20 Wonderful Day Trips from Ljubljana (Explore Slovenia + Beyond!)

Ljubljana is a charming city in its own right. But the Slovenian capital also makes a great base for exploring the rest of the country, and even beyond! Read on to discover 20 wonderful day trips from Ljubljana for your Slovenia itinerary.

Slovenia is diminutive: it’s only about as big as the state of New Jersey in the US! But in this small area, Slovenia packs in a slew of natural wonders and a number of charming towns and cities. So, if you’re planning a visit, know that you’ll be spoiled for choice on amazing things to do in Slovenia!

Scenery at the Vrsic Pass Slovenia

Slovenia is home to spectacular natural beauty

You can, of course, explore Slovenia on a road trip. The scenery is stunning and the roads were in great shape when we visited. But if you’d rather base yourself in the lively capital, just add a few days to your stay and enjoy some of the amazing day trips you can do from Ljubljana.

THE BEST DAY TRIPS FROM LJUBLJANA

Romantic hilltop castles. A lake with a magical island in the middle. Turquoise rivers that will make you rub your eyes in disbelief. Quaint old towns with beautiful bridges and charming church steeples. And all located within reach of lovely Ljubljana!

Slovenians say that you can get from Ljubljana to anywhere in Slovenia in an hour. And that’s literally true for the most part. Many of the destinations I have listed below make for super convenient day trips, with ample time to enjoy the offerings after you arrive.

Piran Slovenia

Slovenia’s charming coastal towns are just a day trip away from Ljubljana!

A few destinations I describe are just beyond the border in neighboring countries. These will require long days, but you get to dip your toes into another country!

While a car is undoubtedly very convenient for doing day trips from Ljubljana, it is not mandatory in most cases. Slovenia has a robust and reasonably efficient bus system, and the buses we rode were clean and comfortable. You can also opt for guided tours.

To look for bus schedules and book tickets, visit the Avtobusna Postaja Ljubljana website or the Arriva website. Train information can be found at the Slovenia Railways website.

So, here are 20 amazing day trips from Ljubljana to consider for your itinerary!

#1 Lake Bled

Lake Bled is the stuff of fairy tales. With an extraordinarily beautiful setting in the midst of mountains, the turquoise lake is Slovenia’s most popular and most famous destination.

You’ve probably drooled over photos of Lake Bled on Instagram. It’s even more insanely gorgeous in person! A must-visit on your Slovenia holiday.

Bled Island Lake Bled Slovenia

Magical Bled Island sits in the middle of the lake!

There are lots of things to do at Lake Bled. Ride a traditional Pletna boat to the little island in the middle of the lake. Take a walk along the shore to savor the views and photograph the blue-green lake from every angle. For beautiful aerial views of the lake, make your way to the hilltop Bled Castle.

Beautiful Lake Bled in Slovenia

The color of Lake Bled is unreal!

While you can easily spend several days enjoying the beauty of Lake Bled, it also makes for a fun day trip from Ljubljana.

Getting from Ljubljana to Lake Bled

By car: Lake Bled is about 34.5 miles from Ljubljana, and you can drive to Lake Bled via the A2 highway in about 45 minutes in normal traffic.

By public transport: The bus is the most convenient option if you’re looking to travel from Ljubljana to Bled by public transport. Buses leave on the hour every hour from the main bus station in Ljubljana. You might even have more frequent departures in the summer. The journey takes about 70 minutes.

There are frequent departures from Bled to Ljubljana as well. The bus station is right in the town of Bled.

There are many daily trains from Ljubljana to Bled. But the main train station, Lesce Bled, is located a few miles out of Bled, and you have to take a taxi or a bus into town.

By guided tour: There are lots of organized tours to Bled from Ljubljana. If you’d like a few hours to explore, pick a tour that is limited to just Lake Bled. With such a tour, you’ll be able to visit Bled Island in a Pletna boat (a must-do at lake Bled!) and take in the views from Bled Castle.

