Planning a Slovenia itinerary is so much more than booking in a couple of nights in Ljubljana and taking a day trip to Lake Bled. This small nation sandwiched between Croatia and Italy has so much to offer visitors beyond the typical tourist sites that spending a week or more in this beautiful country is well worth it.
If you’re interested in heading to beautiful Slovenia, you’ve come to the right place. These three 7-day itineraries are sure to help you plan the perfect trip to this gorgeous country no matter what kind of trip you’re after. Whether you’re looking to spend time exploring cities, hiking in the Julian Alps or relaxing on the Adriatic, Slovenia has something for everyone.
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How Many Days in Slovenia?
If all you know of Slovenia before planning your itinerary is Ljubljana and Lake Bled, you can be forgiven for thinking you may not need long in this country to really do it justice. However, there is far more to Slovenia than simply the capital and its most photographed tourist spot and you’re going to need a bit of time to be able to do the nation justice.
So how many days should you pend in SLovenia? I would say to set aside as many as possible! Despite its small size, there is quite a lot to do and see in Slovenia and you will likely need at least a couple of weeks to really cover the majority of it. When that isn’t an option, I recommend setting aside at least 7 days in Slovenia.
You definitely won’t be able to visit everywhere of interest in just one week (that is if you actually want to spend time in places), but 7 days are definitely enough to cover a fair bit of ground and really get a taste for this small but diverse country.
If you do have more time, planning to spend 10 days in Slovenia can also be a great option. If you have this amount of time, you can do a hybrid of some of the itineraries outlined below and create a trip that will be truly unforgettable.
When to Visit Slovenia?
What time of year should you visit Slovenia? That’s another pressing question those planning a trip to this beautiful country ask themselves. And while there is no bad time to plan a trip to Slovenia, it is worth noting that the nation does have a continental climate and very much experiences all four seasons.
The most popular time to visit Slovenia is in the summer, where temperatures are pleasantly warm and tourist crowds are at their peak. Expect prices for things like accommodation to be very high during this season, as well, which will add to your overall Slovenia trip cost.
Winter, conversely, is cold in Slovenia and — depending on where you are — often snowy. Some tourist attractions may be closed for the season and some roads, such as the Vršič Pass, will be closed as well. There are a number of ski resorts in Slovenia, however, which can make it a great time to visit if you intend to hit the slopes.
The shoulder seasons, like so many places in Europe, can be the ideal time to visit Slovenia. Temperatures can be mild and pleasant, tourist crowds are fewer than in the summer and prices can be discounted, as well. This is likely when tourist attractions that close for the winter will begin to open up, as well.
Getting Around Slovenia
If you’re only planning on visiting major cities or attractions, you can rely simply on public transit while in Slovenia.
There is a very robust bus network (browse schedules here) and a decent train network (browse schedules here) in the country that can take you where you need to go. In fact, the Classic Slovenia route and the Off the Beaten Path route outlined below can be done solely relying on public transit.
Sometimes, however, you may want a bit more flexibility or want to spend some time in more far-flung places. This is where renting a car in Slovenia can be an excellent option.
I would recommend this choice especially if you’re planning on spending any time in the Julian Alps region as it can be very tricky to rely on public transport to get around here.
Driving in Slovenia is easy and straightforward and the road quality is excellent. Planning a Slovenia road trip itinerary really does give you the ultimate flexibility and it can be very much worth it, as well.
If you want to rent a car in Slovenia, we recommend browsing Rentalcars.com to find deals from many rental car companies.
Classic Slovenia Itinerary
This week in Slovenia route begins in the capital of Ljubljana and takes you to a number of the classic highlights of the country.
Day 1: Ljubljana
Begin this route in the charming capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. This is a very small city and you can see most of the highlights within a short amount of time, so plan to spend 2 days in Ljubljana enjoying the sites and atmosphere of the city.
Take the time to visit the central market, stroll along the Ljubljanica river, take the cable car (or hike up) to the Ljubljana Castle and simply relish in the completely pedestrianised Old Town.
Ljubljana is very laid-back and has the feel of a small town even though it is the capital city and it is very much worth spending some time in.
Where to Stay in Ljubljana
Bloom Hotel – This comfortable hotel is good for mid-range visitors to the Slovenian capital. There are several comfortable rooms, breakfast each morning, and a great location in the Old Town.
City Hotel Ljubljana – A lovely luxury place to stay while in Ljubljana, this Old Town hotel is perfect for higher-budget travellers. There are plenty of opulent rooms along with lots of other fantastic amenities to enjoy.
