Bratislava, Slovakia – Bratislava may not be as popular as Prague, Vienna, Budapest or Krakow, but this doesn’t mean that you should discard it or skip it while travelling across Central Europe. Far from it. Despite its relatively small size compared to other neighbouring capital cities, Bratislava is an incredibly pleasant and dynamic city to live in and to visit.
And a lot of it has to do with the wide array of bars and cafés Slovakia’s capital has to offer. Kafkadesk selected its five favourite spots across the city. Whether you’re living in Bratislava or only passing through, we hope this guide will come in handy… and if you’d like to contribute with your own favourite addresses, be sure to let us know!
Café Next Apache
Let’s start with our personal favorite: Café Next Apache, located in the small Panenska street in the city centre, close to the Presidential Palace, is one of the most charming places to hang out in Bratislava. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to have your morning coffee, to work in the afternoon or have a drink with friends in the evening, this is the place.
Established by a Canadian expat living in Slovakia, Café Next Apache is filled with this artistic and intellectual vibe so typical of Central Europe’s café scene and is very popular among both Slovaks and long-term expats. Comprising both a smoking and a non-smoking room, its laid-back atmosphere and warmth make it the ideal place to visit during cold winter months, while its terrace is the perfect spot to idly spend warmer days. Café Next Apache also moonlights as a second-hand bookstore, and musical and cultural events are organized there on a regular basis.
Address: Panenska 28
Opening hours: Monday to Friday (9 am – 10 pm); Saturday & Sunday (10 am – 10 pm).
Slightly more bar than café, the Randevu Café and Bar should definitely be on top of your list of the places to visit while you’re in Bratislava. Located in Jozefska street in the centre, in a small street between the Presidential Palace and the Freedom Square, Randevu combines everything you should be looking for in a bar: helpful and pleasant staff, warm atmosphere, good prices and an impressive offer of drinks, cocktails and beverages of all kinds.
Randevu is a great stop if you’re on your way out partying with friends on a Friday or Saturday night. You can also have a bite to eat there in order not to go out on an empty stomach.
Address: Jozefska 17
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday (12 pm – 10 pm); Friday (12 pm – midnight) and Saturday (5 pm – midnight); closed on Sunday
La Putika is something of an institution in Bratislava and currently one of the most trendy and popular mini-chain places to go out. It now has as many as six venues scattered around Bratislava, both in the centre (La Putika 1 to 3) and in districts slightly further away (La Putika 4 to 6). Regardless of what day it is, you’ll be sure to find nice crowds, good service and a cosy atmosphere in either their smoking or non-smoking area. They also have a pretty extensive food menu with very attractive prices. It might be safer to call ahead to book a table, especially in the evening and during the week-end.
Address: La Putika café (Mytna 39), La Putika 2 (Klobucnicka 4), La Putika 3 (Panska 12), La Putika 4 (Trnavska 82), La Putika 5 (Zahradnicka 4) La Putika 6 (Ruzinovska 44)
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday (9 am-midnight), Friday (9 am-1.30 am), Saturday (1 pm-1.30 am) and Sunday (1 pm-midnight)
Eleven Books & Coffee
Eleven Books & Coffee is located in Bratislava’s old town in an adorable cobblestone street and offers a nice escape from the busy streets and tourist crowds of the city centre. Less hipster-ish than Café Next Apache, it’s the great getaway to spend a bookish afternoon: Eleven Books & Coffee is, of course, a café that offers excellent roasted coffee, tea, lemonades and cakes, and they also usually have a daily offer of beer and wine.
It’s also a bookstore with a wide and high-quality offer of books – second-hand and new – in Slovak and several foreign languages, including English and German. Be sure to follow their Facebook and Instagram profiles to stay tuned to the cultural events held there.
Address: Bastova 9
Opening hours: Monday to Friday (11 am – 6 pm); Saturday (2 pm – 6 pm); closed on Sunday.
Drink in gallery Andy
Last but not least, Drink in gallery Andy is a great bar to visit while you’re in Bratislava. Located right at the foot of the castle in an area filled with cute little streets and secret pathways, Drink in gallery Andy is designed to resemble an old train carriage. Many art exhibitions and musical concerts are held there. So whenever you’re in this area or if you’re on your way to visit the castle, be sure to stop there for a nice cold beer or any other refreshment. You won’t regret it!
Address: Beblaveho 4
Opening hours: Monday (4 pm-11 pm), Tuesday to Thursday (11 am-11 pm), Friday & Saturday (11 am-1 am) and Sunday (11 am-10 pm).