#2 Lake Bohinj

Lake Bohinj is a must-visit if you love being in a tranquil, beautiful place. It doesn’t have the glamor of Lake Bled, but Lake Bohinj will steal your heart, guaranteed.

Set in Triglav National Park, Lake Bohinj offers lots to do, so plan on arriving early! Start at Ukanc, on the western side of the lake. Hike to Slap Savica. Take a boat onto the water.

Lake Bohinj in Triglav NP Slovenia

Tranquil Lake Bohinj in Triglav National Park

Ride the cable car to the top of Mount Vogel. If you didn’t hike to Slap Savica, you may wish to do a short walk at the top of Mount Vogel.

Next, head to Ribčev Laz, where you can do a short walk along the shore of the lake to the statue of Zlatorog. Take a photo of the Church of St. John the Baptist against the beautiful stone bridge, then visit the lovely interior of the church.

Church of Saint John the Baptist Lake Bohinj Slovenia

The lovely Church of Saint John the Baptist at Ribčev Laz

You could easily spend a week enjoying all there is to do at Lake Bohinj, but you will love it on a day trip as well. If you are on a super short Slovenia trip, you can combine the two lakes in one day trip.

Getting from Ljubljana to Lake BOHINJ

By car: Lake Bohinj is about 52 miles from Ljubljana, and you can drive to Lake Bohinj in about one hour and 15 minutes in normal traffic.

By public transport: If you’re looking to travel from Ljubljana to Bohinj by public transport, take the bus. There are frequent departures in both directions, especially in the summer. The journey takes about two hours.

The bus stops at Ribčev Laz, at the eastern end of the lake, as well as at Ukanc, on the western shore. 

Bled is on the route between Ljubljana and Lake Bohinj, so if you arrive by train to Lesce Bled, you can take a bus from there to Lake Bohinj.

By guided tour: Like the structure of a guided tour? Consider this highly rated full day tour that will take you to both Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj.

#3 Vintgar Gorge

Carved by the Radovna River, Vintgar Gorge is a stunning spot near Lake Bled. Vintgar Gorge is a must-visit if you are a nature lover!

A trail runs right through the one-mile gorge. It is partly made of boardwalks that hug the cliff edge next to the thundering river or cross over the water in places. At other places, it is a hardpack trail.

Trail at Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

Walking the trail at Vintgar Gorge is awesome!

At the end of the trail is an old bridge that is still in use and makes for a great photo. And you’ll see the Šum Falls, a beautiful blue-green waterfall.

You can walk back through the gorge or hike a longer route back to the parking lot. Vintgar Gorge can be combined with a day trip to Lake Bled, since it’s so close to Bled.

Getting from Ljubljana to VINTGAR GORGE

By car: Vintgar Gorge is about 36 miles from Ljubljana, and you can drive there in about 45 minutes in normal traffic. From Bled, Vintgar Gorge is a little under 2 miles, a 10-minute drive.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to Vintgar Gorge by public transport, take the bus to Bled, a journey of about 70 minutes. There are frequent departures in both directions, especially in the summer.

Right next to the bus station in Bled, you will find the offices of Mamut Slovenia. They run shuttles to Vintgar Gorge and back, allowing you two hours at the gorge. The ride costs 5 Euros each way. Book ahead of time to be ensured of a seat on the shuttle you want.

By guided tour: Prefer a guided tour? Check out this full day tour that will take you to Lake Bled, Vintgar Gorge, and Lake Bohinj.

#4 Škofja Loka

An adorable little town between Ljubljana and Bled, Škofja Loka remains one of my favorite day trips from Ljubljana. Even rain couldn’t dampen the beauty and charm of this Slovenian gem.

Skofja Loka Castle Slovenia

Škofja Loka’s handsome castle sits on a hilltop

Škofja Loka is a beautifully preserved medieval town. If you love history, culture, and architecture, this day trip is definitely for you!

