Bratislava Travel Guide

Flights, Train & Cruise

By plane

Bratislava Milan Rastislav Štefánik Airport

Bratislava Airport The airport is the largest in the Slovak Republic. The vast majority of scheduled flights is operated by the budget airline Ryanair, which flies to ca. 15 destinations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy and Belgium, including London, Dublin, Milan-Bergamo, Rome, and Brussels-Charleroi. Additional carriers are Danube Wings flying to Kosice, Rijeka, Split and Zadar; Norwegian Air Shuttle to Oslo and Copenhagen; UTair to Moscow and Sun d'Or to Tel Aviv (seasonal flights). Direct bus services operating in approximately hourly intervals connect the airport with Vienna airport and the city of Vienna (travel time to Vienna is ca. 80–90 minutes).

Be aware that the staff might take some regulations especially seriously. For example, you will not be allowed a small handbag/laptop bag AND hand luggage. If you are flying by Ryanair and have check-in luggage, do not let the small size of the airport fool you. Arrive at the airport well in advance of your flight, as the queue can get very long.

After leaving the terminal, do not expect any shuttle bus, but a regular piublic transport. Use bus No 61 (or N61 at night) for a direct connection to the Central Train Station (Hlavná stanica) or change at Trnavské mýto to get to the city center (in order to get to the tram stop, use the underpass and the exit marked "Centrum" (city center); take any tram in the direction towards center. You can also wait one more stop and exit at Racianské mýto, where trams also travel to the city center and there is no underpass with which to contend. Bus drivers don't sell tickets in Bratislava (see "Get around" below) so you need to get tickets in advance. Use the vending machines at the bus stop but note that you will need euro coins as the vending machines don't take notes (there are also two big red ticket machines in the terminal building close to arrivals, which accept banknotes). You can also buy tickets in the tourist and exchange offices in the terminal, but they have only limited working hours. Be aware that the airport shops and kiosks are not very helpful when it comes to changing bills into coins. A screen in the arrivals hall displays actual departure times of next public transport buses and buses to Vienna.

Taxis are expensive (more than €30 for a 15-minute journey to the city centre) and even worse, taxi drivers do not respect the price you agreed with them in advance. Public transport buses are cheaper - a single ticket to the city centre (validate the ticket in the marking machine in the bus; valid for 60 minutes from the moment of validation; transfer to other public transport lines allowed) costs €0.90.

Vienna International Airport / Wien Schwechat

Vienna International Airport is located ca. 40 km (25 mi) from Bratislava, near to the town of Schwechat in Austria, after which the airport is named. The airport is the home base of the flag-carrier Austrian and the budget airline Fly Niki. Most European airlines and a significant number of international airlines have direct connections to Vienna from their respective hubs. A quick summary of transport options:

Blaguss (Bus)Price: 7.2010 buses a day between Vienna Airport and Bratislava city centre. The buses alight at the bus terminal under the New Bridge and continue towards Bratislava Airport.
Postbus/Slovak Lines (Bus)Price: 7.70, 14.30 returnBus run almost every hour between Sudtiroler Platz (close to Wien Hauptbahnhof) and Vienna Airport and Bratislava Bus Station, some buses run as far as Bratislava Airport. Please check the timetable. You are allowed to transport two pieces of baggage per person at 1.00 per piece. The baggage tags can be purchased from ticket window or from the driver.
TrainUnfortunately, trains from Vienna to Bratislava do not stop at Vienna airport. However, there is a direct connection between both central train stations . It is possible to take the train (S7 or RSB7) from Vienna Airport to Wolfsthal on the Austrian border (45 minutes, cheapest ticket is 3 VOR-Zone for 5.40) and change to Slovak-operated regional bus 901 that will take you to Bratislava city center (1.50, 0.75 for under 26 years of age, children under 6 travel free) in just 15 minutes. The buses leave at 55 minutes past the hour, but be aware that the departures/arrivals of the bus are not always aligned with the trains so you run into risk of up to two hours of waiting in a small village 5 km from the border. Walking to Bratislava from here will take an hour and is not recommended though there is a path near the Danube. All in all, this is not a preferable way to get to Bratislava, but could be useful if schedules have been checked or if you have a back-up plan to arrange a ride or taxi (which can be hard to explain if you don't speak Slovak or German) from Wolfsthal.
Cab fare is not set, so agree before getting in.
Vienna Bratislava Transferoffer a flat rate of 75,- for transfers between Vienna and Bratislava
Alternatives

