The Best Bars In Bratislava's Old Town

Photo of Agata Mazepus
9 February 2017

Slovakia often stands in the shadow of the bigger Central European countries. It is, however, not true that this small country does not have much to offer. Bratislava, its capital, is a beautiful, lively city with an amazing nightlife. Just check out these happening joints in its Old Town heart…

Čierny Pes | Courtesy of Čierny Pes

Čierny Pes

Bar, Pub, Beer, Pub Grub
Night shot of Nový most and Saint Martin Cathedral
Night shot of Nový most and Saint Martin Cathedral | © Frettie/WikiCommons
Čierny Pes is a small bar visited mostly by locals. It is not noticed by many tourists as it is located down a narrow street next to a tram tunnel. The pub’s interior looks like a beautiful labyrinth, with low ceilings and nice, warm lighting. The Black Dog, as it reads in English, offers many different beers and Slovakian wines from the region, while customers can also try some of the typical Slovak beer snacks, like pickled cheese or sausages.

Price: Budget
Opening hours: Mon to Tues 12-11pm, Wed 12-11.30pm, Thur 12pm-12am, Fri 12pm-12.30am, Sat 12pm-12am
Watch out for: Bernardova Černá Lavina beer

Drink In Gallery Andy

Bar, Pub, Fast Food, Beer, Pub Grub, $$$
Just under the Bratislava Castle there is a bar that is shaped and designed like a tram. Drink In Gallery Andy took its name from Slovak-American artist Andy Warhol. The small and cozy interior of this unique pub is decorated with works of local artists who have their exhibition openings each month at Andy’s. People often spend their time not only inside the pub, but also on the benches outside, chatting and enjoying drinks with a view of the Castle above. It is a great place to hang out, as the atmosphere is very friendly and jovial.

Price: Mid-range
Opening hours: Sun to Thur 5pm-12am, Fri to Sat 5pm-2am
Watch out for: Live indie concerts in front of Gallery Andy

First Slovak Pub

If you bring proof of a recent A from an exam, Slovak Pub will give you a soup for free. This is one of the reasons why the bar quickly became one of the most popular meeting places among Bratislavian students. However, that is certainly not the only one. Slovak Pub is the largest bar in the city and can accommodate up to 600 guests in its 14 rooms. Each area of the pub represents a different trait of the country, making this one a fine spot to imbibe whilst learning about Slovak culture and history.

Price: Budget
Opening hours: Mon 10am-11pm, Tues to Thur 10-12am, Fri to Sat 10-2am, Sun 12-11pm
Watch out for: Specialties from Pub’s organic farm
Address & telephone number: First Slovak Pub, Obchodná 62, Bratislava, Slovakia, +421 2 5292 6367

Pod Kamenným Stromom

Bar, Cafe, Pub, Beer, European, $$$
The mysterious location in a 13th-century cellar, complete with oodles of dusty bookshelves on the walls, might suggest that Pod Kamenným Stromom is a literary café. However, the owners assure that this is a place for everybody. Although the neighborhood of Bratislava’s Old Town is pretty busy, this place is much more quiet, and that is probably why it might be easily missed. The atmosphere is very casual and the staff always ready to help. A café during the day, it transforms into a pub in the evenings, complete with oodles of beer and stronger tipples besides.

Price: Mid-range
Opening hours: Mon to Thur 11-12am, Fri 11-2am, Sat 1pm-12am, Sun 3pm-12am
Watch out for: Salmon in wine sauce

Lemon Tree Sky Bar

Located right next to the American Embassy, Lemon Tree Sky Bar is a great place to stop by for a drink or two. The ground floor is a cocktail bar and Thai restaurant arranged in a modern style with elements of retro design. There is a stage with a piano which can be played by guests, while in the basement there is a sophisticated rum bar with a selection of more than 200 rums from all around the world.

Price: Mid-range
Opening hours: Mon to Thur 11-1am, Fri to Sat 11-2am, Sun 11-12am
Watch out for: Every Saturday live Jazz
Address & telephone number: Lemon Tree Sky Bar, Hviezdoslavovo nám. 7, Bratislava, Slovakia, +421 948 109 400

Omama Shop Cafe

Bar, Cafe, Pub, Coffee, Beer, Pub Grub
For 40 years Slovakia was under Soviet rule. Although these days are over, patrons can still feel the atmosphere of that time in Omama Shop Cafe. It is rather a small and unknown pub located in the university area, which is worth visiting because of its originality. The interior is decorated with soviet pictures and posters and the bar has a big portfolio of Slovak and Czech beers. Customers can also try some of the specialties of regional cuisine, like potato dumplings and sour soups.

Price: Budget
Opening hours: Mon to Fri 10am-11pm, Sat 6-11pm
Watch out for: Herold beer

Zamocky pivovar

Two beer experts, one Slovak one Czech, are authors of the success of the Zamocky pivovar; a brewery which connects tradition with innovation. The home-made draft beer is served in original branded mugs. Zámok in Slovak language means “a castle”, and this is a perfect word to describe the interior and climate of the place. Customers can sit in a glassed room called the “winter garden”, where copper brewhouses are placed. Except for the excellent beer, the kitchen offers meals inspired by the old cuisine of Bratislava. The upstairs bar holds live rock gigs.

Price: Mid-range/Fine-dining
Opening hours: Thur 5-11pm, Fri to Sat 5pm-1am
Watch out for: Fine home-made beers
Address & telephone number:Zamocky pivovar, Zámocká 13, Bratislava, Slovakia, +421 2 2072 3868

Papichulo Bar

One of the things that cannot be said about Central Europeans is that they lack imagination. Who else could think to open a bar in a place where public toilets used to be? Apparently it still happens that people walk in here with an expectation to find a WC but Papichulo Bar offers a wide selection of excellent local beers instead! There are also regular beer pong nights, karaoke evenings, live sport screenings and all other sorts of entertainments to enjoy!

Price: Budget
Opening hours: Mon to Sat 5pm-5am
Watch out for: Budvar beer
Address & telephone number: Papichulo Bar, Americké námestie, Bratislava, Slovakia, +421 944 118 464

Bratislava Castle | © LMih/WikiCommons

Pinot u Bruna

Bar, Wine Bar, European, Wine
Need a break from beer? How about a romantic evening with wine in a cozy atmosphere? Just behind the Cathedral of St. Martin there is a small wine bar located on the ground floor of an old house. The interior of Pinot u Bruna is simple and cozy. There is no menu – the waiters will help with choosing what to order. Outside there is a terrace and a nice yard with a view over a statue of Slovak poet, Ján Hollý. It is a great place to rest away from the loud and crowded city centre and its more hedonistic bars.

Price: Mid-range/Fine-dining
Opening hours: Mon to Sun 3-11pm
Watch out for: Red local wines

KC Dunaj

Bar, Pub, Beer, Pub Grub
Many would not give any attention to this rather unattractive building that used to be a warehouse, but on its fourth floor visitors will find the cultural center of the city. Complete with literature readings, movie nights, live music and many other social events, KC Dunaj is a bar with oodles up its sleeve. The atmosphere is fresh and youthful, while the bar offers types of beer from small Slovak breweries that cannot be found anywhere else in the city!

Price: Mid-range
Opening hours: Mon to Wed 12pm-12am, Thur to Fri 12pm-2am, Sat 4pm-2am, Sun 4pm-12am
Watch out for: Šumavský Kout (dark beer)

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