Bratislava was my third destination in eastern Europe, and I arrived at the city on my fifth day in Europe. It was on January 4th 2019 to be precise. I hopped on a train from Prague Hlavni Nadrazi (Prague Hl. N.) and arrived at Bratislava Hlavna Stanica (Bratislava Hl. St.). I stayed on Bratislava for one day before continuing the journey to Budapest (Hungary). In this post i would like to share how to get to Bratislava using train from Prague and Places to visit in a short period of time.
Bratislava is the capital city of Slovakia. Slovakia’s north border met with Poland and Czech Republic, the east border met with Ukraine, the south border met with Hungary, and its western border met with Austria. Bratislava is located on the western most part of the country, makes it very close to Vienna. This geographical condition influences the city culture and religions.
Bratislava sits on the Danube Riverbanks and Morava River. This city has 430,000 populations and divided to 5 districts. In 2019, Bratislava ranks as the eighth-richest region in the European Union with a GDP per capita 179% of the average for all Europe. Nicknames for Bratislava include Little Big City and Beauty on the Danube. A popular catch-name for Slovakia is the Central European Tiger for its robust economic growth around the early 2000s. (source: www.worldcapitalcities.com)
How to get to Bratislava (Slovakia) by Train from Prague
There are few direct train daily from Prague to Bratislava using regional train. It takes 4 hours direct trip from Prague to Bratislava and the earliest departure is at 05:44 am (the next one are at 07:44am, 09:44am, 11:44am, 13:44pm, 15:44pm, and 17:44pm ). The ticket cost 413 CZK for economy 2nd class (263,000 IDR or 17,6 USD) as per September 2020. There are also sleeper train and non-direct trip, which cost more expensive and the trip can take up to 7 to 8 hours. I took the 17:44 train and arrived at Bratislava at 21:30 pm. The ticket can be purchased online, or you can go to Prague Central Station to buy the ticket.
How to Get Around Bratislava using Public Transportation
There are buses, Trolley-busses and trams in Bratislava. The tickets apply for all and sold in single-trip paper (short term ticket) and all day tickets. Its validity also varies on the zones. Short term tickets are vary from 15 minutes to 180 minutes while all-day tickets vary from 24 hrs to 168 hrs.
The short time tickets can be purchased at ticket machines at public transport stops. But, not all the above options available. All the options are available for purchasing at operator’s ticket offices, most news agencies, and electronically. The long term tickets can be purchased at operator’s ticket offices, and on the internet. This is the ticket sales points for all kinds of ticket.
Beautiful Places to check out in Bratislava in One Day
This holiday only gave me one day to experience Bratislava. With the only limited time that we had, we only went around its old city complex. These are some places that we visited in less than 24 hours.
1. Bratislava Castle
This is the the place that visited not. Yes, we somehow missed this one place. We went there first thing in the morning by tram, we missed the direction, we almost got there, but we simply gave up and went to Old Town Square instead. However, we did saw the castle from afar and this is why I am still including it on this post.
Bratislava Castle was built in 9th century. In 15th Century under the reign of Sigismund of Luxembourg, a castle was built in Gothic Style. Then in 16th century, King Ferdinand rebuilt the castle in renaissance style while in 17th century, the provincial chief rebuilt the castle in Baroque style. Since independence, the castle has served as a representative venue of Slovak Parliament and houses collection of the Slovak National Museum. (source: VisitBratislava)
This museum open from 9 am to 5 pm in the winter and from 10 am to 6 pm in the summer. The admission of the museum exhibitions and treasury is 10 EUR.
2. St Martin’s Cathedral
The Roman Catholic Cathedral is the largest and oldest Church in Bratislava. The current church was consecrated on 1492 and was built on the previous church location back in 1221. It has four chapels and between 1563 to 1830, it serves as coronation church for the Hungarian Kings. St Martin’s Cathedral open daily from 9 am to 6 pm (to 5pm on Thursday, and to 4 pm on Sunday).
3. Roland Fountain (Maximillian Fountain)
Roland Fountain is located at the old main square. Maximillian King built this fountain in 1572 to give public water supply. When we arrived at the town square, it was raining hard, and then snowing for good hours.
4. Old Town Square
Taking the stroll in Old Town Square is probably the best activities in Bratislava. Although the atmosphere was nowhere near to Prague. The quiet walk give you peaceful mantra and slowly transported you back to 18th centuries. Stop at the statue “man at work” by Viktor Hulik. Several status are spread across the old Town but we only met one where the man statue sticking out of a manhole. The other statue looks like a guy peeking out from the corner as if to take a picture. You can find this statue at UFO restaurant. For more man at work status locations, you can read it here.
5. Most SNP
Most Slovenského národného povstania or briefly called as Most SNP was constructed from 1967 to 1972. It has 430 m length, 21 m width, and 84 m height. There are four lanes on this bridge with two lanes on the upper for motorised vehicle and two lines on the bottom for bycicle and pedestrians. Visitor can go up to the observation deck to enjoy the view of Bratislava. The east pillar used as lift and west pillar used as emergency stair as many as 430 stairs. Restaurant on the top named UFO Restaurant. (source: Wikipedia)