A day-trip to Bratislava

Thomas has heard about the city of Bratislava and has wanted to visit it for a long time. Recently he got the chance to do a day trip to Bratislava, and this is his report!

Thomas in Bratislava
Thomas visits Bratislava – Source: Pixabay

Thomas woke up early in his Vienna hotel and quickly packed his stuff together. On the wait to the boat he bought some breakfast, and at 8.30 the Twin City Liner was ready to leave Vienna in order to reach Bratislava. The ticket price was 30 Euro (something Thomas found to be quite expensive), but it was still worth it as it would take him to Bratislava on the River Danube.

The boat trip took 75 minutes, and at 9:45 he arrived in Bratislava. The boat stopped in the heart of the city (Old Town), so now he was ready to discover whatever the city had to offer. His return with the boat would leave Bratislava at 16.00 (price was 20 Euro), so this is the story of what Thomas did during his six-hour stay in Bratislava.

The story of Thomas’ stay in Bratislava

He decided to start his day by getting some food. He noticed an interesting shaped “building” in the middle of the bridge had crossed under and decided to pay the UFO a visit. This is one of the most important landmarks in Bratislava, and it is a popular place to dine, so why not start the day in Bratislava with a UFO-visit?

ufo in bratislava
Thomas wants to visit the UFO in Bratislava

Thomas walks toward the bridge and follows the walking road “under” the bridge all the way to the UFO. He pays the entrance fee and takes an elevator to the top of the UFO. Here he can enjoy a spectacular view in all directions, and he uses the opportunity to grab a piece of food.

While waiting for the food to be served, Thomas takes a panorama photo with his mobile in the direction of the castle and the old town. He is very satisfied with the result.

A beautiful view towards the castle and the old town from the UFO in Bratislava
A beautiful view towards the castle and the old town from the UFO in Bratislava

Thomas wasn’t entirely satisfied with his food, but at least he got some new energy. Now he is ready to leave the UFO and get back to the old town. But, before walking around in the old town, he decides to visit the castle to see what the view is like from there and to learn more about the castle building itself.

It is a nice walk, but he uses more than 30 minutes to get from the UFO to the castle. During the walk, he takes some more pictures and notices the Martin Cathedral which seems to be a nice cathedral in the old town of Bratislava.

The Castle of Bratislava

The castle looked very impressive from the UFO, but as he gets close to the castle, he isn’t that impressed anymore. If the building would have been located in Paris, and not on a hill next to the Danube, nobody would even notice the building (at least so he thinks). But, as Thomas reads in his guidebook about the building, he understands that the castle has had a special history. A castle was first raised on the hill in the 10th century. It was later made into a gothic castle, a renaissance┬ácastle, and a baroque castle before it burned down in the start of the 19th century. It was left a ruin for more than hundred years before it was rebuilt around 1957. That kind of explains the look of the building to Thomas.

The Castle of Bratislava
The Castle of Bratislava didn’t really impress Thomas.

Thomas isn’t that much into museums, so he decides not to visit the department of the Slovak National Museum located inside the castle building. Instead, he drinks some water, makes some photos, and starts his walk towards the old town and the Martin Cathedral.

The Martin Cathedral is a nice church, but it cannot be compared to other churches Thomas has earlier. But, what should one expect from a small city like Bratislava (the city only has a population of 500,000 people). This is the most important church in Bratislava, and it has been the coronation church for kings throughout the centuries.

Martin Cathedral in Bratislava
Martin Cathedral in Bratislava

As he walks on towards the old-town he sees a beautiful tower at the end of a street (to the left). The tower is the Michaels Tower, and it is a very nice place to visit. He decides to visit the tower and pays the cheap entrance fee. As he walks towards the top he enjoys an exhibition portraying some historical objects, and from the top, he enjoys a fairly nice view towards the old town and towards the castle.

St Michals Tower
St Michals Tower, the only watchtower left in Bratislava

The building was originally built in the 14th century, but what we see today is mostly the result of the renovation work in the 18th century. It is one of the oldest buildings left in Bratislava today.

