Bratislava is not a large city compared to other European capital cities. However, visitors still have to use the public transportation system, which is very well developed in Bratislava.
The public transportation system consists of buses, trolley buses and trams. They start running at about 4:30 am and end at about 11:30 pm. To ride public transportation in Bratislava, a valid ticket is needed.
Tickets may be purchased in stores that sell newspapers and tobacco or special public transportation shops. Tickets may also be purchased at most stops from ticket machines.
A ticket valid for 15 minutes costs 70 cents, but once it is entered into the ticket-stamping machine inside the bus, tram, or trolley, the rider may not switch to another line.
One may purchase a ticket valid for 60-minutes for 90 cents and switch lines an unlimited amount of times within that hour. During the weekend and holidays, riders may even use this ticket for 90 minutes.
Depending upon how often public transportation is needed, tourists are recommended to purchase a tourist ticket, which may be valid for a day, two, three or seven days. Tourists might also be interested in purchasing a Bratislava City Card.
A ticket valid for 70 minutes may also be purchased by sending an SMS to the number 1100 for those who own a mobile SIM card of a Slovak carrier.
Upon entering the bus, tram, or trolley, riders should make sure that they mark their ticket in a machine that stamps the ticket. Those who present an unmarked ticket to an inspector are given a fine of |40|.
Ticket inspectors do not check the passengers regularly; they just show up at randomly selected lines. They do not wear any special uniform; they are dressed as regular people. Once they enter the vehicle, riders have 30 seconds to mark their tickets. After this time, the ticket-stamping machines are turned off and the inspection begins. The inspectors act quickly and do not say anything; they usually just show a badge, which indicates that riders should show their tickets. Most ticket inspectors do not speak English; however, riders should insist on calling the consulate or police if they are treated rudely.
During certain times of the day, the buses become very crowded and thieves sometimes take advantage of this situation. Riders should be very careful about their personal belongings, especially their wallet and papers.
Bratislava has special lines during the night. These lines are marked N21-N99 and operate beginning at 11:30 p.m. and then they leave every hour until 3:30 a.m. A higher fare is applied on these lines. Riders need either an SMS ticket for 80 cents or two tickets valid 60 minutes. Those that own a tourist ticket valid for a day or more still need to purchase an additional ticket for 70 cents. Unfortunately, the Bratislava City Card is not valid on the night lines, so two tickets are still needed.
Below is a table of how to travel between significant places around the city:
|XXXXXXXX||Airport||Bus Station||Petrzalka Train|
|Main Train St.||61||XXXXXXXX||210||93|
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