If you’re planning a trip around Central Europe and you’re finding yourself in beautiful Bratislava, you’re in luck. You have so many options for day trips from Bratislava, in- and outside of Slovakia, that you might get slightly overwhelmed.
Did you know that Bratislava is the only capital in the world located on the border of three countries – Slovakia, Austria and Hungary!
In this post, with the help of a few other travel bloggers, we will be covering 10 different options for day trips from Bratislava to places within Slovakia, as well as in Austria, Hungary and Czech Republic. So get your notebooks out and let yourself get inspired for your next adventure!
10 STUNNING DAY TRIPS FROM BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA
1. Day trip from Bratislava to Vienna
One of the most worthy day trips from Bratislava is undoubtedly Vienna, Austria. As a matter of fact, with only about 60km between them, Vienna and Bratislava are among some of the most closely located capitals in the world.
Vienna, also known as the capital of music, is one of the most stunning, cultural and diverse cities I have visited. The places you would not want to miss are the old city centre with its stunning architecture and historic buildings, as well as the two castles – Schönbrunn and Belvedere. Don’t forget to try the so-typical Viennese schnitzel as well.
Depending on the season, there are countless events happening in the city, many of which are free to visit.
Getting to Vienna is as easy as it gets – regular buses and trains operate about every 30 to 60 minutes and the tickets cost anywhere between 5 and 10 euros one way. For the more adventurous ones among you there is even a boat service connecting the two cities. The company Twin City Liner operates regularly, with a pick-up/drop off at the very central parts of both Bratislava and Vienna (costs about 35 euros one way/person). You would have reached the Austrian capital before you know it, as the trip only takes about an hour with either means of transport.
If you have the option, I’d suggest spending at least 2 days in Vienna, in order to enjoy it fully.
2. Day trip from Bratislava to Brno
By Adriana at Czech the World
Brno is the second-largest city in the Czech Republic and the capital of the Moravia region. Brno presents a perfect combination of history and a modern city. Here you can find remarkable places, delicious food, beer, and wine. Brno is only 1,5 hours by train or bus from Bratislava, which makes it a great destination for a day trip from Bratislava.
Once you are there, visit both dominants of the city, – the Špilberk Castle, which is a massive baroque citadel with extensive casemates, as well as the most iconic building of Brno – Petrov Cathedral. Another interesting place that should be on your list is St. James Ossuary, which is the second largest in Europe! The main square – Náměstí Svobody is often a place of markets and festivals. If you find yourself as a fan of modern architecture, you shouldn’t miss Vila Tugendhat – villa built in functionalist style in 1929-30, which is listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Here, you can find also other places and things to do in Brno.
One day is just the right amount of time to visit all the important places! Everything in the city center is within walking distance, so except for visiting Villa Tugendhat, there is no need to use public transport.
Getting to Brno is not complicated at all, there is quite a lot of buses and trains going from Bratislava to Brno. Trains leave from Bratislava Hlavná stanica (Main Train Station) and the journey takes about 1,5 hours. Buses leave from Bratislava Bus Station (Autobusová stanica Nivy) and the journey takes from 1,5 to 2 hours. Prices start at 5 Euros, depending on the company.
3. Day trip from Bratislava to Devín Castle
By Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan
Photo By Martina & Jürgen at PlacesofJuma
Devín Castle, or Hrad Devín in Slovak, sits right at the confluence of the Danube River and the Morava River, looking out over the countryside surrounding Vienna on the other side. Obviously this strategic location on a cliff looking down on both rivers was the ideal place to build a fortress. And indeed, the place was fortified as early as the Bronze Age, and then by the Celts and the Romans.
The two rivers also serve as the border between Slovakia and Austria and were once the Iron Curtain dividing capitalist and communist Europe. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, the castle was finally demilitarized and is now open to the public. It stands largely in ruins, which makes it all the more atmospheric.
The caves in the upper section of the castle host a permanent exhibit about its history from the 13th to the 20th century. Of the various structures still standing, the most famous one is the small, round Maiden Tower perched high on a rocky outcrop. But the real highlight of a visit here is the spectacular view.
Devín lies about 12 kilometers outside Bratislava. From the Most SNP bus stop, you can take bus 29 or 129. Ask the driver or a fellow passenger to tell you when to get off, as it may not be obvious. In the summer months, boats also run to Devín from the Bratislava passenger port.
4. Hike in Devinska Kobyla Park
By Maria and Ciaran at Maptrekking
Located nearby Devin, Slovakia, the hike from ‘Pod Devínskou kobylou – rázcestie’ to ‘Sandberg’ or vice versa, is a short nature hike giving wonderful views of Devin Castle, Morava River, and the neighboring country of Austria. It is so close to the border that during the hike my phone kept connecting to the Austrian cell tower!
