..September and October. Extra tip: Book hotels and tickets 3-4 months in advance.
..trolley lines 203 or 207
..museums and sights are Closed.
..do not collaborate with any company and their charges are extremely high. They usually move around tourist attractions and squares!
..transport via all means is day passes.
Tips Bratislava: Read the most useful tips about the City of the Kings.
- The peak tourist months are September and October. Book hotels and tickets 3-4 months in advance.
- In the winter you should bring very warm clothes, as temperatures are quite low (due to the humidity of the Danube).
- On Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after, almost everything is closed. Restaurants, cafés, stores and even many of the outdoor markets.
- During the winter, activity in the city center after 9pm is very limited to non-existent. Nonetheless, safety remains at high levels.
- The city’s tourist office is located next to the Archbishop’s Palace.
- Policepeople on patrol are not usually fluent in English, so if you encounter any kind of problem, visit the nearest police station.
- Avoid underground crossings late at night.
- Do not stare at people in bars and clubs. It is considered a form of non-verbal threat and you might quickly find yourselves involved in something unpleasant.
- The three most basic means of transportation are the tram, trolleys and bus lines.
- There are tickets for 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 minutes, 1, 3 and 7 days.
- Pick your ticket according to the duration of your trip.
- Children under the age of 6 and adults over 62 ride for free, while children up to 15 years old get a 50% discount.
- The Bratislava City Card offers free transportation via all means.
- At (almost) every stop, there are electronic ticket booths, which only accept coins up to 2€. No bills, a few of them accept card payments.
- Electronic ticket booths that accept payment via card, bills and coins you will find at the airport, the train station and the Šafárikovo nám, Sad Janka Kráľa, Farského & Jungmannova tram stops.
- The most inexpensive way of transport via all means is day passes.
- Be mindful of the tram tracks, as they are wide and can cause accidents.
- In order to board the means of public transport during the day all you have to do is press the button to open the door.
- In order to board the means of public transport during the night you will have to hail the bus driver and, after the bus stops, press the button to open the door.
- Passengers that wish to use any of the means of public transport and carry luggage, pets or bikes will have to purchase one extra reduced ticket (15’ ticket). This ticket is valid for 3 hours.
- No such ticket is needed if the suitcase is smaller than 30x40x60cm.
- Pets are allowed only on vehicles with the special sign and only if they are wearing a muzzle, are under total supervision of their escorts and have a ticket (reduced for 15’).
- Smaller pets are allowed if they are inside special carrier bags and are not put on the seats.
- The round-trip train ticket to Vienna is 30-40% cheaper than the single trip tickets. (The trip lasts 70 minutes and trains depart every one hour.)
Letisko Airport to City Center
By bus: Bus line No.61 (night line N61) will transport you to the city center in 20-30 minutes.
By taxi:The ride costs around 15€.
Main railway station (Hlavná stanica) to City Center
By tram: No. 1 and 2
By taxi: the ride costs around 8€.
- There are 20 night lines, which you can recognize from the letter N. They depart from the Hlavná stanica main railway station and the Hodžovho námestie square.
- The tram is the fastest way of transportation during the day.
- To get to the castle, take trolley lines 203 or 207.
- You will find free parking near the New Bridge.
- The best and safest streets to park close to the city center are Svoradova, Zámocká & Zochova.
- The best choice is to park outside the city center and get to it via the means of public transport. In 95% of locations inside the center parking is not allowed.
- Parking fees start at 0.5€/hour (for small parking facilities outside the center) and can be as high as 3€/hour.
- Most shopping centers offer Free parking for the first three hours.
- Most parking spaces are free from 17:00 to 08:00 in the morning.
- If you hail a taxi from the street, make sure it belongs to a taxi company.
- For transportation from Bratislava to the Vienna airport you will pay only 59€ for four persons with luggage (upon agreement).
- The most affordable and trustworthy companies are “Taxi Taxi”, “Taxi Bratislava” and “Radio Taxi”.
- Taxis that are not on-demand have double charge per kilometer.
- Find the shortest route on your phone and ask the driver to follow it.
- Choose a taxi company, based on lower cost per kilometer. (http://www.taxitaxi.sk/en/search/bratislava/).
- On Mondays (almost) ALL museums and sights are Closed.
- At most attractions employees are not fluent in English. A few local phrases/words would help you communicate.
- The zoo is not worth visiting as it is located in a deprived area and is rather empty.
- The Sigismund Gate is closed during the winter so you will have to go around it.
- Admire the view of the city from Slavin, the Castle, the clock of the Old Town Hall and the UFO.
- If you want to take photographs inside the castle without the special ticket, be discreet.
- Leave your jacket, coat, bag or anything else you do not need in the ground floor coat-check with no charge.
- The ideal time to visit it is at twilight. The images you will be left with are simply ONE-OF-A-KIND.
