As mentioned in my “Bratislava” post, I had been trying to figure out exactly how to get to Bratislava for a few days.
For those having similar issues, here is what I did / found out after giving up trying to get there on my own.
- I used www.viennacitytours.com
- You need to book two days in advance, and they will pick you up at your hotel
- I chose the round trip bus option for €39
- There is also an option to take the bus there and boat back for €69
- Regardless of which option you choose, you all head there together and share the same guide and have lunch together (which was OK), the only difference is how you get back
- The guy that picks you up at the hotel in the morning drops everyone off at the “Vienna International Bus Station” (VIB) and you just join a regular old public bus to Bratislava. The cost of the bus is included in your trip and they give you a receipt for free return.
- The “Vienna International Bus Station” (VIB) is directly across the street from the “Erdberg” Ubahn station which is on the U3 line and just a few stops from the heart of the city. FYI, it costs €1.80 per train trip (unless you buy a weekly pass, or such), and if you take the bus back to Vienna you will get dropped at the bus station, not at your hotel. I assume it is a similar situation with the boat, meaning that you would need to take a train back to your hotel from wherever the boat docks in Vienna.
- The actual bus company name was “Blaguss”, a Slovakian company which is part of “Eurolines”
- The bus makes one stop at the airport, so you could also use this same bus to go back/forth to the airport from either city.
- Arrival in Bratislava at about 9:30 (about 40 minutes)
- To take the bus independently (i.e. not on a tour) costs €6.6o each way
- The bus depot in Bratislava is right at the edge of the old town, under the new bridge with the UFO looking spire
- Return options were to take the bus back at 2:00 or take the boat at 2:30 but you had to be at the dock at 2:00, so no time gained by taking the boat
- The boat was part of “Twin City Liner” and left from a convenient location a little outside of the old town. The guide showed us where to get the boat as we were walking around, it is close to where the Opera and Philharmonic houses are located
- The castle is not included on the tour so if you want to go up to it after lunch you need to hustle! There didn’t seem to be any access inside the castle, just the grounds, but it is pretty and the views are nice.
- The guide was good, I was pleased
I understand that there is also a way to take the train from Vienna to Bratislava but my experience between buses and trains is that the bus nearly always goes very close to the ‘old town’ of any city whereas the train station can often be further away.