Bratislava is connected to the surrounding capitals by way of international traffic routes and motorways. The D1 motorway connects Bratislava with the CzechRepublic, the D2 motorway goes to Hungary and the international E75 and E58 traffic routs link it to Austria. The D1 and D2 motorways are linked up by the ring road on the Petržalka side of the River Danube. Traffic jams on the ring road are rare and it is the fastest way to get from one end of the city to the other, especially if you are not so acquainted with the city. You will hardly ever experience a major traffic jam in Bratislava like those often seen in other major European cities. You can make your way right to the city centre and just park your car at any of the many car parks. You can park your car at the Hotel Nivy parking place, for 30cent/hour.
The Central Coach Terminal is at Mlynské nivy, at the eastern border of the city centre. Coach lines connect Bratislava with all of Slovakia, a high number of Czech cities and a number of EU destinations, including Vienna, London and Paris. Daily buses also depart to Budapest. Take bus No 210 to get to the main railway station (Hlavná stanica). If you need to get to city center, take bus No 205 or 220 to Rajská (the terminus is behind the Tesco at Kamenné námestie) or No 50 towards Aupark and get off at Šafárikovo námestie (close to the banks of the river Danube).
Bratislava's M. R. Stefanik International Airport (IATA: BTS) (ICAO: LZIB), has focused on attracting low-cost airlines recently and there are direct flight connections to Bratislava from many major cities around western Europe including London, Manchester, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and Prague (which is now considered by many a major European city). Check out Sky Europe Airlines for the greatest variety of flights from/to Bratislava. Ryanair also has regular flights. Take bus No 61 (or N61 at night) for a direct connection to the Main Train Station (Hlavná stanica) or change at the Trnavské mýto to get to the city center (in order to get to the tram stop, use the underpass and the exit marked "Centrum"; take any tram that does not have the railway station as destination). You can purchase bus tickets in the tourist office in the arrivals terminal but they have only limited working hours. If the tourist office is closed, note that you will need Slovak coins in order to purchase a ticket in the vending machine. Be aware that the airport shops and kiosks are not very helpful when it comes to changing bills into coins. However, you can change bills into coins by "abusing" the coffee vending machine in the departure building. Insert a bill and press cancel, it will return the amount in coins (my thanks to a local police officer for this tip!). Bus drivers don't sell tickets in Bratislava (see "Get around" below).
Major airlines fly to the nearby Vienna International Airport (IATA: VIE) (ICAO: LOWW), which is at the eastern border of Vienna and approximately 60 kilometers from Bratislava. (There are three exceptions: CSA Czech Airlines has direct flights to Bratislava from Prague, Lufthansa from Munich, and Sky Europe has direct flights from Paris, London, Cork and other european cities.) There are two bus lines connecting the airport of Vienna with the Bratislava Coach Terminal and Bratislava Airport. Buses are running almost every hour. Unfortunately, trains from Vienna to Bratislava do not stop at the Vienna airport, so if you wish to use the train, you have to go to Vienna city (15 minutes) first in order to board a train to Bratislava.
The easiest way to get to Bratislava by train is from central Vienna (the Südbahnhof station or less frequently the Westbahnhof station). Trains leave Vienna almost every 30 minutes. It takes 50 minutes to get from the Südbahnhof to Bratislava - Petržalka railway station situated in the southern residential area of the city, and some 70 minutes to get to the Bratislava - Hlavná stanica (main railway station) situated at the northern border of the city center. There is no customs since Slovakia is a member of the EU, but passport (or EU ID card) checks continue (until January 2008) - you will encounter officials from both Austria and Slovakia in the train or at the Petržalka station (depending on the terminus of the train). There are also many train lines from the Czech Republic (e.g. Prague) and some train lines from Poland, Hungary as well as the Ukraine and Russia that mostly end at the Hlavná stanica. Many bus and tram lines start here. To get to the Old Town, you can either take a bus or tram (No 13 is currently the best connection), or simply walk - which takes about 10 minutes. Petržalka station is not a particularly good position for getting around, but generally it is better and quicker to get off at the Petržalka station and use the public transportation system to get to the city centre. Take bus No 80 towards Kollárovo námestie from outside the station building. You can also use the underground passageway in the station hall and take any of the numbered buses that leave from the opposite side of the road when you exit. Get off the bus at the first stop after crossing the river for best access to the historic part of town or at the second stop to start you tour at the Presidential Palace. Buses No 91 and No 191 end right below the Nový most bridge and directly in the city centre, below Bratislava Castle and St. Martin's Cathedral. There are several other train stations in Bratislava but international travelers rarely have to get off the train at any of them.
Regular tourist boat lines operate on the Danube from spring through fall on routes from Vienna and Budapest. Check www.lod.sk for routes and schedules. Since June 2006 you can get to Vienna using a high speed ferry boat as well, yet the rates are rather high compared to other means of transport. A good travel option is to continue down the Danube to Budapest by hydrofoil, a trip only moderately more expensive than the train.