Friday, March 30, 2012

Day Trips From Bratislava, Slovakia - The Top 40 Destinations

Bratislava is located near the point where the borders of several different countries meet, which means that it is possible to make day trips not only in Slovakia but also in Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Many of Slovakia's most interesting destinations are in the central and eastern parts of the country and are too far away to reach in a day, but I've included the best places to see in southwestern Slovakia along with a good mix of attractions in each of the three neighbouring countries. Vienna is an obvious day trip in Austria, and Budapest is also reachable in a day from Bratislava but I haven't included it in this list since it doesn't make much sense to travel so far to visit a city with as many attractions as Budapest has just for the day. For the purposes of this list I've included destinations that are reachable within three hours of travel by public transport, and given each place a star rating out of five to give you an idea of how worthwhile it is to make the effort to travel there. Instructions are also included for how to get there by public transport starting from the train and bus stations in Bratislava. I've organised the destinations into three categories, those which are within one hour of travel by public transport, within two hours, and within three hours. For more information about the destinations in Slovakia see this post about the Top 100 Destinations in Slovakia and for those in the Czech Republic see this post about The Czech Republic's Top 100 Destinations. The photos included in this post show, from top to bottom, Mikulov (CZ), Esztergom (HUN), Plavecký Castle (SK), Smolenice Castle (SK), and Kopčany Romanesque Church (SK).

Destinations Less Than One Hour Away From Bratislava:

***** Vienna, Austria - (55 minutes to 1 hour) Train from Bratislava main station or from Bratislava-Petržalka station

*** Devín Castle, Slovakia - (20 minutes to 25 minutes) Take Bratislava city bus #28 or #29 from under Nový Most (New Bridge) to Devín village

** Gyor, Hungary - (1 hour) Take the bus with the company called Student Agency from Bratislava main bus station (daily at 11:15am)

** Trnava, Slovakia - (30 minutes) Train from Bratislava main station

** Hainburg, Austria - (20 minutes) Take Bratislava city bus #901 from under Nový Most (New Bridge) which goes across the border to Hainburg

** Piešťany, Slovakia - (1 hour) Train from Bratislava main station

** Čunovo Art Gallery, Slovakia - (25 minutes) Bus from Bratislava main bus station to the bus stop 'Čunovo Muzeum'

** Modra, Slovakia - (1 hour) Bus from Bratislava main bus station

* Pottenburg Castle, Austria (15 minutes) Take Bratislava city bus #901 from under Nový Most (New Bridge) to the Austrian border village of Wolfsthal, then hike up the red-marked trail to reach the castle ruin

Destinations Less Than Two Hours Away From Bratislava:

**** Mikulov, Czech Republic - (1 hour 50 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station to the Czech border town of Břeclav, then change to another local train to reach Mikulov

**** Esztergom, Hungary - (1 hour 25 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station to the Slovak border town of Štúrovo, then walk across the bridge over the Danube river to reach Esztergom. The huge dome of the basilica in Esztergom is visible when you get off the train in Štúrovo, so you can use it as a landmark to follow to reach the bridge over the river

*** Trenčín, Slovakia - (1 hour 25 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station

*** Čachtice Castle, Slovakia - (1 hour 25 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station to Nové Mesto nad Váhom, then change to a local train to reach the village of Višňové which is directly beneath the castle

*** Brno, Czech Republic - (1 hour 30 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station

*** Beckov Castle, Slovakia - (1 hour 40 minutes) Train from Bratislava main station to Nové Mesto nad Váhom, then take a bus from outside the train station to the village of Beckov

*** Lednice, Czech Republic - (1 hour 20 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station to the Czech border town of Břeclav, then take a bus from outside the train station to reach Lednice

*** Valtice, Czech Republic - (1 hour 35 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station to reach the Czech border town of Břeclav, then change to another local train to reach Valtice

** Červený Kameň Castle, Slovakia - (1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes) Take a bus from Bratislava main station to the village of Častá, then walk up the hill along the road to reach the castle

** Nitra, Slovakia - (1 hour 15 minutes) Take a bus from Bratislava main bus station

** Plavecký Castle, Slovakia - (1 hour 20 minutes) Take a bus from Bratislava main bus station to the village of Plavecké Podhradie, then hike up the hill to the castle ruins

