The network of public transportation in Bratislava is extensive and efficiently on time. It provides the most inexpensive means of getting around. Red-posted stops with the route number attached, often with a glass-framed waiting area, mark where you can get on all forms of public transport.
You must buy tickets before getting on, and the easiest place to buy them is from newsstands or coin-operated machines at some (but not all) bus stops. The same tickets are used interchangeably on buses, streetcar-trams and electric trolley-buses.
Buy your tickets based on how long you expect your trip to take. For example:
- a trip from the main train station to Old Town requires less than ten minutes by tram and so a ten-minute ticket is enough
- the trip from Old Town to the airport will take less than sixty minutes but more than thirty minutes (including a transfer), especially in rush hour traffic, and therefore it′s best to buy a sixty-minute ticket
Children up to 6 are free, and children from 6 to 16 use special half-price tickets. Senior citizens from outside Slovakia have no discount without written permission.
For the cost of less than 3 euros per day, you can buy an unlimited ticket for 24 hours, or for 2 days, 3 days or 7 days. These are available at public transportation sales booths (not at news stands) at the main train station and other locations around town. You can also buy them from most coin-operated machines, but they require a great many Slovak coins.
Immediately after you get on, punch your ticket in the red time-stamp machines located near each door. If you′re not sure how to do this the first time, don′t ask the driver, as he is not allowed to talk to passengers, but rather look around for a helpful face among your fellow passengers. Be prepared to show the stamped ticket at any time during the ride to a ticket inspector.
Within the time period of your ticket, you may transfer as much as you like between any of the buses, streetcar-trams and electric trolley-buses.
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