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All about Bratislava

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Kochova Záhrada

When you stay with us at Mamaison Residence Sulekova, a 10 minute walk from your hotel you will find a charming little garden the locals call Kochova Záhrada (Koch’s Garden). It is a protected area landscaped sometime around the early 1930s (1932 – 1935) as the park grounds of the Karol Koch sanatorium. The project was carried by architects Dušan Jurkovič, Jindřich Merganc, and Oto Klimeš. With benches, stairways, raised points, rest areas, sculptures, and a small pond, the garden was supposed to be a relaxing oasis for the patients of the sanatorium. All permanent features of the plot, like stairs, stone tiles, alleys, benches, fountain, and sculptures, are still the original from 1932.

After years of neglect, local authorities and volunteers are working diligently to make this place the beautiful retreat it once was. Although it is a private garden, generally not open to the public, the owners are occasionally opening its gates, especially for thematic events and workshops, as well as for volunteer care of the grounds.

Although it is a small space, covering about half a hectare on the slopes of a hill, this urban gem has an incredible variety of plants. Currently, under Municipal protection, Kochova Záhrada is a significant example dendrological garden, with about 30 conifers and 26 deciduous evergreen exotic species among several other tree varieties. Local authorities, owners, and volunteers are still working to revitalize the garden and to reopen it to the public.

Besides plants, the garden also features a fountain and two sculptures, one of a mother and child, and one called Lovers.

Until the garden reopens officially, you can always see their official website (linked in the first paragraph) to see their current public programs and volunteering opportunities.

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Febiofest SK

MFFK Febiofest is at its 24th edition in March. The international film festival takes place from 2 to 8 March in several venues around the city, including Kino Lumière, Kino Mladosť, Zrkadlo, Foajé, Kino KLAP (VŠMU), and several others. Access to each venue besides Kino KLAP, which is free, is usually between 3.50 and 4 EURO. With a Febiopas ticket – available to purchase here – you gain access to all the cinemas in Bratislava for 15 €. After performances in Bratislava, the festival will tour 10 other Slovak cities till April 4, 2017.

The 24th edition of the MFFK Febiofest international film festival has a rich program, featuring 140 films in 10 sections. The highlight of the event is the themed competition “In the middle of Europe.” Viewers will enjoy the newest Slovak productions, as well as international films in original language with subtitles. The official site of the festival offers timely updates and schedules for interested parties.

You can also follow Febiofest SK on Facebook to learn what’s new.

Besides film screenings, the festival also includes discussions with filmmakers, master classes open to the public, introductions by directors, and audience polls regarding movies participating in the themed competition “In the middle of Europe.”

MFFK Febiofest 2017 promises to be an interesting event for lovers of cinematography. It is also an affordable cultural event that makes the beginning of March a great time to visit Bratislava.

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pretzel

Oktoberfest in Bratislava will only celebrate the season of good beer with a two-day program, on October 6 and 7 this year. The beloved celebration will take place at Tyršovo nábrežie, on the banks of the Danube. Albeit small scale, this is an international event, uniting breweries from Slovakia, Moravia, Austria, and Germany. There will be no less than 15 such breweries showcasing their signature brews and seasonal specials. A large selection of bottled beers from all over the world adds a plus of diversity much anticipated by beer connoisseurs. Foods typical to Oktoberfest celebrations all over the world, like large warm pretzels and sausages, will be available as well.

Musical entertainment is the main offer in the program of the festival, with a variety of concerts, including punk ‘n’ roll, punk rock, foxtrot, tango, swing, jazz, indie pop, and hip hop. The festival is part of the White Night in Bratislava 2016 event, which offers visitors an unconventional artistic night walk through the city, full of new experiences and sensations.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see art installations, and a whole range of attractions in a new light: animated unconventional spaces, parks, bridges, embankments, facades, and much more. About 45 stops are planned for the event, which takes place at night, October 8-9, from 7:00 pm until 2:00 am. There will also be interactive games, art installations, and an after party at Ateliér Babylon, the official after party of Nuit Blanche 2016.

