Furnishing your home:
There are many furnished premises available for expats not shipping their furniture to Bratislava, but furnishings vary in both quality and quantity, so it’s not a good idea to rent a place sight unseen. Appliances tend to be small by North American standards and dryers are the exception rather than the rule. Some expats negotiate with their landlord if they find the inventory not quite up to their standards. The higher the rent, the more likely you’ll be successful in negotiating changes and / or additions. Others choose to purchase items themselves and either sell them before departure or ship them home.
You’ll find a good selection of furniture stores and shops selling household items in Bratislava. In fact, there are three specialised shopping areas that offer a variety of furniture and accessories for the home.
Atrium, opposite Aupark in Petrzalka, is the most upscale shopping centre, with a number of stores exclusively selling furnishings and home decor items. It’s open 10am-8pm.
Soravia Interieur is near the Shopping Palace in District II and includes 20 shops specialising in furniture and home decor. It’s open 10am-7pm weekdays, with slightly reduced hours on the weekends.
R1 Centrum is a large sales and warehouse centre out towards the airport in Nove Mesto specialising in building- and home-related products.
There are also a number of independent retailers, most in the centre of the city. Hollex sells custom-made wooden furniture and some restored Slovak antiques.
Brik Interieur Studio offers high quality contemporary design. It has three other locations in Slovakia, as well as in Budapest and Prague, and has won a number of design awards.
Triform Factory offers interior design services along with a wide range of good quality imported contemporary furnishings and accessories.
Propre Gallery has a showroom in District II and also offers contemporary furnishings and design services.
Jawa sells sofas and original handmade furniture from Indonesia, and can take custom orders in its central location.
Not surprisingly, there’s an IKEA as well as a Kika (a similar Austrian chain), both offering affordable furniture and a variety of household items. They’re both in District II, near the Avion Shopping Centre.
If your taste runs to antiques, there are a number of shops in Old Town and the city centre in which to browse.
Einsteinova 9, across from Aupark (www.atrium-design.sk )
Roznavska 28 (www.interieur.sk )
Roznavska 1399/1 (www.r1centrum.sk )
Jesenskeho 5-9 (www.hollex.sk )
Galvaniho 7 (www.propregallery.com )
Dunajska 1, opposite Tesco city centre
Ivanska cesta 5743/18, near Avion Shopping Centre (www.ikea.sk )
Galvaniho 11, near Avion Shopping Centre (www.kika.sk )
Virtually all rentals come with a washing machine, but dryers aren’t as common in Slovakia, although landlords renting to expats may include them. If necessary, they can be purchased at stores like Datart, Frau, Gorenje, Nay Elektrodom and TPD Euronics.
The first large self-service Laundromat, Flipper Wash, opened in late 2007 at Jamnickeho 1 at the Dlhe Diely and is open seven days a week. Dry-cleaning services are widely available and some also offer laundering, although charges can be quite high. The main dry cleaning chains with locations throughout the city are Inprokom (www.inprokom.sk ), Ekologicka Rychlocistiaren Zblnk (www.tomax-ba.sk/zblnk.html ) and Rychlocistiaren Blesk (www.cistiarenodevov.sk ).
Live-in domestic help is not common in Slovakia and most expats hire help on a weekly basis for cleaning, laundry and ironing. Some people also cook, and childcare and services are generally very good and relatively inexpensive. The best way to find good, reliable help is through word of mouth, but you can also check noticeboards or newsletters at schools and grocery stores. It may be difficult to find an English-speaking housekeeper, and many expats end up learning enough Slovak to be able to communicate with their Slovak-speaking help.
If you can’t find someone elsewhere, there are a number of agencies offering these services, although you’ll invariably pay more.
Profesionalita (www.profesionalita.sk ) offers professional cleaning services for both companies and individuals, as does Euro Can Cleaning (www.cleaning services.sk ).
Bodytep (www.bodytep.sk ) is in District IV and provides window, furniture and car cleaning, as well as home cleaning services. Florsad (www.zahrada.sk ) is a landscaping company that offers both design and maintenance services. Roomservice (www.roomservice.sk) offers professional cleaning services, babysitting, teaching and seniors care services. It operates throughout the city of Bratislava.
As mentioned, some domestic help will also provide child care and word of mouth is the best way to find someone. The challenge is to find someone who speaks English. Schools and association newsletters are a good place to look, as are the Slovak Spectator classifieds.
The International Womens Club organises a weekly playgroup (see www.iwc.sk ) and
there are a number of pre-school and kindergarten programmes in Bratislava, including the following:
A private bilingual kindergarten teaching in English or German, accredited by the Ministry of Education of Slovakia.
An English-language nursery for children aged 2-6 in a warm, colourful and specifically designed school.
The British International School
Offers an Early Years programme for children aged 2-5.
Provides everyday care for children aged 2-6 in a relaxed family atmosphere with professional teachers.
Provides programmes in English for 2-6-year-olds.
An international English-speaking kindergarten based on Montessori principles in attractive surroundings close to the city centre.