Slovenia is a marvel of stunning nature, rich history and heart-warming people – slap bang in the middle of Europe.
After my first visit in 2018, I couldn’t get it out of my head; so this year, I returned and yet again I was blown away. Slovenia is a place you will fall in love with at first sight, forever wanting more. There’s a reason LOVE is in the name.
While Slovenia isn’t a big country, it’s home to many gorgeous landscapes and very little development. Due to how dense the nature is, you can easily miss something amazing.
So to help you get the best out of Slovenia, I created a map to help you discover the best it has to offer.
Top Things to do in Slovenia
Find tranquility in Triglav National Park
The Triglav National Park is possibly the most beautiful place in all of Slovenia.
The National Park is named after Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia and indeed, the Julian Alps.
Being the only National Park in Slovenia, naturally it’s home to unforgettable locations. Epic mountains, dreamy waterfalls, blue lakes and mysterious caves all make this place like no other.
Home to the source of the Soča and Sava rivers, Triglav offers many activities both on land and water.
Enjoy the vibrance of Ljubljana
The capital city, Ljubljana is a quaint little city with a peaceful ambience by day. By night it comes to life with an energy buzz.
You could take a walk along the picturesque Ljubljanica river. Cross one of the spectacular bridges like the Dragon Bridge or Triple Bridge.
To rest your legs after walking, why not spend time at a riverside cafe or bar sitting right on the water.
Learn about Slovenia’s history and culture in one of the many museums. Another option is you could watch a live performance in a theatre or live music venue.
Don’t forget to check out Ljubljana Castle, for fantastic views of the city from above. It’s easily one of the most eye-catching castles in Slovenia.
What’s great is Ljubljana is a very walkable city. There is a huge variety of things to see and do, free from a horde of tourists.
Thanks to the modest proportions of the city, you can experience quite a lot over a long weekend.
Visit Bled and its many wonders
Perhaps the most recognisable image of Slovenia is Lake Bled. It’s iconic fairytale-like island draws in lots of visitors every year, infatuated by the allure of its mystical beauty.
On the island you’ll find a church with a tower you can climb. If you don’t mind the steps, you’ll be treated to some of the best views of the lake.
Perched on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the lake, Bled Castle is an impressive 1,000 year-old structure.
Head over to this location for the ultimate perspective of the surrounding area.
Explore the unique Metelkova
This mesmerizing urban micro-village is known as AKC Metelkova.
A plethora of huts and structures boast vivacious colours and breathtaking artwork, all within the city of Ljubljana.
An air of mystery about this location will no doubt encourage you to take a step inside.
This interesting location was once used as a military headquarters and barracks.
In 1991, after the site had been abandoned, alternative youth communities transformed Metelkova into something new.
Metelkova was re-imagined as a place far from the mainstream, where the underground community could express themselves.
Committed to making themselves ‘feel at home’, the new residents didn’t waste time in redecorating the joint.
There is an enormous mix of impressive murals, detailed mosaics and nightmarish sculptures.
Today, Metelkova has become a hub for the expressionists and individuals.
An autonomous social and cultural village with it’s very own bars, an inn, a nightclub and fascinating art gallery.
Metelkova is an unique area for a unique community. It’s not a place that was designed solely for tourists (although you are of course welcome!)
By all means you should visit and see for yourself why it’s so special.
For the more adventurous, visit Metelkova after dark to witness the true nature of this breathtaking place.
Explore enchanting historic locations
Slovenia boasts an impressive collection of over 500 castles, palaces, mansions and monasteries.
Many of them have been preserved extremely well, while others have fallen to ruin.
Every castle is unique in design, with their own story of myth and legend. The locations of many castles are spectacular and sometimes obscure.
For the more fearless traveller and fans of abandoned architecture, there are many epic and eerie locations for exploring and taking photographs.
Be careful and exercise caution when exploring these structures if you decide to, as they are often damaged and unsafe.
Take a road trip through the country
The roads in Slovenia are some of the best I have experienced in Europe.
Winding single-lane roads transport you through the glorious vineyards and hillsides.
Spot wild animals as you ride through forested roads and chase the skies as you tackle steep mountain passes where astonishing views can always be found.
The potential for exciting scenic drives in Slovenia is tremendous.
There are fantastic roads in the north-west of the country around Triglav National Park, in the north and north-east heading towards Maribor and in the south, in the vicinity of Mount Snežnik.
That should give you an idea of some places to start.
Visit the Karst caves
Not only does Slovenia feature sensational natural beauty above ground, but below the surface it has more secrets for you to uncover.
There are actually more than 8,000 caves in total, although only around 20 can be explored by members of the public.
What is so significant about the caves in Slovenia? Well they were the first caves in the world where scientists discovered evidence of karst topology.
Karst is the way that soluble rocks like limestone and gypsum has dissolved over millions of years; this forms alien-like cave formations that posess an other-wordly mystique.
Often where you get karst, you also find pristine blue lakes running through the cave with sinkholes and small waterfalls, adding to the magical beauty of the landscape.
The most popular of the karst caves is Postojna cave, which incredibly holds concerts and events and is the only cave network in the world to feature a double-track railway.
You can ride it too!
If you would prefer to avoid the crowds, check out Škocjan caves, less impressive to some, but also less busy!
Have fun on the water
Slovenia does not have many lakes, (it is quite a small country) but the lakes it does have are truly special.
In the warmer months, the lakes and rivers offer a wide range of exhilarating watersports and activities for you to take part in.
There is rafting, canoeing and kayaking, and even electric panoramic boat rides.
Lake Bohinj is a stunning location where many water activities are available, but for the greatest choice I would recommend the areas of Bovec and Kobarid.
Taking to water allows you to enjoy a unique perspective of the mountainous nature, that otherwise could not be seen on foot.