U.F.O : Watch, Taste, Groove
Saint Martin Cathedrale
Church of St. Elisabeth
Grand Hotel River Park
Bratislava and Vienna are the two closest capital cities in Europe and it is hard to imagine how difficult it was to travel from one to the other only 30 years ago. A good option to visit Bratislava region might be the Bratislava Card.
The City Card will give you access to :
- Free guided walking tour.
- Unlimited access to the public transport.
- Free admission to selected museums (most are closed on Monday).
- Discount up to 50% in over 100 attractions, bars, and restaurants (for example 15% off at the Slovak Pub).
Unlike other city cards, it is only valid for a specific person so you will need to show an ID if controlled, the date of issue must also be written on it.
Several options are available to get a bird’s eye view of the city:
- The terrazza of the Michalsa Brana Gate – the only preserved gate from the 14th-century fortification, at a height of 51 meters (free admission with the Bratislava Card).
- The old City Hall belfry – 45 meters tall and right in the middle of the old town.
- The Castle of course.
- The old town Hall Tower.
- The UFO observation deck on top of the Nový most (more info bellow).
Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t possible to visit the castle (20% with the Bratislava Card) when we were in Bratislava for some reason. It used to be the king residence when Pressburg was the Hungarian capital (1536-1786). It can be reached by foot (85 steps) or the typical Presporacik and Blavacik vehicles could take you there when on a city tour. From the 47 meters high tower you will have an amazing panorama over the city, the Austrian hill, and surrounding landscape.
Devin Castle is another castle that can be visited (free admission with the Bratislava Card). There’s not much left to see – Napoleon army destroyed it in 1809 but it offers a great scenic view of the surrounding landscapes.
Saint Martin Cathedrale held 19 coronations – a total of 11 kings and 7 queens. Now a 150 kilos replica of the crown can be seen on top of the bell tower.
The UFO offers an amazing panoramic view over the entire city – you need to take the elevator to the east column to reach the platform 95 meters higher. The top desk can get really windy but the 360° view will make up for it. The bar and the restaurant will be the perfect place to relax after a day exploring the city and it is the best spot to watch the sunset, changing the Danube color to a bright orange.
Make sure to give them a call if you want to have dinner as it tends to be full really quickly, especially since the new cocktail menu is out. We highly recommend you to try the Tokyo – Paris Sun Fizz (Nikka from the Barel, Cointreau, Galliano, OJ, watermelon, passionfruit, soda).
Blue Church aka St. Elizabet Church is pretty small and you can only enter the Narthex. Blue church is a common thing in this European side, there is a cool on in Kiev too – St Michael Cathedral.
For lunch, Slovak Pub is the perfect place for you to try local cuisine, the creamy garlic/cheese soup served in a bread loaf as a bowl or maybe the assortment plates for 12€ – a mix of Pirogi with sheep cheese and dumplings with sheep cheese/cabbage.
Once the night has fallen Bratislava surprisingly awaken to let a multitude of Pubs, Bars, Wine Cellars, Restaurants and Clubs drive a continuous flux of people through the two main artery street of the city.
For a more elaborate dinner, we highly recommend the Degustation Menu at the Grand Hotel River Park restaurant. Everything was so tasty, maybe a tiny bit too much for us who tend to eat as light as possible in the evening. But when you get a chance to try something new you just have to.
The menu was served as follows :
- Amuse bouche
- St Jacob’s Scallops, cauliflower, ginger butter sauce and golden raisins
- Sprouted red wheat with mushrooms, basil butter, and egg
- Grilled Sturgeon filet, fennel, broccoli and shellfish sauce (the sauce was divine)
- Grilled Deer saddle, roasted carrot / sweet potatoes, rosehip jam nuts and raisins
- Apricot dumpling
The photos speak for themselves, it was as delicious as it was beautiful.
We had the chance to stay at the Grand Hotel River Park with one of the best breakfast we had on our journeys so far. I would say the second one as Belmond Reid’s Palace – Madeira – might never be defeated. Considering breakfast as our favorites meal and the quantity of various one we tried, 2nd worldwide is pretty close to perfection. But if you are on the go or already walking the streets you have to try the Bratislava Croissant. A croissant with a twist – stuffed with poppy seed or hazelnut.
Located on the Danube banks in Bratislava new district, only 5 minutes away from the old town. The Grand hotel river park might be the best hotel in the Slovakian capital. Being part of The Luxury Collection you are sure to get a high end and dedicated services adequated to it.
The friendly staff will make sure to try everything they can to make your stay as unforgettable as it could be. From the front desk to the spa located on the top floor with an amazing view of the Danube.
They had a little cake made up for us with our logo on it and it was for sure the most personal welcome gesture we had in over 200 hotels visited.
In a nutshell:
Grand Hotel River Park :
Address : Dvořákovo nábrežie 7528/6, 811 02 Bratislava, Slovakia
Telephone : +421 2/322 382 22
Website : www.grandriverpark.com
UFO – watch / taste /groove :
Address : Most SNP 1, 851 01 Bratislava, Slovakia
Telephone : +421 2/625 203 00
Bratislava Tourist Board :
Website : www.visitbratislava.com