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Recommendations for what to do in Bratislava in 2 days. A budget Bratislava itinerary from €25 per day.

Forget everything that you have ever heard about Bratislava.

And if you have never heard of Bratislava, it is the capital city of Slovakia. Sitting south of Poland, north of Hungary and east of Austria. In fact, Bratislava and the Austrian capital are within an hours’ distance of each other via train, bus or car. It is easy to make a day trip from Vienna, however, I would recommend staying at least two.

Going in, I had no idea about what to expect. Perhaps I could have researched more or maybe I just like to be surprised. Either way, Bratislava exceeded my expectations in beauty and fun activities to do around this walkable city.

Recommendations for two days in Bratislava include:

  • Bratislava itinerary for 2 days
  • Affordable tour options
  • Where to stay in Bratislava
  • My 2 days in Bratislava travel budget.
Bratislava Opera House, Bratislava, Slovakia - BRATISLAVA TOURIST BOARD - what to do in bratislava in 2 days

Photo credit: Bratislava Tourism Board http://www.visitbratislava.com/

Bratislava itinerary for 2 days

Day 1: Bratislava

Devin Castle

If you like exploring castles and historic locations, then you will adore Hrad Devin. This castle is just 10km (6 miles) outside of the city center and accessible by local bus (numbers 29 or 28). For those who would prefer the convenience of a guide and transport, try the Devin Castle 3-Hour Guided Tour from Bratislava.

The site dates back to the 5th century and provides panoramic views of the Slovakian countryside, Danube river and across the “border” to the Austrian side. The castle sits perched on top of a formidable looking hilltop, however, the walking trails are at a moderate gradient, making it easy to ascend. After exploring the castle, you can further explore the grounds surrounding it, grab some lunch or even a quick beer for as little as 1.20 Euro.

Devin Castle, Slovakia - BRATISLAVA TOURIST BOARD - bratislava itinerary

Photo credit: Bratislava Tourism Board http://www.visitbratislava.com/

Old Town

Like most major cities, Bratislava has free walking tours. These tours are operated by a company called “Bratislava Free Tour”, based on tips, and run twice daily at 11 am and 4 pm. The meeting place is in front of the Hviezdoslav statue in Hviezdoslav Square. As we visited in mid-September and the days were quite hot, I chose to go for the cooler time of 4 pm.

The tour guide was a charismatic theater performer, named Andy.  She guided us through the city center and Old Town districts, taking us to some of the most historic and important sites of the city. The tour touched on the history of Czechoslovakia’s independence from the Hungarian empire in 1920, as well as the separation of Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.

Andy shared with us anecdotal tales from her family and local legends, including insights into the Communist era, Slovak National Uprising, and Velvet Revolution. What I really enjoyed about this walking tour, was hearing a local’s perspective on Slovakian history and culture.

If you don’t feel like walking, try this affordable tour of Bratislava by Sightseeing Bus or Soviet Era and Post-Communist Tour.
Blue Church, Bratislava, Slovakia - BRATISLAVA TOURIST BOARD - 2 days in bratislava

Photo credit: Bratislava Tourism Board http://www.visitbratislava.com/

Slovakian Dinner

Following the recommendations of our walking tour guide, I headed to a restaurant called “Flag Ship”. Here they serve traditional Slovakian dishes, including garlic soup in a bread bow called “cesnaková v bochníku” and “halusky” which is a type of small dumpling made out of potato and covered in a sheep cheese sauce with bacon. Both meals were delicious, rich in flavor and texture.

Don’t worry too much about not knowing the Slovakian names, as the menus have English translations and the waiters are happy to help.

cesnaková v bochníku - Flagship restaurant Bratislava, Slovakia

cesnaková v bochníku. Photo credit: Bratislavská reštaurácia – Flag Ship Bratislava http://www.bratislavskarestauracia.sk/en/

Day 2: Bratislava

Bratislava Castle

The Bratislava Hrad sits above the city of Bratislava and is visible from multiple locations. A gentle 15-minute walk from the city center, the castle is home to decadent gardens which are usually open until midnight. Unfortunate for me, the castle grounds were closed due to a European Union event when I tried to visit. Still, it was nice to wander around outside the castle walls and enjoy the view of the city.

Bratislava Castle, Bratislava, Slovakia - BRATISLAVA TOURIST BOARD - bratislava 2 day itinerary

Photo credit: Bratislava Tourism Board http://www.visitbratislava.com/

Slavin War Memorial

For another great city view, head to the Slavin War Memorial. The monument was built to honor the Soviet Union soldiers who died whilst fighting the German occupation of Bratislava in 1945. Certainly an interesting and important period of Slovakian history.

Slovakian Street Food and Beer

While walking around downtown, you might notice a large shopping mall called “My Bratislava”. Well, I am not one for malls, but it has other treasures hidden inside. Here you will find some cheap restaurants and a range of affordable street food. What makes it even better, is that you can pick up the free WiFi signal from the Tesco while you peruse the food vendors.

I ate here on more than one occasion, after falling in love with Langose. These are a doughy pastry, stretched out into a pancake shape and then deep-fried. A thick layer of buttery garlic is smothered on one side followed by an even thicker layer of cheese and any extra sauces you may want (I opted out of the sauce and it was still delicious!). Wash it down with either a Budweiser (brewed in the Czech Republic) or Kofolo (the Czech / Slovakian version of Coke).

To finish off my last night in Bratislava, I visited Klasterni pivovar Strahov (The Strahov Monastic Brewery). This pub and restaurant is located right next door to Flag Ship and serves beer that they brew onsite.

things to do in bratislava

Photo credit: Bratislava Tourism Board http://www.visitbratislava.com/


My travel budget for Bratislava

All costs are quoted for two people and in the local currency (EUR). See below for the average daily spend per person including currency conversion to USD and AUD. I always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with my readers. If you know of a better deal, tell me about it in the comments below.

Accommodation: 2 nights’ in an 8-bedroom hotel dorm (€54.60). I stayed at Hostel Folks – see current prices or view other accommodation options in Bratislava.

Food: Our hostel provided free coffee, tea, and snacks. Each morning I would go to the local supermarket to buy pastries for breakfast and lunch. Tap water is drinkable in Slovakia so I did not have to buy bottled water.

Day 1 – Pastries (€4.65), 2 beers at Devin Castle (€2.40), Slovakian dinner at Flag Ship (€9.60), ice creams (€2).

Day 2 – Pastries (€2.52), 1 langose, 1 Kofolo and 1 beer (€3.60), 2 beers at The Strahov Monastic Brewery (€4), 1 Twister pastry with icecream (€3.50).

Activities: Entrance fee to Devin Castle (€6), Old Town Walking Tour (€5 Euro tip).

Transport: Public bus to Devin Castle and back (€3.60).

Average daily spend: €25.36 Euros each ($28.51 USD and $38.11 AUD as of 16 September 2016), excluding transportation in and out of Slovakia. This daily amount could be reduced by sticking

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The images used for the feature and vertical pin were sourced from Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0. Originally published in 2016, updated in February 2018.

 

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