Bratislava Transportation Tips by Dabs
Bratislava Transportation: 172 reviews and 151 photos
One direction on the hydrofoil was enough for me so we inquired about taking the train back at the tourism office and she advised taking the train from the Bratislava-Petrzalka station to the south of the center instead of from Bratislava hl. st. that is north of the center as the trains run every hour at 40 minutes after the hour. Now that I'm home and looking at the schedule it appears that the main station is more convenient during peak hours with two trains leaving on the hour and at 50 minutes after the hour. No trouble buying a ticket on the spot, the cost was 304kc for a round trip ticket and 400 kc for a 1 way ticket so we bought a round trip and just didn't use the other part.
The train was comfortable and faster than the hydrofoil, the journey taking around an hour.
To get to the Petrzalka station, we took bus 80 from the stop at Staromtska and Zochova (the street that turns into Novy Most), the ticket was good for 10 minutes and cost 14sk ($.75 cents US) and you can buy a ticket from a machine at the bus stop if you have coins, from a tobacco shop if you don't. Make sure you validate your ticket after you get on the bus. Ask someone on the bus to tell you when you get to the train station, you should be able to see it.
Printout the schedules and bring them with you, it might be easier to go to the main station.
Several people suggested that the best way to get to Bratislava from Vienna was via the Twin City Liner, a hydrofoil that goes along the Danube. The service runs 4-5 times a day in each direction and takes 1 1/4 hours, the current cost is between 16E and 26E each way, the cheaper fares on the early morning boats from Bratislava-Vienna and the late evening boats from Vienna-Bratislava. Tickets can be reserved in advance on the attached website, our boat was full or nearly full so it's a good idea if you have your heart set on taking it. If you reserve online, you should exchange your printout for a ticket at the booth on the pier, we didn't and they still let us on but they said we should have exchanged it.
I didn't think the scenery along the way was anything special, you saw some fishing cottages and foliage along the way but nothing in the way of sights until you approached Bratislava. For me it wasn't worth the 26E ($40US) per person we paid for it, the only good part about it was that the dock is closer to town than the train station, you could easily walk from the dock to the tourist areas.
If you do decide to take the hydrofoil, get to the dock early if you want a window seat, there was already a line forming 45 minutes before the departure time. The best seats, in the front window, were by reservation only. Bring your passport just in case, they didn't check ours either way but signs (maybe they were old) suggested that they were needed. Unless you've got money to burn, consider taking the train back, it was 304sk (around $16US) round trip which was actually less than a 1 way ticket which was 400sk.
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