Accommodation is usually hard to find during these events, so book ahead. Mamaison Residence Sulekova Bratislava has a special offer for stays of two nights of longer this season, allowing you to save up to 20% off the standard rate. In addition, we’ll pamper you with a milkshake and with delicious cookies. The offer comes with other perks, like free use of the fitness area and sauna.

For those with no preference for beer and pretzels, October offers several other entertainment opportunities. One of them is the Red Bull Flying Bach, a unique show at Istropolis, featuring the dance group Flying Steps with a special breakdance performance on Bach’s well-known work “Well-Tempered Clavier.” You can check out the official Visit Bratislava website for more exciting events during your stay in our city in October.

View of Bratislava Castle from Mamaison Sulekova

Bratislava Castle is one of the Slovakian gems that dominate the views from your window at Mamaison Residence Sulekova Bratislava. Beyond the walls of the hotel, the world outside opens with countless possibilities for the curious traveler. When you tour the neighborhood you will find several interesting restaurants.

Dining near Mamaison Residence Sulekova

There are several interesting eateries not far from Mamaison Residence Sulekova, and one of them is U Mamičky – at Palisády 731/40. It is a romantic spot, with a beautiful summer garden open when the weather is fine, and elegant interiors. It serves both Slovak and international cuisine, with a special focus on fresh fish, octopus, squid, mussels and lobster. Fish and seafood are usually imported from Croatia. If you dine as a couple, try the Dalmatian fish platter for two. The restaurant also serves grilled meats, soups, and salads.

Soupa Bistro (Kozia 602/11) is casual and unpretentious, great for a light bite. They serve honest soups, as well as a wide selection of classic stews, vegetarian specials, and all kinds of fresh salads every day. They also bake cakes to order, and have a good range of sweet and savory pies to choose from. This is a good destination for gluten free meals.

soupa bistro

Soupa Bistro is a homey place, within minutes from Mamaison Residence Sulekova. Just walk down Sulekova St. to Kozia St. and you will find it easily.

For more exotic meals, check out Ashoka – an authentic Indian restaurant at Hodžovo námestie 568/2. Here, every dish is prepared with original Indian ingredients, spices or herbs, imported from India. The chefs themselves are Indian chefs, so you can count on authentic taste and flavors. The restaurant offers a large variety of vegetarian and vegan foods, but also meat based mains. Their mutton Dopyaza is out of this world.

Another Indian restaurant, Gnesh Utsav at Vysoká 2A, specializes in Ayurvedic and vegetarian cuisine. In fact, this is the first Ayurvedic restaurant in Bratislava and Slovakia. Their daily menus change regularly, always counting on soups, curries, rice, chutneys, and desserts.

Ganesh Utsav

Beetroot Kitchedy at Ganesh Utsav – absolutely delicious.

Still on the exotic food trail, Samir offers authentic Lebanese cuisine, cocktails, and entertainment. All the decor elements you will see here in the dining room are original, imported directly from the Arabic world. The restaurant takes you on a a trip to the Middle East through food and original art ornamenting its walls.

Samir

The tabbouleh at Samir is the perfect menu choice for vegans and vegetarians.

Jasmin 1 at Židovská 7 is a Chinese restaurant, one of the best of its kind in the city. It has a fortunate location, opposite the St. Martin Cathedral, just below the castle in the historic center of Bratislava. Despite its central location, this restaurant keeps its prices low, allowing you to dine here on a budget, while still appreciating authentic, hearty meals.

These are just some of the restaurants you can enjoy not far from Mamaison Residence Sulekova, and very close to landmarks like the Museum of Pharmacy, the Museum of Arms, the Milan Dobeš Museum, the Arthur Fleischmann Museum, and the Museum of Jewish Culture, to mention but a few.

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Slovak National Theatre

Postcard pretty Bratislava, known mainly for its iconic castle that stands on a rocky hill directly above the Danube, is a romantic city, close enough to the Little Carpathians to be also a favorite in Slovakia for active travelers. But more than its iconic attractions, known by many travelers, there’s also a lesser known part of the city, and here are some of the attractions you should see if you want to immerse yourself in the true spirit of Bratislava.

