The 16 Most Beautiful Places in Slovenia to Add to Your Bucket List

Slovenia is one of the most picturesque countries in Europe. Teeming with brilliant turquoise lakes, impressive caves, majestic mountains, quaint villages, and so many castles, the Balkan country is a bucket list-worthy travel destination! Whether you’re planning a Slovenia road trip, taking a guided tour, or simply passing through the country, we’ve compiled a list of the most beautiful places in Slovenia to visit.

This travel guide to the most beautiful places in Slovenia includes the top towns and cities to visit in Slovenia, as well as must-see attractions and scenic areas that are so stunning, they almost don’t look real!

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Top 16 Most Beautiful Places in Slovenia

As you plan your trip, it’s always helpful to know exactly where the best places in Slovenia are located on a map. So, for this reason, we’ll start by laying out the top places to visit in Slovenia and showing exactly where they are, to help you plan the best route for your vacation or holiday.

Slovenia – best places to visit

  • Lake Bled
  • Vintgar Gorge
  • Heart-shaped Road
  • Predjama Castle
  • Bela Krajina
  • Vrsic Pass
  • Lake Bohinj
  • Tolmin Gorge
  • Logar Valley
  • Skocjan Caves
  • Ljubljana
  • Kranjska Gora 
  • Ptuj
  • Koper
  • Piran
  • Maribor

Map of the Top Places to Visit in Slovenia 

Map of the most beautiful places in Slovenia
Map of the 16 most beautiful places in Slovenia.

Most Beautiful Places in Slovenia for Nature and Scenery

In a country so exquisite, it’s hard to narrow down the most beautiful places in Slovenia, but for the average traveler who has a limited amount of time to explore the country, we wanted to provide a list of the top places to see in Slovenia.

Lake Bled

Lake Bled one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia, and the tourism hub of the country.
Lake Bled is not only one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia, it is also the tourism hub of the country. | David Mark from Pixabay

Lake Bled is the tourism heart of Slovenia and without question one of the most stunning places to visit. Known for its small church on an island in the middle of the lake and its majestic castle perched on a cliff overlooking the water, Lake Bled is the postcard for perfection! 

While you can easily visit Lake Bled Slovenia as a day trip from Ljubljana, we recommend spending at least a couple of days in this relaxing and beautiful lakeside town. Despite its small size there are a lot of things to do in Lake Bled, which shouldn’t come as a surprise since tourism is a huge draw. Rent a canoe and paddle out to tour the island church, one of the most famous churches in Europe. In summer months you can even swim in the gentle and clear water in the lake.

Hiking to Bled Castle, cycling or walking around the lake are also popular activities. If visiting Lake Bled with kids, Adventure Park and the Straza Bled Mountain Toboggan are loads of fun! Of course, no visit to Lake Bled is complete without indulging in a piece of Bled Cream Cake. The delicacy, which was created by a chef at the Hotel Park in Bled, is so popular that the hotel sells more than 500,000 pieces each year!

Vintgar Gorge

Waterfall under a bridge at Vintgar Gorge -  one of the most beautiful hikes in Slovenia.
Vintgar Gorge is one of the most beautiful hikes in Slovenia.

One of the most breathtaking hikes in Slovenia, Vintgar Gorge is just a short drive, bike ride, or even a walk from Lake Bled. The hike takes you through an impressive ravine carved out by the Radovna River.  The walls of the gorge are covered in moss and vegetation, and the trail passes a series of waterfalls as it winds through the canyon. An easy hike with very little elevation change and a mostly even walking path, Vintgar Gorge is a perfect excursion for families looking to explore some of Slovenia’s natural beauty. 

Much of the hike takes places on a raised, wooden walkway and bridges that cross over the river.  It also crosses under the Bohinj Railway, one of the most scenic train journeys in Europe, and ends at the Sum Waterfall. There, you can either catch a cab ride back to the parking lot or take a 2-hour return hike that takes you through pastures of sheep and cows while overlooking Lake Bled and the valley below. Although it adds extra time, the return hike is well worth the effort and time!

