The capital of Slovakia and largest city with a population over half a million has been one of the most important cities of the region in past while serving as the capital of Kingdom of Hungary during Habsburg Monarchy. The city still retains remembrance of its glorious past in cobbled stone streets, old architecture, Coronation Street and overlooking castle.
Bratislava is a city more famous among people for its complete misrepresentation in some Hollywood movies than its past importance and strategic events which city held. I had rather a short stay in the city but thanks to a walking trip learnt a lot which I believe a tourist can easily tend to miss. The history of Bratislava can be traced back to Neolithic Era and an active Celtic settlement from 4th century B.C. In year 1536, Bratislava became the capital of Hungarian Kingdom and coronation town of Hungarian kings. City thrived till its occupation by Napoleon in 1809 and again regained status in 1993 as capital of independent Slovak Republic.
While in the city take a walk about the coronation street to visit St. Martin’s Dome where the coronation of Hungarian kings was held. Spent noon by the Danube, spend time in Primatial Palace and Palffy Palace. The castle overlooking the city is a good place to be around sunset and and later at night the view from the top of observation tower UFO is mesmerizing. Though I did not do this because of lack of time but I think it will be a great idea to take a boat cruise on the Danube to the ruins of the Devin Castle. For adrenaline junkies, rafting on Divoka Voda which translates to wild waters can be fun!
One can see a lot of sculptures around the city which can raise curiosity of many. Do not miss to find out the story behind The Rubberneck or Schon Naci or The Taunter when you spot them while walking in historical city. St. Michael’s Gate is the only preserved gate of the old city, while passing under it make sure you pass through the broad way and hold your breath. As the legends hold this will bring you good luck! Find out the stories about witch burnings in the city and do visit blue coloured St. Elizabeth’s Church.
City has been a very important centre of activity against communist rule when on 16th November 1989 a gentle student movement started on the avenue leading to national museum, am immediate precursor to Velvet Revolution. Also there are interesting stories pertaining what is famously known as Prague Spring. A very famous image attached to event of Emil Gallo putting his chest in front of a tank often get mistakenly said to happen in Prague actually happened here in Bratislava.
Bratislava is known for having an amazing night life, stag events and hen parties! One could find interesting stuff if looking up for private shows and boat parties. In the city must try traditional “Kapustnica” – cabbage soup of “fazulovica” – bean soup, both with a portion of smoked pork.
09:25 AM – Budapest (Hungary) – EC 170 to Bratislava (Slovakia) at 12:07 PM