A place of jaw-dropping beauty with snow-dusted mountains, shockingly blue rivers, and a glamorous Venetian-inspired coastline, Slovenia is as close to paradise as you can get. Here rugged natural treasures blend harmoniously with fairytale-like architecture, rustic charm, and an elegant gastronomy scene that’s sure to win everyone over.
Whether you prefer to surround yourself with wide-open spaces that seem to stretch on forever or head for bustling cities that will trick you into thinking you’ve stepped back in time, you’ll never be stuck for what to do in Slovenia.
From immense glittering lakes, mysterious verdant forests, and magnificent towering cliffs to magical historic castles, centuries-old hidden caves, and powerful thundering waterfalls, Slovenia really is made for lovers of the great outdoors. Throw into the mix charismatic towns, fascinating festivals, and award-winning restaurants, and you’ve got something for everyone!
With such a fantastic choice of things to see and do, it can be tricky to know where to begin. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the absolute best things to do in Slovenia. Add these fun activities and attractions to your Slovenia bucket list, and get ready to have an amazing time exploring one of the most beautiful corners of the world.
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25 Fun and Unique Things to Do In Slovenia
1. Have An Epic Road Trip Along The Vršič Pass
The Vršič Pass is one of the most stunning and thrilling road trips in Slovenia. Not only is it the highest pass in the country, but it’s also the highest in the Eastern Julian Alps.
The road winds at over 1,500 meters above sea level guaranteeing you some incredible views of the Slovenian countryside. From imposing pine trees and snowcapped mountains to dazzling blue lakes and long-forgotten buildings, you’ll see loads of great stuff on this trip!
If you need a break from driving, pull over and stretch your legs. You’ll find a range of great hiking routes along the pass, which take you past some breathtaking viewpoints.
Summer is the best time to follow the Vršič Pass when the land is green, the flowers are in bloom, and the temperature is wonderfully mild. But if you don’t mind the cold, winter is a spectacular time to drive along this route, too. This is when the mountains are blanketed in a thick layer of snow, and the place looks like a real winter wonderland!
2. Chill Out At Dreamy Lake Bled
Lake Bled is one of the biggest Slovenia attractions, making it a must-see during your visit. Every year thousands of people are attracted to the giant azure lake and the quaint island which sits in the center.
Hidden away in the Alps, Lake Bled looks like it was ripped straight from the pages of a fairytale book. Surrounded by rocky mountains, medieval castles, and lush forests, this spot is so beautiful that you’ll never want to leave!
To visit the island in the middle of the lake, you’ll need to take a ride on a pletna boat. These traditional wooden boats are made by locals and date back to 1590. They’re pretty similar to the gondolas in Venice, Italy.
If you’ve got the energy after your peaceful boat trip, you can hike up the 99 steps to reach the island’s church. Ringing the church bell is said to bring you good luck, so give it a whirl! If climbing up and down the steps left you feeling hot, take a swim in the refreshing lake to cool off.
3. Discover The Incredible Grandeur Of Predjama Castle
Built precariously into the side of a 122-meter-tall cliff, Predjama Castle really is an architectural masterpiece. The structure dates back more than 800 years and is considered to be the largest cave castle in the world. But there’s much more to the building than what you can see from the front.
Behind the castle lies a hidden network of clandestine tunnels, secret passageways, and spooky karst caves. This is where the Erazem of Predjama, known as the local Robin Hood, would begin his plundering expeditions.
Step inside the castle, and you’ll discover eerie chambers and chilling dungeons that hint at the castle’s complicated and dark history. If you want to find out more, there are many different tours you can join.
Our favorite tour is the “A Knight For A Day” tour. This quirky excursion takes you through the castle’s armory, kitchen, chapel, and torture chamber so you can get a better idea of what medieval life was really like.
4. Explore The Škocjan Caves
For one of the best Slovenia sightseeing opportunities, visit the Škocjan Caves. These caves are considered to be one of the biggest underground cave networks in the world, and they’re also home to one of the largest indoor chambers on the planet.
The Škocjan Caves are a one-of-a-kind natural phenomenon. They were created by the Reka River, which dissolved the limestone in the area, resulting in the bizarre rock formations you see today.
Take a tour through the caves, and you’ll witness magnificent emerald lakes, alien-like jagged stalagmites, and creepy mood lighting. The precarious paths and bridges are often lined by plummeting drops. Of course, everything is 100% safe, but if you’ve got a fear of heights, you may want to give this one a miss.
