Lifecruiser » Bratislava Ranked Top 100 Travel Blog Lifecruiser. Travel information & photos. Europe, North & South America. Tue, 19 Feb 2013 22:01:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Twin City Liner Danube River Trip Bratislava – Vienna Mon, 24 Nov 2008 23:05:08 +0000 Lifecruiser IMG_4860

Remember our post How To book a cheap trip to Vienna and how we went ahead to both Bratislava and Vienna?

Now we’ve come to write about Vienna, but first how we had to take the Twin City Liner from Bratislava to Vienna, on the wonderful Danube river.

The Twin City Liner was easy to find right below the Bratislava Castle Hill at the Novy Most.

As you can see in the photo below, the Twin City Liner ferry is a Catamaran. It takes about 75 minutes to go from Bratislava to Vienna.


The flying saucer thing on the top at the other end of the bridge is actually a restaurant, but we never went there. We had no time left, but also because we were on a budget trip and it’s supposed to be a bit expensive.


We were so happy that we had gone with the Danube alternative and not by train, since we had marvelous weather – just perfect for a boat tour!


Aboard you could choose to sit inside or on the top deck, there were big panorama windows in the front so you could enjoy the trip.


What do you think we did? Right. Sure, it was a bit windy on the deck, but oh, so refreshing after the heat in the city!


Yes, Mr Lifecruiser had to hold on to his hat, since he had already been forced to chase it one time when it blew off!!!!

The Catamaran even has a small bar aboard where we could buy beer for our thirsty throats….

One thing we missed from land and only saw from the Danube river was the Devin Castle, which is known since the 9th century.


It is said to have been blown up in 1809 by the army of Napoleon. It’s a museum there today. If you’re going there, you can take a bus from Novy most.


Along the Danube river were a lot of cottages, with a lot of fishing equipment and as you can see the cottages where prepared to meet some flooding of the river, built up on poles.


You can do some birdspotting if you have binoculars with you. Other from that there were parts of the boat tour that there wasn’t anything particular to see, so I think that the 75 minutes is just perfect amount of time to spend on that route.

Here we have just arrived at the end destination in Danube canal: Schwedenplatz in Vienna City Center.


So, how come it’s named Schweden (Sweden)-platz? It was a sign of gratitude to change the name in 1920, because of Sweden’s help efforts after the first World War.

Schwedenplatz is a perfect place to arrive at, since you land right in the city center, very close to the Stephansplatz and interesting sights.

I instantly LOVED the sight of Vienna!

See Lifecruiser Danube River 2008 photo slideshow.

Lifecruiser Danube

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Bratislava Castle Hill Thrill Tue, 16 Sep 2008 17:50:32 +0000 Lifecruiser IMG_4893One of the major attractions in Bratislava City, is of course Bratislava Castle. You simply can’t leave Bratislava without having climbed the hill up there (150 meter) – if not only to see the view from up there.

We did challenge the heatwave and got our aching old bodies uphills, step by step, puffing like old steam trains…

Not that it was THAT steap, but we’ve not been in shape lately for several (boring) reasons. We’re brave travelers.

There is a tourist train that departures from the main square I think, but that’s no sport, right? Despite that, it’s very, very good for your beer appetite… *giggles*


Bratislava Castle has written proof of having exist from so early as the year of 907. The oldest part of the castle that stands today is the Crown Tower, which was built in the 13th century. It’s located in the southwest part of the castle. (Not the tower on the photo below).

IMG_4817  IMG_4826

It’s very strategical placed as it is in the very center of Europe with it’s passage between the Alps and the Carpathians. This was a very important ford to cross the Danube river for central European ancient traders – especially the Amber route – from the Balkans or the Adriatic Sea to the Rhine river or the Baltic Sea.


The castle has lots and lots of interesting historical facts, from Celts and Romans to the fact that has hosted Hungary’s Holy Crown – to being attacked by Napoleons forces. I can’t even mention it all shortly, talk about a rich history…

As so many other old castles, this one has burned down too, in 1811 but what’s more unusual is that the start to reconstruct it didn’t start until as late as in 1953. I must have been a sad sight for the inhabitants to see the ruins all the time since it’s so visible from long distance.

