The Slovak capital, while offering plenty to do, is no competitor to its more popular neighbors, Budapest and Vienna. Still, its central location offers the possibility of some amazing international day trips! I asked some fellow travel bloggers and we collectively came up with this list of the best day trips from Bratislava. Happy exploring!

Day trips from Bratislava, Slovakia

1. Brno, Czech republic

Cityscape of Brno, Czech Republic, an easy day trip from Bratislava

Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic. It’s got this amazing blend of history and modernity that you just have to experience.

When you wander around Brno, you’ll stumble upon some incredible spots. From delicious food and great beer to wonderful wine, your taste buds will thank you. And hey, if you’re in Bratislava, you can easily hop over to Brno for a day trip — just a quick 1.5-2 hour journey by public transport.

Most of Brno’s main attractions are within walking distance of the historical center. You won’t need to worry about transportation. Just take a stroll and explore the city’s highlights. Speaking of which, you don’t want to miss the impressive Špilberk Castle. It’s a massive baroque citadel with extensive casemates that will leave you in awe. And let’s not forget about Petrov Cathedral, the iconic symbol of Brno.

Wait, there’s more! You’ve got to check out the St. James Ossuary, which happens to be the second largest in all of Europe. It’s a fascinating place, trust me. And when you’re in Náměstí Svobody, the main square, you might stumble upon some bustling markets and exciting festivals. It’s the heart of the city!

Oh, and if you’re into modern architecture, be sure to visit Vila Tugendhat. It’s a functionalist-style villa that was built back in 1929-30, and it’s actually listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pretty awesome, right?

So, getting to Brno is a breeze. You’ve got options! Take a train from Bratislava Hlavná Stanica (Main Train Station) and you’ll be there in just about 1.5 hours. Or if you prefer, hop on a bus from Bratislava Bus Station (Autobusová Stanica Nivy), and the journey shouldn’t take more than 2 hours. And hey, prices start at a super affordable 5 Euros, depending on the company.

2. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest Parliament next to the Danube with pale pink and yellow sunset skies.

Budapest is just a short car ride or train journey away! It used to be the capital of Hungary, so why not explore the city that has a historical connection with Bratislava?

Budapest is divided by the majestic Danube River, with the vibrant Pest on one side and the charming Buda on the other. Although you’re only here for a day, there’s so much to see and do that you’ll have to prioritize. From the famous tourist spots to the hidden gems, Budapest has it all. Do some research before your trip to make sure you don’t miss out on anything that catches your interest!

To make the most of your time, get yourself a 24-hour travel card to easily navigate the city’s extensive public transportation network. If you’re arriving by train at Keleti Railway Station, hop on the red line (Metro 2) and get off at Deak Ferenc Ter. This central location will put you within walking distance of many attractions, close to the picturesque Danube.

Start your Budapest adventure with a leisurely stroll along Vaci Street, soaking in the lively atmosphere and browsing the shops. Make your way to the Great Market Hall and pick up some unique souvenirs to bring back home. Don’t forget to grab some Hungarian smoked paprika—it goes well with everything! Looking for a different perspective? Take a ride on the Budapest Eye for breathtaking views.

3. Devin Castle, Slovakia

Devin Castle in Slovakia during golden hour with the sun setting over the Danube River.  An easy day trip from Bratislava!

You definitely don’t want to miss a tour to the incredibly picturesque Devin Castle! Nestled amidst breathtaking natural surroundings and a lush green landscape, this place will transport you to the charm of Scotland rather than Slovakia. Perched atop a towering 200-meter rock, the castle offers an unforgettable view of the Danube River, which gracefully flows through Bratislava and neighboring Austria, all the way to Vienna.

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Let’s dive into the history of Devin Castle, which dates back to a remarkable 864, making it one of the oldest fortresses in Slovakia. As you explore the castle’s renovated area, you’ll stumble upon countless fascinating sights and endless photo opportunities.

Conveniently located just 10 kilometers away from Bratislava, Devin Castle is an ideal spot for a day trip or even a half-day adventure. Getting there is a breeze, whether you choose to drive or hop on public transport. And here’s an exciting idea: why not embark on a delightful river boat trip from the city center to the castle?

No need to worry about visiting only during certain months, because Devin Castle is open year-round. Yes, even in winter! So, make sure to add this unforgettable experience to your Slovakia bucket list. The castle is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm from October to March, and extends its hours from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm from April to September. As for the entrance fee, it’s 5 Euros. However, here’s a little secret: with the Bratislava Card, it’s completely free!

4. Lake Balaton, Hungary

Two small row boats tied to a tiny dock with a dog on it on Lake Balaton, Hungary, a great and easy day trip from Bratislava.

Lake Balaton, the largest lake in central Europe, is a hidden gem that attracts both local Hungarians and neighboring nations as a popular summer getaway. This scenic lake and its surrounding landscape were shaped millions of years ago by volcanic eruptions, giving it a unique and fascinating history.

There’s a multitude of activities to indulge in around Lake Balaton. For adventure seekers, hike through the picturesque hills, explore medieval castles, and enjoy wine tastings. If you’re looking to unwind, immerse yourself in the natural thermal springs or bask in the sun at one of Lake Balaton’s beach resorts.

