Car Rental in Bratislava
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Why rent a car in Bratislava?
Bratislava is a great place to visit. Beautiful and historic, it is home to well-preserved churches and cathedrals, interesting museums, and many representations of Slovak culture. The city is located in the southwestern corner of the country, but due to the short distances, the rest of Slovakia can be easily explored from the capital. If your rental car provider permits it, you might even want to sneak over the border to visit one of equally beautiful capitals of neighboring countries, Vienna, Budapest, or Prague.
Top ways to enter Bratislava
- Bratislava Airport: Also known as Bratislava - M. R. Štefánik, the busiest airport in Slovakia handled 2.2 million travelers in 2018. The airport has flights by nine different airlines including low-cost carriers like Ryanair and Wizz Air. Located 9 km (5.5 miles) northeast of the city center, the airport can be reached in 15-20 minutes, depending on traffic.
- Kosice Airport: Serving the city of the same name, Kosice Airport is the largest in eastern Slovakia. The airport has flights by seven different airlines which provide connections with countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Spain. Located 400 km (256 miles) east of Bratislava, Kosice Airport can be reached in about 4 hours and 20 minutes.
- Vienna Airport: Serving the capital city of Austria, Vienna Airport handled 27 million travelers in 2018. The airport is the main hub for Austrian Airlines but also has many flights by low-cost carriers like Lauda and Eurowings. Located just 63 km (39 miles) west of Bratislava, Vienna Airport can be reached in 50 minutes by car. Thanks to its size and proximity, flying to Vienna is, for many travelers, the easiest way and cheapest to reach Bratislava.
- Budapest Airport: Also known as Ferenc Liszt Airport after the famous composer who was a native of the city, Budapest Airport handled 14.8 million travelers in 2018. The airport has flights by more than 20 airlines and offers connections with destinations not only in Europe but also the Middle East, Central and East Asia, North Africa, and North America. Located 230 km (143 miles) southeast of Bratislava, Budapest Airport can be reached in about 2 hours and 40 minutes.
- Prague Airport: Experiencing steady growth over the last seven years, Prague Vaclav Havel Airport handled 17 million travelers for the first time in its history in 2019. The airport has flights by more than 40 airlines offering connections with countless destinations in Europe and beyond. Located 350 km (217 miles) northwest of Bratislava, Prague Airport can be reached in 3 hours and 30 minutes.
- A note: While close to Bratislava and Slovakia, Vienna, Budapest, and Prague airports are located in the respective neighboring countries of Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Although all four countries are members of the Schengen Area which means that no border controls are in place, you should still ask your rental car provider if they permit crossing the border and or to pick up a rental car in one country and drop it off in another. If not, you can fly to one of the airports, travel to Bratislava by public transportation and pick up your rental car after your arrival.
- Bratislava has a moderate continental climate with hot summers, pretty cold winters, and large temperature changes between seasons. The average high temperature is 28°C (82°F) in July, the warmest month, and 3°C (37°F) in January, the coldest. Individual summer and winter days can get significantly warmer and colder. The precipitation is moderate and steady throughout the year with a small increase in May, August, and September.
- The capital and most populous city of Slovakia, Bratislava is home to around 439,000 people with another 220,000 living in its larger metropolitan area. Bratislava is sometimes also included in the Vienna-Bratislava metropolitan region together with the nearby capital of Austria; combined, this region has around three million residents. Bratislava is made up of five city districts which are further divided into boroughs.
Top destinations and activities
- Bratislava Castle. Arguably the most impressive in Slovakia, Bratislava Castle was first built in the 9th century (although more primitive settlements stood on the castle hill as early in 5,500 years ago). Having suffered in various wars and rebuilt multiple times, the castle gained its present look in the 18th century. The larger architectural complex consists of the castle as well as other structures like Lugiland Bastion and various gates.
- Jewish Community Museum. For centuries, Bratislava (just as many other cities in Central Europe) had a large population of Jews. Almost all of them tragically perished or emigrated during World War II, but their heritage continues to live through this museum which has exhibits about the daily lives, religion, and culture of Bratislava’s Jewish population. The museum is located in the Heydukova Street Synagogue.
