18 Breathtaking Places to Visit in Slovenia
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Last Updated on July 27, 2021
Slovenia is one of the most incredible Balkan countries to visit due to its jaw-dropping natural beauty. There is many great places to visit in Slovenia as well as lots of things to do including adventure sports, hiking, white water rafting or simply exploring hearty Slovenian cuisine.
Whether you would like to visit a town surrounded by nature, or you want to see a traditional medieval place, we have it all on this list!
Here are the best places to visit in Slovenia
1. Kriška Gora
Suggested by Travel Hacker Girl
Kriška Gora (1471 m) is a less-known hike in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. Although it is one of the stops along the Via Alpina trail, you won’t find many tourists on this hike. You can start the hike from Golnik or the village of Gozd. There is a lot of parking available at both places.
The trail to the top is quite strenuous, as it goes uphill all the way. However, there are some benches along the way, where you can stop and rest. Your efforts will be well compensated on the top, as the views are fantastic to the Ljubljana Basin. There is a great place for paragliders to take off, so on a clear day, chances are, you will see some of them going off on their adventure.
There is also a hut at the top of Kriška Gora, where they offer traditional home-cooked dishes. The hut also functions as accommodation for people who are on multi-day hikes in the area.
There are many other peaks you can conquer nearby such as Tolsti Vrh (1715 m) or Storžič (2132 m). This hike is considered moderate. The path itself isn’t exposed, so children can do it as well. However, you will need good physical endurance to tackle the 900 m elevation gain. It takes about 2,5 hours to reach Kriška Gora from Golnik.
Suggested by The World Was Here First
Although it is the second-largest city in Slovenia, charming Maribor receives only a fraction of the tourists it should, as it’s often overshadowed by the capital of Ljubljana or by the iconic Lake Bled. However, Maribor is a beautiful and compact city that is definitely worth visiting.
There are many things to do in Maribor, however, it is famous for its wine culture and no visit to Slovenia’s second city is complete without sampling a glass or two of a local white or red. The city is actually home to the world’s oldest grape-producing vine which can be found at the Old Vine House.
The vine itself is over 400 years old and there is a festival every September celebrating its grape harvest. The Old Vine House also offers wine tastings where you can choose from a number of different degustation options from local wine producers.
If you want to continue learning about and sampling Slovenian wine, then make sure to visit the Vinag Wine Cellar, where you can tour the (now defunct) labyrinthine cellar that winds itself under the old town. You also can opt to sip a glass or two of local wine in the bar above.
If you’re after beautiful views and some physical activity, then make sure to climb up Pyramid Hill. This hill overlooking the city is an easy 20-minute walk to the top and you are sure to enjoy trekking your way through the grape vines on your up. The views of Maribor and the surrounding wine country from the summit are also unbeatable.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Maribor, then Anna House is a great option. Located in the Old Town, this guesthouse is a great option for those looking for a comfortable and convenient base in Maribor.
3. Lake Bled
Lake bled is undoubtedly one of the most popular places to visit within Slovenia. With the beautiful lake and island with a church situated in the middle, it’s the perfect place to spend a day or two and soak up the beauty.
You can take a dip in the lake or if it’s a little cold you can row to the island and check out the church. There’s also a castle which overlooks the lake where you can get a fantastic view of the surroundings.
Whilst in Lake bled you must try the famous Bled Cream cake which is a delicious sweet treat and quintessential to lake bled.
If staying in Lake Bled I highly recommend staying in an Airbnb. There is plenty to choose from and most of them are much more affordable than the hotels.
4. Vrsic Pass
Suggested by Conversant Traveller
The Vrsic Pass is one of the most beautiful mountain drives in all of Europe, taking you through the Triglav National Park past stunning peaks, lush green valleys and emerald lakes. It’s an easy day trip from the Bled area, although you can stay several days in the national park, stopping along the way if you wish.
The drive up is quite steep with lots of winding hairpins to negotiate, but there’s not much traffic, and it’s actually a fairly easy drive in a standard hire car, even for drivers not used to mountain roads. Make sure you stop at Lake Jasna, a picture-postcard alpine lake at the bottom of the pass, with turquoise waters and a famous statue of a mythical chamois.
