All about Bratislava
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.
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.
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.
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).
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%.
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.
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 (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.
If you stay at Mamaison Residence Sulekova Bratislava, you are already enjoying some of the best hospitality Bratislava has to offer. But the city also invites to explore: there are many things to do in the spring, when nature surrounds you with blooming trees, a colorful little flowers. First, take a stroll up to the Bratislava Castle, a mere ten minutes walk from your Mamaison Residence Sulekova. 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.
The glorious Bratislava Castle, which dominates the city from a rocky hill of the Little Carpathians, offers splendid views over the city from the top. At the foothill of the hill, the beautiful Danube invites for a cruise, or just a short boat ride. Inside the castle, you can attend a classical chamber music concert, or attend a festival.
For more art and culture, visit the Pállfy Palace, which hosts the Bratislava City Gallery, with outstanding contemporary art, as well as classic masters collections. Here you can admire beautiful tapestries from England, a Celtic mint collection, 20th century Slovak fine art, Gothic painting and sculpture, and much more.
Another must see is the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, which can be reached by boat on the Danube. This museum, which opened in September 2000, stands on a 8,000 square-metre park, with a beautiful sculpture garden. The permanent exhibition at the museum features contemporary (post-war) international art.
The Slavín War Memorial is an icon of the city, and a must see. The central obelisk of the monument is more than 39 metres high, and can be observed from many areas of Bratislava. The monument commemorates the city’s liberation by the Red Army in April 1945.
If you are looking for a more relaxing afternoon, surrounded by nature, walk in the opposite direction from our door, towards Horský park, the green lungs of the Old Town, an oasis of peace for all ages.
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. By far the most photographed attraction in the city, the castle is a place of romantic inspiration, which has fascinated painters and poets for centuries.
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.
Beyond the walls of the hotel, the world outside opens with countless possibilities for the curious traveller. A ten minutes walk, and you reach the glorious Bratislava Castle, which dominates the city from a rocky hill of the Little Carpathians. Then, the Danube with its blue waves is just a stone’s throw away.
If you are looking for a more relaxing afternoon, surrounded by nature, walk in the opposite direction from our door, towards Horský park, the green lungs of the Old Town, an oasis of peace for all ages. Or skip the park, and head up to the Slavín memorial, to enjoy some breathtaking panoramic views of the city.
For shopping, the most popular destination is Obchodná, a narrow cobbled street, lined up with small boutiques, budget dining, and several excellent value restaurants. After a daytime whirl around the shops, return at Sulekova, to recharge your batteries in the comfort of your room, with a sip of well-chilled white wine, or a revigorating shower.
Above marketing clichés, Sulekova is a cozy city retreat, with 32 spacious suites, tastefully decorated with contemporary designer furnishings. In family rooms, the vivid colours of the ceiling-to-floor drapes contrast with the calm tones of the furniture, creating a homey atmosphere where young and old will spend unforgettable moments together.
The same soothing decor follows in business suites, where only several daring accents break the rhythm, inspiring the visitor to explore more of Sulekova’s swish and sexy features. Surely, a 20 minutes soak at the sauna will bring on new energy in weary bodies, while the relax area will subdue all the worry and anxiety of a busy day. On to the more active type, Sulekova’s fitness area is an excellent alternative to costly gyms, and comes equipped with enough modern gear, to satisfy every need.
Divoká Voda, a heaven for active travelers.
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. There’s so much to do here, that you will need at least a couple of weeks to enjoy the city, and the surrounding countryside, at their fullest.
Water sports and rope courses
Start with Divoká Voda, a favorite for activities like rafting, kayaking, boating, and wakeboarding, and even for paintball and beach volleyball. The resort offers babysitting during your training, teambuilding and sports programs. There is a kayak school, with classes for all levels, plus rentals for professionals and beginners alike. They have affordable aquazorbing and aquarolling for all ages, and even quad bikes, on a short, very safe, yet wild route. The little ones can even ride a pony.
