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Hungary Croatia Bosnia Montenegro

Hello fellow travellers. We are hoping to go to Budapest at the end of May through to all of June 2020. We would like to hire a car. Yes we will get IDL as we have driven in Europe a few times. My question is we will pick up hire car at Budapest airport and stay near Pest. We will stay about a week. From there we will head to lake balaton and head towards zadar. Then split, Dubrovnik. We would like to visit Bosnia and do some hiking in Montenegro. Is there a rental company that will allow us to take the car to the latter two countries. Yes I am aware of the green card, insurance etc. we will return the car back at Budapest airport. We can also return car after a week in Budapest and pick another rental in Croatia and flying out of Zagreb. However we do not mind driving back and returning car back at Budapest airport. We love driving. We also do not mind paying a one off drop fee at Zagreb airport if we keep the Budapest rental all through our trip. I have done a lot of googling and after extensive research decided it best to post my enquiries. What would be the ideal itinerary from Budapest to all the destinations I mentioned. Thank you for all your help. Rocky from Australia
Ps. We have been to Slovenia and Zagreb so would avoid those areas this trip.

Posted by
16567 posts

There are three consolidators that work with a lot of rental-car companies. The one most often mentioned here is AutoEurope; the other two are Kemwel and Gemut. I suspect the easiest way to get an answer to your car-rental question is to contact one (or more) of them. Based on reports of others, it often turns out to be less expensive to work through one of those three companies.

It sounds as if you plan to pick up the rental car when you initially arrive in Budapest, which I don't really understand. It will not be helpful for sightseeing in the city; Budapest has a really good public transportation.

My ideal one-month itinerary would not attempt to cover all four countries, and I was not entranced by Lake Balaton (as opposed to many other places in Hungary), not being a water person, so I'll let others offer itinerary assistance.

Posted by
61 posts

Thank you Martine and a craven. I have put the hiking link in my reading list. I was also thinking maybe not to pick rental car the day we arrive and stay 4-5 days in Pest and do all the necessary sightseeing by trams and metro. I kept a lot of notes from Jamese. And then I will pick up the car somewhere and see More of Hungary and head towards my other destinations. What I need help from experts is, in what is the best order route wise , towards the places I mentioned. We have 5 weeks but can extend to 7. Many thanks

Posted by
10654 posts

Your question is way too broad and it would just take too much time. I will put in a few comments. Ive been to Montenegro a few times and love it. Just returned from Bosnia and it was also stunning. I would return to either in a heart beat. Great Fly Fishing in both so take a rod and some tippet. My experience in Croatia is limited to Dubrovnik and while it was beautiful and somewhat interesting it was a little to Disneyland for my taste.

As for the car rental. If it makes you feel comfortable to have it in Budapest, then do so. But it will stay parked 90% of the time for 20 to 40 euro a day in fees. Bosnia and Montenegro are accessible by Wizzair out of Budapest for about $35 each way. I know you want to drive, just thought i would throw it out. I settle into an apartment in Budapest then take 3 to 5 day trips leaving the heavy stuff in the apartment. Works well for me. Its how I have gotten to much of Eastern Europe. I guess when I landed i could have rented a car, but hiring a car and driver has never cost more than $100 a day and that way i can just look out the window and enjoy.

Posted by
61 posts

Hi James. I was hoping you would reply. I truly appreciate all your input we have decided not to rent a car when we arrive in Budapest and use your advice using trams and metro. Also debating of hiring one after seeing all the sights and see the countryside a bit then return the car and take train to Zagreb and hire a car there that will allow us to take car to Bosnia and Montenegro. We will return car at Zagreb airport and fly home from there

Posted by
10654 posts

Look at your route to Bosnia and Montenegro and ask yourself if the round trip, down and back to Zagreb is worth the effort; might be. If not, fly down to Dubrovnik and rent it there, then use it to tour the region, returning it in Dubrovnik. I will tell you that a car opens up a lot in Montenegro and in Bosnia & H. Two of the prettiest countries there are. I'll send you a link.

Posted by
16567 posts

I haven't seen enough of Bosnia-Hercegovina to comment on the countryside, but Montenegro is lovely. I wanted to see at least one of the National Parks, but it didn't seem to be possible without a car.

Posted by
61 posts

Hi James. Got it! Never thought of flying to Dubrovnik. So that’s what we will do and find a car rental that will allow us to take the car to Bosnia and Montenegro. We can’t fly back to Perth from Dubrovnik so I will Have to find where to fly from to home . Looking forward to the link you said you will be sending me. Is there anything we should and should not do in these two countries. Mind you we are always respectable to other cultures etc when we travel. Thank you once again. What can you recommend of nearby towns villages to visit near and around Budapest . Thank you once again

Posted by
10654 posts

You should have gotten that link by now.... I get some criticism for not renting a car or taking the train, but when I can get from Budapest to Sarajevo in under 4 hours door to door for $35, why not? Then I have found that it is possible to hire a driver with a car four under $100 a day. Again, why not. That way I get to see the parks!!!

I am sending another link. Loved Bosnia & H.

Now I remember. See Bosnia & H now before it comes apart again. Things are bubbling under the surface.