Planning a Trip
By Plane -- Bus no. 61 connects Bratislava airport with the main train station, Hlavná Stanica. The journey takes about 25 minutes. An Airport Shuttle service (tel. 02/4363-2305; www.airportshuttle.sk) is available, with prices starting at 15€ ($19). If you are arriving in Vienna Schwechat airport, buses run frequently to Bratislava's main bus terminal. The ride takes 70 minutes and costs about 10€ ($13) each way. Several operators maintain regular limo and minibus service between Schwechat and Bratislava. The above Airport Shuttle service charges 50€ ($64) for up to four passengers.
The area of most interest to visitors is the Old Town (Staré Mesto) and the adjacent Castle area, all situated north of the Danube. For restaurants, accommodations, and most of the attractions, you'll rarely stray from this area.
On Foot -- The best way to see Bratislava and to get around in Old Town is to walk. Distances are not far, but you'll want to wear comfortable shoes because of the cobblestones.
By Tram -- Bratislava's tram system is comprehensive, though for traveling around the Old Town and the immediate area, you won't need it. Ticket prices vary by time. A 10-minute ticket, the cheapest, costs about.50€ (75¢). A 30-minute ticket costs.60€ (90¢). A ticket for large pieces of luggage costs.25€ (40¢). You can also buy day or multiday tickets for 1, 2, 3, and 7 days. Validate tickets on entering the tram and hold onto them until the end of the ride. The fine is steep for riding without a ticket. Trams generally run from 5am to 11pm. More information is available on the Bratislava Transport Company website: www.dpb.sk.
By Bus -- Bratislava has an extensive network of buses and trolleys, and these are generally the only ways of reaching the more far-flung parts of the city. The ticketing is the same as for trams. Validate your ticket on entering the bus or trolley. Buses generally run from 5am to 11pm.
By Taxi -- Taxis are relatively cheap and easy to find. Hail them on the street, at taxi stands, or call by phone. Watch that the driver switches on the meter, since dishonest drivers, relatively rarely now, may try to cheat you. Fares around town shouldn't be any higher than 5€ to 7€ ($6.35-$8.90). Two reputable agencies include Fun Taxi (tel. 02/16777) and ABC Taxi (tel. 02/16100).
By Bike -- The car-free Old Town is easily negotiated by bike, but there are few rental shops around. The rest of the city is less bike-friendly, with trolley buses, trams, and traffic to contend with.
The Tourist Information Center maintains four offices. The main office is located in the Old Town at Klobucnícka ul. 2 (tel. 02/16186; www.bkis.sk), with branches at the airport, main train station, and passenger ferry port. The staff is efficient at supplying maps and suggestions of all kinds, as well as helping to arrange transportation and accommodations. The Bratislava Tourist Service, also in the Old Town at Ventúrska ul. 9 (tel. 02/5464-1271; www.bratislava-info.sk), is a separate but equally helpful office, where you'll find plenty of maps and booklets as well as suggestions on what to see and where to sleep. The office runs daily walking tours (15€/$19 per person, in English and German). For a more fun tour, head to Hlavné námestie in the Old Town to catch the little red trolley through the Old Town. Tours last 30 to 45 minutes and are great for a quick orientation (tel. 0903-302-817; www.tour4u.sk). Bratislava Sightseeing Tours, Pri Suchom mlyne 84 (tel. 0907-683-112; www.bratislavasightseeing.com), offers off-the-beaten-track bicycle and bus tours, both within Bratislava and in the surrounding countryside, from May 1 through September.