We made Bratislava a day’s stopover while traveling from Budapest to Vienna. And I am glad we did. Bratislava has that old world charm with beautiful buildings, winding alleys and streets full of cafes. It isn’t as packed as nearby Budapest and Vienna, so it’s easy to wander around unhurried in its old town’s pedestrian only streets, soaking in the atmosphere.
The old town is a 15-20 min walk from the main train station, and once we reached, our walk started not from St Michael’s gate, which is the usual entry point for the old town, but from a couple of streets further ahead. That part was the loveliest and quite a find – cobbled streets lined with run-down buildings and closed shops, surprisingly deserted with lots and lots of medieval time feels.
Some of these streets are Klariska, Farska, Kapitulska. From there, we walked towards the other part of the old town crossing St Martin’s cathedral, old town hall, St Michael’s gate and wandered around in the cafe lined streets.
It is also worth walking up to the hill on which Bratislava’s castle stands, crossing narrow lanes, stone staircases and city’s medieval fortifications in the process getting a great view of the city.
Bratislava is easy to reach from its more famous neighboring cities – an approx 3 hr journey from Budapest and 1 hr journey from Vienna – and is definitely worth a visit to enjoy the charms of a European city at a relaxed pace, away from tourist crowds.