Vienna to Bratislava: 3 Easy Ways to Travel to Slovakia

With just 55km (34 miles) separating the capitals of Austria and Slovakia, it’s common for travellers to couple a visit to Vienna with a visit to Bratislava. In this post, we’ll explore the various ways you can travel from Vienna to Bratislava.

As we will discover, travellers are somewhat spoilt for choice when it comes to travelling between the two, with road, rail and water all viable options. But, some options are more suited to certain types of traveller. Hopefully, this post will help you choose which option is best for you.

Discover more: Find out why Bratislava is such a great city to visit in our separate post – 14 Awesome Things to See & Do in Bratislava, Slovakia

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At a Glance

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The best way for most people to get from Vienna to Bratislava is by train

Vienna to Bratislava by Train

Train services from Vienna to Bratislava are fast, frequent and inexpensive and most people will find this option the most convenient. Fares are around €10-15 each one-way.

Hourly services are operated by OBB (the Austrian state railway service) with additional services operated by Railjet (a high-speed service run jointly between OBB and Czech Railways). There’s not a great deal of difference between the two – both take around 1hr10m to get to Bratislava and both services operate modern, comfortable trains. Railjet services are marginally more comfortable than OBB services, but for such a short journey, we wouldn’t bother paying the slightly higher fare.

Tickets for OBB services can be purchased from the station right before you travel, but you might find it more convenient buying your tickets in advance. You can purchase an e-ticket from Trainline* which will be valid for any service within 48 hours of the date you choose.


Twin City Liner is the only regular boat service between Vienna and Bratislava

Vienna to Bratislava by Boat

It’s possible to travel from Vienna to Bratislava by boat along the Danube, but the service infrequency and high fare price means it’s not something we would recommend.

One operator runs boat services between Vienna and Bratislava – Twin City Liner. Modern high-speed catamarans are used on the service with return journeys operating around twice per day. Journey time is around 1hr15m and the base fare is €30-35 each one-way with surcharges for first class and on-board meals.

You can book tickets directly on the Twin City Liner website.


Flixbus is one of three bus operators who service the Vienna-Bratislava route

Vienna to Bratislava by Bus

For those travelling on a budget, taking a bus from Vienna to Bratislava is the best option.

Slovak Lines, Flixbus and Eurolines all offer a variety of very frequent services from/to various parts of each city for around €6-7 each one-way. Journey time is anywhere from 50 minutes to 1hr20m depending on the route. Buses are all modern, comfortable and reliable and some offer free on-board Wifi.

While sell-outs are infrequent, it doesn’t hurt to book ahead to avoid any disappointment. With Busbud, you can buy e-tickets* for all three operators within a minute or two.


In Summary

In this post, we’ve presented three possible options on how to travel between Vienna and Bratislava. For most people, the train is a reliable, comfortable, inexpensive and fast option. For those who are looking to save some money, the bus is typically about half the price of a train and takes around the same time to get there. For those who are looking to arrive in style and have money to burn, you can choose to travel by boat.

Whichever you choose, we highly recommend all travellers visit both cities. Both cities have plenty to see and do and offer the chance to experience two different cultures within the space of an hour.

Discover more: Find out why Bratislava is such a great city to visit in our separate post – 14 Awesome Things to See & Do in Bratislava, Slovakia

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