Things to do in Slovenia

Must-see Slovenia sights

Though Slovenia is little, it is fierce. It’s a country with endless variety, from intriguing museums and whitewater rafting to sweeping vineyards and medieval towns. Plus, with a range of affordable places to stay, eat and shop, simply browsing Slovenia holiday packages is enough to get you excited for your trip. It’s very much a year-round destination, with kayaking and Old Town mooches ideal for the summer, hiking and biking in the autumn and spring, and skiing in the winter making it one of the best – and most underrated – destinations to visit in Europe.

  1. Ljubljana Castle
  2. Lake Bled
  3. Soca River
  4. Piran
  5. Ptuj
  6. Wine time

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Ljubljana Castle

One of Europe’s most engaging small cities, Ljubljana is the country’s capital – and rightly so. With a low-key charm, enjoyable museums and maze-like Old Town, this capital city is home to some of the best things to do in Slovenia. Your first port of call should be to the enchanting Ljubljana Castle, with its whitewashed walls and well-clipped lawns. Today, the castle complex features three museums (the Museum of Puppetry, Exhibition of Slovene History and Virtual Castle), and restaurants to break up your visit with. If you don’t fancy trekking up to its hilltop position, take the funicular railway, instead

Best for: Iconic landmarks.

While you’re there: Back on ground level, enjoy the fabulous Baroque and Habsburg architecture of the Old Town.

2. Lake Bled

Visiting Lake Bled is like something straight out of a fairytale, what with its isolated island church and enchanting clifftop castle. And by taking a rowboat, gondola (pletnas) or even a dive into the lake, this warrants one of the most scenic things to do in Slovenia. If you’d rather stick to dry land, there’s a pleasant circular walk that takes just under three hours to complete.

Best for: Scenic lakeside vistas.

While you’re there: Take a pletna to Bled Island to see the Gothic church with its well-preserved frescoes and 19th-century Pendulum Clock.

3. Soca River

What to do in Slovenia that makes the most of the outdoors scene? You can’t go wrong with watersports; there are simply loads to choose from all across the country, but the Soca Valley is home to some of the best. The fabulous river that foams through is perfect for whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing; the river is graded according to level of difficulty. You can even crank it up a notch – literally – with hydrospeeding, which involves laying the upper part of your body across a board and thumping your way against the current.

Best for: Making the most of the water.

While you’re there: The Soca River is prime fishing territory; hire the gear and spend a day catching (or trying to) a variety of trout.

4. Piran

This is arguably the best coastal town in Slovenia, with its Gothic-Venetian architecture, dinky churches and marble-surfaced squares. It’s a delightful place to while away a few days and has an Italianate-like feel to it. Start off at the striking Tartini Square where you can take in its old courthouse, town hall and Venetian House; but for maritime and water-lovers, this is the place for you, with the likes of a Shell Museum, Sergej Masera Maritime Museum and Museum of Underwater Adventures all vying for your attention.

Best for: Coastal landscapes.

While you’re there: Check out the 200m stretch of the 16th century old town walls, and take a stroll along the constructed walkways.

5. Ptuj

If you find yourself in eastern Slovenia and short on time, then Ptuj is an unmissable stop. This is the country’s oldest town, with over 2000 years of history. Needless to say, with a history dating as far back as the Stone Age, there is plenty of charm to be found here. The showpiece is Ptuj Castle, set atop the hilltop and where you can explore the courtyards, statues and three-tiered residential palace. Inside the castle is the Regional Museum, with its fascinating display of carnival paraphernalia, musical instruments and 17th-century portraits of Turkish sultans and the like.

Best for: Slovenian history through the ages.

While you’re there: Walk around the 14th-century Town Square and take in the historic buildings that make up this appealing little town.

6. Wine time

You might not think of Slovenia as a rich wine-producing country, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Vast stretches of vineyards spread across the country, with three distinct wine-producing regions, such as Posavje (for its reds), and Primorje (for its dry Tokaj). One of the most enjoyable things to do in Slovenia is to visit the wine cellars; if you’re sticking to the main towns and cities, though, then you can just as easily sample top-rate Slovenian wines at wine shops and restaurants alike.

Best for: Sipping your way through Slovenia.

While you’re there: The Jeruzalem-Ormoz wine road is the ultimate wine destination.

Find your perfect destination