Guide: 4 Days Road Trip through Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia

Guide: 4 Days Road Trip through Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia

There are so many ways to get around Europe. Out of all the ways possible, my friends and I decided to attempt our very first Europe road trip around Slovenia and dipping into parts of Italy and Croatia.


I did some research and mapped out where I wanted to go and how long it would take according to Google. (Of course, it took longer than expected). I also researched the rules of the road and watched YouTube videos to prepare for driving from Venice to Slovenia and Croatia. I visited an AAA office to register for an International Driving Permit. I was ready for this road trip.

Crossing Borders:

It is important to read up on crossing borders when driving. It is possible to cross between Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia as long as you have a valid passport. A border representative will check your passport before granting you entry.

Renting a Car:

I rented a vehicle through Hertz because I knew they were a reliable car rental company. For 4 days, the vehicle was approximately €200. We rented the vehicle at the last minute so the price was a bit steep. We also included full insurance on our vehicle in case of any accidentals for €50/day. We highly recommend it because we saw several motorists hitting walls as soon as they left their parking spot.

We rented a mini SUV but they upgraded us to a larger vehicle because we had 3 carry-on-sized bags and 3 backpacks. There isn’t a lot of trunk space in European cars. I would recommend sticking to a small vehicle when possible because roads can be narrow.

Getting to the Rental Counter from VCE Airport:

We rented the vehicle at Venice Marco Polo International Airport. Getting to the rental counter is a mission to get to from the arrival terminal. It is towards the water public transportation dock. Take the elevator up to the 3rd floor to get to the counter. All car rental companies are located here including Enterprise, Europa, and Sixt. Once you arrive, take a number and wait to get called.

Where to Stay:

We stayed at AirBnBs throughout our road trip. We booked our rooms either the day before or the morning of. There are certain destinations, like in Bovec that we recommend booking in advance. The city is small so not many room options. I, however, wish I hadn’t booked my hotel in Plitvice in advance because the drive was too dark and dangerous. Plitvice is a popular area so there are ample rooms. Plan the time of your arrival.

What to Eat:

Slovenia doesn’t have a lot of restaurants. The country receives tourism about one month out of the year. We spent most of our road trip eating at various gas stations. Not very luxurious but we are thankful for them.


Click on dates for the full itinerary.

*[brackets] indicate driving time between locations

Day Date Location To Stay To See/To Do To Eat
1 Apr. 24, 2018 Croatia Art Apartment
  • Cost: 82.78

10-15 min walk to the entrance of Plitvice

Plenty of parking

1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, pullout sofa-bed

1. Leave Venice

2. Predjama Castle [4 hours]

→ Predjama 1, 6230 Predjama, Slovenia

A Renaissance castle that is built within a cave.

  • Cost: €35,70 for both castle and cave adventure

3. Postojna Cave [20 mins]

→ Jamska cesta 30, 6230 Postojna, Slovenia

This is the second-longest cave system in Slovenia. 

4. Drive to Plitvice [5 hours]

Lunch in Venice: Ronchis, Italy InfoPoint

Dessert: Restavracija Briljant Ice Cream (€1,90)

Dinner in Plitvice: Restoran Plitvicka Kuca

→ Rastovača 11, 53231, Rastovača, Croatia

  • Spent: kn 99.67 = €13,52
2 Apr. 25, 2018 Croatia, Slovenia AirBnB
  • Cost: $87.68

Location: Downtown Ljubljana

Parking is free from 7pm to 7am. Keep in mind that it was difficult to find parking.

1. Plitvice National Park 

→ Lika-Senj County, Karlovac County, Croatia

This is the oldest and largest national park in Croatia. There are walkways throughout the park with incredible views of countless waterfalls and lakes. 

  • Cost: kr 150 = €20,35

2. Zagreb [2 hours]

3. Ljubljana [2 hours]

Grajska planota 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

The castle is Ljubljana’s main attraction. The castle has been standing on a hill above the city for more than 900 years. The castle has incredible views of Ljubliana. 

  • Cost: €10
Breakfast: Croissants from the market

Lunch in Plitvice National Park: Restaurant Poljana (Caffe Bar)

  • Spent: Kn 48=€6,51

Dinner in Ljubljana: Promenada Caffe & Bar

→ Petkovškovo nabrežje 9, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

  • Spent: €30

Dessert: Cacao Ljubliana

  • Spent: €1,70
3 Apr. 26, 2018 Slovenia AirBnb
  • Cost: $105.84

The house was huge and the host was very helpful.

1. Lake Bled [45 mins]

Lake Bled is the only natural island in Slovenia. The lake is located in the Julian Alps.

2. Bled Castle

→ Grajska cesta 61, 4260 Bled, Slovenia

Bled Castle is an incredible medieval castle that overlooks Lake Bled. 

  • Cost: €11

3. Vintgar Gorge [15 mins]

→ Turistično društvo Gorje, Podhom 80, 4247 Zgornje Gorje, Slovenia

The gorge is 1.6 km long and located in Triglav National Park

*Was under construction during the visit and appears closed at the moment as of Dec 2023. 

4. Lake Bohinj [45 mins]

This lake in the Julian Alps is the largest natural lake in Slovenia. 

5. Bovec [3 hours]

Breakfast by Lake Bled: Art Cafe

→ Cesta svobode 7a, 4260 Bled, Slovenia

Dinner in Bovec: Gostišče Martinov hram

→ Trg golobarskih žrtev 27, 5230 Bovec, Slovenia

  • Spent: €13,20

Drinks in Bovec: Thirsty River Brewery 

→ Trg golobarskih žrtev 46, 5230 Bovec, Slovenia

  • Spent: €8
4 Apr. 27, 2018 Venice Rialto Apartments
  • Cost: $135.82
1. Bovec Rafting Team

→ Mala vas 106, 5230 Bovec, Slovenia 

  • Cost: €50

2. Drive back to Venice [3.5 hours]

3. Drop vehicle off and take ferry from VCE airport to Venice

  • Cost: €27
Breakfast: home-cooked meal

Lunch in Bovec: Gostilna In Pizzerija Letni Vrt 

→ Trg golobarskih žrtev 1, 5230 Bovec, Slovenia

  • Spent: €15,27

Dinner in Venice: Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta To Go

→ Calle de la Casseleria, 5324, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy

  • Spent: €7

Drinks in Venice: Caffe Vero 

→ Via Cappuccina, 119a, 30172 Venezia VE, Italy

  • Spent: €3.50
  • All prices are subject to change based on time and year. 
  • Restaurants and excursions may be closed during off season. 


Expenses for 4 Days

*Food/Drinks are my personal expenses

Type Costs (EUR) Costs (USD)
Car Rental €533 $580
Other Transporation €81 $88.26
Gas €80 $87.17
Hotel €355.23 $387.07
Food €130 $141.65
Drinks €15 $16.34
Activities €381 $415.15
Vignette Pass €15 $16.34
Toll Roads €25 $27.24
  Total: 1601.23 + 158
Per Person: $691.74