One Week in Slovenia Itinerary

I have now been to enchanting Slovenia twice. It is a little country packed full of fairytale sights. Even if you only have a few days you can see many beautiful places but here are all the things you can do plus a suggestion for a one week in Slovenia Itinerary. (Updated March 2023)

Ptuj Slovenia

Slovenia Basics


Slovenia is in the European Union since 2003 and uses the Euro. ATMs are widely available and credit card is accepted in most places. I always recommend having some local cash anytime you are in a foreign country because many street vendors and some smaller operations may only accept cash. It’s also better to tip in cash. Most restaurants do not have a tipping feature on the credit card machine the way they do in the USA.


The official language is Slovene (Slovenian) but many people also speak Serb-Croatian since Slovenia is an ex-Yugoslav country. English is widely spoken.

How to Get Around

Slovenia is a small country and has good public transportation but it is also very pleasant for driving. Depending on your itinerary you may want a car. I have used the train, bus, driven and taken tours so I’ve done a bit of everything. I only drove once and that was because we wanted to visit a nature/hiking area and planned to make several stops. You can easily rent a car for the day from the capital of Ljubliana.

Castle at Lake Bled

Suggested One Week in Slovenia Itinerary

I think the easiest thing to do is to base yourself in Ljubliana and do day trips. I don’t like constantly packing and unpacking, hoofing around with luggage, and checking in/checking out of hotels every other day. But you may want to spend the night at Lake Bled or another nature spot. Whatever works best for you.

Day 1 Ljubliana

This is a good place to start and end since your flight will be from here. You likely won’t find direct flights from the United States here since it is a relatively small airport. I flew via Paris but other large European cities like London, Frankfort or Zurich also have direct flights and could be a stopover point.

What to do upon arrival at Airport

After arriving in Ljubliana I recommend you get a SIM card if you don’t have international service on your phone.  You can get a SIM for data only at the little coffee shop in the arrivals lobby. Outside the airport, there is a vending machine with SIM cards for data, text, and calling. There is an ATM right next to this machine. Just a little tip I thought I’d add since I sometimes struggle to try to locate these things.

A taxi is about 30 to 40 Euros to the city and takes 30 minutes. There is a shuttle for closer to 10 Euros. It was kind of random…a nice old man with a car that fit four passengers. Hey, whatever works! You can ask your hotel to arrange your transport.

Pink Church at night ljubliana

Day 2 Ljubliana

I suggest you carve out at least one full day to enjoy this absolutely perfect little city. This city is so often called a hidden gem that I don’t know how it is still hidden.  You can see the entire thing from the castle or from Tivoli Park. All the buildings are Easter egg colors as if a seven-year-old girl chose them. There are dragons. There is a castle on the hill. It is what fairy tales are made of. I’m a bit smitten if you can’t tell.

Zmajski Most

The first thing I saw upon entering the old city was this striking dragon bridge, the Zmajski Most. According to local legend, the tails will wag if a virgin crosses the bridge. Apparently, there were no virgins in Ljubljana when I was there!

I happen to be obsessed with dragons so I was pretty excited about this bridge.

Dragon Bridge, Ljbuljiana

Ljubliana Grad

I rose early to hike up to the castle. In the summer it opens at 0900. The second time I went right before sunset which was more crowded but stunning. There is a funicular that goes straight to the top and the entrance to this is just after the dragon bridge. I opted to walk up and get some exercise. There are a couple of places to start your walk but I started just to the right of where the funicular is. There is a sign for Ljubljana Grad (Castle) that directs you up a pedestrian walkway. At some point, there is a fork in the road (with a sign that I failed to interpret without help from a local)  and if you go straight it is steeper and more direct, the left is less steep and winding. I chose the left path since I was a bit winded by that point (#embarrassing). The whole walk took about 15 minutes and wasn’t too bad. It was worth going early because I had the castle all to myself!

The views from the lookout tower were incredible.

View Of Ljubljana From Castle

I spent an hour at the castle. They have a museum of puppetry, a chapel, and an old prison in which they have creepy sounds playing as you walk in. It’s both disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Free City Tour

I headed back down the hill, which of course was easier than going up, and on my way to the 11:00 AM free city tour stopped to try some traditional local yumminess at Klobasarna. I had Carnolian sausage and struklji which is a steamed cottage cheese roll. It comes in different flavors, one with nuts, one with apple but I chose the savory one with tarragon. It had a sweet crumbly topping on it and was fabulous.

