Boasting vast tracts of green forests and beautiful mountain peaks, Slovenia has no shortage of amazing places for visitors to get lost in and fun things to do. Its age-old towns and awe-inspiring Baroque buildings offer architectural eye candy for travelers all around the world. So what are the most beautiful places to visit in Slovenia that should be added to every person’s bucket list?
Located in Central Europe, right at the center of many major trade routes between East Europe and West Europe, Slovenia features a vibrant culture with traces of Slavic, Germanic, and Romantic influences. The country is mostly-mountainous, allowing it to offer some of the best mountain views in Europe. If you have not yet decided where to visit in this stunning country, these 15 beautiful destinations will blow your mind!
The Most Beautiful Places in Slovenia to Visit and Best Things to Do
It is indeed rare for a large city, let alone a country’s capital, to be featured on travelers’ most beautiful lists, but Ljubljana is definitely a deserving mention. Filled with things to do, there is a bit of something for everyone in this city. Featuring old quarters interwoven with green zones and newer urban areas, the city almost never feels too stuffy or too modern to explore. As you stroll around the city, don’t be intimidated by the local dragon statues. They are modeled after a monster that has been slain by the famous hero Jason and his crew while on their way to retrieve the Golden Fleece.
The best way to enjoy a panoramic view of the city is atop the Ljubljana Castle, which sits in the middle of the city. You can take a cable car to the top if climbing is not your thing.
Arguably the most beautiful landmark in Slovenia, Lake Bled seems like a magical lagoon stepping out from an age-old fairytale, inviting travelers to cast away their worries and indulge in a truly out-of-this-world experience. Overlooking the lake on a cliff is the 11th-century Bled Castle with all its splendor, which will offer you a beautiful panoramic view of the lake and the surrounding wilderness.
The small island in the middle of the lake houses the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria, famous for its winding stairs and lovely bell towers. Tourists can rent a boat and row to the island, so don’t hesitate to organize a short picnic with your friends on the church’s ground.
As you visit Lake Bled, don’t forget to take a chance to taste the local dessert, Bled cake. The heady rum, combined with refreshing lemon rinds, will certainly make that dish an unforgettable experience.
Although it is not as popular as other cities in Slovenia, Maribor is still quite on top of the list of the most beautiful places in Slovenia. Known for its wine-making industry, Maribor currently houses the oldest grape vine in the world. The amazing thing is that the vine still produces fruits, and locals are still making wine out of it. Though, it might be difficult to get your hands on a bottle as this kind of wine has limited availability.
At the city’s historic center, Main Square, lies the Plague Column, a 300-year-old monument erected in memorial of victims of the plague. At 900 years old, the town’s cathedral, the Maribor Cathedral is perhaps one of the oldest churches in the country. It was originally a Romanesque cathedral, like most of its contemporaries, but later renovations have added many Gothic elements to it, making the cathedral a real treat for fans of architecture.
Boasting a breathtaking system of underground caves, the Škocjan Caves is among the most popular tourist destinations and considered one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia. The entire underground cave complex has been considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, and it attracts as many as 100,000 visitors per year. The caves are located in a subterranean canyon, and there is a bridge connecting the two sides, allowing you to traverse the site more easily. Inside each cave are stalactites and stalagmites, as well as many strange rock formations that will take your breath away.
If you are looking to unwind a bit and enjoy some quality time with your friends, Laško will be the destination you are looking for. As a quaint spa town in Eastern Slovenia, Laško offers the serenity you need to get away from the worries of our modern life. Its water springs are also said to have healing properties as well, making it a very famous destination for locals and international travelers.
A stunning, fairy-tail town stuck in medieval times, Skofja Loka is truly one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia. Located a short 30 minute drive from Ljubljana, this small town surrounded by mountains is the perfect day trip. Wander the narrow cobblestone streets, visit the castle or sample some delicious local cuisine in one of the many restaurants. There is a bit of something for everyone who visits Skofja Loka.
Kranjska Gora and the Zelenci Nature Reserve
Nestled atop the Julian Alps and located just about an hour away from Ljubljana, Kranjska Gora is an alpine resort town that really comes to life when the cold winter winds begin sweeping through the country. Featuring numerous scenic views such as the Vršič Mountain Pass, the town is a perfect spot to begin a hiking trip up the Julian Alps. In winter, there are plenty of alpine activities that will keep you busy throughout your stay.
This destination is an alpine valley bordering vast tracts of ancient coniferous forests, making it a great getaway spot for those who look for fresh alpine air. The valley is divided into three main areas: lower, central, and upper. The lower and central parts of the valley feature lush and scenic meadows, while the upper part is where the ancient and untouched forests reside. This valley is often used as the base camp for those who wish to brave the peaks of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps.
Although all castles in Slovenia are certainly worth taking a look at, the Predjama Castle certainly takes the cake for being one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia. Its amazing engineering feat and interesting story add to the intrigue. Built within the mouth of a mountain cave, the castle was the home to the famous knight Erasmus of Lueg, a Robin Hood-like figure who robbed the rich and gave money to the poor. The most interesting thing is that the castle was built seven centuries ago, making it an amazing achievement in engineering.
The jewel of Slovenian Riviera, Piran, is situated atop a scenic peninsula that offers unobstructed views of the Adriatic Sea, charming travelers from all over the world with its quaint and rustic terracotta houses. It only takes you about one to two hours to fully explore every nook and cranny of the village, so don’t hesitate to immerse yourself in the task. Once you have gotten a bit tired, take a moment’s respite at a cliffside café, and enjoy the beautiful sea view.
Kostanjevica na Krki
Located in the Dolenjska region of Slovenia lies the historic town of Kostanjevica na Krki, one of the oldest and most scenic villages in the country. It is situated on a small island in the middle of the Krka, a unique location that has adorned the village with a serene atmosphere that will calm your mind and push all your worries away. In summers, tourists can even swim in the river or hire a canoe to enjoy a trip down the river.
While it does not receive as much publicity as Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj is actually the largest in the country. Like Lake Bled, it is also one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia to visit. Its rustic beauty, untouched by the lights of a big city, makes a trip to this destination worth the while. Activities to do here include taking a stroll along the lake’s perimeter or its meadows and stargazing when the night comes. The lake’s remote location allows stargazers to easily appreciate the beauty of the night sky.
Triglav National Park
As it is the country’s only national park, it is hard to cross out the Triglav National Park on your itinerary. It is home to several of the most beautiful places in Slovenia on this list. Boasting vast tracts of gorgeous forests, the park is a famous destination for trekkers and hikers who want to get lost in nature. It is also located less than an hour’s drive away from Ljubljana, so expect a lot of human activities, especially during the warmer months of the year. That said, if you wish to tackle some of the best hiking trails in Eastern Europe, this park is definitely the right spot for you.
This destination is situated in Triglav National Park, and it is only about 5km away from the famous Lake Bled, so it is quite easy to be added to any itinerary. Featuring imposing waterfalls adorned by lush and verdant vegetation, the gorge is perhaps the most magical place in the whole country. When looking for the most beautiful places in Slovenia to visit, this one should be at the top of your list. There are boardwalks that will allow you to explore most of the site, but to fully enjoy the views that the gorge has to offer, you might have to walk on gravel paths from time to time.
Lovingly nicknamed the “Tuscany of Slovenia”, Goriska Brda is a lush wine-growing region with plenty of scenic landmarks. It is considered to all who visit to be one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia. Boasting a landscape of unending vineyards and fruit orchards, the region is a famous destination for tourists who are looking for a relaxing and calming trip to the countryside. After all, there probably are few things that can beat sipping local wines as you watch the sun go down on the horizon.