He leaves the tower and walks towards the main square of Bratislava. He can spot a little market and some restaurants along the way, but nothing that catches his interest. At the main square, Thomas can see a big fountain in the middle. This is the famous Maximillian Fountain. This monument is more than 10 meter high, and it looks very nice in the middle of the square.

main square bratislava
The main square in Bratislava with the Maximillian fountain and the old town hall

On the picture above you can see the fountain itself and in the background the old town hall with its famous clock tower. As Thomas went closer to the clock tower he noticed a little tunnel. As he walked into the tunnel he discovered a beautiful backyard, and as he went on he discovered another famous attraction in Bratislava, the Primates Palace.

The Primates Palace in Bratislava
The Primates Palace in Bratislava

As Thomas discovers the Primates Palace he starts to wonder. Is this the building he has read about? Is this what many call the most beautiful of all buildings in Bratislava? He cannot understand it. His guidebook says that it has had an important role in history and that it was here the┬áPeace of Pressburg treaty was signed in 1805. But, who cares about that today? Thomas can say that he has seen the building, but he wasn’t very impressed!

Disappointed Thomas returns to the main square of Bratislava. Soon he gets in a better mood as a silver guy takes off his hat and greets him!

Schone Naci in Bratislava
Beautiful Ignac (Schone Naci) welcomes you to Bratislava, a popular statue in Bratislava – Source: Pixabay

Thomas immediately gets in a better mood, and as he turns his eyes back to the main square he discovers another statue. This time it is a soldier leaning onto a bench on the main square. This is one of the soldiers in the army of Napoleon, and Napoleon supposedly wore a similar hat back in the days.

French soldier in Bratislava
French soldier at the main square – Source

The boat is about to leave Bratislava

Thomas looks at his watch, and he can see that it is 15.00. He has spent quite a lot of time walking around, so he walks in the direction of the boat. He looks forward to taking a closer look at the Hviezdoslav Square, but before he gets there a crowd has gathered in front of him. Thomas wonders what’s going on, and then he sees a guy looking out from a manhole in the street. Luckily it isn’t a real person, but it is one more of these cool statues around in Bratislava. The guy he looks at is called Cumil, and he is one of the most popular attractions in all of Bratislava.

man at work in Bratislava
Cumil, a very popular statue in Bratislava.

Thomas takes a picture and walks on towards the Hviezdoslav Square. As he reaches the giant square he observes the National Theater to the left.

The National Theater in Bratislava
The National Theater in Bratislava

He quickly looks at the building, but as he loses his interest quickly, he takes a look to the right instead. There he can see lots of stands and it is some kind of market taking place at the square. There are lots of nice restaurants lined up, so the next time Thomas comes to town, he wants to grab something to eat here.

On the other side of the square, he can see a giant hotel, the Radisson Blu Carlton hotel. It might not be the nicest in Bratislava, but it has a fantastic location. Maybe this is were Thomas should stay if he ever returns to Bratislava?

The beautiful Carlton hotel at the Hviezdoslav Square in Bratislava
The beautiful Carlton hotel at the Hviezdoslav Square in Bratislava

Thomas walks on towards the river, and before he finishes his trip at the boat, he buys some chocolate and something to drink in the Billa store located on the side of the Carlton hotel building.

Refreshed he walks down to the boat and is ready to ride back to Vienna after six nice hours in Bratislava.

Thomas’ short Bratislava wrap-up

On the boat back to Vienna Thomas has some time to sum up his thoughts about Bratislava. He has enjoyed walking around in the city, but he is a bit disappointed by the city itself. He had greater expectations to the buildings and the architecture of the city. He could easily imagine spending a few days in the city for the sake of just walking around in the old town and eating in the nice restaurants. However, if the goal is to discover beautiful buildings, visit interesting museums and to be inspired by the surroundings, Thomas would rather spend an extra day in Vienna.

The main square in Bratislava
The main square in Bratislava

Have you been to Bratislava? Did you enjoy your stay? Do you feel the same way Thomas felt, or did you experience the city totally different? Write a comment and share your thoughts.