5 Things To Do In Bratislava

Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is often overlooked as a European destination. But, this little city has a lot to offer! Most of the sights are easily done in a day, so it makes for the perfect day trip destination from neighboring cities, like Vienna. If you ever find yourself in this historical center here's 5 things you can do in one day there. 


1. See the City Walls 

The Bratislava City Walls date all the way back to the 13th century, when its construction first started. The Medieval structure is hard to miss if you're making your way towards Old Town from the Bratislava Hlavná Stanica train station. They're an easy first sight to see and a perfect signifier that you've reached the start of Old Town. Once you're in Old town you have to also see Michael's Gate . It's the only one of the four original city gates remains standing today. You can also head to the top of Michael's Gate through the Museum of Arms for a great view of Old Town!

Michael's Gate

Michael's Gate


2. Discover Old Town

Naturally your next step is to discover the rest of Old Town Bratislava. There's so much to do and see here in the historical center of the city. You can marvel at beautiful old buildings like the Old Town Hall, which is home to the Bratislava City Museum, and the Primatial Palace, one of the most gorgeous buildings in all of Slovakia. You can stroll through the lively streets like the one that starts at the Historical building of the Slovak National Theatre

Old Town Hall in the Main Square 

Old Town Hall in the Main Square 

Hviezdoslavovo Námestie Promenade

Hviezdoslavovo Námestie Promenade


3. Grab a Charcoal Gelato

If you're there in the summer, boy it get hot. So give yourself a little break and grab some ice cream! Now if you want a completely Insta-worthy and delicious cone, Arthur Ice Cream is the stop to make. They serve delectable gelato creations with a favorite being their Charcoal Gelato in a black cone. #ICECREAMGOALS

Charcoal Gelato

Charcoal Gelato


4. Visit the Man at Work - Čumil

There are a ton of bronze statues all around Bratislava. But see if you can spot Cumil, the man at work. You can find him taking a peek at passer-byers from an unsuspecting manhole near the center of Old Town. Don't blink because you might just miss him! 

Tourist taking photos of Cumil

Tourist taking photos of Cumil


5. Hike up to the Bratislava Castle

Last but certainly not least on this list is the Bratislava or Hrad Castle. Once you're done exploring Old Town head on over to the other side of the road to get an awesome aerial view of it. The way up is clearly marked, so all you have to do is follow the street signs that say "Hrad Castle". The hike up to the castle is not so much an actual hike but more of a slightly steep incline. In the summer you'll definitely break a sweat. In the winter it might keep you a little warmer. The castle features a variety of cool features like the gleaming white castle itself, its perfectly maintained gardens, the Slovak National History Museum, and a breathtaking views of Old Town, the Danube, and the Most SNP or UFO Bridge.

PS. There's an observation deck and a restaurant you can eat at that sits on top of the UFO Bridge if you craving more aerial views of the city.  

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle

View of Old Town

View of Old Town

View of UFO Bridge

View of UFO Bridge


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Like A Local: Bristol, England

LIKE A LOCAL

A common question that comes to my mind, and I'm sure yours as well, when I'm traveling is "what do the locals do?" I truly believe that everything and every place is worth seeing at least once. Whether it is something touristy or something off the beaten path, that something is special and more importantly new to you! There's so much we can learn by opening ourselves up to new adventures. So, of course, one of the best ways to do this is to live, explore, and experience a place "like a local"! 

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Bristol, UK

by Claire of Claire's Footsteps

Bristol Harbour

Bristol Harbour

1. Your city’s name and nicknames

Bristol in the UK; nicknamed Brizzy or B-Town (nothing too imaginative!).

2. Favorite places to eat

There are so many places to eat in Bristol! One of my favourites has to be Atomic Burger on Gloucester Road, a burger joint with a retro 80’s theme. They do the most amazing sweet potato fries and creative burgers, with gluten free buns and lots of vegetarian or vegan options. Prices start from about £10 for a burger and chips. Street Food in Stokes Croft serve noodles and other amazing South East Asian food at really great prices – starting at about £8. If you like your seafood, check out Fishers in Clifton for everything from the sea – prices range between £10 and £20. For something a bit high-end, Clifton based The Botanist serves up fine dining food which will cost you about £30 for a meal. And for some real cheap eats, check out student favorite St Nicholas’ Market, which serves bargain street food every weekend, with meals starting from just £5.