The path is not well marked or well kept but the trail is recorded on google maps, so it is important to have internet data or the map saved offline. According to google maps, the total length is 4.3 kilometers and takes 1 hour to walk nonstop. It will be longer if there are stops to admire beautiful views, which is definitely recommended!
It is a great area with many more trails that go further into the Devínska Kobyla Park. For a day trip to Devin, this hike is the perfect length; especially when paired with seeing the nearby castle and stopping for lunch in a cafe.
For transport, there is a train from Bratislava that runs to a different nearby town called Devínska Nová Ves. This option isn’t the best since the train station is still 2.5 kilometers from the trail. The easiest transport is to take tram 9 or bus number 32 or 39 to connect with bus 29 from Bratislava and get off at Devín, Svätopluk, Stop ID: 56, only an 8 min walk to the trail entrance if you are starting at ‘Pod Devínskou kobylou – rázcestie’. When getting to the end of the hike at ‘Sandberg’, walk 10 mins to Pri Sandbergu, Stop ID: 237, and take the bus 29 back to Bratislava. The same as before, connect with bus 32 or 39 to get directly to the city centre.
It is important to note that there is a direct bus 21 going from Bratislava to Pri Sandbergu, Stop ID: 237. The stop leaving from Bratislava is quite far outside the city centre though.
- Bus to Devin in the morning
- Devin Castle
- Hike ‘Pod Devínskou kobylou – rázcestie’ to ‘Sandberg’
- Bus to Bratislava
5. Hiking and Urban Exploring at Devínska Kobyla Abandoned Missile Base
By Iris at Mind of a Hitchhiker
The highest hill near Bratislava is Devínska Kobyla near Devín. At the summit, there’s an abandoned Soviet missile base you can visit if you (1) love urban exploration or visiting alternative sights, (2) have thick-soled boots, and (3) enjoy the fresh air.
The hilltop has a great array of deserted military structures where they used to store anti-aircraft rockets. Perhaps it requires a bit of imagination, but those huge cylindrical concrete storage places once held rockets for the Cold War. Near the flat and treeless peak, you’ll see several concrete patches that would have been used to launch them from to the enemy in the west. From the viewpoint there you can see Austria across the mighty Danube River. Once, this was a hard border and part of the Iron Curtain. Now it’s all part of the Schengen zone.
In 1996, three years after Czechoslovakia became Czechia plus Slovakia, the military took the missiles elsewhere and abandoned the base. Both the forest and human vandalism has taken over in a strange kind of open-air museum of culture and nature that I found impressive and eerie.
To get to Devínska Kobyla’s abandoned missile base, it’s easiest to take a Bolt taxi (20 minutes) up to the gate and then continue on foot. Afterward, you can continue walking downhill on the other side into Devínska Kobyla national nature reserve. There are several trails that lead into the town of Devín with spectacular views of the castle ruins. If you have the energy, you can combine this hike with a visit to Devín Castle. After a short walk at the confluence of the Danube and Morava, take the bus (35 minutes) back to Bratislava. This will cost you less than €5 for a really good time.
6. Day Trip from Bratislava to Banská Štiavnica
By Joel at World Heritage Journey
Banská Štiavnica is one of Europe’s genuine hidden gems. Tucked away in a forested valley in central Slovakia, Banská Štiavnica is a completely preserved medieval silver mining town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fascinatingly, it’s located in the caldera of a long-extinct volcano. Although mines have existed in the area for millennia, likely even since pre-Roman times, Banská Štiavnica became extremely rich and famous during the Middle Ages, a heyday which lasted for centuries.
These days, you can explore many parts of this legacy. You can enter several of the old mines, and see one of the first places where gunpowder was used in mining. Beautiful baroque buildings line the streets, and Trinity Square at the centre of town is marked by a huge Plague Column.
You can also visit the two large castles that were built to protect Banská Štiavnica from invaders, particularly the Ottoman Empire. Both the Old Castle and the New Castle stand on hills above the town centre, with commanding views and impressive stonework. There’s also the world’s first Technical University, set up in the 18th century to teach skills in mining and forestry.
Although it’s a long day trip from Bratislava it’s definitely doable! There’re several buses a day direct from Bratislava, though you could also catch a train to nearby Zvolen, then catch a bus to Banská Štiavnica. The train station is about 3km outside of the town centre. But the easiest option is driving: about 90 minutes along E58, then Route 2530 toward Sandrická and Route 51 into Banská Štiavnica. Note that for conservation, non-residents can’t drive into the centre of town, so you’ll need to park on the outskirts and walk in.
7. Day trip from Bratislava to Budapest
By Clemens at Travellers Archive
In the past 20 years, the Hungarian capital Budapest, also called the ‘Paris of the East’, has become a new and fascinating highlight in European city tourism. No matter whether you roam the romantic Buda, the castle hill on which the castle, the presidential palace and the Fisherman’s Bastion are located, or rather the pulsating flat Pest on the other side of the Danube. Budapest is a true jewel that wants to be explored; both during the day and at night.
