If I ask you what do you know about Slovenia, what would be your answer?
It’s a high chance that beautiful shots of the lake Bled will pop up in front of your eyes. And maybe you’ll think of Melania Trump..Apparently the only world known Slovenian..
But what else? Any other names or places come to your mind? Most probably you’ll have to admit: “I know nothing (else) about Slovenia”.
Honestly, it’s not a shame to confess that Slovenia is a terra incognita for you. You know why? It’s very simple: Slovenians hide their country for themselves! This country is so lovely that Slovenians don’t really spread around the world – they enjoy staying home:) You will understand their choice once you are in Slovenia:)
When you start descending to Ljubljana airport you already get a feel that the grey serious mountains are protecting something very precious. Indeed, Slovenia is truly a gem, a gorgeous emerald hiding just beneath the Alps mountains!:)
When landed in Slovenia, you’ll see the heavy grey mountains in the North. They are not as monumental or severe as Swiss Alps, yet they are massive. You will always feel that you are in a mountainous country here, in Slovenia.
Winding roads will carry you through jolly green hills whose tops are ornamented with red clay roofs of tiny villages and crowned by steeples of a church or a small castle. You’ll drive through rabbit hole looking tunnels, connecting the hills to each other. You’ll pass bright & cheerful fields, most probably corn fields:) Crystal clear lakes in palms of petite valleys will shine to you with all shades of turquoise colors. You will find out that there is something special about emerald colors in Slovenia: You’ll be surrounded by these hues everywhere you go! Chained by numerous fancy & cute bridges, playful but powerful mountain rivers will refresh you with chill breeze. You’ll stroll through crooked cobblestone streets which still are full of medieval memories and romance.
Finally you’ll find yourself sitting at some cute cafe somewhere in front of a soothing river or a mesmerizing lake. It is where the local life centers around. Vibrant and bright yet laze and relax.
Slovenia means lovely mountains, stunning lakes, romantic bridges & charming medieval streets.. Nothing flashy nor grand. But chill & relax. It’s all about happy and content life. Like hobbits’ life:)
Slovenia – the well hidden gem of Europe. The emerald:)
What to do in Slovenia:
- Magnificent lake Bled. It’s the most famous & iconic lake of Slovenia. But can you imagine, Slovenians say that there are more beautiful lakes:) Well, the Bled lake itself sets superior benchmark:) Read here about What to do at Lake Bled.
- Ljubljana – the fairy-tale town & a capital of Slovenia. This city is so lovely & cute.. Learn how to enjoy this town in my post about What to do & to see in Ljubljana.
- Some more beautiful lakes & their surroundings, e.g. lake Bohinj, Jasna..
- Mesmerising caves & waterfalls: Postojna and Skocjan caves, Kozjak waterfalls..
- Gorgeous nature in Julian Alps and other mountains: Triglav National park, Bovec Soca valley, Vintgar Gorge (Bled area), Pokljuka, Velika Planina..
- Charming castles & medieval towns, like Predjamski castle which is half-immersed into a mountain rock..
Travel Practicalities in Slovenia:
- Visa: Your passport has to enable you to travel / enter in European Union or you need to have a Schengen visa.
- Language: National language is Slovenian:) In Ljubljana, Bled and overall in touristic areas people speak English well. Older generation might have some difficulties, but still able to communicate. German, Italian or / and other Slavic language will be helpful, too, as many Slovenians speak more than one foreign language:)
- Here are some nice to know words: Hvala (thank you), Dober Dan (Good afternoon, hello), Da (yes), Ne (no), Koliko (how much), Oprostite (sorry, excuse me), Nasvidenje (goodbye) ..
- Money: Euros. Cards are accepted in most shops and cafes. You need cash for public transport, kiosks and markets.
- Travel within Slovenia:
- By car: Slovenian roads between cities are very nice and easy to drive. Road signs are everywhere. Within cities and villages the asphalt would be a bit “crumpled” and “cracked”. but no problems for driving. Limited parking in downtowns but there is always some parking arrangement nearby.
- Public transport: Unfortunately google doesn’t show properly all the public transport connections. Hence, it’s better to contact your hotel for an advice, at least about the name of your nearest bus stop. Within the country you can travel by bus and by train. You can just ask at the bus station for the best travel arrangement. Bus tickets can be purchased from a bus driver, pay in cash. Keep in mind that frequency for most buses & trains is min 30 minutes.. Here are some useful links:
- Find & buy tickets for a bus going to/ through Ljubljana Bus station: https://www.ap-ljubljana.si/en/ Keep in mind, you need to know the name of your bus stations!
- This site will give you ideas about departure time & prices for bus tickets in the country: https://prevoz.org/
- You can find a train, incl. schedule, timings & prices, here: http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/ . It’s an official site and it’s in English.
- Airport transfer: There are public buses as well as numerous reputable private & shuttle arrangements. Check here: http://www.ljubljana.info/airport/bus
- Travel within cities: It’s better to explore downtowns by walking, especially because in many places the central area is pedestrian only. Cycling is popular in touristic areas close to nature (e.g. lake Bled), it is also observed in cities (e.g. Ljubljana) but not much. Buses & trams are available in Ljubljana, the stops are equipped by electronic displays.
- Travel to / from Slovenia:
- By airplane: There are plenty of cheap tickets from all around Europe to Ljubljana airport. You can also land in Austrian, Italian or Croatian airports – they are quite close to Slovenia.
- Slovenia is a part of Eurail train network: https://www.eurail.com/en/europe-by-train/slovenia
- Choose & Buy your international bus tickets here: https://getbybus.com/en/ – that’s what I finally got to use:)
- Mobile network: Slovenia is a part of European Union. It’s a good news for you if your sim-card is from European Union – no additional costs for roaming:)
- Electricity / electronics adaptors: a standard European 2-prong power plug. Which means: Not American, not UK, not Japan, not Indian, not Emirates..
- Eating out in Slovenia is mostly cheaper than in Italy or Germany. A dinner in downtown of Ljubljana would cost you within 14-20 euros. An inexpensive local cafe can offer you full meal within 10 euros. Tips up to 10% are welcomed though not compulsory.
- Some very traditional old foods of Slovenia: Zganci (flour cooked in salted boiling water), matevz (larded mash of potato & beans), ancient food – polenta, zlikrofi (stuffed dough dumplings), kasa (millet kasa porridge), bakery such as struklij and gibanica 🙂
- Tap water – safe:) It is a human right to have safe drinking water!:)
- Overall safety – very safe:)
Feel free to comment or ask questions about Travel in Slovenia!:)
Read about the Emerald of Slovenian Alps – Lake Bled: What to see at lake Bled, Travel practicalities.
Read about a Fairy tale town – Ljubljana: What to see in Ljubljana. What to do in Ljubljana.
Earn 15 euros when booking an accommodation at Booking.com. Use this link: https://www.booking.com/s/0fa1b1f3 . I’ve got this offer because I have done lots of bookings for my Balkans Travel marathon:)