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Best of Eastern Europe tour return flight city options

We plan to fly from Toronto to Vienna and spend several days there before the Best of Eastern Europe tour. We had originally planned to go to Venice at the end of the tour, but airfares for that route have been skyrocketing, and with the exchange rate getting worse, we were thinking of perhaps just staying in Slovenia a day or two and returning to Vienna to fly home -- saving Venice for another time. I'm curious to know the pros and cons of traveling by train from Ljubljana to each of these cities, as well as any experience anyone has had flying out of either of the two....or any other airports worth investigating.
Thanks!

Posted by
29 posts

I took this tour in 2014 and flew home from Ljubljana after the tour. The guide helped arrange a taxi for me to get to the airport from Lake Bled. The airport in Ljubljana is small and efficient and I had to transfer to another flight in Frankfurt. It made for a long flight home but it worked fine for me. I wish I had extended my trip by a few days and checked out Ljubljana.

Posted by
2525 posts

We flew out of Ljubljana. Worked out just fine in all regards. Maybe check Zagreb?

Posted by
1910 posts

We added a few extra days in Ljubljana after the tour. Our wonderful guide Peter arranged transportation from Bled into the city and we were dropped off right in front of our hotel. Ljubljana is one of my favorite European cities so was I was more than happy to extend our tour there; especially since we only really spent part of a day there with the tour. Our Ljubljana hotel arranged transportation to the airport when we (reluctantly!) had to return home. The airport is small, the staff friendly and helpful and it's very easy to manage. By the way-it's a wonderful tour!

Posted by
116 posts

We did the Adriatic tour, so started in Ljubljana. We took the train from Munich, stayed in Salzburg a few days, then train to Ljubljana. The train ride to Ljubljana was beautiful. Also we flew home from Sarajevo on that trip, via Munich.
Slovenia is beautiful. We did a day trip to the caves by train. Though fun, would recommend either an organized tour or rent a car as the shuttles ended early and we had a long walk until a worker gave us a lift.

Posted by
16832 posts

Vienna: Trains from Lesce-Bled station to Vienna take 5.5 hours with a connection at Villach. The tour only spends a few hours in Ljubljana. If you want to return there by local bus, you can later take a train to Vienna, 6 hours, one of which is direct at 16:00 daily.

Venice: The easiest train connection from Lesce-Bled station to Venice is the 8:00 departure, taking 6 hours, change at Villach. Other departures have two connections and may include a leg by bus. Or, you can book a van shuttle with www.goopti.com.

Looking Up Train Schedules and Routes Online gives you the Deutsche Bahn train schedule link and tips for using it (but does not sell the tickets for these countries).

Posted by
52 posts

I am taking the Best of Eastern Europe on June 3. After Lake Bled I am spending two days in Ljubljana and then flying out of there on Transavia Airlines. I will transfer to a Delta flight out of Amsterdam back to the States.

Posted by
1529 posts

In 2012, I took the train from Lesce Bled to Salzburg (stayed overnight), then on to Munich for a flight home. Was easy to arrange trains online and saved me quite a bit on airfare. I fly to west coast US, so my biggest problem is most flights from Europe hubs to where I need to go leave at 10 a.m. or earlier, so you pretty much have to leave at the crack of dawn or stay the night somewhere before flying home.

Posted by
468 posts

Thanks, everyone....these are all good options to look into!

Posted by
558 posts

Last September, when we did this tour, we did round trip to Vienna as it was lots cheaper than other options. We took a cab to the Lesce Bled station (short, inexpensive, and charming driver). Due to maintenance on the track, we had to change trains in Salzburg rather than a more direct location, but it was still an easy and beautiful trip. We spent 5 extra days in Vienna and had a great time.

Posted by
468 posts

Could someone tell me more about the GoOpti shuttle? If you've used it, what's your experience been?
Laura, do you know if it is possible to spend the day in Ljubliana and then get a late afternoon train to Venice?
Thanks!

Posted by
4700 posts

Ruth, you can read reviews of GoOpti by googling for them. I have not used them personally (I saw their vans around Ljubljana), but I have read numerous good reviews of them as first-hand feedback from travelers on this and other forums. There's a long Trip Advisor thread about them. Here's the Trip Advisor review page:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g274873-d10105751-Reviews-GoOpti-Ljubljana_Upper_Carniola_Region.html

Heres' the long thread - skip to the bottom to read more recent comments, as the original started in 2012:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g274862-i501-k5346145-o110-GoOpti-Slovenia.html

There is no direct train service between Ljubljana and Venice. You might find a bus if you don't want to use GoOpti. If you can't find a direct bus (try FlixBus) you could take a bus from Ljubljana to Trieste and then a train from Trieste to Venice - the bus and train stations are adjacent in Trieste.

Posted by
18384 posts

The Deutsche Bahn website shows a 3:25 PM departure by bus to Trieste, connecting to a train there. The connection time is just 10 minutes, which would give me pause since things can happen on the road to slow down a bus. But the total travel time is a very reasonable 3 hr. 55 min.

Alternatively, there is a 3:32 PM train departure to Nova Gorica (changing trains once along the way), where you transfer (taxi, I guess) right across the border to the sister city of Gorizia and pick up a train to Venice. Total time: 6 hr. 23 min.

Those 3:25 and 3:32 PM departures are the last ones listed by DB that would get you to Venice without spending the night on a train.

There are also options by shuttle and perhaps by public bus.

Posted by
468 posts

Thanks, everyone! It seems as though a new itinerary opened up on Austrian Air today, and we grabbed the tickets, since we can fly nonstop to Vienna and then Venice-Vienna-Toronto home. Much better than a lot of the recent fares I've been seeing, and permits us to return to Plan A (a full day in Ljubliana and then travel to Venice). I will now begin go to investigate the options for getting to Venice after the tour -- thanks for alerting me to the various options!

Posted by
279 posts

When I took the tour, the last morning I took a local bus to Ljubliana, placed bag in luggage locker at train station, spent most of 1/2 day siteseeing using a local guide for 80% of the time. Then caught a late afternoon private transfer to Ljubliana airport for flight to Vienna. Spent several days in Vienna before returning home.

Open jaw to Prague with retrun from Vienna. Plus one way Ljubliana to Vienna.

All based on returning to do Best of Adriatic tour in the future.