Best things to do in Slovenia

Andy Turner

written by
Andy Turner

updated 24.03.2023

Slovenia, though tiny, is well worth a trip. With a coastal turquoise sea and snow-capped Alpine mountains — this beautiful country is gifted with astounding regional variation. Its dramatic landscapes and unspoilt natural features make for a splendid playground for those who enjoy outdoor life and adventure sports. Here is our pick for the best things to do in Slovenia.

This article is inspired by the Rough Guide to Slovenia — your essential guide for travelling in Slovenia.

1. Take a tour of the Škocjan Caves

Take a trip through this breathtaking cave system, which features the world's largest subterranean canyon.

The Škocjan Caves are a Unesco World Heritage Site that attracts 90,000 visitors every year. The 90-minute tour of the caves takes visitors on foot through 2.5km (1.5 miles) of the total 6km (4-mile) network.

While here, don't miss Silent Cave, decorated with stalagmites and stalactites. Or the unforgettable Murmuring Cave, an underground gorge carved by the emerald-green River Reka which roars and echoes in the cave.

Skocjan cave in Slovenia © John_Silver/Shutterstock

Skocjan cave in Slovenia © John_Silver/Shutterstock

2. Whitewater rafting and more at Triglav National Park

Triglav National Park attracts 2.5 million visitors a year. Its stunning alpine mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers offer a dramatic backdrop to outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling and white-water rafting, plus skiing in winter. There are 33 settlements in the park and a population of 2,400. Protected animals include brown bears, lynxes and golden eagles.

Whitewater rafting

White water rafting is one of the best things to do in Slovenia © Shutterstock

3. See the beautiful sights of Old Town, Ljubljana

Wonderful architecture, a hilltop castle and atmospheric riverside bars — visiting this part of the capital is one of the best things to do in Slovenia.

Though largely Baroque, the Old Town dates back to medieval times and is the only part of the city to have survived the 1895 earthquake. The waterside promenade of Cankarjevo nabrežje is lined with cafés. On Sunday mornings, it holds a flea market — with stalls selling antiques and bric-a-brac, including memorabilia of Communist Yugoslavia.

While here, don't miss the beautiful architecture of Triple Bridge. Or the buzzing of Central Market (Glavna tržnica) — an open-sided colonnade designed by Plečnik in 1939.

Or find the accommodation of your dreams in Ljubljana


Don't miss Old Town - one of the best things to do in Slovenia © Shutterstock

4. Visit the romantic Lake Bled

Within a basin surrounded by the rugged, snowcapped Julian Alps lies Bled. This is Slovenia’s most visited resort, northwest of Ljubljana. The jewel of this idyllic hideaway is the emerald-green Lake Bled. This fairytale lake comes complete with a romantic island church and cliff-top castle and has been voted one of the most beautiful places in Europe.

Tourism began here in 1855, when European aristocrats visited the lake to enjoy its efficacious thermal waters and the invigorating alpine air. Today, busloads of excursionists come from all over Europe, but the lake and its setting remain undeniably beautiful. Travelling here is best done in the spring or summer.

Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Our tailor made service allows you to travel without the hassle. Our Best of Croatia and Slovenia trip will take you through Dubrovnik, Plitivce Lakes, Zadar and Zagreb in Croatia before heading out to see Lake Bled and Slovenia's capital Ljubljana. All tailor made trips can be modified together with your local expert.

Lake Bled, Slovenia © Shutterstock

The beautiful Lake Bled © JGA/Shutterstock

5. Bled Castle for impressive views

The most impressive views of the lake are from the ramparts of Bled Castle. This historical landmark is built on a rocky outcrop 100 metres (330ft) above the water. Dating from the 11th century, its present appearance is largely 17th-century.

Inside is the Castle Museum (Grajski muzej), where you will find archaeological finds, period furniture and armoury. For history lovers, this is one of the best things to do in Slovenia.

Or find accommodation at any budget near Lake Bled

Bled Castle © Shutterstock

Bled Castle © Shutterstock

6. Roam Piran — one of the best things to do in Slovenia

Piran is Slovenia’s most beautiful coastal town. Sitting compact on a small pointed peninsula, the old town is composed of pastel-coloured Venetian-Gothic buildings presided over by a hilltop church. It is known for its Venetian Gothic-inspired architecture, Italianate squares and fine churches.

In the 5th century AD, Romans fled to the coast to escape the Huns settled here. For some 500 years, from 1283 to 1797, Piran came under Venetian rule, which produced splendid buildings and a proud maritime status. The Republic was supplied with salt from the nearby saltpans. Subsequent relative neglect under the Habsburgs preserved the delightful medieval atmosphere.

Or browse other accommodation in Piran


The beautiful coast of Piran © Shutterstock

7. See the historic landmarks of Ptuj

Slovenia's oldest and prettiest town, stuffed with remnants of its Roman and medieval past. Commanding a hilltop position above the plain, Ptuj was founded by the Romans in the 1st century AD as Poetovio and had 40,000 inhabitants.

In 450 it was plundered by the Huns and in the 6th century, the site was occupied by the Avars. It passed into the Frankish Empire in the late 8th century, then came under the Archbishopric of Salzburg, before falling under the Habsburgs in 1555.