Stop to take a photo of the Capuchin Bridge as you walk into the town. It looks like it belongs in a fairy tale! Wander the narrow alleys and admire the pretty medieval facades. Spend some time in the two main squares in town.

Capuchin Bridge in Skofja Loka Slovenia

The fairy tale Capuchin Bridge!

Climb the hill to the Škofja Loka castle for fabulous views of the orange rooftops of the town. Visit the castle museum if you love history, otherwise just enjoy the views and then walk back.

Getting from Ljubljana to SKOFJA LOKA

By car: Škofja Loka is about 15 miles from Ljubljana, and you can drive there in about 25 minutes in normal traffic.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to Škofja Loka by public transport, take the bus! The journey time is about 37 minutes. There are frequent departures in both directions, especially in the summer.

There are many daily trains from Ljubljana to Škofja Loka, with an average journey time of about 30 minutes. But the train station is located about 1.6 miles out of the town, and you would need to take a local bus from the train station into town, or do the 30-minute walk.

By guided tour: Prefer a small group guided tour? Consider this full day tour that will take you to Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj, and Škofja Loka.

#5 Radovljica

Radovljica is a charming little town a few miles out of Bled. It makes for a wonderful stop for a few hours if you are transferring between Ljubljana and Bled, or a day tour in conjunction with another nearby town like Kranj.

Street in Radovljica Slovenia

Beautiful facades in Radovljica

When you enter the Old Town, you get the distinct feeling that time stopped here a while ago. The pedestrian historic center is beautifully preserved, with lovely patterned cobblestone streets and beautiful facades.

Wander through the town, enjoying the ambiance. Make your way to the outer streets for beautiful views over the surrounding countryside and the mountains beyond. Visit the Gingerbread Museum. Have a leisurely meal.

View from Radovljica Slovenia

Beautiful view of the countryside from Radovljica

Like Škofja Loka, Radovljica is a must-do day trip if you love history, culture, and architecture.

Getting from Ljubljana to Radovljica

By car: Radovljica is about 30 miles from Ljubljana, and you can drive there in about 35 minutes in normal traffic.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to Radovljica by public transport, take the bus! The journey time is about one hour. There are frequent departures in both directions, especially in the summer.

By guided tour: Prefer a small group guided tour? Read about this full day tour that will take you to Lake Bled and Radovljica. The tour includes a visit to the Lectar gingerbread workshop in Radovljica, as well as lunch.

#6 Postojna Cave

Postojna Cave is one of the most popular attractions in Slovenia. A cave system in Slovenia’s karst country, Postojna Cave is famous for its fabulous stalactites and stalagmites.

Postojna Cave Slovenia

Postojna Cave contains lots of big stalagmites!

With the world’s oldest cave railway, and a Murano chandelier in one of the caverns, Postojna Cave is a fun and easy day trip from Ljubljana. And you can see the baby dragons: olms that live in Postojna.

Postojna Cave doesn’t have any steps. Apart from the train that takes you part of the way and back, you have to walk about a mile. So if you are traveling with young children or you have mobility issues, Postojna offers stroller and wheelchair access.

Getting from Ljubljana to POSTOJNA CAVE

By car: Postojna Cave is about 33 miles from Ljubljana, and you can drive there in about 40 minutes in normal traffic.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to Postojna Cave by public transport, take the bus! The journey time is about one hour. There are frequent departures in both directions, especially in the summer. Take the bus to the cave, not the town.

You can also take a train from Ljubljana to the town of Postojna, a little over a mile away. The train journey takes about one hour. The walk to the cave entrance from the station takes about 25 minutes, or you can take a taxi if one is available.

By guided tour: Prefer a small group guided tour? Check out this half day tour that will take you to Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle.

#7 Predjama  Castle

Predjama Castle is the largest cave castle in the world! Tucked into the mouth of a large cave halfway up a tall cliff, the castle looks stunning. It makes for a lovely day trip from Ljubljana, in conjunction with Postojna Cave (or Škocjan Caves).