Location: Vodné dielo, 850 09 Čunovo
Phone: +421 918 993 647
Action Park is an entertainment and adrenaline campus, offering a wealth of activities, some more challenging than others. The highlight of the park is its rope course, with 26 activities, 30 high rope obstacles and other great fun attractions. They also offer paintball tournaments; archery and crossbow shooting; a bungee trampoline, safe for both kinds and adults; zorbing, which is quite a trend in Eastern Europe; and even kiting.
Location: Shengenská ulica, Čunovo, 851 10 Bratislava
Phone: +421 904 22 33 33
Action Park zorbing, one of many exciting activities for Bratislava visitors. (Photo courtesy Action Park on Facebook)
For swimming in Bratislava, check out Letné kúpalisko Delfín, in Ružinov, a Summer swimming pool with water slide, showers, changing rooms, sauna, and playground for little guests.
Location: Ružová dolina 11
Phone: 02/534 155 53
Another excellent swimming pool, Letné kúpalisko Rosnička is surrounded by greenery, and offers pools for adults and children, plus a playground and beach volleyball.
Location: M. Schneidra Trnavského 2, 84101 Bratislava – Dúbravka
Phone: 02/643 609 60
Letné kúpalisko Tehelné pole is the most beautiful, and most famous swimming pool in Bratislava. This is also the nearest swimming area if you stay at Mamaison Residence Sulekova.
Location: Odbojárov 9, 83104 Bratislava
Phone: 02/443 728 28
Also for swimming, this time in a natural area, head to Zlaté piesky, northeast of the capital city Bratislava, in a quiet environment, surrounded by lush greenery. You will find crystal clear waters, beautiful sandy beach, plus 2 tennis clubs, 7 tennis courts with artificial lighting, 2 volleyball courts, 2 playgrounds, waterslide and mini golf.
Location: Zlaté piesky Bratislava – Ružinov
Phone: 02/442 570 18
The world from up high
Balony.sk takes you up in the sky, in a romantic ride with the clouds, to see the beautiful city from up high. Their sightseeing flights take about 1 hour, and are available rain or shine, year round. During the flight you are offered champagne, cold beer, soft drinks, and even food, depending on the package you booked.
Location: Pluhová 2, 831 03 Bratislava
Phone: +421 911 22 55 77
Commando for all ages
Devils Paintball Club offers military-style paintball in Kalinkovo, 10 km from Bratislava, in a pleasant forest. This is one of the largest paintball fields in Slovakia, an great fit for professionals, but suitable for newbies too. You will find bunkers, trenches, fortifications, tanks, buildings, and all kinds of natural obstacles. They have tents where you can relax when the weather is not that friendly, and even grills for a barbeque celebration after the game.
Location: (GPS) N48.06388° E017.24912°
Phone: +421 905 743 454
For more adrenaline-pumping team games resembling paintball, check out Laser Arena, the perfect venue to enjoy fun and action with your family. Unlike paintball, laser tag is not painful: children and the elderly can join in too. Game sessions are usually short – no more than 15 minutes – so no one will get tired.
Location: Prešovská 45, 821 02 Bratislava
Phone: +421 903 914 386
Horseback riding in Bratislava
For horseback riding at the foothill of the Little Carpathians, you could choose Jazdecká škola Elán Čierna Voda, which offers year-round riding courses for both adults and children, 7 days a week, under the guidance of experienced instructors. They have an indoor riding hall too, so you can come to practice rain or shine.
Location: Čierna Voda 611, 83107 Bratislava
Phone: +421 903 722 330
Another great place to learn how to ride, or just to enjoy leisurely horseback riding sessions, are the Stajne Epona stables. This is where you can escape from the city to the beautiful nature around Vajnory. Besides riding, the area is popular for agritourism, farming, cycling, roller skating and other activities.
Location: Rybničná 34, 83107 Bratislava
Phone: +421 905 880 333
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