We found ourselves asking the question "Where is Bratislava?" when we spontaneously decided to fly to Bratislava. So we gathered some information and are happy to share what we found out through research as well as what we have experienced on our trip.
Where is Bratislava?
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and the largest city in the country. It used to have the German name “Pressburg”. In the immediate vicinity of the city is the border triangle of Slovakia, Austria and Hungary. Vienna is about 60 km away and to Budapest it is around 195 km.
The city of Bratislava is divided by the Danube, on the banks of which is Bratislava Castle, or the “Pressburg”. Four bridges lead across the river. The most famous bridge is the SNP Bridge, stretching from the southern part of the Danube to the old town.
The currency used is the Euro. Do not worry about having difficulties understanding Slovak – you’ll get by with English just fine and many people also speak a little German.
How to get to Bratislava?
Transport to and from Bratislava is very convenient and from here you can easily travel the rest of Slovakia by car, bus, train, plane or even by boat.
We flew to Bratislava by plane.
Bratislava M. R. Štefánik Airport is a mere 9 km away from the city centre. Some low-cost airlines offer very cheap flights. For example, our flight with Ryanair for a weekend trip from Berlin came in at just under 10 €.
The airport is very modern and, when we were there, it was also very quiet. Many passengers are more likely to use the airport of Vienna, which is only 50 km away and is flown to by several bigger airlines. There are regular buses to Bratislava from Vienna.
A public bus service to the Central Station operates directly outside the terminal. It brings you into the city for very little money. Tickets cannot be purchased from bus drivers, you have to use the ticket machines! The machines only take coins, no bills!
The main railway station of Bratislava is a junction for several railway lines. International trains to Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Berlin or Hamburg operate directly from Bratislava Central Station. It is close to the historic centre and you can take the city buses, trolley buses and trams to the rest of the city.
There is also the possibility to take a boat to Bratislava. A catamaran connects Vienna and Bratislava several times a day.
Why visit Bratislava?
Bratislava is not yet completely overrun by tourists. Nevertheless, the number of visitors increases annually. Many visitors are day tourists who come by bus or boat to Bratislava and leave the city in the evening. Medical tourism also plays an important role. Particularly in the area of eye surgery, dental treatment and surgical breast implants, many clinics offer their services at reasonable prices.
The hotel prices have not exploded in the city yet and we found an excellent value for money.
Our hotel tip: Loft Hotel Bratislava
We were within walking distance of the Old Town in this wonderful hotel and would definitely book again.
We stayed for three 3 days and have found the city to be very interesting. Our highlights were:
- The castle Devín on a great half day trip
- The UFO of Bratislava
- The monument Slavín
- The "Blue Church"
We also ate well. If you look a little off the beaten track, you will find really tasty and inexpensive restaurants. But you should also be careful. As in almost every city, there are corners where restaurants offer overpriced food and require additional service charges.
Since we visited around Christmas time our last tip is: Visit the Christmas market!