Located in the heart of the country, Ljubljana is a great base for day trips around the country. If you like, you can take a day trip from the capital to any part of the country. In fact, you can visit one than a more place in a single day. Slovenia is a small country, so the distances between cities are not great and day trips are easily doable.
If you have the chance, I would definitely recommend spending at least one night in one of these places. If time does not allow, a day trip is also a great option.
Here’s my selection of the best 10 day trips from Ljubljana (as a local, I know Slovenia pretty well 🙂 )
You might be surprised to see that Triglav National Park and the Soča River Valley are not on the list. The reason for this is simple. In my opinion, you need more time than a few hours to visit and for this reason they are not suitable choices for a day trip. If you have more time to explore Slovenia, both should definitely be on your list.
For greater clarity and easier organisation, I have grouped the cities according to the region in which they are located.
Table of Contents
LAKE BLED & VINTGAR GORGE
You probably won’t be surprised to see that Lake Bled is the top suggestion. A trip to Lake Bled is one of the most popular day trips from Ljubljana. There’s a reason why. Lake Bled is one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia that everyone should visit at least once. Lake Bled offers several points with great views, but one of the most unique is certainly the church on the small island in the middle of the lake. You can reach the church by renting a boat or SUP, or you can take a traditional pletna.
For great views, I recommend climbing Ojstrica hill. And don’t forget to eat the famous Blejska kremšnita when you visit Bled.
You can combine a visit to Lake Bled with a visit to the Vintgar Gorge. Vintgar Gorge is about 4 km from Bled and can be reached on foot ( if time permits you) or by shuttle bus. The shuttle bus ride takes 15 minutes and you have 2 hours to explore the Vintgar Gorge.
In order to decongest the Vintgar Gorge and reduce congestion, a limited number of tickets are available daily and can be purchased via the Vintgar.si website to secure a date for your visit.
The shuttle price including entrance fee is 20€ / person.
💡 Planning a trip to Lake Bled?
Read everything you need to know about Lake Bled in this post.
How to get there?
Lake Bled can be reached by bus from Ljubljana in just 30 minutes. If you’re travelling by car, it’s even easier and quicker.
LAKE BOHINJ & SAVICA WATERFALL
Second on my list is Lake Bohinj, which I personally prefer even more than Lake Bled. I would highly recommend a visit to Lake Bohinj, especially for nature lovers. The Savica waterfall is a must-see. If you have enough time to visit Slovenia, I would recommend that you visit Bohinj when you visit Triglav National Park and spend a few days there. Lake Bohinj is beautiful in all seasons, but my favourite times to visit are summer and winter.
Lake Bohinj is nestled in the heart of the Julian Alps and it’s a true gem waiting to be explored. Visitors often skip visiting Lake Bohinj in favour of Lake Bled. In theory, you could visit both Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj in one day, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Unless you really want to visit both and only have one day. If you decide to fit both lakes into one day, you won’t be able to see everything you should.
If you decide to visit Lake Bohinj, you should not miss the Savica Waterfall. Savica Waterfall is one of the most famous natural attractions in this region.
💡 Are you planning a day trip to Lake Bohinj?
Here is my detailed guide about Lake Bohinj & Savica Waterfall.
How to get there?
You can reach Lake Bohinj from Ljubljana by bus or by car. By bus it will take you just under 2 hours, by car you will reach your destination much faster.
KRANJSKA GORA & LAKE JASNA
This is another location in the Gorenjska region that fascinated me on my first visit. Kranjska Gora is undoubtedly most beautiful in the winter season, when the snow covers it and the town transforms into an alpine village.
The village of Kranjska Gora is very small, so there’s not much to do in the village itself if you’re not visiting for the skiing. However, there are many places near Kranjska Gora that you can visit and enjoy the beautiful nature. One of these places is certainly Lake Jasna, which is only a 20-minute walk from Kranjska Gora.
A visit to Kranjska Gora won’t take long, so you can certainly combine it with a visit to Lake Jasna. You’ll have plenty of time to visit another wonderful location – Zelenci Nature Reserve. In this case, you can actually combine 3 day trips from Ljubljana into one. It sounds great, right?