First built in the 13th century, the castle came into prominence a couple of centuries later, when Erazem of Lueg used it as a hideaway after killing the commander of the imperial army.

Predjama Castle, Predjama, Slovenia

The Predjama Castle is built into a cave entrance in the cliff

From the virtually inaccessible family fortress, Erazem attacked and plundered nearby Habsburg estates, earning the title of robber baron. The castle was besieged, but a secret entrance through a tunnel of caves allowed Erazem and his men to smuggle provisions into the castle.

Eventually Erazem was killed, but only because he was betrayed by one of his own. Today the castle is a museum, and you can tour both the castle interior and the cave system behind the castle.

Pro Tip: Predjama Castle is just 6 miles from Postojna Cave. A combined ticket for the two sights is available, and will save you some money. Plus, if you visit during the high season months of July and August, you can take the free shuttle that connects the two popular Slovenia attractions.

Getting from Ljubljana to PredjamA CAstle

By car: Predjama Castle is about 39 miles from Ljubljana, and you can drive there in about 53 minutes in normal traffic. It is six miles from the Postojna Cave parking lot, about a 10-minute drive.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to Predjama Castle by public transport, take the bus to either Postojna town or Postojna Cave. Then take a taxi to the castle. In July and August you can ride the free shuttle if you plan to visit both Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle.

The bus journey time is about one hour and the taxi ride will take about 20 minutes. There are many bus departures in both directions, especially in the summer months. Negotiate a taxi price for both directions, with wait time built in. At Postojna Cave, the ticket office will help you get a taxi.

You can also take a train from Ljubljana to the town of Postojna. The train journey takes about one hour. Take a taxi from the train station to the castle and back.

By guided tour: Because Predjama Castle isn’t easily accessible by public transport most of the year, you might want to consider a guided tour if you do not have a car. Book this half day tour that will take you to both Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle.

#8 Škocjan Caves

If you want a more in-the-wild kind of cave experience in Slovenia, visit the Škocjan Caves! A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Škocjan Caves are also located in Slovenia’s Karst country, near the town of Divača.

The Reka River at Divaca Slovenia

The Reka River emerging from the Škocjan Caves

Carved by the Reka River, the Škocjan Caves contain many gorgeous limestone formations, but what’s really spectacular about the experience is the Murmuring Cavern.

In this gigantic cavern, one of the largest on the planet, you walk high above the Reka River as it roars along below, creating an awesome amount of sound. It’s one of the most magnificent things I have ever experienced!

The Škocjan Caves walk includes a number of steps in bits and pieces (about 500+), and quite a bit of moderately strenuous walking. No photography is allowed until you get to the exit.

Getting from Ljubljana to SKOCJAN CAVES

By car: The Skocjan caves are about 48 miles from Ljubljana, and you can drive there in about 53 minutes via the A1 motorway in normal traffic.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to the town of Divača, take the bus or the train. The journey should take about one hour and 30 minutes by train and slightly less by bus. 

The Skocjan Caves are about 2.5 miles from the town of Divača. Between May and October, the park runs a free shuttle from the train station to the caves and back. At other times of the year, you will need to walk or take a taxi.

By guided tour: Want to visit Skocjan caves in combination with the Lipica Stud Farm? Book this full day tour that will take you to both places. Or book a tour that also a taste of Piran along with the Skocjan Caves and the Lipica Stud Farm!

#9 Lipica Stud Farm

The Lipica Stud Farm was established in 1580, and has, since then, been breeding Lipizzaner horses on the farm. The beautiful breed has been endangered multiple times by the wars that ravaged Europe.

Adult Lipizzaner horses are pale gray, but foals are born black! With each passing year, foals turn lighter and lighter, until they eventually become a pale gray.

Lipizzaner mares at Lipica Stud Farm in Slovenia

Lipizzaner mares feeding in a field on the farm

If you visit the farm when the weather is nice, you can see the mares feeding in a field on the property. With a ticket, you can tour various other parts of the farm, including two museums and an art gallery, the chapel, and other historic areas of the farm.