Heart-shaped Road in Slovenia 

A heart-shaped road surrounded by vineyards in fall.
Although somewhat off the beaten path, the Heart-Shaped Road is one of the top places to visit in Slovenia for its charming, romantic appeal. | Photo by Jurgen Reichenpfader

Beautiful and definitely a real highlight in Slovenia that everybody doesn’t already know is the picturesque Heart Shaped Road in Slovenia. Located directly right on the border between Styria and Slovenia, this romantic place has become a popular destination for connoisseurs. Here the name says it all: Amidst the vineyards, a heart-shaped country road winds its way through the wine-growing region. Not only couples, but also photographers have their joy with this incredibly stunning, almost kitschy place to visit in Slovenia.

Only from a certain vantage point does this romantic road show itself in the typical heart shape. To experience this brilliant view, you have to go to the Buschenschank Dreisiebner. From up there, the Heart Shaped Road shows itself in all its glory and, after a few successful photos, you can toast a great trip to the wine region with a snack and a good glass of wine.

If you feel like it, you can take a hike through the marvelous vineyards. Several routes lead through the wine-growing area! Our tip: A visit to the Heart Shaped Road is absolutely recommended, especially in autumn, when the wine leaves glow in the most beautiful shades of red and yellow!

Recommended by Martina from PlacesofJuma

Skocjan Caves

Skocjan Caves - one of the most beautiful underground places in Slovenia
Skocjan Caves – one of the most beautiful underground places in Slovenia. | Photo by Roxanne from Faraway Worlds

The Skocjan Caves are a must-see destination for any traveler visiting Slovenia. Located just a short train ride from Ljubljana, these caves offer a truly breathtaking and unique natural experience. Formed by the flow of the Reka River, the caves feature an underground canyon with caverns, pools, sinkholes, and towering stalactites and stalagmites. One of the highlights of the trip is crossing over the deep underground chasm on a narrow bridge, offering a beautiful and eerie perspective of the river flowing below.

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the sheer size and grandeur of the Skocjan Caves are truly awe-inspiring. To visit the caves, take the train from Ljubljana to Divača station and then take a shuttle bus to the caves. Guided tours, which leave regularly from the cave entrance, are the easiest way to explore the underground caverns. The cost of the tour ranges from 16-24 euros, depending on the season and includes the option to follow the Reka River underground (available from April to October). You can also book a half-day trip to Skocjan Caves that picks you up and drops you off in Ljubjana.

In addition to the underground experience, the Skocjan Caves also offer a beautiful aboveground walk along the river and through the stunning Slovenian landscape. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a warm layer as the caves can be chilly. 

Recommended by Roxanne from Faraway Worlds

Vršič Pass

Julian Alps along the Vrsic Pass in Slovenia, one of the most scenic drives in Slovenia
A majestic view of the Julian Alps along the Vrsic Pass in Slovenia, one of the most scenic drives in Slovenia

Vrsic Pass, located in Triglav National Park, is the highest mountain pass in Slovenia and the Eastern Julian Alps. The 2-lane road consists of a series of 50 tight hairpin turns as it climbs up and back down the mountain, connecting Upper Carniola with the Trenta Valley.

Along the scenic route, which is closed in winter, you’ll find numerous places to pull over to admire the majestic, mountainous landscapes. 

The Julian Alps rival the Swiss and Italian Alps when it comes to their rugged beauty.  At the top of the pass, you’ll find a gift shop and small platform where you can take photos overlooking the valley and foothills below. There are several hiking trails along the pass, as well with parking near the trailheads. 

The Vrsic Pass was constructed by Russian prisoners of war in 1915 for military purposes but is now largely a scenic tourist route. 

Tucked away in the woods along the pass, don’t miss the hidden Russian Orthodox church built by Russian POWs to pay honor to their fallen comrades who died during the road’s construction.

Lake Bohinj

Looking across Lake Bohinji at Church of St John.
Looking across Lake Bohinji at the Church of St. John. | Photo by Tristan MIMET from Pixabay

Just a few miles from the much-beloved Lake Bled in Slovenia you will find gorgeous Lake Bohinj, a must-visit destination in the country. Nestled in the Julian Alps, the lake is part of Triglav National Park.

