Slovenia has a wealth of culture, lush nature, and a rich cuisine to offer any traveler. Thanks to the small size of the country, it is easy to base yourself out of the capital and explore every book and cranny via hassle-free day trips from Ljubljana. These 15 day trips give you the very best the country has to offer.
For many, exploring
Slovenia starts and stops with excursions to Ljubljana and Lake Bled. If you do have a few days to spare, yet as one of the topographically most diverse countries in Europe, Slovenia has a lot more to offer!
With a sound public transport network, well-maintained roads, and locals who are more than happy to help lost travelers, traveling around Slovenia is an absolute breeze.
Base yourself out of Ljubljana and explore every corner of Slovenia. A little careful planning will even allow you to pop over to
Italy (Venice) or Croatia (Zagreb) for a day without any effort at all. Time to explore the various day trips from Ljubljana.
Day trip from Ljubljana: How to get around?
There are various ways to get around Slovenia, the eco-conscious traveler might like to stick to public transportation (cheap and extremely scenic): Check out Green Slovenia for dedicated sustainable day trips (combining hiking, bike tours, and public transportation); the road trip lover will want to freedom that comes with renting a car.
Public Transportation in Slovenia
Slovenia has a great network of trains and buses that will get you to just about every corner of the country.
Travel around Slovenia by train
The trains in Slovenia are a great way to slow travel through the country. Tickets can be purchased either online, at the train station, or on the train itself (for a small surcharge). Certain trains are set up to accommodate motor vehicles while others are only for passengers.
Find tickets: Check the schedule and find the cheapest tickets via omio.
Travel around Slovenia by bus
The bus system in Slovenia is slightly more efficient than the train and will get you to your destination in no time flat. Inside Ljubljana, you will need to use the Urbana card to get around, while for other parts of the country tickets can simply be purchased online.
Find tickets: Check the schedule and find the cheapest tickets via omio.
Renting a car in Slovenia
Renting a car and driving around Slovenia gives you the most flexibility and is the fastest way to combine the various trips from Ljubljana.
To rent a car in Slovenia you need to be 18+ and have held your driver’s license for over one year. Drivers under the age of 25 might incur a slight surcharge (young drivers charge). Costs start at $45/a day for renting a car
Important to know: When driving in Slovenia a vignette is required (weekly, monthly, or yearly vignette available).
Thinking about renting an electrical car? Slovenia is installing more charging points throughout the country. Find a charging station for your electric vehicle in Ljubljana.
Save your pennies: Rent a car in Ljubljana – Check the cheapest rates
Day tours from Ljubljana
Not a fan of taking public transportation or renting a car in Slovenia but still interested in taking a day trip from Ljubljana? There are plenty of affordable day tours available to give you the best chance to explore Slovenia.
This action-packed tour combines the three most beautiful Ljubljana excursions into one day. The tour lasts 9.5 hours, starting and ending on the doorstep of your hotel. Includes a tasting of the delicious Bled Cake, a tour around the beautiful lake, the entry ticket to the Triglav National Park, and hotel pick-up and drop-off.
Rated two of the best day trips from Ljubljana in Southern Slovenia, combine the mesmerizing underground Postojna caves with the romantic medieval Predjama Castle built on a precarious cliffside.
Head to Northeast Slovenia and visit one of the oldest towns in the country, Ptuj, fall in love with Maribor and explore the vineyards and wine that are an important cultural heritage of Slovenia. Includes a delicious wine tasting of Slovenian wine in the middle of the vineyards.
13 one day trips from Ljubljana inside Slovenia
Explored by Tom and Zi from Craving adventure
Location: 85 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: 1.5hrs by car or bus
Kranjska Gora is a gorgeous area on the northern edge of Triglav National Park. The area is the perfect day trip from Ljubljana if you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in nature.
Triglav National Park is known for its awe-inspiring lakes, jaw-dropping mountains, and countless opportunities for outdoor activities. All of this and more can also be found in Kranjska Gora!
This Slovenian region is popular in winter thanks to the multitude of ski slopes, making it one of the most popular day trips from Ljubljana! During the summer Kransjka Gora has plenty of wonderful hikes which are sure to capture the heart of any outdoor lover.
