Srdce mesta/Core of the city, Bratislava
Sometimes you can miss an interesting place when you're heading fast for the main attraction. This is where the original gate to the old town was, a century before the Michalska Gate was errected. A bronze plaque in the pavement reads:
"The municipal fortification gate with tower and foregate was built on this place in the 13th century. This part of the gate formed a bridge over the moat dating from the 17th century."
Favorite thing: If you're by the Cathedral and then take a walk into Kapitulska, turn to your right into Prepostska St. I was stunned at the huge contrasts in this quiet street. Some houses had already been rennovated and looked marvellous, while others were still in neglect and screaming to be brought back to their original beauty. Some of them had frescos that could be barely seen! It's good to see restoration done and I hope the neglected beauties are only awaiting their turn.
Favorite thing: Kapitulska St. shoots off from the Cathedral and, with a name like this, it must be pretty old too! Thast's what tempted me to follow it and it was a nice stroll. With some fine buildings already restored and others still screaming for it, this little street has a feel of great history to it. I bet the kings to be crowned in the Cathedral came through here!
Favorite thing: Michalska St. is the place to go for a good selection of restaurants and bars, and some interesting shopping. All tourists pass along this street after they've seen the Michalska Tower, co it can be awfully crowded. I was there on a rainy morning so it wasn't bad. Despite the weather, I enjoyed sitting down outdoors for a coffee and apple strudel :-)
Favorite thing: Once you're in the Old Town, the core of Bratislava, all you need to do is take enjoyable walks along whichever street, and you will always come across a must-see. Once you reach the Cathedral, you're also facing the old city walls.
Favorite thing: Bratislava is a short day trip from Vienna - it takes a barely a couple of hours on the train. The old town center is historic, charming, & making a comeback from years of Communist neglect. However, if you go to the castle & look out over the river, you'll get an eyeful of how the Communists ruined Eastern Europe under the guise of "progress": mile after mile of horrid concrete block apartment buildings as far as the eye can see. Sadly, this is probably where most of the citizens still live.
Of course you should spend plenty of time in Old Town. Though not as pretty as Prague's, just as mysterious.
Fondest memory: We arrived on a Thursday. We went out to a very cold Old Town to look for a restaurant, and found a crowded outdoor gathering with mulled wine. This is one example of how Old Town is fun even when it's cold and dark. We then explored the dark streets, and found a couple of watering holes.
Friend told me that Bratislava change a lot during the last few years and that facades of old houses are presented in their full glory. I had chance to visit Slovakia few weeks ago but didn't go.... Really would like to viosit that all again! You also should visit this very interesting capital and country.
Fondest memory: Being there with friends and exploring old part of town!
Favorite thing: When you are on Main Square take a walk through the old Town Hall to the Primate Palace. It is very romantic short walk to the history. On the way you can browse in little souvenir shop where the shop owner could speak to you in many languages (hehe just some phrases but it is known that he is businessman) and you can buy there whatever will get on your mind. On the left is nice small cafe where you can have a cup of coffee that is served by disabled staff. It is a project how to integrate them into the normal life and it is pretty cute cafe after all. So you should do two pleasures in one :)
This cafe is reasonable to visit especially during the cold months because you can sit "outside" but you are inside.
It's something special but really interesting, you canwatch how the city lives...
Fondest memory: This place reminds me of the winter and the evening I spend with my friends outside.:)
Favorite thing: Around the city you will find beautiful statues, some modern and some depicting daily situations. What I found most amazing about this was that statues mingle with people, “get on their way” and are part of street and places as if an inhabitant of city. Locals don’t seem to notice them any more, just tourists (that is ME as i visited Bratislava during off-peak season) shooting cameras at these beautiful sculptures. The photo shows a figure that stands in front of a fancy restaurant as if welcoming customers. Skipka told me his name is Schone Naci, known as Ignac. Thanks!!
Favorite thing: Bratislava's city centre is full of beautiful houses, most of them very well kept. They come from different epochs and reflect different styles and architecture. If you keep looking up you will always see some nice tower: the yellow Old Town Hall tower, the green top of St Michael's Gate or the green tower of St Martin's Cathedral. Anyway i found this extremely helpful to find my way around, as i usually get lost even holding a map in my hands. :-)
Favorite thing: While walking in city centre streets you will notice several street performers. When I visited Bratislava i saw mainly musicians, singing and playing different music and songs. The musician on photo was playing several instruments at same time and dressed colourfully. This is their way of living so you might leave some money as you stop for listening and to shoot photos.
Favorite thing: This street is Postova what means Post street :) so put your postcards to your friends just here in this post box :) Original and artistic sculpture look like dreaming about the getting postcard from any exotic country :)
Favorite thing: The Square of SNP (Slovak uprising during WW II) is for eveyrone living in this city the special one. Not large not that beautiful, nothing up to standard of old socialistic architecture so what then? It is the point where people meet together when there is something in the air, The Velvet revolution or Ice hockey championship or unsatisfying conditions in the state itself. So when you will cross this square and stand a bit somewhere maybe you will catch all those noises and sounds of crying people ... desperate or happy ...