Ah, beautiful Slovenia! This is one of the most incredible countries in Europe. It’s so small yet has it all. With all the best things to do in Slovenia you surely won’t be bored during your visit.
In only one day you can swim in the Adriatic sea in the morning and hike in the Slovenian Alps in the afternoon, with the visit in the second largest cave in the world in between. I can vouch it’s possible to have such a crazy Slovenia itinerary in one day as it happened to me too: in the morning I saw Alps, before noon I was walking around Ljubljana, the charming capital, in the afternoon I was at the seaside only to finish the day in Maribor – one of the main cities in Slovenia, located in the east part of the country!
But I wouldn’t recommend such a craziness, it’s better to visit Slovenia properly and enjoy the place and all the Slovenia attractions to the fullest!
Slovenia was the first country during my Balkan travels that I’ve visited back in 2002 (although I know it’s not so much Balkans anymore, more like Central Europe). Since then it always had a special place in my heart.
That’s when I first saw how diverse and interesting it is, kind of like the mix of the Balkan soul with the Austrian neatness. The nature was also very generous for Slovenia, putting all of the wonders in such a tiny land.
I’ve been returning few times to the country and it always kept me busy with new attractions I needed to discover and places to visit in Slovenia. Even now, so many years and visits later, my list of top things to do in Slovenia is just growing and I’m so excited to see more of the country in the future.
Table of contents
- 1 Best things to do in Slovenia
- 1.1 Wander around Ljubljana
- 1.2 Admire Plecnik’s architecture of Ljubljana
- 1.3 Falling for Lake Bled
- 1.4 Eating the famous cream cake in Bled with the stunning view
- 1.5 Discovering a little gem – Radovljica
- 1.6 Hiking Vintgar Gorge
- 1.7 Skiing in Kranjska Gora
- 1.8 Visiting Lake Jasna and Vršič Pass
- 1.9 Admiring Slap Savica
- 1.10 Falling in love even more with Bohinj
- 1.11 Taking the cable car up to Vogel mountain
- 1.12 Going for one of the most unusual train rides ever
- 1.13 Getting the adrenaline rush in Bovec
- 1.14 Visiting Brda, the wine region of Slovenia
- 1.15 Enjoying another wine region of Slovenia – Vipava valley
- 1.16 Visiting Gorica
- 1.17 Exploring mining and lace town Idrija
- 1.18 Relaxing in the seaside town Portoroz
- 1.19 Falling for the charming town of Piran
- 1.20 Discovering hidden beauty of Koper
- 1.21 Finding the true gem – the walled church in Hrastovlje
- 1.22 Admiring views of Velika Planina
- 1.23 Underground kayaking in Mežica mine
- 1.24 Exploring Postojna Cave
- 1.25 Visiting Predjama Castle
- 1.26 Exploring another famous underground system – Skocjan Caves
- 1.27 Falling for Ptuj
- 1.28 Visiting Maribor – second biggest city in Slovenia
- 1.29 Stopping in Celje on the way between Maribor and Ljubljana
- 1.30 Relaxing at Terme Olimia Wellness
- 2 Visiting Slovenia – practical information
- 3 Map of Slovenia
Best things to do in Slovenia
In the meantime I’ve asked fellow travel bloggers what to see and do in Slovenia. I added some of my favorites and we came up with this “best of Slovenia” list. I hope it will inspire you to travel to Slovenia soon and you will enjoy it as much as we did!
Wander around Ljubljana
I personally think Ljubljana is one of the most charming capitals in Europe. Like the whole country it’s rather small and easy to walk around – that’s actually one of the best things to do in Ljubljana.
The old town is just the cutest with houses painted to warm colors. The riverbank is leafy and perfect for lazy strolls or relaxing cup of coffee. The castle towering the city offers spectacular views of the area, even as far as to Julian Alps mountains. But for the best views of Ljubljana Old Town head to the cafe on the last floor of Neboticnik.
While the old town is all cute and charming Ljubljana has an edgy site too and that’s the best seen at Metelkova – a complex of old barracks turned into the cultural space. That’s the heart of alternative Ljubljana with numerous art galleries, bars, cultural institutions and lots of amazing street art around. If Metelkova is not enough for check ROG factory too, a similar space but closer to the old town.