The free tour is a wonderful thing.  You just show up at 11:00 AM at the Franciscan Church (The pink one) and look for the guys in yellow. Make sure you give them a good tip!

Four Days in Magical Slovenia

Walk around and enjoy the architecture

This may be the most beautiful city in the world. The architecture is stunning. The pink Franciscan church is in Preseren Square next to the triple pedestrian bridge which is a striking work of architecture by Joze Plecnic who happens to have designed tons of amazing structures in Ljubljana.

Everywhere you turn in this city it is a treat for the eyes with beautiful Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings.

After the tour, I sat and drank delicious Slovenian wine and had some snacks at Robba, a lovely cafe on the main street, Mestni Trg.

Slovenian Modern History Museum

I loved this museum. It covered recent history of the 20th century. It took you through WWI and all subsequent wars up to when Slovenia became independent in 1991 and eventually a member of the European Union in 2003. I enjoyed learning this history as it is very pertinent to people’s lives here. The walk through beautiful Tivoli Park to get there was wonderful as well.


Another fun thing to do is check out Metelkova. This is a small autonomous community of artists. It is in a former military barracks that was the Slovenian center of the Yugoslav Army, back in the day. The award-winning Hostel Celica is in a former prison and each room is a converted cell designed by an artist. It is extremely cool and they host fun events and tours.

Four Days in Magical Slovenia

The graffiti and wall art is amazing.

Four Days in Magical Slovenia

Let’s talk about food again! Once again back on the main street of Mestni Trg, at Gostilna Sokol. A Gostilna is usually a place to get traditional food. Sokol has waiters in traditional costumes and is a great restaurant. I had the mushroom soup served in a bread bowl. They are big on mushrooms here and that’s all right with me. I also had venison with sour cherry sauce and the traditional cottage cheese dumplings, “struklji”. Still thinking about that food.

Definitely check out the local weekend markets and marvel at all the fresh fruit and flowers. On some sunny Fridays, there is something called Open Kitchen with food and drink vendors in Pogacarjev Trg Square. This was really run.

Quick Summary of some places to eat and drink (because I understand what is important)



Gujžina vegetarian/vegan

Gostilna Vida (has great vegan and veg options but also has non-veg)

Gostilna Sokol traditional food in a cozy setting

Klobasarna very casual restaurant for traditional food (small menu and picnic style outdoor seating)

Dvorni Bar great place for wine tasting and light food

Slovenska Hisa near the river Had breakfast here one day and was fabulous.

Day 3 Lake Bled

My first time, I took a half-day tour to see Lake Bled with Roundabout Tours. The tour was decent and also went to the Vintgar Gorge, but I was bummed not to have more time to wander around the lake which is truly a marvelous thing to behold.  The bus to Bled is 6 Euros and one hour. So that’s what I did the 2nd time and I highly recommend it. I liked having all the time in the world here. It’s just so so gorgeous.

This lake is absolutely magnificent. The phrase jaw-dropping was pertinent here. I couldn’t close my mouth. Just…wow.

You can take one of the traditional Pletna boats to the church on the little island. These flat-bottom wooden row boats with colorful awnings have been used since 1590. To be a Pletna oarsman is a privilege only a few have and is passed from generation to generation. I was transported to the little island in the middle of the lake which holds a church.

I highly suggest trying the local specialty, the Lake Bled cream cake. It is light as air and divine. I had this at the fabulous Hotel Villa Bled, a former residence of Tito, the former leader of Yugoslavia. He had good taste! Unfortunately when I was there in the fall, this was closed and I had cream cake at another restaurant instead but it was also yummy.

Four Days in Magical Slovenia

After this sinful breakfast, you will have energy to walk up the hill to visit the castle. It is a ten-minute walk if you are reasonably fit or you can wait for the little shuttle bus. There happened to be a medieval festival going on the first time I was there, complete with fighting knights and other amusing characters so it was a bit crazy. The views from the castle are worth the entrance fee.

Lake Bled View from Castle

Vintgar Gorge

You would think this was enough gorgeous-ness for one day but next, we were taken to see the Vintgar Gorge and it was Gorge-ess! (tee-hee). If you aren’t on a tour you can go see this on your own. There is an hourly shuttle that leaves from the Mamut office in Bled that goes directly to the Vintgar Gorge entrance. You’ll have two hours to explore Vintgar Gorge before it takes you back to Bled. You can find more information about the Vintgar Gorge Shuttle here.

Four Days in Magical Slovenia

It takes about 45 minutes to walk through the gorge, depending on how often you stop and gawk at how clear and beautiful the water is.