Take a boat trip down the Danube, to Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum – always a rewarding experience. This museum in Čunovo, right next to the Austrian and Hungarian border, is the best place to admire contemporary art by Slovak and international artists. The gallery on the ground floor features exhibits that are also available for sale – so you can leave with a valuable, unique “souvenir.” What better memento from Bratislava can you think of?

Danubiana

A beautiful morning at Danubiana. (Photo courtesy the museum, via Facebook)

The Lurdska Cave, with its snow-white statue of Virgin Mary, is quite an unexpected sight, set in a former quarry. This is still a popular place of prayer for the locals, as the 4,000 commemorative thank you tables addressed to the Virgin denote. Stroll down Hlboká cesta and ask a local to point you in the right direction. Just above the Lurdska Cave (Lourdes Grotto) you’ll find tje Roman Catholic church of Our Lady of the Snows. From here, walk around, and see what’s left of the original Calvary dating from 1694. The Calvary on Kalvárie hill was built to commemorate the battle against the Turks at Vienna in 1683.

Lurdska Cave

Hike the Devínska Kobyla, the highest peak in the Devín Carpathians, close to the border with Austria. It is a beautiful hike, with amazing vistas of Bratislava, Austria, Hungary, the Danube and the Morava river. Hiking trails do not lead to the summit but instead to an accessible point with partial view underneath.

Devínska Kobyla

Visit one of the city’s Gothic gardens: there are four that are accessible to the public, at the Franciscan cloister, at the Ursulines cloister, the Prepošt Palace garden on Kapitulská Street, and a forth at the University Library of Bratislava. There are also several Renaissance and Baroque gardens you should not miss.

Koch Garden

Koch Garden (Photo by Lure – CC BY-SA 3.0 – on Wikimedia.org)

Escape to Zlaté Piesky – a popular summer resort in northeastern Bratislava. The locals flock here to escape the heat of the season. You can enjoy a variety of activities, including swimming, volleyball, streetball, mini-golf, and tennis. There’s a camp area, Intercamp, plus several restaurants to tame your hunger.

Zlatepiesky

Finally, enjoy the nature trails along the Vydrica river, which flows through the Bratislava Forest Park, where it forms many beautiful ponds.

Vydrica

Vydrica river near Železná studienka, part of the Bratislava Forest Park (Photo: Wizzard on Wikimedia.org)

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Bratislava

If any city on Earth possesses a romantic soul, it’s Bratislava. For the couple seeking an out of the ordinary romantic getaway this Valentine’s Day, the capital of Slovakia exudes a lovely ambiance and an aura of utter charm. Here’s a short take on some romantic spots to hit while you’re celebrating one another.

Street lights glistening, narrow streets beneath hard sole shoes, the captivating way snow white rooftops melt into medieval mist, Bratislava is for lovers, you bet. Daytime touring of the city’s fabulous shops, people watching from the river bank or the famous UFO tower, sightseeing this magnificent old city always gives way to the real romance story, Bratislava’s nighttime pursuits of wining and dining, and partying the night away.

Valentine's Day

So you’ve spent the last few hours of daylight looking out over the townsfolk from the Town Hall’s Balcony? This bird’s eye perspective is captivating, it’s true. Arm in arm, whispering to one another the secrets lovers do, such diversions can evoke a powerful hunger and thirst. Well, you’re love nest at Mamaison will wait, for Bratislava has some of the finest restaurants in Europe. There’s the now famous Zylinder’s concept is based on capturing the old Pressburg times, and the wine enthusiast’s favorite San Marten. For a stylish Paris-style bistro, St. Germain is a classy affair, and there’s always the UFO Bar & Restaurant, in case you’re in the mood to stay in one place all night.

If you’ve decided to dine first and celebrate later, taking a stroll along Bratislava’s winding streets. A great place to get lost is to start at Michael’s Tower, walk arm in arm down the city’s narrowest alley, Baštova Street, and then meander down the oldest path in the city, Kapitulská Street, you will finally arrive at the UFO bridge (Nový most). By this time, once you get your bearings, you should both be in the mood for liquid refreshment and drinking in the smells and sounds, sights and sensations of Bratislava by night, sitting down of course. Sky Bar is a good place to review your evening, and to set out for the finish, or there’s the cozy and chic U Certa, which loosely translated means “The Devil.”

