Perfect to choose as a day trip, beautiful Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia, only 60 kilometres from the centre of Vienna.
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Only 60 kilometres separate Bratislava from Vienna, the two closest European capitals excluding Rome and the Vatican City. So much so that Bratislava is a perfect destination for a day trip from Vienna, to visit another city with different customs and to immerse oneself in a completely different reality.

Slovakia ‘s beautiful capital also lies on the banks of the Danube, and as the crow flies it is only 5 kilometres from the Austrian border. It has a population of about half a million, which compared to Vienna’s more than 2 million inhabitants makes it look more than it actually is. It is a city on a human scale, with a compact but very pleasant historic centre to visit, low prices and excellent food. A perfect combination you absolutely must try!

Things to do in Bratislava

The historical centre of Bratislava is very easy to get around on foot, being very compact, and the things to see are concentrated in a small space.

Bratislava Castle

1811 06 Bratislava-Città Vecchia, Slovacchia

The main icon and undisputed symbol of Bratislava is its castle, square in plan with four towers, situated on a hilltop a short distance from the centre. Dating back to the 10th century, it is a privileged vantage point from which to admire the whole of Bratislava. It was completely restored in 2008, with work lasting five years, and today it is one of the Slovak capital’s main attractions, to be visited inside and out.

Central Square

2Hlavné námestie, 811 01 Bratislava, Slovacchia

Hlavné námestie, the central square, is the heart of Bratislava’s historical centre. This beautiful and characteristic square is home to important sights, such as the Roland Fountain, the Old Town Hall and the Church of the Annunciation, as well as numerous late 19th-century buildings.

All kinds of artistic events are often held in Bratislava’s central square and it is particularly lively during the Christmas season, thanks to its atmospheric Christmas Market and the famous New Year’s Eve party, Partyslava, held on 1 January each year.

Old Town Hall

3Stará radnica, 811 01 Bratislava-Staré Mesto, Slovacchia

In the heart of Hlavnè namestie, Bratislava’s central square and the beating heart of the old city, stands the Old Town Hall, or Stará radnica in Slovak. It is actually a complex of buildings dating back to the 14th century and is the oldest surviving town hall in the country. Inside is the city museum, which houses an exhibition of Bratislava’s history and a series of torture instruments. Also part of the old town hall is the old bell tower, dating back to 1370, from the top of which there is a beautiful view.

St Martin's Cathedral

4Rudnayovo námestie 1, 811 01 Bratislava-Staré Mesto, Slovacchia

The beautiful St Martin’s Cathedral is located just below Bratislava Castle, not far from the banks of the Danube. Dating back to 1452 and built in the Gothic style, its highlight is the 85-metre high bell tower, which is one of the tallest buildings in the city, or at least in the old part. Inside, three elegant cross-vaulted naves welcome visitors. Don’t miss the chapels of Queens Sophia and Anna and that of St. John of Mercy.

St Michael's Gate

5Michalská ulica 22 806/24, 811 03 Bratislava-Staré Mesto, Slovacchia

The Michalská brána, or St Michael’s Gate, is the only gate in Bratislava still standing. It dates back to the 1300s, but was rebuilt in Baroque style in the mid-1700s. Passing through it is one of the best ways to enter the city’s historical centre, and inside is the weapons exhibition of the Bratislava City Museum.

SNP bridge

6Most SNP, Bratislava-Petržalka, Slovacchia

The SNP bridge, an acronym for Slovenského národného povstania (which translates as ‘Slovak national insurrection’) or Novy Most, meaning ‘new bridge’, is the bridge that crosses the Danube in Bratislava, connecting the historical centre with the working-class district of Petržalka. A controversial design dating back to the late 1960s, the SNP bridge has a bold asymmetrical architecture, with the supporting tower located on the right bank of the Danube. At 430 metres long, it was built on the orders of the communist regime to show itself to the world. Today there is a restaurant on top of the tower, informally called UFO because of its shape reminiscent of a spaceship.


In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article

How to get to Bratislava from Vienna

If you decide to visit Bratislava from Vienna, you can use the usual means of transport, such as train, bus or rented car, or combine business with pleasure by sailing the Danube on a fast catamaran, allowing you to enjoy the journey from a different perspective!

This day trip can be done independently or by taking part in an organised (group or private) tour.

By train

From Vienna’s Wien Hauptbahnhof station there are around 20 trains leaving daily for Bratislava’s Hlavnà stanica central station. Tickets can be bought directly at the station or online on the Austrian Railways website.

The journey takes about an hour and the single journey costs 16 euros.

By bus

There are many bus companies, local and international, connecting the two capitals. All of them have comfortable, air-conditioned vehicles, bathrooms, power sockets, wi-fi connection and baggage included in the price, both hand and hold.

The choice of which airline to choose for the Vienna-Bratislava route can therefore be made on the basis of the offers you can find on the ticket price and the departure and destination stations. With more than 100 departures per day, you are sure to find the company and timetable that best suits your needs.

The route covered by the buses of the various companies may vary, but approximately the journey time is 1 hour and 10 minutes.

By boat along the Danube

The Twin City Liner company operates a shipping line on the Danube from Vienna to Bratislava and back, aboard a high-speed catamaran.

There are three daily departures during the high season and one daily departure during the low season.

During thehigh season, from 3 April to 17 September, there are three boats per day:

During the low season, from 28 September to 26 October there is only one departure on Mondays and 3 on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays:

The journey lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Tickets can be purchased online through our website or on the official website, or at the Twin City Liner ticket offices located at Schwedenplatz, which are open from March to October from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from November to February only from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased at the ticket office located at Handelskai 265, which is open every day of the year except New Year’s Day from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One-way tickets cost 30 euros for departures from Monday to Friday, and 35 euros for departures on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. There is a surcharge of €5 for travelling first class, €3 for sitting in the panoramic seats, and €1 for Economy Plus.

Below are the departure stations in the two cities.

During the boat trip from Vienna to Bratislava, immediately after entering Slovakia you have the opportunity to admire the magnificent ruins of Devin Castle, situated atop a promontory on the left bank of the Danube.

Organised tours

If you don’t want to think about anything but simply take a ticket and enjoy the trip, the best solution for you is definitely to join an organised tour, whether it is a group tour or reserved for you alone. They usually involve travel by bus and/or boat.

With rental car

Austria and Slovakia are both part of the European Union and the Schengen Treaty, so there are no border controls. The cities are about 90 km apart and the car journey takes about an hour, travelling along the Austrian A4 and A6 motorways. The latter ends at the border with Slovakia and from there becomes the D1 motorway.

The traffic rules in the two countries are identical: 50 km/h speed limit in towns, 90 km/h on state roads and 130 km/h on motorways. It should be noted that in Slovakia there is zero tolerance for driving after drinking, with fines of 200 to 1,000 euros and a ban on driving for five years, even with a blood alcohol level below 0.05%, which is the maximum permitted in Austria.

Remember that in order to travel on the motorways of Slovakia and Austria it is necessary to buy the appropriate vignettes.

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