How to Spend a Long Weekend in Slovenia
With its charming cities, verdant terrain, and pristine lakes, Slovenia is fast becoming one of the most up and coming destinations in Europe.
Most travellers fall in love with Slovenia and even if you only have a few days, you can see a lot of the country.
Best Time to Visit Slovenia
Summer is the most popular time to visit for international tourists but Slovenia is a great country to experience all year round. In winter, flights are cheaper and tourists are sparse, and despite the cooler temperatures, bring the extra layers (temperatures fluctuate around zero degrees celsius), if you want to see the country in its wintery resplendence.
Top Reasons to Visit Slovenia
Here are some reasons why you will fall in love with Slovenia:
- Cheap and great value for money especially compared to similar countries in Europe
- Hospitable and friendly people
- History and culture with fascinating cities
- Tasty local food and wine
- Beautiful nature
- Lots of outdoor adventures
Several low cost airlines fly to Slovenia direct from the United Kingdom including: easyJet, Wizz Air and Adria. Other airlines which fly to Slovenia from other destinations in Europe and worldwide include: Lufthansa, SWISS flights LOT, Air France, Brussels Airlines, SAS, KLM, Finnair, Air Serbia, Turkish Airlines and Austrian Airlines.
Most flights arrive into Ljubljana to Maribor and for the best rates we recommend Skyscanner.
You can find really affordable places to stay throughout Slovenia. Use Booking.com to get the best prices on hotels and hostels.
Slovenia 3 Day Itinerary
Here’s a super itinerary how to experience the best of Slovenia in 3 days.
Day 1: Ljubljana
(Preseren Square, Ljubljana, Slovenia Photo Credit: Tej Parikh)
The capital, Ljubljana, is Slovenia's largest city and where most flights arrive into. It's a really cultural destination with lots of places to check out.
Ljubljana is abuzz with Christmas markets in December, and festivals in summer. Get a dizzying panorama of the old city from the Nebotičnik skyscraper or Ljubljana castle, wander the city’s cobbled streets and squares, criss-crossing the several grand bridges across the Ljubljanica river, and marvel at alternative artwork in Metelkova, a former army barracks, during the day.
Then in the evening dine on a traditional onion soup, carniolan sausage, and sauerkraut in Gostilna Sokol restaurant, before lapping up the night’s festivities in Preseren Square, replete with carols, fire heaters, Kuhano vino, (mulled wine), and a towering Christmas tree in the winter, and BBQs and live bands in the summer.
Day 2: Lake Bled
(View from Bled Castle, Bled, Slovenia Photo Credit: Tej Parikh)
Just over an hour’s bus journey from Ljubljana, Lake Bled is unmissable in all seasons. In the winter it is far less crowded, and the snow-capped mountains enveloping the peaceful waters makes for quite the backdrop.
Start early in the morning to get a bird's eye view from Bled Castle, then circumnavigate the lake, stopping over at the Ojstrica trail on its western tip, where a short hike will take you to a stunning viewpoint of the lake and its surrounding area.
Then grab a boat ride across the calm waters to Bled island, before the early 4pm sunset, and warm-up in the evening with Slovenian delicacies, Christmas stalls, and an open fire on its eastern bank.
Day 3: Lake Bohinj
(View from Pec, Lake Bohinj, Slovenia Photo Credit: Tej Parikh)
For the perfect day trip from Lake Bled a 40 minute bus ride will take you to the western point of Lake Bohinj, Ukanc.
From there trek clockwise (the south-side of the lake is adjacent to the road) across the banks of Lake Bohinj, the largest lake in the country. In December you’ll only bump into a handful of hikers, so it's the perfect opportunity to marvel at the stillness of the lake, capturing the dramatic and sharply reflecting pines, conifers and mountainside in its waters (it may be busier in the summer).
Just before you return toward Ribcev Laz on the lake’s eastside, seek out the Pec trail, where a short 30 minute hike will take you to the grandest viewpoint of the lake. Return to Bled before sundown for a hearty dinner (Many restaurants and amenities are closed in Lake Bohinj in the quieter season).
Slovenia really is a hidden gem of Eastern Europe, and I highly recommend checking it out before more people start discovering it. If you have any recommendations for places I have missed off my list let me know in the comments section below.
By Tej Parikh