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Is it really so difficult to get from Venice to Ljubljana?

Is it really so difficult to get from Venice to Ljubljana?

Aug 26th, 2009, 10:58 AM
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Is it really so difficult to get from Venice to Ljubljana?

It appears that, once up on a time, it was quite easy to get from Venice to Ljubljana by train. There were several direct trains a day. That seems to have gradually gone away. According to the German train site, daytime train connections (at least going in that direction "clockwise" from Venice to Ljubljana) are awful: they involve either a bus connection, a bus or taxi across town(?) or numerous train changes. Trenitalia does have one direct train a day but it is extremely inconvenient: departs at 21:20, arrives at 01:41. So it's not really an "overnight train" that I can sleep on overnight in place of a hotel.

I thought about renting a car for just the day...but according to Kayak, the SINGLE DAY rate for a one way rental is (get this!) US $1192 per day!!! That's more than my airfare to Europe - no thanks...

So what are my options here? (Trip is still not final; I'd be going end of September, and I may still wipe this connection from my itinerary. I've been to Venice before and do not have to go again this trip absolutely.) I thought about overnighting in Villach, Austria, because that seems to be a half decent connection between them. I guess I could take that late Trenitalia train and try to find a hotel in Ljubljana that allows really late check-ins. Flying didn't seem to be a great option, but then again, it's going to be a lot cheaper than renting a car! I didn't find an obvious direct bus route either with a quick google.

Thoughts? Am I missing something?
Andrew is online now  
Aug 26th, 2009, 11:06 AM
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I was lucky - I did that trip back when there was a direct afternoon train! It was full too, so must have been popular.

If I were doing it now, I'd consider either the 11:20 bus from Piazzale Roma to Villach and then the train, although there's a two hour wait in Villach, or the 15:48 train to Villach which has a short connection time, but doesn't get you to Ljubljana until 21:08 - better than the middle of the night, though.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 26th, 2009, 11:19 AM
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Try a bus from Ljubljana to Trieste and then a train to Venice.
The bus and train stations in Trieste are next to each other.
gertie3751 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2009, 11:50 AM
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I think Gertie's suggestion should be the fastest (under the given circumstances):

dep Venice 16.11 (train)
arr Trieste 18.16
dep Trieste 19.20 (bus)
arr Ljubljana 21.00

Caveat: Got those infos only from the web. No personal experience w/ doing this connection.
Info on buses Trieste-LJ

BUT: Google Trieste and take a look at the beautiful town. It could be an idea to go there earlier by train and spend the day or a few hours there. You will get a mix of Italian lifestyle with old Austrian/Habsburg architecture and cityscape.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Aug 26th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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On Friday Sept 25, Sat. Sept 26 and Wed. Sept 30, there is a 5 p.m. ferry (Venezia Lines from Venice to Porec, Croatia, that gets in at 7:30 p.m. You could spend the night in Porec, rent a car and drive the few hours to Ljubljana the next morning. Of course, I don't know what the rate for the car would be.


maitaitom is offline  
Aug 26th, 2009, 01:41 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions, everyone!

There seem to be lots of trains from Venice to Trieste, and there's an earlier bus too leaving Trieste at 14:00 that gets into Ljubljana only at 16:13, which isn't bad at all. I might even consider spending a night there, but I wouldn't have to, especially if the bus and train stations are adjacent. Perhaps I could get an early train from Venice, spend a few hours wandering around, and catch the bus on to Ljubljana. Options at least!
Andrew is online now  
Aug 26th, 2009, 11:40 PM
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I don't have all of the details, but last October we took a train from Venice to Ljubljana. We left Venice around 2:00 in the afternoon, had a brief stop in Villach, changed trains, and arrive in Ljubljana around 9:00 pm. It was no problem! If I recall, we booked the tickets at the train station in Venice. Has the schedule changed so much in the past year? Whatever - Ljubljana was delightful - I highly recommend it!
roamer is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 10:08 AM
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An update...from Ljubljana! (Beautiful, charming town - wow!). I was going to do the Trieste train to bus route (and even considered a stop-over night there), but just yesterday in Venice I found out about a direct bus between Venice Mestre and Ljubljana by a Slovenian bus company called DRD:


