Magical Places to Visit in Slovenia in 2023

by Anjali Chawla

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Slovenia enchants its visitors with its extraordinary mix of natural, cultural, and natural attractions. There’s no dearth of beautiful places in Slovenia. In this post, we have tried to list down the best places to visit in Slovenia that let you experience each aspect of the country. Get ready to explore the best of Slovenia!

Slovenia Travel Essentials

Here are the essential resources I personally use and recommend for planning a trip to Slovenia.

For travel insurance: Heymondo. It’s the most affordable travel insurance with maximum coverage. You get 5% off if you use my link.

For Connectivity: Airalo. It’s the first-ever eSIM global website where you can buy an eSIM at affordable prices and stay connected while traveling.

For booking flights: Skyscanner and WayAway. They are the best search/comparison flight booking sites that help you find the best and cheapest flight deals. And with the WayAway membership plan, you’ll get cashback for every booking. Plus, with the special promo code “MELODIES” a 10% discount is activated.

Visa for Slovenia: iVisa works great for applying for a fast e-visa online. Also, OneWayFly is great if you need to show proof of onward travel (flight itinerary) or hotel reservation. You might need a Schengen Visa for Slovenia. Read our complete guide to applying for Schengen Visa.

International money transfer & currency exchange: Wise. With competitive exchange rates, fast transfers, and a 9.1/10 rating on TrustPilot, it’s the only service you should use every time you transfer and exchange internationally.

For finding accommodations: and Agoda. They are the pioneers among hotel booking websites that give you a lot of choices with their huge selection of properties reviewed by travelers.

For rental car: Discover Cars. It’s the best international car rental platform for all your car rental needs.

For ground transport: Omio, RailEurope, and Bookaway. Best sites for booking bus and train tickets in Slovenia.

For tours & day trips: ViatorGet Your Guide, and Klook. They offer the best city tours and day excursions in Slovenia.

For culinary experience: Cookly. It’s the best site when it comes to booking authentic cooking classes and food tours in Slovenia.

For guidance on the go: A Lonely Planet Guidebook for Slovenia comes in handy here for the most relevant and up-to-date recommendations on what to do and what not. Lonely Planet Guidebooks have been our trusted travel friend for years now.

The Very Best Places to Visit in Slovenia

At the intersection of Austria, Italy, Croatia, and Hungary, sits the little ‘Garden of Europe’ – Slovenia. For such a small country, it packs a sweeping visual punch – vibrant cities, charming villages, gushing waterfalls, turquoise lakes, mighty Alps, lovely Adriatic coastline, cliffside castles, lush forests, and mystic caves. Slovenia, in essence, is a treasure trove of natural beauty!

Out of endless beautiful places to visit in Slovenia, here are some of the best and prettiest places wrapped into a teeny-weeny country.

Best Cities in Slovenia

Ljubljana: The Slovenian Capital is One of the Most Beautiful Cities in Slovenia

ljubljana best places to visit in slovenia

The green capital of a green country, Ljubljana is one of the most beautiful cities in Slovenia. It’s surrounded by parks (they have one right in the city center – Tivoli Park!) and protected natural areas.

One of the smallest capitals in Europe (means best explored on foot or bike), the Slovenian capital offers diverse experiences – cultural, historical, outdoor, and gastronomical.

New experiences and attractions unfold as you stroll the streets of Ljubljana Old Town. Dragon Bridge, Ljubljana Castle, Plecnik House, Central Market, and National Gallery are the top 5 places that you must visit when in Ljubljana.

Ljubljana is emerging as one of the top culinary destinations in Europe. Book an authentic food tour with a Food Tour Ljubljana that takes you on a culinary exploration of the city.

How to Get to Ljubljana: Fly into Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport or take a bus or drive from anywhere in Slovenia or the nearest European cities like Zagreb, Vienna, Budapest, and Bratislava.