Kransjka Gora is also home to the highest mountain pass of the Julian Alps (Vršič Pass) ass well as the highest ski jumping slope of the world (Planica), both are equally impressive and deserve a full day of exploring. Be sure to read further below to get all the information on these iconic spots!
A five-minute drive from Kranjska Gora town lies the Zelenci Nature Reserve. The most significant feature of this reserve is the Zelenci lake with crystal clear and blue-green colored spring water, and the majestic Mount Triglav in the backdrop. Simply park the car on the side of the road, right after Podkoren, and walk to the lake. For the best views of the lake, follow the trail and the boardwalk to the viewing point.
Tip: If driving make a pit stop at Peričnik waterfall on the way
Find your sustainable hotel near the slopes in Kranjska Gora
Explored by Kat from Wandering Bird
Location: 97 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: 1-1.5hrs by car or bus
Vršič Pass is the highest mountain pass crossing of the Julian Alps. The pass is located in the north-western part of Slovenia and sits at an altitude of 1.611 meters. It was originally built in the 19Th century for military and trade purposes, these days it is is open to anyone with a vehicle looking for sweeping vistas and a thrilling drive.
Driving on the Vršič Pass is quite an adventure! The road is paved, and well maintained but has some fifty-odd sharp hairpin bends leading you up and down the mountain range. You will not need a specific type of vehicle to navigate the roads, a strong stomach and good command of driving skills will get you through! Please note that during winter the top part of the Vršič Pass is usually closed due to heavy snowfall.
Along the way there are plenty of spots you will want to stop at: Scenic viewing points; bars and restaurants; a swim in Lake Jasna; an Russian orthodox chapel and the famous face in the rocks. If you have some additional time, you might want to partake in one of the many hikes. Make sure to bring a bathing suit (for Lake Jasna) and hiking shoes.
Good to know
Remember, the road gets busy in the summer. If you want to partake in one of the most thrilling day trips from Ljubljana, be sure to set off early.
Find a hotel near the Vršič Pass
Explored by Erki from GENEM Travels
Location: 93 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: 1.5hrs by car or 2hrs by bus
One of the most popular day trips from Ljubljana is a visit to the city of Planica. The city is located in the northwestern part of Slovenia, on the border with Austria and Italy. Planica is most well known for its role as a winter sports hub, especially the adventurous act of ski jumping which requires a very steep hill that athletes can jump from.
Planica first built a ski jumping hill back in 1930 and has continued to provide a good training ground for both pro and amateur athletes of the sport. To this day it still holds the title of biggest ski jumping hill in the world. Aside from ski jumping, the area offers a wide variety of different activities in fact the Planica Nordic center receives visitors all year long. During the winter the region transforms into an enormous ski resort and in the summer there are plenty of hiking opportunities.
For the more adventurous souls, there is an option to jump on the high-speed Planica zipline which starts at the top of the ski jumping hill. The museum in the sports center offers insights into the history of the region as well as all the records that have been broken on the Planica ski jumping hills.
Find sustainable accommodations in Planica
Location: 83 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: 1-1.5hrs by car or 2hrs by bus
Slovenia is without a doubt the greenest country in Europe: an oasis of mountains, lakes, rivers, and old seaside towns. In short, the stuff storybooks are made of! One of the most beautiful natural places you can visit on one of the most popular day trips from Ljubljana is without a doubt Lake Bohinj.
Lake Bohinj is located in the Triglav National Park in Slovenia. It can be visited both in summer and in winter, with plenty of activities for each season. Be sure to peel your eyes away from the breathtaking mountainous surroundings and peer into the crystal clear water. In fact, the lake is so clear that you will be able to count all the stones at the very bottom.
The summer season allows for a variety of different water sports including kayaking, rowing, swimming, SUP as well as a great number of hiking trails. Be sure to bring a good pair of walking shoes to partake in one of these beautiful hikes around Lake Bohinj.