Today, the old town, filled with cobbled streets lined with Gothic and Baroque buildings and crowned by a hilltop castle, is known throughout Slovenia for its Kurentovanje carnival celebrations.

Ptuj, Slovenia © Ondra Vacek/Shutterstock

Ptuj, Slovenia © Ondra Vacek/Shutterstock

8. See the views of Vrsic Pass

Vrsic Pass offers a stunning panoramic view of the Julian Alps and is one of the most scenic drives in the country. Cruise down winding roads and hairpin turns that will take your breath away.

The pass has a rich history and played a significant role in World War I, making it a popular destination for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Visitors can explore the nearby town of Kranjska Gora, go hiking or skiing, and enjoy the local cuisine and hospitality.

Russian chapel on Vrsic pass near Kranjska Gora, Slovenia © Shuterstock

Russian chapel on Vrsic pass near Kranjska Gora, Slovenia © Shutterstock

9. See the unspoiled nature of Lake Bohinj

While Lake Bled is postcard-perfect, its sister lake southwest in Triglav National Park is larger and wilder. This beautiful landmark is an unspoilt alpine landscape of pine woods and lush meadows speckled with wildflowers, against a backdrop of snowcapped mountains.

Unlike Bled, Lake Bohinj (Bohinjsko Jezero) is almost untouched by modern development —building on the shores of the lake is prohibited. Bohinj is an excellent base for a relaxed family holiday, with a number of well-kept mountain paths to explore the surroundings.


Bohinj Lake, Slovenia © Shutterstock

10. Predjama Castle for a taste of Slovenia's history

The magically beautiful Predjama Castle lies near the village of Predjama 7km (4 miles) northwest of Postojna Cave. Built into the rocks of a sheer cliff face, it dates back to the 13th century, though its present Renaissance appearance is largely the result of 16th-century alterations.

Inside, several rooms are furnished in period style, the stairs to the upper floors are carved in solid bedrock. Below the castle, there’s a cave worth exploring.

Ready to immerse yourself in the history of Slovenia? Our tailor-made trip service makes travelling easy by taking care of the planning and booking. Our Walk of Peace trip takes you through a historical trail encompassing the major sites of the First World War’s Isonzo Front. Our trips are crafted by local travel experts and are completely customisable.


Predjama Castle, Slovenia © Shutterstock

11. See a concert at Postojna Cave

Europe’s most visited cave, and probably your first choice for a cave tour, is near the town of Postojna, southwest of Ljubljana. Postojna Cave comprises 20km (13 miles) of halls and passages, of which a quarter is open to the public. The 90-minute tour starts with a train ride through ingeniously lit tunnels and grottoes dripping with stalactites and stalagmites.

Here one can also visit the Concert Hall, which can hold audiences of up to 10,000 and is occasionally used for concerts.

The Speleobiological Station close to the cave entrance shows a short film about the karst, and displays live specimens of cave fauna. It is amazing to think that anything at all can live in these conditions.


Postojna Cave, Slovenia © Shutterstock

12. Walk the wooden walkways of Vintgar Gorge

The spectacular Vintgar Gorge lies 4km (2.5 miles) north of Bled. Carved by the River Radovna and flanked by rocky outcrops and birch woods, it was first explored in 1891.

A series of suspended wooden walkways and bridges criss-cross the length of the 1,600-metre (1-mile) gorge. It passes over thundering waterfalls and rapids and culminates with the 13-metre (43ft) high Šum Waterfall (Slap Šum). This walk is one of the best things to do in Slovenia.

Want to experience Slovenia, but without the hassle of booking and planning? Our Balkan Extended trip offers you the finest of Balkan heritage and natural beauty as you make your way through the 5 countries.

Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia © Pixabay

Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia © Pixabay

13. See the bell tower of Korper

Koper Slovenia’s main port. Tourists often pass it by, considering it too industrial, but the medieval old town has Slovenia’s most beautiful buildings from the Venetian era. Hard to imagine today, the city was an island that was not joined to the mainland until a landfill in the 19th century.

Here you'll find the Cathedral of the Assumption (Stolnica Marijinega vnebovzetja). This historical landmark dates back to the 12th century, and again combines Venetian-Gothic and Renaissance elements. Visitors can climb the 36-metre (118ft) bell tower for stunning views over the Gulf of Trieste. Behind the cathedral is the 12th-century circular baptistery.

Titov Trg square in Koper, Slovenia © Shutterstock

Titov Trg square in Koper, Slovenia © Shutterstock

14. Take a dip at Lake Jasna

Lake Jasna is a picturesque alpine lake surrounded by stunning mountain scenery that offers a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere for visitors. The lake is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying a variety of water sports, including kayaking and paddleboarding.

Visitors can also explore the nearby hiking and biking trails or take just a short drive to the town of Kranjska Gora. Here they can enjoy local cuisine, cultural attractions, and exciting outdoor activities. Lake Jasna is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Slovenia.

Lake Jasna, Slovenia © Pixabay

Lake Jasna, Slovenia © Pixabay

This list could truly go on. There are countless fantastic things to do in Slovenia. Ready to start planning your trip? Check out the Rough Guide to Slovenia.

If you prefer to plan and book your trip to Slovenia without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this doesn’t influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Top image Lake Bled © Shutterstock

Andy Turner

written by
Andy Turner

updated 24.03.2023

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