We try to be smart travelers. Often, one of our favorite ways to save money when traveling is to use a City Pass, like the Bratislava Card, if it is available in the destination we visit.
If you are going to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, you may wish to consider the official Bratislava City Pass, also known as Bratislava Card.
The Bratislava City Card may be a very good value for you. Here’s why.
Full disclosure: The Bratislava Tourism Board furnished me with a 3-day Bratislava Card for free. However, all opinions here are my own. I was not asked for anything in return – just my honest opinion as to the value of the card.
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Table of Contents
What is the Bratislava Card?
The Bratislava Card is the official tourist destination card that can assist you in exploring this charming capital city and its surrounding region. You can use the card as a tool to complete your list of things to do in Bratislava.
It gets you discounts at restaurants, free and discounted entrance to many Bratislava sights, and much more.
When you buy your card, they’ll write your name and the dates of validity on the back. You may be asked to show ID to use it.
Bratislava Card options
Updated, April 2019 with new prices.
There are a three different Bratislava City Cards that you can choose from. The only difference between them is the length of validity.
As of April 2019, here are the Bratislava Card options and their prices:
- 1 day: €18
- 2 day: €22
- 3 day: €25
Where to buy the Bratislava Card
The easiest way to purchase your Budapest Card is through GetYourGuide:
- Go to the Get Your Guide site
- Click “Book Now”
- Select the number of adults and children
- Select the date you wish to start using the card and the language you speak
- Click “Check Availability”
- Choose the card that matches the validity you want and click “Add to Cart”
- Then, check out as you normally would.
Redeem your card at the BTB Tourist Information Center (Google maps link) by presenting your voucher
You can also purchase your card either at their tourism office and information locations.
Before Purchasing a Bratislava City Pass
Here are a few things to consider before investing in a Bratislava Card:
What kind of traveler are you?
If you want to do all the touristy things in Bratislava, the Bratislava Card is most likely a good product for you. You will be able to save money on admissions.
You’ll also save time from not having to purchase the tickets in some places. They will provide you with a small Bratislava travel guide booklet.
If you’re the type of person who’s traveling around Europe, and will just want to hit up Bratislava nightlife or hang out at cafes in Bratislava, then you’ll have to do the math.
You’ll get discounts at some of these places, but it might not be worth the cost of the card.
What do you want to do in Bratislava?
If you are a museum person, the Bratislava Card is great. It offers many free admissions and discounted prices.
My experience is that the free or discounted admissions in Bratislava themselves will easily offset the price of the Bratislava card.
How long are you staying in Bratislava?
The longer the validity of the Bratislava Card you purchase, the better the deal is. The three-day pass is only 4€ more expensive than the one day pass.
If you only use public transportation for those two days, the extra 4€ is worth it!
What’s your travel style/pace?
Some visitors like to explore the city slower and prefer to get lost wandering around the city. They may not be interested in museums and attractions.
If you are this kind of independent traveler, the Bratislava Card may not be your best option.
You may end up paying more for the card compared to purchasing tickets individually.
All you may need is a Bratislava tourist map and a great travel attitude!
Main Benefits of the Bratislava Card
There are three main benefits to the Bratislava card that will save you money:
- Free public transportation
- One hour tour of Bratislava
- Free entrance to 14 museums
Free Transportation with the Bratislava City Card
Using the Bratislava City Pass, you can use all public transportation for free during the validity of the card. This includes unlimited travel in all zones using buses and trams.
One child, up to age 16, may accompany the cardholder who is the child’s parent.
Be aware that Bratislava’s transportation inspectors are strict. You may be asked to show your card to an inspector if he or she inspects the tram or bus.
The inspector may also ask for ID.
It is important to note that the validity for transportation is only good until the time marked on the back of the card. For example, if you buy a 3-day Bratislava card on Monday at noon, you must stop using it at noon on Thursday.
This is not the case for the other benefits. If your card expires at any time on Thursday, for example, you may use the card for museums and discounts up until the end of the day.
The fines for misuse outside the dates & time of validity are steep – €50-70.
Worth noting: If you must use public transportation before going to the Bratislava Tourism Office and getting your Bratislava Card, always buy the one-hour option unless you are absolutely sure your journey will take less time than the other options – 15 or 30 minutes.
If you buy a 15-minute option and the trip actually takes 20 minutes, an inspector will fine you if you get caught.
Bratislava Card one-hour free walking tour
The Bratislava Tourism Office offers a free one-hour introductory tour of the city to all Bratislava Card holders.
