Charmed by Bratislava (1)

Remember the movie Hostel? If that’s the reason you have not visited Bratislava so far despite having the opportunity, then set your fears aside and take the next chance to visit this charming and intriguing city. I don’t watch the horror genre and when my friends had told me about the movie so many years ago, I had of course stopped them from telling me anything about the plot. And I am glad I didn’t know anything – because one does form an opinion about things despite being aware that something is just a work of fiction. Danger seems real if the mind is focused on seeing a snake even if it’s just a rope! Seeing the eerie picture above, one would get afraid by making the association with a fictional story one saw or heard about the city!

Coming back to my story. There I was one day, wondering what to do on a four day trip to Vienna as I was not so keen on spending all four days in Vienna despite its popularity. Then a friend suggested to go to Bratislava. That sounded good as it was only 1 hour away and I didn’t need to plan anything in advance. I could decide after being in Vienna and seeing how it went there.

It is really convenient to take a train from Vienna to Bratislava – it goes every hour or so. There is a collaboration between Vienna and Bratislava that allows you to take a return ticket from Vienna, which allows you to use the public transport also in Bratislava on the day of arrival. And you can return to Vienna two days later from Bratislava with the same ticket! Wonderful – isn’t it? It takes about an hour one way. More details here. Also possible is to go via boat on Danube or a bus or even a plane (that’s actually a joke – 10 minute flight time!).

Enough background story. In two words – I went.

When I came out of the train at Bratislava, somehow it reminded me of a station in India.

Bratislava Main Station (Hlavana Stanica)

I couldn’t figure out from the app for the public transport how to reach my hotel using the tram. So I walked as it didn’t seem too far on google maps. On the way I came across some interesting buildings – from the communist era of Slovakian history. Of course I took a picture immediately although at that time I didn’t know that it was the buidling of Slovak radio. Again this also reminded me of some office buildings in India – may be because of the color.

Building of the Slovak Radio


Thus stopping every few meters to click pictures because it was all so interesting, it took me more than 30 minutes to cover a distance of approximately 1.5 kms.

Finally I reached the hotel and thankfully they had the room ready for me. I was sweating profusely as it was a humid day with the sun shining (opposite of the cold and rainy day with hailstones in Vienna just 20 hours earlier). It was a lovely hotel with a lovely room and a luxurious bathroom – at less than half the price of what I paid in Vienna for a small room in a pension without a private bathroom! So I was glad to see a fan in the room which helped me relax before I got up for getting some lunch and sightseeing (in that order :)).

Bratislava Castle

So here I will end the first post. Stay tuned for the next one where I will take you further inside this lovely city.

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