💡If Kranjska Gora is on your travel radar, you can read this post
to find out what are the top things to do there!
How to get there?
Kranjska Gora can be reached by bus in 2 hours or by car in about 1 hour.
If you want to combine beautiful nature scenes and a charming small town in one visit, Škofja Loka is the right choice. Škofja Loka is close to Ljubljana, so it’s very easy to get there for a day trip. It is a small, medieval town, adorned with the imposing Loka Castle on a small hill. The Old Town looks really picturesque and you’ll want to explore more. Škofja Loka is not huge, so exploring won’t take you a lot of time to walk down the streets and alleys.
Škofja Loka is not a big town, so it won’t take you long, just a few hours. It is located between Ljubljana and Bled, so you can combine your visit with a visit to Lake Bled. If you’re going to get around by car, the simplest way is to make a stop in Škofja Loka and then continue to Bled. If you depend on public transport, this combination is a bit more complicated, but it is certainly doable.
💡 If you are interested in visiting Škofja Loka, you can
read this post.
How to get there?
There are several ways to get to Škofja Loka, even if you use public transport. One of the quickest ways is by car, which will take 25-30 minutes. You can also reach Škofja Loka by train in 20 – 30 minutes. If you arrive by train, it is a 30-minute walk from the train station to the city centre. If you arrive by bus, the journey will take about 40 minutes.
Goriška Brda or Brda, as they are often called, is one of the smallest wine-growing regions in Slovenia. Despite its small size, the wines produced here do not lack quality. The wine cellar at Klet Brda is notable for being the largest in the country. The Brda Region is proud to be home to a number of the top 100 winemakers in the world.
When you will visit Brda, you will fall in love! This place looks a little Tuscany and it’s so unknown outside of Slovenia! It is also part of one of the oldest wine-producing cultures in the world. Did you know that the oldest grapevine is in Slovenia? Keep reading this post and you will find out where in Slovenia the oldest grapevine is located.
How to get there?
The best way to reach and explore Brda is by car. This region is not really well connected to Ljubljana by public transportation, so it will be a bit challenging to visit Brda as a day trip from Ljubljana. There are some organized tours from Ljubljana, but your own car will give you more flexibility.
From May to September there is a HOP ON Brda bus running between region Posočje and alpine Slovenia (Bled & Bohinj). In May, June and September the bus is running on weekends, in July and August every day. This may be helpfull if you are planning to stay longer period in Slovenia.
PIRAN & THE REST OF THE SLOVENIAN COAST
Slovenia doesn’t have a huge stretch of coastline, but it’s safe to say that you’ll be charmed by at least one Slovenian coastal town. As you can see, I have highlighted Piran and then the rest of the Slovenian coast. You may be wondering why this is so, or you may have read somewhere that you should visit Piran when you visit Slovenia, and this is no surprise.
For me, Piran is the most charming and picturesque town on the Slovenian coast, but it is also a great starting point for exploring other towns. It has a rich history, Mediterranean charm, pastel coloured houses and cobblestoned narrow streets. And not just that – it has a soul and this is the thing I love the most about it.
Apart from Piran, other places to visit on the Slovenian coast include Moon Bay in Strunjan, Izola and, almost surprisingly, Koper. One of the most famous and popular resorts is Portorož, which personally does not impress me.
💡 To find out more about the Slovenian coast & what to do there:
Top 5 places to visit on the Slovenian coast
How to get there?
To get to the Slovenian coast you can take one of the many buses (the one to Koper, Izola, Piran, etc. – you can check the timetables here). The ride will take you about 2 hours (in some cases maybe 3 hours – depends on the bus route). Another option is taking the train from Ljubljana to Koper that takes about 2 and a half hours. Your own car will give you more flexibility and you can visit more places on the Slovenian coast.
POSTOJNA CAVES & PREDJAMA CASTLE
Postojna Cave is definitely one of the best day trips from Ljubljana. It is easy reachable and it offers you a lot of activities because you can visit the nearby Predjama Castle. Predjama Castle is without a single doubt one of the most unique interesting and unique castles in the world. It is built info a 123-metre-high cliff for more than 800 years and it looks really stunning. Actually, Predjama Castle was listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest cave castle.
