Bratislava is a small town, so the a day and a half I had set aside to explore the Slovak capital, I found to be enough. If you don’t mind rushing things a bit, a day trip from Vienna is probably doable too. As in a lot of places, the old part of town beats the new part by miles, so I suggest you don’t spend the little time you might have in the new part. To me, the best part of Bratislava is just strolling around the old town enjoying the townscape, and popping into one of the nice cafes with their super rich cakes. In my opinion there are no must-see sights, but the somewhat anonymous castle has a superb view, which makes the uphill climb worthwhile. Enter the castle grounds from St. Martin’s Cathedral (dom.fara.sk), which by the way wasn’t all that, as it is a lot nicer than from one of the main roads further up (seen from the river). What surprised me most about Bratislava were the quiet streets. A Tuesday morning felt like a Sunday morning in Oslo, like no one had gotten out of bed yet. Even though the level of activity rose as the day progressed, it still had this nice, calm serenity to it. P.S. Don’t leave without trying Slovak food! The Beef Stroganoff I had for dinner was veeery nice 🙂
I arrived by bus from Vienna Int. Airport. I travelled on Slovak Lines (slovaklines.sk). Cheap, very convenient and free Wi-Fi. It took about an hour to get to the bus station in Bratislava. I travelled from Bratislava to Vienna by train. Also about an hour. Ended up getting a return ticket, as it was cheaper than a one-way ticket.
Other things to do: Bratislava tips