Recommended Hotel: Hotel Nox

Not your style? Search more hotels in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Recommended Tour: Ljubljana 2-Hour Walking Tour and River Cruise

Looking for something else? Search the Best Tours and Activities in Ljubljana


maribor slovenian cities beautiful

Set along the Drava River in Lower Styria near the Austrian border, enveloped by the Pohorje woodland and pretty wine-growing hills, Maribor is a compact & charming city in Slovenia.

Popularly known as the city of wine, Maribor is home to the oldest vine (dating back to 400 years) in the world, located in the oldest part of the city called Lent. It’s a perfect place to taste Slovenia’s wine heritage. Plus, it can be a great base to explore the vineyards in the region.

The center of the city houses beautiful architecture and cozy cafes & bars and makes for a great place to spend lazy evenings. Maribor Cathedral, Vinag Wine Cellar (one of the largest & oldest wine cellars in Europe), and Marbor Regional Museum are some of the best attractions here.

You can also bike or walk (about 30 minutes) to Črno jezero and get lost in the virgin nature. The lake along with its woodland is protected as a forest reserve.

For an enhanced local cultural experience, book yourself a stay at one of the tourist farms just outside the city!

How to Get to Maribor: You can catch a bus or train or drive from Ljubljana to Maribor. The city’s also close to the Austrian city of Graz (65 km).

Recommended Hotel: Tourist Farm Joannes

Not your style? Search for more hotels in Maribor, Slovenia

Recommended Tour: From Ljubljana: Maribor, Ptuj & Heart of the Vineyards

Looking for something else? Search the Best Tours and Activities in Maribor

Kranj: One of the Hidden Gems in Slovenia

kranj best places to visit in slovenia

Kranj is an absolute hidden gem in Slovenia. Located right in the center of Lake Bled and Ljubljana, it makes for a great stop-off while driving from Ljubljana to Bled or vice versa.

We managed to walk and explore Kranj Old Town in less than 3 hours. The Old Town is studded with charming squares, ancient architecture, and pretty cafes. The secret tunnels built during WWII under the city center are worth caving into.

Once you’re done exploring the historic center, head a little out of town to hike Europe’s second-highest canyon, Kokra River Canyon, or maybe take on a beautiful Jamnik Hill Trail if you can manage to commit a little more time.

How to Get to Kranj: Just about 30 minutes away from Ljubljana, there are plenty of bus and train options available from Ljubljana to Kranj. Driving is, of course, the fastest and the best way! You can explore on the way from Ljubljana to Lake Bled or vice versa.

Recommended Hotel: Hotel Actum

Not your style? Search for more hotels in Kranj, Slovenia

Recommended Tour: Alpine Air – City Flair – Tour Of Kranj, Capital Of The Slovenian Alps

Beautiful Lakes in Slovenia

Lake Bled: One of the Most Beautiful Places in Slovenia

lake bled best places to visit in slovenia

The poster child of Slovenia, Lake Bled, pulls travelers from across the world for its extraordinary charm. A list of the best places to visit in Slovenia is incomplete without it!

The bluish-blue Alpine Lake (one of the most beautiful lakes in Slovenia) is surrounded by the Julian Alps with a fairytale castle perched on a rocky cliff and a tiny island in the heart of the lake – you might have seen this iconic view of Lake Bled (look at the pic below) virtually, in endless photographs on Instagram but, you can’t grasp the beauty of it unless you see it with your own eyes.

Walk or bike the entire stretch (6 km) of the lake to experience it from different perspectives. Visit the oldest castle in Slovenia – Bled Castle, hike the Mala Osojnica for some breathtaking views over Lake Bled, feast upon traditional Bled cream cake, or take a quick trip to Lake Bohinj – whatever experiences or activities you choose to indulge in, make sure to find time to slow down and sit by the lake.

How to Get to Lake Bled: Wherever you are coming from and whatever transport option you take, all options travel through Ljubljana. Lake Bled is about 55 km from Ljubljana. You can take a bus or train or drive from Ljubljana to Lake Bled.