Admire Plecnik’s architecture of Ljubljana
Stephanie from History Fangirl enjoyed the architecture of Ljubljana created by Joze Plecnik:
“My favorite thing when traveling is to visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites. While Ljubljana doesn’t have its own full UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a tentative site under the title “The Timeless, Humanistic Architecture of Joze Plecnik.” This site comprises the architecture of Plecnik, who transformed the architecture of Ljubljana after an earthquake knocked down much of the town’s main sites. It’s thought that he had an influence on the city greater than Gaudi had on Barcelona, as nearly every major aspect of Ljubljana’s architecture is influenced by the work he did from the 1920’s to 1940’s.
While visiting Ljubljana, it’s impossible to overestimate how much of the dreamy, feminine landscape informs the visitor’s experience. Ljubljana’s reputation as both a romantic and fantastical travel destination owes so much to Plecnik’s work. During my time in the city, I adored walking through the city appreciating each individual building and how they form an ensemble. Every visitor who enjoys a lazy afternoon people watching on the river, strolling its banks, or getting lost in the historic center owes Plecnik their gratitude.”
Falling for Lake Bled
Rashmi & Chalukya from GOBeyondBounds really enjoyed Lake Bled, and I definitely can see why as this is one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia! Here’s what they have to say about it:
“Lake Bled is among the most popular Slovenia attractions and one of the best places to see in Slovenia. The stunning picture of the fairytale island church or the Church of the Assumption of Maria sits in the middle of the Lake Bled in a picturesque setting.
There are plenty things to do in Bled. Take a walk along the lake promenade enjoying the views. You can go boating on the Lake Bled and visit the beautiful island church on the traditional Pletna boats. You can visit the Bled Castle which sits on the cliff overlooking the Lake Bled.
The castle has several buildings, museums, cafe and a souvenir shop. The Castle can be reached through a set of stairs along the lake promenade. You can go hiking to the Ojstrica, viewpoint which offers a picture-perfect view of Lake Bled and the island church.”
Mel from TravelingMel.com is another fan of Bled but she has visited the town in the winter time. And found plenty of things to do then too!
“Any time is a good time to visit Lake Bled, but winter is especially magical. Snow caps the mountains and the lake is frozen with its little church glistening on the island. It’s like walking into a winter wonderland or a fairytale.
Winter in Lake Bled means outdoor recreation. Some years the lake freezes and you can rent skates at the Park Restaurant and Cafe. After sliding around on the ice, a hot cocoa and a slice of Bled’s famous cream cake warms you right up.
The castle is open all year and ripe for exploring – without the crowds—in winter. Nearby, there are opportunities to cross-country ski, snowshoe, and alpine ski in Triglav National Park.”
Eating the famous cream cake in Bled with the stunning view
When you’re in Bled don’t miss the famous cream cake there. It’s a calories bomb but every bite is so worth it! While it was created in Hotel Park and that’s where you will eat the original one I’d recommend heading to Cafe Belvedere, a little bit further from the center of Bled. The cafe is hidden in the forest above the lake, few steps away from the former Tito’s villa (that you can stay at as well – click here to see the details and current rates) and offers amazing views of the area.
You’re literally in front of the island with the church. I can’t think of a better place in Bled to eat the cream cake or just about anything else. The cafe itself is worth paying more attention too as well. It was designed by Joze Plecnik and served as a waiting hall before the audience with King Alexander of Yugoslavia. That’s also where Tito hosted his tea and cognac parties.
Discovering a little gem – Radovljica
Only 10 minutes away from Lake Bled you will find Radovljica – a little gem of Slovenia. Not many know about this place, often bypassing it on the way to the mountains, but it’s worth to stop here for three reasons: beautiful center, Beekeping Museum and Gingerbread Museum.
I enjoyed the museums so much, especially the first one where I learnt a lot about bees and honey. Radovljica is also a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Bled and enjoy Slovenia without the crowds.
Hiking Vintgar Gorge
If you’re in Bled be sure to hike Vintgar Gorge too, as Val & Nick from Wandering Wheatleys recommend:
“Vintgar Gorge is short but spectacular hike located just 3 miles northwest of the darling town of Bled. Tourists and locals alike flock to this picturesque area to escape the bustling town.