3.  Favorite places to study/do work

Bristol is England, so this can be very weather dependent! There’s a well-facilitated library in town and lots of cafes for when it’s cold or rainy – a personal favorite of mine is @ the well in Stokes Croft. If it’s sunny, the beauty of Bristol is in one of its outdoor spaces; check out Castle Park, College Green or the Clifton Downs to study in a scenic setting!
 

4. Favorite places to relax/detox

Clifton has to be my favorite relaxation spot. With a view of the famous Suspension Bridge, you can enjoy a drink in one of the many bars or cafes (The White Lion has the best view!) and soak in the incredible atmosphere of this quiet yet exciting area of the city.

Stokes Croft Street Art

Stokes Croft Street Art

5.  Favorite photo spot

It’s got to be all of the street art in Stokes Croft/ Gloucester Road! There’s so many liberal paintings there which just scream social reform, and make me so proud to be an adopted Bristolian.

6. What’s 1 “touristy” thing in your city everyone actually has to visit

The Clifton Suspension Bridge is an iconic spot of Bristol and, in my opinion, is one of the best things to do in the UK and a must-visit in the city. The bridge spans from Clifton to Ashton Court and dominates the skyline of Clifton, and offering extraordinary views of the city beneath.

7. What’s 1 not so well known spot people should definitely visit in your city

The Bear Pit Street Art

The Bear Pit Street Art

The Bear Pit! It’s technically a roundabout, but it’s the best roundabout you’ll have seen in a while. It’s located at the Northern Entrance to the City Center; you’ll know it from the huge model bear. But the beauty of the Bear Pit needs to be appreciated on foot; descend into the dropped middle of the roundabout, and you’ll see lots of thought-provoking street art adorning the walls, often market stalls selling products and sometimes a pop-up café or small restaurant! The Bear Pit is hidden and doesn’t look like much from the outside, but it’s well worth the visit.

8. 1 unique fact about your city (can be anything from a childhood story to a myth to an actual historical fact)

It has been voted the best place to live in the UK in 2017 – not for the first time!

9. Any tips or tricks on how to navigate your city

Ok, I admit, the one thing I don’t love about Bristol is the public transport system… take some sturdy shoes because to make the most of the city, you’ll be walking a lot! But the city centre is compact, all of the main attractions are walkable from each other, and taxis are inexpensive.  

10. What do you love most about your city

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge

This is a hard question! The thing I love the most about Bristol is that there’s something for everybody. I loved it when I was 18 years old and wanted to go out every night, I love it now I’ more interested in culture, history and people, I loved being a student there and I loved working there.

Bristol is the kind of city that retains an extraordinary past – the city centre still has its original street layout from Medieval times and Clifton is an extraordinary example of Georgian architecture – while constantly pressing forward to the future. Bristol was 2015’s European Green City and constantly wins awards for being the ‘Best City to Live In’, ‘The Best City for Students’ and my favorite ‘Europe’s Happiest City’.

Bristol’s the perfect mix of enough facilities and events so you’ll never get bored, but with a small-town vibe and community so everyone feels included. Bristol’s diverse, exciting, beautiful and ever changing. I’m not originally from Bristol, but I’ll always think of the South West City as home.


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Claire of Claire's Footsteps

Blog: Claire's Footsteps
Instagram: @clairesfootsteps
Facebook: Claire's Footsteps


WANT TO TELL YOUR STORY?

"Like A Local" offers you a peek into a part of the world that may be foreign to you through the eyes of a local! If you are interested in submitting your own "Like A Local" story please contact me via email at geniepatra@gmail.com with subject headline "Like A Local"


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Bringing The Mini Skirt Back

Wearing: Topshop Top, Free People Denim Mini Skirt, Moschino Belt, Chloe Platform Sandals, Valentino Clutch Purse, and Tom Ford Sunglasses

Location: Catch LA, West Hollywood, California, USA

Denim has really made a comeback since the times where Britney and Justin's denim overload ensemble made magazine covers. I've been all in with this comeback, stocking up on denim jackets, ripped denim pants, high waisted denim shorts. You get the idea. But, my closet was missing one thing: the denim mini skirt. So when I found this Free People one I knew I had to press "add to cart" ASAP. 

