of burgers and pizzas.
Credit: Urban House
How about little shopping? Not to worry! I found really good 60′-90′ retro/orient vintage shop – NOX (located at Ventúrska 3). A lot of cool clothes and accessories can be found there along with different type of glass items imported from Czech Republic. I discovered many cute bags there and now I regret a bit, that I did not buy any of them. The only problem of this place was super mean owner. Sometimes I feel like slapping those grumpy faces, I swear God.
If you are dying to have PRADA or Gucci shoes but clearly you don’t have this much money, you should visit BIBLOS shoes store, located at: Laurinska 7. All shoes are made in Italy and they have really good design. I saw similar shoes in Florence and they are perfectly faking big fashion brands.
What else I can say about Bratislava? Surely it is not the most interesting city in this part of Europe and in the long run could be really boring, but it’s still worth to give it a chance. It was very short and totally unexpected trip, but I still enjoyed it. Worth to remember that this city is surrounded by many hills, so if you have a good weather, you should definitely go hiking and enjoy the nature.