When our friends Gillian and Jason confirmed that they would spend a couple of nights in Bratislava, Slovakia as a break in the middle of their cycling journey from Prague to Budapest, I quickly made plans for me and Andy to meet up with them. Not only was it a chance to see our friends, but it was a new city and a new country for me. Since it’s not a place you hear about much, I was also hoping there wouldn’t be too many tourists, even in the summer. Here’s a look at our Bratislava budget and how much we spent in Bratislava.
Total Bratislava expenses
Slovakia uses the euro, so amounts are listed in euros and US dollars. This is for two people for 4 nights in Bratislava.
491.50€ / $559.33 – accommodation
2.80€ / $3.18 – transportation
282.27€ / $321.22 – food and alcohol
160.00€ / $182.08 – activities
936.57€ / $1,065.81 – total
This does not include our round trip train tickets between Berlin and Bratislava, which cost 197€ for the two of us.
Total Bratislava hotel costs – $559.33
We spent 4 nights in Bratislava, and we chose a nicer hotel in the old town. If you’re on a tighter budget, you can certainly find a cheaper hotel or Airbnb or even stay at a hostel. But we’re more middle-of-the-road travelers most of the time, not budget backpackers or luxury travelers. For 4 nights in Bratislava, we averaged $139.83 per night, or $69.91 per person per night.
Where to stay in Bratislava
Andy and I stayed at the Aplend City Hotel Perugia in old town Bratislava. It was a bit of a splurge – you can definitely find cheaper options – but it was not something I considered overly expensive. It was located right in the old town, so everything was close by. The room was huge and included a desk and a couch. It’s always nice to have seating in addition to the bed. The bathroom was large too, with a good shower. Breakfast was decent, though nothing special.
Total Bratislava transportation costs – $3.18
Bratislava is not a huge city, especially the central area where you are most likely to spend your time if you’re there as a tourist. The main train station is just far enough from the old town to not want to walk, so we took the tram. This is the cost of 4 tram tickets, 2 at the beginning when we first arrived, and 2 at the end on our way home. So transportation in Bratislava is cheap.
Total Bratislava cost of food and drink – $321.22
I found the cost of food and alcohol in Bratislava to be about average for western and central European cities. We ate out for all lunches and dinners, plus had some snacks along the way. We also drank alcohol every night we were there.
If you need a tighter Bratislava budget, you can skip the alcohol or buy beers from a grocery store, and you can find cheaper food by avoiding the sit-down restaurants.
But I’m quite happy with the food we found and how much we spent on food in Bratislava. For 4 days in Bratislava, we averaged $80.30 a day, or $40.15 per person per day, on food and alcohol.
Read more about where to eat in Bratislava, plus a look at the beer and food tour we took.
Total Bratislava activities expenses – $182.08
Since we love food tours, Gillian, Jason, Andy and I booked a beer and food tour in Bratislava. The tour cost $159.32 per couple, plus Andy and I tipped 10 euros. Our guide took us to several different places where we got to try a variety of Slovak food and beers, including several interesting craft beers. We all had so much fun and had more than enough to eat.
Note: It looks like the price has gone up a little since we booked it, but I’d still pay what it costs now because it was fantastic!
We also visited the Michael’s Gate Tower to get a view of the city from above. The tower also houses a museum of the city’s history, so as you climb the stairs, you’ll see different sections at each landing. The entrance fee was 5 euros per person.
Another popular attraction in Bratislava is the castle, which we admired from the outside. You can go in, but it didn’t sound too exciting to us. Beyond that, we mostly wandered through the old town and saw sights that didn’t cost anything.
Tips for visiting Bratislava
Due to its location, many people visit Bratislava as a day trip from Vienna or as a stop on a river cruise. And while you can hit the highlights in a day in Bratislava, I think it’s worth spending a night or two to be able to slow down and enjoy without having to rush around.
If you’re traveling on a bigger European vacation, Bratislava is easy to add on to a trip that includes cities like Vienna, Prague, and Budapest. But if you can spend more time in Slovakia, it looks gorgeous. We didn’t have time since this trip was kind of last minute, but I’d love to go back in the future and see a bunch of these amazing-looking castles in Slovakia.
Another thing to be aware of is that Bratislava is not an undiscovered city. I had hoped there wouldn’t be so many tourists, but there were plenty. Stag parties (bachelor parties) have found Bratislava due to the cheap flights within Europe and the abundance of strip clubs in the center. If you can plan your trip for early in the week and avoid Friday night and Saturday night, you might be a little happier.
Is Bratislava cheap?
I think Bratislava is cheap if you want it to be. There’s a wide range of hotels, which means you can have a luxurious stay if that’s what you’re after, but you can also stay in a cheap hostel for very little money. The city has good food at all price levels, so again it’s up to you to decide how much you’re willing to spend and what kind of experience you’re after.
Most of your city sightseeing can be done for free. Even the things that do have an entrance fee are cheap. I highly recommend taking the food and beer tour we did, though it might be a bit of a splurge if you’re on a tight budget in Bratislava.
Andy and I averaged $266.45 per day, or $133.22 per person per day, for 4 days in Bratislava. You can certainly do this for less if you want to!
You might also enjoy:
- Budapest Food Tour Review
- Eating Our Way Through Prague
- How Much We Spent in Malaga, Spain for One Week
- Or check out more real travel budgets here