Hostel Celica – This hostel is a great budget option for backpackers, solo travellers or those looking for a social atmosphere. There are several room types on offer, good common areas and a great location within easy reach of Ljubljana’s highlights.
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Ljubljana hotels!
Day 2: Ljubljana
On your second day in Ljubljana, take the time to visit some of the sites that you haven’t had a chance to take in just yet.
Spend your morning wandering through the lush greenery of Tivoli Park, take in the pieces in the cool Modern Art Museum and then wander over to the alternative area of Metelkova City.
End your day at the Ljubljana skyscraper, taking in some of the best views of the city, before strolling once more along the Ljubljanica river and enjoying the laid-back nature of this compact capital.
Day 3: Lake Bled
From Ljubljana, it is only about 1.5 hours to Lake Bled, which you can reach either by car (which is the easiest) or public transit.
Lake Bled is one of the most popular places to visit in Slovenia and for good reason — it’s absolutely beautiful. While it is possible to visit as a day trip from Ljubljana, it’s worth spending at least one full day in Bled so you can truly experience all this area has to offer.
Spend your morning visiting the beautiful Vintgar Gorge – it’s best to get there early as this place can get quite packed with tourist crowds the later in the day you end up here.
Once at the lake, you can choose to circumnavigate, get out on the water to visit the iconic island church, hike up to some incredible viewpoints and even explore the Bled Castle. If you’re visiting in the summer, you can even go for a swim in the lake and get some respite from the warm day.
Where to Stay in Bled
Jazz Bled B&B – This B&B is an excellent mid-range choice located very close to Lake Bled. They have several comfortable rooms, self-catering facilities for guests to use and a great breakfast each morning.
Hotel Triglav – A wonderful luxury choice on the banks of Lake Bled, this is a lovely hotel to stay. They have a range of beautiful rooms to choose from along with an on-site bar and restaurant.
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Bled hotels!
Day 4: Lake Bohinj
On your second day in the area, you can either choose to spend your time going on a few more hikes around Lake Bled itself (there are plenty to choose from!) or even head over to Slovenia’s largest lake — Lake Bohinj.
There are lots of great things to in around Lake Bohinj that it’s very worth spending a day here exploring. Start your day at the Savica Waterfall before heading over to the lovely Mostnica Gorge. Then, head to the lake itself and enjoy the views or, if it interests you, hire a canoe or kayak and get out on the water!
Spend the night near Lake Bled again.
Day 5: Caves & Castles
After spending two days at Lakes Bled and Bohinj, take your time moving south to visit some of Slovenia’s other famous attractions – namely one of its Karst caves and the Predjama Castle.
The Postojna and Škocjan Caves are a network of incredible subterranean caves that are open to visitors and are an unforgettable experience in Slovenia. The Postojna Caves are the more popular to visit and are also the most family-friendly, with an electric train that will take you through the network.
If you’re willing to get a bit more active and view a more extensive cave network, then consider visiting the Škocjan Caves. This cave network is on the UNESCO World Heritage list, however, you do need to have a bit of a higher level of fitness to enjoy these caves.
Nearby, you cannot miss the beautiful Predjama Castle. This 13th Century castle is built into a cliff bluff and it is a unique place in Slovenia to visit. Inside, you can explore the living quarters, the dungeons and learn about the history of the building itself and this region of Slovenia.
You can plan to leave Bled first thing in the morning before arriving at the caves, move onto the castle and finish with spending the night at our next stop.
If you choose to do this itinerary without your own car, then it is possible to do this day trip while you’re staying in Ljubljana on a guided tour such as this small-group tour that visits Predjama Castle & Postojna Cave or this half-day tour to the Škocjan Caves.
Day 6: Piran
The final stop is the lovely coastal town of Piran. This is the most beautiful town on Slovenia’s small coast and it is truly a different world to the rest of the country. There are lots of things to do in Piran, however, its small size means that you don’t need a lot of time here to really experience it all.
Take the time to wander through its winding streets and along the seaside promenade. Visit the city walls for excellent views of the Adriatic and neighbouring Italy and Croatia. If the weather is fine, you can also enjoy a lovely swim at one of the many swimming spots along Piran’s coastline.
Piran also has excellent restaurants and you can enjoy both fresh seafood at great prices or traditional Istrian cuisine like freshly made pasta and lots of dishes with truffles. There is also great olive oil produced in this part of Slovenia that you’re able to sample if you’re interested.
Where to Stay in Piran
Hotel Piran – Located right on the water in Piran, this is such a wonderful hotel for those after a plush stay on the Adriatic. There are several comfortable rooms to choose from and an on-site restaurant/bar to enjoy, as well.