Truthfully the skirt didn't look soooo mini online. I thought okay if it's relatively short on a 5'10"+ model, it won't be too long on me. And then the skirt came in the mail. 

Boy, this skirt is MINI. Like so mini. Mini on me and I'm only 5'2". I have no clue how it even fit on a model. Also, like most Free People items, it's made for people with wide hips. So on me, it's snug on my thighs but loose on my hips, which makes for a bit of a weird fit. 

However, I always say "no pain, no gain" when it comes to fashion. So I sucked it up, ignored the cons of this skirt and focused on the pros. Pro: IT'S REALLY CUTE. haha. And yes, it's short but it hits right below my butt and is longer than most of my shorts. So acceptable? Absolutely yes. Another pro is that because the mini skirt is actually a MINI skirt, it makes me look tall! 

So for my birthday I wore this outfit out to dinner at Catch. Adding the Moschino belt and the Chloe platforms shoes dressed it up a little without going overboard. I wanted it to still look casual since here in LA we're still burning in the summer heat. 


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How To Get from Vienna to Bratislava
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Vienna is certainly a gorgeous city and you can never have enough of it. But, if you're looking to get out of the city for a little, you should try hoping over to Slovakia! This is what I love about Europe. Countries are so close to each other. Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, sits just 1 hour away by train from Vienna. 

Why visit Bratislava? 

Bratislava holds a lot of history. Things to see there include the historical old city walls, Hrad (Bratislava Castle), and Old Town. There you really feel like you took a step back in time. 


How to get there...

By car

Getting to Bratislava from Vienna is extremely easy! If you're going by car just follow the highway signs. You can drive along the Danube on the A4 and B9 or through the countryside on the A4 and A6. 

By Train

Going by train is the easiest and most efficient way to get from Vienna to Bratislava. This route also only takes about 1 hour. First you'll have to get yourself to the Wien Hauptbahnhof (Vienna Central Train Station). Once you're there you can purchase a ticket on any ÖBB ticketing machine. All you have to do is select "International Ticket" then select "Wien to Bratislava". The ticket is just 16 Euros roundtrip! That's a steal of international travel. The ticket are not for specific times so a one day roundtrip ticket has to be used within 3 days of purchase. You definitely don't need to book a ticket in advance. There's always plenty of seats on the train. And a side note: warning the trains are not air conditioned, so dress accordingly. Easy breezy during the summer and comfortable and cozy during the winter! 

Also when I took the train they didn't check our Passports or IDs but definitely have yours on hand in case there is a check. You don't want to be denied entry or stranded in Slovakia! Better safe than sorry.  

Your stop in Slovakia is "Bratislava hlavná stanica". From this stop it's about a 30 min walk to Old Town. 

By Bus

Lastly, you can take the bus there too. Flixbus offers this route. Going by bus will take you the longest. About 1.5 hours one way. But it's also the most cost efficient way to travel. A ticket on the bus will cost you only 5 to 7.50 Euros one way. You can take the bus from the Vienna Airport or the Vienna Central Train station as well. 


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The Best Coffee, Cakes, and Views in Linz, Austria
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Linz is the 3rd largest city in Austria and it has a lot to offer! 

The city sits by the Danube River, making it a picture perfect European city. Although it is the 3rd largest city in Austria, it's still pretty small with a population of around 200,000. 

Here's 7 things you have to do if you're in Linz


1. Hilltop views from Pöstlingberg 

Pöstlingberg is the iconic hill that sits next to Linz. You can either drive up or take the tram up to the top. It's a perfect spot to watch the sun set behind the city and the Danube. Aside from the gorgeous views, up here you can also find a church, the Linz Zoo, and the Grottenbahn (this is number 2!) there. 

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2. Be a kid at the Linzer Grottenbahn 

The Grottenbahn sits atop Pöstlingberg. Here you can enter into a world of fairytales. It's mainly for little kids but honestly I thought it was pretty creepy haha. If I came here as a child I would be scared out of my mind. Although, I was always scared of everything when I was little. All the children there seemed to be enjoying themselves. What happens is you ride this little dragon train and it goes around 4 times then you're popped into a downstairs area with small kids' activities and interactive scenes from various traditional tales.

