One of the reasons we were keen to visit Bratislava (on top of the fact that it is an amazingly beautiful city and we love Eastern Europe) is that it is so close to Vienna. In fact they lie only 34 miles from each other, some have even stated them to be the closest capital cities in the world, but that is in fact false (The closest capital cities of two sovereign countries are Vatican City, Vatican, and Rome, Italy) but who cares… they are mightily close in any case!
So, you are in Bratislava and you want to head over the border into Austria and see the outstanding beauty of Vienna… good choice!
Getting from one city to another is really quite easy and unlike in many other places where people generally look at you like you have grown a second head when you want to take public transport from one country to another (I’m looking at you Krakow to Lviv) Bratislava is pretty well geared up for those wanting to make this journey. You will find help and information easy to come by as well as many, many options for making this trip.
What options are available:
The two main options available are by bus or by river, the later including either ferry or hydrofoil. Both have their plus and negative points but crucially for us the river services only run during the main season, which is April to October, so do bear that in mind!
The price can fluctuate between companies based on time of year and also how much the competition is charging. The best place to buy tickets is either at the tourist information centre in Old Town, through your accommodation if you are staying in a hotel, or direct from the companies down on the docks (short walk towards the shopping mall from the UFO bridge).
The bus will drop you off at Erdberg in Vienna, take underground line U3 a few stops into the city. During the day you can buy tickets from both bus stations on the day or beforehand if you prefer.
Once in Vienna you will be at “Hauptbahnhof” so take underground line U1 to the city.
We actually headed down to the docks to get our tickets (just a short walk from the UFO) to be informed that the boats were not running. However whilst at the harbour we were directed to a store just across the road in which to buy tickets. We ended up getting the Blaguss/ Euroline coach as well as picking up a 25% discount off admission to the UFO bridge observation deck. The price of the bus really fitted our budget, we booked the bus the day before we went in order to get a good time but it’s not always necessary.
We booked our coach for 7.50am as we wanted to get as much time in Vienna as possible, having the return open was a real bonus as we could decided just when we were ready to come back and not be rushing. The bus arrived at stop 2 on time and unlike the major messing about with passports and checking visas when heading to the Ukraine we were on in a flash.
The coach itself was actually pretty good, it was comfortable and even had toilets. We settled in at the back and had plenty of room to spread out. After only 20 mins we flew past the border crossing. There was no need to even bring our passports with us on this trip, although we were advised to bring our drivers licences as ID but never needed it. Made a change to the 3 hour interrogation at the Ukrainian border only a few months earlier!
Check out our guide for Bratislava and Vienna is coming soon, but check out our trip to: the ruins of Castle Devin on the Slovak-Austrian border
Anyone else taken this trip? We think it’s a real highlight of visiting either city.
Check out our guide to Bratislava here: Charming and contrasting Bratislava
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