Day 4. Time for us to leave the fairytale city of Prague and move on to our next stop: the little big city of Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. It was “first visit” to the said country for both of us, so we were excited and thrilled! Bratislava, known as the city of Pressburg until 1919, is the only capital city that borders two sovereign states: Austria and Hungary. Located on both sides of the mighty Danube river and on the left side of the Morava river, the Slavic city was the 6th richest region of the EU by GDP per capita in 2016!
07:50 AM Last breakfast at Hotel Colloseum in Prague
«Comfortable beds, spacious room, good breakfast and staff! Excellent location as well. Thank you for the lovely stay!» was the review I left for Hotel Colloseum on booking.com. We were pretty satisfied with the accommodation. Before leaving, we enjoyed the breakfast buffet for the last time, filling up for the 4-hour train ride to our next destination.
10:35 AM Prague Hlavni Nadrazi (Prague Central Station)
This day was pretty laid-back. We had time to rest after breakfast, before finally heading towards the Central Station. I even had time to ponder whether to change my shoelaces – from the original dull blue to a glittery pink! Anyway, Prague Central Station is a busy one, as it is the largest and most important railway station in the country. Did you know that it is formally named as Franz Josef Station, after the Austrian emperor Franz Josef I? Operating since 1871, the station has many facilities, restaurants and shops, so you wouldn’t get bored waiting for your train.
11:51 AM Prague Hlavni Nadrazi → Bratislava Hlavna Stanica via EC 279 (3 h 59 min)
What is nice about EC (Eurocity) trains is that reservation is not compulsory! So you just have to check whether the seats are taken or not by looking at the sideboard, and most of the time, there are plenty of available seats. When filling out your Interrail travel diary, I suggest that you do it as soon as you got on the train, or minutes before you get on the train, so as to avoid erasures. Flexibility proved to be very important on our journey.
Since this route is usually popular, we decided to book seat reservations the day before the trip. This you do online (or offline at the station).
- Go to https://www.cd.cz/en/eshop/, enter your travel details and click “Search”.
- Then, choose “I want a reservation only”.
- If you are traveling with other people, you might want to sit together. Under the Options bar, click “Select from the seating map” and choose the seats you want. Then, click “Vybrat”, and then, “Finished”.
- After that, you’ll have the options to modify your purchase or add other services, like bikes or oversized luggage. Finally, click “Continue”, pay, and send your tickets to your preferred email addresses. It is also possible to print the tickets out, but not necessary on this journey.
We paid 3 euros each for the seat reservation. And off we went to Bratislava! There wasn’t much to see on the train ride, just fields and forests. There was a major stop at Brno, the second largest city in the country. It seemed to be an interesting place to visit, but perhaps, next time. At exactly 3:06 PM, we crossed the river Morava, which serves as the border between Czech Republic and Slovakia.
15:57 PM Bratislava Hlavna Stanica
The train arrived 7 minutes late, but it was no big deal! Bratislava Central Station was not that big, so it seemed crowded when we got there. Trains going to Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Poland, Croatia (summer), Czech Republic and the rest of the country stop by this station. From there, we walked towards the city center, which was about 1.2 kms away!
16:35 PM Check-in at Pension Petit
The hotel seemed easy to find on the map, but we had some trouble getting there in the beginning. Anyway, it is located by the end of Stefanikova street, by the crossing, across the Presidential Palace. It was a nice walk though. Pension petit also runs Lepetit Cafe & Bar, where they hold the breakfast buffet every morning. Our room was very spacious, and we weren’t expecting that, so it was super! Tired from the journey, we decided to rest for a bit before getting some dinner. I also took a travel pill against travel sickness, so I was feeling really drowsy.
18:45 PM Dinner at Bratislavský meštiansky pivovar + a little city stroll
I woke up starving! Luckily, Carl found this really nice restaurant down the block that serves mega-delicious meals! It was not very cheap though, but still, it’s Bratislava price vs Norway. We ordered some spare ribs, which I HIGHLY recommend. Those guys know what they’re cookin’! Note, however, that just like Prague, service fee is not necessarily included in the price, so have some coins or something to tip.
After dinner, we took a little stroll back to the hotel. Although the city is “small”, it seemed big. Probably because of the space on that particular area. We’ll see about the city proper the next couple of days.
At around 19:30 PM, we were back at Pension Petit, called it a day, and prepped up for tomorrow’s adventure. Until then! Cheers! #spreadlove