It’s time to switch from urban European cities to a paradise on Earth, Slovenia. With turquoise-green rivers, mountain snow roofs and a coastline reminding of Italian pearl, Venice, this tiny European country has wrapped its natural treasures in charming rustic culture, delicious cuisine and elegant architecture. Why people love Slovenia? Well, it’s an outdoor country, which means there are so many things to do in nature, from rafting and ballooning to horseback riding and caving. When you add to that the stunning nature and very hospitable Slovenes to all that, you can’t say no to choosing Slovenia as your next destination!
Known as Slovenia’s second largest city and, more importantly, home to the oldest wine in the world, Maribor is a city that exudes charm, thanks to its delightful Old Town along the coast of Drava River. A fantastic wine-making tradition, fun events like a major summer arts festival hosted by the riverside Lent district, sport activities and eco-tourism in the countryside are only few of many reasons to visit capital of the Štajerska region. The city is also a gateway to the Maribor Pohorje, a popular recreational ski resort where you can cheer for skiers competing for the Golden Fox, the World Cup competition for women. Also, you can stroll through the Mariborske and Slovenske Gorice, wine-growing regions nearby.
How to get to Maribor:
- By bus: Maribor is easily accessible most of Europe, some of the most popular routes are Zagreb – Maribor, Vienna – Maribor, Budapest – Maribor, Venice – Maribor, Munich – Maribor.
Celje’s medieval city core will engage you in finding more about the Counts of Celje and climbing to the Old Castle, the largest fortress in Slovenia overlooking the city and looming over the Savinja River. At that river sits Celje’s Old Town, bordered by the Lower Castle area on one side and by train track on the other, and it has two main squares, Glavni trg and Krekov trg. Romantic streets, green parks, historically marked architecture, diverse museums, theatres and galleries all have something unique to themselves and all are within steps from each other in the very heart of the city.
How to get to Celje:
- By bus from Maribor: There are several departures per day and the journey time is 45-50 minutes. One ticket costs 6€.
- By train from Maribor: The train from Maribor to Celje departs twice an hour and a single ticket for the journey of 60 minutes costs 5,80€ to 7,60€, depending on the time of the departure.
3) Novo Mesto
There is no Slovenian town as beautiful and welcoming as Novo Mesto, which is why, once you go there, you will fall in love with it. Apart from more-than-you-can-count-of monuments and attractions, there is a special treat for archaeology fans, the Museum of Dolenjska which features numerous collections of different items, of which the most special heritage is amber. This city in southern Slovenia on the Krka River and its suburbs are home to 8 medieval castles which had the purpose of protecting the territory and part of which has been turned into museums to throw light on city’s rich history. The most famous attractions are the People’s House, Town Hall, the Church of St. Nicholas and the Dean House.
How to get to Novo Mesto:
- By train from Celje: The train from Celje to Novo Mesto departs more than 30 times a day and travels for an hour. A one way ticket costs 5,80€ to 7,60€, depending on the time of the departure.
As the largest coastal town in Slovenia, Koper appears to be a port city not paying much attention to tourism. However, the city’s central core is medieval and has a special, delightful charm once you see the non-port-like part. The buildings discover the city’s past and evoke the era of Italian domination and the Venetian Republic, as well as the golden age of Renaissance and Gothic style. By strolling through narrow streets towards the main square, you’ll come across one of Slovenia’s largest cathedrals, the three-nave Romanesque Koper Cathedral. The city revives in summer months thanks to numerous cultural activities organized on streets and squares.
How to get to Koper:
- By bus from Novo Mesto: There are several departures a day and the journey takes 3 hours. A ticket costs about 12€, depending on the carrier.
- By train from Novo Mesto: The train departs from Novo Mesto 4 times a day and travels for 4-5 hours. One way ticket price is 14€.
Postojna is a town situated in the traditional Notranjska region, very close to the Italian border. However, that is definitely not what determines this place. The karst cave of Postojna, one of the largest and most unique in the world, is among country’s most popular attractions. Thousands of people visit the cave every year, so don’t miss your chance to be one of them. Another must is a landmark Predjama Castle, a Renaissance castle built within a cave mouth in south-central Slovenia. For the adventurers among you, there is a zipline and aerial adventure park nearby, so you can test your bravery and win your fears too.
How to get to Postojna:
- By bus from Koper: The Rizana bus company drives on the route, for further information ask on the bus station in Koper.
- By train from Koper: There are 5 departures per day and the ride lasts 1,5 hours. One way ticket costs 8,80€.
Finally it’s time for one of Europe’s greenest and most liveable capitals. Indeed, the European Commission declared Ljubljana as the Green Capital of Europe for 2016. A huge plus of the city is the prohibition of traffic in the city core, which leaves the beautiful Ljubljanica River, flowing through the heart of the city, available for pedestrians and cyclists.
Ljubljana’s cityscape, overlooked by the magnificent Ljubljana Castle, was shaped by widely-known architect Jože Plečnik. It doesn’t matter if you prefer culture and art, for which you should definitely go to Metelkova, or gastro-wonders, Slovenia’s capital has it all.
How to get to Ljubljana:
- By bus from Postojna: There are over 20 departures from Postojna to Ljubljana with the journey time of approximately 60 minutes. The prices vary depending on the carrier, but they cost no more than 10€.
- By train from Postojna: The train also takes about an hour and there are many departures throughout the day. The price of a single ticket is about 7€.
Bled is the symbol of Slovenia’s beauty. It is one of world-known paradises which attracts visitors with its natural beauty. The city is situated on the Lake Bled itself and is one of the oldest touristic sites in the country. With its stunning green lake, picturesque church on an islet and a medieval castle clinging to a rocky cliff, it is Slovenia’s most popular resort offering many activities to its visitors, from hiking and biking to canyoning and watersports. It’s breathtaking at any time of the year, so pack your bags and don’t miss this place on your route to enjoy the intact nature.
How to get to Bled:
- By bus: The bus to Bled departs from Ljubljana Central Station every 30 or 60 minutes and the journey lasts 1h 15min. One way ticket is 6,30€.
- By train: There are 6 departures a day to Bled from Ljubljana. The journey is 1h 40min long and costs 7€.