Slovenia is a small and very nice country where you can find almost everything – mountains, lakes, caves, wild rivers, beautiful cities, castles, villages and even a piece of sea.
Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia and therefore many people still do not know where actually lies. It is often confused with Slovakia, which has the same problem as it was a part of the Czechoslovakia. Both countries are almost neighbors, having just Hungary between them. Even the flag is similar.
Slovenia has just one national park – Triglav National Park, more than 1200 natural monuments and more than 10,000 caves. Read more to learn about the most beautiful places in Slovenia.
1. Soča river – clear emerald blue water
Soča river is one of the most beautiful rivers in Slovenia flowing through Triglav National Park and rising in the Julian Alps.
It is very popular river among kayak and raft lovers. The river has a beautifully clear emerald blue water.
2. Ljubljana – a capital of Slovenia
Ljubljana is a capital of Slovenia and although it is still not overcrowded by tourists it boasts several cultural and historical treasures. The city surrounding is also full of natural monuments and protected parks.
Ljubljana’s biggest attraction is, of course, its historical part that is full of beautiful Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings dotted with nice bars, pubs and restaurants.
3. Piran – Slovenian Venice
One of the most beautiful Slovenian cities is certainly Piran, situated on a picturesque peninsula between the Gulf of Piran and Bay of Strunjan. The old port is one big open-air museum with medieval buildings, interesting architecture and rich history.
Its Church of St. George with a separate bell tower and baptistery has a lot of common with campanile of St. Marco in Venice.
4. Lake Bled – one of the symbols of Slovenia
Being the most visited and most famous place in Slovenia, Lake Bled with an island in the middle surrounded by mountains is one of the symbols of Slovenia.
Eponymous town of Bled located on the shores of the lake is well-known spa resort and tourist center. Beautiful views over the lake can be enjoyed from the castle standing at the shores as well.
5. Vintgar Gorge – a natural monument
Vintgar Gorge is a natural monument, untouched and wild nature located in the heart of the Julian Alps close to Lake Bled and is part of Triglav National Park.
The gorge was open to the public already in 1893. Construction of hiking trails with wooden pavements and bridges, anchored in the steep walls, was a demanding and very dangerous task at that time.
6. Maribor and oldest vine in the world
Maribor, Slovenia’s second largest city, is the administrative center of Slovenian Styria. The first mention come from the year of 1208.
Some of the best landmarks of the city include the Old City, surrounded by the remains of city walls and medieval towers, Grajski trg square with a castle, a museum and a baroque statue of St. Florian, Slomškov trgwith its cathedral, Glavni trg with City Hall and the plague column, several churches, university, synagogue, Stara Trta (oldest vine in the world) and one of the oldest and largest wine cellars in Europe. The town is surrounded by picturesque hills and vineyards.
7. Lake Bohinj and Savica waterfall
Lake Bohinj is Slovenia’s deepest lake with its depth of 44.5 meters, is of glacial origin situated at an altitude of 532 meters above sea level. The water temperature in summer is between 13°C and 15°C.
The most visited and the most romantic place in its vicinity is Savica waterfall. You can get to it through a pavement and rocky stairs. It takes about 20 minutes and during the tour you can enjoy great views of the lake.
8. Portorož – famous seaside resort
Portorož, translated as “marina rose”, is the famous seaside resort on the Slovenian coast. The first hotels and spa resorts were built here already in the 19th century.
Today there are many hotel complexes with modern pools, restaurants offering various kinds of meal and the city attracts visitors with a plenty of things to do here with casino, port and much more.
9. Koper – main port of the country
City of Koper lies in the northern part of Istria on the Adriatic coast. It is an important Adriatic port and main port of the country. In the summer it becomes a popular tourist center.
An important part of the Old Town is a beautiful Gothic – Renaissance Square Titov trg with colorful and beautifully decorated houses. Other monuments that you should not avoid are two palaces: Praetorian Palace and Belgramoni – Tacco Palace.
10. Škocjan Caves – famous cave system
Škocjan Caves are one part of famous cave system in Slovenia, the second part is a little more famous Postojna Cave. But both of them are definitely among the most popular natural places in Slovenia.
This is why these limestone caves, known in Slovenia as Škocjanske jame, were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List already in 1986. Škocjan Caves can be found at the southwest of the country in the Karst region, near the town of Koper and about 5 km from Divače.
11. Velika Planina – favorite destination for sports-lovers
Velika Planina, sometimes dubbed as the Great Highland rises to a height of 1,666 meters above sea level. For the Slovenes, it is not a giant, as Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain, measures 2,864 meters.
Velika Planina lies in Kamnik Alps and is a favorite destination for sports-lovers in winter and also in summer. However it’s not that easy to climb up to its top.
12. Idrija – oldest Slovenian mining town
Idrija is located on the river Idrijca. It’s the oldest Slovenian mining town, while there are the second largest mercury mines in the world.