- To get to the UFO prefer the side of the bridge where Eurovea is located and leave from the side of the castle.
- For coffee or drinks, prefer the first tables closest to the restaurant area.
- The price may be very high, for what is offered, but if you visit it at the right time and combine it with a cup of coffee at the bar, then it turns into a complete experience, which is worth the money.
- In order to see it from the inside, you will have to visit it Sunday up to 12:00 or on weekdays at 19:00.
- Bus line 147 is the only means of transport to get to the monument, and it passes every one hour.
- Another way to reach the monument is to stop at SAV and go up via the trails/steps (15 minutes).
- Insufficient public transport is responsible for the low visitor rates.
- Visit it if you want to get away from the tourist masses.
Old Town Hall, Tower and Museum:
- Do not visit it during morning/afternoon hours, as group visits make browsing around the space difficult. The best time is 1-1.5 hours before closing.
- For 1€ extra you have the chance to see the Museum of Viticulture and Period Rooms Museum. (Ask for the combo ticket at the ticket office.)
- If you are not a fan of history and only want to see the view from the tower, then buy the individual ticket and off to the top.
- Climb the tower during sunset for a colorful panoramic view of Bratislava.
- From 08:00 to 23:00 groups and crowds will not let you take good photographs.
- The best hours to see and photograph them are before 08:00 in the morning and after 23:00 at night.
The Archbishop’s Palace:
- Photographs are strictly prohibited inside the palace, except for the Hall of Mirrors.
- Access: It is located 12km outside of the city, so access is achieved by car, taxi and boat (Bratislava: Fajnorovo nábrežie 2 or Hainburg, Austria). The easiest and cheapest way is by bus line 29 from the Most SNP terminal station, which is located under the UFO bridge (departs every 30 minutes and the trip lasts 35-40 minutes).
- Dogs are not allowed to enter the castle, unless they are guide-dogs for blind people or people with disabilities.
- The Castle remains closed during the winter months and for the period when weather conditions do not allow access to it.
- In order to avoid the tourist crowds and enjoy the ideal temperature of the location, visit the castle upon its opening.
- 90% of restaurants around the castle are tourist traps.
- Follow the trails around the castle to enjoy the rich natural beauty of the area.
- Avoid the castle if there is fog, rain or cold wind.
- Visit it before 08:30 to photograph it and see point zero in peace.
- Opposite of the Old Town Hall you will see the town’s oldest fount, Maximilian’s fountain (1572).
- For a more comprehensive tour, it is best to start at the 4th floor.
- The best seats are the central-back ones, in the lower tier or the mezzanine. Do not pick the front seats as they have bad acoustics.
- Here you will find (probably) the best angle to photograph St. Martin’s Cathedral.
- A tip of 5-15% is greatly appreciated by the waiters/waitresses. (It is not mandatory.)
- Not all restaurants accept credit/debit cards. (The ones that do probably do not have the option to accept American Express cards.
- If you ask for ketchup, mustard, any dressing or even bread, expect some extra charge in the bill.
- Smoking is allowed in many restaurants and cafés, which have special areas/rooms.
- Service in most shops is not polite and pleasant, so it is up to you to decide if you will leave a tip.
Tourist Traps ⚔️
- Most minor thefts happen during the summer months, when tourists keep their belongings uncovered.
- There are 150 private taxis that do not collaborate with any company and their charges are extremely high. They usually move around tourist attractions and squares!
- Taxis from the airport and the train stations have the habit of “stealing”. Make them an offer for 70-80% of the price they suggest.
- Avoid night excursions to unsafe areas, such as Petržalka, Ruzinov or Vrakuna. (In these areas many racist attacks have also been reported.)
- Do not buy anything from street sellers that will approach you to sell you glasses and leather items (they are all knock-offs).
- Car stealings are a common threat for the city. Use a guarded parking facility or the parking lot of your hotel for the safety of your car.
- Avoid the “Staroslovenska Krcma” restaurant, it is a tourist fraud.
- The means of public transport become unsafe late at night. Avoid them or ride only in busy lines/stops with light and lots of people.
- Pickpockets and street thieves usually work in groups or pairs and hit crowded places. Be careful because they use the method of disorientation. One distracts you while the other one does the job.
- The most common disorientation trick is a staged fight in the street which will draw your attention and make you a soft target, while the accomplice will be snatching valuable items. If you see anything like this, just walk away and call the police.
- Another trick they use to steal your wallet is carried out by women, who have maps in their hands and pretend to be tourists. They will approach you easily and bump into you by accident, while your wallet will have disappeared!
- Be especially cautious at the city’s strip clubs. They overcharge the drinks and have hidden charges (coat check, treats etc).
- Be particularly cautious in busy lines of public buses, trams and trains.
- Avoid the Picollo Pub II. Its drinks are of questionable quality.
- Caution: Many clubs serve tainted drinks. Always check and ask for uncut drinks.