Last Updated on February 10, 2023 by Goya
Hey there, have you already chosen your destination in Slovenia and looking for a quick guide to tell you all about the highlights, where to eat and what to do? Well, look no further – I got you covered!
Slovenia is a small but mighty country located in Central Europe. It has a wealth of natural beauty, breathtaking landscapes, delicious food and wine, and fantastic historical sites. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking for adventure or a history buff wanting to explore ancient ruins, there is plenty to do in Slovenia. So, without further ado, here’s your quick guide to the highlights of Slovenia: Ljubljana & beyond!
As with the rest of the Quick Guide series, this is just a quickfire list of tips and recommendations. But if you need more details, you can find my detailed posts on Slovenia highlights here:
Ljubljana is the capital city of Slovenia and its largest urban centre. This charming city is filled with cobblestone streets, pastel-coloured buildings, and riverside cafes. It has a relaxed atmosphere that feels like a mix between Paris and Amsterdam – perfect for strolling around with an ice cream cone or cup of coffee in hand!
Where to eat in Ljubljana?
- Pop’s Pizza & Sport – For the best pizzas!
- Monstera Bistro – For the most creative dishes
- Landerik – For a fancy meal in a casual setting
- Gostilna Vida – For the most eclectic cuisine and chilled setting
- Ek Bistro – For breakfast/brunch
- Güjžina – For traditional Slovene dishes
- Restavracija Julija – For a wide selection of Slovene and continental dishes and a lovely atmosphere
- Restavracija Atelje – For a Michelin-starred dining experience
- Kolibri Cocktail Bar – For the best cocktails & ambience
- Wine bar Šuklje – For an elegant tasting experience and gorgeous boards to accompany them
- Dvorni Bar – To explore the wide variety of Slovene wines on offer
- Sisters Kurtos – For the most colourful, beautiful and delicious chimney cakes
- Gelateria Romantika – For the best ice creams
- Cafetino – For a sitdown coffee in the centre (with bookstore Knjigarna Beletrina nearby)
- Stow Coffee – For takeaway coffee
- Špica Caffe – For a relaxed coffee or cocktail by the river; try Mango Hugo.
- Kavarna SEM Lounge Bar – For some ice-cold beers you can enjoy outside on the lawn of the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum (SEM)
What to do in Ljubljana?
- Watch the sunset at Ljubljana Castle (with some wine from Grajska Vinoteka)
- Enjoy the wide variety of tours offered by the city’s tourist information centre
- Check out the events and festivals on the calendar – summer months are particularly busy
- Give standup paddleboarding a go with SUP Ljubljana and enjoy the city from the unique perspective of the Ljubljanica river. Or take a boat tour!
- Visit Metelkova Mesto, a squat in former army barracks turned urban enclave / autonomous social and cultural centre that really comes alive at night
- Chill in Tivoli Park with a book/coffee or go for a little walk
- Shop at Butik lePotica, Trgovina IKA, Parada/Lifestyle Shop, tipoRenesansa, Sunday flea market and stalls by the river.
- Don’t forget to visit the city’s many museums and galleries!
#2: Bled & Surroundings
Slovenia is a country that has no shortage of stunning beauty. Among its main highlights are the enchanting city of Bled and its remarkable surroundings. With its centuries-old history, postcard-perfect views (church perched atop an islet in the middle of a picturesque lake, anyone?), local delicacies, and breathtaking landscape with rolling hills, meandering rivers and rugged peaks, Bled and its surroundings are sure to leave any visitor in awe!
- Visit the Bled Island – get there by rowboat or pletna and ring the bell in the church to make a wish.
- Hike to Mala Osojnica or Ojstrica for the best views of the lake
- Visit the Bled Castle. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous you can even go paragliding over it (!)
- Take a stroll around the lake, or take a moment to get your tan on, swim, or rent a rowboat or a paddle board.