One of the easiest hikes in a 10km hike snaking around Lake Bohinj itself. Expect to encounter beautiful vistas and many picturesque angles of the lake. Lake Bohinj is within walking distance of the most beautiful waterfall in all of Slovenia, Savica Waterfall. Simply follow the signs and the hiking trails starting at the lake.
As the lake is located in the Triglav National Park, there are designated areas containing restaurants and toilets. These are located on the east and west side of the lake. If you are planning on hiking to other parts of the lake, be sure to carry enough water and snacks.
In the winter the nearby Vogel ski resort awaits snow sports enthusiasts with plenty of slopes catering towards all levels of skills.
Find a locally run quaint sustainable hotel on Lake Bohinj
Explored by Lori from Travlinmad
Location: 65 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: 1hr by car or bus, walk 15 mins to the mouth of the gorge.
Vintgar Gorge is an easy drive from Ljubljana and one of the most popular day trips from the capital city of Slovenia. Located in the eastern part of Triglav National Park right next to the popular Lake Bled (roughly 4 kilometers apart). In fact, visiting the gorge and Lake Bled together makes for the perfect action-packed day trip!
Vintgar Gorge is open from April to November and offers splendid hikes that are fun for both kids and adults. There are two different types of hikes to choose from. Both hikes start at the entrance of the gorge, be sure to check out the route conditions before you go to the entrance itself.
Along with both hikes you will walk on a sturdy wooden walkway built into the cliffs, crisscrossing over the Radovna River leading to the Šum Waterfall, which has a restroom and a few places to grab a snack before you head back. From here on end, you have two different options.
The Sveta Katarina, starts at the main entrance and leads you through the beautiful Šum Waterfall and finally up to the viewing point of the Church of Saint Katherine. The second hike is the Strma Stran route which will take you past the Šum Waterfall and into the little village of Blejska Dobrava. This hike is more challenging and has a steeper ascent.
If you are looking for a longer hike, move your starting point to Lake Bled and hike to the gorge itself (adding 8 kilometers to your hike)
Explored by Caro from Veggie Wayfarer
Location: 55 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: 35mins-1hr by car or bus depending on if you use toll roads
Aside from Lake Bohinj, one of the other most popular day trips from Ljubljana takes you to the fairy tale Lake Bled. Surrounded by the Julian Alps, under the watchful eye of Bled Castle sits the crystal clear lake Bled. It is filled with a bevy of swans, and hopeful tourists hoping to see their wishes come true as they sound the bells of the Lake Bled church, planted on the island in the middle of the lake.
According to legend, Lake Bled used to be a vast field of grass where the fairies danced until the wee hours of the morning. One day, they came to dance and all the grass had been eaten by local sheep. Out of wrath, they transformed the valley into a lake with a little patch of green in the middle for them to dance on. This story adds to the mythical aura of Lake Bled!
One can easily make visiting Lake Bled a full-day excursion from Ljubljana. Partake in some of the popular activities like hiking around the lake, renting a rowboat and visiting Bled Island, and of course trying a slice of the famous Bled Cake.
Find the perfect charming hotel on Lake Bled
Explored by Emily from Wander-Lush
Location: 23 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: 25-30mins by car or bus
If you want to get a taste of Slovenia’s pretty Upper Carniola region without venturing too far from Ljubljana, consider taking a day trip to Skofja Loka.
Skofja Loka sits at the confluence of the Poljane Sora and Selca Sora rivers. It’s easily one of Slovenia’s most charming small towns, with two lovely squares and narrow laneways lined with colorful houses. Loka Castle sits on a hill above the town and is home to the Loka Museum, which is definitely worth a visit.
One day is the perfect amount of time to wander around Skofja Loka’s old town and visit the museum. Start by crossing the Capuchin Bridge, a semi-circular stone bridge that’s straight out of a fairytale. Climb the easy path up the opposite hill for panoramic views of the town and castle, then meander your way back down, stopping in at Gostilna Kasca – a traditional Slovenian restaurant set inside Skofja Loka’s old granary – for lunch. Finish your day with a glass of local wine in the courtyard at Kavarna Homan, a cute cafe near the main square that occupies one of the town’s oldest buildings.