** Smolenice Castle, Slovakia - (1 hour 15 minutes) Take a bus from Bratislava main bus station

** Skalica, Slovakia - (1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station to Kúty, then change to a local train to reach Skalica

** Eisenstadt, Austria - (1 hour 10 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava-Petržalka station to Parndorf, then change to another train to reach Eisenstadt

** Trenčianske Teplice, Slovakia - (1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours) Take a train from Bratislava main station to Trenčín, then take a bus from outside the train station to reach Trenčianske Teplice

* Štefánik Hilltop Monument in Brezová pod Bradlom, Slovakia - (2 hours) Take a bus from Bratislava main station to reach Brezová pod Bradlom, then hike up the red-marked trail to reach the monument

* Tematín Castle, Slovakia - (2 hours) Take a train from Bratislava main station to Nové Mesto nad Váhom, then take a bus from outside the train station to the village of Lúka and walk up the blue-marked trail to reach the castle ruins

* Kopčany Romanesque Church, Slovakia - (1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station to Kúty, then change to a local train to reach Kopčany village. Walk from the village across the fields towards the Morava river to reach the church

* Dražovce Romanesque Church, Slovakia - (1 hour 45 minutes) Take a bus from Bratislava main station to Nitra, then change to another bus to reach Dražovce village. The church is on the hill above the village

Destinations Less Than Three Hours Away From Bratislava:

**** Olomouc, Czech Republic - (2 hours 40 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station to Břeclav, then change trains to reach Olomouc

**** Visegrád, Hungary - (2 hours 25 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station to Szob in Hungary, then change to a local train to reach Nagymaros-Visegrad station. From there walk down to the Danube river and take the passenger ferry across the river to Visegrád on the opposite bank

*** Kroměříž, Czech Republic - (2 hours 25 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station to Břeclav, then change to a second train to Hulín, then change to a third train to reach Kroměříž

*** Moravský Krumlov, Czech Republic - (2 hours 30 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station to Brno, then change to a local train to reach Moravský Krumlov

*** Znojmo, Czech Republic - (2 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours) Take a train from Bratislava main station to Břeclav, then change to a local train to reach Znojmo

*** Carnuntum Roman Archaeological Site, Austria - (2 hours 15 minutes) Take Bratislava city bus #901 from under Nový Most to Hainburg, then walk southwest along the red-marked trail to reach the town of Petronell-Carnuntum where the Roman site is located

** Gýmeš Castle, Slovakia - (2 hours 10 minutes to 2 hours 25 minutes) Take a bus from Bratislava main bus terminal to Nitra, then change to another bus to the village of Kostoľany pod Tribečom. In the village there is a Romanesque church to see, then hike up the yellow and then green-marked trails to reach the castle on the nearby hilltop

** Sopron, Hungary - (2 hours 20 minutes to 2 hours 45 minutes) Take a bus with the company Student Agency from Bratislava main station to Gyor (daily at 11:15am), then take a train from there to Sopron

** Rust, Austria - (2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava-Petržalka station to Parndorf, change to a second train to reach Eisenstadt, then take a local bus from there to Rust

** Dobrá Voda Castle, Slovakia - (2 hours to 2 hours 20 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station to Trnava, then walk out to the bus station outside the train station and take a bus from there to the village of Dobrá Voda. From there hike up the red-marked trail to reach the castle ruins

** Tata, Hungary - (2 hours to 2 hours 20 minutes) Take a bus with the company Student Agency from Bratislava main station to Gyor (daily at 11:15am), then take a train from Gyor to reach Tata

** Komárno, Slovakia - (2 hours 5 minutes) Take a train from Bratislava main station

13 comments:

  1. A very comprehensive and very useful guide for all tourists spending time in Bratislava.
    No doubt a lot of time was spent compiling it.Very well done.You should publish it as a small tourist booklet - I am sure it would sell well!
    A big thank you for your efforts.

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  2. Thanks Aodh, I lived in Bratislava for a number of years so this list is based on the day trips that I most enjoyed during that time. I'm glad if anyone finds this information useful in their travels.

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  3. Awesome and very helpful information as I'm flying next week to Slovakia where I will be staying for 3 weeks. Thanks so very much for your sharing this great information.

