Traveling is all about taking chances, so when I met a friend at my hostel in Vienna, we decided on a whim to take a day trip to Bratislava, Slovakia. I didn’t really know what to expect, especially when we stepped out of the train station to a cloudy, cold day. But, turns out I could not have made a better decision to come here. The city is full of local charm and a deeply-rooted culture.
For just 14 Euros for a round trip ticket from Vienna’s Hauptbanhof station, we jumped on a train to Slovakia with just two minutes to spare. Our one-hour train took us straight to Bratislava, where I was welcomed in a language very similar to Czech (which was really nice).
Once we arrived, our first stop was the town square, where we ran into a sweet little Christmas market selling local crafts, glühwein, and delicious Slovakian food. Christmas carols were playing in the courtyard and smoke was rising out of the stalls.
Near the National Theater, there was another Christmas market with a small ice skating rink. So cute.
Also, there are beautiful structures spanning from the regal Bratislavský hrad castle, influenced in part by the Spanish,
to the towering steeple of St. Martin’s Cathedral,
to the modern-looking Nový Most bridge, which has a UFO-looking restaurant situated above the Danube River.
Behold a city with both small-town charm and an inner-city pace. I definitely fell in love with its cozy atmosphere and hope to explore it even more one day. It’s perfect for a day trip because it’s close to Vienna and not too big or intimidating, so I’d definitely recommend taking a day trip there if you ever get the chance!