Mamaison Residence Sulekova Bratislava

Finally, if music is your thing, Bratislava is famous for its Trafo Music Bar , DJ experiences like Subclub, and the nightly entertainment at places like the Alligator Rock Bar. Well, there’s dozens more superb suggestions, the point is really experiencing a romantic interlude, and one of Europe’s most unique towns. Whatever you choose to savor together, whenever you want your Bratislava Valentine’s to wind down, Mamaison Residence Sulekova Bratislava awaits your return with a nightcap and your nest away from home.

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angel

All this month on Hlavné, Františkánske and Hviezdoslavovo squares in Bratislava the wonder that is a Slovakian Christmas comes to life. Amid this magical cultural and festive atmosphere the most beautiful part of town rings with the sound of carols, smells of traditional foods, and smiles with the good humor of the season.

As you might expect in the heart of Europe, Bratislava’s Christmas markets are both a cliché, and a surprise each year. Seasonal events played out before the booths filled with handmade products of wood, ceramic, glass, textiles and more, put one in the mood for Saint Nicholas and the spiritual wholesomeness that is Christmas. Products created and offered by the Association of the Guild of Historical Crafts are a rare form of creative magic.

And the food, traditional or otherwise, simply adds a flavorful overtone to an already emotionally charged festival. Traditional gastronomy, principally cabbage soup with fish and fresh barbecued meats, are simple folk food, and simply delicious. Once the tummy is warmed with a hot meal, and the soul kindled with the Yule tide spirit, the honey cakes and lokše (baked potato pancakes) with Christmas mead help complete for visitors memories to last forever.

angel

If you’re intending on arriving just before Christmas then don’t miss the Christmas programs where theater performers tell the tales and stories of Christmas. Also be sure and take a ride on the Christmas tram that tours the city. The cable car all alight with a thousands of lights rides the roads of Old Town from 4 p.m. until 8 each night. Music festivals of every description including Jazz, Opera, Reggae, and a Theater Fest further embellish Bratislava’s famous Charity Christmas Bazaar too.

All during the weekends of advent, children from Bratislava, Brno, Vienna and Krakow carol the town with Christmas songs and present traditional customs. Picture yourself in Slovakia’s most picturesque setting, the chilly December air, a cup of warm wine or traditional mead in hand, the sounds of ages old Christmas carols signaling another memorable season about to pass – Bratislava is magic this time of year, a must on anybody’s “bucket list” of places to be during the holidays.

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Bratislava

Fall offers a bounty of riches, while the rolling countrysides of some of the most popular European destinations open horizons of splendid natural vistas.

Bratislava is postcard pretty this season: the colorful roofs of the buildings of Staré Mesto contrast with the cloudy skies, in a symphony of earthy browns, terracotta and greens. Especially at night, when the city turns on its lights, nothing seems more romantic than the image of the iconic Bratislava Castle, and the gentle silhouettes of the church steeples.

autumn

The International Festival of Contemporary Music Melos-Étos brings to Bratislava, from 7 to 13 November, soloists, ensembles and orchestras from Slovakia and from around the world. This is the XIIIth edition of the festival, and it will be held at the Hudobné Centrum.

Melos-Étos 2015 is not the only outstanding musical event of the season. On November 9, at the Music Hall of the Bratislava Castle, you can enjoy an evening of sonatas and waltz by Johannes Brahms performed by violinist Milan Paľa, cellist Jozef Lupták, and pianists Fiammetta Tarli (Italy) and Ivo Varbanov (Bulgaria).

casks

On the Small Carpathian Wine Route, November 20-21 are days of celebration, with many cellars in Bratislava, Trnava and major centers of southwestern Slovakia opening their doors. Deň otvorených pivníc, the cellars of the region open all around the Small Carpathian mountainous region, will feature top varietals; Veltlinske Zelene, Rizling Vlassky, Frankovka Modra, Rizling Rynsky and Modry Portugal, to name a few of the more famous. About 80 wineries participate in the event, and many other small cellars along the route open their doors to show their fine winemaking traditions. But, for first time partakers, the Malokarpatské múzeum Pezinok (Small Carpathian Museum Pezinok), 20 km northeast of Bratislava, is the best to take in the history of viticulture and winery under the Small Carpathians. The museum offers a tour of the cellar, a permanent collection of wine-press machines from Central Europe – the largest of its kind, as well as tastings of local wines. If you are in the region, don’t miss the cellars of the Pezinok Castle, a former moated fortress turned chateau, which are now home to the National Wine Salon (Národný salón vín Slovenskej republiky).

