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Budapest to Ljubljana- car rental ?

Hello!

In May I will be traveling with a friend from Budapest to Ljubljana (Slovenia) and we are considering renting a car as the driving time is approximately 5 hours and the train/bus appears to take over 8 hours. Does anyone have experience with this route and can recommend a rental company ? I am nervous about the price to drop off in another country but also don't want to double the transportation time using a train. Likely we would return the rental car the same day we picked it up or at most keep it for two nights.

Any advice is appreciated,

Thanks,

Posted by
13556 posts

When you get your price, including drop off, see how much more a driver will cost.

These guys want 400 to 500 euro. Your drop off fee could be that much.
https://transferbudapesthungary.com/budapest-to-ljubljana-transport-transfer-taxi.html (i used them twice over the years to get into the High Tatras for some fishing -- "reasonable" service)
And you could check with this gentleman
http://www.silverwings.hu/ (he would be my first choice. use him often. great guy)

And you might consider modifying you trip a tad to visit another place as well as Ljubljana. For instance you can fly non stop on wizz air to a number of places which have non-stop connections to Lju

Budapest - Belgrade - Ljubljana
Budapest - Podgorica - Ljubljana
Budapest - Sarajevo - Ljubljana

Using googleflights you choose
one way
LJU to Europe
Non Stop
Then you make note of the cities you can connect to.

Then you choose
one way,
BUD to Europe
Non Stop
And then you look for cities that were on the previous list.

Great way to find new places you never dreamed of seeing
Most of the flights are an hour or so and most under $100.

Posted by
4933 posts

Why would you want to spend so much money just to save three hours? The train is cheap I believe, and you can relax, get up and walk around, take a nap...instead of having to drive. (And the bus is more like six hours, but I'd probably take the train myself.) You could take the train through Zagreb or Ptuj and get off and explore for a few hours to break it up if you want, then continue on to Ljubljana.

Posted by
16822 posts

Considering that I am seeing ticket prices of 30 EUR for 2 2nd class tickets on the direct train, why spend several hundred EUR to save 3 hours.

Posted by
1767 posts

Another possibility (I haven't looked at James' links yet) is MyDaytrip.com

EDIT to add: It's 280 euros

Posted by
4 posts

Sam
What train line are you referencing from Budapest to Ljubljana? Planning a trip in September, this seems far better than driving or taking the bus. Thanks Janie

Posted by
16822 posts

It is operated by the Hungarian National Railway, at least as far as the Slovenian border, Mavcsoport.
https://www.mavcsoport.hu/en/mav-start/domestic-travels/international-travel-information

Tickets go on sale 3 months in advance. Tickets have to be picked up at a Hungarian train station. The 15 EUR price I quoted is a "Sparschiene" advance nonrefundable price. 29 EUR is the regular price. Although they quote in EUR, you actually pay in Hungarian Forints (HUF), currently 320 HUF= 1 EUR.

The direct train to Ljubljana leaves at 8:30 am from Deli station which is in Buda (west side of the Danube). Connected to the rest of Budapest by the M2 Metro line.

Posted by
4933 posts

The FlixBus is about 6:10 direct from one of the bus stations (not familiar with bus stations in Budapest, only the train stations).

Anyone with an interest in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, might hop off the train for a few hours or a night here before heading on to Ljubljana. Alternately, that Hungarian-based direct train goes through Ptuj, a town in eastern Slovenia, the oldest town in Slovenia. Not a huge town with a lot to see and do but very interesting (there is a big castle on top of the hill). Close to zero tourists in Ptuj. Much more to do and see in Zagreb. Depends what your interests are, but stopping at one might add something to your trip if you have the time.

Posted by
58 posts

I am still trying to find a train schedule for Zagreb to Budapest. Is it to early? Can anyone direct me to the best wabsite to purchase tickeys?
Thank you.

Posted by
13556 posts

Sort of illustrates the advantages of a well considered trip. Slovenia and Croatia are beautiful, but the are difficult to pair with Budapest without an intermediate stop. I'm not a fan of more than 3.5 hours on a train, regardless of what is at the other end.

Posted by
16883 posts

Cindy, see train schedules through the end of May using the Deutsche Bahn train schedule link at Looking Up Train Schedules and Routes Online. The direct Zagreb-Budapest train departs in the afternoon, around 4:30. I would buy the ticket in a train station or travel agency in or near Zagreb.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks for all the advice, it does look like the train or bus might be a more affordable option despite the long distance.

Posted by
141 posts

My wife and I took a FlixBus last summer - left BP at 7:00am-ish and arrived Ljubljana about 1:30 with 2 stops. Easy. Anyway renting cars and not returning it to the country where you pick up is pretty costly.
The bus was clean, well air conditioned, really easy.
We rented a car with ATET in Lj - they were very accommodating (we arrived on a Sunday and their offices closed at noon, so they kept a manager on site to meet us) and we had no issues picking up or returning the vehicle. Lj is a very easy country to drive in - roads are well marked - you can get to most of the sights on the western side of the country LJ - Bled - Adriatic - Postonja within 2 hours.
If you wanted to avoid the bus you could look into a private car dropping you off - but that'll be costly too

Posted by
141 posts

I should add we left BP at 7:00 AM-ish and arrived in LJ about 1:30PM (about 6 - 6:30 hrs)
The 2 stops were:
Siofolk in Hungary
and
Maribor in Slovenia (10-15 mins each, pit stops).

We enjoyed Slovenia immensely. People were very friendly and we were surprised by how many people spoke English. Slovenians are quatro-lingual it seems: Slovenian, Italian, German, English.

You'll have a blast -

Posted by
13556 posts

I got curious and checked car rental rates for the trip Bud to Ljub. The one place I looked, EuropCar was $1300 (mostly the drop charge). Not saying you cant do better, but thats a lot. https://www.europcar.com

Posted by
12 posts

I'm really looking forward to this part of the trip, glad to hear more positive reviews !

But yikes on the price of the rental we will be looking at taking the bus for sure