They could still enjoy what was left of it and the green park with the view of course. It was a lovely stroll there seeing the magnificent view over the city after the climbing up there. The big reward that made it worth it!



Beside the view point from where the above photos were taken, there is also a statue of St. Elizabeth of Hungary who spent her childhood at the castle. Click on the photo to enlarge and read more.

IMG_4831  IMG_4828

We have no photos from other angles, like from the inside or of the courtyard, since there were a lot of restoration work going on there and big parts of the castle were covered with either cloth or scaffolds.

Besides that we were now (despite drinking water all the time!) thirsting to death after a beer. Or two. *giggles*

See Lifecruiser photos Bratislava Castle Hill Slideshow.

Lifecruiser Bratislava
Great information links about Bratislava Castle:


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Bratislava Old Town Sightseeing Mon, 15 Sep 2008 16:29:09 +0000 Lifecruiser IMG_4796We only had to go about 200 meters from our Hostel to get into the most appealing parts of the Bratislava Old Town. A gold location really.

We just love those old cobbled street stones and the whole historical atmosphere. It suddenly felt like we were in a small town, a couple of hundred years ago.

Only thing is, Bratislava isn’t particularly small. It’s Slovakias capital and has about 427.000 inhabitants with an area of 367.584 km² (142 sq mi)….

It sure is old, it’s mentioned for the first time in the year of 907, so no wonder why it’s so rich of history. I just love one of the names it had back then: Brezalauspurc. It sounds like a fairytale name! Since then it has had many names.

Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia at the banks of the Danube River and is bordering Austria and Hungary – the only capital that borders two countries. Bratislava and Vienna is also the two closest European capitals.

The Old Town Hall at the Main square is actually several buildings transforming during Renaissance and Baroque time after earthquake damage and a fire. The principal building close to to the tower is from the 14th century, the tower (originally Gothic) from late 13th century and the Neorenaissance/Neogothic wing from 1912.


Today it hosts Bratislava City Museum and in the evenings in summertime, the courtyard is hosting concerts. Something were going on the evening when we were there too, but it looked more like a movie or something. We didn’t stop to watch it since we didn’t understand what they were saying.

Bratislava Old Town has a lot of interesting architecture, with some very nice stucco along with nice statues and sculptures. The whole impression is very appealing to the eye. Even the occasional worn down buildings is kind of charming. It was very nice to stroll around there finding things to see and easy to find your way around.

One of their bronze sculptures is Napoleonec by Juraj Meliš, which is standing in the Main square. He is a witness of love couples sitting on the bench which he is leaning on. Probably a memorial of when Napoleon’s army was in Bratislava 1805. Napoleon could also have been among those soldiers.


There is also the famous Cumil by the sculptor Viktor Hulik, who was asked in 1997 to create a sculpture as a symbol of the reconstructed Korzo (old town). It’s situated in the corner of Rybarska brana (Fishermen’s gate), Panska and Laurinska street.


Cumil is spending his time watching people and the life of the Korzo…. or some people say that he is a pervert spending his day looking up under passing women skirts! What do you think? *giggles*

The Paparazzi sculpture is made by Radko Macuha and is photographing the street from behind the corner of Laurinska St. He is situated beside the door of the restaurant with the same name. I wonder how many celebrities he’s spotted there?


St. Michael’s Gate is the only gate that has been preserved of the medieval fortifications and ranks among the oldest town buildings. Along the street there were several restaurants. It was a very nice temperature to sit outside for dinner or drinks!


I loved the magnificent Neo-Renaissance Slovak National Theatre too, at Hviezdoslav Square close to the Danube river. Built 1885–1886 based on a design by the Viennese architects Nándor Fellner and Henrik Helmer, who also designed theater buildings in many other European countries.


So did I do any heavy shopping? No, remember that we only had handluggage with us? There were only one shop that I couldn’t resist go into: Twigi at Klariská St. It was because of the shop windows….


Though I didn’t buy anything. Mostly because they didn’t have the clothes I fancied in my size. *bummer*

It’s true what TorAa said in an earlier comment at my blog: Bratislava is a secret capital of Europe – with lot’s of culture and I can only agree that it does takes more than our 24 hours to explore it, this only gives you a hint how it is there.