Brno Airport has a very small albeit good selection of destination offerings. Budapest and Prague airports are about a 4-5 hour journey but can mean substantial savings on intercontinental trips, especially to New York City or Beijing.

By train

Most international trains stop at the main train station (Bratislava hlavná stanica) that has a good connections to buses. To get to the city centre, take bus 93 and get off at Hodžovo námestie or Zochova stops. Unfortunately, there is no tram connection starting from 1 November 2011 due to track damage. The other principal station is Bratislava-Petržalka, situated in a residential district, south of the river Danube. The station serves as a terminus for some of the trains from Vienna. Bus 80 (direction: Kollárovo námestie) departs from outside the station building or use the underground passageway in the station hall then hop on any of the buses that leave from the opposite side of the road. Buses 91 and 191 (direction: Nový most), 93 and 94 (direction: Hlavná stanica and Vazovova respectively) all go directly to city centre.

Vienna: 1h. There are two regional express services leaving from different stations in Bratislava - one from Bratislava Hlavná stanica (Main station) via Marchegg and the other from Bratislava Petržalka station via Kittsee - each operating in hourly intervals, with first daily service leaving around 5AM and the last train leaving around 10:30PM. Both services terminate at Wien Hauptbahnhof in Vienna. Tickets are valid for both routes. A day-return ticket called EURegio purchased in Vienna costs €15 and also allows use of all public transportation in town.
Prague: 4¼h, EC trains every 2 hours. Online tickets are much cheaper than the tickets purchased at the station, but you should buy them at least 3 days in advance. It is possible to get on a through sleeper car, attached to train R 719, however the journey only takes 6½ hours meaning you won't get too much sleep.
Berlin: 9h, two direct EC trains, another two with change in Prague and through sleeper cars attached to EN Metropol. Online ticket is much cheaper than ticket bought at station, but you should buy it at least 3 days in advance.
Budapest: 2¾h, six EC trains a day, departing from Budapest Keleti station. The train shuttles every 2 hours from both stations. The first train from Bratislava departs at 5:50 and the last direct one at 19:54. From Budapest, the first one departs at 5:25 and the last direct one at 15:25 .
Warsaw: 8¼h in through cars on EC Praha; 7¼ in two daily connections with change at Břeclav; 8¾h in through sleeper cars attached to train Chopin. There is a limited offer (SparDay for daytime trains, SparNight for sleepers) of discounted tickets to Budapest via Bratislava, they're much cheaper that normal tickets to Bratislava.
Belgrade: 11½h with direct EC Avala, 12¾h with change at Budapest. The connection with change costs almost half of the direct train, because you can buy discounted tickets Belgrade–Budapest and Budapest–Bratislava. Trains from Serbia are often delayed, but at Budapest you have 2h gap to change.
Kiev: 28 hours, daily night train with through cars from Moscow (42 hr). The train is often delayed.
By bus

Coach lines connect Bratislava with all of Slovakia, a high number of Czech cities and a number of EU destinations, including London, Paris and daily buses also depart to Budapest. The most frequent international coach connection by far is Vienna though, with two lines running almost every hour from Vienna's Sudtirolerplatz near Sudbahnhof via Vienna International Airport: Blaguss has tickets sold by the driver priced at €6, with stops in central Bratislava (beneath Nový most bridge) and Bratislava Airport. Slovak Lines has buses that stop at the Coach Terminal and Bratislava Airport, for a cost of €7.70. The tickets can be purchased from the driver or booked online ). A trip from/to Vienna takes about 1.5 hours.