The Postojna Caves are stunning to walk through! But before walking through the caves, you will board a unique underground train that will take you into the heart of this wonderland filled with stalactites and stalagmites. The entire Postojna cave system is 25 km long. It’s the longest cave system in Slovenia and the longest in Europe that is open to the public.
When you visit Postojna Caves, you are going on a guided cave tour. That means that you will be walking around with a tour guide and you can’t wander on your own.
One of the things that Postojna is famous for is the cave dragons – Proteus anguinus that live solely in the water of the cave. In Slovenian language they are called “človeška ribica”. The Postojna Caves tours last about hour and a half and they are offered in different languages.
You can buy tickets online and you have to arrive about 30 minutes before your time slot to walk to the entrance and check in. Do not forget to take a jacket with you – it’s pretty chilly in there.
How to get there?
From Ljubljana there is a short drive on the highway to Postojna. You can also take a train to Postojna and there is a short walk from the station to Postojna Caves (about 10 minutes of walking).
To get to the Predjama Castle from Postojna Caves you can take a free shuttle (for visitors who have combined tickets for visiting Postojna Caves & Predjama Castle). The ride takes 20 minutes.
Škocjan Caves are similar to Postojna Caves. You are on a guided tour with a guide and you’re walking on a paved path through the cave. The cave is also large but there are not that many stalactites and stalagmites as there are in the Postojna Caves. But don’t let that put you off. The Škocjan Caves are just as beautiful and more than worth a visit.
Here you will find one of the largest underground river canyons in the world. Škocjan Caves is one of the best places to visit in Slovenia and it should be on your list of day trips from Ljubljana. The park is located in the classical Karst and is a true open-air museum.
The first part of the visit is the guided tour through the cave. This part lasts around 1,5 hours and in that time you will walk around 2,5 km (including 400 stairs, so it may not be for everyone).
Through an artificial tunnel, you will first enter the Silent Cave (Tiha Cave). You will walk through the largest hall of the Silent Cave, called the Great Hall. There you can admire the Giant (Orjak), one of the largest stalagmites.
From the Silent Cave, the route leads on to the watery Murmuring Cave (Šumeča jama), where you will be welcomed by the River Reka and walk through one of the largest underground canyons in Europe. The enormous size of the canyon and its magnificence, the roaring river and the crossing of the famous Cerkvenik Bridge over the riverbed won’t leave you untouched.
After emerging in daylight, you will continue the tour independently along the Velika dolina, which is one of the largest collapse dolines in Slovenia. To return to the visitors center you can choose between three different options:
- first exit is right after Velika dolina (Big Collapse Doline) and this is the shortest one (300m & 100 steps ; it will take you about 15 minutes)
- second exit is the Naravni most (Natural Bridge) with 600m and 400 steps (this one should take you about 30 minutes)
- the last option is to go through the Mala dolina (Little Collapse Doline) & Mahorčičeva jama (Mahorčič Cave) and it’s the longest one with 2,5 km and 700 steps (this one will take you about 1,5 hours)
How to get there?
The easiest way to reach Škocjan Caves is by car and you should be there in about one hour. If you travel by car, there is a parking space available at the visitors center.
Without a car you can take a bus or train to Divača and there’s supposed to be a shuttle bus running in the high season (check this in advance). If there’s no shuttle bus, you can walk there. The route is about 4 km long but it’s well marked.
Inside the cave is not allowed to take photos.
LOGARSKA DOLINA / LOGAR VALLEY
I often visited the Logar Valley with my family as a little girl, and I was always amazed by its breathtaking natural beauty. Situated in the Kamnik Alps, this area is one of the most beautiful alpine glacial valleys in Europe. This part of Slovenia is less visited by tourists than the Gorenjska region, so you can enjoy the beauty of the Logarska dolina in peace.
The Logar Valley offers several activities that will delight you. The drive along the panoramic Solčava road is one of the most photogenic and is definitely a photographer’s paradise. In between, stop for lunch at a local farm. When visiting the Logarska dolina, take a hike to the Rinka waterfall. If time permits, head to one of nearby trails (the Rinka centre can provide maps with hiking trails).
