Slovenia is a very diverse country located in the south central Europe. Their neighbours are Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. You can find a lot of different things and many beautiful places in Slovenia on a very small place. So in max. 1-2 hours of driving from capital city Ljubljana you can visit Julian Alps, sea Adriatic Sea, visit some world famous caves, swim in some lake, go into mountains, enjoy in some of many spas, do rafting on some wild river and much more.
Slovenia - Map
Best places to see in Slovenia
- Ljubljana - Very charming old town centre of capital of Slovenia
- Piran - Old mediterranean town with nice squares and narrow streets
- Velika planina - High mountain plateau with special huts and wonderful views of mountains
- Soca River - Beautiful turquoise river with its troughs
- Julian Alps - National Park Triglav is must see for nature and mountain lovers
- Bled - Fairytale place with lake and island and castle above lake
- Bohinj - Lake with neighbourhood that offers a lot of sport activities for nature lovers
- Maribor - 2nd largest city in Slovenia near river Drava with interesting old town
- Postojna cave and Skocjan caves - World famous caves worth to see
- Predjama castle - Very interesting castle build on the wall
- Logar Valley - One of the most beautiful Alpine valleys in Slovenia
And many other natural and culture attractions in Slovenia.
Photos of Slovenia
Must See Places in Slovenia by Thematic
Slovenia has many interesting places to visit so I will suggest you some of them depending of your interests.
Slovenia has many beautiful old town centres from larger to smaller. Ljubljana is for sure the most visited. But you should visit also Maribor, Ptuj, Piran, Koper, Izola, Skofja Loka, Celje, Kranj, Vipava etc. For someone can be interested to visit small old towns near Slovenia seaside.
Slovenia is very diverse so you can find also many interesting natural sights:
- lakes - Lake Bled, Bohinj Lake, Cerknica Lake, Smartinsko Lake, Lake Zavrsnica, etc.
- mountains, hills - a lot of mountains around Julian Alps, Karavanke, Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Pohorje, etc.
- waterfalls - Savica Waterfall, Rinka Waterfall, Martuljek Waterfalls, Boka Waterfall, etc.
- caves - Postojna Cave, Skocjan Caves, Pekel Cave, Kostanjevica Cave, etc.
- gorges, canyons, troughs - Big Soca Troughs, Tolmin Gorge, Predaselj Gorge, etc.
- valleys - Vrata, Krma, Logar, Planica - Tamar, Robanov kot etc.
Cultural and Historical Sights
- castles - Predjama Castle, Velenje Castle, Bled Castle, Otocec Castle, etc.
- monasteries - Zice Monastery, Bistra Monastery, Pleterje, Sticna Abbey, etc.
- monuments, statues - Drazgose, Concentration Camp Ljubelj, Kugy Monument, etc.
- museums - almost in every town and castle you can find some
- town halls
Lake Bled is probably most tourist spot in Slovenia. Place looks like from fairy tale. There's an island on the lake, above the lake is Bled Castle, around are mountains. You can rent your own boat to row around the island or just use some special kind of boat named "Pletna" to come to island. If you like to hike you can walk around the lake or climb up to some hill above lake. In summer you can swim and enjoy on many beaches around lake.
Piran is old mediterranean town on Slovenian coast. There are many narrow streets that has spirit of history. Tartini Square is main square in Piran with Tartini Statue. Giuseppe Tartini was Italian composer and violinist. Above Piran is beautiful Church of St. George. A little further is Piran Walls where you can climb up and enjoy on great view of Piran and Adriatic Sea.
Ljubljana is the capital city of Slovenia. It is located almost in the centre of Slovenia so it is good starting point for day trips to other places in Slovenia. In Ljubljana you should see the old town centre below Ljubljana castle and around river Ljubljanica. There is nice to sit down, drink something, relax ... There are many places to visit: museums, bars and restaurant, shops, Tivoli park, concerts ... If you prefer shopping you should visit BTC City where are hundreds of shops, many cinemas, water park and much more.
Vintgar Gorge is a very interesting gorge not so far away from Bled. There is attractive walking trail inside gorge. Most interesting part is where you are walking on some galleries above emerald river Radovna. At the end of the gorge is big waterfall Sum and bar where you can buy some beverages. Despite it is quite easy to walk is anyway suggested to use good sport shoes cause on some part could be a little slippery.
Velika Planina is high mountain plateau near Kamnik-Savinja Alps in Slovenia. Most interesting thing there is shepherd's village with unique type cottages. You can use gondola to come to Velika Planina. Starting point is about 10kms from Kamnik. There are many hiking tracks around Velika Planina with beautiful view of the mountains around. In wintertime you can also ski there.
