travel from Bratislava to Northern Italy

My husband and I will be traveling for 10 days, leaving Bratislava on May 1, heading through southeastern Austria to Trieste, then over to Cinque Terre for a few days of walking between the towns there. What is the best way to travel? One way car rentals look very expensive. Train looks doable, but we'd like to take time to explore some smaller towns and perhaps add a hike in here and there. Does this sound like a reasonable relatively leisurely itinerary for 10 days? What would you include? How would you travel? Many thanks for suggestions. Jane

Posted by Denise
Lake Forest, CA, USA
1511 posts

Yes, one way car rentals can be very expensive. One way to avoid this, is to pick up and drop off the car in the same country. If you want to have the car in Austria, you could take the train from Bratislava to Vienna and rent the car there. Then drop the car off at a town by the border of Austria and Italy. When in Italy, if you want to explore some towns in Tuscany, a car is beneficial. Having a car in Cinque Terre is a hastle. What do you plan on doing after the Cinque Terre? What city are you flying out of back to the States? We just need some more info on where you want to go in Italy. Florence? Venice?

Posted by Kim
1250 posts

Following along Denise's suggestion, you could also simply take the bus from Bratislava to the Vienna airport and rent your car from there. the airport is on the eastern side of Vienna (I.e. on the Bratislava side anyway), and the ion of vehicles would probably be larger. It is, however, usually more expensive to rent from an airport location because of the airport fee. But with their bigger fleet they might be more flexible in letting you return to another point in Austria.

Posted by Jane
Keene, NH, USA
5 posts

Thank you for these suggestions. I will follow them regarding renting a car in only one country at a time. Regarding my itinerary - what would you recommend seeing in southeastern Austria, in Slovenia and in Trieste? Is it too ambitious to leave Bratislava, drive through southeaster Austria, spend some time in the Julian Alps in Slovenia, then a day in Trieste, then visit Venice? We have about 10 days. I had originally also hoped to go to Cinque Terre, but I'm reconsidering that as just too much. Many thanks for anyone's advice. Thanks for the advice.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
3037 posts

You could pick the car up in Vienna at one of the city offices and return it in Villach, Austria.
There you can catch a train to your destination. Venice is about 3 1/2 hrs. by train.