The Logar Valley is a protected natural area, so you must pay a small entrance fee (7€ for a car, 5€ for a motorbike) to enter. If you plan on entering by foot or bike, the enter free of charge.
How to get there?
To reach Logar valley, you will need a car as there is no public transport from Ljubljana. The ride will take you about 1 hour and a half.
MARIBOR & PTUJ
The last place on the list of the 10 best day trips from Ljubljana is occupied by the home of the oldest grapevine in the world, Maribor, and the oldest Slovenian town, Ptuj. Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia, but most tourists skip visiting the city. Nevertheless, Maribor offers a few activities that may convince you to visit the city.
As mentioned above, Maribor is home to the oldest grapevine in the world, which is still producing fruit. For this reason the Stara trta as it’s called is listed in the Guinness Book of Records. The old vine was planted in Maribor at the end of the Middle Ages during the Turkish invasions.
In addition, there are several sights to see in the city centre. The city centre is small, but charming. Be sure to take a stroll along the Lent by the River Drava and admire the swans or have a glass of wine at the Water Tower. This tower was built in 1555 and still stands near the Drava River today. It’s a very peaceful spot to enjoy the river & Maribor Old Bridge view. If you want to escape the city, head to the Pohorje. There is a cable car that will take you up there.
If you decide to visit Maribor, I suggest that you add Ptuj, the oldest city in Slovenia, to your list. It’s a short 30-minutes drive (either by car or train) from Maribor to Ptuj, so you can easily visit two cities at the same time. Ptuj is a cute medieval town that offers an interesting castle, charming streets and a traditional Kurentovanje. Lonely Planet singled out Kurentovanje as one of the ten best carnivals in the world, on par with those in Venice, Rio de Janeiro, and New Orleans. If you visit Ptuj in winter, you might be lucky enough to be in town when Kurentovanje takes place. Set aside a few hours to visit Ptuj and you won’t regret it.
How to get there?
From Ljubljana, you can reach Maribor in an hour and a half by car, or you can take the train, which will take you from just under two hours to two and a half hours (you can take a train that makes only a few stops and you should be in Maribor in 1 hour and 50 minutes). There are also several buses that run daily from Ljubljana to Maribor and vice versa, but in this case I prefer to take the train as it is more comfortable. The bus ride would also take you about 1 hour and 40 minutes, so it’s not really the best idea.
There is only one direct train from Ljubljana to Ptuj that makes it possible to do a day trip. This one will take you 2 hours and 15 minutes. There are multiple buses running from Maribor to Ptuj, so if you are not traveling with a car, I suggest you to take the train to Maribor and then bus to Ptuj.
Getting around Slovenia
Slovenia is a small country and the distances between places are really not far, so you can see a lot, especially if you choose the road trip option. Driving on Slovenian roads shouldn’t be much of a challenge, but on some roads (especially mountain roads) you will need to pay a little more attention.
Public transport in Slovenia is not as good as it should be, so that’s why sometimes it can be a little bit more challenging to get somewhere if you depend on public transport. Almost every of these day trips from Ljubljana can be done by using public transport only, but it will take you more time and you will probably be limited on visiting one or two places only. But that’s also perfectly fine, because every single place is worth the visit and you won’t regret it. Places that can be visited in one day are already matched, but you are free to make your own plan and to swap some places if you think that this suits you better.
Feel free to ask me anything about planning a trip to Slovenia or a day trip from Ljubljana. As a local I will give my best to help you!
Here are some useful websites that can be helpful when you’re planning how to move around Slovenia:
- Slovenske železnice: for traveling with train
- AP Ljubljana: Ljubljana bus station – you can check the timetables here. You can also buy the ticket online, but keep in mind that you have to go to the bus station and they will print you the bus ticket (if you don’t have one, the bus driver can reject you)
- Arriva Slovenija: another site that you can use if you will use the buses. They are also offering the city transport in some of the Slovenian cities (for example Piran, Ptuj and Škofja Loka that are listed on this list of day trips from Ljubljana)
As you can see, Slovenia offers plenty of possibilities for day trips from Ljubljana. I’m sure you’ll be delighted by every part of Slovenia and you can’t go wrong with any of the choices. Don’t forget to save this post and share it with your friends if you like it & you find it helpful.