Bratislava: Red Trams, Red Lanterns

Posted by in Culture, Travel

Chinese in central Europe.


Red is the colour of Wales, and of many other countries including that of my now former home China. I suppose the adage ‘you can take the boy out of China but you can’t take China out of the boy’ seems correct and I continue to be intrigued by Europe’s Chinese diaspora.

What led them to Budapest and Bratislava? In the former, an influx through an opening or relaxing of visa restrictions. And I can only guess a similar state of affairs in Bratislava. Whatever they provide a welcome dash of colour and cuteness that they effortlessly carry with them.

In my case I end up in Bratislava because… there were no flights between Chisinau and Budapest. It has been a rocky road via Vienna’s sparkling airport to get here, but a fairly smooth one from the airport to the Slovak capital taking just over 35mins. For me it’s a viable home so I am as always on a reconnaissance mission. I meet two schools neither of which win out in the end, so to the city itself.

Red is the colour.

It is compact and easy to walk around – providing it isn’t the early hours and you’re aimlessly walking your bags around like a headless chicken. It turns out I was going in any direction but the right one and when I got where I was going it wasn’t the right destination. Oh well, live and learn. The plus point to all of this? There’s little need to step onto the sassy red trams that slide around town unless you live in the suburbs. In Bratislava red is also the colour.

Architecture in Bratislava.


Most of the architecture is classical but there are exceptions in the new builds on the edge of the old town and the new Nivy station being built to replace the ageing communist era concrete slab currently in use and way beyond its sell be date. The train station is equally in need of a replacement though this may not occur for many years according to the locals.

The airport I didn’t visit but its choice of destination is limited thus the nearby Vienna airport is much better, expensive as it is (tip: Budapest is usually cheaper to fly from but this comes with its own set of complexities mainly getting to it, a bus or taxi will be easiest).

I end up having a discussion with an acquaintance about what constitutes a ‘better’ airport. For me it’s all about the destinations and frequency. For him it was more to do with how long it takes to get through immigration and home. A good and valid point.

If you’re able to get places with low cost carriers then Bratislava’s humble airport provides a very efficient purpose. Otherwise it’s like Hong Kong and Shenzhen (Vienna being the Hong Kong) but hey look at how rapidly SZ has grown. Somehow it may take longer for Brats to gain direct flights to Australia and the US but Dubai is a start!


Thanks for reading here. Should anyone be interested in my work; principally writing, photography, and teaching, please contact me for a FREE Overview PDF. Meanwhile, stay tuned with Kulture Kiosk via The Atlas or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where you can see some of my photos from around the world. Playlist and credits follow…

China – Huang Chung
Red Track Dance – JBK
Red Rain – This Mortal Coil