Spring finally arrived this month with temperatures soaring into the high 20s Celsius beckoning revelers to come outdoors and stay there long after dark. Bratislava doesn't offer many places to quaff away the night under the stars, but these are our favorites. To make our list, we had three criteria: atmosphere, atmosphere, and more atmosphere.
1. Mamut- One of the biggest beer halls in Central Europe serves Budvar drafts by the truckload. Swing your spurs on Fridays to live Country music or sit back and relax with Thursdays' jazz. Make table reservations in advance. $. Cintorinska 32, % 321-151. < 10:00-24:00 M-Su.
2. Harley-Davidson Saloon- Next to the cemetery in Ružinov, you're likely to find leather-clad bikers dismounting from their choppers and swaggering into this place, which looks like it's from a Hollywood movie set. Inside, they've got pool tables, pinball, poker machines, and more than 40 kinds of whiskey. Food starting at 5 p.m. includes guláš, hamburgers, steak tartar, sausages. $$. % 423-585. < 10:00-22.00
3. Nightmare Pub- This place mellows out Thursday nights with a dose of the blues. Budvar and Martiner light and dark are on tap. Disco sounds and lots of funky lights indoors create a weird contrast to the cloistered courtyard. $$. Františkánské nám. < 17:00-24:00 M-Su.
4. Smíchovský Dvor- Well-priced and tasty Slovak specialties. Staropramen flows from the tap and starting April 1, the streetside beer garden will begin its spring season. Nestled on a back street around the corner from Obchodná ul. with a Bavarian facade. $. Mariánska 6. % 324-163. < 10:00-22.00
5. Kolkáreň- Surrounded by the capital's major sporting stadia, Kolkáreą is one of the best places to soak in a post-soccer or hockey match celebration. Warm days often mean an outdoor grill, but not always. In any case, long waits are the norm. Trnavská cesta. < 11:00-4:00.
6. Koník- Western style pub with Jagermeister stocking-stuffer bottles covering the eaves. The outdoor seating is done well, but the location leaves much to be desired - unless watching the sunset reflect off the VÚB tower is your idea of romance. Come ready to drink, there is no food served. $$. Mlynské nivy 8, 367-511. < 10:00-22:00 M-Su.
7. Ravijoma- This sprawling complex is supremely located on Námestie SNP. There is no better place for people-watching in the whole city. With 160 seats outside, finding a free chair is usually, but not always possible. Getting swift service is another story. $. Nám. SNP. < 7:00-22:00.
8. Rock Café Bratislava- This modern bar next to the ice rink has a slick-but-comfortable feel. That may be a result of the occasional performances by a Frank Sinatra impersonator. Sit at tall stools to partake of the large range of drinks and small menu of grill meats; d.j. and pool table too. $$. Trnavská Cesta. % 360-312. < 12:00-4:00.
22. May 1997 at 0:00