A little further up the pass take a few minutes to explore the exquisite wooden church, constructed by Russian prisoners of war during the First World War. The views from here out across the park are incredible, with daisy meadows and distant peaks. Down the other side of the pass you’ll arrive in the Soca Valley, where you can continue back to Bled, or choose to stay and explore for a few days. Driving the pass is a great experience from Spring through until Autumn, with the colours changing throughout the year.
We loved staying at Old Parish House in Bled, situated on a delightful little square next to St Martins Church and with a distant view of the lake. It’s a great place to base yourselves if you’re visiting the area and there’s parking too if you have a car.
Suggested by Historic European Castles
Kamnik, a small town in the north of Slovenia, features charming cobblestone streets, terracotta-roofed houses and castles galore that will make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a fairytale. The town, as you can see from the distinctly Bavarian architecture, was heavily influenced by the Austro-Hungarian Empire which gives it a picturesque look and an alpine ambience.
Despite being small there is plenty to do in Kamnik so you can easily spend a few days here exploring the old architecture and marveling at the stunning surrounding landscapes.
The Chapel of St Eligius at Mali Grad (Little Castle) dates back to the 11th or early 12th Century and features Romanesque architecture as well as a wooden beamed ceiling and impressive frescoes. Stari Grad, the Old Castle, now just ruins, but from its hillside location, you can see out over the region and understand what a great vantage point this would have been.
Back in the town center, visitors can explore the Zaprice Castle a Baroque manor that has been renovated to retain its former glory, and now houses a collection of artifacts from as far back as the Middles Ages!
Take a wander down the main street of Sutna, admiring the pretty pastel houses before discovering the Franciscan Friary and The Kamnik Arboretum. For those who want to explore some of the natural world, head out to the Predaselj Gorge, the source of the river Kamniška Bistrica.
Travelers can choose to stay in or outside of the town of Kamnik, both of which offer their own charm. We picked to stay at the Guest House Repnik which had a boutique feel and an excellent on-site restaurant.
Considering Kamnik is such a beautiful region, it is relatively undiscovered which makes it a real gem for a weekend break or an add-on to a larger trip around Slovenia and Eastern Europe.
Suggested by We Did it Our Way
Most people don’t think about Ljubljana when they think about the most beautiful places in Slovenia, which is great for people like us, who love to visit off the beaten path locations! What we especially love about Ljubljana is that in 2016, it earned the title of the European Green Capital, and we love eco-friendly travel!
There are a ton of great things to do in the city. It’s small enough that 2 days here are perfect to see everything it has to offer. And because it’s such a green place, walking is the best option to get around. The old cobblestone streets were made for this. Plus, crisscrossing its many bridges is part of what makes this whole city so charming.
One of our favorite things to do in Ljubljana was visiting the castle. Although taking the funicular is not a must, it makes for a fun ride. If not, walking up the hill isn’t hard. You get an amazing view of the city, especially when all the lights are lit at night! Another highlight for us was visiting the market. Can you blame us? We love discovering local foods, and especially trying them!
For a great place to stay, we highly recommend Atticus B&B. With dorms and private rooms, plus the delicious breakfast that they offer, this B&B has everything you need to have an amazing stay. Another plus is that its location is perfect! It’s close to everything you want to see, just a stone’s throw from the Ljubljana Castle. It makes walking to where you want a breeze!
Suggested by Sometimes Home
A local in Slovenia who was guiding us on a traditional Slovenian food tour recommended we stop in Ptuj when we shared we’d be driving to Maribor from Ljubljana. She said it was worth the stop as a charming town with roots in the Stone Age. We looked it up, agreed, and were on our way two days later. We are so glad we stopped!
Ptuj, Slovenia is a picture-perfect town with beautiful scenery including a castle that overlooks the city and a bell tower that majestically stand at the fork of their main avenue, Slovenski trg. We got to Ptuj early so we had breakfast at MuziKafe B&B, which is also a hotel and music venue.
We visited in November but the best time to go is perhaps when they have their annual carnival in the spring called Kurentovanje. This is a huge festival that lasts ten days but the main event is on a Sunday in February when people dress at the mythical Kurent figure; they “chase away winter” as everyone parades through the streets.
