Even though Slovenia is a relatively small country it sure has a lot to offer. From the Julian Alps through picturesque little towns and adventurous rivers to a short coastline along the Adriatic Sea. Among all the sights and activities your holiday will definitely not be a forgettable one! It is advised to spend at least 7-8 days in Slovenia to discover most sights, but you can easily spend more without getting bored.
In this 7-day itinerary, we will show you the sights you shouldn’t miss when visiting the country for the first time. If you only have time for a shorter break, feel free to cherry-pick the ones you would enjoy the most. After your vacation, we guarantee you will like to come back for a second time
Best time to visit Slovenia
Most of the attractions are available and enjoyable all year long, but if you would like to roam around the towns and enjoy nature, we would advise you to visit between May and October.
During the summer month, the weather is obviously better, which can be quite important if you visit the Alps or the scenic gorges. This also means that more tourists appear during summer, so if the crowd bothers you, visit in late spring or early autumn.
Getting to and around Slovenia
If you are traveling from Europe, it’s fairly easy to get to Slovenia. The best way is probably to travel by car since it’s the easiest way to get around the country during your trip (just keep in mind, that you will need a vignette for the Slovenian highways). Of course, you can rent a car as well once you arrive in Slovenia.
Ljubljana Airport is well connected with European cities so you can consider traveling by plane if you live further. You can check the timetables here.
Slovenia has great bus and train connections with the surrounding countries as well. The tickets are usually cheap and it’s a great option if you would like to check out Slovenia on a budget. Check out Ljubljana Bus Station, FlixBus, or the Slovenian Railways.
Day 1: Ljubljana
The capital city of Slovenia is a place with a green soul. In 2016 Ljubljana was awarded the prize of being “European Green Capital” and when you visit it, you’ll have no question why. I mean in how many city centers can you walk through the woods to the top of a hill with a castle?
If you don’t feel like walking, you can also take the funicular to the top and enjoy the beautiful sight of the city. To visit the castle, you’ll need to purchase a ticket but if you book it online, you get a 10% discount. The castle also offers guided tours, concerts, and even an escape game!
After you explore the castle, feel free to just wander around the old town’s pastel houses, you’ll love the atmosphere of the city. Visit the Old Square (Stari trg), walk along the banks of the Ljubljanica River and check out the famous bridges: the Triple Bridge, the Butchers’ Bridge, and the Dragon Bridge. If you get hungry, there are plenty of cute and delicious restaurants along the way.
When you finished your trip in the old town, you can take a walk in Tivoli Park, try paddle-boarding or kayaking on Ljubljianica River, take a tour at the Union Beer Brewery or if you are interested in graffiti art you can check out Metelkova Mesto. To finish the day, have a coffee at Neboticnik during sunset and enjoy the best views of the city.
Day 2: Lake Bled
Try leaving Ljubljana early in the morning. You can go straight to Bled, the drive takes about 40 minutes if you can miss the traffic jam (or around 1,5 hours by bus).
If you have enough time, we suggest a quick stop at Kranj to wander around the old town. Spend one or two hours in Kranj. Even though Kranj is an industrial city, the old town will definitely win you over. Visit the Town Hall, the Kieselstein Castle, and the Layer House, which is an urban cultural art center. Don’t miss the Kokra Canyon, it flows just beside the old town.
Once you are in Bled, visit the island with a rowboat or a pletna and ring the bells of the church to make your wish come true.
You can also visit Bled Castle and hike to Mala Osojnica for the best view and photo spot of the lake. If you prefer a more active holiday, you can try SUP here as well, go rafting on the Sava River, or just swim in the beautiful blue lake. And don’t forget to try the famous Cream cake!
Day 3: Vintgar Gorge & Lake Bohinj
The 1.6 km long Vintgar Gorge is part of the Triglav National Park and it’s located only 4 km from Bled. The trail is extremely picturesque, it leads you over wooden and stone bridges and you can see several waterfalls, pools, and the crystal clear river.
The gorge can get very crowded during the day (especially in summer) so you should visit it first thing in the morning, just after it opens its doors.
After visiting Vintgar Gorge, explore Lake Bohinj and the surroundings. Lake Bohinj is the biggest lake in Slovenia and it’s usually less crowded than Bled. There are plenty of activities you can try here, so if you have more time, it’s worth staying for a couple more days.
You can walk around the lake and see the famous St. John the Baptist Church, or hike to the hidden gem: Savica waterfall.
On the lake, you can attend a SUP course. Also, try out kayaking, rafting, or even canyoning on the nearby river Sava-Bohinjka.
Day 4: Triglav National Park & Soča Valley
There are plenty of hiking trails in Triglav National Park. You can stop at Kranjska Gora and choose from the easiest trails – which are suitable for families as well – to serious mountain tours. You can get more info in the Kranjska Gora Tourist Information Centre.
After a hike, you can take a dip in the beautiful Lake Jasna as well. Another option is to drive to the top of the Vršič Pass and go for a hike from there. This way you can experience the higher peaks without doing a huge hike.
After your hike, drive over the Vršič Pass and follow the scenic mountain road all the way to Bovec. The Soča Valley road trip follows the Soča River, granting wonderful views during the whole drive.
Day 5: Bovec & Goriska Brda
Bovec is a true paradise for adventure seekers, you really can’t get bored here. You can experience the adrenaline rush with many different activities here. You name it, they have it! Rafting, canyoning, ziplining, caving, and hydrospeeding – just to name a few.
Goriška Brda, the Slovenian wine-producing region is located near the Italian border. It’s also called Slovenia’s Tuscany – with the idyllic countryside, villas, and pretty vineyards on the green hills, it is certainly clear why. You can find plenty of wonderful hotels and wineries in the region, like Kabaj Guest House or Gredič (a 16th-century castle operating as a hotel and discotheque).
Day 6: Postojna Cave & Predjama Castle
From Goriška Brda, you can reach Postojna Cave in a bit more than an hour. The cave has a 24-kilometer-long cave system which makes it the largest show cave in Europe. Take a ride on the underground train and admire the magnificent stalagmites.
The largest cave castle in the world, Predjama Castle is located only a few kilometers from Postojna and during summer you can catch a free shuttle bus from the cave.
The castle was built in the 13th century and it's listed as one of the Guinness World Records. The dramatic-looking castle has a very rich history. As a museum, it now shows life in the 16th century with an armory, chapel, living chambers, dungeon, and other facilities.
The visit to Postojna cave and Predjama Castle is relatively short. If you follow the audio guides, the two visits would take around 3 hours so you will have time in the afternoon to explore the old town of Piran, the gem on the Slovenian coast, and to swim in the Adriatic Sea.
Day 7: Piran and Portoroz
The last day is about doing nothing but enjoying the Slovenian coastline. After all, it's time to relax after the eventful week. You can stay in Piran, enjoy the pretty coastal city, the shops, and cafes, or go to one of the beaches and just relax.
You can also visit Portorož, a dynamic and lively coastal resort with a sandy public beach and great nightlife as well. If you feel like it, you can try sailing, scuba diving, rowing, or kite-surfing.
There are many more beautiful spots after you see all the “must-have” sights in Slovenia, so you certainly won’t be out of options if you return for a second (or third) time.