With our €200 budget we were conscious that our tickets would have cost significantly less if we had bought them in Slovakia. At Wien Südbahnhof (Ost), €14 is the standard price round-trip to Bratislava Hlavná Stanica. There, they would have been €11, but that didn’t matter. We were on our way to Slovakia, where everything is cheaper – €3 wouldn’t break the bank.
We reached the capital in an hour, where we changed trains. Around us, arriving tourists were being hit up for spare change and cigarettes. Combined with the poor condition of the station, this would discourage most first-timers from visiting Bratislava. But we knew better. For €2.55, we bought tickets to our final stop – the Baroque university town of Trnava, in the heart of the Slovak wine region.