Free parking in shopping centers
On the following map, I have prepared sightseeings, which are worth seeing and where it is best to park. If you are in Bratislava during the working week, the best alternative is to park in shopping center Aupark or Eurovea. The probability of finding a vacancy in both cases is very high. It only depends on which part of Bratislava you plan to see and what suits you better.
Aupark Shopping Center is a 10-minute walk to the center of Bratislava. Just walk underneath the UFO restaurant and over the New Bridge and you are in the historic center. Aupark offers the first 3 hours of free parking (4 hours for members of the loyalty program). Then for every begun hour of 3.00 euros. There is also the possibility of unlimited parking on the outdoor parking spots (shown area in green). Finding a free parking spot during working hours will not be easy at all. What no one else offers is free parking throughout the weekend and public holiday. More information about prices can be found here.
The second alternative is parking in the Eurovea shopping center. There are also the first 3 hours of free parking, but the price of parking for the next started hour is 3.50 Euros. Parking on weekends and public holidays is not unlimited, free parking is only for the first 5 hours. More information can be found here. If I need parking for a shorter time and I just want to go around the center and have great ice cream, I usually choose this parking. I can get to the center in two ways. Either I just cross one intersection and I’m on Safarikovo Square, which is only about 300 meters. Or I walk along the beautiful promenade shopping center Eurovea and the Danube up to the Ľudovít Štúr square. The ideal is one way to go to the historic center and the other to go back.
For some, there is also a Centrál shopping center with 1300 parking spots. This underground parking is not entirely in the historical center of Bratislava, but you can get to the center from the “Trnavské mýto” by tram within 10 minutes. But this is an ideal parking place for those who would like to go see sports events. Nearby is Ondrej Nepela Ice Hockey Stadium, Tehelne Pole Football Stadium, and National Tennis Center. The shopping center offers 3 hours of free parking during the week and the weekend is completely free (note the official website still shows 4 hours, but this period was shortened to three hours from 1 May 2019). More information about parking in the CENTRAL shopping center can be found here.
TIP: Clicking on the blue hyperlink will open the route as you get from the parking spot to the center. Opening this article on your phone makes it easy to navigate to the center.
Park & Ride in Bratislava
If you need to park for longer and do not want to pay for parking, you can use the so-called parking type Park & Ride. This parking is always located within easy reach of public transport lines and trains. However, this type of parking in Bratislava is not well developed yet. In Bratislava is only one parking lot – in front of the cemetery in “Vrakuňa”. And the time it takes you to get to the center is around 30 minutes, so this option is not optimal.
Free parking within 10 minutes from the city center
In this section, I have collected interesting tips for parking spots, which are a little further from the center. However, these car parks are completely free. So they are very likely to park quickly on them and you could be in the historic center within 10 minutes by public transport.
An overview of these car parks can be found on the following map:
Free parking area Tyršovo nábrežie
This parking lot is very close to the center, it is one of the larger parking areas and there is also a very high chance that you will find a place here. The only drawback of this parking lot is that it is on an unpaved area and is already quite driven. So you have to drive very carefully or have a car with a higher chassis. The advantage is that you are quickly from the parking lot to the tram stop (Sad J. Kráľa, Divadlo Aréna) and then just 1-2 tram stops and you are in the center. However, if you do not want to pay for public transport, which is now 70 cents (up to 15 minutes), you can also go walking through the Old Bridge. You are at Šafarikovo square within 15 minutes.
Free parking area TPD
TPD is a small shopping center, mainly with electronics and car park there is also smaller. When I go shopping here, I always found a place to park. The time you spend in the tram to get to the center is very similar to the previous parking lot. It’s only one stop (Farského) away. However, it would take you about half an hour to walk and this route is not so ideal for a walk.
Free parking area under the bridge Lafranconi
For those arriving in the city center from the D2 highway, a very interesting parking spot may be the parking area just below the Lafranconi Bridge. This parking lot is middle size and very popular among Bratislava citizens. The probability of parking is a little lower than the above mentioned. However, if you go by the highway, it is ideal to check first this parking lot. Not far away is the bus and tram stop (Lafranconi), from which you are in the center in 10 minutes.
Free parking in the streets of Bratislava
In the historical center are parking zones, where you can park your car. In the zone is obliged to pay for parking on working days from 8:00 to 16:00. You can pay as usual via a parking machine. The minimum parking price is 60 cents per 30 minutes. However, you can set your own parking time in 5-minute intervals of 10 cents. (For example, 50-minute parking only pay 1 Euro (60 + 4 * 10 cents).
Besides the possibility of paying the parking fee in the parking machine, you can also pay by SMS sent to the short number 2200. Here you can choose 2 options, either a 90-minute ticket for 1.8 euros or a daily ticket for 8 Euros.
When and where to park in Bratislava for free?
But what is best for this information and results from the previous text? If you park in the city center outside the listed times, or during weekends or bank holidays, parking in the center for free.
These were still very positive news, but I have for you also a bit more negative news. Surely you know that when any service is cheap or for free, the demand for it will be also very high. This is also the case with parking in the center of Bratislava. Therefore, you should count on the fact that you spend about 15-20 minutes of finding free space. It doesn’t matter whether you park during the working day or over the weekend.
Tips for efficient parking
Below you will find some tips on what areas it is best to do when you want to quickly and effectively par
Direction: Highway D2 from Brno to Bratislava
As already mentioned, if you are driving on the D2 highway from Brno, it is ideal to get down the highway just behind the Sitina tunnel. First, you can check the free spot in the car park under the bridge Lafranconi. If you can not find any suitable spot, you can continue the search for parking spaces in the streets, in the city center.
The most effective way is to drive without any delay until the Ľudovít Štúr square and continue your search through the streets of the city. It is ideal to go through these streets (watch out for one-way streets) Medená – Kúpná – Palackého. Follow Štúrova street back to Medená street and then Tobrucká – Dobrovičova. If you have not found anything yet, you can continue through Šafarikovo square and Vajanské nábrežie until Fajnorovo nábrežie. There is another possibility to park on Gondova Street. If you haven’t found anything at all, the Eurovea shopping center is very close, where you will certainly find a vacancy. You can download the whole route through the streets of the center here.
Direction: D1 highway from Žilina to Bratislava
If you drive on the D1 highway from Žilina, it is ideal to pass the AVION shopping center and drive down after the motorway to the “Prístav” bridge. This will take you to the Aupark shopping center, which you will see on the right. There you can check if there are any free spaces in the car park or you can use the inside parking area of this shopping center. If you would like to get to the very center, turn to the center at Aupark. You can continue searching the streets of the center as in the previous case, see the detailed directions here.
Direction: From Pezinok and surroundings to the center of Bratislava
If you come to the center from city Pezinok or Senec, the best way to get to the center is probably via the “Trnavské mýto”. From here you will go to “Kamenné” square, where you’ll see a large TESCO on the left. (Note: there is no free parking next to the TESCO shopping center). There you should slow down and look for a free parking spots in the adjacent streets. The best route is to try these streets: Kolárska – Heydukova – Hollý – Rajská – Dunajská – Klemensova – Grösslingova – Bezručova – Dobrovičova. I usually don’t go through all the streets, but there are days when nothing here is free. So again, I will use parking in the Eurovea shopping center for free, which is just a short distance away.
TIP: As you can see, you should expect 15-20 minutes of your time to park in all these cases. If you don’t want to waste your time and patience searching for a parking space and don’t want to park expensive, install and use our app Spotee. More information about the Spotee app, how to find a parking spot, and possibly make money by parking is available on spotee.io.