- St. Martin’s Cathedral. Built in the 15th century, St. Martin’s Cathedral is one of the most beautiful churches in Slovakia. Built in the Gothic style and with a tower that reaches 85 m (279 ft) high, the church looks especially attractive after dark. Still fulfilling its original function and open to visitors, the church has a beautiful painted ceiling and stained-glass windows that depict scenes from the Bible.
- Bratislava Christmas market. During the holidays, the city is home to a large - and particularly colorful - Christmas market. Bratislava turns into one big fairytale village, with street vendors, seasonal food and much more. The popular “Christmas snack” here is a warm slice of bread, topped with caramelized onions and melted lard. It is usually served with mulled wine.
Traffic and parking
- Slovakia drives on the right-hand side of the road.
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits in Slovakia are 130 km/h (80 mph) on highways, 90 km/h (54 mph) on all other inter-city roads, and 50 km/h (31 mph) inside cities and built-up areas.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.00% for both experienced and novice drivers.
- Slovakia is a mountainous country and while most roads are in good condition, it is nevertheless important to exercise extra caution when driving in the mountains, especially during the wintertime.
- Slovakia gets a lot of snow in winter, so using snow chains might be required when driving in some highland areas. Ask your rental car provider about the availability of snow chains in advance if you are visiting in winter.
- Children that are 11 years old or younger need to have a special child seat. Ask your rental car provider about the availability of one if you plan to travel with a young child.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- When driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The emergency number in Poland, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
- Bratislava’s old town is pedestrian-only. You will thus have to park in the designated areas and then explore by foot. Do not worry: you won’t have to walk too much.
To drive on certain highways in Slovakia, a car must be equipped with a highway vignette (or nalepka in Slovak). The highway vignette can be purchased for periods of 10 days (for 10 EUR), one month (14 EUR) and one year (50 EUR).
Many rental cars will come with the vignette. Your rental car provider might charge an additional fee for providing service. Ask your rental car provider in advance about the highway vignette in Slovakia.
If your rental car provider doesn’t provide a highway vignette or if you’re traveling to Slovakia with a rental car that was picked up in a neighboring country, you need to purchase the vignette yourself. You can buy the vignette in gas stations, post offices, and many shops as well as online (you can switch the language to English on the top-right corner of the website). The vignette comes in the form of an electric sticker and needs to be attached to the front window of your car.
Learn more about the electronic vignette system on the Slovak official vignette website and the European toll road website.
Ideas for day trips
- Bojnice. A town with just 5,000 residents, Bojnice’s claim to fame is its impressive castle. Built in the 12th century, it looks straight out of a fairy tale and has been the filming location of many fantasy movies. There are other reasons to visit Bojnice, too - it has the Museum of Prehistory built around a cave that was once inhabited by Neanderthals, a zoo, and a natural spa. Located 190 km (118 miles) northeast of Bratislava, Bojnice can be reached in about 2 hours and 20 minutes.
- Zahorie Protected Landscape Area. Eastern Slovakia is famous for its high mountains and elaborate cave systems, but there’s nature to be enjoyed in the western part of the country as well. Made up of ancient woodlands, vast marshes, and fast streams, and home to many unique species of flora and fauna, Zahorie is one of the best places to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Located some 55 km (34 miles) north of Bratislava, the landscape area can be reached in just about 40 minutes.
- Vienna. Located right on the other side of the border, the capital of Austria is one of the great old cities of Europe. Home to imperial architecture, homes of world-famous classical composers, and developed coffee culture, this metropolis is as sophisticated as they get. Vienna has more famous landmarks than its possible to list, but the Museum of Fine Arts, National History Museum, and Vienna State Opera will feature high on most visitors’ to-see lists. Located 79 km (49 miles) west of Bratislava, Vienna can be reached in one hour. Although no border controls are in place between Slovakia and Austria (both countries are members of the Schengen Area), you’d be crossing an international border, so ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it.
- Devin Castle. This easy short trip from Bratislava is perfect for those who are into history and landscape photography. Devin Castle is located only about 10 km (6.2 miles) from Bratislava. Consider a 20 minute drive from the city center. This is one of Slovakia's largest extant castles, and hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Does it look familiar? Probably because it is depicted on Slovak money and postage stamps.
