Excursions from Bratislava: the best day trips around Bratislava

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia, a very young nation which only gained independence in 1993, with the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. The city sits on the banks of the Danube, like the neighboring capitals Vienna and Budapest, and for centuries has been home to prominent figures who shaped the history of Central Europe, also serving as the capital of the kingdom of Hungary for over two hundred years.
The charm of its history is immense, but it is closely connected to the surrounding area: find out below what they are unmissable destinations and the best day trips around Bratislava!


  1. Vienna
  2. Budapest
  3. Devin Castle
  4. Banska Stiavnica
  5. Piestany thermal baths
  6. Bojnice Castle
  7. Cerveny Kamen Castle
  8. Small Carpathian wine region
  9. Trnava
  10. Nitra
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Vienna

Vienna, the Austrian capital, is only 63 kilometers from Bratislava, allowing it to be reached in just one hour of travel.

Treat yourself to a day in the city of the Habsburgs full of art and history by visiting Hofburg, the former imperial residence consisting of 2600 rooms, where you can visit the royal apartments and the very rich collection of the Austrian treasure. Slightly more peripheral is the castle of Schönbrunn, the elegant palace where people of the caliber ofempress Sissi and Napoleon Bonaparte. But the Viennese heritage does not stop at the royal residences: from St. Stephen's Cathedral to the town hall, every street in the center will give you a dip in art and culture.
Don't forget to taste the Sacher cake, pride of the city, and marzipan sweets dedicated to Mozart.

  • Range: 63,4 km
  • the two capitals are well connected by different means, the city can be reached both by bus with Flixbus (€ 8,99 each way) and by train (€ 10,80 or € 16,00 depending on the train) with frequent trips lasting about an hour, but also by boat on a romantic Danube trip - Get directions
  • For timetables of the main attractions in Vienna, see what to see absolutely in Vienna
  • the suggested tour costs € 49,00 per person. For the costs of Vienna's top attractions, see what to see absolutely in Vienna
  • Vienna and Schönbrunn Palace: tour and priority entrance

2 - Budapest

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is easily accessible from Bratislava in approx two hours of travel. The city is one of the most visited destinations in Europe as well as in the world, due to its enchanting architecture and the entertainment offered.

Budapest is divided by the river into two parts: the oldest is called Buda, a name acquired from the castle that houses, the castle of Buda with its monumental façade of over 300 meters, and the Sandor palace, current residence of the president of the republic. Crossing the impressive bridges over the Danube you will find yourself in the Pest area, the most "modern" area, where the Parliament is located and where a visit at most famous spas in Europe.

  • Range: 184 km
  • the meeting point for the suggested tour is in the 5th district, near the Parliament, at the Cityrama Gray Line agency; to reach Budapest by public transport instead there are frequent train rides (€ 29,20 each way) and bus (€ 15,99 with Flixbus) lasting two hours and river connections on the Danube by tourist boats - Get directions
  • The tour departs at 09:30 or 14:00 from Budapest and has a duration of 4 hours. For timetables of the main attractions in Budapest, see what to see absolutely in Budapest
  • the suggested tour costs € 32,00 per person. For the costs of the main attractions in Budapest, see what to see absolutely in Budapest
  • Budapest: city discovery tour

3 - Devin Castle

Devin Castle is one fortress strategically placed on a hill between the Danube and Morava rivers. The first fortification dates back to the 1809th century, but the site has been occupied since prehistoric times precisely because of its elevated position, which has hosted both Celts and Romans. Over the centuries the castle has been the focus of numerous battles over the territory, until its destruction in by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Among the ruins that can be visited today, the Torre della Fanciulla, a small watchtower where it is said that many young women were locked up at the behest of the families, and that they preferred death to a life of confinement.

  • Range: 12,2 km
  • it can be reached by bus with line 29, or by boat from the Fajnorovo nabrezie port; pick up directly at your hotel in Bratislava if you choose the guided tour - Get directions
  • from May to September the castle is open from 10:00 to 18:00 on weekdays, with late closing at 19:00 on Saturdays and Sundays; in the months of April and October it is open every day from 10:00 to 17:00, while it is closed in the winter months
  • full € 3,00, reduced € 1,30 for children, students and seniors; the guided tour including transport costs € 94,00 per person
  • Devin Castle: 3-hour guided tour from Bratislava

4 - Banska Stiavnica

Banska Stiavnica is a medieval village located in the heart of Slovakia, about 164 km from Bratislava. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993, the small town was in the past one of the most important mining towns in Europe, specialized in silver mining.

There is one legend about the founding of the city: a shepherd saw two lizards covered with gold and silver dust on the mountains, and following them he found the precious metals. Even today the mining museum is one of the main attractions of Banska Stiavnica, together with the Old Castle built against the Turks, the New Castle, the statue of the Holy Trinity and the plague column.

  • Range: 164 km
  • the most convenient way is by bus, to then move on foot in the center, the timetables are indicated on the local transport site; the organized tour will be picked up directly from the hotel - Get directions
  • the city can always be visited; the suggested tour departs Bratislava at 8:00 am and lasts 10 hours
  • the recommended tour costs € 190,00 per person
  • Banska Stiavnica Town: Full Day Tour from Bratislava

5 - Baths of Piestany

About 82 kilometers from the Slovak capital, Piestany was recognized international spa town since 1956, although it was already half popular in the nineteenth century for its muds.