I use to say that to tourist a city, you have to be there for at least 4 days as a minimum, to really have time to get something out of it. Of course, if going to museums and other attractions, you may need even more than that.

Before going there, I truly recommend to read up about Bratislava, to really understand what you’re seeing or what you should see. I think that one could miss a lot if not doing that.

The rest you have to see in Lifecruiser’s Bratislava photos 2008.

Something missing? Yes, we did of course wear away walk up the hill to the Bratislava Castle, gasping after beer air in the heat…
(to be continued…)

Lifecruiser Bratislava
Great information links about Bratislava:


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Bratislava dinner and drinking Sun, 14 Sep 2008 18:56:24 +0000 Lifecruiser Well, when I said that we were going out exploring Bratislava old town center, what did you expect this hungry monster to do as the first thing? Yes, of course you’re right: have something to eat and drink!

I was practically starving (lol), despite the fact that we ate before our flight from Sweden and I had a couple of…uhum… candy bags during the flight. My body lives an own life, I have nothing to say, which means that it very often is urgent when I need to eat. Some mess with the blood sugar levels – I just go out of petrol and is dragging myself forward.

We thought that we would ask the Hostel staff of directions to be on the safe side. They had only two they recommended, but one of them, Verne, were down by the Danube river, which we felt were too far for my urgent monster hunger, so we did go with the first option, restaurant Prašná Bašta, in the beginning of the old town.

One thing we didn’t think of when asking them for help, was that they might have different preferences than we have. Since we were staying at a Hostel they recommended rather cheap restaurants. Our intention was not to look at the price, we just wanted somewhere with a special atmosphere appealing to us.

We should have gone with our intuition as usual, because we saw many very charming restaurants around there that probably would have been a better choice. However, since this was intended to be a budget trip it actually fitted anyway.


They had a very nice backyard which suited us sweaty ones very well. It was quiet and refreshing to sit there. There wasn’t many guests, since we were a bit early and it was a Monday. Not many tourists there, we only heard local voices around us and that’s always interesting, to see the locals.


We were still sweaty because of the heat, so we didn’t really felt like eating some big dinner, we just wanted to get it done so we could have a beer. or two. *giggles*

One thing that can be very difficult, challenging, exciting or surprising when you’re abroad is when you shall order dinner at a restaurant. If you’re lucky, they have a menu in English, but if not you’re on an real adventure. Yeah, we like that!

Even though they have an English menu, it can be difficult to imagine the dish anyway. Even if you know the ingredients, they still can make it very, very different from what you’re used to. Sometimes you wins, sometimes you lose. That’s one of the big charms with traveling, right?

I had a look at the local specialities in the menu and since all the other dishes were a little too much for me, mostly meat dishes, I opted in for pasta. This was what they brought in for me.


Gnocchi with Slovak sheep cheese and bacon for €3.82. It was OK, nothing more. I didn’t feel so much taste of that sheep cheese to be honest. Actually I thought it were very similar to what we call stewed (with milk) macaroni’s here in Sweden. Some more bacon on the top had been swell as well.


Hubby did choose Pork medallions with honey and mustard sauce for €8.46, simply for the sauce actually. And he did right, it was delicious.

Of course I tasted it. We always try to order different dishes and then tastes each others. We want to get out the most of it, right?

Some other restaurants we walked by and found inviting:



Bratislava sure is a nice town to be in, if you want to dine and drink for very good prices. The drinks were as cheap as the beer which did cost around €1-2.50. We had Mojito’s and Margerita’s. Cheers!

IMG_4889  IMG_4887  IMG_4861

Our favorite beer was without doubt the local Golden Pheasant, Zlatý Bažant. The brewery was establish in 1967 and already 1977 had exported beer to 12 other countries, one as close to us as Denmark. The Heineken Group entered the maltering and brewing in 1995.

Since then it has gone right to the top, currently said to be the largest and most up to date malting in Central and Eastern Europe. Their capacity exceeds over 140.000 tonnes of malted barley a year and I’m not at all surprised by that since it’s such an excellent beer.