Recommended Hotel: Penzion Kaps

Not your style? Search more hotels in and around Lake Bled, Slovenia

Recommended Tour: Rafting and Canyoning Adventure in Bled

Looking for something else? Search the Best Tours and Activities in Bled

Lake Bohinj

lake bohinj slovenia road trip

Lake Bled takes the cake when we talk about lakes in Slovenia, yet, Lake Bohinj is no less. Located within the Bohinj Valley of the Julian Alps inside Triglav National Park, the lake is the largest natural permanent lake in Slovenia.

It’s a perfect spot for travelers looking for a more peaceful (crowd-free) version of Lake Bled.

There are so many activities to take on, especially during summer – you can swim, surf, kayak or canoe, sup, paddle, fish, and snorkel.

You can also admire the crystal clear lake and its surroundings on a panoramic boat ride or take a relaxing walk along its shores or bike around the lake or take the cable car or hike up to Vogel for a bird’s eye view.

A 45-minute 1.1-mile roundtrip hike to Savica waterfall is another popular activity near Lake Bohinj.

The colors of autumn and spring flowers augment the beauty of Lake Bohinj.

Come winter, the lake freezes attracting ice skaters.

Perched on a hill by Lake Bohinj, the 700-year-old Church of St. John Baptist along with the picturesque stone bridge add to the beauty of Lake Bohinj.

Ribčev Laz, Ukanc, Stara Fužina, Srednja Vas, Studor, and Bohinjska Bistrica are the beautiful villages and towns along the lake’s shores.

How to Get to Lake Bohinj: Lake Bohinj is about 83 km from Ljubljana and 28 km from Lake Bled. You can take a bus to one of the nearest villages or towns or drive from Ljubljana or Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj.

Recommended Accommodation: Chalet Zlatorog or Apartments Vila Jelka

Not your style? Search more hotels in and around Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Recommended Tour: Lake Bled & Bohinj with Vintgar Gorge

Looking for something else? Search the Best Tours and Activities in Bohinj

Beautiful Towns and Villages in Slovenia

Piran: Prettiest of Slovenian Towns

piran best places to visit in slovenia

One of the most beautiful towns in Slovenia along the Adriatic Coast, Piran is famous for its Venetian architecture and beautiful harbor. It’s impossible to not fall in love with this most sought-after town in Slovenian Istria.

Piran Old Town with its quaint alleyways and beautifully preserved Venetian Gothic architecture is a delight to explore.

The top things to do in Piran are – Tartini Central Square, Zvonik Campanile Bell Tower, Walls of Piran, Sea Promenade, and Strunjan Nature Park. Piran is a perfect destination for seafood lovers.

How to Get to Piran: Take a bus or train or drive to Piran from Ljubljana (Slovenia), Zagreb (Croatia), Vienna (Austria), Budapest (Hungary), or Bratislava (Slovakia) or take a ferry from Trieste (Italy) or Venice (Italy). Piran can be easily reached from Pula (Croatia) and Rovinj (Croatia) by bus, ferry, or car.

Recommended Hotel: Hotel Piran

Not your style? Search for more hotels in Piran, Slovenia

Recommended Tour: Private Walking Tour of Piran with a Local

Looking for something else? Search the Best Tours and Activities in Piran

Beautiful Gorges & Valleys in Slovenia

Vintgar Gorge

vintgar gorge best places to visit in slovenia

The masterpiece of nature in Slovenia, Vintgar Gorge, is super close to Bled. Also known as Soteska Gorge or Bled Gorge, it’s a 1.6 km (1 mile approx.) canyon created by Radovna River inside Triglav National Park. You can’t miss Vintgar Gorge, one of the easiest and the best hikes in Triglav National Park.

The beautiful hike (roundtrip) that takes you over wooden walkways (Žumer Galleries) along Radovna can take anywhere between 2 to 3 hours, including the time you spend stopping by for photo opportunities.

While you discover beauty at every turn, Šum waterfall and Bohinj Railway Bridge remain the high points of the Vintgar Gorge hike.

Explore the gorge as a half-day trip from Bled. Plan a visit as soon as Vintgar Gorge opens. That way, you’ll get to enjoy the beauty of the canyon in peace.