We highly recommend exploring the old town center, seeing the pink Dominican Monastery, the facade of City Hall, and of course walking up to the castle to get a bird’s eye view of Ptuj.
Suggested by Wander-Lush
Set at the tip of the Istrian peninsula overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the medieval city of Piran is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Slovenia.
Like other coastal cities in the region, Piran is characterised by meandering streets and pastel houses tightly squeezed together. Standing in the marble plaza overlooking the tiny marina, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Venice. There’s a good reason for that – Piran was part of the Republic of Venice for more than 500 years, and it was only recently that Slovene replaced Italian as the area’s dominant language.
Piran is small by any measure and can easily be explored on foot. From Tartini Square, follow your nose up the steep streets to discover quaint cafes and painter’s workshops. A stroll along the marina reveals a slew of seafood restaurants. Every now and then, you’ll see a ladder leading down into the sea – these mark out perfect swimming spots.
There are some amazing walks around Piran as well, including the coastal trail to Portoroz. It dips inland at points, leading you through thick groves of olive trees. The bell tower of St George’s Parish Church rises high above the city and is the best place to get a view of Piran’s red roofs rolling into the ocean.
Like the rest of Istria, Piran is a highly seasonal destination. It gets very busy in summer while a lot of businesses shutter for the winter months. I visited in March. Although it was still too cold to swim, the weather was stunning and perfect for hiking.
Getting around Slovenia by bus is such a breeze, it’s possible to visit Piran as a long day trip from Ljubljana. But I recommend staying for a few nights. Apartments Lara offers reasonably priced self-contained apartments, some with a private rooftop terrace.
9. Vintgar Gorge
Suggested by Travlin Mad
Located in the eastern part of Triglav National Park, Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia is truly one of the country’s most beautiful places to visit.
Over millions of years the crystal clear waters of the Radovna River carved out the deep Vintgar Gorge, though hiking the Gorge is more of an easy walk than strenuous hike. Sturdy wooden walkways suspended just meters above the icy cold river affords you a fabulous view as you walk along, and occasionally gives way to dirt trails and stone paths. The river meanders through the gorge narrowing and widening here and there forming rapids, small waterfalls, and tranquil pools so tempting you want to dive right in. But no swimming is allowed in Vintgar Gorge, with depths that can plunge to 250 meters at its deepest.
For avid hikers looking to explore a bit more, the 16-meter high Šum Waterfall, the highest fluvial waterfall in Slovenia, is the reward at the end of the trails and offers stunning photo ops.
Vintgar Gorge is so popular and can get very crowded during busy times of the year. It’s only open from April through November, and the best times to visit are early in the morning or very late in the day. Several B&Bs are within easy walking distance from Vintgar Gorge but the rustic and comfortable Gostilna Vintgar is a great choice, and just minutes away.
Vintgar Gorge is just a few kilometers from the scenic and popular Lake Bled. In fact, it’s an easy hike from Lake Bled to the Gorge, so after your hike, enjoy a piece of Bled creme cake, one of Slovenia’s traditional foods, as a reward for a full day of hiking!
Suggested by Curious Travel Bug
Dreznica is a small village in Slovenia located near the town of Kobarid. The village is a fantastic place to stay as you have sweeping views of the mountains and alpine meadows. The village has friendly locals and a relaxed pace.
One of the best things about Dreznica is the small church that sits in this idyllic mountain landscape. It’s a similar style to the church in Lake Bled but surrounded by mountains instead. If you want to visit Dreznica, September and October are a great time to visit as the leaves start to change but the weather is still great for hiking and outdoor activities.
Dreznica is a fantastic place to base yourself for visiting lots of great sites in the Julian Alps of Slovenia. One of the closest things is the nearby Kojzak waterfall. The short hike next to the waterfall takes you next to the clear aqua water of the Soca River and then into a river gorge.
After a visit to the waterfall, the nearby Napoleon Bridge is worth a stop to see the single arch high above the river below. While the bridge has been replaced several times, it gets its name from being the place that Napoleon and his troops crossed the river.