There’s also an international film festival in Bratislava this November, the largest and the single most important international cinema event in Slovakia’s capital: from 12 to 17. Visit their website for details: http://www.iffbratislava.sk/

The ice skating season on Hviezdoslav Square in front of the Slovak National Theatre opens November 22, 2015, and will last till March 2, 2016: an excellent opportunity for city visitors to relax in the magical atmosphere of the Winter. If you don’t own a pair of skates, there are rentals at the ice rink.

And finally, the most anticipated shopping event of the year, the Christmas Market on the Main Square, opens November 20, and lasts for about a month, till December 22, 2015. This is a great opportunity for visitors to shop for Christmas presents, but also for authentic arts and crafts, and souvenirs. Traditional gastronomy and mulled wine are offered by several food stands.

And, with our Colours of Autumn package, when you book your stay by December 1st, you can stay at Mamaison Residence Sulekova and explore Bratislava while saving 15%.

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fall cuisine

Autumn, in Bratislava, is associated with excellent wines and matching foods, music festivals, and colors that take your breath away. This is one of the most charming times of the year to visit this part of the world, and to experience the city like a local. If Slovakia’s capital had a front door, it would come with a huge postcard of its most iconic landmark, the Bratislava Castle, a central eye-catcher for residents and tourists alike. This Slovakian gem dominates the views from your window at Mamaison Residence Sulekova Bratislava. Its colossal structure is mirrored in the art adorning the walls in rooms and lobbies, in contrast with the contemporary interiors designed by Jestico + Whiles. The residence ranks among the most popular in our beautiful city, for both location, and outstanding value.

Mamaison Residence Sulekova Bratislava

Beyond the walls of the hotel, the world outside opens with countless possibilities for the curious traveler. Waves Bratislava comes first, with a line up of concerts, panel discussions and presentations, which will keep you entertained for the first four days of October, in 13 venues, all located around Namestie SNP square in central Bratislava. Acts like Bokka (PL), Pins (UK), Fallgrapp (SK), Katarzia (SK), Näo (FR), Joy Wellboy (BE) and Fismoll (PL) bring to the city music with international potential.

Beautiful Vineyard Landscape with road

Beautiful Vineyard Landscape with road (Pezinok-©-TTstudio-Fotolia.com)

On the Small Carpathian Wine Route, at the beginning of November, on Deň otvorených pivníc, the cellars of the region open with top varietals; Veltlinske Zelene, Rizling Vlassky, Frankovka Modra, Rizling Rynsky and Modry Portugal, to name a few of the more famous. About 80 wineries participate in the event, and many other small cellars along the route open their doors to show their fine wine-making traditions. But, for first time partakers, the Malokarpatské múzeum Pezinok (Small Carpathian Museum Pezinok), 20 km northeast of Bratislava, is the best to take in the history of viticulture and winery under the Small Carpathians. The museum offers a tour of the cellar, a permanent collection of wine-press machines from Central Europe – the largest of its kind, as well as tastings of local wines. If you are in the region, don’t miss the cellars of the Pezinok Castle, a former moated fortress turned chateau, which are now home to the National Wine Salon (Národný salón vín Slovenskej republiky).

And who would want to miss the Bratislava Jazz Days or “Džezáky,” which take place at Incheba Bratislava from October 23rd to 25th, and at the Old Market hall on October 27th? This is one of the most important jazz festivals in Europe, and features jazz in all genres, as well as well known performers.

Come late November, the Christmas markets of Bratislava will open with worlds of tradition and cheer. Book our site to learn more about them, in a future article.