The largest lake in Slovenia, Lake Bohinj is easy to access by bus or guided tour from Bled or Ljubljana, or you can, of course, drive yourself if you have a car.

At Lake Bohinj, you can walk the picturesque shoreline, swim, go canoeing or stand-up paddleboarding, or take the tourist boat from one side to the other. The walk around the shoreline is long (about 12 kilometers) so make sure you have plenty of time, or go as far as you can.

At Ribcev Laz, the main town on the lake, you can also visit the charming Church of Saint John the Baptist. Taking photos of this church and nearby stone bridge is a popular activity!

While you can book a hotel and spend several days amidst the beauty of Lake Bohinj, you can also visit for the day or even for a few hours to experience its beauty. You can plan your itinerary based on the amount of time you can spare or book a day tour to Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj.

Lake Bohinj is a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts, but for most activities, spring through fall are ideal. In the spring and summer, you will find wildflowers, and in the fall, the colors are great for leaf-peeping.

Recommended by Dhara of It’s Not About the Miles

Tolmin Gorge

Tolmin Gorge with blue water running between the canyon walls.
One of the most picturesque places in Slovenia, Tolmin Gorge is postcard worthy. | Photo by Ben from Ticket 4 Two Please

One of the most beautiful regions in Northern Slovenia is Triglav National Park and the undoubted highlight is the stunning Tolmin Gorge. Visiting Tolmin Gorge features on many Slovenia bucket-lists and when you first set eyes on the 200m long gorge, it’s easy to see why it has become such a popular attraction to visit. 

Tolmin Gorge, a scenic 2-hour drive from Ljubljana, is home to cascading rivers, deep ravines and imposing canyon walls that create a truly dramatic and breathtaking landscape that is simply asking to be explored.  The best time of year to visit Tolmin Gorge is April through May because the water levels are at their highest and the temperatures aren’t quite as stifling as the summer months.  

While Tolmin Gorge is easily accessible from the famous spots in Ljubljana and Lake Bled, it is often recommended that you stay overnight in the area. The most popular place to stay close to Tolmin Gorge is the small mountain town of Kobarid. Kobarid is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with paragliding, kayaking, and white-water rafting the activities of choice for many. 

With adult tickets starting from as little as €8 per person, it is easy to see why Tolmin Gorge is one of the best places to visit in Slovenia – affordability and stunning beauty wrapped into one elegant, natural package. 

Recommended by Ben from Ticket 4 Two Please

Logar Valley

A road running through Logar Valley with the mountains in the background.
Logar Valley, near the Austrian border is one of the best places in Slovenia to visit for adventure-lovers. Photo by AnaJelacin from Pixabay

The Logar Valley (Logarska dolina) is a gorgeous glacial valley nestled in the Kamnik-Savinj Alps of Slovenia. The historic and scenic valley is located near the Austria border, an hour and a half drive from Ljubljana. With its neighboring valleys of Robanov Kot and Matkov Kot, the Logar Valley is a can’t miss place for those inspired by natural beauty and the outdoor adventures of Slovenia.

The Logar Valley is a four-season destination. In the warmer months, visitors can enjoy the hiking trails or take a bike ride through the valley. The rural beauty framed by autumn color and the first snow on the mountain is worth a fall visit. In the winter, visitors enjoy cross country skiing and a cozy fireplace at one of the tourist farm stays in the valley. Lenar Tourist Farm is a charming farm stay with an exceptional location in the valley, and Farmhouse Stiftar is great for families traveling with kids.

Slap Rinka is a magnificent waterfall at the head of the valley. The hike to see one of the highest free falling waterfalls in Slovenia takes about 20 minutes. The trail is also the start to more strenuous hiking or mountaineering in the surrounding area.

An easy 7-km trail through the entire valley is the best way to experience the astounding landscape of Logar. Signs along the trail tell of  the history and culture of the valley.

