Here are 15 beautiful and easy day trips from Ljubljana, Slovenia that I would highly recommend. It’s no secret that Slovenia is a small country. The capital city, Ljubljana, sits perfectly in the center with easy access to highways, trains, and buses. Use my Wandering Ljubljana Guide to help plan your days in Ljubljana!
Below you will find a mix of ideas to fit a range of travel styles from hiking in Triglav National Park to eating delicious seafood in Piran. The links provided for some of the locations will take you to in-depth posts about visiting that location. To browse all of my Slovenian content start here.
1. Otočec Castle
Otočec Castle is a one hour drive from Ljubljana and is a beautiful castle that is on an island in the middle of a river. While there is no museum or tour to do at Otočec they do have a hotel and restaurant. Read more about what to see in the Dolenjska region.
Piran is a 2 hour 15 minute drive from Ljubljana, and often times much longer on a Friday during the summer but it is worth a visit! The Venetian architecture is a nice treat away from the shoulder to shoulder crowds in Venice. I recommend checking out the old city wall!
3. Škofja Loka
A small but well-preserved medieval town just a half-hour drive away from Ljubljana at the foot of the alps. Don’t miss Loka Castle.
4. Predjama Castle
Predjama is the famous Slovenian cave castle. Just a one hour drive from Ljubljana and 15 minutes from the Postojna Cave together they make a very unique day trip. I suggest doing the audio guide at the castle as I found it very interesting and gave a lot of context that is otherwise missing.
Celje is the third largest town in Slovenia and just an hour away from Ljubljana. The Celje Castle is the highlight. I highly recommend doing a guided tour there as it has a very interesting history and some familiar names involved.
6. Miramare Castle + Trieste (Italy)
Just 1 hour and 20 minutes away from Ljubljana you can visit Miramare Castle. A picturesque castle with uniquely decorated rooms inside. It is actually in Italy (near Trieste) so it makes a perfect stop between Venice and Ljubljana.
7. Zagreb (Croatia)
Zagreb is a 2 hour drive from Ljubljana, but do be mindful that while Croatia is in the European Union they are not in Schengen Area (check visa requirements). I suggest checking out the Museum of Broken Relationships. Also if you are visiting during December visit the award-winning Christmas Market.
8. Velika Planina
One of my all time favorite places is Velika Planina. Only 1 hour and 20 minutes from Ljubljana but feels like a whole new world. Explore this traditional alpine herdsmen pasture in the Alps. If you visit in the spring (April-May) check if the saffron are in bloom!
9. Triglav Lakes
The furthest but maybe the most rewarding on the list. It is an 1 hour and a half to drive to Triglav National Park and then a 3.5 hour hike to the Triglav Lakes. Don’t forget your camera because the sights are some of the most beautiful in all of Slovenia.
10. Snežnik Castle
One of my favorite castles in Slovenia is Snežnik Castle. An hour drive south of Ljubljana. Perfect if traveling towards Rijeka (Croatia). Read more about traveling to Snežnik Castle.
11. Brežica Castle
Brežica Castle is a 16th century castle in Dolenjska. It is a hour drive from Ljubljana near the border with Croatia (on the way to Zagreb). This castle houses the Posavje Museum which is an eye-opening look into the history of the region and Slovenia.
Koper is 1 hour 20 minutes away just like most items on this list. It is the largest coastal city in Slovenia and part of Slovenian Istria. I recommend tasting the local wines, olive oils, and truffles and don’t miss the Praetorian Palace.
13. Lake Bled
Lake Bled is probably one of the most famous sites in Slovenia but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t make the list. It is about an hour drive from Ljubljana with buses running daily. Visit Bled Castle for this view and check out my article all about what to see and do in Bled!
14. Soteska Vintgar
Soteska Vintgar (also known as Vintgar Gorge or Bled Gorge) is an hour from Ljubljana but also just 4 kilometers from Bled. It is a very easy walk through the gorge but be mindful that it can get very crowded in the summer so arrive early! Watch my YouTube video of my time at Soteska Vintgar.
15. Fly Over Slovenia
The airport in Lesce (near Bled) is where you can catch a flight over some of Slovenia’s most iconic sights like Lake Bled and even fly around the highest peak, Triglav. Be sure to book in advance.
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Owner of wanderinghelene.com. Anthropologist, content creator, castle explorer, coffee drinker, and lover of markets and very old places!