Bratislava, Slovakia

UFO Tower –
Bratislava’s Space Needle
Built by the Russians

Nový Most

Nový Most


Slavín monument
World War II Memorial
On Embassy Hill

Slavín

Monument and statues

Slavín view

View from the monument


British stag parties
Overflow the streets at night
Seems a bit random

Bratislava street

Quaint by day, at night this street is full of douchey bars blaring bad music.

Bratislava Main Square

Not entirely sure why the Brits choose this as their party destination. Perhaps it is easyJet's cheapest flight from London...

Bratislava Summary

Three nights: Thursday, June 7 to Sunday, June 10

Bratislava was our next to last stop in Eastern Europe (we’re in Prague now) and our only stop in Slovakia. Three nights was enough time to see the sights – there weren’t a lot. As a city, Bratislava had a nice, scenic old town and the rest of the city was a somewhat eclectic mix of 19th century buildings and 60s Communist utilitarianism. It felt like it was still trying to pull itself out of the Communist era.

 

We spent one day on what ended up being a fairly lengthy stroll, about seven miles. From our hotel near the train station, we hiked down to the eastern edge of the old town and crossed the Danube on the Starý Most (old bridge). The bridge is a bit of an eyesore as it’s a partially deconstructed automobile bridge that is currently used as a footbridge. On the other side of the river, we headed west toward Nový Most (new bridge) and its awesome UFO structure built during the Seventies. The views are supposedly good, but the prices for the observation deck or the restaurant was steeper than we were interested in. We then headed south to a nearby mega-mall, where I reached my destination: a music store where I could pick up a harmonica 🙂

Our last full day in Bratislava ended up being the most interesting. We hiked up a hill to check out Slavín, a Soviet WWII memorial. It was a pretty impressive site and had great views of the city. It was especially interesting to look across the river and see the extensive rows of prefab residential buildings, apparently the largest housing development from Soviet-era Eastern Europe.

As we headed down the hill through a posh neighborhood, past the US embassy and the Chinese ambassador’s residence, we came across what was obviously a puzzle hunt in action! There were about six teams scattered about examining a Rubik’s cube and associated paper puzzles. We scouted around to see if there was any on-site GC, but found nothing. Not wanting to disturb the teams during the heat of the hunt, we moved on.

 

At the bottom of the hill was the Slovakian parliament and a reconstructed castle. We stopped at a cafe next to Parliament for a scenic lunch overlooking the Danube and then cut through the castle back into old town. On our way to check out the funky inverted pyramid of the Slovakian Radio building, we noticed a circling helicopter and started to see a lot of police. As we continued, we saw even more police presence, including riot police and armored vehicles. Eventually, we passed by Námestie Slobody (Freedom Square) and saw what turned out to be a Gay Pride rally. We found out later that there was eventually a march (and no trouble as far as I know), but the police presence seemed really out of proportion. I’m not sure if they expected problems from the marchers or from others. In any case, I’m happy we didn’t end up in a riot 🙂