Bratislava

Apr 29th, 2004, 07:47 AM
  #1  
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Bratislava

Am planning a last minute trip from Vienna to Budapest and am wondering whether to spend a couple of days in Bratislava. Would appreciate views on this. At the moment I have 7 nights in Budapest and am considering spending a couple more nights or going to Bratislava (but am having difficulty finding availability at a central hotel in Bratislava because things are so late) Would appreciate views and please don't suggest Prague because I would require a visa and there is no time
wombat7 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 08:08 AM
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I lived in Bratislava for a year a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it there. For sightseeing, you probably wouldn't need more than a day or two. You might plan on two nights. Prices are great (low); the old town in picturesque; the modern bridge over the Danube gets mixed reviews. There is a restaurant at the top which is a great place to watch the lights go on at dusk. There is a cathedral and a castle and if you like music, the opera house is very good and very inexpensive. Off the top of my head, those are my thoughts.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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Thanks Kristinelaine
I am having difficulty finding a hotel that is close to the centre - is transportation relatively easy? Have looked at the opera - you don't seem to be able to get tickets in advance so if I get there I'd try and get tickets on the day.
wombat7 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 09:41 AM
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The Carlton hotel is right next to the Opera House. It is supposed to be the nicest hotel in Slovakia. It is just okay by American standards and I would stay there again. I think it is an SAS Radisson hotel. It is right in the middle of everything.
Bratislava is definately worth a visit. It is a charming city. I agree that you can do it in one-two days.
Have a great trip!
Suse
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Apr 29th, 2004, 12:11 PM
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I only had to get a hotel for friends once and I used the Chez David which is a Jewish hotel near the cathedral and castle. Maybe you could search for it. It was a budget hotel and very plain. I was told that the restaurant there had excellent Jewish food. I think they built a new Ibis there as well. Both of these are within pretty easy walking distance of the opera house. There is also bus and tram service. No metros.
I don't think you will have trouble getting opera tickets on the day of the event, unless it is something very special. I'm not a big opera fan, but I had a friend there who just loved going and he is quite a critic!

I hope you enjoy yourself. When are you going?
Kristinelaine is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 12:31 PM
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I will be in Budapest from May 14-21 and am due back in Vienna on May 23 - so looking for 21-23. There is a Hotel Ibis on Zamocka 38 - and I can get a double there for E54. Apparently it is 1kn from PRIMACIALNY PALACE and 1.5 kn from SLOVAK NAT.THEATRE.

Am comments on location before I book - and also advice on getting there from the train station. I am afraid that we will NOT be travelling light as this is a vacation tagged on to the end of a business meeting so will be lugging some business garb as well as the obligatory ton or so of paper - who said it was a paperless society!
wombat7 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 05:21 PM
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It is a new building built just on the north side of the castle. You will be just on the (west) edge of the old town area. Very close to the area you want to see.

There are two train stations in Bratislava. From the main station, there are several busses that go to within a block of your hotel. The nearest bus stop is Zachova -- if you do this, don't miss your stop, or you will cross the Danube and then have to get back. Taxis are pretty reliable and cheap.

If you go into Petrzalka station, the bus situation is not as good and I would suggest a taxi. Petrzalka is closer to Vienna and the train trip is about half as long. If you're coming from Budapest, I believe some trains go to the one station and some to the other. Petrzalka is on the south side of the Danube and the main station is on the north side. Old town is also on the north side, as is the Ibis. Hope this helps.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Apr 30th, 2004, 06:40 AM
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It was a great help and I now have a reservation at the IBIS for May 21-23.

The train from Budapest gets into the main station - if we are up to it we'll catch the bus or just take a taxi.

Thanks for the advice - any further tips on what to do or where to eat woudl be great. We will def try for tickets at the opera - Rigoletto and Bluebeard's Castle are playing on the two nights that we are there.
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Apr 30th, 2004, 03:08 PM
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I spent four days in Bratislava in 2002. It was during the days when the BIG flood hit Prague (where I had just been!) I spent my time hanging out along the river with all the locals, waiting to see how high the water would rise...

I stayed at the Danube. Great location.

There are a few museums worth checking out. (My cousin lives there, so I got a free tour of Old Town!) You will probably want to get a tour of the Prima.. Palace (can't spell it). The castle is easily self-guided, and worth checking out. Bring your camera, because the best views are from that hill where the castle is. Paparazzi Restaurant was excellent (also in Old Town). There are many outdooor restaurants & cafes, so if it is warm, you will want to hang out outside. Basically, you can cover the highlights of the city in about 2 days. Any longer than that, I would just explore the cafes, go shopping (there is also a Tesco there, if you need anything..), and take in some concerts, etc. You can get A LOT for your money there.
amp322 is offline  
May 1st, 2004, 05:03 AM
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I'm glad that you like opera, because that is a real highlight in Bratislava. Their orchestra is also very good and usually performs on Thursday and Friday evenings, but you may be there too late in May for that. I'm not sure. They perform in the Reduta which is very near the Opera house.

I never found a restaurant to die for, but I always found pretty good food. It certainly isn't Paris, but the MUCH lower prices make it not expensive to try different restaurants. The only food item that the Slovaks claim as their own is brynzove halusky which I sometimes call "heart attack on a plate". It is very good (I think) and very rich. Basically a potato-flour loose noodle with a sheep cheese and sour cream and bacon topping. Try it if you're not watching your fat intake! Slovak food has been strongly influenced by being ruled for centuries by the Austro-Hungarian Empire (and mainly by the Hungarian side of that). So some things that seem Slovak are probably Hungarian -- such as palacinky -- small rolled pancakes (dessert) -- which are much like the French crepes. These are my food impressions, but I am not an expert on this, so some of it may be flat out wrong!

The food in the restaurant at the top of the bridge (Novy Most) is totally acceptable and the view is fantastic -- especially at dusk when the lights are going on (I think I said this in an earlier post) so you might try to go there. Otherwise any of the outdoor restaurants are probably fine.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Jul 1st, 2004, 05:33 PM
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I would like to stop in Bratislava for a few hours to see old town on my way from Vienna to Budapest. However, having to change a small sum of money for a taxi or trolley ride or lunch on the square is a bothersome, and I would probably be stuck with the excess when I left. Does anyone know if I could get by using euros instead?
rdfarr is offline  
Jul 1st, 2004, 09:08 PM
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Don't think Euros will work at all there, but your money will go a long way.If you get the equivalent of around $25 US, that would cover taxi & lunch, easily. It is a great town, so I would definitely make a stop there.
amp322 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2004, 04:33 AM
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I also think Euros won't work, but as the writer above suggests, just change a small amount and spend it all before you leave. Things are very cheap there.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Jul 21st, 2004, 06:40 AM
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Here's an article from The Washington Post about Bratislava. Note: You have to register.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...nguage=printer
gnrbernstein is offline  
Jul 21st, 2004, 07:15 AM
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Excellent article! It makes me want to go back & explore that beautiful country (where all 4 of my grandparents were from) some more.

The part about not being able to find a hamburger is totally incorrect. When I was in Bratislava in 2002, a TGI Fridays had just opened up that week in the Old Town Square. The food was truly great. I am not kidding. The freshest ingredients, eager to please staff, and delicious hamburgers. If the Fridays next to my house was anywhere near that good, I would eat there every day.
amp322 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2004, 07:55 AM
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Sounds like you got there right after the travel writer did. We can't wait to visit this fall. Since we are only there for a day, we might have to skip the TGI Fridays.

gnr
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Jul 23rd, 2004, 09:15 AM
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Found another article, this one from CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TRAVEL/DESTI....ap/index.html

(actually the link was on the website of the Slovak Embassy -
http://www.slovakembassy-us.org/travella.html)
gnrbernstein is offline  

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