I didn’t personally take the tour, as I had another tour booked at the time, but I find that free walking tours are always worth doing to get your bearings, especially as a first time visitor to Bratislava.
They will ask you if you want to take the tour when you buy your Bratislava CityPass.
Free museums and galleries with the Bratislava City Pass
Currently, there are several museums and galleries you can visit for free with the Bratislava Card. See the list on their official page for the most up-to-date list.
Below is a guide to what’s free at the time I used my card.
Bratislava City Pass Free Museums
Here is the current list of free Bratislava City Pass museums. I’ve included the cost of each museum as well, so you can get a feel for how much money you’ll save with the card.
City History Museum
An exhibition that presents the history of the people of Bratislava from the Middle ages up to the end of the 1940s.
Admission price: 5 €.
Museum of Clocks
A collection of clocks from the 17th – 20th centuries built by Bratislava clock masters.
Admission price: 2,50 €.
Period Rooms Museum
A beautiful exhibit featuring three floors of rooms decorated with authentic furniture, art, and replicated clothing from Bratislava’s history.
Admission price: 4 €.
Museum of Arms
This was one of my favorite Bratislava Card museums. Maybe I’m weird. Even though I’m predisposed towards peace, I like seeing all the cool war instruments they used back in the old days.
Perhaps that explains why I am a fan of Game of Thrones, Vikings, and other such shows!
Admission price: 4,50 €.
Museum of Pharmacy
This museum houses instruments used to make and preserve medicines in Bratislava from the mid-18th to the mid-20th centuries.
Admission price: 4,50 €.
Johann Nepomuk Hummel Museum
Some of the work of Bratislava composer, Johann Hummel, including several beautiful pianos are housed here permanently.
Hummel was a composer who lived from 1770-1837.
Admission price: 3 €.
Arthur Fleishmann Museum
Arthur Fleishmann was a Bratislava native and sculptor. The Fleishmann museum in the old city houses a collection of his ceramic works and sculptures.
Admission price: 3 €.
Museum of Viticulture
Want to know more about the history of winemaking in Bratislava? Well, this is your chance. Bratislava is actually quite a great place to grow grapes, as the soil here contains lots of sulfur.
Here, you can even sample some of the wines of the region. You’ll find a collection of the 100 best wines of Slovakia here.
Admission price: 4 €.
Ancient Gerulata Museum
This museum is located on the site of the remains of an ancient Roman military camp. It dates back to the second and fourth centuries.
You’ll find many ancient artifacts from the site here.
Admission price: 2.50 €.
Bratislava City Gallery – Mirback Palace
Mirbach Palace was built in the late 1700s and is a great example of Rococo architecture. You’ll find lots of engravings here, along with a permanent exhibition of European Baroque painting and sculpting.
Admission price: 4 €.
Bratislava City Gallery – Palffy Palace
This classical style palace houses several permanent exhibitions, including Gothic Table paiting and Slovak visual art of the 20th century.
Admission price: 4 €.
Finally, there’s Devin Castle. It’s a little bit outside the city, but it is completely worth the 20-minute journey by bus. To get there, go to the bus stop in the Old City directly underneath the UFO bridge.
Then, take Bus #29 to Hrad Devin (Devin Castle).
The castle is a short walk from the bus stop.
Admission price: 3€ (which is way too cheap if you ask me).
Drink plenty of water, especially if it’s hot. There is free drinking water at the top, so you can refill your bottle there as well.
This will be one of the highlights of your trip. And when you’re done at the castle, stop at the small pub in the parking lot.
The beer is decent and it’s super cheap. A good sized lager or ale is just €1.20!
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What else is included with the Bratislava Card?
There are a lot of benefits included with the Bratislava Card besides the free options.
Other museums with Bratislava Card discounts
There are dozens of other museums with up to a 50% discount on admission, for example. Many of these museums are quite inexpensive to begin with, so with the discount, it’s almost free.
I’d recommend using your Bratislava City Card for these as well. Some include:
- Museum of Transport
- Jewish Community Museum
- Museum of History at Bratislava Castle
- Natural History Museum
- Archaeological Museum
- Museum of Carpathian German Culture
- Nedbalka Gallery
- Museum of Hungarian Culture in Slovakia
- Museum of Croatian Culture in Slovakia
- Danubiana Art Museum
- Primate’s Palace
- Multium Gallery
Restaurants and shops
The Bratislava card includes discounts at many restaurants and shops around the city. If you visit one of these establishments, let them know in advance that you will use your Bratislava Card.
Many restaurants, for example, have to code the discount when you order your food.