How to Get to Vintgar Gorge: You can reach Vintgar Gorge from Lake Bled by bus or train or shuttle or taxi or bike or walk.

Recommended Tour: Self-Guided E-Bike Tour of Vintgar Gorge from Bled

Mostnica Gorge

mostnica gorge lake bohinj slovenia

Close to the village of Stara Fužina, Mostnica Gorge is a 2 km long gorge created by the alpine river of Mostnica running through the Voje Valley inside Triglav National Park.

The gorge and the alpine valley are among the most scenic natural attractions in Bohinj, Slovenia.

As you make your way through the gorge, along the edge of the rocks, you’ll witness crystal-clear water, gushing waterfalls, and lush woodland.

The roundtrip hike takes about 2 to 3 hours and is pretty doable with young kids, however, be cautious as the trail isn’t fenced.

The gorge is quite popular for its uniquely-shaped rocks, Little Elephant being the most beautiful rock formation.

The ancient single-arch Devil’s Bridge at the start of the gorge and Voje Waterfall at the end of the gorge are two of the main features along the trail.

A little mountain hut, Koca na Vojah, at the top of the gorge is an ideal place to grab a bite.

How to Get to Mostnica Gorge: You can take a bus or taxi to Stara Fužina and walk to the gorge.

Tolmin Gorge

tolmin gorge soca valley slovenia

Tolmin Gorge aka Tolminska Korita, a gorgeous natural wonder in Soča Valley, Slovenia, is where Tolminka and Zadlaščica rivers merge.

Formed at the lowest and southern point of Triglav National Park, the gorge trail offers amazing hiking opportunities to enjoy the turquoise water, cascading glacial streams, natural pools, dramatic moss-covered canyons, and waterfalls.

The hike can take anywhere between 1.5 to 2 hours.

The best viewpoints and attractions along the trail are the point where the confluence of Tolminka and Zadlaščica Rivers take place, a thermal spring, the Bear’s Head (a huge boulder stuck in between canyon walls resembling a bear’s head), the Dante’s or Zadlaška Cave, the Devil’s Bridge, and the Panoramic Bridge.

How to Get to Tolmin Gorge: You can take a bus or taxi or drive to Tolmin from where you can walk (2 km or 1.2 miles) or take a shuttle bus (runs only during summer) to the gorge.

Recommended Tour: Soča River Cycling Day Trip from Tolmin

PS: If you are planning to explore the beautiful Soča Valley & the Julian Alps, you can base yourself in Kobarid, a tiny town located on the Soča River.

Soca River Valley

soca river valley slovenia

Soca River Valley is a haven for nature and adventure lovers. The valley also takes you back in time through the tragic history of World War I making it a nice destination for culture & heritage enthusiasts.

A road trip through the valley stopping by the charming villages and towns en voyage is the best way to absorb the beauty it holds.

Bovec, a stunning town under Mount Triglav presents a wealth of opportunities for its visitors. Marvel at the highest waterfall in Slovenia, Boka Waterfall, hike to the largest alpine lake in Slovenia, Lake Krn, drive through the highest pass in Slovenia, Vršič Pass to Mt. Mangart, sample indigenous Bovek cheese, visit an important cultural attraction of Fort Kluže, and indulge in adventurous activities like paragliding, river rafting, and swimming.

Kobarid, a tiny town where the shocking history of WWI unfolds, Kobarid Museum showcases it the right way. The ancient Napolean Bridge is a perfect place to soak in the emerald green colors and roars of the Soča River. A 45-minute hike to Kozjak Waterfall with a stunningly blue pool from the center of the town is a must-do. Kobarid can be a great base while exploring the region as it’s known for its world-class restaurants and great accommodation options.

A ride on the museum train on Bohinj Railway is a beautiful historic experience.

Tolmin, the largest town in Soca Valley has beautiful Tolmin Gorge and a European Cultural Heritage Site, Javorca, a memorial church of the Holy Spirit.

That’s not all! River Soča is popular worldwide for fly fishing, a unique sport. indigenous Soča trout is one of the most popular fish of Soča Valley.