Find a guesthouse in Skofja Loka
Explored by Maggie from The World Was Here First
Location: 130 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: by car 1.5hrs with tolls, 2hrs 40mins without tolls. 1hr 40mins by bus or train
If you’re looking for one of the most relaxed day trips from Ljubljana, you really cannot go wrong with visiting Maribor. As Slovenia’s second-largest city, Maribor has a lot to offer visitors, offering them a wide variety of different activities to ensure a fun-packed day trip.
The city of Maribor is located in the Styria region, the northern part of Slovenia. This charming and beautiful city is relatively unknown to many tourists, making for a very authentic and relaxed place to explore. Its relative proximity to Ljubljana (one hour by bus or train) and sterling public transport connection will ensure you get there without any hassle.
One of the main reasons to visit Maribor is its importance in Slovenian wine cultivation. The city thrives off of the nearby vineyards and there are countless wine bars where you can sample local vintages in a very pleasant setting. Make sure to head to the Old Vine House, which is home to the oldest grape-producing vine in the world (spoiler it is over 400 years old, and counting). Additionally, you could tour the Vinag Wine Cellar which is a massive, labyrinthine wine cellar below the old town.
If you are interested in learning about the history of Maribor and the Styria region be sure to check out the Museum of National Liberation and the Maribor Regional Museum. The Maribor regional museum is actually housed in the Maribor castle, which was built in the middle of the city (highly unusual for 15th-century castles). Entrance tickets will set you back €5 ($5.5).
No visit to Maribor would be complete without enjoying a gentle hike up Pyramid Hill. This hill overlooking the city is laden with grapevines and it is a favorite spot for locals to stroll on a sunny afternoon. The path is well-maintained and the hike is not difficult.
Stay in a guesthouse in Maribor‘s wine country
Explored by Džangir from drjamstravels
Location: 138 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: by car 1.5hrs with tolls, 2hrs 40mins without tolls. By train 2hrs.
Ptuj is a little city to the northwest of Ljubljana, being a mere 1,5-hour drive away it is one of the easiest trips from Ljubljana. Day trips in Slovenia usually offer a very scenic ride and Ptuj is no different in that respect!
The city of Ptuj has been around for a very long time. In fact, around 15 BC the city became part of the Roman Empire and was an important stopping point on the Amber Road connecting the Baltic and the Adriatic Sea. According to records the city had over 30,000 inhabitants in the 3e century making it larger than London and Vienna at the time. The historical importance of Ptuj can be seen in the many archaeological remains that have survived to this day along both sides of the Drava river.
A famous landmark in Ptuj is the medieval castle, perched on top of the hill. It was built in the 12th century to protect the city from invading Hungarians. These days the castle is no longer used to defend the city from invaders but rather as a museum portraying the culture of the region. Ticket prices are around €6 and can be purchased at the entrance of the castle.
The best views over the city are from the castle! Lace-up your walking shoes and make the short hike up! On your way down, enjoy the little narrow cobblestoned roads that connect the castle with the town. Make sure to set some time aside to visit the Pulveturn tower and the Dominican Abby.
If you are visiting Ptuj in the summer, partake in some of the activities on the artificial lake: rowing, swimming, surfing, fishing, and even sailing. If your visit happens to coincide with the winter then perhaps you might enjoy a dip in the thermal waters at the Ptuj Spa.
Ptuj becomes very lively during Carnival when a local tradition of ‘welcoming in spring’ (Kurentovanje) attracts over 60,000 people to the city. You can witness Kurenti, carnival figures dressed in sheepskins horns, feathers, leather masks all through the city. As per tradition, the Kurenti make loud noises with their cowbells to scare off the evil spirits of winter.
Find a great guesthouse in Ptuj
Postojna Caves & Predjama Castle
Explored by Kami from mywanderlust.pl
Location: 50 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: 36mins by car or 1hr by bus or train
Boasting an impressive 11,000 caves, it is safe to say Slovenia knows a thing or two about cave exploration. One of the most popular day trips from Ljubljana is – unsurprisingly – a visit to the Postojna Cave. The cave is the second largest in the world and contains a ‘mere’ 25 kilometers of underground passages.
