It was crazy hot Sunday afternoon at the beginning of June. I’ve already spent hours on my way from Bulgaria to Poland and Bratislava was my last stop before catching the train back to Warsaw. On one hand I wanted to explore the city a little bit more – I’ve been there numerous times before but never really saw it properly – but on the other I was so tempted to hide in a nice place and just wait till the evening, without doing anything special. And then I found it – the most perfect cafe ever! Nedless to say I spent there the majority of my time in Bratislava back then and it was the main reason to come back. I wanted to discover more of the best cafes in Bratislava, I had a feeling this city has a really great scene that I’d enjoy so much. And I was right!Here’s a little digression: I’m not a coffee person, I don’t drink it on daily basis (tea, however, is a completely different story). But when I travel I always save some time to explore the local cafe scene (like in Prague) and that’s usually the highlight of my day. It’s just too big pleasure to skip: sipping a hot drink, observing the world around and trying to put on paper my thoughts of the day…
Anyway, Bratislava has a perfect location – between Vienna and Budapest – to be a cafe hub. You won’t find many grand places with history, like in two mentioned capitals, but the tradition is strong and alive. There’re still plenty of great spots to choose from, and one is better than another. My list of cafes to check was really long and I was kind of lucky as my first day in the city was full of rain and strong wind – that made a perfect timing for one of my favorite things to do in Bratislava – visiting cafes! It took me few attempts to find a place in few but it was definitely worth it! So, here’s a list of 5 best cafes in Bratislava, at least according to me!
That’s the perfect cafe I was talking about at the beginning, the one that made me intrigued about cafes in Bratislava. It’s located at the edge of the Old Town, in a building with the shopping center above and at first it’s easy to miss it. Just look for a big “Gorilla.sk” sign – that’s the name of the online bookstore associated with the brand. Stepping inside is like moving to a different world, it’s like the most perfect urban space I’ve ever seen. The combination of modern architecture, wooden tables and rusty elements is the best and together with a laid-back, creative atmosphere it makes it the hipster heaven (and since I’m a hipster inside that could be a reason why I enjoyed the place so much). During my first visit I just sat by the window, with my computer on and I was productive more than ever, glancing every now and then at the lazy Sunday outside. Urban Space is actually more than a cafe and bookstore, it’s an instutution! If you’re lucky you might came across a movie screening or other event there – check the website for more details. Oh, and their lemonades are absolutely fantastic!
Urban Space, Námestie SNP 488/30, 811 01 Bratislava. Opening hours: Mon-Wed 9:00am-10:00pm, Thu 9:00am-11:00pm, Fri 9:00am-00:00am, Sat 10:00am-00:00am, Sun 10:00am-10:00pm. Cafe latte – 2,49€, Early Grey tea – 2,59€
A younger sister of Urban Space – it became so popular that the new place had to be opened! This one can be found in the heart of the Old Town, on Laurinska Street. It is much bigger and with less bookshelves – here they just serve as a decoration and instead of buying books you can do a book swap! Urban House reminds me of a cool, New York loft I know from movies, the one I could instantly move into! The interior is just like in Urban Space – old mixes with new, designer elements clash with rusty details – altogether they make a perfect combination. I honestly don’t know which one of these two I prefer as both are equally awesome! I could spend days there, just enjoying the place and catching up with work and I just can’t imagine a better place to spend a quality time over coffee at!
Urban House, Laurinská 213/14, 811 01 Bratislava. Openin hours: Mon-Thu 08:00am-00:00am, Fri 08:00am-02:00am, Sat 11:00am-02:00am, Sun 11:00am-00:00am. Cafe late 2,79€, Earl Grey tea -2,90€
By the way, there’s also a third place from this chain, Urban Bistro, but I haven’t visited it. If it’s as these two then I’m sure it’s worth checking out!
Small but lovely place located on the back of old market hall (that’s definitely worth checking out too!) with historical tiles on the floor and high ceilings. This is one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been to – the cafe is run by the local NGO who supports homeless people. That means they work in the cafe, getting their professional qualifications so they can eventually start a new life. But you won’t nottice that, it’s just a normal cafe. Just keep in mind that when stopping there for a drink you actually help someone. And the place is really pleasant anyway, I really enjoyed having my afternoon tea there! I especially loved the high windows giving the interior so much natural light!
Dobre&Dobre, Nedbalova 485/13, Bratislava. Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 08:00am-10:00pm, Sun 09:00am-10:00pm. Cafe latte 2€, Earl Grey tea 2.20€
Dom u Kubistu
Not exactly in the Old Town but close to another major Bratislava attraction – the blue church. It’s actually more of a restaurant, with the concept of 108g portions (don’t worry, it’s just a symbol, you actually get more food) but it’s also a perfect place for a morning coffee, with a book in your hand. If you’re familiar with the history of art you might know the name “cubism” – I didn’t find the information if that’s where the name of the place comes from that but I assume so. Even the interior has this artistic twist!
Dom u Kubistu, Grösslingova 26, Bratislava. Opening hours: Mon-Fri 08:00am-10:00pm, Sat-Sun 10:00am-10:00pm. Cafe latte 1.90€
A really pleasant place right in the Old Town. It’s on the crossroads of two main pedestrian streets – Panska and Venturska – and it gets busy very often but you can either enjoy sitting outside and looking at the crowds passing by or hide inside and just do your own things with a cup of coffee in a hand. No matter what you will opt for you’re in for a treat! The place is named after Ludovit Stur, the person behind the codification of the Slovak language in the 19th century. The interior is made to transform you back to that times, with small details like hats – lamps or pictures of Mr. Stur. Their cakes are to die for!
Cafe Stur, Panska 23, Bratislava. Opening hours: Mon-Fri 08:00am-10:00pm, Sat 09:00am-10:00pm, Sun 09:00am-09:00pm. Cafe latte 2.20€, tea 2,00€.
Here’s the map where to find 5 best cafes in Bratislava
If you think of visiting Slovakia or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!
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