Memento B&B – This quaint B&B in the centre of Piran is a great cosy and intimate base in this lovely Slovenian town. There are several (air-conditioned!) rooms to choose from and a great breakfast available daily.
Apartment Park Piran – This apartment in the centre of Piran is great for those after a self-catering stay. A two-bedroom flat, it is fully equipped for your stay and there is also a lovely outdoor terrace (with a BBQ) to lounge on!
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Piran hotels!
Day 7: Piran
Spend your final day simply chilling out on the Adriatic Sea and enjoying the laid-back nature of Piran. If it interests you, you could opt to go on a day trip to the nearby coastal town of Izola, check out some sea salt pans or even head over to Trieste, Italy which is located only about an hour away.
If you’re heading back to Ljubljana, it’s only located about 1.5 hours from Piran, so it is easy to get back to the capital either by public transit or by your own vehicle.
Julian Alps Itinerary
If you want to experience the pristine Alpine nature of Slovenia, then this is the perfect route for you. Still beginning in the capital, this is the one route in this article that I wouldn’t recommend doing entirely by public transport — once in the Triglav National Park area (so-called for the eponymous mountain that is Slovenia’s highest peak), having your own vehicle is going to be necessary.
Days 1-2: Ljubljana
No week in Slovenia would be complete without visiting the capital and even if you are excited about the nature of this country, you cannot miss lovely Ljubljana. The small size of the city means that you only need to spend two days here in order to really get a food feel for the city before moving on.
Day 3: Lake Bled & Vintgar Gorge
Lake Bled is infinitely popular for a reason – it’s incredibly charming and very worth planning to spend a day in.
As mentioned earlier, plan to visit the Vintgar Gorge as early as possible before venturing to the lake later in the day. If you feel like getting a bit more active, there are tons of hikes around Lake Bled that are absolutely wonderful.
Day 4: Lake Bohinj
After a day exploring the beautiful Lake Bled, Vintgar Gorge and elsewhere, take the time to venture a bit further into Triglav National Park and visit Slovenia’s largest lake – Lake Bohinj.
There are countless things to do in Bohinj that range beyond the lake itself and this place can be an excellent alternative to visiting Lake Bled if you’re looking for a quieter experience.
Nearby to Bohinj is the stunning Savica Waterfall. On the other side of the lake, you will find the gorgeous Mostnica Gorge, which is an excellent alternative to the ever-popular Vintgar Gorge. You can choose to spend the night near Bohinj or simply stay in Bled or elsewhere in Triglav National Park.
Including both of Slovenia’s iconic lakes in this itinerary means that you don’t have to make the tough decision between visiting Bled or Bohinj.
Day 5: Vršič Pass
One of the main reasons I recommend renting a car for this particular Slovenia route is so you can experience the incredible Vršič Pass drive. This route through the highest part of Slovenia’s Julian Alps is absolutely stunning, with epic views presenting themselves around each hairpin turn.
The drive is fantastic to experience on its own, however, there are also countless stops to enjoy and hikes to experience if you want to make it more of an adventure. Though the drive itself only takes about one to two hours, there are many trails and lookout points on the pass so you can easily spend the entire day enjoying some of the incredible scenery here.
Keep in mind that the pass is closed in the snowy winter months, but opens up as soon as there is no snow covering the road.
There is no need to find a place to stay right near the road, however, it can be an advantage if you want to get an early start and beat the crowds that do descend on this incredible mountain pass. It can also be a good idea to find a place to stay around here when it comes to exploring the Soca Valley at the next stop.
Where to Stay Near the Vršič Pass
Hotel Vandot – This Alpine-style hotel is an excellent place to stay in this area of Slovenia and is perfect for driving the Vršič Pass. Situated in the centre of Kranjska Gora, there are several comfortable rooms and breakfast is available in the mornings.
Apartmaji štAla – These apartments in Kranjska Gora are perfect for those after a self-catering choice. They have a few different flats to choose from and there is also a breafakst served each morning for guests.
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Kranjska Gora accommodation!
Day 6: Soča Valley
The Vršič Pass drive ends on one side in the incredible Soča Valley where you can explore some more of the pristine nature that Slovenia has to offer.
There are an infinite number of hikes here, more river gorges to visit and plenty of mountain scenery to enjoy. The Soča Valley really is an outdoor lover’s paradise and it’s very worth spending a day here.
If you’re interested in getting an adrenaline rush, you can go river rafting or even kayaking on the Soča River. There are also opportunities for things like zip lining here or canyoning. Alternatively, you can simply enjoy the power of your own two feet and go on plenty of hikes.