There is a striking waterfall at one end. There is an easy path from the parking area to get here but I mistakenly took the long challenging steep muddy path through the woods.

Four Days in Magical Slovenia

Hopefully, you can’t see the mud on my leg. At least I got some exercise because…Slovenian food.

This evening I  had an incredible dinner at Juljia. They have many traditional Slovenian and Mediterranean dishes, seafood, homemade Istrian pasta, and lots of mushroom and truffle-y dishes.  That last part was really all I needed to hear.

Day 4 Maribor and Ptuj

This was one of my favorite days. I recommend this Maribor/Ptuj and Heart of Vineyards tour because the guide was fantastic and it was a long day so nice to have someone else driving. You visit the medieval town of Ptuj (pronounced “Tooj”) which has an 11th-century castle, the oldest in the country and best preserved. The more modern university city of Maribor is also beautiful and boasts the oldest wine vine in the world. Of course, I thought this was very cool.

We had a fun group lunch at a Bosnian-style restaurant in Maribor called Baščaršija Maribor Poštna

Ptuj Slovenia
Maribor Slovenia

A highlight for me was the last stop..sunset at a heart-shaped vineyard on the border of Austria in the Špičnik region. I did this in the fall and between the fall colors, sunset and the wine, I was in heaven. It was especially fun to jump across the border into Austria and then back to Slovenia while in the vineyards. You could also drive yourself and do this trip. I think it would be difficult with public transport.

Heart Shaped Vineyard Slovenia

Day 5 Kamnik and Velika Planina

Kamnik is a medieval town with two castles, a monastery, and a colorful street lined with artisan workshops. From here you can visit the Velika Planina plateau and see the old shepherd huts and learn about the shepherding tradition.

Kamnik is just a 50 min train ride from Ljubliana and once there, go to the tourist office to book the shuttle to Velika Planina. Sadly it was a foggy day when I was there and so I had to skip going up to the mountains (was told we wouldn’t see anything) but this looks amazing and is definitely on my list for next time. It’s a chance to see some of the Julian Alps.

We had a fabulous pizza at Pizzerija Napoli in Kamnik. And in the morning when we arrived stopped at Kavarna Veronika for delicious cake and coffee. The desserts here all looked wonderful. Also close to here if you have the time is the largest Slovenian arboretum and the Terme Snovik spa, the spa nearest to the capital.

Day 6 The Karst and Piran

I did another day tour with Roundabout Tours to visit the Karst and the Coast. The Karst refers to the region of Slovenia that is a limestone plateau extending across southwestern Slovenia and northeastern Italy. Due to this geological phenomenon, there is a plethora of caves, about 10,000 caves to be exact. I saw one of these, the Skocjan Cave which is a UNESCO heritage site. It is massive! The light from cameras literally causes life-threatening algae to grow so photography is forbidden in the caves. Just know that the caves are FREEZING, all year round. Bring a sweater and good walking shoes because there are tons of steps and lots of drippy water, so it is wet and slippery! The tour is 1.5 hours.

Also on this tour is a stop at Predjama Castle. This amazing Renaissance Castle is built into a cave. As if that alone weren’t cool enough, there is a great story about the most famous resident of this castle.

Four Days in Magical Slovenia

Wanna hear the story? Ok great.

Erazam Lueger was the lord of the castle in the 15th century and a renowned robber baron.  According to legend, Erazem came into conflict with the Hapsburgs and fled to his family fortress of Predjama. While here his enemies made repeated attempts to kill him and basically waited outside the castle for him to leave for supplies. He was besieged in this fortress for over a year. He taunted the attacking soldiers by pelting them with cherries. Erazem knew of a secret tunnel leading from the castle, which allowed him to travel to the nearby village of Vipava and collect supplies, including hoards of fresh cherries. Supposedly he threw all kinds of things at the soldiers, including a sheep at one time! He was eventually killed when a servant sold out and revealed his location and he died while in the privy (toilet) by a well-aimed cannonball. You can’t make this up!

Four Days in Magical Slovenia

We saw the famous Lipica horses, which were beautiful and regal. 

Finally, we visited the coastal town of Piran, close to the Italian border.

Four Days in Magical Slovenia

Isn’t she pretty?

Four Days in Magical Slovenia

A pretty pastel jewel of a town, largely influenced by the Venetians. This is Tartini Square, named after a famous composer.