Kobarid is the largest town near Dreznica and is just a short drive away. It’s got several restaurants and bakeries where you can try delicious Slovenian food. Kobarid has a long history but is most famous for its role in WWI. There is a museum there where you can learn about Kobarid’s role in the Battle of Caporetto. This famous battle is featured in Ernest Hemingway’s novel, A Farewell to Arms.
From Dreznica it’s just a short drive to Bovec if you are looking for more adventure thrills. There are canyoning, kayaking, and rafting experiences on the Soca River.
11. Savica Waterfall
Suggested by The Nomadic Vegan
The Savica waterfall, located in the northwest corner of Slovenia not far from the country’s triple border with Italy and Austria, is the most famous waterfall in all of Slovenia. This is largely thanks to a poem called Baptism on the Savica, written by local poet France Prešeren. Every school child in Slovenia studies this lyric poem, as it’s considered to be the national epic.
When you catch your first glimpse of the water flowing out of the tunnel and cascading along the cliffs into a deep green pool, you’ll understand why Prešeren was so inspired by the scene. Of course, Savica’s size and power are no match for world-class waterfalls like Iguazu Falls in South America or Victoria Falls in Africa, but its graceful beauty is what makes it so alluring.
The waterfall lies within the Triglav National Park and is accessible via a walking trail that starts at the Dom Savica hut. It’s only a few kilometers away from Lake Bohinj and is an easy add-on to a visit to the lake. ApartHotel Triglav, a newly renovated accommodation option on the shores of the lake, makes a great base from which to explore the area.
Spring is the ideal time to visit, as the water flow is at its highest once the snow on the nearby mountains starts to melt. In summer, be prepared to share the experience with plenty of domestic tourists.
12. Bela Krajina
Suggested by The Wanderlust Within
In the southeastern region of Slovenia close to the border of Croatia is the off the beaten track destination of Bela Krajina. The area is covered in lush green countryside, vineyards and turquoise rivers, making summer the best time of year to visit. It is such a hidden gem that we managed to spend three days exploring much of the area on our own without any other tourists turning up.
From the capital, Ljubljana, Bela Krajina was a two and a half hour train ride to Metlika, which cost only eight EUR one way. However, I would suggest hiring a car to travel around this part of Slovenia, as public transport isn’t as frequent or fast as it could be.
We stayed at Big Berry situated right the banks of the Kolpa River. The resort is made up of seven luxury mobile homes, equipped with a private hot tub, WIFI, and a fully equipped kitchen. Big Berry’s philosophy is all about blending nature and local culture so it was easy for us to book excursions in the local area through them.
In only a few days we managed to go oil tasting at Oljarna Pečarič wine tasting at Malnarič winery, take part in a traditional bread making class at Domačija Šrajf, visit the Krupa river spring and try out paddleboarding right on our doorstep. A great location for those who want to explore a traditional area of Slovenia away from the crowds.
13. Skofja Loka
Suggested by Around the World in 24 Hours
Slovenia is full of beautiful castles. In fact, there are about 500 castles in the small country. The most famous castle is probably the one in Ljubljana, but don’t miss some of the other small castle towns that surround the countryside. And Skofja Loka is definitely a city with a castle that no tourists to Slovenia should miss.
Many people say that Skofja Loka is the best preserved medieval city in Slovenia. Its history dates all the way back to the 10th century. You can spend a wonderful morning here just wandering around the small, winding medieval streets. There are almost no cars, so it will be a peaceful ramble. Some of the most beautiful sights in the town are the 600-year-old Stone Bridge and the Capuchin Church.
Then spend the afternoon exploring Skofja Loka Castle. Just don’t visit on a Monday because the castle museum will be closed. But you can take a walk around the gorgeous grounds of the castle even if the museum is closed. The best time of year to visit will be the summer because the weather will be perfect for exploring.
Because Skofja Loka is so small, it’s best to visit it as a day trip from the capital city, Ljubljana. Try staying at City Hotel Ljubljana.
The staff is extremely friendly, it’s centrally located, and it’s an eco-friendly hotel in a city that is known for being eco-friendly.
14. Lake Bohinj
Suggested by Dhara from It’s Not About the Miles
Lake Bohinj is among the most beautiful of Slovenia’s attractions. Located in Triglav National Park in northwestern Slovenia, Lake Bohinj is a large alpine lake encircled by a ring of tall mountains. There are tons of things to do in Lake Bohinj, so you can easily spend a few days here, but, if you are short on time, Lake Bohinj also makes for one of the best day trips from Ljubljana (or Bled).
