Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. As such, it’s also the biggest city in Slovenia. At different times in history, it has been part of different countries. As such, the city is incredibly rich in culture and has been influenced by many nations throughout the ages. There are enough attractions in Bratislava alone to keep you occupied for several days. However, if you are looking to explore the surroundings, here are 8 awesome day trip ideas from Bratislava.
In this guide to day trips, we will try to include at least one for everyone. Whether you have a car available or with family or friends you will find something on our list that’s for you.
Vienna – Bratislava Day Trip
Vienna is the capital city of Australia, the neighbouring country to Slovakia. This beautiful metropolis has been the centre of power in Central Europe throughout the medieval ages. Its influence can be seen today in cities like Budapest and Bratislava itself. Due to the vicinity of Bratislava, it’s a perfect location for a day trip, easily reachable by either public transport or car.
In Vienna, we recommend a leisure stroll trough the old town area. We think the best place to start for this is Maria-Theresien-Platz. From here walk towards the Danube, and head for the beautiful St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Continue with a short walk over to the ever so impressive St. Stephen’s Cathedral, where you will end up in the hearth of the old town. If you want you can either go for some shopping from here as there are many trendy stores around the pedestrian streets.
How to get from Bratislava to Vienna
With a car, it’s about a one hour drive. Leaving Bratislava you will have to take road number 9 that will join into highway A4. Highway A4 will lead you right into Vienna. However, due to the constant heavy traffic and shortage of parking spaces in the Austrian Capital, we do not recommend visiting Vienna by car, even if one is available for you. If you decide to go by car regardless, we suggest you park some way out of the city centre at either a hotel or parking garage. Many hotels around will let you park in their garage for a daily fee.
Bus or Train
Luckily there is a regular public transport service between the two cities. As the distance is quite small, there is almost no difference between choosing a bus or train. It comes down to your personal preference and convenience of the bus station or train station location.
If you travel by bus, you will be able to get a ticket from the driver and don’t need to buy one in advance. Going by train, you can buy your ticket at the train station cashier offices.
Devin Castle Day Trip
This fortress, the Devin Castle, was among the first castles in whole Slovakia. It was mentioned as early as 864 by written sources. This monumental stone castle has been besieged and fought over by many rulers. Some sources mention that even Napoleon’s army has been involved with the castle.
The castle built upon a rocky hillside also offers spectacular views on the underlying country. Among the ruins, you will find plenty of opportunities to take in the picturesque valley below.
Apart from checking out the castle, we also recommend a quick hike in the surrounding hills. You will find some trails starting from the Castle, that will take you around to the other attractions of the area. Together with taking these trails, its a great day trip opportunity from Bratislava.
Getting to Devin Castle from Bratislava
As the castle is only 12 KM from Bratislava it is super easy to get here by car. There is even free parking near the castle.
You will need to find Bus line 29. It starts from under the ‘UFO Bridge’, at the ‘Most SNP’ bus station.
Senec Day Trip
If you are in Bratislava during the summer and fancy a swim, the town of Senec must be on your radar. It’s only 25 km from Bratislava but already sees less tourism. The area is more authentic Slovakia, instead of a big tourism centre.
The lake itself is well equipped with amenities for your day trip. You will be able to grab food and drinks from the lakeside cafés and restaurants. There is even an aquapark next to the main lake of Senec if you are looking for something more than simple swimming. You can rent paddleboats, and find small walking trails along the lake. It’s very easy to spend a relaxing summer day or afternoon in Senec.
Getting to Senec from Bratislava
As the town is quite close you can get here by car very quickly. There is even free parking available.
Bus or Train
There is both a frequent train and bus connection between the two cities. The cheapest is going by train. The ticket will cost you about 2 euro, and the trip will be around 25 minutes.
Zaruby is the highest peak in the Little Carpathians. With its 768 meters height, it will provide a nice overlook for the surrounding area. It is also at the middle of Zaruby national reserve – named after the mountain peak.
The top can be reached with a relatively undemanding hike. If you want you can do a round trip, or just come back the same way. Either way, it will take you around 4-5 hours to complete this hike. We think the best time to go is after breakfast, to make sure you have enough time to complete the hike at a leisurely pace.
One thing to keep in mind is that the peak is quite open. As such it is usually windy up there, even on clear days. If the weather is less favorable to begin with, make sure you pack something against the wind at the top.
The good starting point for this tour is the town of Smolenice. The tours start from the Castle of Smolenice, which also worth checking out.