Zice Carthusian Monastery
Zice Carthusian Monastery is located not so far away from highway between Celje and Maribor in the municipality Slovenske Konjice. I was really fascinated with all these buidings when I visited this place. Some parts of the monastery are renewed, the other part is more in ruins. There is also museum about history of monastery. You can also buy some medicinal herbs. Just nearby is located the oldest guest house in Slovenija named Gastuz.
Strunjan Landscape Park
Slovenian coast is quite short but anyway quite interesting. One of such places is also Strunjan Landscape Park. There are at least two places worth to see. One of them are Salt-Pans and the other is Moon Bay. To the Moon Bay leads nice path that takes you above Strunjan cliff. From there is nice view of the bay from the top. But if you like you can slope down to the sea and also swim there.
Postojna Cave is the most visited tourist attraction in Slovenia and it is also world famous. Visit in the cave start with exciting train ride. After that you are walking around the most attractive parts of the cave that are open for tourists. In the cave is around 10C temperature all the year so you need something more warm to wear if you visit cave in the summer.
Maribor is the 2nd largest city in Slovenia. It is located in the north east part of Slovenia. Maribor has interesting old town centre with many squares worth to visit (Slomsek Square, Castle Square, Main Square ...). Must see place is Lent near river Drava where every year occures Festival Lent. In the Maribor neighbourhood (Maribor Park, Pyramid Hill, Pohorje, Calvary ...) are many places for hiking and other activities.
Lake Bohinj is a wonderful place inside Triglav National Park. There are many possibilities for different activities like hiking, rowing, doing some adrenalin sport, skiing in winter, swimming in Water Park Bohinjska Bistrica or Bohinj Lake in summer. You can take exciting a ride to Vogel with gondola and enjoy in beautiful views of Lake Bohinj and Julian Alps. Most interesting natural sights are Savica Waterfall, Mostnica Gorge, Voje Waterfall ...
For Portoroz sometimes say that it is Slovenian Monaco. There are a lot of hotels and probably the most popular beach in Slovenia. In the evening there are many possibilites where to go something to drink or eat. Alaya is a very popular bar right near beach. It is open through all day but more crowded in the evening. Popular sights around Portoroz are Secovlje Salt-Pans, Forma Viva sculptures and Cacti Garden on Cape Seca and of course very scenic city Piran.
Arboretum Volcji potok
Arboretum Volcji potok is nice park not so far away from Ljubljana. There you can see a lot of different flowers, trees, also some animals. In the park are many small lakes with many paths around for walking. In some part of Arboretum is also Minimundus section where you can see some world famous buildings in smaller versions.
Koper is mediterranean city with very interesting old town centre where you can see many old buildings. Koper with old town centre used to be an island in past with walls around. Most attractive buildings are Praetorian palace, da Ponte Fountain, Muda Gate, Cathedral with Town Tower and many other palaces and churches. I suggest you to climb on Town Tower from where you will have nice view of Koper and its neighbourhood.
Kozjak Waterfall is located near Kobarid in Soca Valley. It takes about half an hour of hiking to get to the waterfall. Of couse it depends where you start your trip. Kozjak Waterfalls is part of the Kobarid historical trail. If you have enough time and you like hiking then I suggest you to see whole trail. It takes a few hours but it is interesting to walk around near Italian defence lines, to see Italian charnel house, cross river Soca and other sights on the way. For me Kozjak Waterfall is for sure the most interesting part on this trail.
Skofja Loka is old mediaeval city that is about 25 km from Ljubljana so you don't have to spend whole day to visit it. It is nice to walk around old town centre squares, streets, maybe sit down to drink something. Then I suggest you to walk to the Loka Castle that is located just right above old town, so you can't miss it. Inside the castle is museum.
Predjama Castle is for sure one of the most interesting castles in Slovenia if not most interesting. It is located about 10 km from Postojna Cave so you can join both trips together and also get some price discount. In the castle are many floors open for visitors and it is really interesting to discover all the passages. On the top floor is also passage to the cave behind the castle. If you like old castles then visit of Prejama Castle is must see!
Kranj is 4th biggest city in Slovenia. Most interesting part of Kranj is old town centra that stands on the small hill above river Kokra and Sava. There you can still see parts of old city walls, some towers, churches, old squares ... Just near the old town centre you can descent into Kokra canyon where is circular trail. I suggest you to go (possible also with car) on Smarjetna gora hill too where is nice view on Kranj and Karavanke mountains.
