How to do a Day Trip from Vienna to Bratislava
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Are you visiting Vienna and planning to do a day trip to Bratislava? One of the best day trips from Vienna, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is a popular day trip destination from Vienna. Here’s how you can visit Bratislava from Vienna as well as things to do in Bratislava on a one day itinerary.
How to get to Bratislava from Vienna
Here are some of the best ways to visit Bratislava from Vienna:
- By Train: The train is the most popular way to travel from Vienna to Bratislava. Trains run regularly throughout the day, and the journey takes approximately 1 hour. The trains are comfortable and affordable, and you can book your tickets online or at the train station. Because we did not want to be tied to a specific time, we booked open tickets from OBB. The tickets were valid for a 3 day period, at any of the times their trains were running between the cities and included public transportation in Bratislava for that day. This is the best way to book if you don’t want to be tied down to a specific time or day.
Note that there are two train stations in Bratislava and you want to book to Bratislava hl.st, which is closer the the sights. Bratislava-Petrzalka is across the river and not as convenient, especially for a day trip.
- By Bus: Buses are also a great option for traveling from Vienna to Bratislava. There are several bus companies that operate on this route, and the journey takes approximately 1 hour.
- By Boat: If you’re looking for a more scenic way to travel to Bratislava, you can take a boat from Vienna. There are several boat companies that offer day trips to Bratislava, and the journey takes approximately 1-2 hours depending on the type of boat. This option is more expensive than the train or bus, but it offers beautiful views of the Danube River. Boats don’t run year round, so be sure to check the schedule if this is your preferred method of transportation.
- By Car: If you prefer to drive, you can rent a car from AutoEurope and make the short drive from Vienna to Bratislava. Note that parking isn’t easy to find in the tourist areas, so this might not be the best option.
Bratislava Tour from Vienna
Prefer to leave all the planning to someone else? There are many day tours from Vienna to Bratislava, many which will pick you up at your accommodation in Vienna.
How to get around Bratislava
Bratislava is a relatively small city, so it’s easy to get around on foot or by public transportation. Here are some of the best ways to get around Bratislava:
- Walking: Many of Bratislava’s top attractions are located within walking distance of each other, so walking is a great way to explore the city. The historic Old Town is particularly pedestrian-friendly, with narrow streets and charming squares to discover. This was our favorite area to explore!
- Public Transportation: Bratislava has an efficient and affordable public transportation system, including buses and trams. You can purchase tickets at kiosks or on board the vehicles, and there are several ticket options available depending on your needs. The city also offers a one-day tourist ticket that allows unlimited travel on all forms of public transportation. If you booked your ticket from Vienna to Bratislava on OBB, your ticket includes a one day ticket for use on any public transportation in Bratislava.
- Taxi or Rideshare: Taxis and rideshare services like Uber are also available in Bratislava, but they tend to be more expensive than public transportation or walking.
Overall, Bratislava is a compact and walkable city that is easy to navigate. Whether you prefer to explore on foot or by public transportation, there are many ways to get around and see all that Bratislava has to offer.
Hotels in Bratislava
Planning to spend the night? There are many hotels in Bratislava near the city center. And the best part? They are fairly inexpensive as Bratislava is one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe. Some noteworthy hotels to check out are the Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel, Crowne Plaza Bratislava Hotel and LOFT Hotel Bratislava. If you prefer a different location or an apartment, see all the options on the map below.
Vienna to Bratislava Day Trip Itinerary
If you only have one day to explore Bratislava, here are some top things to do to make the most of your time. The good news is that Bratislava is a small, compact and walkable city so even with just a day, you’ll have plenty of time to see lots of sights. Here are the best things to do in Bratislava on a day trip.
Stroll around Old Town
Bratislava’s historic Old Town is filled with beautiful Baroque architecture, charming streets, and plenty of cafés and restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll around the area, and don’t miss the beautiful St. Martin’s Cathedral and the Old Town Hall.
We wandered around the different alleys here and they were so cute. Most of this area is pedestrian only, which is a huge plus! And don’t skip the most photographed statue in Bratislava-Čumil, Man at Work, a statue of a man peeking out of a manhole. Čumil translates to the watcher and there is really no right story as to why he exists, everyone seems to have a different idea.
Visit Bratislava Castle
On top of a hill that overlooks the city, Bratislava Castle is a must-visit attraction when visiting the city. The castle houses several museums, including the Museum of History, and offers stunning views of the city and the Danube River.
Take a stroll along the Danube River
The Danube River runs through Bratislava, and taking a walk along the riverfront is a great way to soak in the city’s atmosphere. You can also take a river cruise to see the city from a different perspective.
Try authentic Slovakian cuisine
Slovakia has a unique and delicious cuisine. Things like kapustnica, which is a cabbage soup (we had this in Poland too) and pirohy, Slovakia’s version of pierogi, are must tries while in the city. Stop by one of the many restaurants in the Old Town to sample some local dishes.
We ate at a place in Old Town called Grandmother’s Restaurant which had lots of Slovak food. We started with the cabbage soup (which tasted very similar to how my Polish mom makes it) and then a platter for 2 (this could easily feed 4) of popular Slovak food.
There are also lots of cafes around, so stop in for some coffee and dessert.
As you can see, a day trip to Bratislava from Vienna can be lots of fun. We actually liked Bratislava much more than Vienna! Want to save this for later? Pin one of the images below.