A visit or at least a tour of the impressive parliament building should not be missed. From there you can take a walk to the cathedral, and along the beautiful Danube river, along the Vaci Utca until the imposing market hall appears at the very end. The biggest highlight is an evening stroll along the Danube to and over the huge and impressive chain bridge.
A good option to make a trip from Bratislava to Budapest is by car or rental car. The journey takes only 2 hours. It also takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes by train, which is a great experience as well. The cheapest option though is by bus. Flixbus offers busses from Bratislava to Budapest for only 5.99 euros, which is quite a bargain.
8. Spend the day at the Petrzalka neighbourhood
By Emily at Wander-Lush
Still within the city limits and just a stone’s throw from the Old Town, Petržalka is one of the most interesting parts of Bratislava and a great place to fill in an extra day. This is perhaps the easiest day trip to take – you don’t have to go far at all, but you’ll feel a world away.
Petržalka is the Slovakian capital’s largest suburb. Despite taking up most of the city’s real estate, few tourists ever find themselves crossing the Danube to visit the residential area. After spotting the rows of brightly coloured buildings that characterise the suburb from Bratislavský hrad, I was intrigued to check it out from ground level.
Petržalka has a long and interesting history as an independent town that was incorporated into Bratislava quite recently. The most striking thing about it – and the thing that makes it worth visiting – are the massive Socialist-style apartment blocks that have been decorated over the years with bright paint and graphic patterns.
To get to Petržalka, simply take public bus 91 from the main road below the castle. You’ll pass over ZEMEGULA s.r.o., past the iconic UFO Observation Deck. Jump off at a spot that takes your fancy and pick a street to start wandering down. You can’t go wrong – visual inspiration lurks behind every corner in the form of murals and beautifully decorated facades. It’s also very interesting to people-watch and observe daily life; this is ‘the real Bratislava’, and it certainly feels miles apart from the tourist centre just across the river. The area is very safe to explore on your own. While there, I highly recommend eating lunch at a local restaurant such as Alfa or Slovenská Bašta.
9. Day trip from Bratislava to Trenčín
By Becky at Becksplore Travel
If you are staying in Slovakia’s capital for longer and have run out of things to do in Bratislava then you maybe want to pay a visit to Trenčín. Trenčín is another Slovak city which is located around 120km away from Bratislava and close to the Czech border. There are direct trains that leave for Trenčín about every two hours.
Like in most Slovak cities, the main attraction in Trenčín is its castle. From the top you can get stunning views of the entire city and the nature that surrounds it. In the castle you can find several exhibitions and learn more about the history of the Trenčín region and of the castle itself. Entry to the castle costs around 5.50€ for adults.
Other than visiting the castle you can pay a visit to Piaristic church, visit the city tower as well as walk around the main square. End your day by enjoying some delicious and affordable craft beers at Lanius restaurant or try some traditional Slovak soups.
How to get there: From Bratislava central station (Hlavná Stanica) you can take a direct train to Trenčín train station which will take exactly one hour and 20 minutes. One way will cost you around 6.22€
10. Day trip from Bratislava to Trnava
By Jenna at I know the pilot
Trnava, also known as ‘Little Rome’ and the ‘Church Capital’ of the former Kingdom of Hungary (now part of Slovakia), is a beautiful little town full of fascinating history and gorgeous architecture. Remarkably well preserved, yet off the tourist trail, the town has been a part of several countries over the years, so visitors can wander the streets for hours and experience a melting pot of culture, history and architectural styles.
As you can gather by the nicknames, Trnava is known for its many churches, and these are definitely worth a look. Another must-see is the beautiful ‘Status Quo Ante’ synagogue, and for a unique experience visit Synagoga Cafe, a repurposed synagogue that now serves coffee and cake amidst soaring ceilings and religious relics. And don’t forget to check out the famous city walls – built in the 13th century, and some of the best preserved in Europe.
Visitors can visit the heart of the city, Trinity Square, and climb the ‘Town Tower’, a renaissance style building with views across the square and surrounding streets. There are several galleries and museums that may also be of interest, for the history enthusiast or art lover. You can visit the local brewery ‘Sessler’, or if you’re spending a night or two, you could also get out into the countryside and visit some of the famous Slovakian wine region.
Trnava is located 47 kilometres North-East of Bratislava, and takes around 35 minutes to drive. There are also options to get there directly by bus (40 minutes) or train (47 minutes). We recommend the bus, as it’s cheaper and quicker than the train!
Enjoy your visit to this little tourist-free gem, just a quick drive from Bratislava and beautiful in any season.
I hope this short but sweet list gave you enough inspiration to plan your day trips from Bratislava and have an unforgettable experience. I’d love to hear your impressions and personal experiences in the comments!
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