Getting from Ljubljana to LIPICA STUD FARM

By car: The Lipica Stud Farm is about 53 miles from Ljubljana, and you can drive there in about one hour in normal traffic.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to the Lipica Stud Farm by public transport, take the bus or the train to the town of Divača. The journey should take about one hour and 30 minutes by train and slightly less by bus. 

The Lipica Stud Farm is about 7 miles from the town of Divača. From the train station, you will need to take a taxi to the farm and back. Contact a local taxi company in advance so that you have a taxi available when you arrive.

By guided tour: Since the Lipica Stud farm is not easily accessed by public transport, your most convenient option, if you do not have a car, is a guided tour.

Book this full day tour that will take you to Lipica Stud Farm in conjunction with the Skocjan Caves. Or consider a tour that also offers a taste of Piran along with the Skocjan Caves and the Lipica Stud Farm!

#10 Koper

When you drive through Koper, it looks quite industrial, a busy port city. Our guide told us that Koper is, in fact, a major international shipping center for autos.

But Koper contains a delightful secret: a stunning Old Town that enchants all that stop to explore it. Koper’s Old Town is very compact and you need just a few hours to enjoy all it has to offer.

Titov Trg in Koper Slovenia

The main square in Koper is gorgeous!

The main square in the Old Town is the place to start. Admire the beautiful Praetorian Palace, and the Koper Cathedral and Bell Tower. Climb the tower for panoramic views over the town.

Then spend some time wandering the streets and alleys of Old Town Koper. Look for the Da Ponte Fountain, built to resemble the Rialto Bridge in Venice.

Getting from Ljubljana to KOPER

By car: Koper is about 66 miles from Ljubljana, and you can drive from Ljubljana to Koper in about 70 minutes in normal traffic.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to Koper by public transport, take the bus. The journey takes about 2 hours on average, but if you pick a fast bus, it takes an hour and 15 minutes. The walk from the bus station to Titov Trg, the main square in Old Town Koper, is about 20 minutes, or you can take a taxi.

You can also take a train from Ljubljana to Koper. The train ride is about 2 hours and 30 minutes on average. The walk from the train station to Titov Trg, the main square in Old Town Koper, is about 20 minutes, or you can take a taxi.

By guided tour: The Slovenian coastal towns of Koper and Piran make for a great guided day tour from Ljubljana. Consider a minivan trip that combines these two towns with a visit to the clifftop Socerb Castle and the salt flats of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park.

#11 Piran

Piran is an absolute gem, located on the tip of a peninsula on the beautiful Slovenian coast. The Slovenian coastline is tiny: just 29 miles long. You can visit the three major coastal towns of Koper, Piran, and Izola in one day if you have a car.

In Piran, there are lots of fun things you can do. Start at the Tartini Square, the majestic main square in the Old Town. Here you will find beautiful architecture and a statue of Giuseppe Tartini, the Italian composer after whom the square is named.

Tartini Square in Piran Slovenia

The statue of Giuseppe Tartini in Piran’s main square

Then climb the hill at the back of the square to the Church of St. George, where you can gape at the view of the orange rooftops of Piran. Climb the bell tower for full on views of Tartini Square from above.

Piran rooftops from Church of St. George, Piran, Slovenia

Don’t those rooftops look splendid?

Then climb even further up the hill to arrive at the town walls of Piran. For a small entrance fee, you can walk the historic walls andd admire the views of the town and the blue waters below.

Getting from Ljubljana to Piran

By car: Piran is about 75 miles from Ljubljana, and you can drive there in about one hour and 15 minutes in normal traffic.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to Piran by public transport, take the bus. The journey takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes on average. The walk from the bus station to Tartini Square, the main square in Old Town Piran, is about 6 minutes.

By guided tour: If you prefer a tour, consider this half-day tour of Piran and Portoroz. Portorož is a spa resort town right next to Piran. Or book a minivan trip that combines Piran and Koper with a visit to the clifftop Socerb Castle and the salt flats of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park.

