Bratislava - with friends
We flew from Charleroi airport to Bratislava with Ryanair. We learned not to take extreme early flights for a city trip as it’s very exhausting if you need to get up in the middle of the nigth. That’s why we selected the flight departing at 10:40 AM and landing in Bratislava at 12:25 PM. Our airport transfer picked us up and brought us straight to our hotel. We wanted to check-in and drop our hand luggage before heading out to explore the city. Tickets were around 140 euro per person including priority check-in and hand luggage trolley of 10kg. More than enough for a short weekend away.
Organisation: Enjoy Bratislava
While doing earlier trips with IMT we learned that using an organisation to get things organised saves a lot of time and gets you access to new type of activities. For this trip I selected Enjoy Bratislava and I want to give Ralph credits for the fast and smooth communication prior our trip. Together with Ralph we build a nice program that was interesting for our entire group. Next to Ralph, I also want to mention our driver, Bianca and Claudia as they were on time, friendly & helpful.
e-Scooter: Bratislava Segway
Straight in the city center you can find Bratislava Segway. On Friday afternoon we had planned to explore the city by e-Scooter. You can rent them for 3 hours at a price of 20 € per person. They have an autonomy of approximately 30 kilometer. We decided to cross the river, explore the park, pass by the UFO and then go to Bratislava Castle. The last one was a bit challenging as the steps were unable to conquer the steep incline on the cobble stones. So we had to walk up for about 300 meters. So if you don’t want that, maybe avoid the castle with your step. We are also not 100% convinced that it was allowed to step around the area of the castle.
For most of us the eScooter was a new experience. They are very convenient to explore the city, a bit comparable with a Segway. Next to the castle I would also discourage to explore the old city center. There are plenty of people and that might be a bit dangerous. When you plan your journey take into account the step its weight is around 12kg and that might limit you in taking it somewhere inside. They don’t deliver a lock as that is easily cut through to steal your step.
Strava track: Bratislava by eScooter
Number 49 on the bucket list of Tom was playing curling. As there was a possibility to do this in Bratislava together with friends it was the perfect moment to give this game a shot. I can be very short on it: Awesome! If you ever get the chance to play this game with some friends, don’t even doubt a second!
The driver of the organisation picked us up at 10:00 and brought us to Zimny Stadion Lamac, which was a 15 minute drive from our hotel. When you enter you have to pass the ice hockey rink towards the hall for curling. Make sure to bring some warm clothes as the temperature was around -4 degrees.
We had a short introduction but we were all impatient to start sliding stones in the direction of the house (center of the scoring circles). With our broom in the hand we tried to influence the path of the stones. However, we are still wondering if we were really influencing the stone 🙂 We had 2 ice rinks at our disposal and could play 1 hour. We would advice to go for 1 hour and a half or even maybe 2 hours. As at the end we were all still very enthousiatic and wanted to play a little longer. After the game the bus driver brought us back to the city center for a well deserved cold beer.
On Friday evening we had reservation in the UFO restaurant. Our guide arranged we had a reservation around 19:00. Before taking the aperitief we went up to the observation deck which is on an altitude of 95 meters. You have a 360° view which is magnificient. After enjoying the view we went to the restaurant to take our aperitief. We wanted to be at the table before sunset started, so we could see the view by daylight and when it was dark. It was something I learned while visiting Singapore long time ago. Especially Bratislava Castle is very beautiful when it’s dark.
We had our menu arranged upfront and the food was delicious but a little pricey. I guess you pay for the setting as well. Once it got darker the atmosphere got really cosy and it would be perfect for a romantic dinner, but it also worked out for our group of 12. We reserved 3 small tables of 4 at the windows so everybody could enjoy the view. During our visit is was exceptional warm, around 30 degrees at noon and it was also very warm in the restaurant. They claimed to have airco, but we did not feel much of that. Luckily we also got a fan which brought some cooling, but still, it was too warm to enjoy to the maximum.
The normal drinks are affordable, but the wine is expensive according to me. 10 euro for a glas of wine and the cheapest bottle starting from 59 euro ranging to over 800 euro. Take that into account before reserving. We asked to delay the service of our dessert so we could go back to the observation platform and enjoy the view when it was completly dark. A whole difference than 2 hours ago. The best option according to us is to enjoy the view before and after sunset.
