Destinations

What to See and to Do in Slovenia: Best Attractions

Iconic Sights and Exciting Destinations in Slovenia

Welcome to Slovenia! The country which is always in the lists of most "underrated" and "under radar" destinations! With it's 40% being mountains and 60% covered with woods Slovenia has everything: skiing resorts, Adriatic sea coast, 400 castles, the most spectacular caves in Europe (no jokes!), 28000 wineries, traditional foods, Alpine lakes and much much more!

Here is a short list of the best places to visit in Slovenia! This small country that, from some point, located in the shadow of its much more famous neighbors: Italy, Croatia and Austria. And that is actually great, as the country continues to be included in the lists of the most underrated, which means “not crowded” even in the season, destinations. Of course, Slovenia attracts more and more visitors every year, but nevertheless remains one of the most “untrodden” countries in Europe by tourists. This article contains the main iconic spots of the country and some of it's "hidden gems". It’s quite difficult to combine some kind of “TOP 10”, so let’s call it “some of the interesting destinations”.

For your convenience, the article contains links to the articles with more detailed descriptions of attractions, and below there is a map with the location of each one of them. Short videos reveal the key features of these tourist sights.

Slovenia Top Attractions and Sights

Lake Bled

Actually, Bled is a small town with a population of about 8,000 people and has been known as a resort since the mid-19th century. The main attraction is undoubtedly the lake of the same name located here. Lake Bled is one of the most famous symbols of Slovenia: stunning views, clear water, a castle hanging over the surface of the lake at an elevation of 130 meters, wooden “pletna” boats gliding along the water surface... Bled has everything to make you come back here more than once.

More detailed information about the lake and surrounding area in a this article

Bled island_Slovenia Private Tours

Lake Bled

Lake Bohinj

The biggest glacial lake in Slovenia, as well as the largest permament lake. Bohinj is a fabulous place, with stunningly clear waters and the peaks of the Julian Alps all around. The name, with a certain degree of probability, goes back to the word Boh (God), perhaps reflecting this natural beauty. In the summer it becomes a very popular holiday destination for guests and, especially, residents of Slovenia. There is even a saying “Bled is for tourists, and Bohinj is for Slovenians.” By the way, when comparing these two lakes, oddly enough, Bohinj wins 80%.

More information about Bohinj in this article

Lake Bohinj

Triglav National Park

With an area of 839 square kilometers, it is the only national park in Slovenia. It got its name from Mount Triglav (2864 meters), which is the highest point in Slovenia and the Julian Alps. In addition, Triglav is one of the national symbols of the country, depicted on the coat of arms and flag. It takes a very long time to explore all the area of the national park. This includes Lake Bohinj, Vintgar Gorge, Mežakla Plateau, Russian Road over Vršić Pass, Vrata Valley and much more. Visiting these areas with public transport is possible only very selectively, but there are plenty of options for walking/hiking routes.

More information about Triglav national park here

Triglav National park_Slovenia Travel

Triglav National Park

Postojna Cave

It is not an exaggeration to say that Slovenia is the cave capital of the world. The first caves explored and opened to the public, the first with electric lighting, the first cave railway - it's all here. Even the very concept and name of “karst processes”, which you have heard about if you have been in at least one cave before, comes from the Kras region in Slovenia. It’s for reason that the cave near the town of Postojna is called the “Queen of Caves”! All the beauty and colorfulness of the interior decoration is almost impossible to describe; you definitely need to visit it yourself.

More detailed information about the Postojna Cave

Postojnska Jama_Tours in Slovenia

Predjama Castle

Along with Bled, the castle near the village of Predjama firmly holds the lead among the most famous and photographed spots in Slovenia. Embed into a steep cliff, Predjama Castle amazes with its unusual architecture and picturesque location. The castle has been known in written sources since the 13th century and for a long time was the home of the family of barons Yamsky (Luger), from which the most famous one, Erasmus, came. This is a semi-mythical person about whom many legends are composed. Nowadays, the castle houses an interesting museum exhibition.

