A few days ago I received a message from my best friend, proposing that we go for a quick trip to Vienna and Bratislava. Without a second thought we booked our tickets for just 37 euros each.
After looking up some information about those two cities, we organized our backpacks with our warmest clothes, our cameras and we landed at Vienna at 22:00 pm. We didn’t have a lot of time and we just entered the only shop that was open at that time (Kaffee alt Wien). One of the traditional plates in Austria is the schnitzel, and we enjoyed that with a big glass of local draft beer. Don’t forget to try those when you visit this wonderful city.
The next day we woke up really early and had a plenteous breakfast before starting our tour of this historical city. Vienna is a city filled with important museums, imposing palaces and countless works of art. The Viennese people have somewhat of an obsession with Mozart, with numerous pastry shops offering Mozart-shaped chocolates!
Tip: Viennese chocolate is a very smart souvenir for your friends back home!
We only visited Vienna for a single day and we knew that we could not possibly visit all the museums. Instead, we decided to walk around the city for as long as we could!
We visited Vienna’s open market, called Naschmarkt. I find it very important to visit open markets in all the cities that I travel to, because they give you the chance to familiarize with the scents and the flavors of each city! In Naschmarkt there are numerous restaurants that offer Gluhwein, the famous warm wine, as well as souvenir shops and fresh fruit and vegetables from all over the world.
One of the palaces that you just shouldn’t miss in Vienna is, without a doubt, the Belvedere Palace. Built in 1700, the Belvedere Palace consists of two Baroque-style palaces, the Upper and the Lower Belvedere. In-between the two palaces there are huge, stunning gardens for everyone to enjoy!
Tip: Buy your ticket for Belvedere Palace online to avoid waiting in huge lines.
After countless hours of walking in the nipping cold, we made a stop to have some warm chocolate and some pastries. Vienna is famous for its palatable pastries, and we duly honored them! Some of their most famous pastries are the Sacher-Torte, and the Apfelstrudel, and you should definitely try them both. We spent that night in our room, we ordered some food and saved our strength for the next day.
We woke up really early in the morning in order to catch a train for a one-hour trip to the wonderful city of Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. Bratislava is a rather small, picturesque city that still maintains its medieval buildings.
One of the things you mustn’t miss is the Castle of Bratislava, which offers a unique and breathtaking view. Another tip here is to follow the small street that goes around the castle, and you will have a chance to admire the city from many different points of view.
Bratislava is so small that after a while you won’t even need a map. It is totally worth walking around the city and getting lost in the small cobbled roads (my favorite ones where the Kapitulska, the Bastova and the Zidovska). Also don’t forget to visit Michael’s Gate Tower and enjoy an elevated view of the entire city. Moreover, you should visit Bratislava’s most famous church, Saint Elisabeth Church, or otherwise known as the Blue Church, which is built in a Hungarian art nouveau style.
Slovakia is not a very popular tourist destination, but it’s really beautiful and you can enjoy its capital in just a single day. It is definitely worth combining a trip to Slovakia with a trip to a nearby country, for example Austria, so you can meet new places and cultures, and also learn a lot about the Czech and Slovakian history!
Pack your isothermal clothes, warm head-wear and gloves!
Buy your tickets online to save yourself from waiting in line.
Visit the Palace of Bratislava to enjoy the view. It is free, as opposed to Michael’s Gate.
Try some Gluhwein in Vienna. Both Vienna and Bratislava have lovely coffee-houses.