The Central Coach Terminal (Autobusová stanica) is at Mlynské nivy, at the eastern border of the city centre. To get to/from the main railway station (Hlavná stanica), take trolleybus No 210. If you need to get to/from the city centre, take trolleybus No 205 or 202 (the terminus is behind the Tesco department store at Kamenné námestie) or buses No 50 (getting on/off at Šafárikovo námestie, close to the banks of the river Danube) or 70 (getting off at Nový most, the New Bridge).

The bus terminal has a left-luggage office where you can store your bags for ca. €1 per item per day. There is also a bakery, a bar/canteen, a newspaper kiosk and several shops on the upper floor.

By boat

Regular tourist boat lines operate on the Danube from spring through fall on routes from Vienna. You can find routes and schedules here .

Since 2006 it is possible to get to Vienna using a high speed ferry boat as well, yet the rates are higher compared to other means of transport. A one-way ticket from Vienna to Bratislava by Twin City Liner costs about €25-30 (whereas a return train ticket is less than €15). The Twin City Liner's boats travel at 60 kmph and the journey takes about 1 hour 15 minutes from Vienna to Bratislava and about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Bratislava to Vienna (almost as much as the train). Unlike the train though, which stops at stations distant from the center (about 2–3 km), the boat stops are in the very centres of both Vienna (Schwedenplatz) and Bratislava (Novy Most).

By kayak and canoe

Danube river is getting very popular for multi-day tours. Some people do their paddling all the way from Germany to Black Sea (more than 2516 km / 1563 mi), also known as TID. Bratislava is well developed for paddling. There are several paddling clubs at "Karloveske rameno" with accommodation possible at Paddler Club at river km 1872, near "Stary most" at r.km 1868. Free camping is possible along river shore; good places are around km. 1872 right, 1864-60 left.

By car

Bratislava lies on the border of two other countries and has a relatively good road system. The town can be accessed by motorways (i.e. limited access highway) from northern Slovakia and Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary as well as Austria. As a result, you can pass the town without having to leave the motorway at all. Together with countries like Austria and Czech Republic it's required to have a sticker on your windshield to drive on motorways. Stickers can be bought at any regular gas station - it's recommended to stop at the first gas station after crossing the border.

After entering the city, a parking information system is in place to lead you to the next free parking spot. In the center of town you either can use one of the paid underground garages or buy a parking card from vendors in yellow vests and try to find a free spot in the streets. The former is recommended on weekends as finding a parking place in the one-ways can turn into a real head breaking puzzle. If you do find a spot in the street and it's a weekday between 8AM and 4PM, a parking card may be necessary. You need them in the center of the city only, parking on the streets is free otherwise. You can purchase parking cards from vendors in yellow vests; they cost €0.70 and are valid for 60 minutes.

It may be a good idea to leave the car at the Aupark parking lot which also serves as a "Park and Walk" facility for tourists (note that the indoor parking facilities as well as parts of the outdoor parking lot are closed from 11PM-6AM, the rest of the parking space is free to use 24/7). You can leave your car here and walk through the park and across the Danube to the city center, which is a 10 minute stroll, or just use public transportation. It is not recommended to leave the car in residential areas outside of the city center to avoid paid parking, as foreign cars may attract car thieves.

Renting a car is also an option, especially if you are visiting destinations outside of Bratislava. All major rental companies have a stall at the airport but most have a city office as well.

By bike

Bratislava has nice surroundings for biking and an international bike route leads along Danube river (EuroVelo 6). The route from Austria via Bratislava down to Hungary is well marked but the town itself has not many biking routes and they are mostly ignored by car drivers. There are millions of ways though to bike in the Carpathian hills and along the rivers Danube and Morava. Read some more in "Do" below.

source: Wikivoyage

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