More detailed information about Predjama Castle in this article

Predjama castle_Ljubljana Tour Guide

Predjama Castle in Winter

Ljubljana

The capital of Slovenia is one of the smallest in Europe. The population of Ljubljana is only 300,000 people, but the city is very vibrant and nice. It’s a true pleasure to walk around the historical center: there is some of the Middle Ages, there is baroque architecture of the 17th-18th centuries, and there is modernism at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. Ljubljana city center is pedestrianized and is one of the most pedestrian-friendly in Europe. The city boasts several large parks, and in 2016 Ljubljana received the title of Green Capital of Europe, and in 2022 was awarded the best European destination. Plus, Ljubljana is an excellent starting point for your travels: almost any part of the country is no more than 1.5 hours away, the same to Zagreb and Trieste, Rijeka and Graz. Venice is 2.5 hours away, and Vienna is 3.5 hours away - isn't that the center of Europe?

More detailed information about Ljubljana and excursions around Ljubljana

An article about best places to visit in Ljubljana

Hungry yet? Best affordable restaurants/foods in Ljubljana

Ljubljana Tour Guide

Lipica stud farm

At the end of the 16th century, a stud farm appeared near the small village of Lipica (linden), where they began to breed magnificent white horses - Lipizzaners (Lipizza breed). A white horse is something fabulous: a prince must ride it to his princess. But there is a nuance: there are no white (at the moment of birth) horses. Therefore, in an effort to create them artificially, people began to carefully cultivate a gene that whitens horse hair over time. This is how the Lipizzan breed, one of the symbols of the Austrian monarchy, appeared. Nowadays Lipica stud farm is the oldest in Europe and, in addition to excursions, there are interesting performances here that are definitely worth a visit.

More information about Lipica stud farm

Lipica stud farm official website

Lipica Stud farm_Slovenia tours

Lipica Stud Farm

Jezersko Valley and Planšarsko Lake

Not the most famous and visited attraction in Slovenia, but at the same time, one of my favorite places. I like it so much that even on the background of the main page of this site you will find the small Planšarsko lake, and not Bled. It is almost always quiet and peaceful here, even in the summer season. Jezersko is a settlement (more precisely, several) and a beautiful valley at the foot of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, almost on the very border with Austria. The valley is located at an altitude of more than 1000 meters above sea level and offers magnificent views, tourist farms with opportunities to join the local culture and small museums dedicated to local history and traditions. In addition to the above, there are many opportunities for trekking and day trips. Well, the highlight is the small artificial lake Planšarsko, beautiful at any time of the year.

Планшарское озеро_Экскурсии в Словении

Savica Waterfall

There are many waterfalls in Slovenia and this is one of the most interesting. Far from being the highest (this is Boka in the Soča River valley with a height of 154 meters), but very picturesque and even, in a sense, sacred. The height of the Savica waterfall is 78 meters and it is located at the source of the river of the same name. The Savica River, in turn, feeds Lake Bohinj. Franze Preseren wrote a poem “Baptism on Savica”; according to some sources, it was in these places that the first Slovenians were baptized. Entrance to the waterfall is paid (3-4 euros) and involves as many as 550 steps up: keep this in mind before visiting.

More detailed information about Savica waterfall

Savica Waterfalls_Private Tours Slovenia

Savica Waterfall

Piran

Piran, with its 3000 inhabitants, is very difficult to name a "city" or even a town. However, this small settlement never fails to attract visitors. Some call Piran “the prettiest town in Slovenia,” while others claim that this is what Venice would look like if it were a small town. Situated on the seashore, close to the border with Croatia, Piran is considered the pearl of the Slovenian “obala” (coast). For a long time, Piran was under the rule of Venice and this is very noticeable in the architecture and way of life of the town. In general, the coast of Slovenia differs sharply from other regions and Piran can be called the most colorful point in this part of the country.

More information about the sights of Piran

Piran_Koper Shore Excursions

Piran

Vintgar Gorge

Not far from Bled there is another famous place. One of the most visited attractions in the area is Vintgar Gorge. The canyon formed in the valley of the Radovna River has been known to local residents since ancient times. But the steep slopes of the rocks, narrowness and turbulent river made it inaccessible to visitors. At the end of the 19th century, the first wooden pedestrian paths over the river were equipped, and since then the gorge has only been gaining popularity. The gorge itself is 1600 meters long, but the walking route is circular and the total length of the walk can be up to 5.5 km. Don't forget to buy your tickets in advance!