3. 360 views from the top of Der Turm at Höhenrausch

The Höhenrausch is an art exhibition located in the center of Linz. The main attraction is Der Turm or what I call the wooden platform tall thing haha. It's seriously a very tall wooden structure. For only 3 Euros you can make your way to the top. It's stairs only so be prepared for a tiny workout. It's not that bad I promise and the view at the top is totally worth it. Here you get the best 360 degree view of Linz. 

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4. Coffee and Cake at Friedlieb und Töchter 

Friedlieb und Töchter is the cutest little cafe! It has a perfect cosy cafe vibes with the perfect mint mugs. I could definitely sit here all day. Their menu offerings are also super enticing. They have one of the best banana bread loafs I have ever had. And their drinks are to die for. I got a chai latte and Oliver got a cappuccino. They were as tasty as they were aesthetically pleasing. So skip the easy chain coffees or the McCafe and head here instead for some real caffeine refueling. 

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5. Traditional Linzer Torte 

Don't you dare leave Linz without have a Linzer Torte. It tastes like Christmas! It's a spiced cake with some jam filling inside that's best served with a cup of milk or coffee or both! The Linzer Torte is actually the world's oldest cake. The recipe for it dates all the way back to 1653. Now there's 2 places in town where you can buy your own Linzer Torte. We wanted to get ours at k.u.k. Hofbäckerei Café but it was closed when we got there. So instead we got ours at Konditorei Jindrak

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6. Hilltop Views from Schlossmuseum Linz

There are quite a view museums in Linz. So you can take your pick anywhere from modern art at the Lentos Art Museum to technology at the Ars Electronic Center. But if you're looking for more aerial views of Linz you're better off making your way up to Schlossmuseum. There you can learn about the history of the charming city inside the museum and appreciate the beauty of the charming city outside the museum. It's only a short walk from the center of town. 

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7. Day Trip to Attersee

Last but certainly not least on this list is Attersee. Attersee is the largest lake in the Upper Austria region. So, yes, it's definitely breathtaking. The lake is only about 1 hour away by car from Linz, making it an easy day or even half day trip from Linz. My tip is to go early so that you can have the whole lake to yourself. It starts to get busy around 10am. 

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Eating Vegan in San Diego

Mia and her friend Anjali wanted to make a quick post 4th of July trip down to San Diego so I was dragged along to drive them there...haha just kidding. maybe. But seriously I needed a little vacation too and of course I love to spend time with my bestie. We gotta give a big thank you to Anjali's friend Lizzie and her housemates for giving us a home for a few nights. 

So I've been vegan for like a week haha. And no it's not for ethical reasons or anything. Although I do love animals. It's mainly for my skin. Avoiding meat products and dairy really really help me not to break out. I also always feel way better being on a vegan diet. If anything I definitely have more energy eating a mainly plant based diet. 

Surprisingly, (to me maybe not to anyone else haha) San Diego has tons of vegan options! So I'll lay out all the ones we went to and what vegan dishes I ordered down below as well as where we went for some beyond gorgeous views. 

Stop 1: Vegan Curry Scramble at Breakfast Republic 

Vegan Scramble at Breakfast Republic

Vegan Scramble at Breakfast Republic

Stop 2: La Jolla Cove to see the Sea Lions and Seals
 

PS. Bobboi's in La Jolla has amazing gelato and they offer vegan flavors too! 

La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove

Stop 3: Horchata Latte with Soy Milk instead of Almond Milk at Better Buzz Coffee 

Better Buzz Coffee

Better Buzz Coffee

Stop 4: Mt. Soledad

View from Mt. Soledad

View from Mt. Soledad

Stop 5: Unfortunately nothing vegan at Mr. Frostie's

Swirl with Sprinkles at Mr. Frostie's

Swirl with Sprinkles at Mr. Frostie's

Stop 6: Sunset Cliffs

View from Sunset Cliffs

View from Sunset Cliffs

Stop 7: Kale Salad with no Parmesan at Kettner Exchange

Kale Salad at Kettner Exchange

Kale Salad at Kettner Exchange

Stop 8: Dirty Bird with Hemp Milk and a Banana Walnut Muffin at The Lazy Hummingbird

Stop 9: Acai Bowl at Lotus Cafe 

Acai Bowl at Lotus Cafe

Acai Bowl at Lotus Cafe


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