Car Hire Trieste

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Trieste Guide

Car hire Trieste
Car hire Trieste

Car Hire

More Austrian than Italian in many ways, the port city of Trieste is a fascinating anomaly along Italy’s northeast coast. It was once a powerful centre of culture and politics under the Hapsburgs, and this subtle influence is still evident in its charming café society and historic landmarks. Using Trieste as a base there are diverse day trips possible to Slovenian coastal towns, beautiful cities like Ljubljana and Venice and geological wonders just inland. A car rental is definitely the way to go here for maximum flexibility and convenience.

Who to Book With
Renting a car is the ideal way to experience the myriad attractions surrounding Trieste. Many well-known car hire companies have offices at Trieste’s airport, the Stazione Centrale train station, the bus station on Corso Cavour and various locations on the edges of the downtown core. Trieste is a popular destination for drivers, so it’s advised to book rentals online beforehand to ensure you get the vehicle you want at the best possible price.

Best Time to go
Trieste enjoys wonderfully warm temperatures from May through September. Even at the peak of summer in July and August there is tolerable humidity and average temperatures of 28°C. This is also the driest part of the year, so naturally most visitors plan a trip in summer. To avoid the crowds and still enjoy pleasant weather try to come in May or September.

Need to Know Essentials
Be sure and bring the following documents when you pick up your rental:

- A valid EU or UK driver’s license or International Driving Permit
- A secondary form of photo ID
- The credit card you used to reserve the car
- A print-out of your rental confirmation if possible

For more info read our FAQ's.

There aren’t too many problems with driving conditions in Trieste, even in the city centre. The peak summer months are when traffic is the most congested, but once outside of the downtown core the roads and motorways are very pleasant to drive. Metered parking is available throughout the downtown streets between 08:00 and 20:00, Monday to Saturday. The rest of the time, parking on the street is free. Five covered car parks are also conveniently placed around the centre of Trieste for easier but expensive parking. Rates are around €1.50 per hour.

The Autostrada A4/E70 highway runs to and around Trieste from the north and the south, connecting with the A1 that heads inland towards the countryside and mountains. Another option is the SS14 that hugs the coast and passes right through the heart of Trieste and its harbour area. The city streets are laid out in a grid so it’s fairly easy to navigate in town.

See our guide to Italy for more information on driving here.


The city centre of Trieste is compact and tranquil enough to warrant exploring by foot. But transport is also readily available with the city’s efficient bus and tram network or by hailing a taxi. Travellers who have their own car won’t encounter much trouble finding a parking spot or navigating the city streets of Trieste.

Trieste and the surrounding province offers a nice ticket called the FVG Card that is good for free transport on the city’s trams and buses, free admission to museums and discounts to national parks and regional attractions. It costs €15 for two days, €20 for three days and €29 for a week.

Trieste enjoys good rail connections to Venice, Udine, Ljubljana and Budapest via Trenitalia. Its Stazione Centrale is located at the north end of the city centre on Piazza della Liberta, with taxis, car rental offices and even a public bus stop on site. The three-hour train to Venice will allow for connections to the rest of Italy.

Taxis are the best way to move around the city if time is an issue. There are a number of companies working in Trieste like Radio Taxi Trieste that can be found parked at the train and bus stations, the airport and occasionally at major hotels downtown. You can also call for a pick up any time of day.

Trieste has a very efficient little network of buses and trams that make moving around the city centre quite easy. Tickets can be purchased from the many tobacco shops in the city or vending machines at some of the busier stops for €1.10 per trip. A day pass is also available for €3.50. The buses run frequently throughout the day on Monday to Saturday but drop off after 21:00 and on Sundays.


Trieste has enough sights for a couple of days, but where it really excels is as a home base for exploring the amazing coast and countryside around it. Slovenia’s coast is just minutes to the south, while heading north takes you to Venice. It’s even very feasible to drive inland to the Slovenian capital Ljubljana along highways or rural roads that pass through some beautiful undeveloped countryside.

Recommended Drives

The Slovenian coast - This begins just 10 minutes south of Trieste, offering the chance to pop into another country and enjoy its version of seaside towns. Both Piran and Koper are just 30 minutes away by car, with cool Venetian-era historic cores and some remarkably pretty coastal scenery.

Grotta Gigante - This is the planet’s largest tourist cave, and definitely worth a visit if you have any interest in geology or fantastical underground realms. A multilingual tour guide shows visitors around the massive chambers, which are a quick and easy drive from Trieste.

Ljubljana - This is Slovenia’s beautiful and laid-back capital, just 100kms away from Trieste along the fast A4 motorway. This city makes a superb day trip or overnighter thanks to the ease of driving there, and the scenery all the way is as pretty as a postcard. Enjoy the compact city centre, ancient hilltop castle and refreshingly relaxed atmosphere.


Available locations in Trieste

Looking for a hire car in Italy? Take a look at our Car hire Italy directory.