If you do not tell them in advance, you may not receive your discount.
Discounts range from 10-20%. Use them!
If you only eat at 4-5 locations on the list of nearly 20 restaurants, the Bratislava Card pays for itself!
Excursions and more
The Bratislava Card has many more discounts for you as well:
- Boat rides on the Danube
- Bratislava Zoo
- Bike Rentals
- Adventure Games around the city
- White Water rafting
- Wine tastings
- In-depth guided tours
- …and more
Where to buy the Bratislava City Card
It is easy, but kind of pointless, to buy the Bratislava City Card online. I say “pointless” because you have to print a certificate and take it to an office to pick up your pass.
Since you have to go pick up the card anyway, just buy it when you get there.
You’ll save time (and paper)!
Besides, what if something happens and you can’t go to Bratislava on your selected dates? What if you have to cancel your trip?
Just buy the pass when you get there.
You can see a list of places to buy the Bratislava CityPass here.
The easiest option, and the one I recommend, is to go to the Tourist Information Center at the following address.
Bratislava Tourism Office
Address: Klobučnícka 2, 811 01 Bratislava.
It’s right in the Old Town – probably where you will start your day anyway:
Is the Bratislava Card worth it?
For me, it was completely worth it. I got the €20, 3-day pass. I saved nearly this much in free transportation during the three days I used it.
But honestly, I purposely used public transport when I didn’t have to – just to check it out.
If your goal is to see the old part of the city and just take transit back to your hotel, you may not get as much value out of this aspect of the card as I did.
But all in all, I might even go so far as to say that I think the Bratislava Card is under-priced! If you do the free walking tour and visit the museums alone, and if you had to pay for them, you’d pay 60 €.
There are good arguments on both sides for and against buying these types of cards. If you’re not going to use public transportation or visit museums, it’s probably not worth it.
But if you will, head over to the Bratislava Tourism Office and get one.
Being honest, many of the museums on the “free” list in Bratislava are not popular museums that most people would go to anyway – but that’s just because people don’t know about them.
You’d be surprised how much value these places add to your trip and your understanding of the culture of the city.
The bottom line is that the Bratislava Card is cheap. At 20 € for a 3-day pass, it’s completely worth buying.
In the end, I got a lot of value out of mine – it probably saved me at least 40 € on things I was going to do anyway, and another 20-30 € on things I decided to do because I had the card.
Pros of the Bratislava Card
- It can save you money: If you’re on a budget, having the Bratislava CityPass could be a money saver, as many major Bratislava tourist attractions offer free admission or discounted prices for pass holders. If you’re going to visit some of these places anyway, it will save you money.
- No worries about Bratislava public transport: The Bratislava City Card covers all major transportation within the city – no need to buy tickets or worry about inspectors.
- Ready-made plans: If you’re new to Bratislava, it’s a great planning tool. You have a list of things to see for free or at a discount. Put them on your list and you have a good plan! It basically makes what to do in Bratislava an easier decision.
Cons of the Bratislava Card
- It can be restricting: To justify the cost, you may feel obligated to do as much as you can within the validity of your card.
- What if you lose the card?: If you lose the card, you’re out the amount of money you paid for it.
You Should Visit Bratislava
In my opinion, Bratislava is an under-rated city. Most people coming to this region opt for places like Budapest, Prague, and Vienna. Bratislava should be on this list.
With so many different options and possibilities, Bratislava offers plenty of things to keep you busy.
Plus, it’s cheaper!
Make sure to check out the updated list of benefits in the official website, or printed in the booklet you get when you pick up your card at the Bratislava Tourism Office.
In our opinion, the Bratislava City Pass is worth having when you stay in Bratislava for a few days. For the money, I think the 3-day card is the best value.
I hope Bratislava becomes a more popular destination and people come here and stay longer. There is so much to do.
At that point, maybe the Bratislava Tourist Board will offer a 5-day pass.
It would be worth it!
Many thanks to the Bratislava Tourism Office for being a destination partner. They provided me with the 72 hour Bratislava Card and welcome kit.
Again, even though they gave me the card for free, the post is written with my own honest opinion.
More City Cards and Passes
In the past, we have reviewed a few other City Passes. Check out our reviews here:
Buy a Guidebook: When we travel, we use Lonely Planet. By buying a book at one of the Amazon.com links below, we get a small referral fee at no additional cost to you.
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Michael is originally from Canada but now resides in Atlanta, GA with his husband, Halef, who also writes here. He is a Couchsurfing expert. Michael has traveled to over 50 countries learning how to experience more for less as he travels.