Day 7: Ljubljana
End your Slovenia road trip back in Ljubljana, where you can unwind from your active itinerary by relaxing in a cafe along the Ljubljanica River or by strolling in tranquil Tivoli Park.
Off the Beaten Path Itinerary
If you would like to experience some lesser-visited towns and cities in Slovenia, then this is the itinerary for you. This route is ideal for those who are visiting Slovenia from neighbouring Austria or Croatia, however, it can be a standalone trip as well. This is also a trip that can be done entirely by public transport if you wish.
Day 1: Maribor
Begin in the country’s second-largest city – Maribor. For some reason, Maribor doesn’t get all that much international attention and that really is a shame and the city is incredibly charming has a lot to offer visitors.
There are lots of things to do in Maribor that can easily occupy a couple of days. For instance, you can take the time to wander through the pedestrianised city centre. Make sure to wind your way to the Old Vine House where you can see the world’s oldest grapevine that is still producing wine to this day!
Where to Stay in Maribor
Hotel Maribor – A comfortable hotel perfect for those looking for a bit of luxury, there are several lovely rooms to choose from. It is also centrally located and breakfast is available each morning.
Anna House – This hotel is great for budget to mid-range visitors looking for a basic yet clean and comfortable place to stay while in Maribor. It’s well-located for exploring all the city has to offer.
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Maribor hotels!
Day 2: Maribor
Your second day in Maribor can be spent getting to know the city better, sampling more wine and simply taking in this lovely town.
If you want to sample more local wine, head to the Vinag Wine Cellar where you can also tour the subterranean cellars beneath the city.
There is also the lovely Pyramid Hill which is decked with grapevines and provides excellent views over the city. All in all, Maribor is an excellent place to experience Slovenian culture without the tourist crowds of Ljubljana and it is sure to charm you.
Day 3: Ptuj
Another place that doesn’t make it onto enough Slovenia itineraries is the absolutely charming city of Ptuj. Located between Maribor and the capital of Ljubljana, this charming settlement is known to be “Slovenia’s oldest town.”
Located on the banks of the Drava River, there are lots of things to do in Ptuj that will certainly keep you occupied for a day. Take the time to wander up to the beautiful medieval castle and enjoy the views from the top. Take in the gorgeous architecture of the city and enjoy the cityscape from the river.
Ptuj is absolutely beautiful and incredibly laid back and it is really worth visiting if only to get a real Slovenian “hidden gem” almost entirely to yourself. This town isn’t on many visitors’ wish lists, but it really should be!
You can either visit Ptuj as a day trip from Maribor or choose to spend the night here.
Where to Stay in Ptuj
Bed & Breakfast Šilak – Situated in a beautiful historic building right on the Drava River, this is a great B&B to stay in while visiting Ptuj. There are several comfortable rooms and a great daily breakfast.
Apartma Domenika – This spacious one-bedroom apartment is perfect for those after their own space in Ptuj. Located in the centre of town on a quiet street, it’s fully stocked with all you may need.
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Ptuj hotels!
Days 4-5: Ljubljana
After visiting some more off-the-beaten-path cities and towns in Slovenia, it’s time to head to the capital of Ljubljana.
Though it’s popular to visit, it doesn’t mean that it should be excluded from your intrepid route through Slovenia as visitors flock here for a reason. Spend two days enjoying the atmosphere of the city before moving on to the next destination.
There is more to Ljubljana that is worth exploring than simply the main sites in the Old Town. For instance, take the time to explore the lovely Tivoli Park or spend a few hours admiring the works in the Museum of Modern Art.
Even venturing a bit outside of the centre to the edgy Metelkova City will make you feel as if you’ve left Ljubljana altogether.
Days 6-7: Piran & the Slovenian Riviera
End your week in Slovenia at the country’s small coastline. If you want to get off the beaten path, consider visiting the town of Izola or the port city of Koper rather than heading to popular Piran.
I recommend spending two days on the Riviera so you can have the time both to explore Piran or another city and to head out to some more offbeat areas here.
For instance, the Salt Pans closer to the Croatian border can be worth exploring. You can also visit some local wineries or olive oil producers. If you’ve based yourself in Piran, spend your second day in Izola which has fantastic restaurants and, arguably, better swimming areas.
You could even spend the day coming down to the Riviera at the Postojna or Škocjan Caves and the Predjama Castle. Then spend your final day enjoying the incredible (if small!) coastline.
With so much to see in such a small country, planning a Slovenia itinerary can be overwheling – especially if you only have one week to spend! However, if you’re able to prioritise what you’d like to see, these three routes are sure to give you an excellent feel for this beautiful nation.
Are you planning a trip to Slovenia? Have any questions about these routes? Let us know in the comments!