Bratislava or Vienna?

Old Jan 19th, 2014, 04:23 AM
  #21  
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Thanks for the info. I've discussed it with my partner and he reckons trying to do both cities in 2 days as in itinerary 1 would be too stressful, tiring and expensive, so it might be better to stick to Bratislava this time and 'do' Vienna in April, if we can. It's true that we'll be very tired on the Saturday, so probably wouldn't appreciate Vienna as much as we should, whereas in Bratislava we could have a nice afternoon nap without feeling like we should be doing other things.

I've booked the Marrol's hotel, figuring that if we find Bratislava disappointing, we can just spent more time relaxing there! Has anyone tried the Messina restaurant there? Any other recommendations for nice restaurants/cafes around the old town?

Thanks for your help!
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Old Jan 19th, 2014, 08:26 AM
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go for it, Clementine! you certainly won't be disappointed with the Marrol's.

We didn't eat there apart from breakfast, so i can't help you about the dinners - we had a pizza for our supper in Brastislava at one of the many restaurants in the centre. but there were lots of nice looking places - have you tried TA?

There is a section on the hotel website with recommended things to do in Bratislava - I would start there.
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Old Jan 19th, 2014, 09:16 AM
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Agreed! Have a great time, and do report back on your weekend. We've not spent more than 8 hours or so in Bratislava in a single visit, so it would be nice to know what you found interesting for a weekend trip.

As for restaurants, the only one we've eaten at for which I could find a card was Slovak Pub, which means we all enjoyed our meal.
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Old Jan 19th, 2014, 10:29 AM
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Hi Clementine... I used to post here, but I stopped some time ago. Once in a rare while I peek in to see if someone has asked a question about a place I know. I lived in Bratislava for 18 months before moving to Budapest a year ago.

Budapest gets pretty good coverage. Bratislava not so much.

A few days ago, I saw your question. I was stunned that so many people would recommend you go to Vienna to round out a ONE NIGHT TRIP. "Oh Sweet Lord".

I could stay anywhere for one night and find something to do (OK, and I'll own this, I don't much care for Vienna. I've tried).

The Marrols is a good choice. A year or so ago it was voted the highest rated hotel in the world by Expedia. It is nice (do not get yourself too worked up, it really isn't that nice). But the service is stellar. While you check in, they bring drinks and chocolate - so really, what's not to like.

The street and immediate neighborhood is a bit charmless, but you are just around the corner from the old town core.

See if there is a symphony in the Reduta that night (The Slovak symphony more often than not plays Friday night). It is the best of the 3 major performance venues - just stunning. Perhaps an Opera at the old or new theater (you are a walk to either)... buses pull in from Vienna every night for those who can't/won't spend 200 euro for the best seats (although, in Vienna, I stand for 4 euro).

Or, swing into Studio Club on Laurinska and see what is happening - a jazz venue.

Personally, I would not eat at the hotel. If you want to eat close to your hotel, I might go to "The Beer Palace" (which sounds a bit weird, but it's nice). But hands down, I go to Mestiansky Pivovar (a microbrew with fantastic beer and food). There are 2 locations, but I go to the one on Dunajskej. Prasna Basta in old town is also nice. All these choices are Slovak (which is the only food Slovaks actually know how to make- do not let anyone try to convince you they have mastered Italian).

The hotel will know all of these restaurants and will help you make a potentially much needed reservation. I do not drop in at any of these.

Drink where you wish in old town, but be very careful where you eat. And if you just want a pizza, Pizza Mizza (very near the Marrol) is cute for perhaps a fast lunch.

You can more than consume 2 days in Bratislava - a sweet little city with a good amount of crust.

And, of course, you can always take the bus to Devin castle should you bore of the old city...

I have blogged extensively about things to do at:

www.theworldinbetween.com

Under the tab "home", I have pages of Bratislava blogs.

I will now revert to my fodor's retirement. Enjoy Bratislava and contact me directly should you need anything else.

Julie
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Old Jan 19th, 2014, 10:47 AM
  #25  
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Thanks for the info, feeling much more positive about Bratislava now! I think a more laid-back weekend is the right choice given how little time we have.

Thanks for the food/drink recommendations...Slovak food and beer is exactly what we want. Mestiansky Pivovar looks fantastic. I will definitely check out your blog, Julie.

Does anyone know what we can expect to pay for drinks in the old town or have any recommendations for a light lunch around there?
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Old Jan 19th, 2014, 11:11 AM
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Hi Clementine..No worries... Beer in old town should be about 1 euro 60 for a 1/2 liter. In general, the Czech beers are big (Pilsner Urguell)... Zlaty Bazant is the biggest Slovak beer.

For lunch, I might go to Prasna Basta... It can be light or heavy there. Our personal small favorite is Corny Cafe on the corner of Grosslingova and whatever street the blue church is on...

Also, lots of people go to Shtoor for light lunch - though I hear there was a bit of a business falling out (2 partners split)...and now I think they run competing places across from each other in old town. One is still Shtoor - the other something else.
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Old Jan 19th, 2014, 11:42 AM
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Thank you for starting this post. I have been debating on another destination to add to my trip to Luthania and was thinking of Vienna. Then I saw Bratislava was close and thought it would make a nice day trip from Vienna. I am still debating so this information is very helpful.
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Old Jan 19th, 2014, 11:50 PM
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Oh, why are you stunned that suggestions were made for Vienna? The OP posed the question, ostensibly seeking input. Truth be, there is a reason Bratislava is not asked about on most travel forums, and barely exists in most guide books. Bratislava offers little that is unique and worth more than a day's visit. The Old Town can be thoroughly walked in the better part of a day, especially in winter and in between market and festival season. (A friend and I did so last month, enjoying the couple of Christmasmarkts and good lighting for photos in between.) Add the possibility of inclement weather, sitting at an outdoor café or standing on the Bratislava Hrad hilltop (or trekking up to Devin Castle) does not make for a charming or relaxing weekend.

You noted that you blogged extensively about Bratislava, but I read nothing about how to spend a winter weekend in the city on your blog. I am not trying to be mean or snarky, and to be certain, Vienna is not an ultimate destination, but for someone who loves the sweet little city with a good amount of crust, inexpensive symphony tickets and a few meals does not quite fill a weekend.

I offer the friendly challenge: sell me on a winter weekend in your much loved city. How should I spend two possibly snowy/rainy/slushy days in Bratislava? In return, the next time you're in Vienna in winter, I'll do the same for you.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 06:37 AM
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Four... we are not even talking about a weekend. We are talking about 2 days, both of which are travel days (and an expressed desire to relax and not spend much money.

With that, I'm gone... Poof... Enjoy Vienna.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 07:55 AM
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44travel - I thought that yours was a very reasonable challenge.

Shame that OH hasn't read the thread properly as the OP has already decided to go to Bratislava and would therefore have benefitted from OH's knowledge of her favourite city.

I don't know why some people have to get so hoity-toity when one disagrees with them.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 10:37 AM
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Oh dear, I seem to have started something!

I do understand why some would think 2 days was too long for Bratislava - that was why I started the thread in the first place - but I think trying to cram in Vienna would be too much stress and rushing around considering we don't even have one full day. We have quite busy lives in London and are constantly rushing around, so we want to be able to relax on our weekend away. We're hoping it'll be dry so we can visit the castle and walk around lots, but if it pours with rain the whole time, at least we'll be in a really nice hotel and in easy reach of bars and restaurants to try Slovak food and drink. We got cheap flights and it's meant to just be a nice getaway, really. I hope we're able to book similar flights again so we can try Vienna next time but ultimately I think it would be better to visit one city properly than rush around trying to do both on this occasion.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 08:07 PM
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Clementine, no worries. There's a surprising number of Vienna haters on this forum, but to each their own. For us, a weekend getaway is the complete opposite: being "stuck" in a nice hotel would drive me batty, so we generally plan our getaways with multiple options in case the weather goes awry.

As Oh doesn't seem interested in offering travel advice for a winter weekend in Bratislava, please do report back on how the weekend went. We're but an hour away, and who knows? I may be inspired to relax for a weekend!
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 10:11 AM
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I totally understand that - it's just that we have such busy lives in London, spending so much time rushing from one place to another, that the thought of rushing around on our weekend away wasn't that appealing, especially when we're already doing airport runs and 2+ hour flights on both days. We do hope to get to the castle but if there's torrential rain or whatever, just enjoying some food/drinks would be fine. I will post a trip report, although it may not be that interested giving that we're planning on taking it quite easy!
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