At one part of the tour, you cross a bridge over a drop that is so deep you can hardly see the bottom! It’s a great experience and the caves are guaranteed to be like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
5. Celebrate One Of The Oldest Slovenian Traditions At Carnival
If you’re planning to be in Slovenia during February, you’ve got to take a trip to Ptuj. At this time of year, the town comes to life with incredible Carnival celebrations. Known locally as Kurentovanje, the fantastic event lasts for 10 days and has been added to the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List.
Ptuj is Solvenia’s oldest town, and it’s a beautiful place to explore at any time of year. Boasting a majestic castle, gorgeous architecture, and a rushing river, the town is a wonderful place to just wander around and forget about your old routine.
But visit during Carnival season, and you’ll find an amazing program with absolutely loads going on. You’ll see traditional figures roaming the streets dressed in sheepskin costumes. Their job is to chase away the winter season with wooden clubs and colorful ribbons. It’s quite a sight to see!
You’ll also get the chance to watch extravagant parades, dynamic street parties, live music performances, and theatrical acts. The festival gets bigger every year, and it’s definitely something you should add to your Slovenia bucket list.
6. Get Lost In Ljubljana Old Town
One of the best things to do in Slovenia is to explore the Old Town in Ljubljana. Whether you’ve never visited the place before or you can’t keep away, you’ll always stumble upon something new and interesting in Ljubljana Old Town.
The historic beating heart of Slovenia, Ljubljana Old Town is where you’ll find meandering canals which work their way under rustic stone bridges, picturesque homes next to Gothic cathedrals, and charming plazas lined with open-air cafes.
There’s also an outdoor market where you can pick up everything from traditional souvenirs to seasonal produce and delicious street food. If you’d prefer something a little more formal, you’ll be spoiled for choice with independent cafes, trendy lounges, and top-end restaurants throughout the town.
For some of the best views in Ljubljana Old Town, head for the famous Dragon Bridge, where you can admire the river or snap a pic of one of the guarding dragons. Alternatively, visit the Fountain of the Three Carniolan Rivers, which is one of the most prominent landmarks in the area.
7. Become Addicted To Štruklji
Štruklji are traditional rolled dumplings that are so addictive that you can never stop at just one. They date back to the 16th century when they were made in the monasteries, making them one of the oldest dishes in Slovenia.
By the 17th century, štruklji had become a middle-class food reserved for celebrations. Today, they’re enjoyed by everyone throughout the country for any occasion.
The original dumplings were made from strudel dough. Although today you’ll also find them made with potato, noodle, filo, and yeasted dough. They come in almost every flavor you can imagine – sweet and savory.
Some popular fillings include cheese, poppy seeds, apples, nuts, and tarragon. Although, many places put their own contemporary spin on them and get really creative with flavors.
Štruklji are so popular that you’ll find them in almost every local restaurant throughout Slovenia. If you’re in Ljubljana, we recommend trying some at Moji Štruklji. This amazing restaurant makes more than 20 different kinds of traditional and modern rolled dumplings.
8. Enjoy The Slow Life In Piran
When you need a bit of a break but don’t want to waste a day, spend some time exploring Piran. Hidden away on a narrow peninsula on the Adriatic coast, this blissful village is a wonderful spot to enjoy life at a slower pace.
You’ll discover some of the best sights in Slovenia here, from pastel-colored houses with terracotta roofs and the glistening aquamarine sea to centuries-old city walls and a stylish marina filled with expensive yachts.
Despite Piran being rather small and compact, it’s got loads to offer. For some of the best views in the city, climb to the top of the bell tower. From up here, you’ve got a fantastic view of everywhere and you can really get your bearings.
During the day, you can spend your time admiring medieval cathedrals, people-watching in bustling squares, and enjoying stunning coastal walks. If you stay until the evening, you’ll have the chance to enjoy romantic candle-lit dinners in excellent seafood restaurants and sip tropical drinks in swanky cocktail lounges.
9. Step Back In Time At Franja Hospital
If you’re into history, you’ll have a great time in Slovenia. The country is teeming with fascinating places that recount what went on during WWI and WWII. The Franja Hospital is one of our favorite historic sites and easily one of the best things to do in Slovenia.
This hospital is expertly hidden in the Pasica gorge, which helped it avoid the enemy and stay operational, saving the lives of many men and women during WWII. After the war, the hospital was transformed into a museum and welcomed thousands of visitors up until 2007, when it was devastated by a flood.