One of the cultural hubs of Balaton is the Tihany peninsula, where a charming small town awaits. Wander its narrow streets lined with authentic local shops and restaurants, where you can savor traditional dishes like langos. Don’t forget to visit the Tihany Castle for a breathtaking view of Lake Balaton.

Another must-visit spot is Badacsony, located on the lake’s shore. This enchanting region boasts one of Hungary’s most renowned wine areas. Explore the quaint wine shops and indulge in local wine tastings. For a memorable experience, hike around Badacsony hill, an ancient volcanic formation that offers panoramic vistas of Lake Balaton and the nearby Bakony mountains. And while you’re in the area, make sure to visit the well-preserved Szigliget Castle.

Getting to Lake Balaton is a breeze. If you’re traveling from Bratislava, it’s just a scenic 180 km drive away (approximately 2 and a half hours). If public transport is more your style, the most convenient option is to transit through Hungary’s capital, Budapest. Once you’ve arrived, enjoy the smooth and fast train connections that will take you to various destinations around Lake Balaton.

5. Mikulov, Czech Republic

City skyline of Mikulov, Czech Republic at dusk with red roofs and green trees dominating the landscape.

Mikulov, a stunning and well-preserved historic town nestled in the South Moravian region of Czechia, is an absolute gem worth exploring. This charming town not only boasts captivating architecture and vibrant streets, but it also happens to be Czechia’s very own wine country. Within the boundaries of Mikulov, you’ll be delighted to discover wineries and vineyards, offering a taste of the local spirits.

As you wander through the streets of Mikulov, you’ll be enchanted by the colorful facades of historic buildings and the cozy atmosphere of its quaint cafés. Be sure to set aside time to explore the Old Town, where an outdoor market graces the main square. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in regional delicacies, such as locally produced cheese, cured meats, and perfectly paired beers.

While in Mikulov, a visit to the iconic Mikulov Castle is an absolute must. This majestic structure, reigning over the skyline, invites you to step inside and delve into its rich history, which dates back to 1249. Prepare to be captivated by the castle’s interiors as they unravel tales of centuries past.

For a breathtaking view of Mikulov, make your way up the picturesque Svatý Kopeček, commonly known as Holy Hill. Once you reach its summit, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas, particularly awe-inspiring during the magical moments of sunset.

To complete your perfect day trip, don’t miss the chance to sample the local wines. Look no further than Mikulov Vinotek, a charming wine bar tucked away in the heart of the Old Town. Whether you opt to sip your vino indoors or bask in the beauty of the terrace, this cozy spot offers an exquisite selection of wines and unforgettable views.

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If you’re traveling by car, simply rely on GPS to navigate the fastest route, which typically takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes. Public transportation is also an option, with several buses and trains available, including routes that transit through Vienna. Keep in mind that this alternative journey takes approximately 3 hours.

6. Modra, Slovakia

Two tall spires poking out through the trees in Modra, Slovakia, an easy day trip from Bratislava.

Looking for an easy day trip from Bratislava? Look no further than Modra! Just a quick one-hour journey by bus from the main station, you’ll find yourself in this charming town. And guess what? The bus leaves every 30 minutes, so no need to rush!

Modra has quite an impressive history. It dates back to the 12th century and owes its rapid growth to the vineyards and winemaking. By the 17th century, it had become one of the most important towns in the Slovak Carpathian region. And to this day, Modra is renowned for its quality wines. They even have a school dedicated to winemakers! So, if you’re visiting Modra, make sure you don’t miss out on a wine tasting. Trust me, it’s a must!

But wine isn’t the only thing that makes Modra special. In the 19th century, the town gained fame as a pottery center. Local craftsmen create stunning, colorful pottery that catches the eye. The level of detail in each piece is simply amazing. If you’re interested, you can even participate in a workshop at the local factory to learn more and put your skills to the test.

As you stroll along the main street of Modra, you’ll come across the oldest church in town. It’s a true Gothic gem that dates back to the 14th century. And if you’re up for a little adventure, take the popular three-hour hiking path to the 21-meter-high observation tower called Veľká Homola. The views from up there are incredible, trust me on this!

Now, let’s talk about food. When it comes to satisfying your taste buds, Hotel Sebastian u Hoffera is the place to be. They serve up mouthwatering traditional and international dishes on a beautiful terrace. Just keep in mind, the only downside is the waiting time. But hey, that just means more time to soak in the cozy atmosphere and enjoy!

7. Olomouc, Czech Republic

Main square in Olomouc, Czech Republic during sunset, a perfect day trip from Bratislava.

Olomouc, situated in Moravia and not far from the Slovakian border, is undeniably one of the most stunning cities in the Czech Republic. It’s the kind of place that can easily be explored on a quick day trip from Bratislava.

Now, let me fill you in on how you can make this journey. There’s a direct bus operated by Flixbus that takes around 2.5 hours and will transport you straight to Olomouc. If you prefer train travel, you’ll need to make a quick stopover but fear not, the scenic trip will only take you 3 to 3.5 hours.

