It’s been 2 months since I moved in Bratislava and even though I haven’t fully absorbed everything that one needs to know about this city and this country, I started to get an idea. Before moving here I was searching for more information about what it means to live here, but not much was of any help. If you are in the same situation as I was, then this might be of a little help.
Bratislava is a beautiful, clean and peaceful city; just have a look at these picture of Bratislava. It is also known as the Little Big City since the population is just over 400.000, being the biggest city in Slovakia. With a relative low number of inhabitants, a nice location right on the Danube bank, very close to the mountains, Bratislava is a clean city with a park on every corner. It is also very close to Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary. Vienna is just 40 Km away so you can go there for one day, leave in the morning and get back by evening; trains go every hour.
The prices are a bit higher than in the rests of the country, but that is normal for every capital. Nonetheless the prices are not as high as in some other big cities. Overall it is reasonable.
There are many options for finding and accommodation, whether you are looking for sharing an apartment with someone, rent or maybe even buying a place. But, depending on what you are looking for, it might be hard to find something fast. So try to have something settled before moving in.
If you are moving here alone you can find a room in a shared apartment of 3-4 people, which is common in Bratislava. In this case the price would be lower (200-300Eur/month) and you can have company, usually students or young professionals working for IT companies. Most of the rent offers include energy expenses like electricity, gas, heating, water, TV and internet. This is very good since it makes things easier for you.
If you are moving with your partner or family, then you can find studio apartments or 2-3-4 room apartments for about 400Eur/month or more.
Being a small city, it is very easy to get from one place to another, either by car, public transportation, bike or even by foot. People living here say that they have a problem with transportation. No they don’t. There aren’t so many cars and there are only the usual morning and afternoon congestions caused by people going to work or getting back home. There is a problem with parking though. It is very difficult to find a parking place.
Public transportation is the best way to get wherever you want. There are trams, busses and trolleys that cover all the city and even neighbor towns. You can buy a 15 minutes ticket with 50 cents from one of the ticket machines or, if you stay longer, you can buy a monthly pass for about 20Eur, and you can use it for any mean of transportation. You can find here more info about the public transport on the IMHD website.
Especially during the summer there are many festivals in the Old Town, like food and drinks festival, outdoor circus and music concerts, of course.
There are also many clubs or music bars where you can have fun during the night. If you go out in Old Town in the evening you will see many tourists or an interesting activity taking place on the streets. The terraces and bars are full of people that make the city be alive, it’s impossible not to find something interesting to do when you go out.
Having so many green areas it comes very natural to start doing more sports. There are many places where you can go jogging, usually you should be able to find a park few minutes away from where you are stating. There are also many places where you can practice team sports like basketball, tenis or football. If you like biking, there are many beautiful places where you can go by bike, especially on the Danube bank. If you prefer indoor sports, there are many gyms in the city where you can get a subscription for about 30Eur.
In Bratislava there are many shopping centers and supermarkets so you can find one close to the place you would stay. There are supermarkets like : Tesco, Carrefour, Kaufland, Terno, Billa or Lidl. The biggest shopping malls are: Aupark, Avion+IKEA, Eurovea and Polus.
Overall I can say I like Bratislava. It’s a clean, quiet and friendly city. A place where you can enjoy life.
For sure I can not cover everything in one post, so if you need to know something specific, you will have to ask me in the comments bellow. And do let me know if you come by Bratislava!