Bratislava is a beautiful city and for those who know it only from the Eurotrip we can straightaway say that hopefully it doesn’t look like the movie showed it:) But the movie has a point in one thing: it’s good to go there in summer :) Read our guide to know what things to do in Bratislava and see how easy is to plan your free time there!
How To Get In Bratislava
The cheapest flights to Bratislava have two main European carriers: Ryanair and Wizz Air. Ryanair operates flights to the capital of Slovakia from: London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Dublin and a few more. Wizz Air connects Bratislava with Warsaw, Kiev, Skopje, Tuzla and Cluj-Napoca. It’s also worth to look at Russian Pobeda (Moscow) and Emirati flydubai (Dubai).
FROM AIRPORT TO THE CITY CENTER
Bratislava airport – Main Railway Station Hlavna zeleznicna stanica – Bratislava airport (public bus no. 61, goes every 15-20 minutes, takes 25 minutes)
BUS OR TRAIN
There are plenty of bus and train connections with Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany or Hungary. It’s worth to mention a company RegioJet Student Agency. They offer luxurious bus rides with a media screen for each passengers, Wi-Fi, free unlimited hot drinks (tea, coffee, hot chocolate), seat selection and a toilet onboard. Everything included in a resonable price. We used their services twice and highly recommend it.
Warsaw – Bratislava – Vienna – Prague – Warsaw
How To Get Around Bratislava
Bratislava and its surrounding areas are divided into many zones. You need to know that Bratislava City includes only two of them: 100 and 101. Zone 100 is a city and 101 is close suburbs (e.g. Devin Castle, airport). All top things to do in Bratislava for an average visitor are located within these zones, so you don’t have to care about other tickets than standard 2-zone ones.
BUS AND TRAM
Public transport in Bratislava is comprised of trams and buses. They ride frequent and get you everywhere you need within the whole city. There is a full and reduced fare of tickets. Reduced one is destined for students, kids and seniors.
Tickets for public transport in Bratislava:
15 minutes /Full €0.70 /Reduced €0.35
30 minutes /Full €0.90 /Reduced €0.45
24 hours /Full €3.50 /Reduced €1.75
72 hours /Full €8.00 /Reduced €4.00
From April to September you can take a cruise on the Danube River between Bratislava and Devin Castle. It runs in both ways twice a day except Mondays (in late September only at weekends). From Bratislava it departs from the small harbor near SNP Bridge at 10 am and 2:30 pm. In opposite direction – just behind a castle at 1:30 pm and 6 pm. It’s possible to buy tickets onboard. What’s interesting is the fact that the cruise Bratislava-Devin takes 90 minutes, but Devin-Bratislava only 30. We took only Devin – Bratislava route, cause half an hour on the boat is enough for us and it was a right choice. Prices of cruises vary as well:
Return: €10 (approx. $10.5)
Single Bratislava – Devin: €8 (approx. $8.5)
Single Devin – Bratislava: €6 (approx. $6.5)
Students get 10% discount.
Notice: A guy who sold us tickets onboard tried to take from us more money than he should. We were alert and didn’t allow him to trick us. So remember to focus there too!
As we didn’t want to take the boat to Devin (because it would take too long), we got there by bus no. 29. It was easy to find the stop, from which the bus takes off – it’s right next to SNP bridge. The bus will get you very close to the castle – just get off at the last stop of the route Hrad Devin. The ride took us only about 20 minutes and the bus departs every hour.
Things To Do In Bratislava
Among all interesting things to do in Bratislava you simply must visit the castle ruins in Devin – a far district of the capital city located 10 km from the center. It has been destroyed by Napoleon’s troops in 1809. The castle was built on the top of the hill from where you can see amazing panorama of Danube and its confluence with a smaller river Morava. The river splits two countries in that place – Slovakia and Austria. Definitely the best spot in Bratislava.
Entrance fee to the castle is pretty low: Full/ €4 (approx. $4.5) Student/ €2 (approx. $2.5). To arrive there you need to take a cruise or a bus no. 29 from the stop Most SNP. (see the info above)
The city center and historical part of Bratislava with medieval architecture and twisty streets. Main touristic places of the Old Town are: Michael’s Gate (only city gate which remains in Bratislava to this day), Cumil (bronze sculpture of a sewerman peeking out from under a manhole cover) and two churches – St. Martin’s Cathedral and St. Elizabeth’s Church.
