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My girlfriend and I are going to drive to Vienna from Germany tomorrow to visit some friends. We bought a vignette to drive in Austria for 10 days so it's all good. We would also like to visit Bratislava for a few hours since it's so close but my question is, can we go there without a vignette?

From what I read, you need a vignette (around 10€) to drive in the motorways but since we are coming from Vienna and from the border to city is only a few kilometers, I'm not sure if that count as motorway or toll road.

I wouldn't mind paying the 10€ but I would really want to be sure that is needed (specially because it would only be a few hours).

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You are not at all obligated to use the border crossing at the D4 motorway as Nicolas Formichella is claiming in his answer, but can easily drive from Vienna to Bratislava and avoid road toll in Slovakia.

The easiest way is from the Austrian side to approach the border on the B9 road, cross the border at the Berg/Petržalka border crossing and then follow the Slovakian road I/61 until you can turn left onto the Most SNP bridge crossing the Danube and after that, you are almost immediately in the city center. It is just a 5 minute drive from the border crossing to the city center and absolutely no need to use a toll road.

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    Is the extra time on this route justified by a savings of €10? Obviously, one might find cases in which it is, especially for certain destinations, but it would not be in probably a large majority of cases.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 10:13
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    @phoog I didn't really understand the estimated driving times I got from Google Maps last week, but I was in the area over Easter and there is a lot of road works on the Austrian motorway. Right now (late in the evening, almost no traffic) Google estimates a driving time of 57 minutes from Vienna to Bratislava if you follow the motorway. If you leave the motorway in Austria at exit Fischamend and continue on the B9 and hence also avoid toll roads in Slovakia, the estimated driving time is 59 minutes. Following the motorway here is also almost a 15km longer ride. Commented Apr 18, 2022 at 20:01
  • Okay, this is the right answer for sure. Although I took the motorway and ended up paying the 10€. there was certainly another way around without needing to pay. I was not sure since the map kinda confused me and didn't want to take google maps for granted (worst case scenario I would have needed to pay the fine for driving without vignette). Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 12:01
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The Motorway Patrol has a comprehensive map of what roads are considered charged or not on their site (roads in Orange are charged (i.e you need the vignette))

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  • I see, I guess I will get the vignette for my day trip. I read somewhere that between Vienna and Bratislava it was free of tolls but wanted to make sure. Thanks. Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 14:29
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    I am surprized that you are obligated to take the main border crossing, as both countries have plenty of smaller roads with border crossings. (I would look further and not just take this answer as given.)
    – Willeke
    Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 15:02
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    This answer is simply wrong. There is of course no obligation to use a specific border crossing when travelling between Austria and Slovakia. Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 18:28
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    Right, sorry for that Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 18:34
  • i used to drive to Bratislava from Vienna without vignette multiple times using the motorway... but this year i've got the 100 eur fine for driving without vignette on the way to the Bratislava (D4, 0.8km = border crossing). Maybe they've changed something :( Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 9:32

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