Stay Bratislava, Visit Vienna
Updated: Jun 12, 2018
Call me a genius if you want, because I found the best way to visit Vienna without breaking the bank, and at the same time explore a second city. The answer? Stay just across the Austro-Slovakian border in Bratislava. It's a beautiful city in itself, and in my opinion doesn't get the credit it deserves, especially being the country's capital. It sits along the Danube River, has a gorgeous pedestrian only old town, is overlooked by a stunning castle atop a hill, and isn't as crowded as other capital cities. It's also incredibly cheap. We rented a fully equipped apartment just a short walk from the city centre with a balcony, and it cost less than half of what it would in the UK for a hotel room. What more could you ask for?
Looking around Bratislava takes about a day, two days maximum if you want to explore at a leisurely pace. Which (if you stay a few days) leaves you with time to hop on a train and cross the border into Austria! Vienna is notoriously known for being an expensive city, and when I researched staying there I found that to be true. Luckily, trains from Bratislava to Vienna are only €10 each way (1hr journey!), or if you ask at the ticket office you can get a "special" return ticket for €14! Transportation sorted, now how to get around Vienna? You can walk, but it was excruciatingly hot when we were there so we bought a ticket for Big Bus Vienna which took you to all the main locations, including Schönbrunn Palace which was definitely too far to walk to. Other than a cheap bike rental, bratwurst and Cinnabon (yes! there is one there), the bus is the only thing we spent money on and somehow it cost as much as it had for two days in Bratislava! Yes it is expensive in Vienna, but it was such a magical city that it was worth it.
I'd love to go back to Vienna and take more time exploring it. Send me a message if you have any recommendations!