The Štadión Pasienky is the functional child of the Socialist 1960s. Built near Slovan Bratislava’s longer-established Tehelné pole, the Pasienky (‘Pasture’) was the home of the club then named Slovnaft Bratislava.
Regular top-four finishers in the strong Czechoslovak league, Slovnaft, named plain old Inter Bratislava after the fall of Communism, were rarely out of the top flight until their complete demise in 2009.
An open bowl of a ground, with one main stand separated from the pitch by a running track, illuminated by four toothbrush-shaped floodlights then coloured in the stripy yellow and black of Inter, the Pasienky used to hold 20,000.
By the time Inter were surpassing Slovan in the independent Slovak league in the late 1990s and early 2000s, average league gates at the Pasienky were low. Capacity was reduced to 13,000.
Visits around this time from near neighbours Rapid Vienna and Slavia Prague for European fixtures raised revenues but domestic TV money and sponsorship produced scant reward for the rest of the season.
By the time more major European football came to Bratislava, Artmedia Petržalka’s shock run to the Champions League group stage after a 5-0 win over Celtic, the stadium of choice was Slovan’s Tehelné pole.
In 2009, with Inter on the ropes and selling their licence to Senica, Slovan played their last game at their own crumbling ground. The Pasienky then played host to Inter’s city rivals, the seats, ticket office and club shop painted light blue, the Club Slovan and Champions bars installed at the ground bearing the five-sided shield of Slovakia’s record title-winners.
What will happen to the Pasienky isn’t yet clear. After the 2009 collapse, Inter were reformed and moved across to the nearby modest ground on Drienová ulica. They then moved out to Stupova, a small, inaccessible town north of Bratislava.
The stadium is halfway between Bajkalská and Sabinovská bus stops on the fast No.61 line.
If you’re coming in directly from the airport – the No.61 stops at Sabinovská (11 stops, 14min journey time). In the opposite direction, the No.61 runs from the main train station, Hlavná Stanica, to Bajkalská (four stops, 8min). From the station, head straight out for the middle row of transport stops, nástupište 2.
The No.61 runs every 20min.
If you are coming from one of the main streets in town, tram Nos.2 and 4 run to Nová doba, a short walk from the ground. A taxi from town shouldn’t cost more than €5-€6.
If you’re coming from town and the Nová doba stop, then the Bistro Štadión on the main road of Bajkalská provides plenty of Corgon beer.
There are plenty of sport-oriented bars and restaurants around the Zimny Štadión, the bus stop before Bajkalská and home of Bratislava’s ice-hockey team.
On main Trnavská cesta, these include the late-opening Piváren Budík, with Czech Budweiser and cheap meals, and with the Polar alongside. Further down, the other side of the Doubletree by Hilton hotel, Brick is a tasteful sports pub, with screens over the bar counter and open kitchen, where pints of Staropramen and quality burgers are served.