We made a brief overnight stop in Bratislava on our way from Budapest to Vienna. It was just under 3 hours on a pretty cramped train, crowded with people continuing on to Vienna, Berlin, or Prague. When we arrived in Bratislava there were numerous "taxis" queued up to take passengers into the city. Our hotel was only 4km away and the first driver we talked to wanted 18 euro for the trip. We waited around until someone was dropped off by a legit taxi (you know, one that will actually use the meter) and 10 minutes we were at our hotel for less than 6 euros. Score one for the good guys!
Bratislava itself was a nice place to spend a night, though there's no reason to go out of your way to see it or to include it on a shorter trip. It also made a nice transition stop price-wise between inexpensive Budapest and expensive Vienna. We were able to divide up our sticker-shock across two days instead of one... ;)
We spent our first hour in Bratislava eating Mexican food! Pretty legit mexican, too, though of course not tex-mex. I had a solid set of chicken mole enchiladas, Walter had taquitos, and Jie had something vaguely resembling a chalupa. I had enough cheese to put me in serious food coma. After that we spent a couple of hours walking around and seeing what sights there are in Bratislava. The coolest thing was actually an outdoor chess set where some very serious-looking Slovenians were duking it out. Walter was very curious and wanted to stay and watch an entire match. Fortunately we talked him out of that...
We spent the evening at Bratislava's modern and new mall and promenade along the Danube. We hit up the mall so we could replace Walter's worn out Sperry's that were completely breaking down and then had a glass of wine by the Danube while he broke in his new shoes on the playground. We concluded our evening with a really good dinner at a popular local hangout that felt a bit like the Bratislavan version of Salt Lick, where Jie and I split a couple of racks of delicious ribs and had rum and cokes made with both local cola and local rum. It was a blast and another one of those quintessential travel moments where you succeed in getting away from the tourist area to experience a bit of local life. Good stuff.