At the start of the hike you’ll marvel at the massive limestone walls covered in moss that tower above you. Further along the gorge narrows and narrow wooden walkways have been constructed to allow visitors to continue the trek while the powerful river rushes underneath your path.
Along the way you’ll pass several small waterfalls as well as an impressive stone railway bridge overhead that was constructed in 1906. At the end of the hike you’ll come to a suspension bridge that crosses the 40′ high Šum Waterfall. Be sure to descend the stairs behind the ticket office and cross to the platform at the base of the falls for the best viewpoint.
The hike is just 2 miles round trip and should take about 90 minutes. You’ll need to pay an entrance fee of 5€ per person to enter the area.”
Skiing in Kranjska Gora
I visited Kranjska Gora only to attend ski flying competition in Planica but I just loved the place. Nichola from Globalmouse Travels went skiing there and that’s what she says about it:
“Slovenia has to be one of the best places to ski in Europe. With friendly, kind instructors and really affordable skiing, it’s a wonderful place to get on to the slopes. We skied in Kranjska Gora which was almost fairytale like in appearance and a great location for beginners and intermediates in particular to learn to ski. There’s a picture perfect market in the centre and plenty of places to eat, including opportunities to try out some of the local dumplings and hearty Slovenian stews.
Kranjska Gora is also ideally placed for a day trip in to Ljubljana or even Venice which breaks up time on the snow. For somewhere that’s different but packed full of character and genuinely warm greetings Kranjska Gora is one of our favourite places to ski and also enjoy the beautiful Slovenia sights.”
Visiting Lake Jasna and Vršič Pass
Elaine and Dave from Show Them the Globe really loved Lake Jasna and Vršič Pass:
“Lake Jasna, one of the most beautiful places to go in Slovenia, is nestled in the Triglav National Park in the northwest of the country. The lakes crystal clear waters reflect the stunning Julian mountains through which the Vršič Pass ascends. The lake is a perfect day trip from Lake Bled (it’s only a 40-minute drive) and is a popular swimming and picnic spot.
The Vršič Pass is a winding mountain road which snakes up the Julian Alps from Lake Jasna. The road is closed for over 5 months a year due to snow and when possible the drive is not for the faint of heart. The serpentine road winds its way up the gorge and includes over 50 hairpin bends.
Some of the bends and parts of the route are limited to a single lane so care is needed when driving up! The drive is worth it, however, as the views along the route are simply spectacular. We stopped so many times to take photos that it took us over 2 hours to reach the summit of the pass with its incredible views across the Triglav National Park.”
Admiring Slap Savica
Alex from Swedish Nomad suggests hiking to the waterfall Slap Savica close to Bohinj, and I can definitely second this recommendation. Even if it was tiring to climb all the stairs what was waiting at the end was very rewarding. Here’s what Alex says:
“Slap Savica is one of Slovenia’s most spectacular waterfalls. It’s the source of Sava Bohinjka, and the third most visited attraction. What makes it even more special is the fact that its watercourse is divided into two parts in the hidden undergrounds.
To go here, you can either walk along the marked trail, or take a car/bicycle to the Savica hut and parking place. From there it’s just a short walk to the waterfall. The entrance fee is currently 3 Euro.
Many visitors also take the chance to drink the spring water here, which is said to have healing powers and make you look younger. If you’re traveling to Lake Bled or Bohinj, a stop at Slap Savica should be on every itinerary.
The color of the water is mesmerizing, and the waterfall always has a good flow. NOTE: it can get crowded here, and you should also know that there’s a fence blocking the access to the waterfall. So, this is an attraction you just have to admire with your eyes as it’s not possible to go for a swim here.”
Falling in love even more with Bohinj
Bohinj is at the very top of my “best places to visit in Slovenia” list. I was a bit wary before my second trip there, not being sure if it was really that spectacular or that was just my memory idealizing the place but as it turned out there was nothing to worry about. Bohinj is jaw dropping! Crystal clear waters of the lake meet with harsh slopes of mountains creating an unforgettable landscape.
The most popular image of Bohinj is the idyllic view of the bridge and a small church in the back but when you go to the other side of the lake (preferably by boat, it’s such a beautiful experience!) it’s even more stunning there!