Oh, the only word we’ve learned in Slovak, is the most important: Pivo = Beer.

As an example I can mention that the most expensive drink was Campari at €4.32 or Cognac Remy Martin V.S.O.P for €5.81. Tequila for €1.99! In Sweden you have to pay the double or tripled price of that, depending on what you drink or where you are. Just to give you some hints about the prices.

Since we were going to move location the day after that, we didn’t drink so much and were up within reasonable time in the morning trying to find some good breakfast. We did found a Mexican restaurant which I’ve forget the name of, where we did stop.

It was not the best choice since it were on one of the main streets and more expensive than it should be because of that. It’s always best to go to the minor streets to find the best restaurants with most value for your money, but we didn’t have the energy to search for one.


As usual, I didn’t remember to take a photo before starting to eat, so you’ll have to do be satisfied with this half-eaten plate…. *giggles*

Another thing, which can be a problem when out traveling, is the access of acceptable toilets. After all the drinking you need to leave some space for more drinking, right? *giggles*

That was not any problem here. The standard of the facilities were nice enough. I did found some fun toilets signs too, reminding me more of the ones I’ve seen in Scotland and England actually!

IMG_4863  IMG_4862

We could easily have stayed there for 2-3 days just to enjoy the restaurants and bar life, but that’s not the only reason to go there. Bratislava old town has a very nice atmosphere and is rich of history.

A very interesting place to explore, which we did…

Lifecruiser Bratislava

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Downtown Backpacker Hostel Bratislava Sat, 13 Sep 2008 19:57:04 +0000 Lifecruiser When we went with the local bus from the airport in Bratislava, it was very difficult to see from the bus what the different bus stops were called, so we didn’t really know where to get off the bus.

This led us to go one bus stop too far, which meant that we had to walk back a bit, but we didn’t mind since the weather was wonderful and we were exploring a new city!

The temperature difference between Sweden and Slovakia – we went from 14 degrees (Celsius) to around 30 degrees – made us very sweaty and longing for a beer. Or two. *giggles*

I really admired our character to resist the urge to stop somewhere on the way to take a beer. Or two. Nope, we decided to go to the Hostel as fastest possible. We should have started a running competition – I just wonder what the prizes would have been…?

Luckily for our old bodies we had trolleys and not bags to carry. I also needed to change from sneakers to open summer sandals before I were going to float away. Black jeans is not the most ultimate choice in that heat. Uhum.

We had no problems to find the Hostel we were going to stay at, on the contrary, I think that just the fact that we went one bus stop too far, may have helped us to find the Hostel since we came from the right direction. Lucky coincidence!

Downtown Backpacker Hostel Sign

It’s nearby the Presidential Palace yes, but maybe not so easy to find since it’s a small street with the street sign a bit in, so you don’t see it from the bigger street you comes from.

The building where the Hostel is situated and the entrance to the Hostel did indeed look quite charming to us, since we love old buildings with all it’s atmosphere of the history.

Downtown Backpacker Hostel Entrance

We were greeted welcome by a young girl in the reception who were very helpful and explained it all to us. Since we had booked a room with ensuite, an own bathroom, our room were in another building across the street and round the corner from the main building.

That was also the reason why we never used their bar even though it looked quite inviting.

Downtown Backpacker Hostel Bar

Our building were more modern and looked like it was undergoing some sort of renovation of the inside, so it was not quite so charming to stay there as in the main building (probably why I didn’t take any photo), but at least we had our own shower.

…and a lock at our door. (Still thinking of the horror movie Hostel!) *giggles*

There were a city tax of about 50 SKK (16.50 SEK/ $2.40 / 1.70 EURO) to add to the initial price if I remember right. Then we did get 10% discount on the room rate, since we’re members of the Swedish Tourist Organisation which is in cooperation with the Hostelling International.

As a total we paid less than 600 SEK ($87 / 62 EURO) for both of us in this double room ensuite. The photo only shows one of the beds, since that were all we used…. *giggles*

Downtown Backpacker Hostel  Downtown Backpacker Hostel Bathroom

As you can see, the standard is very basic, so if you look for some romantic place to stay – or for other reasons have high expectations, this is not the place for you. But if you just want a simple place to sleep, it’s acceptable and clean, no visible dirt.

