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Hungary and Croatia - possibly Slovenia: Itinerary and transfer help, please!

We are a family of 4 and planning a trip to Hungary and Croatia. We are thinking of spending about 10 days - 5 days each in Hungary and Croatia. Any advice on the following would be greatly appreciated!

  1. What is the best and shortest way to travel from Budapest to Zagreb - Bus, private transfer or train? Which websites/ companies would you recommend?

  2. Could we squeeze in Slovenia too: Hungary - 4. Croatia - 4 and Slovenia - 2? Or would that make it too tight?

  3. Any websites you would recommend for itinerary help?

We will be flying in and out of Budapest.

Much thanks in advance!

Posted by
12120 posts

With four riding I would guess private transfer. But Budapest and Croatia dont match up too well. If it were me I guess I would fly to Podgorica on Wizzair then make my way up the coast to Zagreb, then with 4, a private transfer might not be terribly expensive to get back to Budapest. Or fly to Vienna for a few nights and train to Budapest.

Or you could do Budapest to Belgrade for a few day (there are discount airlines to Belgrade and it's an interesting city), then another discount airline to Dubrovnik and then up the coast. I just dont like long road trips and would rather fly. San Antonio to Dallas I fly and Budapest to Zagreb is a similar trip by car, bus or train.

Posted by
4422 posts

I would focus on either Hungary or Croatia. You don’t have time for Slovenia too, especially if your children are young.

Budapest can easily fill 5 full days. Why Zagreb? Most heading to Croatia would opt for Dubrovnik, Split or Istria over Zagreb. These are further from Budapest and the best way to get there would be to fly.

  1. Shortest way - driving or private transfer, which won’t be the cheapest.

  2. No. Physically you could do it, but you would be spending most of your time in transit, particularly if you have to get back to Budapest. Open jaw tickets would have made more sense.

  3. If your flights are booked, stick with Hungary. Websites for ideas - hellohungary.com, visit-Hungary.com or lonelyplanet.com for ideas.

Posted by
27 posts

Thanks, Jennifer. We have about 10 days total - so was thinking of 5 days each.

Posted by
12120 posts

But, with 10 days as much as I love Hungary, I would get out and see more. Look at where Wizzair goes. Montenegro has a lot of the same character as Croatia and it's cheap, fast and easy to reach. So are destinations in Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria. Actually Wizzair connects most of Eastern Europe to Budapest, just not Croatia.

Posted by
18102 posts

How many nights do you have on the ground in Europe? If it's ten, that's really only nine full, non-jetlagged days. How many of them are you willing to mostly write off for sightseeing purposes by dealing with airports or taking long train trips to destinations not well-connected to Budapest? Your last full day is going to be spent getting back to Budapest.

You need to examine the travel time to any additional destinations you're considering.

Posted by
12120 posts

Normally I fly open Jaw to a new place, spend a few days, go on to Budspest and fly home from there. That counts down s bit on travel time. But if you already have RT Budapest tickets think about 3 days or so in Budapest, then a discount air trip to one interesting place that affords some interesting day excursions ... Sofia and Bucharest and Budva come to mind ... then back to Budapest for 3 days before going home. I just did a trip like that that was Bpest Kyiv Bpest. Enjoyed it. These a 1.5 hour flights into fairly easy to navigate airports and usually under $90 each way.

Posted by
12120 posts

All the advice in the world isnt much good if it doesnt answer your question or if it takes you where you dont want to go. So... I've used these guys twice. They were pretty okay: https://transferbudapesthungary.com/price-list.html Looks like about $500 for a van to Zagreb. With four riders, that isnt bad. To get back to Budapest, if you skip Slovenia and run south down the coast instead, then you can fly back from Podgorica or have the same folks pick you up and drive you back.