Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Any Tips for Driving from Croatia to Germany...?

Any Tips for Driving from Croatia to Germany...?

Jun 26th, 2014, 04:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 66
Any Tips for Driving from Croatia to Germany...?

I'm be traveling from Croatia through Slovenia and Austria enroute to Munich for the opening weekend of Oktoberfest in mid-September. My International Driving Permit is forthcoming and I can (shockingly...for an American) drive manual.

We'll be flying into Dubrovnik the Friday beforehand and plan to visit Hvar for two nights before continuing northward. It'd be great to spend at least one night in Lake Bled and we've already resolved ourselves to driving through Austria without stopping (beyond pit stops).

Any tips? Any recommendations for car rental companies? Any considerations I should be mindful of (e.g., road conditions, crossing country borders, parking in cities/towns, etc)? Any must-see sites along the way?

Any helpful advice is much appreciated. Thank you!
classiqueP29 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2014, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,755
Yes - in Austria you need a vignette for your windscreen. Mostly they are available at service stations before you get to the border. Otherwise you may have to pay a fine.

In Germany, when you park in certain areas, there is a little blue cardboard clock (Parkscheibe) that you display in your windscreen to show the time you arrived. Make sure your car has one of those (again, service stations), or you will incur the wrath of passers-by and parking police! I understand Austria has a similar system but you have to set the clock to the following quarter hour after you arrive.

lavandula is offline  
Jun 26th, 2014, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 887
Hertz will love you. Are you prepared for a 600 Euro drop off fee? If not, Fly Zagreb to Munich.
dugi_otok is offline  
Jun 26th, 2014, 04:48 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,431
As lavandula mentions, the drop-off fee is likely to be quite high.

Several years ago we took a mail boat from Rijeka to Dubrvonik. We were driving our own car and loaded it onto the boat. It was Ford Fairlane, stick shift, and getting it on the boat took a bit maneuvering.

The boat stopped at virtually every major port along the coast and was great fun. I don't know if they still run.

There are also ferries from Croatia to Venice.

As you most likely are aware of, the pretties parts of Croatia are along the coast, and some are hard to get to by car, or inaccessible, like Korcula. I was back there a couple years ago, again all by boat, and it all is a beautiful as it was then
treplow is offline  
Jun 26th, 2014, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 887
In case you are for real.Stop in Plitvice and/or Salzburg.



I have driven this route. An easy drive.
dugi_otok is offline  
Jun 26th, 2014, 11:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 7,763
Read up on the traffic laws (and traffic signs) of German, Austrian, Croatian, and any other other countries you will be driving through.

Get a GPS (outright buy one or get one with the car). It will make your life easier.

A vignette is only needed for driving on Expressways and Motorways.
sparkchaser is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 12:49 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,251
You've already gotten some great advice. I'll just add that I'm confused -- why drive at all? What do you hope to accomplish by spending so little time in Croatia? Have you made sure that car ferries will be running to/from Hvar at times that meet your needs? What is it that you hope to gain from this experience?
kja is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 03:02 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,418
Driving on the Autobahn in Germany, keep out of the overtaking lanes if you are not overtaking. You will be amazed how quickly a bank of very fast cars come up on your backside.
bilboburgler is online now  
Jun 27th, 2014, 04:02 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 45
and if you don't plan to spend significantly more time on back-roads through Austria, then you need the Vignette to drive on the Autobahns (highways). Some stretches even require additional fees. But as was suggested before, consider flying from Zagreb, Split, Ljublana or even take the bus from one of these places. Less comfortable, but probably cheaper ...
Kirkesgaard is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 191
If you manage to find a company that will allow a one-way rental to Munich for a reasonable fee, you'll also need a vignette for Slovenia, not just for Austria and some of the longer tunnels along the route are tolled separately at toll booths. It's a very easy and straightforward route.

Alternatively, there is a direct train from Zagreb to Munich with stops in Ljubljana and Bled among other places and Deutsche Bahn operates an intercity bus service between Zagreb and Munich with a single stop in Ljubljana, meaning you'd have to take a local bus or train to Bled from there.
rtt0921 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 08:43 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911

Any Tips for Driving from Croatia to Germany...?
Posted by: classiqueP29 on Jun 26, 14 at 7:07pm
Any helpful advice is much appreciated. Thank you!

If you are a newbie driving in Europe have a look at this illustrated introduction before you go http://tinyurl.com/pdpdk26. The roads in Croatia and Slovenia are challenging. It is a hilly area. Get some Michelin maps in addition to a GPS. Allow plenty of time.

Ljubljana is a beautiful little city for a visit. Graz is definitely worth a detour.
spaarne is offline  
Jul 6th, 2014, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1
I'd have to agree with dugi_otok, you can book one way flights through budget airlines between many of these cities for less than what it'll cost you to rent and return a rental car in another country.

I think you're trying to fit more into your trip than the time will allow. Why not focus on spending a couple nights in only three cities?
skellum92 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2014, 08:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 66
I like the idea of taking a train from Zagreb to Munich with a pitstop in Lake Bled! I checked http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml and it looks like the first leg would take four hours, while the final leg to Munich would be five or six hours.

How reliable are trains from Split to Zagreb? We hadn't originally considered passing through there, but if that's the only connector for this train line then we'll take it. Thanks for all the helpful advice!
classiqueP29 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2014, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,056
The drive is quite nice. I've done it many times. Croatia has motorways now! The drop off fees can be high and also there can be restrictions on which countries you can drive with the car - but its usually going the other way - i.e. bringing a german hire car into croatia.
Lawchick is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:58 AM.