While direct flights to Bratislava are served from both London and Birmingham, Vienna International Airport is only a 45-minute drive by coach to the city centre. The airport is served by a number of major airlines from around the globe making for an easy entry point into Bratislava for international delegates.
Inter-European travel by rail has become more and more sophisticated over the last decade and for delegates travelling to the Slovakian capital it is an enticing option thanks to direct services to and from Vienna, Budapest and Prague.
The mighty Danube River also serves as a unique avenue into the city thanks to the fast Twin City Liner catamaran being able to transfer delegates from the Austrian capital to Bratislava in 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Safe, easily navigable city where old town charm meets contemporary urban style
Bratislava is a city jam-packed with character, brimming from the beautifully restored Old Town to the city’s contemporary and urban quarters, all of which is in close walking distance. It is an incredibly safe city to explore by foot, whether it’s day or night, and the fun-loving atmosphere generated by the locals is sure to put a memorable stamp on any event.
The Old Town is also where groups will be able to enjoy a flurry of restaurants serving a variety of sumptuous local cuisines, as well as unique venues that make a memorable setting for small meetings, large conferences and gala dinners.
It is along the Danube River where much of Bratislava’s development is taking place. New hotels from international chains have been unveiled in the last several years, while a major shopping complex and the impressive Slovak National Theatre mark some of the city’s recent and most exciting openings.
A great tech and start-up eco-system
While most visitors may be more aware of the Slovakian Capital’s history and grand architecture, Bratislava’s eco-system for new tech start-ups and other exciting innovators is demanding attention from around the world today.
Slovakian-based firms such as Pixel Federation, an online game developer used in more than 200 countries, and ESET, one of the world’s leading cyber security companies, have been leading the charge in recent years and more and more companies are relocating to Bratislava due to its stellar reputation.
This innovation also extends to the meetings and events industry with Sli.do, the audience engagement specialist, also born from the Slovakian capital.
Even the team behind the AeroMobil, one of the world’s first prototypes for the flying car, are Slovakian, and they’ve decorated the product in the country’s famous blue and white colours!
All of this combines to make the perfect location for business meetings seeking access to this type of knowledge.
'Best-in-breed' manufacturing and execution
Slovakia is a leader in European car production with the likes of Volkswagen, PSA/Peugeot and KIA forming a core part of the country’s economy. Jaguar Land Rover is also due to start production a short distance from Bratislava in 2018.
These global automotive brands have chosen to locate their plants in the city because of its precision and attention to detail, which undoubtedly extends to incoming meetings and events.
Groups can even experience Slovakia’s ‘best-in-breed’ manufacturing first hand via tours of Bratislava’s enormous car plants where modern robots work tirelessly on the assembly lines, or even by getting behind the wheel themselves on VW’s off-road circuit, which includes various surfaces and obstacles, for an exhilarating incentive activity.
A highly developed MICE infrastructure
Bratislava offers an impressive selection of venues and hotels from the old, to the new, to the unusual. Groups can combine a gala dinner at the stylish Art Noveau Reduta Hall, a business meeting at the modern Nedbalka gallery and a trip to one of Slovakia’s six winemaking regions for tastings and themed incentives, all within a 48-hour trip.
Planners also have a great choice of hotels to choose from, with three five-star properties on offer, including the Luxury Collection’s Grand Hotel River Park, which opened last summer.
A multitude of renowned three- and four-star hotels are also spread across both sides of the Danube, including the Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel and the Crowne Plaza Bratislava - each with a variety of meeting space of their own catering for all needs and group sizes.• For breaking news, as well as in-depth features and case studies, sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here