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road trip central europe

Mandurah, Australia
posts: 5
reviews: 3
road trip central europe


We are two couples from Australia going to a wedding in Germany in August 2014. We would like to see some of central Europe and have about 18 days before the wedding. As there are four of us we thought that hiring a car would be better than catching trains, but open to suggestions.

The plan so far:

4 days Berlin

3 days Prague

2 days Brno

4 days Budapest

5 days either Slovenia/Croatia or Italian coast to get us back to Baden-Baden for the wedding

Do we need to book ahead with accommodation considering it will be high season? we would like to each have a room in bnbs/rentals or double rooms in backpackers

Does this sound like a good plan? Would you recommend Slovenia over Croatia or Italy? We like good food, local people, outdoors and nature and not crowds and high prices (though enjoy the odd party).

Thank you :)

9 replies to this topic
posts: 5,773
reviews: 10
1. Re: road trip central europe

Croatia/Slovenia/Italy all seem to be far off your destination of Baden-Baden. If you are keen on Central Europe, why not venture into Poland, and zig-zag your way through many of the smaller cities of Germany? See Dresden, Bamberg, Wurzburg, Tubingen before B-B.

posts: 1,686
reviews: 31
2. Re: road trip central europe

Keep in mind that you will be touring during the peak of the summer season. Hotels will be very booked.

Stuttgart, Germany
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 4,815
reviews: 75
3. Re: road trip central europe

You may well have problems being allowed to take a rental car to Slovenia/Croatia and there will be restrictions on the type of car that can go to Czech Rep.

I would certainly make reservations for Prague and other major tourist destinations, esp beach areas.

You might be better to stay out of the centre in Prague as parking is difficult and expensive.

posts: 1,399
reviews: 80
4. Re: road trip central europe

If you only have 5 days, I wouldn't recommend Croatia or Italy. Both are too far for such a short trip. Why not Austria? Vienna and Salzburg are both worth seeing and 5 days is just right for those 2.

Karlsruhe, Germany
Destination Expert
for Baden-Wurttemberg
posts: 6,476
5. Re: road trip central europe

So far I see no time for the long drives between your destinations calculated in your itinerary. Each transfer will cost you at least half a day, rather more.

Bautzen, Germany
posts: 814
6. Re: road trip central europe

>>>Keep in mind that you will be touring during the peak of the summer season. Hotels will be very booked.<<<

I have to spend a few days in July in Berlin each year. Hotels were never fully booked, and much cheaper than usual (4* for 39€/night). I think most people prefer to spend the summer months on the water, especially since it can get very hot in the cities. Almost 40°C in Budapest are not uncommon.

Brno, Czech Republic
Destination Expert
for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
posts: 22,891
reviews: 8
7. Re: road trip central europe

Cars in all those cities are pretty much useless, and very expensive.

The train/bus would be a lot cheaper, even for four of you, and more convenient. Count on c. €20-€30/day parking costs, if you can find any parking at all. I haven't driven into Brno for many years - there is just no point as the centre is all pedestrianised and public transport is so good. The same goes to Prague - a car is the last thing you want there.

Berlin - Prague €29 by train www.cd.cz/eshop

Prague - Brno €8 by bus www.studentagency.eu

Brno - Budapest €14 by train www.cd.cz/eshop

Bear in mind that for various arbitrary reasons German rental agencies place severe restrictions on allowing their vehicles to go to what they call 'eastern' Europe (with the exception of the former East Germany), so you might be stymied at first base. Also bear in mind that fuel in Europe is expensive, and you would also need compulsory highway vignettes for all the countries that you will go through, except for Germany (Czech Republic/Austria/Slovakia/Hungary, also if you do venture south Slovenia as well). But I would miss that section out - as mentioned above the temperatures are stifling and the roads are chock-a-block. An IDP is compulsory for most countries.

Mandurah, Australia
posts: 5
reviews: 3
8. Re: road trip central europe

Wow, thank you everybody for your sage advice. This is the first time I have posted on trip advisor and am grateful for so many helpful responses so quickly.

I suppose the main reason I was thinking Slovenia/Croatia/Italy for a few days is to have a few days by the beach in summer, but considering it will be peak season it does sound as though its not the best time.

The other reason that I was shying away from trains is because I assumed we would need to book our tickets ahead during august? Is that the case? We are all over 26 and it seems as though buying a rail pass would not cheaper than individual tickets for us?

Ideally we would like the flexibility to book our train tickets as we go (and possibly some of the accommodation) but its sounding as though in August we need to book ahead?

Thank you again!

Brno, Czech Republic
Destination Expert
for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
posts: 22,891
reviews: 8
9. Re: road trip central europe

Even if you bought your train tickets on the day it would still be way cheaper than driving and also cheaper than a pass. A pass is almost NEVER good value - add the numbers up above and compare it to the cost of a pass. Bus tickets can be bought almost until the last minute and the price doesn't change.

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