Taking the cable car up to Vogel mountain
While you’re at Lake Bohinj don’t miss the cable car up to Vogel mountain. On a clear day you’re in for a treat as views from up there are just spectacular! You can admire Lake and the surrounding area with high peaks of the most beautiful mountains in Slovenia!
When I visited it was cloudy and the landscape was barely visible but what I could see was still really impressive. This is probably the easiest way to see best views of stunning Julian Alps from above. In the winter time you can also go skiing at Vogel.
Going for one of the most unusual train rides ever
Kylie from Between England and Iowa went for the car train ride between Most na Soci and Bohinjska Bistrica and loved it. I definitely share her enthusiast for this journey as I took it too and it was so much fun! Here’s what Kylie says:
“An interesting way to see the Slovenian scenery is from the car train! It’s a 40 minute journey between Most Na Soci and Bohinjska Bistrica and costs around 40 Euro per vehicle (passengers included). Cars drive onto a decked platform. There’s not much space between the cars and the railings, you can get out when the train is in the station but you do have to stay in the vehicle while the train is moving! Of course I recommend sitting in the front seat to get the best views!
The route cuts right through a mountain range going through one particular tunnel that’s 6327 meters in length, plunging you into the darkness for 7 minutes! Keep an eye out at some of the stations along the way, to ‘change tracks’ a man will jump on a bicycle and switch the track manually!”
Getting the adrenaline rush in Bovec
When I visited Bovec I was really unlucky with the weather as it was raining cats and dogs and I couldn’t do any of my planned activities (like zip-line that I was really excited about). But LeAnna from WellTraveledNebraskan had a great time in Bovec, here’s what she says:
“It seems like just about anywhere you go in Slovenia, you are greeted by gorgeous views and plenty to do. However, out of all our stops in Slovenia, our favorite by far, was making a base camp (no, literally…we tent-camped) near Bovec – one of the best places in Slovenia.
We chose Bovec because of the sheer amount of things that we could do nearby in addition to our phenomenal views of camping at the foothills of the gorgeous mountains! For adventure seekers, you can go white water rafting on the Soca river or for those wanting to see the gorgeous blue waters of the river without getting IN it, you can hike through the stunning Soca Gorge or head nearby for waterfall views and swims!
Of course, we HAD to make the drive up into the mountains where you can actually stand and look out into Italy, Slovenia AND Austria all simultaneously!!!
There was plenty to do for all types of travelers (shoot, we went as a family!) from those looking for a bit of nature and respite to adventure seekers. The views are second to none, the food delicious and the memories will last a life-time!”
Visiting Brda, the wine region of Slovenia
Ellie from Soul Travel included Brda in her Slovenia itinerary, here’s why:
“Nestled right up against the Italian border, Goriska Brda is one of Slovenia’s finest wine regions. Haven’t heard of Slovenian wine? You’d be forgiven, as most of it is consumed within Slovenia before exporters get a look in.
After a visit to Edi Simcic winery in Brda we were smitten, particularly with the light whites we tasted against a backdrop of rolling hills and farmhouses that looked every bit as beautiful as Tuscany. You can happily spend a day or two touring wine estates in the Brda region (either book a tour or contact wine estates independently), we recommend staying at the beautiful San Martin hotel (click here to see the details and book the place!).”
Enjoying another wine region of Slovenia – Vipava valley
Vipava Valley is another Slovenian region famous for its wine, a really good one. Due to the microclimate the fruits grow here much better and as a result we can enjoy amazing wines and preserves.
But there are more reasons to visit Vipava Valley. The area is very scenic and kind of idyllic, making it a perfect getaway to rest and enjoy the surrounding nature and views. If you’re into bike trips this is also a place for you!
Karen from Wanderlustingk suggests visiting Gorica – one of the unknown regions of Slovenia:
“Gorica is one of Slovenia’s hidden gems. This beautiful wine region in Slovenia, close to the Italian border, has medieval cities, stunning vineyards, and a quiet beauty that makes you wonder how everyone isn’t going crazy over the area. I ended up going to Šmartno, one of the old medieval towns built onto a hilltop. I loved wandering around the ancient streets with ivy everywhere is straight out of a fairytale.