At the end of the evening, we got some extra sweet threat and a litle gift. I’ll leave it open what it was, so you can experience the same. Don’t expect too much, but still it was a nice attention. Although we had a great evening, the warmth in the restaurant was disturbing us and looking at the price, I would think twice before booking here again. Maybe I would take only the observation deck experience and have a drink at the bar. I’ll leave it up to you to make up your mind. But overall conclusion is we had a great time.
Bratislava has plenty of beatiful buildings and churches. One that you can’t miss when you are in the old town is Michael’s Gate, which is the only city gate which is maintained. You can pass through the gate and it is pitoresk, but also only a gate. Don’t expect too much out of it.
The city made us think about Lubjana in Slovenia. It’s not that big and you have enough with a couple of hours to visit the city center. The core of the town has in fact 4 main streets which are full of bars and restaurants. The prices of the drinks are affordable and in fact rather cheap compared to Belgium standards.
Also the square around the Old Town Hall is worth passing by. At night the building is nicely lighted. Like this there are plenty more churches and buildings to explore. Best thing to do according to us is just wander around. The old town is not that big and it’s fun to explore
During our visit it was around 30 degrees and that’s obvious quite hot to spend your time in a city. Certainly as we spend the morning at -4 while playing curling. We read up front about a lot of outdoor activities in Bratislava but didn’t want to book them because we couldn’t assess the weather a couple of months up front. However the temperature made us look for a activity which could cool us down. Google quickly learned us that Wake Lake would be a great place. We read nice things about it and they are all true.
The lake was located around 7 km or 15 minutes away from our hotel. An Uber took around 5 to 7 euro one way. Once arrived we saw a pretty impressive lake and you can pick your spot around the lake. You can literly select a place all around the lake. To lay down you can choose between sand, gras, sofa’s, … Only take into account there are mostly some rocks when you go in the water, but is gets deeper quickly, so it’s not too much of a problem.
It are mainly locals that hang out in this place and that is also reflected in the prices. We ordered 7 half liter beers for 10 euro! I think this is the cheapest we have ever seen. While enjoying our beer we had the chance to watch the wake boarders performing all kinds of tricks. There was a competition going on and we saw some pretty neat tricks they showed.
Further you can rent SUP boards and paddle boats or you can just take a swim in the refreshing water which looks pretty clean. We did not visit any restaurant so we can’t comment on that.
Conclusion is pretty forward. If you want to enjoy yourself for a couple of hours when it’s warm in Bratislava go check out this place.
Sunday morning city stroll: Modry Kostol
As we only had to go to the airport at 11:30 we decided to go for a morning walk exploring some other regions of the city. We started off by heading Northwest to explore some parks nearby our hotel. They are not very special and although they were well maintained, they feel a bit abandonned. After the two parks we drifted a bit to the city center and we decided we wanted to go look for the famous blue church. On our previous attempts we did not cross the church due to other priorities or interests. But I had read on the internet she is special. While going there we realised that the church was only few minutes away from our hotel.
The Modry Kostol church is very special and give some kind of Disneyland experience. She doesn’t look real at first. Also the interior is very nicely and different than most traditional churches. A must visit when you are around in Bratislava.
Strava track: Brataslava Sunday morning city stroll
We had reserved in the 4 star hotel Mama’s Design and Boutique hotel. The friendly receptionist tried to check in our 7 rooms as fast as possible. The hotel is located just outside the old city center in a quiet neighborhoud and on walking distance from the center. It takes 15 minutes by foot but if you don’t want to walk, an Uber takes you there for 2.5 euro.
The rooms have all amenities you can think off, great bed, good shower, mini bar, 3 types of pilows, airco, coffee and tea, … Our room (305) was spatious and quiet.
The breakfast is serverd between 07:00 and 10:00 AM and is extensive. You have plenty of choice on the buffet and daily there are some new things. On Sunday we got delicious pancakes with chocolate and strawberries. On Saturday we found Tiramisu and chocolate cake to finish the breakfast. As the weather was great, we took the breakfast on the terrace in front of the hotel.
We did not use the wellness, but I quickly check it out. it has a small pool with hydro jet to allow swimming, relax seats and a sauna. There is also a small gym to work out. During our visit we did not had time to do any of this.