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Why This Underrated European Gem Should Be On Your Bucket List

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In wild times of “Chinese balloons” and more and more unidentified flying objects (UFO) being reported, why not visit a UFO-themed European city?

Bratislava, Slovakia embraced UFOs before they were cool again. No one can miss the UFO Tower that overpowers the surrounding scenery of this beautiful undiscovered gem.

ufo tower in bratislava

This sci-fi-designed entryway to Bratislava is way more than meets the eye. This charming city along the Danube River is well worth adding to your travel bucket list.

And it has nothing to do with little green creatures from Mars.

Truly Unique Architecture

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some would say having a spaceship hovering above its entry bridge is an eyesore, and some would say it’s the coolest thing ever.

Bratislava is a quirky place, yet full of charm and eye-popping design. Beyond the UFO Tower, visitors will come across a beautiful hillside castle simply known as the Bratislava Castle.

bratislava castle

A tower in the shape of UFO is called the UFO Tower and a castle in Bratislava is called the Bratislava Castle. They get props for their designs, but the names might need some work.

However, it does make finding these immaculate works of art much easier for foreigners. 

The UFO Tower has an upper-level restaurant and observation deck that is worth taking time out of your day to experience.

From the viewing deck, it will be easy to spot Bratislava Castle as it dominates the small skyline.

It is a massive, breathtaking landmark that you can’t miss.

And yet another unique place that has mixed reviews is the Slovak Radio Building, designed like an upside-down pyramid.

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slovak radio building in bratislava

In fact, the United Kingdom’s Daily Telegraph ranked this structure as one of the ugliest buildings in the world

There is also the bizarre Strabag Building, designed as a shiny, new office headquarters except for the random upside-down house hanging off the side.

Charming Old Town 

If someone had only seen Europe in the movies, Old Town Bratislava embodies that image. 

Picture winding cobblestone streets, the smell of fresh-brewed coffee from endless sidewalk cafes, and eccentric art along the way.

walkway in old town bratislava

The only difference may be subtle touchstones to Slovakia’s Soviet past. But Bratislava embraces its newfound prosperity and freedom.

A short walk through these charming streets and visiting delightful shops confirm this when getting to know the locals. They are warm, welcoming and very proud to be Slovak. 

Getting lost through the maze of quiet cobblestone streets and preserved medieval buildings is a great way to immerse yourself in Slovak life.

There are many restaurants and traditional Slovak pubs to indulge in too.

man at work art in bratislava

Many people may be unaware that Slovakia is a very underrated wine producer.

Many wines come from the surrounding countryside towns outside of Bratislava, so the city will still have some of the best selections to offer.

Traditional Slovak cuisine is under-appreciated too. Tourists may be surprised by how well they enjoy the food scene here, such as the national dish – Bryndzové halušky.

Old Town will be one of the best places to find traditional restaurants to get a taste of local food.

traditional Slovak food and dishes

How Accessible Is Bratislava?

Bratislava is not hard to reach, but it may take a little extra effort, depending on where you are coming from.

The city does have an airport but offers minimal flight options. Many flights are from the low-cost European carrier Ryanair. There are no direct flights from North America.

Fortunately, Bratislava is only an hour from the major city of Vienna, where there are a ton of flight options all over the world.

FlixBus at vienna airport

Many shuttle services, such as FlixBus, are offered to take the short ride across the Austrian border and into this amazingly underrated city for a very affordable price. Tickets are often under $10 one-way.

There are also trains that go directly from Vienna to Bratislava for nearly the same price as bus tickets.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


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Sunday 30th of April 2023

Awesome!!