Bratislava: visit the world’s best toilet


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One of the many stag dos I’ve been on in the past few years took me to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. In the limited time I had away from the pub, I broke into a Champions League stadium and enjoyed the best wee I’ll ever have…

After a heavy first day and night on the local Zlaty Bazant beer, I woke with a bit of a hangover and thought I’d quickly see what Bratislava had to offer before our noon paintballing appointment.

As lovely as the old town is, it’s tiny and can be seen in ten minutes. I was more interested in seeing the SNP suspension bridge across the River Danube. This links central Bratislava with the grim-looking residential suburb of Petrzalka and is home to the UFO, a bar and observation deck on top of the bridge’s reclined single support column. Petrzalka has a population of around 150,000 and does not look nice or particularly safe – I laughed when I found out one of the lads on our stag do met some locals and ended up at a house party in a Petrzalka tower block the night before.

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Getting there was a problem – in my still-sozzled state, I couldn’t find the footbridge for pedestrians so walked along the central reservation of the busy dual carriageway. Dangerous and probably illegal, it was worth it for all the waves and beeps I got from drivers, and I had the chance to take some photos I’d not have been able to otherwise.

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Once I had crossed the Danube, I took the elevator to the top of the UFO and enjoyed a cracking view of the castle and the old town across the river. I had a Zlaty Bazant as a hair of the dog and pretty soon needed to spend a penny. I’ve seen some fine toilets on my travels, but those at the top of the UFO will surely never be bettered. From the art-deco urinals inside the glass-fronted gents, you get panoramic views of Petrzalka with its cranes, tower blocks and industrial parks.

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The area is also home to Artmedia Bratislava, who were Slovakia’s leading football team until recently, and I could make out their stadium below me. Looking at my watch, I realised I’d have time to have a look at the stadium before meeting the rest of the lads.

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The previous season, Artmedia had qualified for the Champions League and had beaten Celtic and FC Porto, so I was keen to see what the stadium looked like. Unbelievably, someone had left one of the gates open. At the time it was my job to research the statistics that went into the football management game, LMA Manager – Slovakian football was my area of expertise and I probably knew more about it than anyone in Western Europe, so walking in to the stadium was a dream come true. I strolled around the pitch and then set foot on the hallowed turf of the Petrzalka Stadion – one of many highlights of my trip to Brat.

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Categories: Czech Republic and SlovakiaTags: , , , ,

16 comments

  1. I quite liked Bratislava but as you say – not a lot of it. I took the train to Vienna and forgot my passport which led to an interesting conversation with the heavily armed border guards on the train.

  2. Brastislava looks very a beautiful.Happy New Year in 2013

  3. Wow! You got in the stadium and didn’t get shouted at or caught? well done!

    I liked Bratislava, but as you say the old town is very small. Not as impressive as Prague or Budapest. But there are some good day trips from Bratislava- spa island in the town Piestany. It is about one hour by train and it has one of those Eastern European style sanitoriums on the island. There are loads of different hotels/spas on the island and you can get a free cup of spa water from the fountains and taps that are all over the place. It is nice just to walk around the grounds, even if you do not get a treatment.

    Anoher place is Trencin which has a pretty castle on a hill above a pretty village. Very pleasant place.

  4. Nice post! I’ll be hitting up Bratislava this summer (alas only for a day or two) and would love to pee in the UFO!

  5. as many said, bratislava is nothing special, small old centre, the castle and the river bank are the only things to see. If you like outdoor activity, like hiking, then slovakia can be a nice country to be. It’s cheap, there are nice forests and small carpati mountains, friendly people from villages and small towns

  6. I can give you another tip. Visit Moravia region, in Czech rep. I used to live there, at Brno. In late summer there are very nice wine festivals. If you like hiking its also very nice around Valtice, Mikulov, Znojmo…and of course beer…:)

  7. I love Bratislava. The Most SNP is tremendous and the old town is lovely but if you go a little out of the old town you’ll find a great little residential area with some excellent microbreweries. For me the charm is that it’s not as busy as Prague or Budapest – I don’t think you can compare them really. As another comment recommends, Brno is a great place: was only there two days and on crutches at the time so a bit limited in what I could do but it’s a really cool town – much, much nicer than Prague.

    • I loved Bratislava too but was not there for long enough to see much other than the castle and old town. If Brno is nicer than Prague, I’ll have to pencil in a visit – I can put up with crowds, so love Prague.

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