Ancient Prague, majestic Vienna, or magnificent Budapest – many would be able to name the most attractive monuments in the individual metropolises around our picturesque Slovakia. But do you know that you don’t even have to cross our biggest river for culture and attractions? Our next TripTip will take place right on this river and will describe our trip to Bratislava! Together with you, we will visit our capital, called Istropolis in Greek – literally a city on the Danube, to show you that the Slovak capital has not only its charm but also a long and glorious history!
Your first task is to get on the train and successfully get to Bratislava. Students and retirees will benefit from free rail transport, so if you belong to one of the mentioned categories, the journey will not cost you a penny! However, we recommend paying 1 Euro for a seat. Bratislava is full of ancient history, and you don’t have to go far to learn about it. The main station itself is a bit like a historical monument from not so distant times. After arrival, we get to the second step, which is to get to the city.
Right in front of the station, there is a station square, where you will find stops for public transport buses. Public transport will become your connection around the city, by which you will either start your exploration right after you arrive or in case of a multi-day trip, you will go to the place of your accommodation first.
Where to spend the night?
The capital of Slovakia is full of hotels, guesthouses and hostels, but during our wanderings, we chose the guesthouse called Gremium. It provided us with a combination of an excellent location right in the city centre, the opportunity to get close to the guesthouse by public transport. Besides, although this guesthouse is situated in the heart of Bratislava, it offers a favourable price for students. A triple room per night will cost you 99 € (33 € per person). This price is the main reason to recommend this guesthouse to you.
You can get to your accommodation quite comfortably by tram number 1 and after about 15 minutes you will get off at a stop called Námestie SNP (The Slovak National Uprising Square). This square is just a street away from your accommodation, so it’s going to take just 3-4 minutes to get there. We recommend that you book your accommodation in advance to avoid disappointment from sold-out rooms.
The guesthouse also offers breakfast for its guests and another big plus is the restaurant right next to the house, which can be very suitable if you want to stop for some delicious food after a day of exploring the city.
Another advantage associated with the location is the availability of most major sights. A large number of monuments, such as the Primate’s Palace, the Slovak National Theatre, or the Church of St. Martin is within 500 meters! Bratislava Castle is four hundred meters further.
Evening walk along the bank of the Danube river, which flows majestically through Bratislava about 5-10 minutes walk from your guesthouse is also a very pleasant experience. And as you walk along the Danube embankment, we recommend to come to this statue of one of the most important Slovaks and pay good attention to it. Can you guess who it is?
Our TripTip is designed so that you can get to most sights just by walking. In the following articles, you will read more about how to spend your time in this beautiful city. This series of articles about Bratislava will lead you through its history, beauty and monuments. Also, you will already learn about some of the Bratislava’s attractions in this article.
An upside-down pyramid
The Great Egyptian Pyramid? Mayan pyramids? Or the ones in Indonesia? Pretty basic, right? Slovaks didn’t wat Bratislava to be as dull as Egypt or America and they came up with an original idea! How about building a pyramid “upside-down”? As a result, in 1983 the Slovak Radio Building was unveiled – building in the shape of an inverted pyramid. Due to its fascinating appearance, it has become, among other things, a national cultural monument!
The meridian of Bratislava
The Bratislava Prime Meridian is not known by everyone, but it is worthy of paying attention. Today, we all know that the prime meridian passes through London in the Greenwich area. However, in the 18th century, there was not just one generally accepted prime meridian and several of them were used. They were especially useful in cartography.
At this time, Matej Bel created his historical-geographical workabout Hungary. He approached the surveyor Samuel Mikovíni to create the cartographic part. For these needs, he decided to establish his own prime meridian passing and coming out of the northeast tower of Bratislava Castle. A monument depicting the place where this meridian leads can be found on the sidewalk under the castle, which runs along the Danube embankment.
UFO above Bratislava
An unidentifiable flying object was observed over Bratislava on August 26, 1972, CEST. This object resembled a flying saucer hovering over the river Danube. Exactly on this day, Bratislava’s New Bridge, these days know as the Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising was opened. It has even been declared a Slovak building of the century and is also a national cultural monument.
The Appolo Bridge
In the end, we will stay on the Danube for a while. There are more unique things above this river than you might think. Next one of them is the bridge, named after the former Apollo oil refinery, which was located near Bratislava and during the Second World War was bombed in a raid by American aircraft. The bridge has an arched structure, which you can find elsewhere in the world today. So what makes this bridge so special? This bridge was built on the land! And then it was additionally transported to its current place using a pontoon construction. In 2006 this bridge won the prestigious Opal Award and at that time it was the only European bridge to achieve such success.
Matej is a talktive person who comes from city which used to be known as “the pearl on the Váh river”. We are talking about the Žilina city! This beautiful agglomeration is surrounded by spectacular Slovak nature and plenty of old mediavel castles. Enviroment he grew up in became an object of his fascination and inspired him in interest of a local culture and history, as well as the history of his lovely Slovakia. These factors made Matej to becomes a guide at the nearby Budatín castle. Thanks to his passion you could be looking for the right amount of historical and interesting facts in articles written by him. He likes to stare at the country from the heighest floor of the 32 meters tall tower of Budatín castle, but much more he prefers literally sky views as he is a pilot. That’s why you would wait for some pictures of sights taken from the sky he writes about in his interesting reviews!