At the town of Ribcev Laz, on the eastern end of the lake, you can visit the beautiful Church of Saint John the Baptist.The church has a beautiful location near an old stone bridge, and while it is a small church, the murals inside will astonish you with their beauty and colors.
You can walk around the lakeshore, as far as you wish to go, and then return. If you do the full circuit, it will take you several hours, but it is a beautiful walk. You can walk down steps to the edge of the water and dip your toes in if you like. (Of course, you can swim in Lake Bohinj in the summer!) In the spring and early summer, you will see lots of wildflowers.
You can visit Lake Bohinj year-round. Visit in winter if you enjoy frozen landscapes and winter sports, and in the spring, summer or fall if you want to hike, row a boat, or enjoy other water activities.
Hotel Jezero is a great place for a base at Lake Bohinj. It is right on the water, and features onsite dining.
15. Koper, Slovenia
Suggested by The World Is My Playground.
Koper is the fifth largest city in Slovenia, and one of the most beautiful and charming ones. Located on Slovenia’s Adriatic coast in the Istria region, a 1.5-hour drive from the capital city of Ljubljana, Koper is the biggest of the few coastal cities that exist in the country.
The city is more laid-back than the other coastal cities, like the beach-party destination, Piran. It’s also less touristy and will capture your heart with its Venetian-inspired architecture, pedestrian-only medieval old town and rich history.
Start in Tito Square, the centre of the old town, and the plaza where three of the most important attractions in town are located: Praetorian Palace, Cathedral of the Assumption and the City Tower (Campanile).
The stunning Palace was built in the 15th century in a Venetian gothic and renaissance style and is a symbol in the city as well as the now-site of the tourist office. Book a free tour and explore its history. Then, walk up the bell tower (for 2 euros) for amazing panoramic views of the city. At sunset, you’ll get perfect golden hues over the sea and the old town.
Koper doesn’t have standard beaches with sand, but you can head to City Beach or the public beach if you’re looking to swim. At the City Beach, you’ll find a long pedestrian road that locals use as a beach and to jump in the water, so bring your towel and a change of clothes and jump in, the water is perfect.
The best place to stay is right in the old town, and you’ll have a lot of options! There are many Airbnb properties and hotels that are mere steps from the best attractions in town and from the seaside. The best time to visit is in the offseason, June or September, where you can avoid the scorching heat and crowds and find cheaper prices.
Trenta is a beautiful quaint town which is situated within the Triglav National Park. It’s a very small village which hosts only a handful of accommodation options but nevertheless if you’re looking for a quiet place with a view of the mountains then pick Trenta.
There are plenty of things to do, including checking out Soca River, hiking and visiting the nearby waterfalls. Trenta is located right in the middle of the park which makes it a great base if you are looking for somewhere to explore the natural attractions.
There are plenty of great guesthouses you stay in Trenta but one of the most recommended is House DorMica.
Radovljica is a medieval town which is not too far out of Ljubljana. It’s a very beautiful town equipped with a moat and markets within the summer. The moat is the only standing moat still within Slovenia which makes this a very unique place to visit.
The town has been preserved fantastically so you can see check out the buildings and monuments from the 14th century.
One of the best places to stay is Linhart Hotel, which is situated within a 17th-century building and has been beautifully restored!
Bovec is a popular place for adventure seekers. This small town is popular with people who want to do activities such as white water rafting, biking, cliff jumping, canyoning and more!
One of my favourite things I did there was hiring a bike for the day and doing one of the trails which leads to a waterfall and the countryside. Cycling was a great way to see more of the local way of life and to see some beautiful natural sites!
Bovec is definitely the most popular town within the park and is a base for exploring the area.
One of the most highly reviewed accommodations is Apartments Wallas, which is fully equipped with everything you need to have a holiday in Triglav National park.
Tell me below which places in Slovenia you would love to visit the most?
Other articles you will love:
- Triglav National Park Hiking Guide, Slovenia
- When to Visit Slovenia
- How to get from Ljubljana to Lake Bled
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