Be sure to try the one euro wine at any of the local cafes that is just as good as the Italian wine on the other side of the border (which you can see from there). Luckily, ecotourism dominates here, so you can feel good in knowing that your money is going back to the community. If you’re interested in the local wine (both red and white), you can rent a bike to cycle along the rolling hills and to visit many of the wineries.”
Exploring mining and lace town Idrija
Kristin from TravelPast50 enjoyed the mining town Idrija a lot and recommends visiting it too:
“A worthwhile day trip from Ljubljana, up into the heart of Slovenia, is Idrija. This mountain town, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was a busy center of mercury mining for nearly 500 years. The surrounding landscape belies the hardships of this industry, but a visit reveals the engineering and labor, fortitude and devastation the mercury mines engendered.
Idrija’s mercury mining started in 1490. The mine was closed temporarily in 1977, reopened later, but finally closed for good in 1988. Luckily, a new industry of making electronic components was already underway.
Before touring the mines, a walk along the Idrija canal demonstrates how this alpine city has turned its history into an advantage. The canal was built to divert water from the Idrijca river to a giant water wheel used until the 1940s to pump water from the mines. The canal now lines a beautiful recreation path through the woods, and the water runs clear.
The effects of mercury mining are laid out in a fascinating hour-long mine tour. Of course, the brutal work took its toll on the miners. Smelters generally survived only five years on the job; others rarely lived beyond age 40.
Women In the town survived by remarrying and by providing for themselves–often making intricate lace. Today, Idrija hosts a lace festival every June, marked by traditional and contemporary lace and fashion designs.”
Relaxing in the seaside town Portoroz
Carolyn of Holidays to Europe went to the small but charming seaside of Slovenia and had a really good time in Portoroz. Here’s why you should visit it too:
“Slovenia’s top attraction and popular coastal resort town of Portoroz offers plenty of things to do. Aside from the town’s pretty setting right on the sea, one of the main reasons visitors come to Portoroz are for its thermal and mineral spas.
Visitors have flocked to Portoroz since the 13th century when Monks discovered the healing properties of the sea water and the nearby Secovlje Salt Pans. Here you can watch how salt is harvested and test out the benefits of brine and salt-pan mud in an outdoor spa.
In the town’s spa and wellness centers, particularly the beautiful Kempinski Palace Hotel, today’s visitors can re-charge their batteries and be pampered with various wellness therapies and spa treatments.
Thermal spas are just one of the things to do in Portoroz, though. The waters of the Mediterranean are popular in summer for a refreshing swim, and the sandy beach is perfect for a stroll. Seaside restaurants and cafes offer the perfect excuse to stop and admire the views and the promenade is the place to be seen on a summer’s evening.
If you prefer to be a bit more active, there are some excellent bike paths and walking trails around Portoroz. One recommended walk is along the Pilgrim’s Path in Strunjan Nature Reserve where you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of Moon Bay.”
Falling for the charming town of Piran
Kathy from 50 shades of age visited Piran and was enchanted by its beauty.
“During a Mediterranean Cruise last year we opted to do a cycling tour to the town of Piran in Slovenia. Due to inclement weather the cycling tour was cancelled so instead we set off towards the seaside town of Piran with a tour guide in the comfort of a SUV. We drove through the port town of Koper and via green pastures, valleys and forest for around half an hour until we reached the charming coastal town of Piran.
We were immediately struck by the charm and beauty of this seaside town and learnt that Piran was part of the Venetian empire from the late 13th century to the end of the 18th century and then part of Italy from 1918 til 1947.
We arrived into the central town square and felt as though we had stepped right into a picture postcard. Ambling through the narrow laneways in the old town we learnt that most of the buildings possessed Venetian architecture and rich frescoes.
In the small bay fisherman were unraveling their fishing nets on the piers and locals were sitting by the sea, chatting and enjoying the warm sunshine and the sparkling sea along the promenade or riva.
What a gorgeous place to spend a leisurely Sunday in the sun!”
Koper might not be the most obvious seaside choice in Slovenia – it’s known mostly for its big harbor. But the town has much more to offer. The area was inhabited already in the ancient times and you can find around many remnants of the great past.
The old town is small but charming, with Titov Trg as its central square. Be sure to climb the bell tower that offers great views of the city and afterwards get lost in the maze of the beautiful narrow streets. Don’t miss the stroll around the marina too and enjoy the sea breeze!