How to Get to Soca River Valley: Take a bus or train or drive to Most na Soči from Ljubljana. If you are coming by public transport, you can travel further into Soča Valley from Most na Soči via local bus or private transfer. Rent a car and take a road trip through lush valleys, along rivers, and through charming towns and villages for the best experience. 

Recommended Accommodation: Apartma Panorama

Not your style? Search for more hotels in Soča Valley, Slovenia

Recommended Tours: Bovec Zipline Adventure | Original Emerald River Adventure

Looking for something else? Search the Best Tours and Activities in Soča Valley

Mysterious Caves in Slovenia

Postojna Cave & Predjama Castle

postojna best places to visit in slovenia

An hour away from Ljubljana, Postojna (post-oy-nah) is a town in Slovenia’s Coast and Karst region. The town is well-known for its world-class attractions – Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle.

Postojna Cave, often dubbed the Queen of Caves, is a unique karst cave. A 90-minute historic train journey takes you to the 24-kilometer-long underground network of galleries, chambers, and corridors. The cave, at 10 °C temperature remains wet and chilly all through the year so, make sure to dress appropriately.

9 km north of Postojna is located in the largest cave castle in the world, Predjama Castle. This 800-year-old medieval fairytale castle is perched in the middle of the 123-meter high rock cliff and has been an abode to the legendary knight, Erazem Predjamski. A free shuttle helps the visitors commute between Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle.

Predjama Castle Postojna Slovenia

How to Get to Postojna: You can drive to Postojna from anywhere in Slovenia or the nearest European cities like Zagreb, Milan, Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, and Belgrade. Postojna is best reached by car or bus or train from Ljubljana (Slovenia), Rijeka (Croatia), Pula (Croatia), Trieste (Italy), and Venice (Italy).

Recommended Hotel: Postojna Cave Hotel Jama

Not your style? Search for more hotels in Postojna, Slovenia

Recommended Tour: Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle from Ljubljana

Looking for something else? Search the Best Tours and Activities in Postojna

Škocjan Caves

Škocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a quick (half-an-hour) journey away from Postojna. An extensive subterranean limestone cave system, Škocjan Caves consist of some of the largest underground canyons and chambers, bridges, collapse dolines, quite a few waterfalls, and a rushing underground river (Reka).

The best way to explore the cave system is on a guided tour.

Škocjan is less touristy but difficult to explore with kids and senior citizens when compared to Postojna.

If you’ve time, you can explore both Škocjan as well as Postojna.

How to Get to Skocjan: About 4 km from the town of Divača, Skocjan is best reached by car or bus, or train from Ljubljana (Slovenia). You can combine the visit with Postojna as the distance between them is just about 30 minutes.

Recommended Hotel: Hostel Škrla

Not your style? Search for more hotels near Skocjan, Slovenia

Recommended Tour: Skocjan UNESCO Caves and Piran Full-Day Tour

Looking for something else? Search the Best Tours and Activities in Skocjan

Most Beautiful Scenic Routes in Slovenia

Solčava Panoramic Road

logar valley solcava panoramic road

One of the most scenic roads in Slovenia, Solčava Panoramic Road takes you through mountain slopes, mighty alps like Kamnik-Savinja Alps, beautiful valleys, teeny-weeny hamlets, local farms, and lush forests and lets you drink in the alpine scenery of the cultural heritage region of Solcava.

Each and every turn on this 37 km route begs you to stop and admire and presents a beautiful photo op! And, you can’t miss the sight of endemic Solčava sheep!

Solčavsko, comprising three valleys – Logar Valley aka Logarska Dolina (one of the most beautiful glacial valleys in Europe), Robanov Kot, and Matkov kot are the highpoint of this road trip.

Discover the legends of Lintver, the mighty dragon, and white doves.

Rinka Waterfall in Logar Valley, Potočka zijalka, Matkov škaf, and Church of St. Mary of the Snows are mandatory stops!

Also, if you plan to spend more than a day in the region, there are diverse themed hiking and mountaineering routes to take.