For breathtaking views of the Logar Valley from above, the Solčava Panoramic Route is a must. This 39 km scenic route can be traversed by car or bicycle.

Recommended by Karen of Outdoor Adventure Sampler 

Bela Krajina

woman standing on the endge of a turquoise river in SLovenia
Bela Krakina is another off-the-beaten path destination that offers stunning scenery and gorgeous | Photo by Roshni from The Wanderlust Within

Off the beaten track but just as beautiful as the rest of the country, Bela Krajina, in the southeast, is one of the best places to visit in Slovenia. 

Located on the border of Croatia, the region is covered in lush green countryside, vineyards and sparkling turquoise rivers. There are plenty of outdoor activities to do including kayaking, hiking, paddle boarding, cycling and canoeing. There are also an array of cultural activities to take part in that will give you a taste of Slovenian life such as oil tasting at Oljarne Pečarič, traditional bread making at Domačija Šraj, and local wine tasting at Malnaric winery. 

From the capital, Bela Krajina is a one hour drive or a 2.5 hour train ride to Metlika (8 EUR one way). It is recommended to stay 2-3 nights to really get a taste of the region, and the Big Berry resort on Kolpa River is one of the best places to stay. Summer is a great time to visit, as whilst the crowds flock to Lake Bled, Bela Krajina will have limited tourists and you’ll likely be able to explore the sites on your own, especially the beautiful Krupa river spring.

Recommended by Roshni from The Wanderlust Within

Predjama Castle

Predjama Castle built into the side of a cliff in Slovenia
Predjama Castle is one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia to visit as a day trip from Ljubljana. | Photo by Sarah from Life Part 2 and Beyond

The stunning Predjama Castle, the largest cave castle in the world, is built inside the mouth of the cave, halfway up a 123-meter cliff. Located just an hour’s drive from Ljubljana, this 800-year-old renaissance castle is a must-visit on any itinerary to Slovenia. 

The Slovenian name for the Predjama Castle is Predjamski Grad, which translates to  “the castle in front of the cave.” Inside the castle, now a museum, there is a fascinating exhibition about what life was like in this impenetrable fortress. An audio guide is included in the entrance ticket cost. 

Allow two to three hours to explore Predjama Castle and arrive early to avoid the crowds. 

Bring a fleece or light jacket with you, as in parts of the castle, the karst rock of the cliff forms part of the wall, which is why the cave castle will feel considerably cooler inside than typical castles. 

Getting to Predjama Castle is easy with a car or by joining a tour from Ljubljana which also includes Postojna Cave. If you wish to travel by public transport, the nearest station is Postojna. If you want to see Predjama Castle for free and not enter the museum, there are some great views of the castle from the cafes and car parks.

Recommended by Sarah from Life Part 2 and Beyond

Best Villages, Towns, and Cities in Slovenia to visit 

While Slovenia is known for its almost surreal natural beauty, the country also boasts a lot of beautiful towns and cities.

Ljubljana 

Ljubljana, at night looking at the river toward Old Town.
Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is not only one of the best places to visit in Slovenia, it is also one of the most beautiful.

You can’t have a list of the most beautiful places in Slovenia without mentioning the country’s charming capital city. While many people may only spend a day or two days in Ljubljana, the relaxing, fairytale city is worth exploring. From touring the Ljubljana Castle overlooking the city to wandering the streets of Old Town, there are a lot of things to do in Ljubljana

Known as the City of Dragons, Ljubljana is filled with history, culture, and folklore. The river, which runs through the heart of the city, is the center of activity in Ljubljana. With its many picturesque bridges, bustling squares and restaurants and patios lining the river, you will want to spend a day simply enjoying the atmosphere along the river, particularly on a sunny day when the weather is nice.

For those who prefer quirky street art to cobblestone streets and quaint Old World charm, venture 10 minutes from Ljubljana’s center and check out the Metelkova Art Center. Every inch of this alternative social center is covered in graffiti art and murals. You’ll also find a former prison-turned hostel there where you can spend a night behind bars. 

