Destinations,  Europe,  Slovakia

Travel to Bratislava from Vienna or Budapest – A Day Trip

Experiencing one Europe trip in life is a dream on every other person’s bucket list – irrespective of whether they are travel addicts. Going to Europe with your partner or spouse for honeymoon or for backpacking is also on every person’s list – again, irrespective of whether they love traveling. Even though Western Europe is more recognized than Eastern Europe, the latter is known to be more budget friendly. While Austria and Hungary are quite famous for its vibrant cities, we often neglect untouched bohemian gems like Bratislava in Slovakia.

In this article, you will get all the information for a successful Bratislava trip and the following doubts will be solved:

  1. How to travel to Bratislava from Vienna by various modes of transport?
  2. How to travel to Bratislava from Budapest by various modes of transport?
  3. Know whether you can drop your luggage at the stations. 
  4. Understand which tour companies are reliable for one day trips.
  5. Get some important and helpful links. 
  6. Get a discount coupon for AIRBNB

LET'S UNDERSTAND WHERE BRATISLAVA IS LOCATED

Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia.  Being one of the smallest capital cities of Europe, it is the largest city in Slovakia.

Did you know? The capital city of Bratislava is located on the border of Austria and Hungary. This makes it the one and only national capital which is located on the borders between two countries. Bratislava is just 18 kilometres (11.2 mi) from the Hungarian border, while only 60 kilometres (37.3 mi) from the Vienna border, capital of Austria

TICK OFF ONE EUROPEAN COUNTRY FROM YOUR BUCKET LIST!

You might be amazed to know about the geography of this beautiful capital city. Being in the proximity of two touristy countries, Bratislava has the charm of being a capital city and a small old town as well.

For travelers who like to tick off countries from their bucket lists or add countries to their travels, just visiting Bratislava even for a half day seems worth it. You can actually strike off one country of Slovakia by just visiting Bratislava for a day while you are on your way to either Vienna or Budapest. You don’t need more than a day to see Bratislava, but you definitely will fall in love with this city and wish you visit again.

Additionally, it is extremely convenient to hop on a train or bus and get down at Bratislava, drop off your baggage at the stations and enjoy your day trip in Bratislava on foot without any tension of luggage. Let us understand how to do that in the most convenient way possible!

You may also like to read – One Day Trip To Washington D.C. from New York

DAY TRIP FROM VIENNA, AUSTRIA

How to travel from Vienna to Bratislava?

Your day trip from Vienna to Bratislava can be of the intention to return back to Vienna or go ahead and travel to Budapest from Bratislava instead of returning.

But, keep in mind that you must take your passport with you because you irrespective of your plan, do cross an international border! 

I have listed down the different ways in which you can visit Bratislava. Check out which suits you the best and opt for the most convenient one.

In my opinion train and bus, both modes of transport are easy to use and have their own advantages and disadvantages. Car and boat are my least preferred options.  

Vienna to Bratislava
Vienna, Austria
Bratislava, Slovakia

Traveling by Train

I think traveling by train for the one day trip to Bratislava is definitely a good idea but please note that the train will most probably be a regular commuter train and you have walk for 20 min from Bratislava station to the city centre. You can also take a bus from the station if you don’t wish to walk.

If you check the Bratislava OBB website, it generally has a special offer called “Bratislava-Ticket”. You can also get this at any ÖBB ticket counter in Vienna.

Besides, you can buy this ticket by calling +43 (0)5-1717 (payment only by credit card).

TRAVEL TIME:

1 hour 30 min including the time you need to walk to the city centre

COST:

The ticket will cost you € 16, and is valid for four days. The return ticket and the public transport in Bratislava for the first day is included.

Traveling by Bus

Majority of people prefer the bus because it is cheaper than the train.

The advantage is that the bus also drops you on the Danube bridge right next to the centre so you don’t need public transport. Interestingly, return bus journey will cost you a lot less than €16

The disadvantage of the bus is that it can get stuck in traffic and can take a little bit more time than train.

BUS SERVICES THAT I TRUST –

Flixbus

Eurolines

Regiojet

Slovaklines.

TRAVEL TIME : 1 hour 30 min approximately

COST :  € 5 – € 10

Traveling by Car

I generally do not recommend traveling by car if you are on a tight budget. But if you do not have any time restrictions and budget issues, or do not mind spending money on parking, then car will be the best option as you can go everywhere at your own pace.

Just remember you need to buy this before you travel by car for the toll – Slovakia Highway Vignette

Traveling by Boat

Vienna to Bratislava Ferry.

The Vienna Bratislava ferry route connects Austria with Slovakia. Currently there is just the one ferry company operating this ferry service, Twin City Liner. The crossing operates up to 21 times each week with sailing durations from around 1 hour 15 minutes.

It takes about 80-90 minutes.

Besides, the initial 15-20 minutes are quite interesting as you get the views of Bratislava castle and Devin castle from the ferry. But after that, all you see is trees, greenery and a few houses or huts.

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DAY TRIP FROM BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

How to travel from Budapest to Bratislava?

Your day trip from Budapest to Bratislava can be with the intention of returning back to Budapest or to go ahead and travel to Budapest from Bratislava instead of returning.

But, keep in mind that you must take your passport with you because you irrespective of your plan, do cross an international border! 

I have listed down the different ways in which you can visit Bratislava. Check out which suits you the best and opt for the most convenient one.

In my opinion, train and bus, both modes of transport are easy to use and have their own advantages and disadvantages. Car is my least preferred option.  

