We will be in Vienna for 2 1/2 days. 1 1/2 of those days will be spent seeing Vienna itself. I am considering a bus tour to Bratislava for one day. How compelling of a site is Bratislava? I don't know if I should spend more time in Vienna or visit Bratislava. We love landscapes, photography, history and food. Comments welcomed.
For the amount of time you have I would stay in Vienna. There is so much to see and do. If you are there in spring or summer Schoenbrunn Palace has beautiful grounds for photography. Spittleburg district has great photo opps for the older architecture. As for food...Vienna is absolutely wunderbar! Take the better part of a day and start wandering in Nussdorf working your way through Heilegenstadt, Grinzing, and the vineyards in Neustift am Wald (not to mention the Heurigen). History is all over the place in Vienna, from the Hoffburg Palace, Belvedere Palace and Schoenbrunn Palace, you could spend three days just doing them and that is just scratching the surface!
I tend to agree with the above. 1 1/2 days isn't enough, in my mind, to see Vienna. It's a pretty big city (even if the center is compact some of the best sights like the miltary museum and schoenbrunn aren't in the center). The art museums are great, the history is just amazing if you are familiar with the Hapsburgs/Austro-Hungarian Empire/Holy Roman Empire. You can get some nature nearby the city, there are vineyard covered hills with traditional restaurants and wine bars in the suburbs that are very popular in the summer. Some people I know say Bratislava is a nice little side trip, but it's not something that makes sense to do with so little time.
Many people go to Bratislava as a less expensive alternative to Vienna - especially for opera and classical music concerts. The euro is used, so no exchange issues compared to Austria. If you are into to historically intact cities, Vienna has much more to see, without the Communist-era apartment blocks.
Time would be better spent in Vienna.
I wouldn't go to Bratislava if I'd already spent a month in Vienna. What is there really to see that would take a whole day? I'd rather go the other way to Melk, or ride the Mariazellerbahn from St Polten.
Allen, I would love to see Melk. Is it possible to spend early AM going to Melk and have the rest of the day seeing Vienna?
Yes, Melk can easily be done as a (half day) trip from Vienna. Trains leave mostly hourly from Westbahnhof in that direction(about 1:15 each way). If you go early, you can be back in Vienna by early afternoon. I would also follow Alex's suggestion if looking for something different (Heiligenstadt, Grinzing, vineyards), and also a short bus ride from Grinzing up to Kahlenberg.
Despite having about half million inhabitants Bratislava has a little cute old town. The rest are mostly huge apartment blocks from communist era. The old town is worth to see. The castle is a short walk up from the old town. You can also get to Bratislava by a hydrofoil on the Danube river. I would visit Bratislava only if I had more than 3 days in Vienna.
Hi, As is you have too little time to devote to Vienna much less spending it also in Bratislava (Pressburg). If you had more time in Vienna, say 2-3 extra days, then I would suggest going to Bratislava too to see not only its German but also Hungarian influence.