Detailed information about the Vintgar Gorge

Vintgar gorge_slovenia guide

Vintgar Gorge

Soča River

It’s literally not possible to describe all the local beauty and scenic sights, and there’s no need to. You need to visit it here, preferably for a few days, and enjoy it. Soča is located a little away from the main tourist routes in Slovenia: it is separated from Ljubljana and Bled by the vastness of Julian Alps and their foothills. That's why not everyone gets here and that's...great! Without any exaggeration the fabulous beauty of the valley with many natural wonders and man-made attractions, with history, with a variety of landscapes, it is not so visited. Take advantage of it!

More information about Soča river is in this article

Soca River_Slovenia Tours

Soca River

Štanjel

Kras region has a lot to offer: caves, wineries, castles and many Italian-style villages. Štanjel is at once a castle, a village, and a fortified settlement. The name can be pronounced a little differently, in English manner it is something like Shtaniel, but if you want to sound like a true local, then it should turn out something like Shtaniv. A village on a hill, surrounded by a fortress wall, with the remains of an ancient fortification on top, narrow streets, typical houses made of local stone (even with stone roofs), a wonderful Ferrari garden (no, not because of the car brand), small cafes with local wines, cheeses and prŠut (prosciutto)...it's a fabulous place you won't want to leave.

Stanjel village

Škocjan Caves

In general, the number and diversity of Slovenian caves are enormous and it's not that easy to single out even the 10 best. But there are still two most visited caves in Slovenia: in addition to the already mentioned Postojna cave, the second world famous cave in Slovenia is Škocjanska cave (Škocjanske jame). By the way, it is the one included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is simply pointless to describe the grandeur of the galleries, the majesty of the halls, and the awe-inspiring dimensions of the gigantic underground space! Let me just say that you can spend several hours here, since in addition to visiting the cave itself, the surrounding karst valleys offer many options for scenic walking routes. Don't forget to buy your tickets in advance!

Visit Škocjan Caves official website

Trieste

There is a joke in Slovenia:

Question: What is the most beautiful city in Slovenia? Answer: Trieste.

And like any joke, there is only some humor in it. In general, the attitude of Slovenians towards Trieste is very specific and many seriously believe that it has no place in Italy. Such a unique Slovenian Crimea, if we draw an analogy. Of course, no one is going to fight for this, but the slogan “Trst je nas” (Trieste is ours) can be seen/heard relatively often. The city is often considered just a port, and it's certainly not so! An unusual mixture of Italy and Austria (Trieste had been part of the Habsburg monarchy for centuries until 1918), interesting architecture, wonderful museums, and the Miramare Palace alone makes it worth to visit the area! The story is generally very entertaining, but that's a topic for another article. Overall, this place is definitely not worth missing.

More information about Miramare palace is here

Miramare castle_Slovenia Tours

Miramare Palace, Trieste

Rakov Škocjan

This is an intricate name of a part of the Rak River valley, which is a landscape park. By the way, this was the first such park on the territory of present-day Slovenia, and it was absolutely no coincidence. Guests of Slovenia are shown Rakov Škocjan rarely and in vain. There is a stunning karst valley with caves and grottoes, gigantic natural bridges and a picturesque river valley. At the same time, the place is relatively sparsely visited and is not crowded even in high season. Most often, Slovenians and neighbors come here: Italians and Austrians. Getting here by public transport is somewhat inconvenient, but I highly recommend visiting it!

Rakov Skocjan_Slovenia Tours

Škofja Loka

"Bishop's meadow" - this is the exact translation of the name of this beautiful town, about 30 min drive from Ljubljana. Škofja Loka is considered to be the best preserved "medieval" town in Slovenia. Certainly, it can be named medieval only from some point as most part of the houses comes from XVI-XVII centuries (and that is technically not medieval age), but it's still very well preserved and simply pretty throughout the year. Apart from that, Škofja Loka has has a wonderful castle museum (one of the best in Slovenia) which is located on the top of the hill and give you the opportunity to find out more about local history and peculiarities.

More information about Škofja Loka

Peričnik Waterfall

This picturesque waterfall, 54 meters high, is located in the Vrata Valley, approximately halfway between Bled and Krajnska Gora. In fact, there are two waterfalls here, there is also a 17-meter upper one. It’s just more difficult to climb to it and not everyone gets there. The Vrata Valley is interesting in itself, because if you walk (or drive) through it completely (all 9 km), you will find yourself in front of the enormous northern façade of Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia, and this is very impressive. But the Peričnik Waterfall deserves attention in itself: you can walk around it, literally behind a wall of water. It is almost always full of water, although in summer the water flow decreases.

