02.09.2014 - 03.09.2014 16 °C
Don't be caught out like we were on arriving by train in Bratislava and suddenly realising: -
- we didn't speak the language anymore
- we didn't know where the centre of town was from the train station
- we didn't even know what currency they use there
They use the Euro, by the way, and our first move in the pouring rain was to buy a map of town for about 3euros, giving us an idea of where the station was in relation to town. That also bought us goodwill from the shop lady who directed us to the right bus stop. (By the way, older people might tend to speak German more easily than English - younger people the opposite, in case you are asking for help).
Buses 93 and X13 go into town from the train station. As you leave the station look in front and to the right for the bus shelters.
You can buy a ticket for 70c from the yellow machines at the bus shelters. But beware if you are later trying to buy tickets: you cannot pay the driver and not every bus stop has a machine so you may need to walk to the nearest tram stop to find the yellow ticket machine.
The old town and the Danube are the top tourist draws.
Don't leave without finding out a bit of local history. There are different views on what happened nearly 100 years ago, but this place was predominantly German and Hungarian then - it was previously called Pressburg (so you'll see that word around a lot) and the Americans had a hand in things back then too so Woodrow Wilson is a local hero and the town almost became known as Wilsonov after WW1.
The Danube is beautiful here, though not blue still for our visit in heavy rain. Check out the War of the Worlds looking restaurant towering over the river at the main bridge crossing.
Hotel: we stayed at Film Hotel and loved it. Long climb upstairs to the Marlon Brando room but we loved the film theme to everything and would recommend it as a reasonably priced place just 10 mins walk from the old city.
The Film Hotel is also on a nice street for evening pub meals with typical Slovakian food, probably half the price of dinner down in the touristy old town.
Tea: don't miss Cajovy Dom for a real feel of the orient; and for coffee we liked Stur Cafe best (2 branches in town), though there may be a good place on the outskirts near Ikea, but we didn't have time to try.