Lake Jasna is beautiful artificial lake near Kranjska Gora. It is just near the entrance into Triglav National Park so you can't miss if you are driving to Vrsic pass. It is nice to walk around the lake and enjoy in wonderful view of all the mountains around. You can see also rock-goat statue. In summer you can a little cool down if you put your legs into cold lake water.
River Soca is beautiful emerald river that flows on the west side of Slovenia. There are many different possibilites for recreation like hiking, doing some water sport (rafting, cayaking ...). But you can just enjoy in nice view of the mountains, admire Soca troughs, step on one of many suspension bridges over river Soca, discover places of 1st world war battles, visit Kobarid 1st World War museum ...
Brezice is city near Croatia border. It has interesting old town centre where you can't miss Aqueduct Tower and Brezice Castle. Inside castle is great museum named Posavski museum with many different collections. You will be very amazed with Knights' Hall that looks really great with illusionist paintings. Similar paintings are also on staircase.
Castle Velenje is located just above Velenje that is 5th biggest city in Slovenia. So there is no problem to park near Red Hall below the castle and take the short walk upstairs near ski jump. So you can admire castle from different views and then you can enter also inside the caslte walls. From there is nice view of Velenje and around. I suggest you to visit museum that is inside the castle cause it is worth to see. You will see a lot of different collections that are really interesting. Anyway I have to mention room full of African masks that looks a little scary. Near Velenje it is nice to visit also Velenje lakes. There are nice trails around lakes.
Kluze Fortess is an old fortress above river Koritnica. It is located a few kilometers from Bovec in the northwest part of Slovenia. From the bridge you can see Koritnica Gorge. It is possible also to come down just to the river on the bottom of the gorge but you should be careful. Above Kluze Fortress is another fortress Fort Hermann. It takes about 30 minutes to come there. Trail is interesting and it starts through the old tunnel.
Lake Cerknica is located about 50km from Ljubljana in the south direction. It is the biggest lake in Slovenia but it is periodic (dissapearing) lake. So the size of the lake depends of the time of your visit. The biggest is usually in spring and in the summer it can dissapear at all. There is road the goes in the middle of the lake so there are nice views of the lake. But anyway I suggest you to visit from the hill Slivnica. Biggest town near the lake is Slivnica. One of the best attractions in Slovenia Rakov skocjan is also not far away.
Sneznik Castle is one of the most attractive castles in Slovenia especially if we look only inside part of the castle. In all castle rooms you can still see original furniture so the walk through the castle is like to go in the past. You can walk also around the castle where you can enjoy in view of the castle from all directions. Near the castle is also pond that makes all scene even more attractive.
Smartinsko Lake is articifial lake near Celje. It is nice place for people that like hiking cause there are many trails around the lake. There were made also some galleries on some parts of the path and pontoon bridge so you can cross the lake. There are some bars/guest houses if you like to sit down and drink or eat something. You can rent a boat or take a tour with big boat that goes around the lake.
Rakov Skocjan is a very interesting landscape park in Slovenia. It is located about 50 km from Ljubljana and you can combine this visit with Lake Cerknica. At Rakov Skocjan is few kilometers educational natural trail where you can see many Karst phenomenons. Each attraction has own information board with description. For me is most interesting Little Natural Bridge but also other places are interesting.
Krvavec is the most famous ski slope in Slovenia but it is worth to visit it also in summer time. At that time you can have a lot of hiking possibilities around where you can enjoy in nice views and watch cows on pasture. There are also some places where you can get something for eat and drink. Krvavec is not so far away from Ljubljana. You can go to Krvavec with car or with cable railway.
Plansarsko Lake (Pasture Lake)
Plansarsko Lake is a very romantic place near Kamnik Alps in Zgornje Jezersko near Slovenian border with Austria. It is nice place to visit in summer and winter. In summer you can enjoy in good hiking possibilities around, so you can go to some mountain hut or climb on some summit (Grintavec, Kocna ...) or you can ride the bicycle. In winter you can skate on the lake, go cross country skiing ... Near lake is also inn so you can eat and drink there.
Pekel Gorge - Pekel Waterfalls
Pekel Gorge with waterfalls is a very interesting place for nature lovers. It is located southern from Ljubljana near town Borovnica. There is a few hours long trail where you can see many nice waterfalls. All trail is interesting with many wooden footbridges, stairs, nice views of the brook Borovniscica. All trail is through the forest so even in summer is not so hot especially if you refresh a little in the water.
