A stop in Sopron is highly recommended, as is a visit to thecastle in Fertod.
You won't really be going through Sopron - it is too far to the north. You will pass by Maribor (Slovenia), which is European Capital of Culture this year, and is well worth a visit.
Don't forget you will need compulsory highway stickers for Austria, Slovenia and Hungary which you can get at petrol stations before you enter the respective countries (heavy on-the-spot fines if you don't have one!).
I have driven this route, more or less (to Vienna/Bratislava/Brno) on a few occasions - I try to get Germany out of the way at night as it is much less stressful, but it is still quite mind-numbing and a lot bigger than you think. German drivers are fast and aggressive, but are highly disciplined. When you cross the Austrian border they are just aggressive and a UK number plate makes you a target for tailgaiting, flashing headlights, dirty looks, etc. Not as bad as if you have a Czech or Slovak number plate, though (maybe even a Hungarian one - I have no experience of that) as to Austrians you are very far down the food chain :) Even so, it is annoying having survived the German marathon.
Count on taking a bit more than 20 hours - you might manage that if you do it non-stop with no breaks whatsoever, but it is unrealistic as it is exhausting and German service stations are very nice and difficult to uproot yourself from ...
Enjoy, and take it easy ...
GCEK: I guess you are assuming a southern route. I would much rather take a more northerly route and cut across from Austria into the rolling hills of the Hungarian vineyards to Keszthely. So more relaxing than driving the huge truck laden southern route.
A stop over in Sopron makes absolutely no sense whatsoever when driving from England. You're almost at your final destination. I've driven from England and back again several times (each time going via Budapest to Eger) so cannot comment on whether it's better to take the northern or southern route. Each time we've stopped over at a motel somewhere along the route depending on how tired we've been and felt the need to pull up. Usually in Austria or Germany.
I'm not one for doing 100+mph down the autobahn and find that Germany takes around 8 hours to cross.
I do have friends who do the journey from the Midlands in around 20 hours but that's non stop and they share the driving.
Be aware, it is VERY long and tedious.
Sopron makes absolute sense to "stop and see for a couple of hours". Which is what the poster asked for.
No, the OP was asking for suggestions for somewhere to stop overnight where they could spend a couple of hours looking around. If making the journey from the UK to Hungary and planning an overnight stop, you'd not be looking/asking for ANOTHER place to spend a couple of hours en route. Re-read the original post.
Somewhere roughly half way (Germany) is where they need to be spending the night.
Please re-ead the last line in the OP. Or perhaps ask Jill what she wants.
Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou! Some very good sound advice :)
The Northern route through Austria and down through the Hungarian vineyards sounds good, and might be glad to get off the fast roads! There are 4 of us, so will be splitting the driving anyway. We're setting off on the 11.30pm ferry - Dover to Calais - on Thursday, and need to arrive at our hotel Saturday afternoon, so I think we'll be able to break the journey well.
Big meeting with our friends next week to do some planning with a good bottle of wine (Hungarian of course!!)
Will let you know what we come up with, and if possible tell me what you think :-)
Thankyou all again.
I have driven this route many times (well to Bpest), it does indeed take about 20 hours. Wurzburg is close to the autobahn, and is a nice stop with good trough available.
Far be it for me to second guess the OP's preferences, but I usually find that after having driven such a long way, the last thing I want to do is to visit places near to the destination - and if you are setting out at midnight it will be late at night when you arrive so you wouldn't see very much anyway - this is assuming that you are disciplined and drive all the way through non-stop, sharing driving as you go. I usually do it all myself fuelled by strong coffee and just catch 40 winks here and there as I go along at German service stations you pay 50 cents to go to the toilet and you get a voucher in exchange to that value which you can use at the next place, and a coffee costs about €1 or thereabouts. For me 20 hours is the target, but I haven't met that for a long time.
But I will fly as a matter of preference - driving is very much as a last resort or in case of dire necessity as it usually takes a day or so to recover :)
If you wanted to stop half-way, then I would agree with Wurzburg - there is a place just before on the A3 called Spessart www.rasthaus-spessart-sued.de/tcms/index.php… which I usually stop at. You can't really miss it.