By the end of June, beginning of July, I attended a BEST Course in Bratislava in what became two of the best weeks of my life. And of course, I took advantage of it to get to know one of the most beautiful cities of Europe!
Bratislava is the capital of the Slovak Republic. It has a population of about 600,000 inhabitants in its metropolitan area, being the country’s largest city. Geographically, the city is placed really close to the border with Austria, and at less than 60 km from its capital, Vienna.
The first known settlement in that location is said to be dated around 5000 BC. And due to its strategic position in the center of Europe, since then the land has been conquered by diverse tribes and empires, such as Romans, Slavics, Hungarians, Turks, etc.
The city is full of architectural contrasts and it’s really nice to see how the buildings of the old town have the typical center-European architecture; while it’s surroundings have a more communistic feeling; and the new contemporary buildings being to take some space in strategic spots of the metropolis.
Most of its streets in the old town are really beautiful. Also, it’s a nice detail that most of the buildings in that area are very well preserved. That, joint with the all the sculptures, make a great experience to have a walk over there.
The people living in Bratislava is mostly nice and helpful, even when they can’t understand you. However, as in everywhere, you can find people really hostile with foreigners, but usually that’s not a real problem.
The weather, at least in the dates I went there, was horribly hot and dry, almost asphyxiating, and the fact that in most places they didn’t seem to know what air conditioning is didn’t help at all, hehehe. Anyway, I’ve heard that in winter the weather is just the opposite… I’ll have to check it by my own.
I loved this city, its surroundings, the way of life followed by its people, and, of course, its people. I know it’s not the perfect city, and that it has a lot of things that can be improved, but it’s really a great place to visit and enjoy, to relax there. I’m really looking forward to go back, and I hope I can make it soon… but we’ll see!