By the time we hit Bratislava, Slovakia, the sun was shining and the temperature had reached highs of 16 degrees Celsius. Having dropped the car off at the free and- most importantly- stress-free (aka out of town) parking that Adam had found, we loaded up our luggage and headed over to Hostel Blues, hoping that we’d be able to check in early, or at least dump our heavy bags there.
We were greeted by the wonderful Pati, who took our ID and invited us to sit in the hostel bar and grabbed us each a bargainous beer at their 24-hour-bar, whilst she made sure that our room was ready and delivered it several hours earlier than expected. She also outlined all of the top tourist spots, alongside some of her personal favourite spots and talked us through all of the traditional food and drink. She made a point to tell us NOT to try to have all of it, as Slovak food is so heavy and filling.
Having paid for a triple room, we were thrilled to find that we had actually been given what they described as an ‘apartment’, with a single room for Will and a double room complete with sofa and TV for me and Adam. The best thing about the room, however, was the stunning views from our balcony.
Here you can see from right-to-left the Kostol a kláštor Alžbetínok (Elizabethan church and monastery) and behind that Bratislava’s iconic castle (Bratislavský hrad) and- if you squint- St Martin’s Cathedral.
Between the hours of 2pm and 8pm, we managed to hit up every spot on the map that Pati had circled for us, with some stops for drinks along the way.
Over this time we came to four conclusions:
- The city is genuinely beautiful with some amazing architecture and a moving tribute to Russian soldiers from WWII, and, as everywhere seemed to be at this time of year, it was lovely and peaceful.
- Heath and Safety has no place here. Firstly we saw builders working on a rooftop without any sort of rigging, and then we began to notice a running theme with the pavements. They are sketchy as hell. How we made it on our ridiculously lengthy walk up and down the hills without breaking a limb, I don’t know. Especially with Adam, who after the marathon only the day before, was struggling to properly lift his feet.
- Their alcohol measurements are strong! After one cocktail at the brilliant speakeasy-style ‘Blind Pig‘, at the bottom of the Castle steps, we were feeling tipsy!
- Bratislava is ridiculously cheap. We enjoyed an amazing meal at Slovak Pub (which is affiliated with Hostel Blues to offer 10% off): three starters, four mains, two litres of beer and a large glass of wine for E35.
It was during this meal that Pati’s words came back to haunt Will. He had seemingly taken her warning as a challenge and- conscious of only having the one night in Slovakia- opted not only to have a starter and main course, but also a second main and a litre of beer. He also opted to finish off my starter. Although he came close to finishing everything, I think it’s safe to say that he lost, as he spent the rest of the evening moaning and groaning and unable to continue drinking with the gusto that he had started the evening with!
We definitely plan on returning, hopefully for longer and over a weekend so as to sample more of their night life (we really wanted to visit Sub Club, but we could only squeeze in a Monday visit) and we’ll no doubt use Hostel Blues again, since they were so friendly, and great value for money.