- Indulge in Blejska kremšnita (Bled cream cake)
- Visit nearby: Vintgar Gorge for epic hiking, Lake Bohinj for a quick, refreshing dip and Savica Waterfall (Slap Savica) for stunning views
- Stay at the beautiful eco-resort Garden Village Bled
#3: Karst Region
This region covers much of western Slovenia and is known for its dramatic limestone formations and underground caves.
- Visit the subterranean marvels that are Postojna Cave and Skocjan Caves
- Check out the Predjama Castle perched at the mouth of a cavern halfway up a 123-metre cliff
- Visit Lipica, famous for its Lipizzaner horses
- Try local delicacies:
- Karst Teran, Slovenia’s autochthonous red wine, produced using Refošk grapes grown in Terra Rossa soil.
- Karst pršut (Slovenia’s unique take on prosciutto), which has earned a Protected Geographical Indication status for its 12-16 month curing process that results in an irresistible ruby red delicacy with a fascinatingly fragrant aroma.
Slovenia, slumbering in the heart of Europe, is known for its diverse attractions and features; one of its many highlights is the small town of Kobarid. This northern village is surrounded by a backdrop of cascading mountains, ancient architecture and rich gastronomic culture. Along with breathtaking views, Kobarid offers a unique cultural experience, complete with traditional local dishes made with fresh ingredients. There are also several hiking trails that pass through meadows filled with wildflowers as well as forests perfect for foraging!
- Try the Idrijski žlikrofi (traditional Slovenian dumplings originating from Idrija) and Kobariški štruklji (or Kobarid dumplings; a traditional dessert made of walnuts and served warm) at Hisa Polonka
- Enjoy a lunch/dinner with an overnight stay at Hiša Franko by Ana Roš who was named The World’s Best Female Chef 2017.
Slovenia is a small country with numerous highlights and Maribor is one of its big attractions. As the second largest city in Slovenia, Maribor has a bustling cultural environment and also boasts an 800-year history (as a “city”, that is). Despite its relative youth in comparison to European cities, Maribor’s past is as vibrant as any other. It has evidence of being settled since the Neolithic era, as well as traces from the Roman ruins that are still intact today. Emperors and kings have had a hand in establishing Maribor, further contributing to its illustrious past. Anyone visiting this wonderful Slovenian city can marvel at the tangible history around them while exploring the quaint cobbled streets or attending one of the many festivals held in honour of their impressive heritage.
- Check out beautiful Glavni trg – Maribor’s medieval marketplace dotted with cute cafes and restaurants
- Walk by the waterfront Lent district
- Enjoy some Slovenian wine at Old Vine House (home of one of the oldest vines in the world), or LeVino Wine Bar
- Try the food, wine and cocktails at City Terasa with views over the Drava river
Located on the Adriatic Sea coast near Italy and Croatia lies Piran – one of Slovenia’s most picturesque towns. Its Venetian-style architecture makes it feel like you’ve stepped back in time, while colourful buildings line its cobbled streets making it ideal for wandering around aimlessly, and taking photos!
- Visit the hilltop St George’s Cathedral, and enjoy the views of the sea and the town below
- Try the seafood at Fritolin Pri Cantini or Pirat
- Stop for a little handmade souvenir at Nika’s Tiny House or Piran salt at Soline
#7: Worth a visit
- Bovec and Soča Valley – For water adventures, kayaking and rafting on the River Soča
- Goriška Brda – Try the wines from the “Tuscany of Slovenia”
- Be sure to watch the sunset at the Old Castle of Celje.
- Or head off the beaten path in Logar Valley (Logarska Dolina), offering amazing hiking opportunities.
Slovenia may be small but it packs quite a punch when it comes to amazing places worth visiting! From its vibrant capital city Ljubljana to its stunning mountain scenery around Lake Bled; from majestic cave systems to quaint coastal towns like Piran; plus lots more – this tiny country really does have something for everyone who loves travel!
So, the question is: What would be on your Slovenia highlights list? Let me know in the comments below!
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