Only 25 Euros, not even a four hour trip, mostly highway. My only complaint was the bus driver, who kept to the speed limit (I was sitting at the front) but was sometimes distracted by a cute female passenger he was chatting with (she was sitting in a seat next to him - hard to describe), constantly fiddling with the radio to try to tune in the right station (even while exiting the freeway!), and by other drivers on the road (don't TAKE PICTURES OF OTHER CARS WITH YOUR CELL PHONE while driving a bus full of people, you moron!). I'm definitely going to let the company know about this guy. I was a bit worried I would become one of those tragic stories you hear about where a bus overturns or something - yikes!
Andrew is online now  
Dec 28th, 2009, 06:48 PM
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Thanks, Andrew for the DRD link and information!
Castellanese is offline  
Dec 28th, 2009, 07:39 PM
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Yes, Andrew, thanks for the updated info.
julia1 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2009, 07:57 PM
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Thanks for the update -- good to know about this bus -- and the driver!
annw is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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Does anyone know if DRD runs it's direct bus between Venice Mestre and Ljubljana on Sundays? I'm trying to get from Ljubljana to Venice on Sunday, May 30th.
TimetTraveler is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 08:43 AM
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According to their website, it runs every day:


You can email them or just call and ask them to verify, via the info on that page.
Andrew is online now  
Feb 27th, 2010, 11:57 AM
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Definitely email them. I'm taking the bus on Monday at 11:30 a.m., and arranged it via email. They were very responsive!
Kyliebaby3 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 12:06 PM
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Kyliebaby3, I assume you're taking it from Mestre to Ljubljana then? Get to Mestre early enough to find the DRD van parked out across the street from Mestre station! I found it quite confusing to find their van at Mestre; don't expect anyone at the Mestre bus or train terminals to have any clue what a DRD bus is, because (at least last September) it doesn't depart from the Mestre station formally. I got quite stressed trying to find it, but at least I arrived quite early.

(Going the other way from Ljubljana to Mestre should be no problem; I think the DRD bus will be easy to find at the terminal there.)
Andrew is online now  
Feb 27th, 2010, 01:23 PM
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Yes, I am...and thank you SO MUCH for the information! When I arrived into Santa Lucia today, I was trying to figure out how much time to allow to get back to Mestre, find the bus, et al. I'm glad to know I should allow a bit more time so I don't get left in the dust, although I guess there are worse places to be stranded than Venice

Thank you again-- I really appreciate it!
Kyliebaby3 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 02:18 PM
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When I took the DRD bus, there was a colorfully-painted van painted with the DRD logo (hard to miss if you are LOOKING for a van) parked on the street in front of a Best Western type place (don't hold me to that hotel name). If you exit the Mestre station, with your back to the station, you cross the street and the van would have been in front of the hotel to your RIGHT. I thought this van would be our transportation back up to Ljubljana - and I guess sometimes it is - but in this case they had a full bus to drive back. So about eight of us piled into this DRD van, drove about three blocks to the actual bus, then took the bus on to Ljubljana (our bus was mostly empty). The procedure may vary for you, though.

Our bus was an express service. We stopped once for about a 20 minute break at some sort of rest stop/gas station maybe halfway through the trip.
Andrew is online now  
Feb 28th, 2010, 04:31 AM
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Awesome-- thank you so much! This is so helpful, and hopefully I'll be able to locate the bus/van without incident tomorrow morning. Time to enjoy my last afternoon in Venice!
Kyliebaby3 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 07:07 AM
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I thought there was a train from Venice to Budapest that goes through Ljubljana. Raileurope.com shows one leaving Venice at 9:20 PM
bratsandbeer is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 07:16 AM
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Sure there's that one train - if you don't mind getting into Ljubljana at 1:30am...
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