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Bratislover ÖBB ticket from Wien (caution)

This isn't a post to tell you not to take a side trip to Bratislava, but rather to prepare yourself for what happened to us a couple of weeks ago.

We decided to take an afternoon to explore Bratislava so went to Wien Hbf to purchase our Bratislover tickets. The ticket agent said the main train station in Slovakia was closed due to construction but we would arrive at another train station and a bus would take us the rest of the way. So I thought, no problem and envisioned a nice bus waiting for us when we arrived.

The reality was quite different, however. We arrived at Petržalka Station to mass chaos. There were a lot of tourists. Slovakian ticket agents seemed overwhelmed, unfriendly and lacked English skills. We were on our own and tourists started banding together to help each other out. My wife and I teamed up with a mother-daughter couple from Spain as my wife speaks Spanish fluently. We met some locals who helped us and it worked out. We worked together to get to the tourist area then disbanded.

Petržalka Station is actually not so far from the old city center. The problem was more of communications one and less of a logistical one. Dummy me forgot to preload the Bratislava map in my Google Maps iPhone app. My intent in sharing is not to discourage you from going but rather to spare you the confusion as it's not hard once you know where to go

So if this happens to you and end up at this horrible little railway depot, do not panic. The station is very close to where you need to be. If you end up inside you will want go back out toward the train you left and walk through an underground walkway in an easterly direction. The street you will come out on will actually go directly to the old city center so cross the street and take a bus north. You may want to ask a local which one as there seemed to be several that went in that direction. I forgot the name of the stop you need but it was the first or second one after crossing the river.

I hope this helps someone. If I were to go back I would know where to go right away and it's not too hard.

Posted by
988 posts

It's going to help me!! Thanks SO much!! We are doing this next week. I will research about arrival at the other station... or also I think there is a bus option from Vienna as well. I was debating between train and bus, but maybe this will make the call for the bus.

This is SUPER helpful, thank you!!!
Kim

Posted by
63 posts

You betcha, Kim. I'm glad it will help. My objective is not to dissuade you from going but to rather to make it easier.

If you preload the map on the Google Maps app it will make it easier to navigate. We ate at a restaurant called Zylinder in the old city center and it was quite good.

Am I glad we went to Bratislava? Yes. It was somewhere new and different. Will we go again the next time we're in Wien? Probably not.

Posted by
63 posts

I think I would still do the rail option only now you won't have the surprise we did.

Posted by
988 posts

Great! I went ahead and just booked the bus tickets.... it's only an hour and seemed pretty easy. Yes the kids want to hit another country for their list so I figured why not just pop over there for a day? Just something a little different I'm guessing. :)

Thanks for the restaurant, I will check that too!

Thanks again for the info, SUPER incredibly helpful!!

Kim

Posted by
6507 posts

Several people here on the forum, including Vienna residents, recommend taking the bus instead of the train to Bratislava. They say it's just easier because the bus drops you right where you want to be in the old town. Even when the train does take you to the main train station, you still have to catch a bus to the old town center. I took the train to the main station when I went and the bus to town was easy and straightforward but if I went again I would take the bus for the convenience, there's nothing special about taking the train.

Posted by
6950 posts

We took the 39 mile bus ride from Bratislava into Vienna. They dropped us in front of the Vienna bus station. It was quick and easy. In late Spring or Summer, I'd probably prefer to do the hydrofoil trip from Vienna to Bratislave (or vice versa.)

Posted by
2326 posts

Thanks for this useful bit of info--I'm making a short return to Vienna in April and tentatively plan to spend one afternoon in Bratislava. I read a bit about getting there in Rick's guide and thought it was walkable from Petrzalka to old town?

Posted by
63 posts

It might be walkable, Christa, but it would be a very long walk down an unattractive and busy street. Google Earth it. It's probably a little too far to walk for most people. I would take the bus as that was included in the Bratislover ticket. Better to spend your time in the old town than trekking down that ugly street.

Posted by
1518 posts

Nobody would walk from Petrzalka train station to the old city.
There are three bus lines (departing on either side of the train station) which will bring you in a few minutes to the center.
Lines 93 and 94 (via the pedestrian underpath) as well as line 80.

Posted by
988 posts

Just an update- we took the flix bus from Vienna erdberg to novy most- took about an hour, easy ride. They have an app that is really good. We were dropped right near the main area, super easy! :)

Thanks again for the heads up!
Kim

Posted by
63 posts

I'm glad it helped you, Kim. So what did you think about Bratislava?

Posted by
988 posts

We liked it! Mainly we went because the boys wanted to have visited another country, and they wanted to do a Segway tour., and it seemed easier and less crowded in Bratislava, which it was. Though it was freezing!!

We visited their Christmas markets which were cute, nothing like vienna's, but something different. We didn't really look at much because the boys don't like "walking around looking st things". :)

I enjoyed it though! :)
Kim