Transport

 

Travel by plane

There are 3 international airports in Slovakia - M. R. Štefánik Airport in Bratislava (Letisko M. R. Štefánika'), the International airport in Košice (Medzinárodné letisko v Košiciach) and the International airport in Poprad (Medzinárodné letisko Poprad‑Tatry). Several airlines provide connections within Slovakia as well as with foreign countries, such as the Czech Airlines, the Austrian AirlinesRyanair or Wizzair 

Transportation between international airports and principal Slovak towns

Bratislava International Airport

M. R. Štefánik International Airport is located about 15 km from the Bratislava Old Town. A taxi into the town costs about 6 – 9 €, depending on where in the centre you want to go.

Using a public transport, take the bus No. 61 to the main railway station (Hlavná stanica). The ride will take you about 25 minutes and you'll need a 30-minutes/0.90 € ticket. The bus No. 96 will take you from the airport directly to the Petržalka district. During night, the night bus No. N61 runs to the main railway station.

Vienna International Airport (Austria)

Thanks to the short distance between Vienna and Bratislava (60 kilometres) it is also possible to use the Schwechat International Airport in Vienna which is larger than the M. R. Štefánik International Airport in Bratislava and then take a bus or a taxi to Bratislava. Just in front of the arrival gate at Vienna airport, you will find the bus platform with the buses departing to Bratislava where you can change to bus/train to other Slovak principal towns. The buses terminate either at the Main Bus Station in Bratislava (Hlavná autobusová stanica) called Mlynské Nivy or at the Bratislava airport

Standard one‑way ticket from the Vienna Airport to Bratislava bus station costs 5 €, return ticket costs 8 - 10 €. The schedules and online ticket booking are available at websites of the bus companies Slovak Lines and RegioJet.

Košice International Airport

Košice international airport is located approximately 6 km to the south of the town. The airport is situated between the suburbs Košice‑Barca and Košice‑Pereš. The airport is located less than 2 km from the expressway from Košice to Rožňava. You can reach it by car in 10 minutes from the town of Košice, in 30 minutes from the town of Prešov and in 20 minutes from the Slovak‑Hungarian border.

The public transport company operates regular bus service No. 23 which connects the airport of Košice with the downtown. The ride from the airport to the 'Station square' (where both main railways and bus stations are) takes about 17 minutes. You will need a 30-minutes/0.60 € ticket. The bus departs from the airport every hour. Taxi to the city centre costs about 7 €.

 

Travel by car

Driving licence

A driving licence issued in another EU/EEA country authorises the holder to drive motor vehicles of the categories indicated in it when in the Slovak Republic, regardless of the type of stay in the country. In case the person will be granted temporary or permanent residence in Slovakia, he/she may apply for a replacement of the driving licence after 185 days from being granted a temporary or a permanent residence.

In case a national from outside the EU/EEA is residing permanently in a country that has signed the Geneva or Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (done in 1968 and in 1949), he/she may only drive a motor vehicle in Slovakia if being a holder of a driving licence issued by the country of residence together with a valid international driving licence.

If such person is granted a temporary or permanent residence in Slovakia, he/she can use both documents only up to further 185 days. Within 60 days after this period, it is necessary to apply for a replacement of the former driving licence at the respective Police authority.

Everyone riding a moped must be at least 15 years old and must hold a driving licence even if such a licence is not required in his/her country of permanent residence. Everyone riding a motorcycle over 50 cm3 must be at least 17 years old and everyone riding a car or a lorry at least 18 years old.

After being granted a permanent residence in Slovakia and if using a motor vehicle, it is also necessary to register your motor vehicle in use, if registered in another country. Technical control of the car must be executed before the registration, and be followed by a mandatory contractual insurance against the liability for damage caused by operation of the motor vehicle and an optional accident insurance.

For further information related to driving licences, you may visit the website of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic, section driving licences (in Slovak only) or the District transport inspectorate of the Police forces according to the place of your residence. 

For more information and required documents for the registration of your car, please contact the Police Vehicle Registration Department in the place of your residence.

Traffic regulations

The current traffic regulations are the same as in other European countries. Seat belts are compulsory. The use of a mobile phone is forbidden while driving. It is prohibited to drink any amount of alcohol before or while driving. No level of alcohol in the blood is tolerated. A car must have the appropriate lights on during the whole year. Motor vehicles in Slovakia have a duty to have winter tires if a continuous layer of snow or ice is on the roads. An accident with presumed loss over 3,990 € must be reported to the police; otherwise, the participants of an accident clarify the circumstances themselves and report it to the insurance company according to their agreement.

More info: 

Speed limits

  • On a motorway: max. 130 km/h (80 mph), min. 80 km/h (50 mph)

  • On a motorway in a built‑up area: max. 90 km/h (55 mph), min. 65 km/h (40 mph)

  • On an open road: max. 90 km/h (55 mph) 

  • In a built‑up area: max. 50 km/h (30 mph)

Motorway vignettes

As of 1 of January 2016, a formerly used paper form of motorway stickers has been replaced by electronic vignette valid in the given calendar year. They can be purchased via www.eznamka.sk. It is possible to buy an electronic vignette valid for a period of 10, 30 days or one calendar year. Motor‑bikers do not need electronic vignettes on motorways.

Petrol/Charging stations

Petrol stations are located throughout the whole territory of Slovakia. They are usually open 24 hours a day, and easy to find. Most of these are operated by Europe's largest petroleum companies and are well‑stocked. They sell diesel and non‑leaded petrol, Super 95 Natural, Natural 98, Normal 21, V‑Power, V‑power Racing, EVO Benzin, etc. For older vehicles, the non‑leaded petrol with special additives replacing lead is available. There is also a network of petrol stations providing LPG. Almost all petrol stations sell drinks and snacks. Toilet facilities tend to be quite acceptable and larger stations offer showers. In all big petrol stations, you can pay with credit cards.

You can find charging stations for electric vehicles e.g. here or here.

Parking

Parking in cities is well marked by international traffic signs. Parking in forbidden places can result in being fined, towed or wheel‑clamped. In bigger cities, some parking places are specified for parking with a parking card, which can be bought from newspaper kiosks. Other parking places require the use of automatic parking meters. In several cities of Slovakia, it is possible to use your mobile phone to pay for parking. For detailed information, please consult the website of Mobil Parking.  

Breakdown service

The services are commercial and operate 24 hours a day.

 

Travel by coach

While the trains are more comfortable, coaches are sometimes more direct; they connect most of the towns and villages in Slovakia and are reliable and satisfactory. The schedules and existing connections can be found at www.cp.sk or www.cestovny-poriadok.sk.

For international bus travel, you can buy tickets at the ticket office, travel agency or online. Eurolines is the biggest provider operating 8 regular international lines together with its domestic branch Slovak Lines, RegioJet also provides several international lines. 

How to buy a ticket

When travelling by coach within Slovakia, tickets can be bought when boarding. It is possible to buy a ticket with a seat reservation ("miestenka") for long‑distance coaches at the ticket office of any bus station or on‑line, in some cases.

 

Travel by train

Using trains in Slovakia is a safe and comfortable way to travel. There are several different types of trains:

  • Os Passenger train ("osobný vlak")

  • Zr Semi-fast train ("zrýchlený vlak")

  • R Fast train ("rýchlik")

  • Ex Express

  • IC InterCity

  • EC EuroCity (international)

  • SC SuperCity (international)

How to find a connection and buy a ticket

The websites of the Slovak Railways provide information on schedules, prices, ride duration and whether you have to switch the trains at any point. 

The websites www.cp.sk and www.cestovny-poriadok.sk offer a complex travel itinerary taking into account all the means of transport (bus, train, aeroplane, town public transport) and search for an optimal combination of them to find the shortest journey.

Tickets can be bought at the train station ticket offices or at some train stations in ticket machines. If applicable, the teller may ask what type of train you would prefer (see the table above). To guarantee a seat, it is possible to buy a seat reservation ("miestenka"), since the trains may be crowded, especially on Fridays and Sundays, when students travel to and from schools.

International trains run several times a day from several train stations in the country. For some trains, it is also possible to buy a ticket on‑line at the website of Slovak Railways.

 

Local transport

The public transport system in towns is quite reliable. A network of public transport is usually composed of buses (in Bratislava and Košice also of trams and trolleybuses) and covers most of the towns. The transport usually runs between 5 am and 11 pm. After 11 pm there are a few night‑bus lines. Every town is responsible for running its own public transport ("mestská hromadná doprava", abbr. MHD).

Common features

Public transport is the most widely used means of transportation in towns. Schedules can be found at every bus/tram stop.

Tickets are usually sold on buses only in smaller towns. Unless this is a case, they can be bought at newsstands, ticket machines, some bus stations or public transport kiosks. In several towns, electronic SMS tickets are also available for clients of Slovak mobile operators. However, the possibilities vary from town to town. 

The ticket types also differ depending on the town you are in. Some towns use time‑tickets (you can change means of transport within a given period), others single‑use tickets (every time you change means of transport, you use a new ticket). Fare depends also on tariff zones given by the town area. It is usually possible to buy tickets valid for several days from the moment of their first validation in the vehicle. You will also need an extra ticket if travelling with large pieces of luggage and/or animals.

In a case of staying in a certain town for a longer period and if you know you'll be using public transport quite frequently, it is advisable to buy a travel pass, usually for 30, 90 or 365‑days. To get a pass, you will normally need a completed application form, an up‑to‑date photograph (3 × 3.5 cm) and your ID card. Consult the local public transport company for more information.

Children, students and pensioners usually travel for reduced fares.

Useful glossary

  • Autobus – bus

  • Električka – tram

  • Trolejbus – trolleybus

  • Zastávka – stop

  • Cestovný poriadok – schedule

  • Cestovný lístok – travel ticket

  • Mesačník, predplatný cestovný lístok, električenka – a (monthly) travel pass

  • Zastávka na znamenie – request stop

Schedules 

Information on public transport in Bratislava, Banská Bystrica, Košice, Nitra, Prešov, Žilina and other towns is available at www.imhd.sk. For Bratislava, you can also consult the web page of the City Transport Company (Dopravný podnik). Connection search for public transport of a larger number of principal towns is available at www.cp.sk (under MHD), it is necessary to be familiar with the names of stops, though.

 

Taxi

There are many taxi companies, although cruising taxis are seldom available. Taxi stands are located throughout the towns. Taxis ordered by phone have cheaper fares (usually 50 % cheaper). The fare is flexible and varies from company to company. When taking a taxi, look for one with the company's name on the car.

To find out contact numbers on taxi services in the respective town search the Yellow Pages (section "Taxi services") or the Green Pages (section "Automotive", subsection "Taxi Companies").