Book a stay near Old Town, like Hotel Emonec, just steps away from Prešeren Square and the famous Triple Bridge.

Kranjska Gora 

Kranjska Gora with the mountains in the background and a lake in the foreground
Kranjska Gora may be best known as a ski resort, but it is equally beautiful in summer. | Photo by Kami from My Wanderlust

Kranjska Gora, a small town located right at the border with Austria and Italy, is often in the shadow of more popular mountain destinations in Slovenia (like Bled) but is definitely worth a visit. The place is known mostly as a ski resort, with some international competitions taking place here and the biggest ski jumping hill in the world located here, but the town offers plenty to do and see all year long. That’s where you will find some of the most amazing views of Julian Alps and you don’t need to be an experienced hiker to enjoy them (although some of the great hikes start in and around Kranjska Gora). 

Some of the best places you shouldn’t miss when visiting the town are Lake Jasna (one of the highlights of Slovenia really, where crystal-clear waters of the lake and the surrounding rocky Alps create a magnificent place that is so stunning it looks unreal) and Zelenci Nature Reserve (another stunning place with spectacular views and the source of the Sava river, one of the most important rivers in the Balkans). 

You can easily visit Kranjska Gora as one of the day trips from Ljubljana. There are frequent buses going between the places; the journey time is around 2 hours. You can even book a private day tour, or you can stay there a bit longer and enjoy this stunning place and breathtaking views. If you decide to stay overnight in Kranjska Gora, there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from, such as the highly-rated Garni Hotel Miklič or the centrally located Hotel Alpina.

Recommended by Kami from My Wanderlust

Ptuj

Picture of Ptuj from across the Drava river
Ptuj is one of the oldest settlements in Slovenia, as well as one of the most beautiful. | Photo by Paul D’Souza from PaulMarina

Ptuj in Slovenia is a town that you should add to your bucket list if you are traveling the north-eastern parts of the country. The town is known as the oldest settlement in Slovenia. 2000-year-old Roman records tell the tale of a busy city which served as a strategically important settlement. The medieval ages allowed the city to blossom once again. 

Today, visitors to Ptuj will find a small authentic town with historical red roofed buildings and a castle on a hilltop. A walk-up to the castle on the cobbled streets, is rewarding travelers with rooftop and vineyard views along the Drava river. The castle was turned into a significant regional city museum, and you will find various exhibitions and topics in its walls. One of the most fascinating exhibitions is the one about the traditional carnival fairs and customs.

The city is known for its four fairs held every year in the city, which you should take part in if you are looking for traditional Slovenian vibes. That includes carnival, the medieval St. George’s fair in April, the St. Oswald fair in August and St. Catherine’s fair in November. 

We recommend at least 2–3 days in Ptuj because the small city has so much more to offer. Visit one of the two monasteries, the Roman archeological sites or enjoy a day in the healing Thermal waters of Ptuj. Another fun and informative thing to do, is to sign up for a guided tour through the cellars of the oldest winery in Slovenia. 

The area around Ptuj is known for the best wine in Slovenia, so this terroir is definitely a must experience for all wine connoisseurs. If you intend to stay a few days, then the Hotel Mitra is much recommended, as it is situated at the center of the old town.

Recommended by Paul D’Souza of Paulmarina 

Piran

Boats docked in Piran Slovenia
A charming natutical town in Slovenia, Piran is one of the best locations in Slovenia to visit for a relaxing coastal vacation. | Photo by Shireen from The Happy Days Travels

Piran is a gorgeous coastal town in Western Slovenia on the Adriatic Sea. It’s located in the North of the Istria Peninsula which is made up of three countries: Slovenia, Italy and Croatia. Piran has both Slovenian and Venetian influences in its culture, food and architecture so is an unique bucket list destination in Slovenia because it differs from the mainland places like Ljubljana and Bled.

The best time to visit Piran is during the Summer months because there is much more to do here with better weather, all of the tours are running (as they halt during Winter/Autumn) and public transport is in full swing making it easy to get to. 

