Bratislava: Slovakia’s Quirky Capital

Sara Sees (3)

Bratislava’s Old Town is quaint and charming, a huge contrast to the rest of the bustling capital city. It’s not crowded with tourists like the other Old Towns of European cities. It’s pretty refreshing, actually. Food prices are generally low, the restaurants are locally owned, and the dining options are aplenty. There was a small open-air souvenir market right outside of our accommodation, Wild Elephants Hostel. While we were eating our potato pancakes a band played ska music from an apartment balcony for a small audience. The fountain in the main square would turn off and on, occasionally spraying the surprised tourist. Quirky statues can be found all around, whether popping out of a manhole or leaning over a bench.

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Bratislava was wicked cool.

One thing we knew we needed to see in our short time there was the Bratislava Castle. We didn’t use a map to find the castle; we saw it up on a hill a short distance away and started climbing up. Most castles/important buildings in Europe seem to be on hills, so if you’re castle hunting, just walk uphill. The hill that the castle is on has been inhabited for thousands of years. From the top you can even see land belonging to Austria and Hungary.

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Like in the Old Town, there are a few interesting statues in and around the castle. King Svatopluk I protects the city on his horse and an unknown (to me) woman with flowing hair sits with birds perched all over her.

The castle was nearly empty when we go there at 7pm. We almost had it all to ourselves, which is super rare for any place in a European capital.

DSC_0583 DSC_0601 DSC_0598We only had 24 hours in the city, but with that short amount of time I feel like we saw what we needed to. We didn’t venture far outside of the Old Town, though, besides walking from the train station and to the bus station. Bratislava is small for a capital, with only about 414,000 residents. But I enjoyed it. Thanks for the good time, Slovakia!

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