Slovenia Holidays 2019 / 2020
Located in the heart of Europe in the Eastern Alps, at the north eastern end of the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia is a small country famed for its picturesque lakes and mountains. With Italy and Croatia as its neighbours, and with a true Mediterranean influence, Slovenia boasts a fascinating blend of cultures.
Slovenia holidays offer a thrilling range of experiences, all the way from relaxing days at the beach to challenging hikes through the mountains. The capital, Ljubljana, is a popular destination for visitors; a pocket-sized city with a rich medieval heritage and easy access to the lovely beauty spot of Lake Bled.
While Slovenia is a truly exciting destination, you don’t need to spend much to experience the beauty of this amazing country. Even a cheap holiday to Slovenia is enough to place you right at the heart of all the action, close to the seaside town of Piran, the peaks of Vogel, or even the mysterious caves of Postojna.
Slovenia may well be small, but it is absolutely bursting at the seams with amazing sights and attractions that draw visitors from all across the world. There really are so many fantastic things to do in Slovenia...
Things to do in Ljubljana:
- No visit to Slovenia is complete without a visit to Castle Hill, in the heart of Old Town Ljubljana. Take the funicular railway to the top, where you’ll find yourself at the imposing Ljubljana Castle; the starting point for the climb up the famous clock tower, where you’ll have incredible views over the historic city.
- Around the city there are several beautifully designed bridges, great museums, fascinating art galleries, and architecturally stunning churches, all of which can be explored on foot. Simply strolling around the city of Ljubljana is a highlight in itself, with lots of great sights and attractions waiting to be explored.
- Ljubljana is home to Slovenia’s thriving beer scene, with a number of brewing festivals taking place throughout the year. If you’re not lucky enough to be visiting during a local festival, don’t worry! You’ll have no trouble finding a craft beer pub where you can sample some of the locally brewed beverages.
Things to do in Lake Bled:
- Take a walk or cycle all the way around this breathtaking lake. The trail around the water is just under 4 miles, and it’s completely flat so it’s pretty easygoing for all abilities, even for children. This is actually one of the most popular walks in the entire country, and it’s well worth doing for the amazing scenery.
- Climb up to Bled Castle, which sits on the hilltop overlooking the lake. There’s a small museum here, although the cellar is perhaps one of the biggest draws. It’s here you can create your very own wax seal for a small bottle of wine, making a truly unique souvenir to take back home with you.
- One of the first things you’ll notice at Lake Bled is the church which sits on the island in the middle of the lake. The Church of the Assumption is a great place to visit, and you can ring the legendary Wishing Bell. You can get to the island in just 20 minutes on a pletna; Slovenia’s answer to the Venetian gondola.
Other great things to do in Slovenia:
- There are a number of superb hiking trails in the Slovenian Alps, such as the 310 mile long Slovenian Mountain Trail, and the thirst-quenching Jeruzalem-Ljutomer Wine Road. The latter is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to sample the local wines, with a number of cellars dotted along the route.
- If you’re all hiked out, you can take a break in one of Slovenia’s refreshing thermal spa resorts, such as Portoroz or Stajerska. Treatments focus on the mud and brine derived from the local Sečovlje Salina salt pans, and are said to rejuvenate the mind and body. These places are great for a bit of relaxation.
- Slovenia is blessed with several jaw-dropping cave systems that you can explore. The Postojna Caves are perhaps the most well known, but there are many others, too. Don’t miss out on the subterranean chambers of the Škocjan Caves, but don’t forget a warm jacket… it gets pretty cool down there!
Eat your way around Slovenia by sampling the many different regional cuisines, from hearty stews and soups to vibrant local wines. For anyone who loves trying new things, Slovenia won’t disappoint.
- Food in Slovenia shows off the Italian, German, Croatian, and Slavic influences found within this part of the world. And if you’re a wine drinker, you’ll find a whole host of wonderful wines produced in the local area which often aren’t on the market in the UK, so make sure to pick up a bottle as a souvenir or gift.
