AustriaSlovakiaTravel Guides

Vienna to Bratislava: 3 Easy Ways to Travel to Slovakia From Austria

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By Matt Morelli

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.

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Plan & Book your trip

Getting there: Find great train fares with Trainline. Find and book bus tickets with BusBud. If you need to fly, find great prices and lower emission flights with Skyscanner.

Where to stay: For hotels and all other types of accommodation, use Booking.com and/or Hotels.com. For holiday homes, use Vrbo.

Things to do: To find things to do, we like using GetYourGuide, Viator and/or Klook.

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

At a Glance

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Things to do nearby

Discover great things to see and do in Vienna and Bratislava with GetYourGuide.

The best way for most people to get from Vienna to Bratislava is by train
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 €11-19 each one-way (around €28 for first class).

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 1 hour 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 recommend 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
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 €34-39 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
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 €7-15 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

Plan & Book your trip

Train tickets: Find great train fares with Trainline.

Bus tickets: Find and book bus tickets with BusBud.

Flights: If you need to fly, find great prices and lower emission flights with Skyscanner.

Hotels: For hotels and all other types of accommodation, use Booking.com and/or Hotels.com.

Rentals & holiday homes: For holiday homes, use Vrbo.

Insurance: Don’t forget to insure against the unexpected. We’ll have a recommendation for an insurance provider here soon.

eSims: You’ll need a data plan on your mobile. Using a local sim is usually cheaper than using your existing sim. If your phone supports eSims, they’re a great hassle-free option. Check out Airalo to search for deals.

Things to do: To find things to do, we like using GetYourGuide, Viator and/or Klook.

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About the author

Matt Morelli

I've travelled to 38 countries across 4 continents, both independently and with my wife. I've been writing travel guides and making videos since 2007, all based on my real-life experiences. Here To Travel is a place for travel advice and inspiration that encourages us all to make mindful decisions. If you want to have life changing adventures that have minimal impact on the places and people you visit, Here To Travel is for you.