Slovenia is that little country between the huge touristy destinations like Austria, Italy, Hungary, and Croatia. Slovenia can easily pass as one Europe’s best kept secrets, and the country’s breathtaking landscape even gave it the nickname of the European New Zealand!
If you decide it’s time to visit this small yet diverse place, you will soon understand why it’s a paradise for nature lovers. It didn’t get named the first green country in the world for nothing!
Also, if you are an adrenaline junkie, then you might feel like you just hit the jackpot – this country has tons of adrenaline-intensive activities that will make your blood rush for hours! If you are interested in experiencing such an adventure, I’ve already made a list of the adrenaline activities Slovenia offers, the locations where you can go, and the prices – to save you some time 🙂
Now, without further ado, this is our list of the most beautiful places we saw in Slovenia -places you too can explore!
Literally meaning “the loved one”, this small European capital will satisfy the needs of every traveler.
On a budget? Good news – visiting all that Ljubljana has to offer doesn’t take more than 2 days, and usually the entrance fees for historical landmarks or museums are quite low.
Prefer luxury travel? This city has a wide range of luxurious hotels, spas, Michelin-starred restaurants, and so many more things to spoil yourself with.
History lover? The City of the Dragons has plenty of legends, eye-catching architecture, a 10 century-old castle, and stories from when it was part of former communist country, Yugoslavia.
Too much to choose from, and need some time to relax and think about it? Don’t worry – plenty of bars, pubs, and cafes where you can relax and organize you itinerary!
2. Lake Bled
Situated in the Julien Alps, this small town is one of the most beloved resort attractions in Slovenia! In this region is also where most adrenaline-fueling activities take place. From hiking to hot-air balooning, bungee-jumping, and rafting, be sure to bring spare clothes and enjoy your rides!
And for those times when you feel exhausted, a lot of traditional “gostilna” restaurants await you, where you can get your fill with all those calories you lost during the day.
During your stay, make sure you set some time aside for a hike all the way up to one of the most instagramable spots in Bled: Ojstrica. Here you can admire the Julien Alps together with the Bled Island. Once you are again back in the town, you can enjoy a piece of the famous creamy Bled Cake (actually, enjoy two pieces of that heavenly dessert – one for me too ^_^) to commemorate this event.
If you want to impress your friends from Slovenia, you can take a day trip to the second-largest city in the country. Situated in the traditional region of Lower-Styria, this part of Slovenia usually tends to go unnoticed by most tourists. Don’t let the “second-largest” bit fool you, though – Maribor has plenty of comfy small-town vibes. If that’s something you enjoy, it’s a must-see!
This is where you can also visit the second oldest synagogue in Europe, and learn about one of the most significant medieval Jewish communities in Slovenia.
And for all those wine lovers, keep in mind that this is where you can find the oldest known grape-producing vine (Žametovka) in the world!
If you’ll love this part of the country, you should consider extending your stay with a visit to an even smaller town: Ptuj, the oldest city in Slovenia and the home of the famous traditional spring event Kurentovanje! If you feel like you don’t have enough time, no worries – a day is enough to experience Ptuj, and taking the train from Maribor is both fast (around 30-40 minutes) and cheap.
One of the most beautiful medieval towns in Slovenia, Piran is situated on the small but cozy Slovene Riviera. If hiking around Lake Bled and watching the Julien Alps felt like having a trip to Austria, Piran will certainly make you feel like you’re relaxing on the beautiful Venetian streets.
With a lot of fresh seafood and tasty traditional Italian desserts, you can get that Bella Vitta vibe for a much cheaper cost than the big and crowded Italian destination!
If you want to change the medieval views with a town which has a more modern resort look to it, you should consider taking a trip to Portoroz which is situated at only 3km from Piran!
5. Predjama Castle
Located in Predjama Village, this is one of the most beautiful castles we have ever seen. It was built around 1200 at the entrance of a cave, and it was inhabited by the Slovene Robin Hood, Erazem – the most famous owner of this castle. He was called that because he liked to rob the rich, with a minor twist – he didn’t give that back to the poor.
Loved by the local people and hated by the rich, Erazem had many enemies who wanted to kill him. So, one winter, the governor of the region came with an army to capture Erazem. Because they could only approach the castle from one direction (and even so with great difficulties), they decided that they could capture Erazem by cutting the water and the food supplies for the entire castle.
But little did they know that the Predjama Castle had a secret passage somewhere in the back of the cave, where Erazem sneaked food and other supplies in, thus being able to resist the siege for weeks.
But all heroes have to die, and so did our Erazem when he was betrayed by one of his subordinates. One night, when Erazem went to the castle’s outhouse to take a spoo-poo, a signal was sent to the governor’s soldiers, who then used a catapult to fire a projectile in that direction, killing Erazem.
Going to Predjama Castle is quite easy to do, since there are a lot of tours in Ljubljana ready to take you to this beautiful castle, but be prepared to hear other versions of Erazem’s story! This legend has many variations since a lot of time has passed since then, and every inhabitant of the village tells the story a little bit differently.
However, a thing is sure: We should be so grateful we have our toilets inside our homes! At least we can die like rockstars, and not like a robbers.
Opening hours: 10:00 – 16:00 all year round
Entrance fee: 14Eur
6. Postojna Cave
Located at only 9 kilometers from Predjama Castle, Postojna Cave is one of the biggest and most diverse cave systems in the world. It is so big, they have a room with an immense chandelier where rich people and politicians used to throw parties.
And lucky us – because we are living in modern times, we can explore almost 5 kilometers of beautiful passages with the Postojna Cave’s train. Just consider that, at first, people had to cover all those slippery kilometers on foot! After a few years, people could visit the cave system in small carriages pushed by the cave guides!
If it wasn’t interesting enough, Postojna Cave is also the home of the Olm (Proteus anguinus) – the other reason why Slovenia is called the Home of the Dragons. This little creature, which does kinda look like a small dragon, is extremely sensible to light. So, if you want to take photos of it, you are not allowed to use flash. Their eyes are almost undeveloped, and they adapted themselves to live in conditions of complete darkness.
One of the most amazing things about the “human fish” is that it can survive without food for almost 10 years! The average lifespan of this little creature is 73 years, while the average lifespan of a human adult is 68.3 years, so its lifestyle of eating and living in complete darkness might be the new fad diet in several years!
Opening hours: 10:00-15:00 all yeard round
Entrance fee: 14EUR
As you could see from the whole article, when it comes to Slovenia, a lot of things are being depicted using the superlative. If you decide to visit this European hidden gem, you will be amazed how a country that’s so small can offer so many beautiful landscapes and a lot of unforgettable experiences. From mountains to the seaside, from seeing such unusual creatures like the Proteus anguinus or riding the famous Lipica horses, from relaxing yourself to screaming your lungs out in adrenaline activities, Slovenia has something special for everyone.
So, if you find yourself sipping your favorite beer at one of those nice bar terraces in Ljubljana, planning your itinerary throughout the country, maybe you can also discover why Slovenia is the only country that has LOVE in its name.
And maybe you can remember to leave a comment and tell me if I forgot to mention something about this incredible destination ^_^ Until then, happy adventures and may the fire of the Ljubljana dragons guide you around the best places in Slovenia!