Bratislava Slovakia get there

Bratislava_Panorama_01

Reason I’m here, Christmas Markets 🙂

On my mission to see all the European Christmas Markets. In my opinion there is no better way to get you in the Christmas spirit than to attend the Christmas markets in mainland Europe. My favourites so far are in the former Eastern countries. SANYO DIGITAL CAMERASANYO DIGITAL CAMERAThis trip I am traveling alone and this is a whole new experience for me. That said Slovakia is a beautiful country steeped in history but also one where the years of communist rule is still very noticeable so for a visitor it is very interesting. This trip was Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and then Slovakia for another few days before heading to Dublin.

What I found

Bratislava is a great little city with so much charm an authenticity to offer. It is changing so I would get here fast. Sadly everything changes and American chains are moving in and destroying the authenticity. As far as price goes it was such good value for tourists. my trip was pure pleasure,SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA restaurants and Christmas markets and transport were my only real expenses. Salaries are low so the tourist is the only one enjoying the low prices. I stayed in a central area with an American ex pat living there. He lives in the business district which is about a 10-15 minute walk to the old town of Bratislava. The locals he works with are paid Slovakian pay rates and they could not afford to live there. Most of them travel about 30 minutes to an hour to work each way.  He is paid American wages. The same rule went for some of the bars and restaurants. I did find that if you stay away from Irish bars with ridiculously high Dublin prices that the locals cannot afford to drink in then you will have an authentic and very cheap visit. Anyway why would you go to Slovakia to visit an Irish bar?  I could stay home for that. SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Slovakia is a former Communist country

In all of the former eastern block countries that I have visited this was never as evident as here.  SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAThe city was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary, a part of the larger Habsburg Monarchy territories, from 1536 to 1783 and has been home to many Slovak, Hungarian and German historical figures.

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The GDP per capita is valued at 41,800 euro (2009), which is 178% of the EU average and is the fifth-highest of all regions in the EU member states.

The average monthly salary in Bratislava region in 2011 was €1220.

The unemployment rate in Bratislava was 1.83% Bratislava enjoys numerous theaters, museums, galleries, concert halls, cinemas, film clubs, and foreign cultural institutions, opera, ballet, drama, even a puppet theater.  Bratislava

Music in Bratislava flourished in the 18th century and was closely linked to Viennese musical life.  Mozart even visited the town at the age of six. Among other notable composers who visited or lived in the town were Haydn, Liszt, Bartok and Beethoven.  It is also the birthplace of the composers Johann Nepmuk Hummel, Dohnanyi Erno and Franz Schmidt. The city hosts several annual festivals, such as the Bratislava Music Festival and the Bratislava Jazz Days. During the summer various musical events take place as part of the Bratislava Cultural Summer at Bratislava Castle and Park Kultury a oddychu and elsewhere. Apart from musical festivals, it is possible to hear music ranging from underground to well known pop stars. SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

The Kupele Central have become a focus for street art.

Bratislava is also a university town

With over 60,000 students attending. It just adds to the cool vibe of the place keeping it young and hip.

My days were spent wandering though the streets stopping for coffee in quaint little cafes which until 2015 managed to avoid the nasty Starbucks. They just announced they are coming to Bratislava. This is what I mean by get there fast. Americanisms are ruining everywhere.

I wandered everywhere on foot and despite the cold I loved it. SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAIts a very easy city to navigate and flat so compared to many other European cities like Croatia or Italy if you have mobility issues this city is a great option. I felt completely safe and even though I was travelling alone I never felt intimidated or frightened even at night. I walked home alone down streets which were quiet and I was safe.  The expats I met there said they always felt safe living there. There are lovely stores to potter in and buy if you want. If you have read any of my other stories. I only travel with hand luggage so unless its jewelry I don’t shop when I’m on trip.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAEach day I would walk to the old town and on the way back I would discover a new SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAneighbourhood.  One particular day I walked through an old graveyard and to this day in my life I have never seen one so beautiful. The gravestones were spectacular but what struck me was how well they are maintained for one but also most of the people buried there died during WWII many brothers or fathers and sons, husbands, and how there are still fresh flowers on the graves.  The sadness and yet beauty of the place still resonates with me.   SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Bratislava is only one hour 21 minutes by train to Brno and it costs 11 euro. You can also get there by bus for around 8. The public transport system is very good and I took a bus from the airport to the business district for less than a Euro. You can also get to Budapest and Vienna very cheaply and in less than 2 hours from here, they call it the triangle. You can do the 3 cities easily enough if you wish.

From Bratislava I took a train to Brno and from there to Budapest Hungary,

This was my first solo trip as in completely solo. I went alone but I came back having met some amazing people. I was forced to put myself out there and talk to complete strangers. I had an amazing time here and it set me up well as I had another 6 days to go after here and 2 more countries.

Here are some more photo’s of my trip to Bratislava.


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About Sandra

Just a girl from Ireland who wants to live everywhere. Not a planner, a winger when it comes to travel. I don't even like people who plan too much. Without spontaneity there is no depth. A jack of all trades. A great friend, loyal and passionate and I expect the same in return. Always ready for the next adventure at a moments notice.
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  1. Pingback: Vienna A winter break at the Christmas Markets | SANDRAOROURKEGLYNN.com

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