The best thing (except from the cheap room rate) with Downtown Backpacker Hostel is that it’s situated just right at the old town part, which we’re excellent for us since that were the part of Bratislava we wanted to see during our 24 hours stay there.

…and yes, we survived our night in Bratislava without not even the slightest unpleasant incidence. No aftermath either.

I’m saying this because you never know, when you’re staying in Hostel or cheaper Hotels, there is other people that can have been there before you and planted some… ehrm… *cough*… unpleasant bugs.

It’s actually a Hostel’s biggest horror, because it’s so tough for them to deal with -and how do you see on a guest that they have bugs? Not an easy task.

Anyhow, we just left our luggage at the hostel room – and changed to shorts of course – and went out to explore Bratislava Old Town center….

Lifecruiser Bratislava

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Budget Flight Ryanair Skavsta – Bratislava Thu, 11 Sep 2008 21:51:12 +0000 Lifecruiser
Ryanair flight passengers in airplane

When we went on our budget trip to Bratislava and Vienna, we did choose to fly with Ryanair. Remember that we made it to a sport to make this budget trip as cheap as possible? Who can resist a flight ticket price of zero crowns?

We only had the taxes and handling fee to pay, which in this case where a total of SEK 476 ($79 / €50) for us both. No fuel surcharge either. Can it be any better? This means that we can go on several trips for the price of what otherwise would have been only one trip – and we do want to go – everywhere!

I’ll never understand why people whine over Ryanair. We’ve been very pleased with them every time. It’s a low budget flight for gods sake. You get what you pay for and that’s pretty much for the small amount you pay – especially if you’re flexible with the dates and can grab their real cheap offers like we do.

We’ve gone away on charter trips which have had exactly the same airplane types (Boeing 737-800) as Ryanair – airplanes which has not been in as good conditions that Ryanairs airplanes has been – and not had any better service aboard either.

Ryanair Boeing 737-800 airplane

If you read their terms, keep an eye on their schedules (because they can change), follow their directions – all is written clear and loudly on their website – you’ll be doing fine. Don’t be late, don’t book flights with too tight time schedule to catch other flights or hotels and get something to eat before departure.

It’s all about your own awareness and attitude I’d say. Which actually goes for not low budget flights as well!

The seats in the airplane is leather seats and quite comfortable – more than in some other planes I’ve been and my legs fit in without me having to sit with my legs separated like a man who doesn’t want his balls squeezed. *giggles*

Another plus is the safety information which is glued onto the seat in front of you and not a loose, damaged card in the pocket of the seat. You’ve got it in front of your eyes the whole flight.

Ryanair Boeing 737-800 Safety Information sheet

I do like that the airports where they’re landing are smaller ones outside the city destination of your choice, because you don’t have to get lost walk so far and it’s easier to find the baggage claim. Not to mention the toilets… Uhum.

Our nearest airport for Ryanair flights is Skavsta Airport, Nyköping, ca 100 km fr Stockholm. Nyköping is a pretty small town, so if you’ve been there once, it’s enough when just passing by to the airport and in this weather nothing seemed especially interesting to us other than departure to better weather!

Ryanair Skavsta Airport airplane view

If I’m afraid of flying? Not at all. It’s more likely that I’m gonna end up in a car accident than in a plane crash – and why worry about something that hasn’t happened? That’s just not my style. I live every minute, takes the day as it comes and enjoys every minute of it.

I simply love the freedom feeling of flying. When I’m up above the clouds, I really am in heaven – where the sun always is shining, on my way to explore something exciting in this wonderful world!

Ryanair Skavsta Airport airplane up in the air

According to their passenger figures for 2007, Stockholm Skavsta Airport has taken position as the 3rd largest airport in Sweden and I’m not surprised. The low budget idea allows travelers with not so fat wallet to see something of the world too.

Considering the increase of passengers Ryanair’s have had during the years, I think some people agree with me…

Their first year 1985: 5.000 passengers
Ten years later 1995: 2.260.000 passengers
May 2007 -May 2008: 52.460.000 passengers

I love to see countries from above, because you get to see what’s typical for the different countries. Here you can see a typical Swedish Falu red painted farm from the air.