Day 7 Lake Bohinj and Soca River Valley

You can choose to do only one or both of these depending on time and your energy level. You can visit Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled in the same day. There is a bus that runs between them and is a 40 min drive. Or you can do what I did and visit Lake Bohinj and the Soca River Valley in one day. I had to rent a car to do this. I used Sixt and it is right in the city center walking distance from most central hotels.

Lake Bohinj is gorgeous and not as popular as Lake Bled so far less crowded.

Lake Bohinj

The Soca River can be accessed in many places but we went to one famous viewpoint that had an area for hiking and a waterfall. The water is glacial blue and stunning. The scenery in autumn was especially gorgeous and we were lucky with a sunny not so cold day. I must warn that the driving to get here was kind of scary at times with tiny roads, some of them not so well paved in the mountainy parts. If you haven’t driven in areas like this I don’t recommend going to Soca, but to Lake Bohinj was not bad.

Day 8 Depart Ljubliana

If you have an extra day you can either chill in Ljubliana which never gets old for me or visit another city that is close by train such as Kranj.

If you only have 3-4 days you can still see a good number of places like I did on my first trip. I spent one day in Ljubliana, one day Bled/Vintgar and one day Karst/Piran.

I hope you enjoyed discovering  Slovenia. Compared to many countries in Europe, Slovenia is rather untouristy and more affordable. This country has it all: mountains, pristine Alpine lakes, colorful coastal towns, and beautiful medieval cities with castles, a pink churches, and dragons. I felt like I was living in a fairy tale and being Princess Cher for a few days was pretty great!

four days in magical slovenia

About The Author

Cherene Saradar

Cherene is a travel expert with 30 years of experience in over 100 countries and 7 continents. She has traveled solo to over 50 countries. She is also a nurse anesthesiologist with over 20 years of healthcare experience. Her passions include wildlife travel and visiting wine regions of the world.


  1. Yasmin | 21st Mar 18

    Your pin is very informative.I am visiting this may and hope to cover all that you have reported.
    Yasmin from India

    • csaradar | 13th Apr 18

      So happy to hear that!!

  2. Maša | 1st Aug 17

    I love your Slovenian itinerary 🙂 Pinned in my Slovenia board and I’ll sure read your blog more often 🙂

    • csaradar | 2nd Aug 17

      Hey Masa that is awesome to hear. I hope to return to see more of Slovenia!

  3. Bojan | 10th Jun 17

    Bled lake and also Bohinj lake ,- both are VERY GOOD for swimming.

    • csaradar | 10th Jun 17

      I want to go back and see Bohinj!

  4. Bojan | 10th Jun 17

    WOW, you are also beautiful like my sLOVEnia.

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  6. Jacqui | 17th Oct 16

    I ended up in Slovenia sort of accidentally and LOVED it. I also loved reading about everything you did in 4 days. So helpful if I end up back there,

    • csaradar | 17th Oct 16

      What a lucky accident! It is such a gem! I hope to go back soon. Hope you do as well:)

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  8. Lauren | 30th Jun 16

    The mushroom soup is amazing!

    • csaradar | 4th Jul 16

      I still think about that mushroom soup! Love your pics!

  9. K. | 30th Jun 16

    I just wanted to chime in and let you know I enjoyed reading about your Slovenian adventure. I’m looking forward to traveling there myself in the fall. 🙂
    Happy travels!

    • csaradar | 4th Jul 16

      Thank you so much and I’m excited for you that you’re going in the fall! Let me know how you liked it! I bet it is stunning in the fall!

  10. Lauren | 16th Jun 16

    Wow, I’m absolutely stunned by both the architecture and natural landscapes… Could you access the water in the gorge to swim in or is that not advisable?

    Love your photos!

    • csaradar | 17th Jun 16

      Thank you Lauren! I was stunned too! As for swimming in the gorge, it was probably dangerous because there were little rapids. I didn’t see any swimming near the waterfall. The water was ice cold! I think you can swim in Lake Bled however.

  11. Moani Hood | 15th Jun 16

    Okay, so…the most important question: how was the Slovenian wine? 🙂 So glad to read this. I’ve been researching Central European and Eastern European countries to piggyback on another trip to Italy in April and I was thinking of Austria, Slovenia or Croatia. I can’t do them all though! But the dragons may sway us to Slovenia…I’ll save this post so I can review it later too. Good tips on the SIM card! I love the useful things.

    • csaradar | 17th Jun 16

      The wine was fantastic!! Slovenia is a very easy add on to trips to Italy and Croatia. Slovenia so small andaypack easy to get around. I did a lot in 4 days! Go see the dragons!!

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