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Bratislava's best dance halls

Considering how uninhibited Slovaks are about dancing, it may be a bit surprising that the capital has so few pure dance halls. But then again, as most entries on our list attest to, dancing can break out just about anywhere there is music and some open floor space.

Considering how uninhibited Slovaks are about dancing, it may be a bit surprising that the capital has so few pure dance halls. But then again, as most entries on our list attest to, dancing can break out just about anywhere there is music and some open floor space.

1. Charlie's Pub- A well-known late night bar and disco that stays open until 4:00 a.m. Located behind Tesco and the Hotel Kyjev, Charlie's is packed with foreigners and Slovaks alike. Often a heavy drinking crowd with loud American music from the 70's and 80's. $$. Špitálska 4, % 363-396. < 10:00-4:00 M-Sa.

2. Queens Pub- Small pub with good music - dancing on the tables is both permitted and encouraged. One of the few bars in Bratislava serving Guinness and other imported beers on tap. The only drawback is the location. Prepare to take night bus or cab. $$$. Nobelova 32. % 369-007.

3. Centrum Pub- Find Centrum on the way from the top of Námestie SNP along the tram tracks towards the Castle - it's on the left. Good use of space, allowing for a small, mellow bar one flight below street level and a bigger bar with blaring dance music two flights down. After midnight, the first level down is a good option. The wooden furniture is tasteful, the fantastic posters are not. $$. Župné nám. 3. % 533-4303. < 17:00-02:00.

4. Smirnoff Klub- Downstairs from Šafárikovo námestie, Smirnoff gives the square some sorely needed life. Service can be slow, so take the opportunity to hit the dance floor - one of Bratislava's more inviting ones. $. Štúrova ulica. < 18:00-2:00

5. Bratislava Rock Café- This modern bar next to the hockey stadium has a slick-but-comfortable feel. 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.

6. Music Café Hysteria- Although not taken for granted, dancing is not unheard of at this Tex-Mex restaurant. The food is tasty but amounts vary with who is in the kitchen. The margaritas are the best ones in town. Two pool tables and a lively crowd, . This is a little tricky to find - follow the signs in Zimný Štadión. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Odbojárov 9. < 11:00-2:00 Su-Th, 11:00-5:00 F-Sa.

7. Monaco Club- Two flights below ground in the Hotel Danube, this is a hangout for Slovaks dressed for success. The big, beautiful pool table, large-screen TV and open dance floor make this place extremely comfortable. Be ready to put your money where your mouth is: Beers and mixed drinks here cost two to three times what they do most other places in town. $$$. Rybné nám. 1, % 5340-000. < 20:00-4:00 M-Su.

8. Primo- Thanks to its location on the same block as Hviezda and Tatra cinemas, Primo is great as a post-film option. You can see the blinking lights from out on the sidewalk. Go downstairs, on the right side are about half a dozen tables in a bare room lit by a black light. On the left side is the bar and a long dance floor with more seating on the opposite side. $$. Námestie 1. mája 13. 18:00-2:00 M-Su.

9. Steps- Just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Presidential Palace, Steps manifests the advent of choice: one room is a mini beer hall, another passes as a pick-up bar and the third is for those who want to boogie. And pay homage to heady times ruled by the young at heart. Though it may be a rumor, it's said to be ventilated. $. Panenská ulica. < 18:00-3:00

10. U Club- Nuclear shelter turned night club under the Castle - its entrance faces the River Danube near the SNP Bridge. The deafening music generally attracts a younger crowd. Open until 4:00 a.m. for dancing. Good last stop after a night on the town in Bratislava. 20 Sk cover charge. $. Nabr. gen. Ludvíka Svobodu between the SNP bridge and Žižkova ul. < 10:00-2:00 M-Sa.

11. Fortuna Dance Centrum- In a city lacking dance halls and places that remain open late into the night, Fortuna offers both. Other than that, it is much smaller than it appears from the outside and its decor lacks inspiration. Right next to Hotel Forum. $$. Drevená ulica. < 20:00-5:00 M-Sa.

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