What’s your take on Bratislava as a host city for your event? Ever wanted to host a MICE event there, but had some doubts? Well then, read through 10 Bratislava myths you didn’t dare to ask about or didn’t know who to ask.
MYTH 1: Bratislava is a surprisingly close destination, with two international airports. CONFIRMED: The Bratislava city airport offers numerous connections and works in conjunction with Vienna airport, which is just 50 kilometres (a 40-minutes drive) from Bratislava city centre. If you are looking for an alternative to flying, then it is also easy to reach Bratislava by road or train, or even by taking the watery option of arriving in the city by the beautiful blue Danube.
MYTH 2: Bratislava is a little big city. PLAUSIBLE: Let’s just say it all depends on your point of view. The city’s overall infrastructure is suited to medium-sized congresses, hosting up to 1,000 attendees. It is therefore also easy to get around on foot, enjoy its historical heritage and all the other treats Bratislava has to offer.
MYTH 3: It is a Slovak capital with a conservative approach. BUSTED: Bratislava is an amazing destination with great universities, hospitals, and research centres. Did you know that the award-winning start-up “Slido” was born in Bratislava? Bratislava’s start-up scene is booming, which attracts many international investors.
MYTH 4: It is the only capital in the world bordering two countries. CONFIRMED: Bratislava borders both Austria and Hungary, which makes the city the only capital in the world that borders two independent countries, with both stretched on the banks of the Danube River. On a clear day, you can see both countries from Bratislava Castle, which is well worth a visit!
MYTH 5: Bratislava is a manufacturing hub with Europe’s biggest auto assembly plants. CONFIRMED: Slovakia has three car factories – Volkswagen, PSA concern and Kia – and is very soon to have a fourth, with investment by Jaguar Land Rover on the way. Today the automotive industry directly or indirectly employs 250,000 Slovaks and represents 44% of total Slovak industrial production. If you are in love with mobility and technology, you will be thrilled by the fact that the VW factory is not just a facility for automotive production, but is also a unique and special venue for holding various events.
MYTH 6: The wine quality in Slovakia is extremely poor. BUSTED: The amazing advantage of Bratislava is that within 30 minutes one can reach the Small Carpathian wine region and visit many wonderful wineries. To fully bust the myth we would recommend testing this for yourself, starting with a glass of sparkling wine by the Hubert J.E. company and then moving on to Grűner Veltliner or Devín – refreshing spicy wines. If you are more into red wine, then try the Blaufränkisch, the most widely grown black grape in Slovakia. For lovers of sweetness, we would strongly recommend having a glass of sweet Tokaj.
MYTH 7: Bratislava Old Town is busy with traffic. BUSTED: It is true that the city is compact and that you can explore its beautiful parts by foot, but what is even more delightful is to know that the old town is closed to traffic, which makes it all the easier to fully enjoy all the wonders the city has to offer.
MYTH 8: The city is an undiscovered rising star on the MICE scene. CONFIRMED: Bratislava is an undiscovered congress capital that is getting more and more recognised in the congress market. The city has not yet been commercialized, which makes it even more attractive following its long years of living in the shadow of its two neighbour cities of Vienna and Prague.
MYTH 9: Bratislava is a safe city. CONFIRMED: Based on the Global Peace Index 2016 that ranks 163 independent states and territories, Bratislava took 24th place with a high level of peace and therefore safety.
MYTH 10: The city has limited options for hosting events and venues are too traditional. BUSTED: Bratislava is a smorgasbord of historical heritage and modern venues. If you are looking for a modern backdrop the ideal locations are the Old Market Hall and the UFO Tower. For ‘off the beaten track’ locations, we would put Urban Space, the Nedbalka Gallery and the VW factory high on our list of recommendations. For classics lover the list is endless – some iconic locations would be Bratislava Castle, Reduta, the Slovak National Theatre and many other castles in the vicinity of the town. Bratislava has all the right scenery, photogenic locations, romantic nature and contrasts between the old/rural and modern to make it ideal for many different kinds of events.