Le ten natural springs in the area they provide sulphurous water daily, particularly suitable for those suffering from rheumatic diseases or motor disorders.
In addition to the thermal baths, this Slovak town also hosts an aquapark, perfect if you are traveling with children, and various cultural exhibitions, especially in the summer.
Throughout the year it is one ideal destination for a relaxing day.

  • Range: 82 km
  • by bus, departing from AS Mlynské nivy, about an hour's journey - Get directions
  • the main lifts are open from 7:30 to 19:00
  • variable from € 15,00 to € 30,00 depending on the wellness center and the treatments chosen

6 - Bojnice Castle

Located in the city of the same name in the Trenčín region, about 185 kilometers from the capital Bratislava, is the Bojnice Castle, which traces the whole Slovak history from the Middle Ages to the present day. In fact, from the first written documents in which reference is made to the castle, it was discovered that the original structure was made of wood, and later fortified in stone to adapt to the conditions of the territory.

From a medieval fortress it later became an elegant Renaissance castle, and it continued to be subject of architectural changes to be adapted to the taste of the different owners. Inside, the golden hall, which takes its name from the ceiling covered in gold leaf, and the baroque chapel with splendid Gothic windows are of considerable interest.

  • Range: 150 km
  • by public transport arriving in Prievidza by train from Bratislava (€ 14,20) and then taking a local bus or by car, reducing the travel time; recommended tour includes hotel pickup - Get directions
  • the castle museum is open from Tuesday to Thursday from 8:00 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 15:00, on Fridays from 8:00 to 12:00
  • € 10,00 for adults, with different reductions for seniors, children and students; the recommended tour price with transport to and from Bratislava is € 135,00 per person
  • From Bratislava: Full-day tour to Bojnice Castle

7 - Cerveny Kamen Castle

Cerveny Kamen Castle is located just 36 km from Bratislava, surrounded by the greenery of the Little Carpathians. The original structure was a Hungarian defensive fortress, but was demolished and rebuilt in the Renaissance and used as a deposit of precious metals, taking advantage of the strategic proximity to Vienna and Bratislava.

Le cellars where the metals were stored are among the main attractions of the castle, and are considered among the largest in Central Europe. Together with the cellars it is possible to visit a museum area that preserves Hungarian but also Italian works, in a vast collection of furniture, porcelain and fabrics.

  • Range: 36,8 km
  • by bus the nearest stop is Zakladina, from which you must then continue on foot for about 2 km; the nearest train station is Pezinok, about 15km, from which you will then need to take a local bus - Get directions
  • from November to February from 9:30 to 15:30; in March, April, September and October from 9:00 to 16:00, closing at 17:00 on weekends, from May to August the closing is delayed by one hour on both weekdays and weekends
  • full € 7,00, there are various reductions for families, students, minors and the elderly

8 - Small Carpathian wine region

At the foot of the mountain range of the Little Carpathians extends the most important wine area of ​​Slovakia, in what is called the wine route, from the surroundings of Bratislava to Smolenice.

The winemaking tradition of the small Carpathians has ancient origins, having its roots in Roman times. Along the approximately 60 kilometers of the wine route, there are numerous rural villages where it is possible stop for tastings of typical goose-based dishes and local wine, accompanied by museums and exhibition galleries on the history of Carpathian wine. Nature lovers and hikers will also find something to enjoy thanks to the various scenic and hiking trails.

  • Range: 51,4 km
  • the best way to explore the wine route is to move with your own vehicle or by relying on an organized tour, given the vastness of the territory's offer and the scarce public connections; recommended tour is hotel pickup - Get directions
  • the suggested tour starts at 12:00 and has a total duration of 6 hours
  • the tour costs € 134,00 per person
  • Bratislava: 6-hour Carpathian wine tour and tasting

9 - Trnava

The city of Trnava, about 47 km from the capital Bratislava, is nicknamed the Slovak Rome, or even the little Rome, regarding the presence of numerous churches. It is also the seat of the archbishop and hosts two important universities: the University of Trnava and the University of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Trnava.

Among all the Churches present, the Church of San Nicola, the oldest place of worship in the city, and the Church of San Giovanni Battista, one of the most beautiful in neo-baroque style in all of Europe. However, Trnava is not just churches: visit the ancient Gothic walls that defended the city since the th century and the Status Quo synagogue, which houses a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

  • Range: 47,9 km
  • Trnava and Bratislava are connected by frequent train rides (€ 7,40 one way) and bus (Eurobus, € 4,00); by choosing the first solution, the journey will certainly be shorter, lasting about 24 minutes - Get directions
  • the Church of San Nicola is open every day from 7:15 am to 20:30 pm
  • the entrance to the main city churches is free

10 - Nitra

Nitra is the oldest city in Slovakia, whose first historical references are dated to the th century. It still remains today one of the most important centers in the country: it is the fourth city for inhabitants of the nation and represents an important commercial and cultural center thanks to the two universities.

During your day in Nitra visit i remains of the castle and the city walls, together with the splendid cathedral of Sant'Emmerano in which Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles are layered. Finally, the Svätoplukovo square, designed in the communist era for host a replica of a rocket that was never built, but still today it has a steep pavement, which dates back to its conception as a launch pad for the rocket.

  • Range: 83,3 km
  • the two cities are connected both by bus services (Turancar, Flixbus, about € 5,00) and by trains (€ 14,20), for a journey lasting about an hour and forty - Get directions
  • Nitra Castle is open every day from 6:00 to 19:00, while access to the museum collection is from 10:00 to 18:00, closing on Mondays
  • access to the castle area alone costs € 0,50, while the ticket including the museum costs € 2,00.

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