In Piran you can enjoy lots of water-based activities in the Summer like snorkeling, diving and boat tours (especially the glass floor boat tours for the best chance to see wildlife) and afterwards you can visit the town’s Museum of Underwater Activities or the aquarium.

Keeping within the nautical theme, one of the best things to do in Piran is to try the excellent local cuisine including lots of seafood and fish. There is a family-run restaurant named Podlanica on a boat docked at the Piran harbor (but the exact location changes) that has no menu just includes the catch of the day and an appetizer of local Fuzi or Pljukanci pasta with seafood. It’s delicious and a must-do in Piran!

There’s an array of places to stay in Piran but I recommend finding a B&B, like Bed and Breakfast Donatella, or a guesthouse run by locals, like this one, so you can stay in a traditional Piran home and experience the local culture. 

Recommended by Shireen from The Happy Days Travels

Maribor

The skyline of Maribor Slovenia
Another fun city in Slovenia to explore, Maribor is rich in history and beauty. | Photo by Trijit Mallick from Budget Travel Buff

Maribor is a charming city in northeastern Slovenia known for its rich history, architecture, and natural beauty. Slovenia is one of the cheapest European countries. If you are looking for an affordable vacation, Maribor shouldn’t be missed. Start your Maribor trip with the Old Vine House. This is the oldest vineyard in the world that is still producing wine. The Old Vine House is located in the heart of the city and is a popular museum that tells the vineyard’s story.

After taking a few sips of wine, you can head towards Maribor Castle; built in the 12th century, it is perched on the top of a hill. You can get stunning views of the surrounding area from the top.

If you want to see the vibrant color of Maribor, then don’t miss the Lent Festival. This festival is known for its colorful facades and rich history. Lent is also home to several important landmarks, such as the St. John’s Church, the Old Synagogue, and the Judgement Tower. There are many other things to see and do in Maribor, like visiting local museums, shopping in local markets, and taking a boat ride on the Drava River. So if you want to explore this city, we suggest you visit this place between April to September to feel the best atmosphere in Maribor.

If you want to stay in Maribor, Hotel Habakuk is highly recommended. Located on the banks of the Drava River, this hotel offers stunning views of the city and the Pohorje Mountains. The hotel features an indoor swimming pool, a spa and wellness center, and a restaurant that serves traditional Slovenian cuisine.

Recommended by: Trijit Mallick from Budget Travel Buff

Koper

A quaint square in Koper Slovenai
A small coastal town, Koper boasts narrow streets and quaint piazzas. | Photo by Kars Travels

Koper is a port city situated on the small Slovenian coast. The beautiful city is in between Trieste and Piran and close to Izola. The historical city has narrow streets and piazzas. Koper is located on an island and is connected to the mainland with a dam. The city is in its style heavenly, influenced by Venice. Koper is a perfect starting point on a Balkan road trip.

When visiting this beautiful city, start at Titov trg (Tito Square). On it is the Stolnica, a Renaissance and Gothic cathedral, and the Pretoska Palača, a beautiful white Venetian palace in Gothic architecture. Take your time to admire and visit both buildings. Then take your time to stroll around the narrow streets and piazzas of the old town. Admire the many beautiful buildings the city has. End your visit with the regional museum, which is housed in the Belramonil-Tacco palace.

The best time to visit Koper is in the Summer months, the weather will be at its best. You can visit Koper in 2 to 3 hours, but better would be to visit a whole day. Hotel Marina is a nice hotel for families in nearby Izola, or if you prefer camping check out Avtokampa Jadranka. This way you can combine a visit to Koper with some beach time in Izola. 

Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels

Best way to see these beautiful places in Slovenia 

 The easiest way to get around Slovenia is on a self drive, which is why we recommend a Slovenia road trip to explore the country. This will allow you to see small villages, mountainous areas, and nature attractions that are not accessible by train. While we personally love traveling by rail when in Europe, in Slovenia you will appreciate renting a car and exploring the country at a leisure pace. 

Also read: Europe road trip tips 

Have a question or comment about one of these beautiful places in Slovenia? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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