Pezinok (Hungarian: Bazin; German: Bösing) is a city in western Slovakia, about 20km from Bratislava, and a centre of the Small Carpathian Wine Route. It started out as a mining settlement, as gold and antimony were found in the area, but quickly developed into a wine-making town. To this day, Pezinok produces quality wine and the slopes of Small Carpathians it is located under are covered with vineyards. Wine-making is also celebrated during several festival and events, such as Vinobranie (celebration of the grape harvest) and Small Carpathian Wine Route, when all the wine-makers display their local produce. The city has also kept, and recently renovated, many of the origial burger's houses, which form a beautiful historic centre of the town, along with a park surrounding the castle dating to 13th century.
More information can be found at the city's website, available in English and German.
Pezinok is well-connected by the road network to Bratislava, Trnava and Senec, so getting in by car is usually the most convenient. There is also public transport in form of buses that connects it with these three cities, and villages along the route. Buses from Bratislava leave every 15 minutes in the rush hour and every 1 hour in the evenings. Trains operate between Bratislava and Trnava as well, and most stop in Pezinok along the way. However, when going by the train from Bratislava/Trnava, make sure your train stops in Pezinok, as a few express trains don't. Also note that the last train/bus from bratislava leaves shortly before 11pm and doesn't resume until about 5am.
As the city centre is small, walking is probably the most efficient way of getting around Pezinok, though a car will come in handy if you are visiting the more remote residential parts. There is plenty of parking available in and around the city centre.
The city haqs a well-preserved historic centre, with several buildings worth seeing:
Old City Hall — originally built in 17th century when Pezinok became a free royal town, and rebuilt after a fire in 19th century in classicist style. It has been recently renovated, and currently houses the City Museum as well as a restaurant, several cafes and shops with sellign traditional crafts.
The Castle — parts of the castle date back to the 13th century, but it has largely been rebuilt as well. It is currently owned byt the Slovak Vintner association and houses a restaurant and a hotel (yes, you can sleep in the castle itself). Notable is also the surrounding park, built in the 19th century, that features a variety of rare trees and a pond that suring summer has nestling ducks.
Churches - — there are altogether 5 churches in Pezinok, but especially the four in the cit centre are worth seeing for the architecture and artwork. Virgin Mary Parish Church (easily located by its white colour) dates back to 14th century and features a variety of artwork inside. The Dolny Kostol (Lower Church) dates back to 17th century and has a beautiful altar and a unique wooden organ. Similarly, Capuchin church from the 18th century has an interesting painted altar. Lutheran Church, also from 18th century, was the first building int he city to be constructed in the classicist style, but has some artwork dating to a later date as well as paintings by Jan Kupecky.
Small Carpathian Museum — this small museum provides a unique exhibitions especially related to the city's history as a wintner town.
City Fortifications — originally forming a defensive system for the town, most of them are now locvated in the city centre. The remains can most easily be seen just opposite the Castle Park.
Schaubmar's Mill — apart from being a well=preserved historic building in its own right, still maintaining functioning milling equipment, the mill also houses an exhibition of naive paintings.
Wine-tasting — the oportunities are numerous all year round, however there are several events held during the year that allow access to the wine cellars in the entire region, including Wine Market in April and the Day of Open Cellars in November.
Vinobranie — this is an important local festival to celebrate the grape harvest, usually taking place at the end of September/beginnig of October. It is a street festival and the city centre gets covered by stalls selling a variety of food and drink (especially wine and young wine!), with some roller-coasters, and concerns thrown in. There is also an opportunity to purchase numerous handicrafts and on the last day of the festival, Sunday, there is a march across town of people dressed in traditional and historic clothing.
Hiking — the surrounding hills of Small Carpathins form a part of a protected natural reserve and there is a number of well-marked hiking trails, including a number of specially marked trails that focus on the history of the town and region and lead through various points of interest (notably Bansky chodnik (Mining Trail) which features the city's minign history and the Vinohradnicky chodnik (Wineyard trail) which leads largely through the wineyards and shows the hostory and the present of the wine-making in Pezinok).
Horse-riding/Buggy riding — there are big stables called 'Areal Rozalka' on the outskirts of the town, where it is possible to try out horse-riding, and which host several international competitions in riding as well.
Skiing — in winter, the skiing centre Baba, located in the mountains above the town (accessible by car or bus) opens and offers good opportunities for various winter sports like downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and sledging.
Traditional handicrafts — Pezinok is especially famous for its ceramics.
Restaurant U Matysaka (Vinum Galeria Bozen), Holubyho 85, Pezinok, ☎ +421 33 / 640 9023, . 10:00-22:00 (pon Fridays and Saturdays 23:00). A family restaurant belonging to one of the biggest wine producers in the region (so it comes with great wines to choose from as well). It is located in an ancient wintner house and preserves a lot of its atmospehere. The food is the traditional regional fare, providing an opportunity to sample various local dishes, and the quality is excellent. Try roast piglet or duck with lokse (potato tortillas). There is also a great value lunch buffet menu, where you can choose from a variety of dishes for around 3-4EUR per person.
Pizzeria Lalia, Holubyho 42 (in the city centre, in the same building as the cinema), ☎ 421 33 641 27 70, . 11:00 - 22:00 (12:00-22:00 at weekends). One of the most popular restaurants in town, it obviously focuses on Italian food and offers excellent pizza and pasta, especially the pizza comes highly recommended. There are also several more international options on the menu with dishes inspired by chinese, mexican etc cuisine. Expect to pay around 5EUR for a pizza (and m,ost other dishes)
U Magistra, M. R. Štefánika 17, ☎ +421 910 990 936, . 10:00-23:00 Monday -Thursday, 10:00-01:00 Friday-Saturday and 11:00-23:00 Sunday. While there is seating available outside, it is highly recommended you head downstairs into the renovated vaulted cellar with its great atmospehere. The restaurant offers a good variety of excellent food that comes in big portions. This is considered one of the most upscale restaurant in town, but still maintains very reasonable prices. For an interesting option, try out some of tbe game dishes or opt for Ciernohorsky Rezen (Blackmountain Chop), a Schnitzel coated in thick potato pancake with cheese on top.5-12EUR.
Zamocka Restauracia (Catle Restaurant), Mladoboleslavská 5 (located inside the castle), ☎ +421 33 641 23 59. 11:00-23:00. This restaurant and winery is located inside the beutiful interiors of the old castle and is probably the most expensive restaurant in Pezinok. There is a great selection of wine and food, especiall;y of the local splurge variety similar to medieval feasts, ie mostly roasts and game dishes. from 5 EUR.
Cafe Journal, M.R.Štefánika 21, ☎ +421 33 641 29 36, . 7:30-23:00. One of the most populars cafes in town, it offers various coffees and teas as well as amazing ice cream sundaes (over 20 varieties), which are especially lovely to enjoy in the street garden opened during the summer. There's also a good selection of mixed drinks, with and without alcohol, and various cakes and snacks.