If you fancy visiting somewhere many of your friends may not have been to, why not try Bratislava? Formed following the split from Czechoslovakia in 1993, it’s one of the youngest European capitals and also one of the four European capital cities that stands proudly on the banks of the Danube. It’s a city with a rich history, beautiful sites, breathtaking views and a compact old town with cosy cafes, restaurants and good local wine.
Once part of the Habsburg Empire, Bratislava has a rich heritage of Baroque palaces and Gothic treasures. Visit St Martin's cathedral on Mihalska Street where 11 Hungarian kings and eight queens were crowned and wander the medieval old town taking in the Ganymede fountain on Hviezdoslavovo square, Hlavne square, with the old town hall and Roland fountain, the archbishop's palace and the only remaining city gate, St Michael's. The castle, with its museums, towering over the city, is also a must and a trip to the Chatam Sofer Jewish Memorial (Zizkova 1,) makes a poignant stop.
And if you want to treat yourself to a little luxury, the new five-star Kempinski Hotel River Park has recently opened on the banks of the Danube. Ryanair flies direct to Bratislava from London Stansted and Luton, Bristol, Birmingham, Dublin, Edinburgh and Liverpool. Or if you’re visiting Vienna, it’s a stone's throw from the Austrian border.