Getting to Smolenice from Bratislava
Leaving from Bratislava, you just have to follow road 502, and it will take you straight into Smolenice. The distance is about 60km or 1 hour.
There is a regular bus service between the cities. The bus starts from station Mlynske Nivy. It takes around 1 hour and 10 minutes to get there by bus.
Schlosspark Laxenburg Day Trip
Laxenburg, originally a market town, is a small settlement in Austria, around 20km south of Vienna. It’s most famous attraction is the Schlosspark, the Castle Parks. We recommend this day trip from Bratislava, especially for families.
The Laxenburg Castles are located within the Schlosspark and served as one of the major residences for the Habsburg Royal Family. The whole Castle Park is a big English Landscape Garden.
This means that almost everything in the park is artificial. There are several lakes, streams, and rocky areas around the park, but those were put there by humans. There is even an artificial medieval fortress built into the park.
It is very easy to spend at least half a day here, but if you take it slow, it’s a perfect day trip location. You will be able to walk around the trails in the park and get to know the history of the place from the information plaques. On the main lake, you will even be able to rent a boat. We highly recommend this as a great romantic experience.
How to get to Laxenburg from Bratislava
Just like Vienna, this town is around one hour from Bratislava with the car. You would go almost the same way, on highway A4, except instead of going into Vienna, you will leave the highway to turn southwards and reach Laxenburg. There is a huge parking area at the entrance of the Schlosspark.
Bus or Train
Unfortunately, there is no direct connection between the two cities. If you are planning to see Laxenburg your best bet is taking bus 200 from Vienna.
Lake Neusiedl – Seewinkel National Park
Once again this day trip will take you into Austria. The Seewinkel National Park lies on the shores of the Lake Neusiedl. It is a big lake in southern Austria. Parts of the lake even extend into Hungary.
The National Park was established in 1993, and today it offers a laid-back relaxing experience. You will be able to walk along the trails of the park, right down to the shore of Lake Neusiedl. There is a lot of wildlife to observe in and around the park, which makes this an excellent choice with children.
The park also offers guided tours that last up to 3 hours. If you want to know the full history of the national park and more about the wildlife present, the guided tour will be perfect for you.
How to get to Seewinkel National Park from Bratislava
The trip will take you just under an hour. You will have to leave Bratislava towards the south, and head to the Austrian town of Illmitz. Here you will find the entrance of the nature park. There will be a small parking area available near the entrance.
Unfortunately, there are no direct connections between the two cities. The closest you can get via train is the north end of the Lake Neuseidl. From Bratislava take the train to Parndorf, where you can change trains to go Neusiedl am See. Here you can still enjoy being at the lake, and walking around it, but if you are looking for the national park you will have to take a bus to Illmitz from here.
Trnava Day Trip
Trnava, regarded as the town of churches. You will be surprised just how many churches were fit into this small picturesque town. Also sometimes referred to as Little Rome, Trnava is a great destination for a one day trip from Bratislava.
This little settlement has an amazing old town area with medieval architecture, and you guessed it right, a lot of beautiful and interesting churches. Once you get tired of all the walking and sightseeing you will be able to rest in one of the cafés or cute restaurants in the city. What’s even better, this location is more local and less touristic than Bratislava. It’s a nice break from the big city.
Getting to Trnava
Trnava is around 40 minutes with car from Bratislava. Do note that you will need to pay an hourly fee for parking near Trnava city centre. We suggest the Parking Garage at Starohajska Street.
There is no direct bus connection, however, there is direct rail into Trnava. Getting here by train is quite easy, the journey will take around a little bit over an hour.
Danube floodplains – Dunajské Luhy Day Trip
This is one of the more hidden places from tourism. The Danube Floodplains of Slovakia are one of the youngest national reserves in the country. It provides a safe home for a wide variety of bird species.
There are countless small trails going true the reserve that you can follow. The reserve itself is almost a swamp-like place, with rich flora and fauna. It is a perfect destination if you are looking to do something in nature.
Getting to Dunajské Luhy
This location is once again only available by car. You will have to find your way into the village of Bodíky, from where you can start on the trails leading into the park. You can leave the car next to the football field at Bodíky.
We are confident that you will be able to find at least one day trip idea from Bratislava in our list, that you like. Although we have provided multiple trips that can easily be accessed via public transport, it is highly recommended to rent a car if you wish to explore outside of the city.
Make sure to also check out our Croatia guide for couples.