As the country's capital and the easiest to reach, it makes sense that most people travel in Ljubljana when traveling to Slovenia. Ljubljana is a busy city and is great for several days of sightseeing. But Slovenia also has a lot to see outside Slovenia. Many of these attractions can easily be visited on a day trip from the capital. Ljubljana is thus an ideal place to settle down. To give you a better idea of what to do and see, here are some of the best day trips in Ljubljana.
For travelers to Slovenia, Lake Bled is one of the destinations you just can not miss. Bled is probably the king of Ljubljana and will entertain you with his breathtaking sights for a day. Your day begins with Lake Bled, a crystal clear lake surrounded by forest and the Alps in the distance. In the middle of the lake is the Church of Queen Mary, which looks like it came from a fairy tale. To reach the church, you can take a gentle paddle on a traditional boat called Pletna. Then there's the Bled Castle on the cliffs you'll want to visit, both for its history and its breathtaking views. For example, you can walk around the lake, swim and enjoy a delicious Bled Cream Cake. Nearby is also the beautiful Vintgar Gorge, where you can follow a promenade in the picturesque river canyon. For more information about visiting Lake Bled from Ljubljana, click here.
Getting there: The best way to reach Bled by public transport is by bus, as it leaves every hour and takes 1 hour and 20 minutes. To make the most of your time in Bled, this guided tour is the way to go.
In the surroundings of Ljubljana, Slovenia is mostly green and covered by rolling hills, but the country also has a fantastic coastline. In fact, the coastal town of Piran is one of the best places in Slovenia thanks to its gentle seaside atmosphere. Since Piran is located on a small peninsula with little space, you will find many narrow, meandering streets that run through the city's ancient Venetian architecture. Driving up to St. George's Parish Church and the city walls is a great way to see the city to the full, while Tartini Square and the neighboring marina may not be more scenic. Down the Adriatic Sea, there are two main activities where you fill your face with seafood and ice cream or take a bath. If you have more time on the coast, you can always stop in other neighboring towns like Koper and Izola.
Getting there: Without connection by train, Piran can be reached from Ljubljana first by bus to Koper and then by regular local connection to Piran. Overall, this should take just over 3 hours, so choosing 1 hour and 15 minutes might make more sense.
Visitors to Slovenia may be surprised to learn that it is known for its many caves, with the Postojna Cave being the most famous. This long karst cave system is certainly one of the best sights in Ljubljana. To visit the Postojna Cave, you actually get on a tourist train that meanders through the subway network. On your way you will learn more about karstic caves and see various incredible formations, from a 16 meter high stalagmite to one that shimmers crystal white. Not far from the Postojna Cave, which is often visited, Predjama Castle is another equally breathtaking attraction. Predjama is the largest cave castle in the world and has a fairly large part of history.
Getting there: For the sake of simplicity, a trip to Postojna and Predjama is the best way. Otherwise you will need an hour by bus or train and every few hours.
In Slovenia it is not difficult to get a dose of nature. One of the best places is the Soča Valley. Whether you are looking for a soothing landscape or have the opportunity to be a bit adventurous - day trips from Ljubljana to Soča are the best way. The river Soča is known for its beautiful emerald color and flows through western Slovenia in one of the wildest areas of the country. With many waterfalls and rapids along the river, it's no wonder the valley is popular for kayaking, white water rafting and canyoning. The region also has some World War I history, which can be explored on World War One trails and the Kobarid Museum.
Getting there: Due to its remote nature, you can either go there yourself or take a guided tour to reach the Soča Valley. For activities and the simple ease of not finding your way around, a guided tour is very attractive.
Another special place in the karst region of Slovenia are the Skojcan Caves. Close to the Italian border, these caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their natural and cultural importance. However, the caves are very popular because of the sights and wonders they keep, as they are often compared by people with something outside of Lord of the Rings. Walking through the caves you will see many stalagmites and stalactites, not to mention the largest single cave in Europe. Then there is the deep subterranean river that you see flowing under you, which enhances the atmosphere. When you reach the other end of the tunnel, you have to climb out of two collapsed sinkholes.