Thankfully, the hospital has since been rebuilt and is once again open to the public. The building is almost an exact replica of what the hospital looked like in WWII. Step inside, and you’ll be able to read genuine stories of people who worked and were treated there decades ago. You can also see loads of original items that were once used in the hospital.
10. See Giant Stalactites Inside Postojna Cave
Taking a tour of the Postojna Cave is definitely one of the coolest things to do in Slovenia. Hidden deep underground, you’ll find a staggering 24 kilometers of dark tunnels, craggy stalactites, and jutting stalagmites that were formed millions of years ago by the Pivka River.
The pools and rivers inside the cave are truly fascinating. They’re home to a number of unique creatures called olms which are also known as human fish. Because of their salamander-like appearance, people once thought they were baby dragons!
While you’re here, you’ve absolutely got to ride the 150-year-old train. The colorful red and yellow train provides you with a quick and easy way to explore the various corridors, halls, and rooms of the Postojna Cave.
Keep an eye out for the highlight – a huge six-meter-tall stalagmite known as Skyscraper. You’ll also have the chance to admire Brilliant – a gigantic bright white stalagmite.
11. See One Of Slovenia’s Tallest Waterfalls
The Triglav National Park is one of those places that seems almost too beautiful to be true. From intimidating mountain peaks and rolling green valleys to gently rippling rivers and immense sparkling lakes, this part of the country is pristine and has barely been touched by human hands.
There’s absolutely loads to see and do here, but checking out the Pericnik Waterfalls should be at the top of your Slovenia bucket list. This waterfall is one of the tallest in the country, even though it’s actually made up of two individual falls. The lower falls flow 52 meters into a pool far below, while the upper waterfall only cascades 16 meters.
What really makes the Pericnik Waterfalls special is that you can walk behind them. Take a peek, and you’ll discover a secret trail that leads you behind the thundering water. Follow it, and you’ll be rewarded with incredible views that stretch out into the valley before you.
12. Indulge Your Sweet Tooth At The Chocolate Festival
If you can never say no to dessert, one of the most fun things to do in Slovenia is to visit Radovljica for the Chocolate Festival. The sleepy town may not appear on most visitors’ itineraries, but during April, it attracts loads of hungry foodies eager to be a part of the largest chocolate event in Slovenia.
The Chocolate Festival is held over three days and gives you the opportunity to indulge in all kinds of chocolate treats and products. There are more than 150 things to sample, from cookies, truffles, and tarts to chocolate-covered fruit, chocolate wine, and chocolate liqueur.
You need to purchase coupons to try all the delicious goodies. But don’t worry about blowing your budget. Each coupon gets you one sample and costs less than $1.
When you can’t eat anymore, it’s time to move on to the events. The extensive program features cooking demonstrations, cocktail shows, catwalk shows, and bodypainting workshops – all themed around chocolate!
13. Go White Water Rafting Along The Soca River
Zooming over rapids down the Soca River on a raft is one of the most exhilarating things you can do during your vacation in Slovenia. Whether you want to push yourself to the limit and try the most challenging route or get started with something a little simpler, you’ll find the perfect white water rafting tour for you.
The Soca River is an incredibly beautiful place to practice this sport. The deep turquoise color of the water, the steep canyon walls that rise up either side, and the thick, towering trees make this one of the most gorgeous places in all of Slovenia.
Most white water rafting tours last 3-4 hours, during which you’ll have the chance to paddle in gorgeous surroundings and put your strength to the test. Some parts of the river are wonderfully calm where you can just relax and enjoy, while other parts are really fast and require a lot of quick paddling.
If you don’t want to dive in at the deep end, many companies offer beginner courses so you can get to grips with white water rafting before doing it as part of a group.
14. Treat Yourself To Potica
When you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, find the nearest bakery and order yourself some potica. A traditional rolled cake, this iconic dessert is loved throughout the country and is considered to be the ambassador of Slovenian cuisine.
Potica dates all the way back to 1689 when it was exclusively prepared for the upper class and nobles. Today everyone is welcome to enjoy a slice of potica, whatever the occasion.
The dessert is made from yeasted dough, which is covered with one or more fillings and rolled up into a log or loaf shape. It’s then baked until golden brown on the outside and served in thick, delicious slices.