Pericnik waterfall_Guide in Slovenia

Ptuj

Ptuj is not just the oldest city in Slovenia. This is a small but very colorful and picturesque town on the banks of the Drava River with perfectly preserved architecture of the medieval center, monuments of the ancient era and a magnificent castle. The castle houses an opulent museum, arguably, one of the best in Slovenia. And Ptuj is home to annual festival “Kurentovanje”, which takes place in February and which, if I were you, I would visit at at least once: you will be impressed!

More information about Ptuj

Ptuj - Tours in Slovenia

Source of the Kamniska Bistrica river

The river itself is very picturesque and in some places forms beautiful canyons and gorges. But many are attracted by its source, which is located in stone chaos, buried in moss. The water pours into a small mountain lake of a beautiful turquoise green (or deep blue, depending on the time of year) color and goes further down the valley. There are many hiking and cycling routes in the surrounding area, a couple of hundred meters away is the hunting lodge of Yugoslavian King Alexander I, and along the way there is a cable car to Velika Pokljuka. In general, a very remarkable area: it’s highly likely that it will take you more than a couple of days to get around everything.

Исток Камнишки быстрицы_гид в словении

Fort Kluze

For lovers of military history, the area of the Soča River, Kobarid and the regions of Slovenia bordering Italy are true gem. Here you can find many fortifications, the country's only (and very remarkable) World War One museum, and also visit some very historical places. For example, Soča (under the Italian name Isonzo) is the setting of the novel “A Farewell to Arms” by Ernest Hemingway. He took part in the battles in these places and knew about what was happening first-hand. The Kluze Fort is just one of the military attractions of the area; now there is an interesting museum exhibition inside. By the way, it survived to nowadays in an excellent condition for an unusual reason: by the beginning of WWI it was considered obsolete and a new and modern one was built nearby. So the modern one was completely razed it to the ground by the war events.

Форт Клуже_Гид в Словении

Jamnik. Church of St. Primoz and Felician

Perhaps this is one of the most "not obvious" and non-tourist attractions in Slovenia. A small church named after highly revered saints here, which is opened only a few times a year. Located near a tiny village, lost in the mountains, away from all tourist trails. But what views there are! The church is located on a ridge of the mountain range and from here you can clearly see the entire Gorenjska region of Slovenia. Yes, there are other churches, lost in the mountains and with beautiful views, but personally this is my #1. Plus, along the way there is the most interesting town of Kropa, which can be an independent travel destination. The only negative: it is almost impossible to get there by public transport.

St.Primoz and Felician church_Tours Slovenia

Logar Valley

It is located on the border with Austria and, often, it is even more convenient to enter it through Austrian territory. It would be correct to say that there is not one valley, but three: Logar valley, Robanov Kot and Matkov Kot. All three are beautiful, but Logar is the largest and most famous. Some argue that it is even the most picturesque glacial valley in Europe, but this is, of course, subjective. You can ride or walk through the valley itself; in its depths there is the second highest waterfall in Slovenia - the 90-meter Rinka. Well, we should separately highlight the Solcava panoramic road, which runs opposite these valleys and gives unique views! Slovenians love these places very much! Apparently so much that they don’t want to share information with guests so the valley not to be trampled on.

Logar valley_Tours in Slovenia

Tolmin Gorge

A beautiful place that is often compared to the Vintgar Gorge, near Bled. As for me, they are quite different: the gorge in Tolmin is wilder and significantly less visited, although it has been known since ancient times. Stunningly beautiful turquoise water, caves and grottoes through which the paths pass, the “Devil's Bridge” over the abyss of the gorge - everything is beautiful here. In the surrounding area there is one of the many local caves: Zadlaška or Dante's Cave, 1140 meters long. According to a legend, at the beginning of the 14th century, Dante Alighieri stayed at Patriarch's Pagano della Torre place in Tolmin. During his stay here, he visited the cave, where he found inspiration for histhe Divine Comedy, in which the Zadlaška cave became a prototype of hell.

Tolmin gorge_Slovenia and Croatia tours

Best Places to Visit in Slovenia