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How to Get to Bratislava from Budapest

Discover the best ways to get from Budapest to Bratislava

Joaquín Montaño

Joaquín Montaño

7 min read

How to Get to Bratislava from Budapest

Budapest. | ©Andrea Piacquadio

If you want to get from Budapest, the capital of Hungary, to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, you must first map out a location of both, which allows you to organize yourself. For example: around the Danube. Before, you should also know that Bratislava is the largest city in Slovakia, full of attractions and charm.

While the Danube crosses Budapest, Bratislava is also located along this river. This is a very useful piece of information for orientation. With this established, now you just need to read the options to get there that I list below, and choose the one that suits you best.

1. The best way to get there: an organized excursion

Aerial view of Bratislava| ©Marc Ryckaer
Aerial view of Bratislava| ©Marc Ryckaer

An organized excursion from Budapest to Bratislava is a great option, and it is the most popular one in general, as it offers you more comfort than any of the other alternatives, such as the possibility of going and coming back, if your vacation and your hotel are in the Hungarian city.

Besides, hiring an excursion is always a good alternative to get rid of the worries of booking everything separately. Some even offer lunch or dinner options, something that is ideal to close the package, and not have to think about everything.

I think that if you are looking for what to see and do in Budapest, taking a detour to visit Bratislava is an option that you will not regret. Of course, if it was not in your plans, it will always be better, in my opinion, to do it in excursion mode, rather than detour by your own means and then regret the loss of time.

My recommended option

One of the best options to do this is the private day trip to Bratislava from Budapest with lunch. It has a duration of ten hours. The trip from Budapest takes two hours, and then you can tour the Slovak city on foot. There, you will stop for lunch, and then you will have a relaxing return trip.

The tour also includes an English-speaking guide so you can explore the Slovak capital. They will even give you the possibility to make the itinerary more flexible. Once there, you will visit the most impressive attractions, such as the Michael's Gate or the Bratislava Castle.

Between visits, you will learn about history with the guide in charge of your excursion, who will take you to a restaurant in the city center for lunch, to complete a great experience for you. In addition, at this point you will be able to relax and take advantage of some free time to explore some element of the city that particularly interests you.

The options are numerous, so it would be good for you to think of one beforehand, to go straight there and not waste time wondering what would be best. Well, that's what would happen to me. That's why I recommend you to consider **Bratislava'**s coffee shops as an option: they are all beautiful! And then, you'll come back with the peace of mind of knowing that you don't have to run or wait for buses. A pleasure.

Book your excursion to Bratislava

2. How to get there by plane: the fastest option

By plane from Budapest| ©Martin
By plane from Budapest| ©Martin

Due to the fact that both Budapest and Bratislava have airports, this is a very popular option, although it is still one of the most expensive. To go from the center of Budapest to the airport, which is the largest of the five airports in Hungary, you must take a transport, which can be a bus, or a combination of subway or train and bus.

Then, already at the Bratislava airport, you can take a bus from the airport to the city, to walk around and see the city. It is a trip of less than an hour in direct flights, as the distance between Budapest and Bratislava is relatively short.

The prices

Prices range from 18 to 150 euros, depending on the option you choose or find available on the date you travel. The truth is that, unless you get that ticket of 18 euros that I mention as minimum price, I do not recommend this option.

The duration

Although the trip takes less than an hour, you must transfer from the airports to the cities, and you must check in, and wait for your luggage.

These things take time. All in all, in my opinion, the result is that you will spend much more money than necessary, and you will not save significant time. Are you planning a vacation in Budapest? Find out all about the Budapest Card in this article!

3. Getting there by car: an independent option

Person Driving| ©JESHOOTS.com
Person Driving| ©JESHOOTS.com

Whether it's a bad or good option, we'll see. What I can tell you from the start is that it is one of the least popular options. By car, getting from Budapest to Bratislava is not a big difficulty. It can be done.

The trip takes a few hours by highway. However, the traffic to get out of the center of the Hungarian capital is a bit mediated by chaos. This is a big disadvantage if you are traveling to relax or simply want to get there quickly and without complications.

However, traveling by car has a great advantage that no other means of transportation can match: by driving to other cities, you control where to move, and you can access excursions or activities not so centrally located, thanks to the fact that you can go by your own will. If you want to live such a personalized adventure, this is a great option.

Extra expenses: road taxes

As it is a short trip, you will not need to make any stops. You should know that you have to pay a road tax for the highways. This applies in both cases: both Hungary and Slovakia will ask for their own.

  • The Hungarian vignette will cost you 13€ and lasts for 10 days. You can buy it online but also in most gas stations in the country.
  • Slovakia's vignette will cost you 10€ for the same amount of days. To buy it, you also have options online and at gas stations. You don't have to put any sticker on the car, just register your license plate to avoid fines.

If you want to know everything for your trip to Budapest, be sure to read our article with 10 tips you should follow on your trip to Budapest.

Book your excursion to Bratislava

4. How to arrive by bus: the most popular option

Bus from Budapest to Bratislava| ©Александр К.
Bus from Budapest to Bratislava| ©Александр К.

By bus, you can get from Budapest to Bratislava with a journey time of between two hours and three and a half hours. This is one of the most economical options, while still being direct.

For example, with the company FlixBus there are seven daily departures, with tickets ranging from 8 to 12 euros. What is recommended is to book them online and in advance, to take advantage of promotions and not run out of space.

Other companies that offer this trip are RegioJet. Both companies offer frequent buses to Bratislava from Budapest. Their tickets also start at 8 euros, but there are up to 24 euros.

Tips for traveling by bus

Buses leave from Budapest Kelenföld station, which is a bit far from the city center, but can be reached in half an hour by subway with the green M4 line, or with some bus lines. As in Budapest there are two bus stations with departures like this one, you should pay attention, especially if you buy the ticket online, to check well where your bus leaves from.

You don't want to have bought it and then be waiting at the other end of the city, do you? If you like to travel by bus and you are planning your next trip to Budapest, be sure to read our article to know the best tourist buses in Budapest, so you can plan a vacation to suit your desires.

Book your excursion to Bratislava

5. Other means of transportation

Train to Bratislava| ©Doug Kerr
Train to Bratislava| ©Doug Kerr

If none of the above alternatives are what you were looking for, it's probably because you're wondering if you have the option to travel by train. And yes, you do.

Traveling by train to Bratislava from Budapest is possible. And, although it is not our most recommended option, it is a good option. Especially for lovers of nostalgia for the railroad and its tracks.

The train trip from Budapest to Bratislava takes about two and a half hours. In the case of traveling by train, you have the advantage that the train station is closer to the center than in other means of transportation.

Most trains start at Nyugati station, which can be reached from the center by the blue metro line M3. In the case of the Bratislava train station, upon arrival, you will have to take streetcar line 1 to reach the city center. They depart quite frequently.

Prices

If your intention is to go to Bratislava from Budapest and then return, you should know that the price of train tickets is 12 euros, but if you make round trip you get a total of 17.50. So, it is really a convenient option for day trips. Of course, you will lose a lot of time on the trip, and you will probably not enjoy it very much. You might want to spend the night. This is why I prefer other options to this one, beyond my love for trains.

How to buy tickets

You can buy train tickets online, but it is not necessary. You still have to pick them up at the ticket counter, so the best thing to do is to buy them right there, so you won't run out of tickets. There are seven direct trains daily covering this route. You will not be left out, if that worries you.

If you decide to go to Bratislava to spend the day, and then return to spend the night in Budapest, do not miss our article with the ten best ruin bars in Budapest that will make you choose what is said a great plan with all the letters, fun and picturesque, and ideal after a tiring day.