Imagine this. It’s late. The Ryanair flight’s just landed. To cap a long journey, you’ve had to deal with officially the most ridiculous airport bus transfer in the world (yes Bratislava really is a record-breaker in this respect). You just want to get to your hotel. But actually, it’s not always as simple as that. The airport doesn’t always have enough taxis and you might not have the taxi numbers or, perhaps, object to being charged over twice the odds (20 Euros plus) a local would be for the ride from the airport to your hotel. There might be any number of other reasons, too, why you need directions to your chosen accommodation.
The good news is that most of the main city centre hotels are in a very small area of the Old Town, and here’s our fool-proof guide on how to get from the airport right to the Old Town. Once there (ie at the Postová tram stop described in the afore-mentioned link), Austria Trend Hotel and Crowne Plaza are right by you.
If you head straight ahead on Obchodná, cross over the wide, tram track-lined road directly ahead and make a beeline for the pretty street (Michalská) heading down between the strip club and the bank, you’re in the heart of the Old Town and within five minutes walk of Skaritz, Hotel Marrol’s, Park Inn Danube and Radisson Blu Carlton (just head down towards Hviezdoslavo Námestie and the Danube for these last two). For any of these bang-in-centre hotels, public transport to Postová followed by the five to ten minute walk through the Old Town is a great and atmospheric introduction to your time in Bratislava.
But for some of the other most popular hotels, things are slightly more complicated. Slightly only mind. There’s still not really a need to taxi it from the airport/bus station for any of the below either…
Kempinski Hotel River Park
This hotel is west along the riverside by about 2.5 km from Most SNP, next to the River Park shopping centre. It’s not the worst walk in the world from the Old Town as it’s along the river, but with a big road right on the other side, you might also want to consider public transport. Take bus 61 to Tranavské Mýto, then tram 4 which takes you eventually down alongside the river, under Most SNP and along to Chatam Sófer stop (from the airport). OR take trolleybus 13 to Nám L.’ Štúra (when the trolleybus gets to the river, basically) then tram 4 which takes you along the river to Chatham Sófer stop.
The Sheraton Bratislava is in the Eurovea Shopping Centre, following the happy theme of big hotels in the city centre locating themselves near shopping centres. Look out the window from the Kempinski or Sheraton in Bratislava and your view will be the same (beautiful Danube flanked by modern otherwise underwhelming shopping centre; difference being they’re on opposite sides of the Old Town). Anyway. Take bus 61 to Tranavské Mýto, then tram 4 to Šafarikovo Nám (from the airport) OR trolleybus 13 to Šafarikovo Nám (from the station).
Best Western Hotel West
Bratislava’s Best Western is in a strange – if rather stunning – location: up in the woods of the Mestské Lesy by the Kamzik TV mast. This is the only hotel where you really might rule public transport out, just because it’s otherwise a bit of a walk through the woods – but it is possible – and very nice if you’re staying a few days and don’t always want to get a taxi. Take bus 61 to one stop beyond Račianske Mýto, Karpatská (coming from the airport) OR bus 61/74/502 one stop to Karpatská (coming from the station). Walk a few paces up Karpatská to change to Trolleybus 203 and take the bus to the end of the line. Then continue walking up the road from approximately 1.5km. Just head up if in doubt – it goes into the woods but don’t worry – eventually the road will divide, with the left branch curling up to Kamzik and the right branch going to the hotel. A taxi from the centre: about 7 Euros. A taxi from the airport: about 25 Euros.
This is in Ružinov. Bus 61 to Bajkalská, then bus 74 a few stops south to Mliekárenská (from the airport). Otherwise, Bus 61 or bus 74 to Tranavské Mýto then tram 9 to Slovanet from where you’ll have to walk a few hundred metres south on Bajkalská
Bratislava’s Airport Hotels For the NH Gate One and VI Hotel Chopin, the two out-of-centre airport/business hotels, take Bus 61 from the airport (5 minutes) or train station (30 minutes) and get off at Avion Shopping Centre. See my imminent post on Bratislava’s airport hotels for more.
I should add, by the way, that me mentioning these big hotels is by no means an endorsement of them. Quite the contrary. With the exception of Austria Trend Hotel, Skaritz and Hotel Marrol’s, all of these hotels fall for me into the category of slightly samey international chain options, and as a rule quirky quintessential Slovakia-ness is what we like to wax lyrical about on this blog! Moral of this post: save 20 Euros on the taxi from the airport and spend it on a good meal out for two (possible in Bratislava) or dirt-cheap beer.
If you want to say To Hell with this post, I’m getting a taxi, then a cross-town (across the Old Town that is) or train station to Old Town taxi ride is around 5 Euros, and from the airport to the Old town you’ll pay 15 to 20 Euros (more for the Best Western Hotel West and Kempinski Hotel River Park because they’re through the Old Town and out the other side).