Nic and Paul from The Roaming Renegades have recently visited Bratislava. Many travellers avoid Eastern Europe because of false impressions from the media. I’ve decided to use the opportunity and ask them about their experiences…
What were your first impressions of Bratislava?
We wasn’t really sure what to expect of Bratislava as it seems to go somewhat overlooked when it comes to the region and in particular cities along the Danube. Bratislava has a really close and compact feel, anywhere you want to go is easily assessable on foot and the streets felt familiar within a short amount of time. It’s also really quiet and you feel like you have the old and beautiful streets to yourself, there is just a charming feeling to Old Town and we instantly felt at home there.
Was there something that you especially liked?
We really loved how contrasting the city can be at times, from the old cobbled narrow streets of Old Town to the huge and powerful soviet relics, it’s a mixture of cultures which really tells the story of the history of the city and it really is fascinating. It’s almost like stepping out of one time period and into another, in one direction is the UFO Bridge and the other is the castle!
On the contrary, what did you dislike?
Hmm, well I can honestly say that there really isn’t anything to dislike about Bratislava. Ok it could be bigger but that is really what its appeal is, it’s so easy to navigate. What I don’t like I suppose is the fact that many people have quite the wrong impression of Bratislava and of Slovakia, and even Eastern Europe as a whole because of the media. Eastern Europe is an area we have visited a lot over the last couple of years and really love but we still get asked if we are scared or worried. It annoys me that people can’t see past films such as hostel and see the reality of these stunning and welcoming countries. I have found places like Paris to be much more unsafe but people don’t think twice about visiting!
What surprised you?
We took a walk up to the magnificent Slavin memorial which sits on a hill above the city and offers some amazing views. But surrounding the monument were condos and villas that would not look out of place in the Hollywood hills. It’s a really surreal experience looking one way and seeing such a striking soviet construction and then in the other direction feeling like you are in Beverly Hills! This contrast is what we loved about Bratislava! Devin was also amazing, the castle itself is so striking you have to see it for yourself but the town is also so quant and lovely to explore.
What should a potential visitor expect?
They should expect a warm and friendly welcome from a city which should have many more visitors, they will also though be able to wander its streets without feeling crowded or hassled like many other capitals. Beauty and culture of all types around every corner and at an affordable price, what is not to love! It’s an off the beaten track adventure too which will be one of the most rewarding trips you take! It’s also a great place from which to nip over to Vienna for a day without paying the inflated costs of Austria.
Nic and Paul are a couple from the UK, escaping the 9-5 existence and travelling the world. They have visited many different places in the Northern Hemisphere, but what I am especially fond of is that they’ve decided to include Eastern Europe to their RTW trip.
Read more about Nic and Paul’s visit to Bratislava on The Roaming Renegades.