- Spania Dolina. This former mining village is considered one of the most instagrammable in Slovakia. Located 215 km (133 miles) from Bratislava city center, it's a leisurely drive of about 2 hours through Slovakia off the beaten path. The village is a unique set of miner houses built of logs and stone. You will see Spania Dolina from a distance, thanks to the tall tower of the Church of Conversion of the Lord, which dominates the view.
- Budapest. The direct drive from Bratislava to Budapest is about 201 km (125 miles). Consider a bit less than 2 hours to get there, in normal conditions. Because Budapest is in Hungary, you need to make sure your rental car provider if they permit crossing the border. Once in Budapest, explore the Great Market Hall for street food and souvenirs. Stroll through Margaret Island, and take a lot of pictures at Buda Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental car in Bratislava is the Skoda Citigo, followed by the Skoda Fabia and the Volkswagen Polo. The most popular rental car types are economy, mini, and compact.
- High Tatras. Forming the natural border with Poland, the High Tatras range is perhaps the number one reason why travelers go to Slovakia. The mountains offer plenty of opportunities for climbing, hiking, wildlife watching, and winter sports. Coming with a rental car, you’ll also get to experience many very scenic (and often literally breathtaking) mountain roads. Poprad, a city at the foothills of Tatra that can serve as a base for exploring the mountains, is 335 km (208 miles) northeast of Bratislava and can be reached in about 3 hours and 50 minutes.
- Kosice. Although much smaller than Bratislava, Slovakia’s second city and the unofficial capital of eastern Slovakia has plenty to enjoy. Some of its landmarks include St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral, the National Theater, a number of impressive palaces, and the East Slovak Museum. Kosice is also near a number of national parks. The city served as the European Capital of Culture in 2013. Located 410 km (254 miles) east of Bratislava, Kosice can be reached in 4 hours and 30 minutes.
- Prague. Located in the Czech Republic, Prague is 328.5 km (204 miles) from Bratislava by car. Consider a bit more than 3 hours to get there, in normal conditions.You should also make sure your rental car provider allows you to cross the border. Once in Prague, visit Prague Castle, and take lots of pictures at Charles Bridge, as well as the Astronomical Clock. Prague's old town is super popular among the instagrammers, due to its gorgeous pastel colored houses. When you get hungry, stop by a stall selling sandwiches with Prague ham or trdlo. You can't leave Prague without having tried them!
Car Rental Prices in Bratislava
- Station wagons - from $54 per day
- Large cars - from $67 per day
- Medium cars - from $56 per day
- Vans - from $168 per day
- Small cars - from $50 per day
There are different things you can do to get a great rental car in Bratislava. Start with these:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Bratislava is the cheapest in November when renting a car is about 54% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 82% cheaper than renting in June.
Top 3 Cities near Bratislava
Kosice Car Rentals from $23.29 per day302.4 km / 187.9 miles away
Poprad Car Rentals from $37.03 per day244.2 km / 151.7 miles away
352.8 km / 219.2 miles away
Top 3 Locations near Bratislava
Bratislava Airport Car Rentals from $18.87 per day3.6 km / 2.2 miles away
Poprad–Tatry Airport Car Rentals from $37.03 per day246.7 km / 153.3 miles away
Kosice Airport Car Rentals from $23.29 per day305.4 km / 189.8 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Bratislava?
What’s the usual rental length in Bratislava?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Bratislava?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||2|
|Popular suppliers||Autounion, Surprice, AddCar, Keddy, GreenMotion|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, Medium cars, Station wagons, SUVs|
|Lowest price||$19 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Autounion||Hyundai i10||5||1||Small cars|
|Autounion||Skoda Fabia||5||2||Small cars|
|Autounion||Ford Fiesta||5||1||Small cars|
|AddCar||Hyundai i20||4||2||Small cars|
|AddCar||Skoda Fabia||3||1||Small cars|
|Surprice||Skoda Fabia||5||1||Small cars|
|GreenMotion||Skoda Fabia||5||1||Small cars|
|Autounion||Opel Astra||5||2||Medium cars|
|Surprice||Skoda Fabia STW||5||3||Station wagons|
|Autounion||Skoda Octavia||5||3||Large cars|
Our Customers' Reviews
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