Two-day taste of the Danube's little secret

Beautiful Bratislava


This tiny capital of Slovakia is both the youngest and smallest capital city in the Euro region. And it is delightfully compact, which means that the quaint architecture, cobbled streets and colourful centre is easy to navigate on foot. So put on your walking shoes for this two-day jaunt in Bratislava.

● Morning:

Get your first taste of Bratislava by taking a leisurely wander along the Danube river.

The wide plaza-like space next to the Sheraton becomes a hub of activity in the summer, with alfresco dining and stall holders setting up shop.

In the winter kick up the snow and follow the steel-grey river into town.

Getting there

Fly: Ryanair fly from Stanstead to Bratislava in two hours. Flights start from £65
Stay: Sheraton Bratislava, rooms start from £115 per night.
More info:

● 11am - 12.30pm

Get your bearings by boarding a cherry red bus outside the National Theatre for a 90-minute tour. Take in sites that include Old Town, the courtyard of the Medieval Castle and several palaces.

● Lunchtime

Wander the short distance up to Bratislavsky Mestiansky Pivovar restaurant, located at Drevená 575/8. They brew their own beer - you can see the shining copper still through the window.

● 3pm

Take in Bratislava Castle, used today
by parliament for state affairs. Wander up the hill until you come to the imposing Victory Gates, decorated with military sculptures such as helmets, banners and weaponry, and
then take in that incredible view of the city stretching below you.

The striking building is eggshell white, with warm terracotta tiling. The oldest part is the 13th-century Crown Tower.

● 4.30 - 6pm

Head down the hill to explore the cobbled streets and hotchpotch buildings that make up Old Town.

It's a melody of little shops, cafes and eateries, spacious squares (especially Hlavné námestie – Main Square) and quaint churches.

● 6 - 7pm

Go wine tasting at Grand Cru Wine Gallery, tucked away on Zámonícka street.

Try the Tramin Cerveny - crisp, dry and aromatic - while lovers of sweeter wines might enjoy the Devin, which is bursting with tropical fruit flavours.

● Evening:

Dine at the UFO restaurant – so called because it's set in a spaceship-shaped building, over 85m above the Danube. A lift takes you up and you are then invited to step up the observation platform. The views are spectacular, so if you can get there for sunset then you're in for a treat. There are several fish dishes and interesting offerings such as coconut soup.

It's chic, sleek and glamorous - surrounded by stars and loved by the stars, since celebs like Jay-Z and several ice-hockey professionals have eaten here. Plus, there's an incredible cocktail menu.

● Morning:

There is a plethora of museums to discover. The most notable are the Slovak National Museum and the Museum of City History. More niche subjects include the Museum of Clocks and the Pharmaceutical Museum. Or peruse the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Gallery.

● Lunchtime:

Bratislava Flagship Restaurant is set out a bit like Olde Beer Halls of Yore, with robust tables and dark wooden beams. If you've never had garlic soup before, now's your chance - it's delicious, and served inside a bread bowl that can be scoffed afterwards. Total comfort food.

● 3 - 5pm

Take this opportunity to get a little way out of the city and head towards Devin castle. It's under half an hour by car, or in the summer months there are boat trips. The castle is situated atop a cliff and with beautiful ruins that make for a lovely afternoon of exploring. Make sure to visit the Maiden Tower, separated from the main castle and balanced on a lone rock. This tiny watchtower is the catalyst of many myths and legends about young women who have been imprisoned and, lovesick, leapt to their deaths.

If you can, visit the Jewish Community Museum. You will find it in the only remaining synagogue in the city and it tells the sobering story of the Jews and their demise during the Holocaust. On display are silver Torah finials, Pressburger Yeshivah memorabilia and tax records that the Jewish community bought from Sotheby's.
While there you can see the synagogue (built in 192), which is still used for services.

● 5 - 7pm

Late afternoon is a lovely time for a stroll around the gardens and parks near Grassalkovich's Palace to see the monuments, statues and fountains.

● Dinner:

See the final night out with a bang by visiting Fou Zoo. This extraordinary restaurant offers some of the best Pan-asian cuisine you'll have tried outside of the Far East, and the decor itself is beautiful. Its name means "wind" and "to create", and you can eat sushi in the surroundings of a zen garden. There's also Liquid Kaiseki menu, showcasing some intriguing and unique mixology techniques.

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