Recommended Accommodation: Tourist Farm Ambroz Gregorc

Not your style? Search for more hotels along Solčava panoramic road

Mangrtska Cesta or the Mangart Road to Mangart Saddle or Mangart Pass

mangart saddle road slovenia

At about 2072 meters, the road to Mangart Pass is the highest road in Slovenia. In fact, I also found it one of the narrowest roads we ever drove!

With 17 hairpin bends and five rock-carved tunnels, it’s 12 km of pure adventure.

Making your way up through a forest, you reach the top of the Mangart Saddle. A short hike takes you to the vantage point from where you can admire the views over the Log Koritnica Valley in Slovenia and Fusine Lakes in Italy.

The roundtrip takes a little over an hour.

Best National Parks in Slovenia

Triglav National Park: One of the Most Beautiful National Parks in Slovenia

triglav national park best places to visit in slovenia

The only national park in Slovenia, Triglav National Park is home to Mt Triglav, its namesake, and Slovenia’s highest peak. From colossal mountains, Alpine meadows, river valleys, lakes, waterfalls, and forests to canyons, caves, and diverse flora and fauna -the national park lavishly unearths the natural treasures to its visitors.

It’s here where you can spot Zlatorog (Alpine ibex), a legendary golden-horned chamois buck!

Your trip to Triglav National Park is incomplete without hiking one of the many beautiful nature trails in the park. Triglav Lakes Valley Hike is one of our favorites as it’s utterly scenic as well as easy to complete with kids in tow.

The Soča Trail, a 25 km stunning nature trail takes you through the park’s best natural attractions and cultural monuments. A guided tour is the best bet here.

Apart from hiking, walking, and biking, taking a scenic drive is another way to enjoy the park. A winding drive from Bled to Bovec via Vršič (the highest mountain pass in Slovenia) is a perfect introduction to Triglav National Park.

A little away from Bovec, is the historic town of Kobarid, best known for the WW1 Battle of Caporetto. You can enjoy adventure sports like ziplining, kayaking, caving, canyoning, and whatnot in Bovec and Kobarid. Don’t miss the high points of a drive between Bovec and Kobarid – Boka and Kopzjak waterfalls.

All in all, Triglav National Park is the topmost attraction in Slovenia for outdoor-loving families. We drove the circular route from Bled up over the Julian Alps into the Soca Valley, through Bovec and Kobarid to Bohinj, and back to Bled, and absolutely recommend it to everyone who wants to capture the essence of Triglav National Park.

It’s recommended to rent a car to travel to Triglav from Ljubljana (1 hour) or Bled (30 minutes). You can also take one of the guided tours.

How to Get to Triglav National Park: Though there are regional buses available from Ljubljana to Kranjska Gora (gateway to Triglav), driving is the best way to travel. Villach, Austria is also quite close (23 km) to the national park from where a train takes you to Jesenice and further a bus to Kranjska Gora.

Recommended Accommodation: Apartments and rooms Kravanja

Not your style? Search for more hotels near Triglav National Park

Recommended Tours: Triglav National Park Tour from Ljubljana | Triglav National Park Tour from Bled

Looking for something else? Search the Best Tours and Activities in Triglav

Hope you enjoyed the round-up of our favorite places to visit in Slovenia. Did it inspire you enough to plan a trip to Slovenia? Where in Slovenia would you like to go? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Recommended Reading:

Renting a Car in Europe
Schengen Visa for Europe
How to Plan a Trip to Europe
7 Days in Slovenia Road Trip Itinerary
A First Timer’s Guide to Ljubljana, Slovenia
Best Things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Kranj, Slovenia

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Anjali Chawla

A story-weaver, and a writer, Anjali is a true-blue traveler. Her passion for travel and writing inspired her to handcraft this space she calls her virtual home. She travels far and wide to experience new cultures and bring back stories to share with her readers. Her hubby and her 14-year-old daughter are her best travel buddies. Join her as she unclothes the beauty and culture around the world, one place at a time.

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