Country 63/196: Slovakia
For us, Slovakia has always been the country that is often confused with our home country – Slovenia. That is, until now. Since we have recently had the pleasure of visiting this beautiful country (even if we only got to visit its capital city) we fell in love. Slovakia is known for its rich history, spectacular castle ruins, beautiful cities, magnificent mountains (e.g. the High Tatras), diverse landscapes, and the lovely Danube River. ♥
Things to see and things to do
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia, and even though it is a relatively small city it is the biggest one in the country. Bratislava is the political, cultural, and economic center of Slovakia and a popular tourist destination. We loved the city’s diverse architecture, delicious cuisine (and tasty ice creams), the romantic sunsets by the Danube, the wonderful panoramic views from the castle, the iconic bridges over the river, and the relaxing evening strolls through the lovely city center. But most of all, we loved the fact that everything is walking distance! 🙂 We stayed in the city for three amazing days and during that time we visited every important landmark and tourist attraction. We also took some time to explore the lesser-known parts of the city, to try out the fantastic local cuisine, and to find the most romantic stay in the city.
The city’s top attractions include:
- Bratislava castle – a spectacular white rectangular castle located on a rocky hill directly above the Danube river in the central part of the city. It offers many panoramic views over the city.
- St. Martin’s Cathedral – a Catholic church built in the 15th century located below Bratislava Castle. It is a significant part of the city’s skyline.
- Staré Mesto (The Old Town of Bratislava) – the wonderful medieval historic center featuring some of the most beautiful buildings, churches, cultural and political institutions, and other important landmarks in Bratislava, including Michael’s Gate, Mirbach Palace, Primate’s Palace, Hlavné námestie (Main Square), Roland’s Fountain, Hviezdoslavovo námestie square, Slovak National Theatre, Building of Slovak Radio, etc.
- The bridge of Slovak National Uprising and the UFO Observation Deck on top of the bridge offering panoramic views of the city.
- Apollo Bridge – the newest bridge across the Danube river is known for its unique curvy lines.
- Presidential Palace – also known as the Slovak white house is the residence of the President of the Slovak Republic.
- Blue Church of St. Elisabeth – a pompous Art Nouveau Catholic Church from 1913.
- Slavín memorial monument and military cemetery – the burial ground of 6,845 Soviet soldiers who died during WWII when liberating Bratislava and Western Slovakia in 1945.
- Danube riverbank – the riverbank on the opposite side of the Danube is a popular recreational area that offers many wonderful views of the city center and the iconic castle.
- Devín Castle – a medieval castle just outside of Bratislava located on a cliff at the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers.
Where to eat?
We had the most amazing dinner at Dolnozemská krčma, a cozy little restaurant located in one of the oldest buildings in the middle of the city center. They serve homemade food based on traditional family recipes of ‘dolnozemski’ Slovaks. We tried some of the best traditional dishes, like the cream leek soup with beluga lentils, pancakes filled with chicken a la Hortobagyi, potato hash browns with bryndza and duck leg, and quark pastry with apricot mousse. The food was delicious, the owner was very friendly, and the atmosphere was relaxed and welcoming. It was one of the best culinary experiences ever!
Where to stay
There are lots of different accommodation options to be found in Bratislava. You can book a hotel room, a hostel room, a room in a guesthouse or apartment (Airbnb), or even consider Couchsurfing.
We were staying at the fabulous Roset Boutique Hotel, which must be the most romantic hotel in the city. The five-star hotel offers luxurious, spacious, and comfortable rooms, great food, a vast wine collection, a summer terrace, a fitness, plus a private spa for two (max. four) people. Besides, it is located in the historical center of Bratislava, which is obviously a big advantage. We loved the stay and would recommend it to all newlyweds! 😉
Are you planning a trip to Slovakia? Here you can get a room with a 10% discount! 🙂
Bratislava is a rather affordable destination, considering that it is located in Central Europe and surrounded by many much more expensive cities. Accommodation prices start at 24 USD (20 EUR) a night. You can save money by staying in simple Airbnbs or Couchsurfing. Food costs around 30 USD (25 EUR) a day. Public transportation rates are relatively reasonable (a single ticket valid within 2 zones and for 15 minutes costs 0,70 EUR/0.83 USD and a daily ticket costs 3,50 EUR/4.15 USD).
Best time to visit
Weather-wise, the best time to visit Slovakia is during the summer. However, in order to avoid the summer crowds and possibly higher prices, consider visiting in late spring (April, May) or early autumn (September, October).
One of the biggest environmental issues in Slovakia is severe air pollution. Its air is contaminated by sulfur dioxide emissions due to the use of lignite as an energy source by the former Czechoslovakia, which had the highest levels of sulfur dioxide emissions in Europe. Air pollution results in higher lung cancer rates, damage to the forests, and consequently biodiversity loss. Waste management is also a major problem. The rate of municipal waste
recycling is one of the lowest in the EU, while land-filling is still the dominant form of waste disposal. On the other hand, Slovakia has been praised for its low water consumption per capita and its large water reserves.
Found lots of LOVE in Slovakia. 😉 ♥
Romance and adventure
Honeymoon rating of the visited destinations: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♡♡♡
Bratislava is a super romantic city with lots to offer. You can take a walk through the lovely historic center, have a sunset picnic by the river, admire the city’s great architecture and rich history, or enjoy the tasty cuisine. 😉
* Note: This is NOT a general rating of the country, it is merely our personal opinion of the mentioned site(s) as honeymoon destinations, based on the level of tourism development, the number and quality of romantic and adventurous activities and sites it offers, and safety. We strongly believe that every country is beautiful in its own way, they may simply be more or less honeymoon oriented/friendly.
** Follow our journey on Instagram. 😉 There you can see our clean-up stories and check out our peace and sustainable tourism promo photos/videos. 😉
*** Use the form on the sidebar to subscribe to our newsletter and get a free customized e-postcard from every country! 🙂