We caught our 4 hour train from Budapest to Bratislava after I frittered away my last handful of Hungarian Florins on several chocolate bars at the station. No point carrying around a pocket of coins I couldn’t exchange.

It was my birthday and the mini coincidences of acknowledging my big day started to stack up. Upon checking into our 20 quid a night bargain room (more like bargain mini apartment) at the Freddie Next to Mercury Hostel, I noticed our room was decorated with iconic London artwork such as Big Ben and a red London Bus, a nod, I thought, to my time living in London. I logged into the WIFI only to realise the password contained “87” – the year I was born. A second nice coincidence on my day of birth!

Bratislava hostel room

London themed room for my Birthday in Bratislava!


We took a short walk down to the Old Town and agreed that it had a similar vibe to our beloved town of Brasov in Romania. Small streets where different alleyways opened up the view up to the castle on the hill, and numerous buzzing independent cafes, pubs and restaurants lining the streets. There was even some interesting sculptures hidden around!

Bratislava man in drain

By complete chance we wandered through the town and stumbled across the one and only Roland Cafe! Close enough with the spelling for me to think it was a third and final nod to my birthday so we went in for a birthday beer. There was even a man playing the piano but we didn’t request a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ from him unlike at our dinner the previous evening in Budapest.

Bratislava Roland Cafe

Birthday Coincidence! The Roland Cafe in Bratislava

That evening we threw a party in our room and I was delighted that everyone on the guest list showed up! (Just me and Kate ha ha!) We swilled back spiced rum and cranked out birthday related tunes including ‘Happy Birthday’ by Stevie Wonder and ‘Celebration” by Kool and the Gang, to initiate me into my 29th year.


On our last day in Bratislava, we finished up our short stint in Slovakia with a traditional Slovakian meal at Klubnova and naturally washed it down with some locally brewed beer. I was still playing the birthday card to warrant excessive drinking and thankfully even the menu supported me in consuming several units of the good stuff, summarising that it was in fact good for my health!

bratislava beer guide

Beer IS good for you!

We picked what we deemed to be the most traditional Slovakian options from the menu, comprising of boiled beef cheeks in a cream and horseradish sauce served with dumplings, and, grilled venison loin in a red wine sauce, also served with dumplings. I ended up eating a good half of Kate’s before realising I was eating the wrong meal so we did a 50/50 split in the end!

travel in slovakia bratislava Meal


So it was short but sweet time in Bratislava – now onto Prague in the Czech Republic!

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