- For a special occasion (or even just for a great night out), book a table at Špajza in Ljubljana’s old town. The homely decor is complemented by a pretty garden with rustic furniture, and the food is incredible. Expect traditional Slovenian food to dominate the menu, with meat options such as horse and goat.
- Some of the most interesting foods to try in Slovenia can be found at Hiša Franko in Kobarid; a beautiful old country house that’s surrounded by orchards, vegetable gardens, and the mountains. This family-run restaurant serves up a wide range of food, including nettle risotto and caramelised mackerel.
- Slovenians love their food and drink so much that they actually host several festivals throughout the year to celebrate it! Great festivals to keep an eye out for during your trip include the Sevnica Salami Festival, the Pumpkin Festival, the Fisherman’s Festival, and the Chocolate Festival (popular with kids!).
Slovenia family holidays offer everything from water parks to caves, and from swimming lakes to walking trails. Children are welcomed in family-friendly Slovenia, and there’s plenty for them to enjoy here.
- In Ljubljana, little ones can live out their fairytale fantasies at the hilltop castle, accessed via the funicular railway and bridge (which is, of course, guarded by fire-breathing dragons!). If you visit during the summer months, your children will love watching the castle pipers give their performances on Saturdays.
- Ljubljana is filled with all sorts of adventurous activities for little ones. Highlights include the Vodno Mesto Atlantis waterpark with 16 swimming pools, the Ljubljana Zoo, and the amazing House of Experiments; a kid-friendly science museum with all sorts of hands-on activities for children of all ages.
- For an adventurous day out, there are lots of options. How about visiting the Julian Alps and riding a cable car up to the mountaintops, swimming in Lake Bled, taking a boat ride over to Lake Bled Island, exploring the country’s gorges and waterfalls, or even kayaking along the beautiful Soča River?
- If you’re heading to the coastline of the Karst region, it’s worth taking time to explore the enormous cave system here. Considered to be one of Slovenia’s hidden gems, the Škocjan Cave network has been granted UNESCO status, while the Postojna Caves are home to the nation’s famous ‘baby dragons’!
Slovenia has a varied culture and a huge number of museums, galleries, and cultural centres. There are professional opera and ballet companies in Ljubljana and Maribor, with performances through the year.
- The National Museum of Slovenia is a testament to the depth of the area's culture. Located in Ljubljana, the museum is home to the oldest musical instrument in the world — the 60,000 year old Neanderthal flute — and a range of other valuable and historic items, including the Vače Situla.
- The National Gallery of Slovenia showcases the very best of local Slovenian artworks from the 13th to the 20th century, many highlighting the beauty of the Slovenian landscape. You’ll see the works of Anton Ažbe, Jurij Šubic and Jožef Petkovšek here, as well as masterpieces by local artists based in Ljubljana.
- KSEVT — the Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies in Vitanje — offers a unique learning experience that connects art, culture, science, and space. The building that houses KSEVT is particularly special, as it is designed to mimic the ‘living wheel’ plans drawn up by Herman Potočnik Noordung.
Slovenia beaches are amongst some of the most beautiful in the world. With the coast stretching along the Adriatic Sea, flanked with fine sands and colourful towns, there’s a wealth of beach options here.
- Popular with both locals and visitors, Piran Beach is perched on the edge of a narrow peninsula that juts out into the blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. You can reach the sea easily from the steps that descend directly into the water, making it easy for the whole family to take a dip in the fresh, clear waters.
- One of the best sandy beaches in Slovenia is Portorož Beach; a popular place for local families to go with their bucket and spade. This is a very lively, on-the-go stretch of sand, with great amenities including restaurants, shops, and cafes, along with an energetic atmosphere and friendly feel.
- Situated in Koper, the largest coastal town in Slovenia, Mestna Beach has a truly Italian feel. While this beach is pebbly, rather than sandy, it’s still a hugely popular spot, especially as the sun begins to go down. Mestna Beach is regarded as one of the very best places in the country to catch a glorious sunset.
