Only an hours drive from Vienna and we were in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. This time our access to the city was better than ever as we parked just a stones throw from the centre on the bank of the River Danube in a large free car park among the company of other vans and motorhomes.

The compact city centre is a combination of old meets new, the skyline dominated by the spire of St. Martins Cathedral and Bratislava Castle perched on its hillside.

It really felt more like a town than a capital city and as we walked through the narrow streets it seemed like we had stepped back in time.

We climbed the hill to take a closer look at the castle and overlook the city.

The contrast between old and new was apparent as we left the old town square behind and walked along the riverbank where popular bars and cafes lined the street. A few minutes later we were at a modern shopping centre where we were surprised to see familiar names like Next and Marks and Spencer!

One of the more unusual sights was located just outside the main centre in a residential area. A blue 20th century Art Nouveau Church of St. Elizabeth that wouldn’t look out of place in Disneyland.

As the sun set over the city and day became night we had a fantastic view of the castle illuminated on the hill and the lights of the city and river cruisers. We spent the night there feeling very safe in good company of about 20 other vans. Two countries and two capital cities in 24 hours and a free night to boot, just one of the many reasons van travel is so great.