Typical Falu red Swedish farm from air

This second photo shows something else that’s very typical for Sweden: water. We have around 100.000 lakes that’s bigger than 0,01 km2 and they are together about 40.000 km2 – about 9 % of Sweden’s total area.

Swedish lakes from air

So what about the environment issues with flying?

People will not stop flying as long as the other options don’t get better, cheaper and more available. We need or like to get around and we can’t just take that away now. What we need to do is to invent new ways to do it that is more environment friendly.

Speaking for myself, I will not stop flying, because it takes too long to get from point A to point B as it is right now. I’m not young or particularly healthy either for that matter. I really want to use the time I have left as effective as possible to enjoy life. Besides that, I didn’t travel at all until 2004 – if that’s any excuse…

Ryanair is a greener alternative than other airlines, because of it’s newer fleet of airplanes, which is much more fuel efficient than older planes. They also fill their planes with more people on each flight. I’ve read on several places now that even the Dutch Consumer Organisation have said that Ryanair is the least polluting airline in Europe.

I was also positively surprised when I saw that they rank as #1 on time and for fewest lost bags per 1000 passenger for major airlines in Europe. Not bad, not bad, for such a criticized airline. Or maybe it’s just that: they are too dangerous for the competitors?

Another thing I’m pleased to see is that a new Connect Hotel Skavsta has opened, located very suitable only 75 meters from the passenger terminal. That means that if you have a bit to drive to get there and you’ve booked an early flight, you can stay there the night before.

This time we did catch a flight from Skavsta to Bratislava (BTS), which is right at the border to Austria and only about 67 km from Vienna. Another very small airport. But hey, just look at the weather that did welcome us!

Ryanair Bratislava Airport airplane landing

This is the arrival hall at Bratislava, the photo is taken from where the bus stop area is, so it’s not difficult to find your way around there.

Ryanair Bratislava Airport Arrival

From there you can take the airport shuttle bus directly to Vienna – or as we did: the local bus #61 to Bratislava city center to stay there for a night and explore one more city.

Be aware of though, that when taking the local bus it’s a good idea to buy the ticket in advance in the departure terminal.

Bratislava Airport Departure

Or use Slovak coins in the bus ticket machine at the bus stop. You can not buy it from the bus driver. The ticket machine text describing the ticket prices, is mostly in Slovak.


Click on the photo to enlarge it in Flickr and see if you can understand which ticket you should choose!

You need help from a local – if you don’t happen to be fluent in Slovak, which we aren’t. Well, maybe after all the tasty beers they have there… *giggles*

So this was perhaps the more basic facts of the trip, are you ready to enjoy our stay in Bratislava and Vienna with us? Stay tuned because it’s coming in our next posts!

Lifecruiser Travel

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Bratislava short note Tue, 02 Sep 2008 22:12:21 +0000 Lifecruiser No problems, the flight were very nice with great weather and we found our way with the local bus to the city center and the hostel. though it is HOT here! 28 degrees celsius!

We survived the Hostel in Bratislava! Wooot! *giggles* (If you have seen the horror movie called Hostel you know what I am talking about, they slaughter people in that movie!)

It was actually quite OK, if not the best one we have been too. Clean and simple and with a very good location nearby the Presidential Palace. We slept in a separate building who looked like it were undergoing some renovation.

Bratislava during about 24 hours was a very nice experience, especially the old town part of course. We did get warnings before going there, to look out for gypsie gang pickpockets, but actually, we did not see any at all.

Oh, I know what you are going to say now: maybe you had been drinking too many beers to notice? No, no, but I must tell you that the beer were dirt cheap, so it could have been that way…

But what did we forget to pack? Always something forgotten! This time one towel and one fleecejacket is missed… Both of them were not necessary. It is too hot for fleece for Mr Lifecruiser and the towel were only needed in Bratislava. Phew.

The shuttle boat trip on the river Danube were sooo nice in the warmth and when we arrived here to Vienna it got even better!

I instantly LOVE Vienna!!!!

Lifecruiser Travel


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