No worries though, during your visit you will not be walking all of these passages, in fact, today only a small part of the cave is open to tourists. Nevertheless, the experience will still allow you to get a good feel for the sheer size of the caves! The exploring starts with a small electric train that drives you some 4kms inside the cave, after which your walk inside the cave starts. The average time spent walking around the cave is around 1h.
Once you have explored the natural beauty of the Postojna Caves, it is time for the second part of this day trip. The Predjama castle is within walking distance of the Postojna Cave. It is frequently visited together with the cave, in fact, you can grab a combo entrance ticket that will allow you to visit both the cave and the castle together.
The Predjama Castle is a very unique castle, as it was built within a cave-mouth some 123 meters off the ground. This renaissance castle has survived for 800 years and is connected by a network of underground cave tunnels. It holds the Guinness World Record for the largest cave castle in the world. In short, it’s worth adding to your Slovenia itinerary!
Good to know
The cave and castle combo ticket costs €40 ($44)
The caves are chilly (8-10 degrees Celsius) so bring a jacket, even in summer!
Find a locally run hotel in Postojna near caves and castles
Explored by Roxanne from Farawayworlds
Location: 77 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: 50mins by car, 1hr 40mins by bus, or 2hrs by train to Divača station
If you have a little extra time in your itinerary, why not go and explore another cave! They are all so very different from each other and the Skocjan Caves are a pretty impressive sight, so much so that they were classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The caves were formed by the Reka River, which still flows through the underground canyon. Inside you will find a plethora of caverns, pools, sinkholes and huge stalactites, and stalagmites. A unique part of the experience is definitely crossing above a deep, underground chasm on a narrow bridge.
The river is barely visible through the deep blackness below. The whole experience is very adventurous though perhaps not so much for the faint-hearted. This day trip from Ljubljana is slightly less suited for those suffering from vertigo for this very reason.
After you have finished exploring the underground, you can continue your day trip by walking around the caves one of the indicated walks which will take you along the river, allowing you to enjoy the gorgeous Slovenian scenery
Good to know
Entrance Fee costs €16-24 ($18-26) depending on whether you choose to follow the Reka River underground as well as visiting the underground caverns (possible from April to October).
Bring suitable choose and warm clothes for inside the cave
Find a hotel in Divača
Explored by Emily from Wander-Lush
Location: 120 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: 1.5hrs by car or 2hrs from Ljubljana central bus stop, transferring at Koper to Piran
Slovenia’s prettiest seaside city, Piran is located on the country’s Adriatic Coast roughly 120 kilometers (75 miles) by road from the capital. Every bit as charming as Croatia’s iconic port cities but without the same crowds, Piran is a nice contrast to Ljubljana and the perfect place to soak up some sunshine.
Piran’s history dates back to Illyrian times. In the 13th century, the city became part of the Republic of Venice and flourished as a popular port. Reminders of the centuries spent under Venetian rule can be found all around the city today, including in the beautiful plazas and on the facades of the pastel-colored buildings that line the main square, Tartini trg.
The city is also known as Pirano retains strong ties to Italy (it’s only a short drive to the border and the city of Trieste, after all) – in fact, Piran is within one of three Slovenian municipalities where Italian is a co-official language. After grabbing an espresso on the square, the first order of business is to climb up to the two main viewpoints, the church bell tower, and the old city walls, for panoramic views of the peninsula and sparkling bay beyond.
Other must-do’s in Piran include walking along the seafront to the lighthouse, visiting the exquisite Minorite Monastery, and getting lost in the narrow alleyways that make up the main part of the city. Just beyond Piran, secluded coves offer opportunities for swimming, and you can find shaded hiking trails amongst the olive groves and salt pans along both sides of the coast. In short, Piran is the perfect size for a day trip from Ljubljana.
Find an accommodation right at the beach in Piran
Explored by Claudia from My Adventures Across The World
Location: 97 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: 1.5hrs by car or 2.5hrs from Ljubljana central bus stop to Hotel Lahinja, then take a taxi 15 mins to Bela Krajina
Time to explore one of the lesser-visited regions in south-eastern Slovenia: Bela Krajina (White Carniola). This beautiful little region shares a border with Croatia and traditionally was only reachable via mountain passes. Which has resulted in a very distinct culture and accent versus the rest of Slovenia. It is a place of handicraft, Slovenian folklore and holds some of the country’s best wineries.