The main reason people flock to Olomouc is because of its remarkable historical center. Brace yourself because you’re about to be enchanted by the two main squares and their iconic attractions. For instance, you absolutely can’t miss the UNESCO-listed Holy Trinity Column. And oh, don’t forget to stop by the City Hall, which boasts an astronomical clock that will surely make you pause and ponder. But wait, there’s more! Let me paint you a picture of the entire city center. Imagine strolling through delightful alleys that whisk you away to a bygone era. As you wander, you’ll find yourself passing by magnificent university buildings. Fun fact: Olomouc is home to the second oldest university in the country!

But enough sightseeing – let’s talk about food! Olomouc is a culinary dream come true. While there are plenty of modern bistros and cafés popping up, I highly recommend you dive into the world of traditional Czech cuisine at one of the local restaurants. Have you ever heard of tvarůžky or syrečky? It’s a ripened cheese with a pungent aroma. Trust me, when it’s incorporated into a meal – like fried cheese or a flavorful garlic soup – it becomes something truly delightful. I’ve got some drool-worthy recommendations for you: Restaurant U Mořice, Hanácká hospoda, Drápal, or Moritz Microbrewery. 

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8. Sopron, Hungary

Sopron is a medieval village nestled atop the ancient Roman town called Scarbantia. As you explore the old town center, you’ll stumble upon intriguing excavations that stand as a testament to the rich history of this remarkable place. But that’s not all – the best sites in Sopron are just a short stroll away from the Roman Forum.

As you meander through the streets, the enchanting old town square (also known as Fő tér) unfolds before your eyes. Surrounding this bustling square are awe-inspiring medieval and Baroque buildings that exude charm and character. Right in the center of it all stands the Holy Trinity statue, a poignant memorial honoring those lost to the devastating Black Death.

Beyond the square, you’ll find other notable landmarks. The City Hall, famously known as Eggenberg House, proudly showcases its architectural splendor. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Storno-ház, an impressive 15th-century structure, and Fabricius-ház. For history buffs, Storno-ház (which now houses museums) is an absolute must-see. And if you happen to be here during the Christmas season, get ready to be enchanted by the delightful small Christmas market in the square.

Now, let’s talk about the Goat Church. Standing proudly on the main square, this Gothic beauty boasts a stunning Baroque interior. But perhaps the most iconic structure of Sopron is the magnificent Firewatch Tower (Tűztorony), soaring high at an impressive height of 58 meters. It’s not only the focal point of the town but also comes to life with captivating light displays during festival times.

Hungry? Thirsty? Fear not, for Sopron has a fantastic blend of Croatian pubs and delightful Hungarian cafés scattered around the central squares. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to indulging in local flavors and charming hospitality.

Now, let’s talk logistics. From Bratislava, you can easily reach Sopron in just an hour’s drive. Alternatively, hop on a train to Gyor, and within another hour, you’ll find yourself in this captivating town.

9. Spania Dolina, Slovakia

Gorgeous view from Spania Dolina in Slovakia, one of the best day trips from Bratislava.

Špania Dolina is a charming former mining village with stunning vistas and natural beauty. This hidden gem is still off the radar for most tourists, making it the perfect place to escape the crowds and find tranquility.

Once you’re in Špania Dolina, the must-do activity is hiking the trail that loops around the town. As you wander through lush forests, breathe in the crisp, fresh air and admire the vibrant flowers and occasional fluttering butterflies. Don’t worry, this hike is beginner-friendly and takes just 1-2 hours to complete.

The real highlight of the hike is the jaw-dropping viewpoints that offer panoramic views of the town nestled among rolling green hills. Trust us, it’s Instagram-worthy! Make sure to pack your trusty camera, with wide-angle lenses like the ones for the Sony a7III, to capture the picture-perfect scenery.

After your hike, take some time to explore the mini-mining exhibition at the café near the parking lot. It’s a fascinating insight into the village’s rich history. With so much to offer, Špania Dolina deserves more attention!

For transportation, you have a few options. If you prefer the freedom of the open road, drive for around 2 hours from Bratislava. Or, if you’d like a more relaxing journey, take a scenic train ride that will have you there in 3.5 hours, with a stop in Banska Bystrica. 

10. Vienna, Austria

View of the Hofburg in Vienna with a horse statue in the foreground and the iconic seafoam green dome in the background.

Looking for a fantastic day trip from Bratislava? Look no further than the charming Austrian capital, Vienna. With its proximity and excellent rail connections, it’s a breeze to include Vienna at the beginning or end of your trip.

Vienna has so much to offer, even if you only have a day to spare. Don’t miss the iconic Schönbrunn Palace, the stunning Belvedere, and the magnificent Hofburg, where you can marvel at Austria’s most famous landmarks. If you’re lucky enough to be there during the holiday season, explore the enchanting Christmas markets or catch a matinee show at the Vienna State Opera House.

Getting to Vienna from Bratislava is a piece of cake. Direct trains run multiple times per day, whisking you to your destination in just over an hour. Feeling adventurous? Hop on a ferry and cruise along the Danube for an hour and a half, enjoying breathtaking views along the way.

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