Savica Waterfall is beside Kozjek Waterfall one of the most scenic waterfalls in Slovenia. It is located at the end of the Lake Bohinj valley in Triglav National Park. The most easy way to get to the waterfall is to drive to Koca pri Savici Mountain Hut where is quite big parking place. From there it takes about 20 minutes to come to the waterfall.
Road to Mangart Saddle is one of the most interesting Alpine roads in Slovenia. On the road your can see a lot of beautiful views around on Julian Alps. Mangart Saddle where you can come with car is about 2000 m above sea level. If you like hiking you can climb to Mangart. Italian way is not so difficult but it takes about 2 hours and all the way you will have nice views.
Mostnica Gorge is locate near Stara Fuzina in Lake Bohinj neighbourhood. If you are planning to spend some days around Bohinj then you must visit it. Brook Mostnica created interesting gorge along which is walking trail on both side. It can take some hours to walk all especially if you will stop at most interesting parts of Mostnica Gorge. On the way you will see more footbridges from which are usually better view of gorge. But be carefull to not walk outside of walking trails.
Trenta Valley is a beautiful valley on the west side of Triglav National park in Slovenia. Through the valley flows emerald river Soca where you can admire its troughs. In the Trenta you can visit two cemetaries from 1st World War and Trenta Lodge Na Logu Museum. All the way through valley you can enjoy in views of the mountains. You can visit Soca spring, Kugy monument, cross many footbridges over river Soca ...
Triglav National Parks
Triglav National Parks is around Julian Alps and it is the only national park in Slovenia. It is must see location for everyone that love hiking, mountains, nature, etc. There you can see many waterfalls, mountains, lakes and much more. Triglav (2864 m) is the highest mountain in Slovenia. You can climb on Triglav from different locations, most easier is from Pokljuka or Krma Valley. You will need about 6 hours to come on the top. In the last part of the path you have to be more careful and don't go if the weather forecast is not good. Around Triglav National Park are many mountain huts where you can get drink, food or sleep over night.
Skocjan Caves are one of the most beautiful caves in Slovenia if not the most beautiful. In the first half of the path you are walking in the part named Silent Cave cause there is no river. There you can see all kinds of stalactites, some parts are really amazing. In the last part of the visit you are walking above canyon of river Reka. That part is very interesting with great views around. Also the part that is outside the caves is very interesting with a view of waterfall and a little later view of the troughs of river Reka.
Lipica is the most famous stud farm in Slovenia with great and long tradition. There you can see beautiful white Lipizzaners. You can joing some guided tour where you can see inside stud farms, ponies, great performaces of Lippizans, old carriage museum, etc. Around the stud farm you can have fun in casino, play golf, tenis, walk, ride bicycle, etc.
Iski vintgar is a beautiful place in Slovenia for nature lovers. It is not so far from Ljubljana. There is quite big parking area near lodge house Iski vintgar where you can get drink or food. For those that don't want to walk so much I suggest to stay on the left bank of river Iska and walk to the end of the path to place named Grabljice. In summer it is nice place to refresh and swim in calm pure water. For those that like to hike a little more I suggest to cross the footbridge and continue to walk to the confluence of Iska and Zala named Vrbica. On the way there you will see Rocky solitary - Hollow stone and also have many oppurtunities for refreshment in the water.
Old Castle Celje
Old Castle Celje is located on castle hill above city Celje. You can walk to the castle by Pelikan's path or if you are more lazy you can also park a car just near the the Old Castle. Inside the castle you can walk around by yourself, see castle walls, different towers, wedding room, scriptorioum, etc. You can enjoy in a wonderful view on Celje and its neighbourhood. In summer you can attend some performances and concerts inside the castle walls. There is also coffeehouse.
Pericnik Waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Slovenia. It is located in Triglav National Park in Vrata Valley. It is easy accessible from parking area. And you can even walk below the fall. There are two waterfalls: Upper and Lower Pericnik Fall. Bigger is Lower Pericnik Fall despite both are interesting so I suggest you to visit both.
Kranjska Gora is one of the best Alpine resorts in Slovenia. There are many ski slopes for different skills that can use kids and experience skiers. All around you can find also good tracks for cross-country skiing, especially in Ratece and Planica-Tamar Valley. Kranjska Gora is a nice place also in summer with great possibilities for hiking, climbing in Julian Alps, cycling, etc. The highest pass Vrsic in Slovenia is just a few kilometers away with great views of the mountains around and leads you to beautiful Trenta Valley with river Soca. At the start of Vrsic pass you should stop at Lake Jasna.