Bela Krajina is about 100 kilometers away from Slovenia and can be done as a day trip from Ljubljana, although it might be a bit rushed in all honestly. The ideal scenario is to spend a few days exploring all the highlights of this region.
For wildlife spotting and hiking, head over to the Kolpa Natural Park. If you are looking to get a good feel of the culture of the region makes your way down to the mill on the Kula River. History lovers will want to check out the Mithraeum of Rozanec, located near Črnomelj.
One of the most interesting (free) archaeological sites in Slovenia. The location can be accessed via a path running through a lush chestnut tree forest. And last but not least, explore the remains of the Krupa Castle in Stranska Vas. The Krupa Castle is a 13th-century fortress that fell in the 16th century under Ottoman rule.
The region of Bela Krajina is known for its wine production. So be sure to set aside some time to visit one of the wineries and learn all about the famous Slovenian wines. Pair your wine with some delicious pogaca (local focaccia bread). Enjoy!
Find accommodations in Metlika (Bela Krajina)
Two day trips from Ljubljana to other countries
Slovenia is very close to both Italy and Croatia and both countries can easily be visited as a day trip from Ljubljana either via public transport or by way of a car. If you do end up renting a car and traveling outside of Slovenia be sure to double-check with your rental country if your insurance covers travel outside of Slovenia!
Location: 140 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: 2-hour drive or train ride
The capital of neighboring country
Croatia, Zagreb is a great excursion from Ljubljana. The city is small enough to visit in one day, provided you are up for a fair amount of walking. The city is split into upper town (Gronji Grad) or Medieval Zagrab and lower town (Donji Grad) replete with buzzing bars and restaurants.
Start exploring Zagreb in upper town, get there while riding the 19 th century funicular (cost 5,00 HKN) to reach the top. When exiting the funicular turn right, and witness the best views over sprawling Zagreb. The church of Saint Mark, the silver statue of Poet Antun Gustav Matos and the Zagreb Cathedral are a few of the must-see places in Gronji Grad.
Walk down to lower town (Donji Grad) grab a drink on Tklaciceva street and indulge in some good old people watching. Take in the Ban Josip Jelačić square, the construction of which kickstarted the expansion of Zagreb and the creation of lower town. Highlights of Donji Grad include the Croatian National Theater, the Bat House (for the Art Nouveau lovers) and the many parks.
Check out sustainable hotels in Zagreb
Location: 94 kilometers from Ljubljana
Travel time: 75 min drive
Northern Italian city Trieste is an easy 75 min drive from Ljubljana. The city is located in the Friuli Venezia Region, historically a melting pot of Austrian, Slovenian and Italian cultural influences. This region is very distinct from any others you will find in mainland Italy.
Grab a coffee on the impressive Piazza Unita Italia, taking in the majestic buildings that line the square among them the Town Hall, the Palazzo del Lloyd Triestino, the Palazzo del Governo and the Palazzo Pitteri.
Visit the ancient Roman amphitheater, explore the Grotta Gigante on the outskirts of town and the picturesque Miramare Castle. Fill up on a delicious pasta before heading back to Ljubljana.
If you have a few more days on your hands, you might consider venturing out further into
Northern Italy towards Venice (direct train Trieste-Venice takes 2h15; driving is around 2h30 minutes) or into the mountainous region of the Dolomites.
Find your accommodation in the city center of Trieste
Day Trips from Ljubljana in conclusion
I hope this overview of day trips has provided you with some great inspiration on the various different areas to visit in Slovenia as well as the neighboring countries that are easily accessible from Ljubljana.
If, like me, you are trying to
travel in a more sustainable way, traveling by train or bus is a super-easy way to cut down on your CO2 emissions.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR TRAVELING IN EUROPE
Vegetarian Food in Slovenia
A guide to Lake Bled
Northern Italy Guide
Roadtrip in Croatia
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