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Soon there will be the birthday of one of the people who I really like. She is my colleague, my neighbour, but first of all, she is my friend.
I had a lot of ideas what I should give her, but I wanted to give something special, so I organized a short trip to Bratislava, Slovakia to see the Christmas market and the city. Totally in secret. I told her that we’d go somewhere so pack some warm things and a pj and leave the rest to me.
She needed this trip and she also needed to leave everything behind for a while and just be with a friend and have some fun. To be honest, I needed it too. Both of us were under the year-end pressure at work and was preparing for Christmas time too.
Sometimes, we all need to escape somewhere.
We started off our journey on a Saturday morning in December 2017.
She still didn’t know what our destination was going to be and I was super excited how she would like it when I tell her. Finally, I couldn’t keep the secret anymore, I let her know and luckily she was so happy because she had never been there before – me neither.
After we checked into the hostel – it was called Hostel Narva and I totally recommend it. It was clean and peaceful, but if you decide to stay at this hostel, it is better if you have a car or arrange a shuttle – the taxi is not too expensive – because it’s in the suburb and the public transport is not the best. Click HERE to check this hostel.
If you’d like to stay in the centre, here are some options:
After getting our room we headed to downtown to discover Bratislava’s Christmas Fair.
Christmas Market in Bratislava
As it is normal around Christmas time, were people everywhere.
The old town of Bratislava is stunning. It is bordered by the river Danube to the west with a wonderful view from the bank. Enchanted, narrow streets with a kind surprise and show-places on every corner. Breathtaking, colourful, old buildings, but modern creations of fine art can also be found in a few places.
Our first stop was the Main Square where the Christmas Trade was. There were around 100 booths which offered handcrafted stuff, national foods, and drinks. We continued our walk without a plan but we even found lots of museums, historical buildings, and statues and the street art is amazing there.
My favourite was the ‘Cumil’, which is a surprising creation. A funny guy looking up from a street manhole.
It’s compulsory for everyone to see such as the old Slovak National Theater, the Primates’ Palace – wonderful and pink in colour – or the St. Martin’s Cathedral. It is the largest and one of the oldest churches in Bratislava, which is known especially for being the coronation church of the Hungarian Kingdom.
St. Michaels Street is a typicall walking street with all its charm, and with the St. Michael’s Tower at the end of it. The best street to find a souvenir shop – and also the most tourists in. To be honest St. Michael Gate is not much of a big deal, but the Kilometre Zero, which is placed under the Gate is so imaginative. What is more, when we passed through the Gate, we found ourselves in a real medieval town with nice narrow streets and a bridge with secret locks on it. It’s totally worth checking it out.
At night we went to see the Bratislava Castle, which was closed by then unfortunately, so we couldn’t go inside, only around the castle, and the view was amazing in all directions. The castle totally defines the city’s image.
Good to know: If someone would like to buy corkscrew here, it is better to get ready for mission impossible. We went to hundreds of shops – including the big markets too – but couldn’t find any. But if someone would like to buy Orchidea, Bratislava is one of the perfect places to go. Every third shop in the Old Town is specialized in selling Orchidea. Alright not every third, but there are many many Orchidea shops.
Finally, we found a corkscrew, but due to the long and exciting day we had just one sip of wine and dropped off. But totally worth it!
There were a lot of stunning places that we had to miss, due to the fact that we were there for only one day, but I’ll definitely be back to explore the whole city.