Budapest to Bratislava
Budapest, Hungary
Bratislava,, Slovakia

Traveling By Train

Bookings open 12 months in advance on RAIL EUROPE WEBSITE. Check out the timetables and train companies available for Budapest to Bratislava on the Rail Europe site. You can book the tickets if your journey date is decided. Or else you can even book a day prior prior. But I personally book the tickets at least 2 months prior because I cannot take risk when traveling with family and luggage. 

TIP : If you decide to travel by train on Budapest-Bratislava route, please remember to book a seat on the left side towards Bratislava for beautiful scenery views on the way. 

TRAVEL TIME 

2 hours 30 minutes approximately.

COST

€ 10 – € 15

Traveling By Bus

When it comes to traveling by bus anywhere, I usually prefer booking the tickets as earlier as possible because I need to book the tickets right behind the driver’s seat. If they aren’t available, then I directly prefer the middle seats behind the middle door. You know why? Because it has the longest window area and all you need is a panoramic view of the road trip! Keep my tip in mind while booking bus tickets! Thank me later. 

TRAVEL TIME 

2 hours 30 minutes approximately. Similar to the time taken by train. 

COST 

€ 5 – € 10

Traveling By Car

Because of European Union and the Schengen agreement, fortunately there is no border control between Hungary and Slovakia. Hence, if you don’t wish to carry on with your journey towards Vienna after visiting Bratislava, you can come back to Budapest without any restrictions.

On the way to Bratislava, you can also visit the beautiful city of Esztergom, which is located right on the border.

Find a rough itinerary for your road trip HERE.

Carry Foam Car Headrest to avoid neck pain when covering a lot of distance by car to avoid neck pain and discomfort. 

TRAVEL TIME 

You can reach within 2 hours 30 minutes max, depending on how many breaks you take during this road trip.

COST 

€ 40 – €50 Car Rental and Petrol

Ready made plan for Vienna --> Bratislava --> Budapest

  1. Take the REX 2508 train from Wien Hbf (main Vienna train station) to Bratislava-hl (main train station). Departs 8:16am, arrives 9:40am.
  2. Store luggage at the Bratislava-hl train station lockers
  3. Take a bus or tram to old town Bratislava – it appears to take about 10 minutes on bus X13 to get to Námestie SNP (alt options: take bus 93 – get off at the Hodžovo námestie stop, or tram 1 – get off at the Poštová – Martinus stop).
  4. Tour several sites, and take the bus/tram back to the train station.
  5. Take the EuroCity train departing Bratislava-hl to Budapest-Keleti (main train station) train EC279 Departs 15:53, arrives 18:35. 

DROP LUGGAGE AT BRATISLAVA STATION

Photo Credit : bratislava-slovakia.eu

You can drop your luggage at several baggage lockers when in Bratislava.

LOCKER AT TRAIN STATION

Lockers are located inside of the Main train station, operating from Monday to Friday 4:00 – 23:55 with several breaks during the day:

6.30 – 6:45, 10:45 – 11:15, 17:00 – 17:15, 21:30 – 21:45

Your luggage will be measured by the office staff and a depository ticket will be issued for it. 

I always recommend to have a rough idea about how much baggage weight are you carrying by using the Portable Digital Handheld Luggage Scale. 

PRICES (per day) : 

Luggage less than 15kg – € 2

More than 15kg – € 2.5

Stroller – € 1.5

Bicycle – € 2.5 

Additionally, if you want to store your luggage for more than 1 day, € 1.5 will be charged from the 2nd day onwards.

SELF STORAGE LOCKERS

Self storage lockers are situated outside the train station at the platform number one. There are electronic storage lockers are available 24/7. You can store your luggage for maximum 72 hours.

All you need to do is –

  1. Store your luggage in the locker.
  2. The prices are generally displayed on the lockers. (minimum 2€). Pay the price displayed.
  3. Close the locker, take out the key and keep it. With this key you will be able to reopen your locker later.

The locker will accept only € 1 and € 2 coins.

LOCKER AT BUS STATION

Lockers are situated inside of the bus station on the right corner.

Openings Hours

Monday to Friday : 7.00-18.00

Saturdays and Sundays : 8.00-18.00.

Cost of storing your luggage :

€ 1.5 – € 2

TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE BRATISLAVA STATION – CLICK HERE

TO KNOW MORE ABOUT DROPPING LUGGAGE – CLICK HERE

RELIABLE DAY TOURS TO BRATISLAVA FROM VIENNA

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EXPEDIA

Bratislava: Day Trip from Vienna by Bus and Boat

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SOME HELPFUL LINKS & DISCOUNTS

If you wish to hire bikes to get around Bratislava City – SLOVNAFT BIKE

Bratislava City Planner – CLICK HERE 

If you do not have an Airbnb account, then you can sign up using my link. You will receive a very good discount in your credit note and you can use it for your next international trip.  All you need to do is sign up with this LINK

DISCLAIMER: Some links in this blog might be affiliate links. If you purchase any product or service with the links that are provided by me, I might receive a small commission. Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay any extra charges! I only suggest products or services that I really love and are of great use for anyone who travels. Whenever you purchase anything using my affiliate link, it helps me to provide more free content and continue blogging. Please support travelandmeditate.com as you already do. Thank you so much! Keep reading and sharing my articles if you like!

Manasi Bedekar

Namaste! I am Manasi Bedekar. Traveled to 21 countries before 25. Practicing Meditation since 2004. Living in the moment. Envisioning travels. Get quick tips and tricks for comfort travel around the globe!

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