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Rental Car from Salzburg to Solvenia

We are planning a trip in March 2020. We will be in Slovenia for a week, but will begin our vacation in Munich. We would like to use a train for the longer trips, but in Slovenia we would like a rental car available to tour around. There are a few places that we want to visit where the train and or bus takes so much longer than to drive. One example is the Neuschwanstein Castle which is much longer to reach from Munich if you don't have a car, and the second is Hallstatt. Other than those two trips I'm fine with train travel until we reach Ljubljana. I'm not sure if we should take the direct train from Salzburg to Ljubljana and drop Hallstatt, rent a car for a day trip, or rent a car from Salzburg and drive to Ljubljana. In driving from Salzburg I'm afraid of the drop charges returning the car to a different location. Suggestions?

Posted by
7573 posts

if this helps on any level, we once rented a car in Venice, Italy, and drove to Piran, Slovenia, then onwards to Ljubljana, and then Bled, then into Croatia, but turned car back in in Venice. If you’re not heading back into Austria, what about turning in your rental in, say, Klagenfurt, Austria, then taking a train to Ljubljana, and getting a Slovenian rental car? Depending on all the driving, sights, and train timing, maybe that’s an option?

Posted by
5687 posts

Yes, you're going to pay a huge one-way drop fee to return a German-rented car in Slovenia. (Someone will have to drive it back to Germany; imagine the time and cost to do that, plus a surcharge for overhead.) I really wouldn't do it.

Just take the train (preferred) or bus to Slovenia and rent another car there. You probably don't want or need one in Ljubljana itself, with its huge pedestrian-only areas, I would highly recommend renting a car in Slovenia, though, even if just for the day (which is what I did last time). If you will be headed say to Bled, rent the car as you leave Ljubljana. (Consider stopping in the lovely town of Skofja Loka and taking the scenic detour through the mountains from Skofja Loka to Bled via Jamnik and Kropa, really lovely!). You can return the car elsewhere in Slovenia if need be, even after hours (drop the keys at the place they recommend). Try AutoEurope or EconomyCarRentals for bookings.

Last time I used Avantcar in Ljubljana - worked fine for a day. Driving in Slovenia is easy. I've used Sixt in the past, too, and would again. Both have offices in town; no need to go out say to the airport. Ljubljana is compact, pretty easy to walk to the rental car office if need be.

Posted by
129 posts

Thanks for the reply's. I'm thinking we will definitely get a car in Ljubljana and return it to the airport there when we fly out. We fly into Munich so it's getting there that is the question really. I'd prefer to take the train from Munich to Salzburg, and then from Salzburg to Ljubljana. But I'm wondering about Hallstatt. The train (since it isn't direct) takes 4 hrs longer than from Salzburg. So should I do a day trip there (rent a car for a day from Salzburg), or not go at all and add the time to our Solvenia visit? If we don't go at all I can just take the train from Munich to Salzburg, and then on to Ljubljana.

Posted by
5687 posts

How about renting a car in Salzburg, driving to Hallstatt, and returning the car in say Klagenfurt or Graz? (Where else in Slovenia are you headed? Just western Slovenia?) You can get a train from each of those those on to Slovenia. You can also use a Slovenian transfer service called GoOpti to get you from there to Slovenia.

You may still pay a one-way fee to return the car elsewhere in Austria, but it should be much, much less than returning it in Slovenia.

Posted by
129 posts

Thank you Andrew...I'll price that out. Really not sure if we will stay multiple places in Slovenia or day trip to the Coast, Caves, Lake Bled etc. from Ljubljana. Is Hallstatt worth the hassle?

Posted by
5687 posts

I've actually not been to Hallstatt. In fact, I too was in Salzburg headed to Slovenia some years ago and considered stopping along the way (was going to take buses/trains not rent a car) but opted not to. I had planned a long day stop between Salzburg and Graz, but the weather was iffy that day so I didn't bother - looked like too much hassle with all the changes (which I was willing to do) just to see a town like that in the rain. Sure looks amazing, though, huh?

Basing all of your time in Slovenia in Ljubljana is certainly one option for a week. It's a charming, vibrant town, one of my favorites, so it's a great place to come back to at night especially when lit up at night. Out of personal preference, with a whole week I might base somewhere else for the second half, maybe near Bled to see the nearby areas. No wrong choice - you can work out the logistics of day trip travel times vs. the hassle of relocation. Up to you!

Posted by
129 posts

Thanks! I'm looking forward to the trip, my first to Europe.

Posted by
5687 posts

Don't forget to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Europe. If you are from the US, you can get an IDP from AAA for about $20 (you'll also need your driver's license). The car company probably won't ask for / need the IDP, but you'll need it if stopped by the police.

Posted by
5450 posts

It is Slovenia, not Solvenia. Trying to be helpful as you’ve misspelled several times.