We didn’t plan to go to Bratislava. When I was researching this trip from home it seemed like the consensus was that Bratislava didn’t have a lot to offer. I hope that public opinion stays that way so the city can remain as quiet and cute as we found it. We had intended to take an overnight train from Krakow to Budapest but it booked up far in advance and the best option we found was to take a bus to Bratislava, spend a day or two there, and then take a short train ride the rest of the way to Budapest. We decided to “splurge” on a 4-star hotel with a fitness center and a fancy breakfast buffet (and air conditioning!) and it was super amazing and a great deal.
Just the bus ride to Bratislava would have been worth the trip. I got to see the (literal) motherland of the Czech Republic for a little while before passing over the border into Slovakia, which had stunning countryside and castles perched on top of rocks.
Bratislava turned out to be everything we were looking for in a charming Central European city. We went to two galleries to see some great op art and works by modern Slovakian artists:
We ate excellent food, including some sort of potatoes mashed together with sauerkraut (!!) that I can’t stop thinking about. Also, we had some really great fish. I have no idea where it came from, given that the country is completely landlocked, but for once in my life I really didn’t care:
Overall, we just enjoyed walking around town and seeing all the cute sights. We’d love to go back if it makes sense in our itinerary. Go before everyone else finds out about it!