Today you’ll find potica served more than 80 different ways, from a savory roll flavored with chives in Želševka to a sweet roll doused in warm cream from Kozjansko.
Our favorite potica comes from Zvezda, the best bakery in Ljubljana. The chain boasts a number of stores throughout the city and serves the richest and more moreish potica in six different variations.
15. Hike The Tolmin Gorge Trail
For one of the best outdoor Slovenia activities, follow the Tolmin Gorge Trail inside the Triglav National Park. This gentle, moderate route is just two kilometers long, making it suitable for visitors of all ages and abilities. Take your time as you trek through the park and admire your dazzling surroundings.
You’ll find the Tolmin Gorge Trail on the southern side of the national park. Here you’ll be surrounded by rapidly flowing rivers, mysterious dark tunnels, lush green canyons, and unusual rock formations.
As you follow the route, you’ll come across a number of suspension bridges. From here, you can see remarkable views of the Zadlascica and Tolminka rivers. It’s hard to believe rivers this color exist!
As you reach the end of the trail, you’ll come across Bear’s Head viewpoint, which is marked by a small boulder that’s become wedged between two rocky cliffs.
16. Become A Fan Of Watersports At Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj is one of the best places in Slovenia to try out different water sports and find out which is the one for you. Hidden away at the foot of the Bohinj Valley in the Julian Alps, this enormous lake is crystal-clear and perfectly still, making it the ideal place to enjoy a number of different sports.
Around the lake, you’ll find several kiosks where you can rent everything from kayaks and canoes to paddleboards and boats. If you’d rather take things a little easier, you can always just get in the lake and enjoy a cool swim.
When you’ve had enough of the water, put on some decent sneakers and follow the flat circular trail which goes around the perimeter of the lake. It’s a wonderful place for a leisurely stroll and provides you with different viewpoints all across the water.
17. See Famous Lipizzaner Horses At The Lipica Stud Farm
You’ll find one of the most unique things to do in Slovenia at the Lipica Stud Farm. This farm has been breeding the majestic Lipizzaner horses since the 16th century. It was once exclusively used by royalty for their private stables, but today the farm is open to anyone who wants to witness the beautiful and intelligent breed of horse.
If you sign up for a guided tour, you’ll get to explore every inch of the farm. You’ll get to meet more than 300 Lipizzan horses, take a trip through the stud farm, see the oldest stable here, and explore a number of museums that focus on the horses and their incredible talents.
The best part of the guided tour is the show. When you’ve explored the grounds, you’ll get the chance to see the Lipizzaner horses show off their skills. They’re remarkably talented and the show is always fantastic.
18. Get Salty In The Sečovlje Salina Nature Park
The salt pans within the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park are one of the very few places on the planet where you can witness sea salt being produced in the exact same way it was centuries ago.
If you take a walk around the salt pans, you can see locals harvesting the salt by hand. This is the way it’s been done in the Mediterranean since the dawn of time. Although it’s hard work, this method of cultivation is great for the environment and ensures nothing unnecessary gets added to the salt.
After you’ve wandered around the pans, consider pampering yourself at the Lepa Vida Thalasso Spa. This indulgent, relaxing place is an open-air spa located in the northern part of the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park. Here you can relax with a number of spa treatments carried out using healing salts and mud from the local pans.
19. Attend The Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival
If you like cuddling up on the sofa with a glass of wine and a movie, you’ll love the Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival. Definitely one of the best things to do in Slovenia when you’re in need of a fun night out, this festival takes place for a week every July in Ljutomer.
The festival highlights amazing fantasy and horror movies, most of which you’ve probably never heard of. There’s a great range of films to check out, from creative modern-day fantasies to classic horror flicks from 100 years ago.
Ljutomer and the surrounding areas produce some of the finest wine in Slovenia, so don’t miss the chance to sip while you watch. In addition to all the movie screenings, the festival also features wine tasting, workshops, concerts, fairs, talks, master classes, book presentations, and a cool zombie walk. There’s absolutely loads going on!
20. Admire The Spectacular Views From Ljubljana Castle
For some of the most spectacular views of the city, pay a visit to Ljubljana Castle. It has roots that date back to the 11th century, and you can easily reach it on foot or by using the funicular railway.
When you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views that stretch all over the city. If you want to admire the panorama for a little longer, there’s a cafe and a restaurant where you can enjoy coffee and traditional Slovenian dishes while you appreciate your surroundings.