Finding the true gem – the walled church in Hrastovlje
When speeding the motorway to Koper turn inland some 20kms before the city and you will find one of the biggest gems of Slovenia – Holy Trinity Church in Hrastovlje. It is surrounded by the thick wall built in the 16th century that was made to protect the local people from the Turkish attacks.
From the outside the church doesn’t look that impressive but inside you will find spectacular Gothic frescoes from the end of the 15th century with the most famous one of the “Danse Macabre” (Dance of Death).
Admiring views of Velika Planina
Chrysoula from Travel Passionate suggests area of Velika Planina and The Herdsmen’s settlement:
“If you find yourself in Slovenia, Velika Planina is a natural piece of heaven that you simply can’t miss. This amazing area is a great spot to start a hiking trip and enjoy the beautiful view of the Kamnik Alps and the whole Ljubljana basin. You can also spend some days simply admiring the Velika Planina area and The Herdsmen Settlement that can be found here.
The Herdmens settlement in this part of Slovenia is unique in size and beauty amongst Europe and makes for an interesting trip for foreigners every year. And if you do manage to make it to this part of the world, get ready to be charmed by an atmosphere that seems like it’s coming from a different timeframe. You will find small cottages with roofs made of pine shingles which look more like huts than houses.
The best time to visit The Herdsmen Settlement is between June and September when herdsmen are present and taking care of their animals. You will be spoiled with delicious dairy products and traditional dishes made by the herdsmen themselves.”
Underground kayaking in Mežica mine
A friend of mine Ewa went kayaking in Mežica mine and recommends it as one of the best Slovenia activities:
“Mining of zinc and lead ore finished in Mežica in1994 and the mine was closed down what resulted in stopping the pumps that removed water from the lowest corridors. In consequence, water flooded them. This did not mean the end of the mine.
Years later, it was reopened, this time as a tourist attraction, where you can now try underground kayaking. You will get special gum boots, a suit and a helmet with a headlamp and take the original train, that the miners used to get down to work. After that you will get into a kayak and start exploring the underground flooded tunnels. You can even swim down a small waterfall!
This adventure is followed by a lunch similar to that eaten by miners years ago – you can enjoy some cheese, pate, prsut ham and bread. There is also a small museum!”
Exploring Postojna Cave
Postojna Cave is one of the most important things to see in Slovenia. But it gets the hype for a reason! This is the second longest cave in the world, with around 20kms of underground corridors. Visitors get to see only 5,5 kms (most of which is ridden by train) but it is still so impressive!
The Postojna Cave is huge and incredibly beautiful, you walk around with the jaw dropped. It is also very diverse and the views around change often, another one is better than previous. What’s more there are numerous events hosted inside the cave, such as music concerts or basketball games!
Visiting Predjama Castle
Another one of amazing Slovenia destinations, located only 9kms away from Postojna Cave is Predjama Castle – one of the most unique castles in the world. Part of it is hidden in cave that in the 15th century saved the local knight and owner – Erazm of Predjama.
To everyone’s huge surprise he managed to survive in the castle for a year of siege, teasing attackers by throwing fresh fruits at them. Eventually he was betrayed by one of the servants and killed when he was in the toilet.
It’s definitely worth to go inside the castle – the exhibitions might be so-so but seeing the construction glued to the rocks and cave is really impressive!
Exploring another famous underground system – Skocjan Caves
Corinne from Reflections Enroute recommends visiting another amazing underground system – Skocjan Caves:
“Skocjan Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage site in Slovenia, not far from the border of Italy. Tucked into this small corner of the country, these caves are massive. It’s hard to believe that such big holes are hidden underground.
You can only visit the caves on a guided tour, which they do in many different languages. After meeting up with your guide, you have a short walk to the entrance, and the very beginning of the descent into the caves is probably the smallest tunnel, which for some is difficult if they suffer at all from claustrophobia. However that tunnel quickly opens up to the rooms and caverns that are so large that in some many people can be in there and it won’t feel crowded.
The tour lasts about two hours and there is a lot of standing, climbing and descending of stairs, but it is a wonderful experience. We had a few small children on our tour and they enjoyed it as well. If you are visiting Slovenia, don’t miss Skocjan Caves!”
Falling for Ptuj
Even if these days Ptuj is a small and quiet town at the outskirts of the country there’s so much history behind it. Did you know this is the oldest town in Slovenia, dating back to the Stone Age times? The current look of the center comes from the Austria-Hungary time, with the castle towering above the red-roofed houses.
If you would like to spend some time in a charming town where life goes by slowly then Ptuj is for you. The nearby Terme Ptuj Thermal Park is a perfect place to relax. Click here to see more details and book the place!
Visiting Maribor – second biggest city in Slovenia
While most of the tourists focus on Ljubljana Maribor, located in the east of the country (not far from Ptuj, mentioned above), is well worth a visit too. This is one of the best cities in Slovenia, founded in the 12th century and up to this day is full of interesting monuments or charming lanes and corners.
Maribor also has a great alternative to Ljubljana’s Metelkova -it’s called Pekarna and it’s the independent culture hub located in the former military bakery.
But Maribor is mostly known thanks to wine. Vineyards are located just outside the center (you can clearly see them on the surrounding hills), the city is also home to the oldest grapevine in the world!
Stopping in Celje on the way between Maribor and Ljubljana
I feel like Celje is one of the most underrated cities in Slovenia. This is yet another charming place with the architecture from Austria-Hungary times and red rooftops all over the center. It’s worth to go up to the castle towering above to get the best views of the city and surrounding area as well as to learn numerous legends about the place.
What I liked the most, however, was the local museum in Celje showing the recent history of the city so no boring artifacts from the past. It was such a gem!
Relaxing at Terme Olimia Wellness
Denise from Inhetvliegtuig.nl spent some time relaxing at Terme Olimia Wellness and definitely recommends that:
“Terme Olimia is located in the small town of Podcetrtek, in the east of Slovenia. It’s the largest wellness center in Slovenia, with several hotel options. Tourists, locals and top athletes come here for peace, tranquility, and rehabilitation.
If you don’t have kids and want to enjoy the silence, visit the adults-only Wellness Center Orhidelia. A very chic complex with great spa-facilities, a gym, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Families are welcome at Wellness Centre Termalija. Where they have great facilities for kids as well. Both places are connected with an underground corridor.
Looking for two or three days of pure relaxation, after an exhausting Slovenia road trip? Book your stay at Hotel Sotelia and enjoy all the wellness facilities. The whole place is surrounded by lush green trees, mountains and picturesque village. You won’t regret it! Click here to read more and book the place!”
Visiting Slovenia – practical information
How to get to Slovenia?
Ljubljana international airport is located some 20kms away from the city and is served by numerous airlines from all over Europe, the main one being Adria – Slovenian national airlines. Landing in here is a real treat as the views are breathtaking. Once an hour there is a bus connecting the airport with Ljubljana or with the nearby town Kranj. Click here for the schedule.
Slovenia is also fairly well connected by train, there are daily direct connections between Ljubljana and Italy (Trieste and Udine), Croatia (Zagreb) and Austria (Villach, Graz and Vienna). If you’re travelling around Europe with Interrail or Eurail tickets (highly recommended!) you can use them in Slovenia too! Visit the website of Slovenian Railways to check the schedule.
There are also buses serving numerous international routes all over Europe. You can get all the information at the website of Ljubljana bus station.
How to travel around Slovenia?
The best way would be to rent a car – driving in Slovenia is easy as roads are very good. Click here to see the deals and rent a car for your trip!
But don’t worry if you need to rely on public transport as it’s not that bad either. Vast network of trains and buses can get you to numerous places all over the country. Some of the tourist attractions are best visited with the tours for the ease of getting around. Click here to see some and book for yourself some of the best day trips in Slovenia!
Where to stay in Slovenia?
Recommended tours in Slovenia
As mentioned above sometimes it’s the best to got for organized tour. You will see more that way and won’t have to deal with public transport not being as frequent as we all wish. Click here to see some and book for yourself some of the best day trips in Slovenia!
If you’d like to join organized, multiday tour to Slovenia there are some good offers by some well known companies listed at TourRadar – click here to see the details and book the trip to Slovenia!
The only good travel guide book for Slovenia seems to be Lonely Planet. Click here to get your copy!
Map of Slovenia
And here is a map with all the best Slovenia attractions listed above!
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