Apart from popular spots there’s definitely some more hidden things to do in Bratislava’s old town. One of them is walking through the narrowest street in the city – Bastova Street. It’s an example of the place that still keeps the old atmosphere and will send you a little back in time. If you like Bastova St. and decide to stay there a bit longer, there’s a hotel to crash at. Unfortunately, the prices may drive you away, but the surrounding should repay your expenses.
Also, a couple of meters from the place presented in the picture, there’s another narrow object that can be interesting as well. It’s a house which facade is only 130 cm wide! It seems that Bratislava should get the nickname of “Narrow City” :)
Next to the Old Town there’s a huge castle with 4 corner towers. It’s located on a high rocky hill and guarantees a perfect view of Bratislava, parts of Austria or even a bit of Hungary. Tickets inside the castle: €7 (approx. $7.5). Gardens and surrounding areas are free of charge.
MOST SNP (NEW BRIDGE)
Massive bridge over the Danube, which links the Old Town with Petrzalka borough. It’s famous for its UFO-shaped restaurant placed at the top of the bridge’s pylon at 95 meters above ground. The restaurant with the observatory deck can reached by a fast elevator. The entry ticket to the observation deck costs €7.40 (approx. $8), but it’s free for guests of this expensive restaurant.
Sleeping, Eating, Safety and Other Tips
Despite the fact that Bratislava is not a top touristic city, hotels aren’t so cheap there. Doubles rooms starts from €25-30 (approx. $26-32). If you don’t have a problem with sharing a room with strangers you can choose a bed in hostels’ dorms for €7-8 (approx. $7.5-8.5). We decided to book a room again via Airbnb and paid €19 (approx. $20) for a night. Here you are $27 gift from us for your first reservation on Airbnb.
Also, many good offers can be found on the most popular hotel website – Booking.com
We had tried their national dishes during our previous trip to Slovakia and unfortunately didn’t like it. That’s why in Bratislava wanted to eat sth else and accidentally found a great budget restaurant Kuskus Fast Food. It’s located on the east side of the Old Town (close to McDonald’s, Tesco and Kamenne nam. tram stop). They serve kebab, pizza, soup and chicken/pork dishes with fresh salads and fries. All dishes cost about €4-5 (approx. $4.5 – €5.5) there. Me (Pawel) took a big portion of kebeb and Agata had chicken similar to Vienna Schnitzel (with two steaks). Both of them were perfect and we rate food in Kuskus as one of the tastiest we’ve ever had on the road.
Any problem – Bratislava is not commercialized, so there’s no need to be worried about touts, scammers or pickpockets. We felt safe in this city :)
As you can see, there definitely are interesting things to do in Bratislava, but there’s no need to plan your holidays in this city for more than 2 days. You will see everything there at an easy pace within 48 hours. All the more so, because there are very good bus connections between Bratislava and other European cities (Vienna, Prague or Budapest). That’s why we think it’s wise to connect this destinations – they are very close to each other and it won’t take you much time to travel between this points.
OTHER INTERESTING THINGS TO DO IN BRATISLAVA … :)
Bratislava is a city of LOVE. Suprised? You shouldn’t be as there are plenty of couples who are kissing, hugging and showing their love to each other. We don’t have an idea what’s the reason of that but they are literally everywhere. Paris, which is widely known as a romantic city should catch up to be on the Bratislava’s level. So, it’s better to visit Bratislava with your better half to feel the romantic side of this city. If you are a single, maybe there you will find your true love… :)
How much does it cost? (per person)
coaches Warsaw-Bratislava-Vienna: €12 (approx. $13)
public transport: €2.20 (approx. $3)
accommodation: €19/2 = $9.5 (approx. $10)
Devin castle: €2 (approx. $2.5)
cruise Devin-Bratislava OW: €6 (approx. $6.5)
food: €13 (approx. $14)
TOTAL for the whole trip (1 day): €45 (approx. $48)
And we came to the end of our travel guide – Things To Do In Bratislava. So, now are you planning to visit Slovakia? :) We hope we encouraged you to do that. Or maybe you habe already been there before? Please write us in comment below :)