Ljubljana Castle isn’t just about the views from the outside. There are plenty of things to do and see inside, too. From beautifully renovated rooms filled with period furniture and gorgeous original artwork on the walls to the spooky castle dungeon that guards centuries-old secrets and charming walking trails throughout the castle grounds, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained here.
21. Fill Up On Carniolan Sausage
Slovenia boasts some of the most delicious food in Europe, and Carniolan sausage is certainly no exception. It’s similar to Polish sausage or kielbasa and is deep red in color with a wonderfully smoky and meaty taste.
Carniolan sausage is a protected product, meaning that it can only be produced by certified manufacturers. This guarantees that only the finest pork and bacon are used to make the delicacy. It has a moreish crunchy yet juicy texture and a seasoned, smoked pork flavor you won’t be able to get enough of!
This special sausage is usually served hot with sour turnip or cabbage, a soft white bun, mustard, and grated horseradish. You’ll find it in all kinds of places throughout Slovenia, from street food sellers to fine-dining restaurants.
Klobasarna is the best place in Ljubljana to try Carniolan sausage. This restaurant specializes in the classic dish and serves it the traditional way, as well as in a soup. They’ve also got vacuum-packed Carniolan sausage that you can take home with you.
22. Ride The Steepest Zipline In The World
If you love a challenge, one of the must-do things in Solvenia is to ride the zipline at the Planica Nordic Center. This colossal zipline is 566 meters long and drops down 202 meters, making it the steepest zipline in the world.
When you strap yourself in, you’ll fly at speeds of up to 85 km/h over the gorgeous Slovenian countryside. The zipline is designed to give you the same sensation that ski jumping champions experience when they’re zooming down lofty snowy slopes!
The Plantica Nordic Center is also home to the biggest ski jumping hill in the world. If you plan your visit well, you may be able to watch experts train and try to achieve new records.
In addition to the zipline and ski jumping hill, there’s loads more to do, too. From cross-country skiing and a disc golf park to a wind tunnel and the Planic Museum, you’ll be spoiled for choice with activities and attractions here.
23. Stay Overnight In A Former Prison
The Hostel Celica is where you’ll find one of the coolest and quirkiest things to do in Slovenia. This building was a prison for more than 100 years. But today it’s a hostel where you can stay for the chance to find out what it was like to be a political prisoner in Slovenia!
Each guest room is a genuine cell that was once used to house prisoners. To brighten things up and make the spaces a bit friendlier, each room is decorated in funky artwork and is entirely unique.
As you’d expect, there’s not much space in each room, but staying here is an amazing experience. Thankfully, the restaurant is fantastic – you won’t be stuck with prison food! The hostel also puts on fun events throughout the year, such as art exhibits, DJ sessions, and concerts.
Make sure you check out the basement when you’re there. It’s entirely in the dark and is where prisoners were once kept in solitary confinement. You can still see the scrawls they left on the walls today.
24. Check Out The Spooky Artwork At The Church Of The Holy Trinity
The Church of the Holy Trinity in Hrastovlje may not be as impressive on the outside as other churches, but it has something very special inside that makes it stand out among the crowd.
It’s home to the famous Dance of Death fresco, a huge seven-meter-tall piece of artwork that depicts 11 skeletons leading 11 people to a freshly dug grave. The twelfth skeleton stands at the end of the fresco holding open a coffin.
The people in the fresco include kings, cardinals, peasants, and a moneylender who tries to bribe one of the skeletons to let him off. The meaning behind the fresco is that all people are equal in the eyes of God.
The fresco dates back to around 1490, but it wasn’t discovered until 1949. Before that, the incredible piece of art was hidden behind a thick layer of plaster.
25. See The Oldest Grape Vine In The World
You’ll find one of the most interesting things to see in Slovenia in Maribor. The second-largest city in the country, Maribor is home to the oldest grape-producing vine on the planet.
The ancient vine has been growing on the front of an old house since the 17th century! Today you can visit the house for the chance to learn about how local wine is grown and to try some delicious Maribor wine. An expert sommelier will explain the features so you can really appreciate every sip.
If you time your trip just right, you may be able to witness one of the fantastic events. From ceremonial grape harvesting to traditional street parties, there’s a lot going on throughout the year. Even if there are no events happening during your visit, you’ll still have the chance to take a guided tour of the Old Vine House and hear fascinating stories from the local area.
There you have it! The 25 best things to do in Slovenia. What’s your favorite thing to do in Slovenia?
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