Getting there: Every few hours there are buses from Ljubljana to Divaca, the nearest town to Skocjan. Up to the caves, however, there are still a few miles, which would mean on foot. Renting a car and driving there yourself is the better option and takes less than an hour.
The second largest city in Slovenia, Maribor, does not often receive the message that it is due. A visit to Maribor begins best on the picturesque riverbank of the imposing Judgment Tower, before heading into the old town. En route, visit the world's oldest grapevine known as the Black Velvet Grapevine. Further proof that Maribor has wine in mind is to dive into the sprawling Vinag wine cellar below the city center. In the old town are sights such as the Old Market Square and Maribor Castle, where you can learn more about Maribor and its surroundings.
Getting there: There are occasionally trains that take up to 3 hours to get from Ljubljana to Maribor. A faster choice is the bus, which only takes about 2 hours. However, buses run only about every 3 hours. There are also some tours that run from Ljubljana to Maribor, including stops in Ptuj and the Charterhouse Žiče.
As soon as you see the charming waterfront of Skofja Loka, you will wonder why it is not stronger on the tourist map. Just a short drive from Ljubljana to the northwest, Skofja Loka is undoubtedly pretty thanks to its traditional look. Begin your visit by crossing the Capuchin Bridge. However, look at other viewpoints along the river to see the promenade from its most beautiful side. If you are in the old town, you can visit the pretty houses on the Town Hall Square, especially the Renaissance-style La Casa di Homan. Then walk to Skofa Loka Castle, which oversees the city. It is not only a pretty castle, but it also houses the city museum and some green gardens.
Getting there: There are buses every half hour to Skofja Loka, which takes 40 minutes from Ljubljana. With a rental car, you can get to the city in just 25 minutes and even make stops along the way.
The Kamnik-Savinja Alps stretch along the northern borders of Slovenia and offer travelers another chance to get to know the natural side of the country. The most popular place in this part of Slovenia is the Jezersko Valley, which offers visitors a textbook on alpine landscapes and many outdoor opportunities. In winter, this means ski slopes, cross-country trails and ice skating, while in summer, hiking and mountain bike trails are offered. Even if you are not looking for something more active, you can enjoy the beautiful mountain and lake scenery. Along the way, you will probably see remote churches and traditional mountain huts that further enhance the tranquil charm of Jezersko. It's crazy to think that all this is easily accessible from the capital, which is only 40 to 50 km away.
Getting there: To get to Jezersko by public transport, first take a regular bus to Kranj and then one of the connections to Jezersko Grabnar, which departs every 2 hours. The journey should take you less than 2 hours. Driving takes only about 50 minutes.
Despite all these rumors about Slovenia's natural ability, we still have to talk about his crown jewel, Lake Bohinj. Nearby are the Julian Alps, including the national symbol of Slovenia, the Triglav. At the glacial lake, you can admire the St. John the Baptist Church for a moment before deciding between a walk along the shore of the lake or a dip in the sparkling waters of Bohinj. In the area things get even more interesting. The Savica Waterfall is a landmark and the Vogel Cable Car is a great choice for some panoramic mountain views. On the rapids of the river Sava Bohinjka, which flows out of the lake, kayaking and mini-rafting is possible. Whatever you want to do in nature, Bohinj Lake offers you everything.
Getting there: The buses run every hour from Ljubljana to Lake Bohinj. The journey takes 2 hours. Tours are a better option if you want to connect Lake Bohinj with a lake like Lake Bled.
The last city to be explored comfortably from Ljubljana is Kranj, north of the Slovenian capital. A little inconspicuous Kranj is so small that it can be easily covered in one day and yet offers a surprising variety. Thanks to the omnipresent backdrop of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, the architecture of the city is at home. If you look from the main square towards the mountains, you never know that under your feet are tunnels from the Second World War. Unless you visit them on a guided tour. Another subterranean attraction that will surely captivate you is the Kranj Ossuary, which has a vault full of bones from natives who have been buried in the church over the centuries. For a little more excitement, take a walk in the nearby, quiet ravine along the Kokra River.
Getting there: By bus and train you can reach Kranj in only 30 minutes. The only difference is that trains only run every few hours and buses run every 15 minutes. This is proof that there are not many simple train journeys from Ljubljana.
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