All the Technical and cultural monuments are under the municipal museum administration, which was declared the best in Europe in the care of technical monuments by the Council of Europe in 1997. Castle Gewerkenegg is the seat of the museum.
The oldest part of the mercury mine (tunnel Antoni) dates back to 1500 and is visited by lots of visitors.
13. Triglav Lakes Valley
Triglav Lakes Valley is a valley in the Julian Alps, between the slopes of Tičarica and Zelnarica mountains, southwest of Triglav. The valley is also called the Valley of seven lakes (Dolina sedmerih Jezer), although there are actually ten lakes, not seven.
14. Vršič Pass – most famous pass in the Julian Alps
Vršič is the most famous pass in the Julian Alps. The first road was built here in the first world war for the Austro-Hungarian army by the Russian prisoners. 400 of them died due to avalanche.
Vršič is a starting point for hikes: e.g. for medium experienced hikers to Mojstrovka (2332 m) – 2 hours or to Prisojnik (2547 m) – 3 1/2 hours for more experienced hikers.
15. Holy Trinity Church, Hrastovlje
A small village situated 14 kilometers from the town of Koper, Hrastovlje is famous for its unique Holy Trinity Church, which is inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List.
Aisled Romanesque church from the 13th century and the vestry from the 19th century is surrounded by a defensive wall that was part of fortifications against Turkish raids.
16. Otočec Castle – the only water castle in Slovenia
One of the natural features of the river Krka is a small island with a water castle Otočec, which is connected with shorelines by wooden bridges.
The castle dates back to the 13th century. In 1942 it was destroyed by fire from the partisans and after the war, the castle was restored into a luxury hotel.
17. Postojna Cave – the greatest tourist attraction in Slovenia
When visiting Slovenia, make sure to visit the cave complex Postojna Cave. The cave complex creation started 2 million years ago by its creators – river Pivka and rainwater. You get in a small train, and after 10 minutes you find yourself inside the amazing cave.
The train is here since 1872, driven by human power. In 1914 it was replaced by a gas train, and in 1959 by electric train that is still in operation.
18. Predjama Castle – castle built in the rock
Predjama Castle is a romantic castle built in the rock above the village Predjama. It is located just 9 km from the Postojna Cave.
Most of the castles are located on the hill, but this one is different! Predjama Castle was built in the 12th century at the cave entrance.
19. Žiče Carthusian Monastery
Žiče Carthusian Monastery in southern Styria was founded in 1164 as the first Carthusian monastery in the German lands, and the first outside of France and Italy. The monks came into Slovenian forests directly from the mother monastery Grande Chartreuse near Grenoble.
20. Škofja Loka – town of fairy tales and stories
One of the most beautiful and oldest towns in Slovenia, Škofja Loka is located away from the main Slovenian tourist routes and attractions. But, even so, Škofja Loka has unforgettable charm and worth a visit.
It lies about 19 km west of the capital city at the confluence of the two branches of the river Sora. However it is not just a nice town that worth a visit along with its castle, but the surrounding hilly countryside as well.
21. Celje – Troia secunda
Celje is the third largest Slovenian city lying at the confluence of Voglajna and Savinja rivers. It has a well preserved medieval old town with many architectural monuments and ruins of the castle sitting high on a hill above the old town.
In the past, the city was inhabited by the Illyrians and the Celts. The Romans built a settlement here already in the 5th century which was known as Claudia Celeia. It was the most important city in the Roman province of Noricum. It became renowned for its spas and temples and was called Troia secunda (second Troy).
22. Ptuj – the oldest town in Slovenia
Ptuj is the oldest town in Slovenia. Actually there are just a few streets in its picturesque old town center. You can also climb up to the hill with Ptuj Castle towering above the town.
The oldest part of the castle, western tower, dates back to the 10th century and is such the oldest secular building in Slovenia. One of the best time to visit Ptuj is during its 11 days long international carnivalwhich is one of the biggest events in Slovenia.
23. Lendava – thermal spa and watchtower
Lendava is the easternmost city of Slovenia. It is named after the German name of lime (Linden), which is the national symbol of the Slovenia. The town lies less than 5 km from the Hungarian and 7 km from the Croatian borders.
The city is very famous for its local thermal spa. Once here do not forget to visit recently-built watchtower in Dolgovaške Gorice from where you can take a look far into Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and even Austria. The town of Lendava is a place suitable for a pleasant holiday, full of peace and relaxation.
24. Kobarid Museum of World War I
If you are interested in the history of World War I and want to learn something about the battles around Soča river valley, then you should visit Kobarid Museum.
It was awarded the title of the Best Museum in Europe and won a Council of Europe award in 1993. You can find it in the village of Kobarid.
25. Izola – the pearl of the Slovenian Adriatic coast
Izola is often referred to as the pearl of the Slovenian Adriatic coast. The port town of Izola resembles Venice. Izola is originally an island, which gradually merged with the mainland.
You will like its charming narrow streets nestled in the narrow strip of land as well as its picturesque port.