Slovenia Absolute Musts
Most Beautiful Nature Spot
The town of Bled and the glacial lake that shares its name, are internationally famous and it isn’t hard to see why. The iconic Bled castle standing high on the hill; omnipresent from every angle, the idyllic Assumption Church sitting proudly on an island in the middle of the lake; the crystal clear blue water and the international and relaxed atmosphere help make it an essential stop on any Balkan trip.
But Bled and Bohinj are not only about the lakes; it’s the surrounding mountains that are really worth coming for. The soaring snowy peaks, rocky ridges and deep lush valleys set in this part of Europe’s greatest mountain range are just spectacular!
The walks around Bled are not too challenging, however, so if you’re after some higher peaks, you will need to travel to Bohinj, which is only 22 km away.
To see more photos and read about the hike we did, go to our post.
Best City / Town
The best and the friendliest city in Slovenia and maybe in the whole Balkan region is, in our opinion, Ljubljana. The first thing you will notice about the capital is that it’s extremely small. On the map we collected from the tourist information office were shown distances (in minutes) from one part of town to the other and to our utter surprise we learnt that Ljubljana’s Old Town is set in the radius of only 5 minutes! It’s one of the smallest capital cities in the world!
What we particularly liked about it were not just the medieval winding cobbled streets, Baroque stone buildings or even the castle perched on the hill, but the great atmosphere of the city. In Ljubljana there is a vibrant cafe culture and in summer street performances and music fills all its squares. Besides, it’s a very green capital with Tivoli being its largest (5 km2) park where people are walking, cycling, slack-lining, picnicking and doing yoga.
You will notice that the citizens of Ljubljana are very active people; they do a lot of sport and many of them use the public bike system for which they only pay 3€ per year, a ridiculous amount compared to 45€ which we pay for the privilege in Barcelona.
When the night falls, all young people gush out to meet in the bohemian part of town called Metelkova. It’s an autonomous social centre in the centre located on the site of former military barracks which was also a squat over a decade ago. There you will find bars, galleries and artists’ studios and there’s always something interesting happening.
Read our story from a random night in Metelkova to get the feel of the atmosphere.
Read about our experience in Ljubljana.
Best area for hitch-hiking
The whole country is one easy area for hitch-hiking but the most pleasant and problem-free was the stretch between Ljubljana and Bled. We crossed it twice: first on the way to the mountains from Ljubljana and the second time from Bled to Ptuj (via the capital). The first time we used it, we didn’t take the motorway all the way to Bled, but instead we jumped on a local road #211 to visit Škofja Loka on the way.
On our way back from Bled we took the motorway and were near the capital within 30-40min. The ring road is another story.
It was during our Balkan Peninsula by Thumb 2013 trip when we visited Slovenia for the first time and we loved it! During our trip, we spent a week in Slovenia, covering 445 km by thumb!
This was our route (click to see the full map):
written by: Ania