Bunny’s Lazy Day Trip to Bratislava

Enjoying the Bratislava old town
Bratislava castle close-up

Vienna might be the most livable city in the world but on any Sunday or national holiday, the whole city shuts down. It is, frankly, quite boring. That’s when you should leave the city, Bunny says.

There are plenty of interesting day trip destinations nearby. One of the closest is Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Bunny has visited Bratislava a number of times but only recently took her first boat ride to the city.

Read below about Bunny’s lazy day trip to Bratislava by boat from Vienna.

Why lazy?

Why call her day trip lazy? Because Bunny didn’t even aim to visit the sights or maximise the time spent in Bratislava. Instead, she wanted to sleep in late, travel comfortably, enjoy the day, wander around the old town and soak up the lively atmosphere without any specific plans.


Bratislava is a wonderful day trip destination from Vienna. It is easy to get to, compact and a charming town that doesn’t receive hordes of tourists even on nice summer days.

In the past, Bunny’s excursions to Bratislava have included work trips, romantic weekend breaks, and serious shopping sprees (shops and shopping centres in Bratislava are open on Sundays unlike in Vienna). Up to now, she had always taken the train, but this time she was ready to meander down on the Danube instead…

Bratislava castle as seen from the boat

Twin City Liner

It is easy to go from Vienna to Bratislava by train (or bus) but it is more pleasant to take a boat down the Danube. Both Vienna and Bratislava are right on this world-famous river. Twin City Liner operates a new catamaran from Vienna city centre directly to Bratislava’s old town in a mere 75 minutes.

During the summer season, there are three departures daily from Vienna (8:30am, 12:30pm and 16:30). Tickets are easy to buy online and you can board the catamaran with either a paper or an electronic ticket. The Bunnies were initially told otherwise and Mr. Bunny had to run around Vienna on a Sunday, trying to find a place to print the tickets for them. In the meanwhile, Bunny supported Mr. Bunny’s efforts emotionally, sipping cappuccino and enjoying a lovely vegan tiramisu in Swing Kitchen, close to the boat’s boarding dock.

Snack before boarding
Boarding Twin City Liner in Vienna

Once inside the catamaran, the Bunnies found comfortable, clean seating, strong air-con, almost functioning Wi-Fi and refreshments to buy. There were some announcements along the way (mostly in German which Bunny refuses to learn) and travellers were also given helpful free maps of Bratislava.

Comfortably onboard
On the way to Bratislava

Passengers were requested to sit down at the start of the journey while the catamaran traversed Vienna’s canal system leading out of the city, but were allowed to move around and enjoy the outside deck once they reached the wider Danube itself.

Bunny spent most of her time on the sunny outside deck, checking out the scenery and enjoying the weather. The landscape was not exactly spectacular, but it was pleasant enough, with some cute towns and even castle ruins to spot along the way.

Castle ruins along the way

Old Town

Once in Bratislava, the old town is just steps away from where the Twin City Liner docks. Bunny headed straight for lunch and had plenty of restaurants to choose from. She was particularly pleased to note that the number of restaurants advertising vegetarian and/or vegan food had quadrupled since her previous visit!

Keeping with her lazy day travel theme, Bunny hadn’t researched any restaurants in advance and finally chose Re:Fresh Restaurant & Music Club, which had a wide selection of vegetarian options (including Beyond Meat burgers!). The food was decent, the rosé wine excellent and the terrace a perfect place for people-watching in the old town.

Pleasant lunch outdoors
Bratislava old town

Re:Fresh is just down the road from St. Michael’s Gate, which is the only surviving medieval gate in Bratislava. It is possible to climb up the tower for a great view of the city but, guess what, Bunny was too lazy this time…

Not far is another Bratislava landmark: St. Martin’s Cathedral. This Gothic cathedral used to serve as the coronation church for the Habsburg Dynasty. Several kings (and one queen) were crowned here in the past and every year a pompous reconstruction ceremony is organised in the church to commemorate this proud heritage. Bunny has never seen the ceremony but she thinks it must be quite a sight.

You can easily spend hours exploring the cobblestoned streets of the old town, Bunny says. It is largely pedestrian and there are a variety of attractive shops, restaurants and cafes to choose from. Bunny also loves the quirky statues scattered around the old town. She was too lazy to take any selfies this time around but do at least check out the “Man at Work” statue if you ever find yourself in the old town.

Lots of cute shops in the old town

Bratislava Castle

Dominating the city skyline, Bratislava Castle is the one thing you should not miss when visiting Bratislava. This massive, perfectly square building was first constructed in the 9th century but has had a bit of a rough history, including a devastating fire in 1811. Its current form is the result of a total renovation after the Second World War.

The castle is a bit of an uphill hike from the old town but completely doable if you have two healthy legs, Bunny says.

Bratislava Castle entrance
Bunny pose in Bratislava

It was too nice a day to go inside the castle when Bunny visited, so she settled for hopping around in the sunshine, catching the lovely views of the Danube and eventually sitting down in Restaurant Hrad for some refreshing drinks in the shade. The view over the city rooftops was quite pretty and gazing over it with a cold lemonade in her paw was exactly what Bunny had come to Bratislava to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Restaurant Hrad
Bratislava and Donau view

Where to Stay

If you want to stay the night, Bunny’s favourite hotel in Bratislava is Marrol's Boutique Hotel. It is a cute little place with beautiful rooms, an excellent restaurant and a tiny spa that you can reserve for private use. Perfect for a romantic (and more affordable) week-end break from Vienna!


The Twin City Liner docks at the “Vienna City” station between Marienbrücke and Schwedenbrücke on the Danube canal almost smack dab in the middle of Vienna. The closest underground stop, Schwedenplatz (U1 & U4), is literally 50 steps away.

Twin City Liner itself runs daily at different times, depending on the season. Ticket prices start at 30 EUR one way. There is no discount for buying a return ticket at the same time when you book. You may still wish to do so to make sure you have a seat for a return journey. Bunny didn’t but was glad as she was able to stay a few more hours in Bratislava and return to Vienna by train instead.

View from the castle

On that nore, it is also easy to get from Vienna to Bratislava by train and vice versa. Trains depart hourly from Wien Hauptbahnhof and arrive at either Bratislava Hlavna Stanica or Petrzalka stations. The former is within reasonable walking distance from the old town, the latter not. The direct train journey between the two cities takes approximately an hour and there is usually no need to book your ticket in advance.

Top Tip

Once back in Vienna, go to SO/Vienna for sunset drinks. It's just across the river from the docking bay and has great drinks and amazing views at sunset and after dark too.

Das Loft Bar & Lounge at Sofitel Vienna
Lovely drinks at the bar
Image of Bunny paw prints

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