Slovenia is a beautiful country bordered by Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, with a small population and a big assortment of natural wonders. It is rumoured to be the ‘affordable’ alternative to Switzerland if you are seeking a European holiday filled with nature and outdoor activities, but with a lower price tag. The natural wonders are stunning, but there is so much more to enjoy here as well. Slovenia has beautiful architecture, art and fascinating history, and a relaxed but vibrant nightlife.
The lovely capital Ljubljana makes a great base for exploring the country as it’s easy to day trip to different parts of the country via a rental car, bus or by train. The capital is also worth spending a few days, to enjoy the lovely cafe-culture, nightlife, winding lanes and hill-top castle. Slovenia one of my favourite European countries, and is a great place to visit with a companion or as a solo female traveller. It is very safe and easy to travel around. Be sure to visit before it gets too popular!
Here are a few amazing things to see in Slovenia:
Slovenia’s Capital is clean and safe with a gorgeous old city Centre, winding canal, cobblestone streets, expansive parks and lovely people. During the day, make sure to explore the city centre on foot, taking in the shops, bakeries and cafes. There is a free walking tour, which starts from the main town square and runs at several times each day, covering the main points of interest and explaining the history of the city.
Ljubljana also has an 11th-century medieval fortress perched high above the city, which acts as venue space for events and concerts, and provides a panoramic view over the city. Take a stroll up to Ljubljana Castle to enjoy the park and green area surrounding the castle.
Ljubljana also has a food market, several beautiful parks and numerous places to relax in one of the lovely outdoor lounges surrounding the main plaza, or people watch along the canal. At night the canal area comes alive with wine bars, outdoor restaurants and live music.
Admire Lake Bled
It’s no wonder Lake Bled is one of the most popular sights in Slovenia, the lake is picturesque with a fairytale island and church in the middle. Located north of Ljubljana, it’s an easy bus ride to the lake where you can enjoy a full day (if not longer) worth of hiking and boating. If you are tight on time, opt to hike to the lookout, but skip the boat to the island, it’s a bit of a tourist trap.
You can walk the loop the lake in about an hour or include a hike up to the lookout to snap a photo in just over 2 hours if you hustle. Or take your time and stop in a cafe for a piece of the famous Bled ‘cream cake’.
Visit Beautiful Lake Bohinj
If you want to avoid the crowds, or want to see a more raw mountain lake, visit the quieter but equally gorgeous Lake Bohinj. It’s much less busy, developed and is beautifully natural. It’s possible to loop the lake as well, but it’s about twice the size of Bled, so plan your time accordingly. There is also a quaint church on the shore when you first arrive with some ancient fresco paintings to admire. It’s possible to take a public bus from Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj, and you can see both in one day, but make sure to get the bus schedule so you can properly plan your return.
At the time of writing, Vintar Gorge was closed, but I am told it is worth a visit.
Explore the Skorchi Caves
There are over 11,000 caves in Slovenia, and Skorchi Caves are the second largest in all of Europe. You can walk through a 2km stretch of the 7km long cave system and will be mind blown by the amazing rock formations and massive caverns. It reaches 150m tall in some sections.
It’s possible to get to the caves by taking the train from Ljubljana to Davacha, and then taking a shuttle bus. If you miss the bus or fancy a nice walk, the caves are about a 40-minute walk from the train station and go through some pretty forest and past a stunning viewpoint. Pick up a map at the train station, as it is not well marked.
The other popular cave in Slovenia to visit is Postana caves, another massive cave system with a small train car running through it. It’s a much more touristy, but the train car is a worthwhile attraction for those travelling with children. Most people I spoke to that visited both enjoyed Skorchi caves more, and ticket prices are a lot lower.
Day Trip to Piran
Although I never made it to the coast, Slovenia’s sea-front town of Piram is another great day trip from the capital. It is meant to have a completely different vibe than the areas of the country and is a great place to soak up the Mediterranean sea.
Slovenia is a great European destination with so much to offer. It’s a very accessible place to get a taste of rich culture and natural wonders, for much less than Western Europe. See if before the word gets out!
For More Information
Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana has an airport, with connections to other European capitals. There are also train, bus and shuttle service from neighbouring countries and connecting major areas in the country. It was easy to get around the country by train and bus to major sights. Just go to the main bus/train station for schedules.
Use the following website to plan your journey to Ljubljana: