Slovenia is a green country rich in forests, nature reserves, quiet valleys, mountain peaks, crystal clear lakes and unspoilt coastline. It is still a little-known country that surprises with the variety of the things to do in Slovenia, landscapes and the charm of the wilderness.
Located between Western and Eastern Europe, Slovenia has Venetian ports on the coast, Hungarian-style farms and Bavarian villages in the Julian Alps.
A magical land that fascinates visitors with fairytale castles set in the rock, mysterious caves in the Karst region and medieval villages. A great alternative for those escaping the crowds and high prices in most European countries, Slovenia is the ideal destination for a holiday of nature, sea and wellness.
25 Best things to do in Slovenia
The Caves of St. Canziano (Škocjan)
The things to do in Slovenia in summer are certainly not limited to simple walks in the woods or a visit to one of its beautiful beaches. A place that attracts visitors literally from all over the world are the Caves of San Canziano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Get ready to immerse yourself in a true work of art of nature: 11 rooms, tunnels, stalactites and stalagmites for an intriguing and spectacular route, where there are even wonderful little waterfalls from the Reka River. We recommend you to visit the caves equipped with heavy clothing and a raincoat: inside the caves temperatures never exceed 8 degrees Celsius, and the humidity level is among the highest ever.
The beauty of Lake Bled
Lake Bled in Slovenia is located in the northern part, near the Triglav National Park (which is also worth a visit). Why visit a simple lake is among the things to do in Slovenia, you may be wondering? Simple: Lake Bled is reminiscent of a fairytale, a crystal clear lake on which stands the equally fairytale Bled Castle.
Postojna Cave (and their small pet)
The Postojna Cave, in the town of the same name, is the largest in Europe. Unlike the already mentioned Caves of San Canziano (to which many more should be added, but it would take more than just four days), the wonder of Postojna Cave begins directly from their entrance. As soon as you enter, in fact, after wearing proper clothing and a comfortable k-way, you will board an electric train (watch your head: the ceiling is low and full of stalactites) and then continue on foot for about a kilometer and a half. You will then find yourself in the beating heart of the caves, which the guide will be able to describe to you in all their naturalistic complexity.
The temperature never exceeds 10 degrees, even in the middle of summer, and at the end of your walking tour you will be able to buy some souvenirs in the shop. One of the most bizarre features of Postojna Cave is the presence of life, in this case an amphibian that cannot be found anywhere else. We are talking about the Proteus, which is a real attraction in Slovenian caves. This small blind and albino amphibian, resembling a lizard, lives over a hundred years and seems to have lived in the caves for over 200 million years.
At the top of a karst cave stands Predjama Castle, a few kilometres from the Postojna Cave. Having only four days available to decide what to do in Slovenia, the proximity plays a key role in trying to see as many things as possible and enjoy the beauty of this beautiful country.
Why visiting Predjama Castle is one of the best things to do in Slovenia? Because of its externally well-kept and suggestive on the outside, full of history and notions to learn inside thanks to the presence of expert and prepared guides. In the tourist-points you can buy multi-entry tickets that will save you time and money. These tickets can include the Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle, the Nursery of the New Galleries under the Postojna Cave and the Karst Cave Expo.
Start with its characteristic and well-kept old town, very elegant in its baroque style architecture with references to Art Noveau. The real surprise, however, is when you look up to the sky: Ljubljana is topped by the Grad, the castle of the same name. As you may have realised so far, Slovenia is a combination of lush nature and castles, and Ljubljana Castle is one of the most popular destinations mentioned by every traveler blog. From the top of its hill, Ljubljana Castle will give you a view of the Ljubljanica River, the Triple Bridge, the Church of the Annunciation and the many characteristic squares and streets.
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Designed by architect Joze Plečnik, the Ljubljana Library was built in 1936 and is a massive, rectangular building. Built on four floors, the library is recognizable from the outside by its characteristic red stone bricks, and one of its special features is the central dark marble staircase, consisting of 32 black columns. Inside are preserved manuscripts of every kind and of every historical era.
The oldest castle in Slovenia – can be easily visited in just one day. The area around Lake Bled is also a point of reference for those who simply want to relax and enjoy the surrounding nature, which here is absolutely well cared for and a source of pride throughout Slovenia. Once in the area, don’t miss the Vintgar Gorge: 1.6km of gorge with impressive walls between waterfalls and rapids. Not to be missed.
The central market in Ljubljana
Every self-respecting city has a pulsating and true soul, which is usually found in the market element. Ljubljana is no different, and its central market is famous for being one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Dating back to 1944, the market has an open-air and indoor part, as well as some underground sections and a large fresh flower shop.
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The name of the market is Centralna Tržnica, and it is worth a visit mainly to taste one of the many gastronomic delicacies that Slovenia has to offer. Don’t miss the local cheeses, potica (traditional cake), horse pâté, Karst ham and much more. This is the perfect place to buy some souvenirs (delicious or not) for yourself and your friends.
The Tivoli Park
One of the largest parks in Slovenia is the Tivoli Park, a delightful and geometric green city park. The Tivoli Park is located below the Roznik hill, covers more than 510 hectares and has flourishing avenues and artistically pruned hedges, as well as an Olympic-size outdoor swimming pool and many statues and fountains. The Tivoli Park is perfect for families with children, who can play in the park or in the playground dedicated to them. Inside it is interesting to visit the Tivoli Gallery, a graphic art centre renovated in neoclassical style. The entrance is free and the park is open 24 hours a day.
The Dragon Bridge
Looking for the best place in Slovenia to make the perfect selfie? You have found it: the Dragon Bridge is a truly unique place in the Slovenian capital. Its name comes from the four winged dragons that guard the entrance to the bridge, and they represent the legend according to which it seems that Jason killed the dragon he was stationed in the Ljubljanica river. The structure was designed by Josef Melan and built by Jurij Zaninović. To cross it, you only need to go north of Vodnikov trg.
The Civic Square
The real name of Ljubljana’s Civic Square is Mestni Trg, and it is located precisely in the centre of the city of Ljubljana. This picturesque square was built in 1511, and its appearance is delightfully baroque. Particularly beautiful is Haman House, where the Civic Gallery is located, as well as Lichtenberg Palace or Souvan House. The Civic Square is also home to the Town Hall, which has a characteristic clock tower. You can also photograph the fountain of the Carniolan Rivers, dating back to 1751.
St. Nicholas Cathedral in Ljubljana
If you are a fan of Baroque art, then St. Nicholas Cathedral will really take your breath away. This very special church is dedicated to the patron saint of fishermen, and dates back to the beginning of the 18th century. The interior of St. Nicholas Cathedral is a blaze of richness and opulence: pink marble and gold trim, frescoes by Giulio Quaglio and sculptures by Angelo Putti to dominate everything else. You can easily get there on foot, and its entrance is free.
What to do in Slovenia? Visit Nova Gorica
Just a few kilometres from the Italian border, Nova Gorica is a Slovenian town that well represents the whole spirit of the “green country”. Populated by about 30,000 inhabitants, Nova Gorica is full of well-kept flowerbeds and small parks. If you wonder what to do in Slovenia, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Mestni Park and Kostanjevica Monastery, as well as Kromberk Castle and Solkan Bridge.
If you are wondering why Logarska Dolina is on the list of must-see destinations in Slovenia, maybe you are not a real sportsman. Don’t worry: Logarska Dolina will make you want to become a real hiker! Indeed, this is one of the most popular destinations in Slovenia for the lovers of nature walks and outdoor sports.
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This beautiful valley of glacial origin is located in the north of Slovenia, and unlike Nova Gorica it lies along the Austrian border. Backpack on your shoulder, camera around your neck and off you go to discover the beauties of Logarska Dolina: whether you are trained or not, you certainly won’t regret the choice for holidays in Slovenia.
Things to do in Slovenia: Visit Radovljica
Small, cosy, almost like a wedding favours: Radovljica is the perfect Slovenian destination to relax and enjoy her decidedly “slow” spirit. Here you can taste the famous honeybread, a cake of Jewish origin composed mainly of honey, lemon peel and butter. Simple and delicious to accompany it with a steaming cup of tea or an excellent coffee. But Radovljica is not only that: the town offers a living museum, the Gostina Lectar, you can “create” your own edible souvenir, and from here you can also visit the Beekeeping Museum.
The town of Portorož
The town of Portorož considers itself “almost” Italian. Located a few kilometers from Trieste, Portorož is full of free entrance beaches and private beaches, reserved for guests of hotels overlooking the sea. Among the things to do in Slovenia you could enjoy spa treatments and go wild at night in the many clubs and casinos – a real attraction for outsiders.
The Triple Bridge
The Triple Bridge (also known as the triple bridge) is the architectural structure to cross if you are planning to visit the old town. It owes its name to the bifurcation of bridges that were added to the main body in 1932, and all three are now pedestrianised. One of the best things to do in Slovenia is to take a walk over the Triple Bridge, to admire the works of the many street artists who settle there or to listen to the harmonies of the musicians always present.
The village of Piran
A picturesque village and town overlooking the water, Piran is a low cost destination that will allow you to fully discover the beautiful sea that laps Slovenia. Its beaches are both well-kept and wild at the same time, and unlike Portorož (famous above all for being a seaside resort), here in Piran you can also discover its history and legends related to the village. An all-inclusive holiday including sea, sun, history, architecture and excellent gastronomy.
Izola, the fishing village
A small fishing village, Isola is a small and colourful seaside resort without too many frills. Authentic and ancient, Isola offers a purely medieval layout, hidden alleys and characteristic corners.
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The city of Koper
A real city, the most important and best known in Istria, Koper is a small “Ibiza” in Slovenia, not so much for its nightlife, but for its beaches, palm trees, benches and the many restaurants and cafes that overlook the much. Perhaps the beach is not really its strong point, but here you can easily combine the comforts of a big city with the pleasures of sunbathing and swimming in the sea.
Strunjan, surrounded by nature
Wild nature, pristine beaches, true contact between man and greenery: Strunjan is free from any superstructure, and has beautiful beaches such as the infamous Mesecev zaliv, which can only be reached on foot. Not recommended for those used to comfortable and accessible holidays.
The most beautiful beaches in Slovenia
After seeing the most popular seaside resorts, we now discover the most beautiful beaches located in the 5km of the most characteristic coast of Slovenia:
– Bele Skale – White Rocks
– Saint Simon
– Punta Gallo
For those who need it, Slovenia also offers a dedicated bathing area for blind and disabled tourists, with easy access to the sea and dedicated swimming pools. There are also beaches for dogs, dedicated to owners who can’t get away from their puppy even during the summer months. Here four-legged friends can run around freely undisturbed, also finding fresh water taps and shaded shelters where they can take a nap.
Things to do in Slovenia: Visit Idrija
Surrounded by forests and mountainous landscapes, Idrija is located between Nova Gorica and Ljubljana. It is a very special town, one of the most historical places in the country. Once famous for its huge mercury mine (the second largest in the world), today it is renowned for the production of elaborate lace by local women, and for delicious ravioli filled with potatoes, smoked bacon and chives, idrijski žlikrofi.
Idrija is not very big, but as you wander through its streets you will smell the scents of the season, the scents of wood-burning stoves and traditional cuisine, and as you look around you will see the beauty of the mountains that are coloured in autumn.
Discover the wine roads
Autumn is certainly the season for wine. And not only because it is harvest time but also because, while the leaves turn yellow, red and orange, the vineyards become even more beautiful than usual. Excellent wines are produced in Slovenia and there are many wine growing areas. Some of the most beautiful are located in the Dolenjska region, near Novo mesto, and in Pohorje, near Maribor.
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In both of them you will find authentic wine trails, designed to let you admire the gentle landscapes and taste the local wines in the wine cellars of the area. Near Maribor there are also excursions to discover the wine roads to the rhythm of the Nordic walk, the Vinotour, with different routes and lengths ranging from 11 to 24 kilometers.
Enjoy traditional Slovenian cuisine
From delicious Karst ham to všenat zelje, sauerkraut stewed in millet soup, even fried frog legs, žabji kraki, Slovenian cuisine is as varied as its landscape, ranging from the blue sea of Koper to the snowy peaks of Triglav. Depending on your taste, you can try traditional rural dishes, such as barley soup, or Habsburg soup, which is very much present in desserts.
Or, dishes of Hungarian origin such as goulash, throat, or paprika, delicious beef cooked with spicy sauces. But there are also interesting reinterpretations of Italian cuisine such as potato gnocchi, njoki, and risotto, riota. To eat then the best choice is to opt for gostilne, the local trattorie. Luckily there are plenty of them wherever you go, so eating well in Slovenia will be easy!
Things to do in Slovenia: Visit Maribor
Maribor is a beautiful city built in Central European style on the banks of the river Drava, which flows through it. On days when the sky is blue, the red-roofed buildings of the old town are reflected in the waters of the river, and like every Slovenian town the greenery of flowerbeds, parks and trees abounds. Perhaps autumn really is the best season to visit it, as it is here that you will find a 400-year-old vineyard, the oldest in the world, which until 11 November will be the protagonist of the Old Vineyard Festival, with over 70 events planned between culture and gastronomic tradition.
It is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in a cheerful event that involves Slovenians and tourists, and which will allow you to get to know the most delicious and varied flavours of Slovenian food and wine. In addition to the festival, Maribor is also famous for the beauty of its surroundings, including nature parks such as the Drava and the Pohorje mountains, where you can perhaps make an inspection in view of the start of the ski season!
The best time to visit Slovenia
Without a doubt, the best time to visit Slovenia is September, when the number of tourists decreases, the high season ends, prices are affordable and the climate is favourable: there is a pleasant heat that will make you enjoy the beautiful Slovenian landscapes, including hiking and walking.
Slovenia’s climate is continental, the influence of the Adriatic Sea is mild, partially mitigating it in the coastal areas of Koper. Inland, the winters are very cold, the temperature drops to around zero and the mountain ranges are whitened with snow, so winter, from December to March, is the best time to visit Slovenia’s ski resorts.
Winter is also the season of major events and sporting events, in January the giant slalom races for the Ski World Cup are famous. Summer is the best time to visit Slovenia if you want to enjoy arts and culture festivals, and the International Summer Festival animates the cities of Ljubljana and Bled throughout July and August with concerts, theatre and dance performances.