- Another great pebble beach is Mesečev Zaliv, located within the Strunjan Nature Park. This preserved area offers clean, clear waters, and is surrounded by protected animal and plant life. The beach here can only be accessed on foot, so it’s a lot quieter and more peaceful than other beaches in the area.
- If you’re visiting Strunjan Nature Park, it’s not too far out of your way to stop by Izola Beach, located in one of Slovenia’s old fishing villages. There’s a picturesque lighthouse here which makes for a fantastic photo opportunity, and several lovely beachside restaurants serving up fresh seafood caught locally.
When the sun sets, Slovenia really comes to life. Slovenia nightlife is made up of an exciting blend of buzzing bars, vibrant nightclubs, chic casinos, and lively festivals, and there’s always something going on.
- In Ljubljana, you’ll find jazz bars and quirky cocktail bars lining the river, such as Centralna Postaja (Central Station). With street art tags on the walls and dazzling neon signs, this unusual bar transforms into a club at the weekends, with visiting DJs making this one of the hottest nightlife spots in the city.
- If you fancy a bit of live music, Klub Daktari offers music sets, jam sessions, theatre, cabaret, and all sorts of other cultural events. And even if you’re not looking for live entertainment, this is still worth checking out for its unusual living room-type set up, complete with its very own on-site library!
- On the coast of Portorož you'll find Kavarna Cacao, a stylish cafe-bar. This is a brilliant place to chill out, catching the sunset from the wonderful waterfront terrace. With refreshing cocktails and a dancefloor that’s always busy, this is a great place to unwind, and there are regular events held here too.
- For modern music and a beautiful sea view, Klub Paprika is well worth visiting for an after dinner treat. Known for its massive cocktail menu and delicious bar snacks, the terrace has also earned itself a reputation for being one of the best places on the Slovenian coast to sunbathe with a drink in hand.
Lake Bled Nightlife
- For some late night partying, head to Stop Club in Bled and join 300+ other partygoers to enjoy a concert or live DJ performance. With an amazing view of the lake and castle, this is the only nightclub in Bled, which makes it hugely popular, especially at weekends when the locals flock for dancing and drinks.
- Another great Bled hotspot is Rock Bar Bled, which boasts a lovely outdoor seating area where you can take advantage of the warm Slovenian summer evenings. The bar is open until the early hours and is known for a massive selection of beers. There are also great paninis here to satisfy hungry tummies.
The country’s natural beauty really helps to make holidays in Slovenia so special and memorable. Romance here can take many forms, from sunsets over the sea to energetic hikes!
- You and your loved one can visit the romantic Lake Bled, allowing you to relax and take in the alpine surroundings. And don’t miss out on a peaceful boat ride over to the island and the Church of the Assumption, where you can climb the 99 steps to ring the church's legendary Wishing Bell together.
- In the evening, book a table at Restaurant 1906, widely considered to be Bled’s most romantic place to eat. You’ll enjoy a stunning view of the lake and the teardrop-shaped island, while dining on mouthwatering cuisine whipped up using local produce grown in the areas surrounding the lake.
- For a dream-like experience, head to the salt works of Secovlje, or be mesmerised by the emerald hues of the Soča River and the mysterious Trenta Valley, in the Triglav National Park. Both make for unforgettable romantic days out, and these amazing experiences are best shared with a loved one.
People also ask
Where do you fly to for Lake Bled?
While Bled does have its own airport, it's only used for recreational flying. Instead, visitors to Lake Bled will fly into Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, which is around 24 miles from the lake itself.
Which UK airports fly directly to Slovenia?
Direct flights to Slovenia leave from Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, and Heathrow. A seasonal service is available from Manchester during the popular summer months.
What currency is used in Slovenia?
Slovenia is a part of the European Union, and the currency used is the euro. Although it's wise to ensure you have cash for your trip, major credit cards are widely accepted and can be used across the country.
Should you tip in Slovenia?
Tipping is generally not expected in Slovenia. However, if you experience excellent service and would like to show gratitude, tips are warmly received.
Was Slovenia part of Yugoslavia?
Slovenia was one of 6 republics making up the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The republic was broken up in 1992.