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  4. Hi Belita,
    You're welcome, I'm glad you find the site useful. Have a great time in Slovakia!

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  5. Thanks for the interesting blogs. I am planning a trip to Slovakia in a few months and found your website helpful. I was looking for info on traditional crafts and art in Slovakia. Didn't find that, but I have not read all of your posts.

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  6. Hi Rosemary,
    I hope you enjoy your time in Slovakia, it's a wonderful country. If you are interested in finding traditional crafts in Bratislava, go to the ÚLUV (Centre for Folk Art Production) shop which is in SNP square. There are also shops run by ÚLUV in Banská Bystrica and Prešov.

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  7. The question is if there are any other city in Europe that could compare with Bratislava when it comes to possible day trips. And the best thing is that the towns and villages around Bratislava (except Prague, Budapest and Vienna) are not crowded with tourists. :)

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  8. Hi Jesper, there are certainly plenty of options around Bratislava, perhaps the most unique thing about its location is that it gives you the option of taking day trips in four different countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary). There are a few other cities in Europe which can offer this, Brussels, Luxembourg City and Maribor, Slovenia all come to mind.

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  9. This is a wonderful resource, thanks very much for all your hard work creating it. Where is the small stone church located? (The final picture in this thread) It is adorable.

    Thanks again,

    Jeff

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  10. I re-read your entire post and in so doing, figured out where the pictures are all from....Thanks again. Fantastic website for somebody like me who can't get enough of learning about and visiting central and eastern Europe.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

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  11. Thanks Jeff,
    Are you JeffinPrague from TripAdvisor? The Kopčany church is one of the few remaining structures from the Great Moravian Empire period, and is thus of great symbolic importance to both Slovaks and Czechs. A proposed future UNESCO world heritage site would include the Kopčany church and the Great Moravian archaeological site across the river in Mikulčice, CZ. There are plans to build a pedestrian bridge to link the two sites together for tourism.

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  12. JeffinPrague would likely be able to visit all the fascinating cities and towns of central and Eastern Europe much more often than I do---so while I perhaps periodically wish I was JeffinPrague, regrettably I am just Jeff from Vancouver :)

    I can't stop viewing this website of yours; it is beyond incredible. I wish I had found it years ago.

    I try to get to this wonderful part of the world once a year which is part of th price I pay for living so far away from Europe, I suspect.

    By the way my assorted weekend chores will not get done for a few weeks now while I read through this wonderful resource you've generously put together. I will no doubt have many questions to ask you too. I will do my very best not to continually bother you with too many questions nor to take over the comments section of your various wonderful articles.

    I'd love to learn about your fascinating life and adventures too but I will hopefully learn more as I read through these many articles and spare you having to recite your resume for me :)

    Thanks again for such an impressive and diversified array of incredible information. I only wish my upcoming trip to Eastern Europe in March wasn't already planned because I would go to so many new places now that your website has reminded me of the vast array of cities and towns I have still not seen in my travels. I was already endeavouring to plan a future trip to Ukraine in the near future and I have a feeling that your blog here will be an invaluable resource in that respect.

    All the best,

    Jeff

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  13. Hi Jeff,
    I'm also a Geoff (different spelling) and also originally from Canada, from Orillia, Ontario. I've been living in New Zealand for the past few years after leaving Europe. I usually return to Central/Eastern Europe once a year as part of research I do in the region as an academic. I haven't had much time to update the website recently due to ongoing projects but your interest reminds me why I enjoy working on it, travelling and learning about that part of the world is my favourite hobby as well. Much of the website content focuses on the Czech Republic and Slovakia as these are the countries I spent the most time living in and exploring, though I have photos and text ready for hundreds more destinations in Ukraine, Romania, the Baltics, Russia, Georgia/Armenia, etc. and it's simply a matter of finding the time to post them. Feel free to ask any questions you have, I'll do my best to answer them. What's your itinerary for the trip in March, and future plans for a route in Ukraine? Personally I'd head to the coast of Croatia, Montenegro and Albania in March - warmer weather, the countryside is more green than it will be in Central Europe, and it's low tourist season in popular spots like Dubrovnik and Kotor.

    cheers,
    Geoff

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