Saturday, June 29, 2013

Art-Centered Bratislava

Normally when I tell friends and colleagues that I'll be traveling, the responses range from, "Can you pack me in your bag?" to "I've always wanted to go there." But their responses to my planned trip to Bratislava were completely unexpected and curious: "Bratislava? Why are you going there?" "Bratislava is so dirty and boring." "You should rethink your trip and head to Prague or Vienna instead." It turns out that Bratislava's negative reputation is completely undeserved. I spent four full days in Slovakia's capital and easily could've spent another five days or so bicycling along the Danube, hiking around the Devin Castle or in Bratislava Forest Park, taking in the sun along the man-made beach that's set up along the river each summer, enjoying the city's well established coffee culture, and sipping fine wines.

It's a petite capital that's replete with Art Nouveau detailing and peppered with contemporary art galleries, including one, Nedbalka, that's referred to as a mini Guggenheim and the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum that's dramatically set on a peninsula in the middle of the Danube.

Art also appears in some of the unlikeliest places in Bratislava. These photos are just a sampling of my findings in this picturesque, creative city.








18 comments:

Brette said...

It sounds like a lovely place to visit. Often the places where people say not to go are the most beautiful and interesting.

merr said...

I have never heard of this! The photos are intriguing. Seems like a fun place for a walking tour.

Sheryl said...

Love the photos. It's nice to travel off the beaten path, isn't it?

ruth pennebaker said...

We just missed going to Bratislava last summer, and now I'm sorry we did. Your photos are great.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Brette, You are so right. When someone tells me not to visit some destination, that's a reason for me to book the next flight there.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi merr, I adored the city's old quarter which is wee and very walkable. I could've spent day after day exploring the cobbled lanes.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Sheryl, Off-the-beaten-track travel is my favorite way to venture around the world. You never know what you'll find.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Ruth, I met many visitors who were in Bratislava only for the afternoon and they regretted not budgeting much more time. I hope you get to travel there soon.

Donna Hull said...

I'm such a fan of off-the-beaten-path destinations. Bratislava sounds like it certainly fits that description. Let everyone else visit the tourist favorites like Vienna or Prague, I'll take Bratislava.

Travelin_Al said...

I was lucky enough to spend 3 weeks in Bratislava several years ago and rented a tourist apartment in a residential area. By the time I left I felt like I was leaving my home. The city is full of cultural things to see and do. I also was warned by several people of the conditions I would find. It was great to come back and tell them they were completely wrong!

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Donna, It's amazing how many people bypass Bratislava, missing all the beauty this city offers.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Al, That must've been wonderful spending so much time in Bratislava. And it's funny that you were also warned not to visit or, at least, not to have any grand expectations. Certainly curious.

Lance @ Travel Addicts said...

Great photos. We only did the day trip from Vienna and were very disappointed that we didn't budget more time. Bratislava is a great place to unwind, relax and soak up the atmosphere! Great post!

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Lance, Every visitor we met in Bratislava told us the exact same thing: They were in the city for an afternoon and, when they found out how cool it was, they wished they had several days there. Glad you liked my post. Thanks.

Jane Louise Boursaw said...

What a cool place! I love places that integrate art into everything. I've noticed that here in Traverse City over the past decade or so.

rebeccafieldmouse said...

Jeanine, I was lucky enough to meet you on the train to Bratislava from Budapest and thought it wise to hunt down your article. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay in Bratislava, although sadly I can't say I agree with you! I am always keen to liberate an underdog city, however Bratislava did not win me over!
I am, however, still looking for a pair of your brilliant shoes.
All the best!

Jeanine Barone said...

Hey Rebecca, so great to hear from you. I didn't have your contact info otherwise I would've emailed you. Yeah, I guess Bratislava isn't for everyone. But still glad we had such a fun train ride. My shoes, by the way, are Chacos. Anyway shoot me your email when you have a chance.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Jane, I've never been to Traverse City abut will definitely have to check out its art scene.