“Do you know if there is a train coming in soon?” – “Oh yes, very soon, they are building it now” That humorous scene from the movie Euro Trip, how it depicted Bratislava as being deplorable, and a backwards city was very far from the truth. The scene was funnier than hell though. I am not going to lie in saying that it influenced me a bit on how I originally thought of Bratislava.
Although I did know better that Bratislava would be nothing like Euro Trip, as I had traveled extensively through Eastern Europe and the Balkans. On this particular trip, I was exploring the capital cities from Serbia, to Hungary, to Montenegro, and so on. Even with all that traveling, Bratislava surprised me.
It might be that Slovakia is not talked about as much as other European countries in the United States, although Bratislava and Eastern Europe are very popular with the European crowd.
When I had stepped off the bus in Bratislava, which happened to have been filled with partying Germans and Austrians, I could not help but notice the construction of modern buildings. I was not expecting to see large business buildings right off the bat, since I had initially only seen photos of Bratislava’s charming Old Town.
Modern buildings such as these are a symbol of a city’s wealth, and the city of Bratislava certainly has wealth. The city ranked (in 2017) as the third richest region in the European Union per capita, after Hamburg, and Luxemburg City. Tourism also plays a big role in Bratislava’s economy, with one million tourists visiting each year.
Now Old Town Bratislava is where it is at, and what I came to see. It was one of the most beautiful, and liveliest capitals that I had visited while traveling this part of Eastern Europe.
Old Town was filled with excellent restaurants, cafes, and shops all within the preserved medieval city center. It was vibrant, colorful, full of people, and life. Old Town Bratislava was a magnificent place to be.
The ‘Old Town’ is the historic center, and is bordered by the river Danube. It is known for its many churches, Bratislava castle, and its medieval buildings. There are several significant landmarks in old town including 14th century Zochova street, Michael’s Gate, Trinity Church, Town Hall, Shop Street, the stone square, and many other churches and palaces. One could spend several days to a week exploring Bratislava, along with its Old Town.
When I was exploring Bratislava, I tried to cram in as many places as I could. One landmark that I missed, and that I will return to visit is the castle. I am known to always visit castles and palaces, and I have written many blogs about them.
Bratislava Castle was on my list and I was heading strait for it, until I saw Luculus Ice Saloon. I would have kept walking but I also saw “Since 1954”, and if you understand my food travels, anything with an old date triggers something in me. So I skipped the castle for ice cream!
As for what I ate, my most memorable meal was having Vietnamese food in Bratislava, of all things. Vietnamese food is very plentiful in Eastern Europe, due to the communist ties of Vietnam and this regions former regime. I had learned about the Vietnamese culture from a café owner and resident in Prague, during one of my visits to that city. Since then, I have eaten at Vietnamese restaurants throughout Eastern Europe to get my Asian food kick.
For my food blog with reviews and recommendations – What I ate in SLOVAKIA – A Food Journal
Bratislava was a surprising and extraordinary place to visit, and my short time in the city was just a taster for my return. Next time.I will definitely visit its magnificent castle, but I will make time to visit Luculus Ice Cream Saloon. I can and will do both!
Love is the food of life, Travel is dessert…
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre