My mom + I made sure to take complete advantage of her trip to Budapest. Not only did she see all the major sights in Budapest, we visited Slovenia (travel guide here), took a few day trips within Hungary (read here), AND managed to squeeze in TWO more countries: Austria + Slovakia.
We knew we wanted to visit Bratislava (it’s only about 2.5 hours from Budapest by train), but we figured Vienna was close by too, so why not make the most out of it. Both are the capitals of their respective countries, so our mission was clear: 2 cities, 2 countries, 2 days.
Zack and I visited Vienna back in April for the first time and saw a TON, but there were a few things we missed like the Schönbrunn Palace and the Belvedere.
My mom and I took the train at 5:30am from Budapest and arrived in Vienna just after 8:00am. After grabbing a quick breakfast at the Brass Monkey (chai lattes and croissants), my mom and I took the U-bahn to Schönbrunn Palace and walked around the gardens. From there we made our way to the Belvedere.
While we didn’t pay to go inside either, it was really nice to walk through the gardens of both. If I had to pick just one, I’d say the Schönbrunn Palace is a must see. The view from the top of the hill is incredible.
Since I had been before, I made sure to take my Mom to some of the other highlights as well. We had lunch at Cafe Landtmann, climbed the Stephansdom, wandered around the city, and finished the day with apfelstrudel at Palmenhaus.
For more to do in Vienna, you can read all about my last visit HERE.
The next morning we took the train from Vienna to Bratislava (1 hour trip). The train station is about a 20 minute walk to Old Town, where we found the perfect coffee shop for breakfast: Urban House. We both had chai lattes and shared avocado toast and strawberry brioche.
I was pleasantly surprised with how beautiful Bratislava was. I really didn’t know what to expect going in, but it reminded me of a miniature Prague. We started out in Old Town Square (there’s the town hall + tower here), walked by St. Martin’s Cathedral, and headed up to the Bratislava Castle for views of the Danube River and the city below.
Once we made our way down from the castle, we grabbed ice cream at Arthur’s Ice Cream and headed to the Blue Church, which is just that. . .a beautiful, blue church.
We had some time to kill before our train back to Budapest so we just wandered around and eventually found ourselves back at Urban House for an afternoon drink + snack. (I highly recommend the Miss Moneypenny cocktail + Truffle Parmesan fries with mango chili dip!)
It was a blast country hopping with my Mom, and even though we were both exhausted, I don’t think I’d change a thing about the trip! I’d highly recommend trying to visit these neighboring cities if you ever find yourself in Budapest, Vienna, or Bratislava. I mean, you could even do 3 countries (and their capitals) in 3 days! And while you won’t be able to do and see everything, it’s a great way to get a taste for each!