#12 Vršič Pass

The drive from Ljubljana through Bled and over the Vršič Pass is ridiculously scenic. Vršič Pass, at 5,285 feet, is the highest road pass through the Eastern Julian Alps.

On this drive, you’ll pass through the resort town of Kranjska Gora, the gateway to Triglav National Park. Here you’ll get your first close look at the majestic Julian Alps. With their jagged tops piercing the skies, the mountains are a magnificent sight.

The Julian Alps in Slovenia

We did this brief but super scenic walk along the route to Vršič Pass

Then you’ll start the exciting climb to the pass! The road from Kranjska Gora to Log in the Trenta Valley on the other side of the mountains has 50 numbered switchbacks, with epic views that will have you on the edge of your seat.

You can do a hike that begins at the pass, or simply relax and take in the views before heading further to the bottom of the other side, or returning to Ljubljana.

Getting from Ljubljana to Vršič Pass

By car: Vršič Pass is about 60 miles from Ljubljana, and you can drive there in about one hour and 30 minutes in normal traffic without stops. Since you’ll want to stop at various points along the way, allow for about 3 hours to get to the pass.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to Vršič Pass by public transport, take the bus from Ljubljana to Kranjska Gora, and then another bus from Kranjska Gora to Vršič Pass. The journey from Ljubljana to Kranjska Gora takes about 2 hours, and there are multiple departures each day.

The ride from Kranjska Gora to Vršič Pass takes about 30 minutes. Check the time table for the day you plan to visit as these services are not as frequent, and book your tickets ahead of time to be sure of getting a seat on the way back!

By guided tour: Book this guided tour that takes you over the Vršič Pass to the Soča River Valley for a visit to some of the prettiest places in Slovenia.

#13 Soča River Valley

The Soča River is breathtakingly beautiful. Its vivid aquamarine color looks almost unreal. When I look at the million photos I took when we visited, I still can’t quite believe that it does actually look like that when you see it in person.

The Soca River Valley is one of the best day trips from Ljubljana you can do!

The Soča is one of the most beautiful rivers I have ever seen!

If you continue along past Vršič Pass to Bovec, you’ll come to the Soča River Valley. So you can do both in one long day. We started at about 8.30 a.m. and got back to Ljubljana at about 8 p.m.!

If you love adventure sports, you can go river rafting on the Soča, or you can take a kayaking trip. Trips start from Bovec or from Kobarid. But you can also just enjoy the drive, and view the river from the Napoleon Bridge.

Getting from Ljubljana to the Soča river valley

By car: Kobarid is about 94 miles from Ljubljana if you go via the Vršič Pass and Bovec. You can drive there in about two hours and 45 minutes in normal traffic without stops.

By public transport: There is a bus service that connects Kranjska Gora or Vršič Pass with Bovec, but it does not go to Kobarid. From Ljubljana, you can take a bus to Bovec or to Kobarid. This service doesn’t go over the pass.

Departures are not frequent, so it’s wise to check the timetable ahead of time for the day you wish to travel, and book tickets in advance.

By guided tour: Given that it isn’t easy to visit both Bovec and Kobarid using public transport, you may want to consider a guided tour if you do not have a car.

Book this guided tour that takes you over the Vršič Pass to Bovec and Kobarid in the Soča River Valley. The tour comes with the option to add on white water rafting.

#14 Vipava Valley

If you love good food and wine, then you must definitely put the Vipava Valley on your Slovenia itinerary. Reminiscent of Tuscany in Italy or Istria in Croatia, the Vipava Valley features rolling hills, vineyards, and little farmhouses dotted about the landscape.

The Vipava Valley in Slovenia

A view of the vineyards in the Vipava Valley

The Vipava Valley is best explored by car or motorbike, because that gives you the flexibility to cover several different villages or vineyards.

On a day trip, you could perhaps head first to Vipava, one of the major towns in the valley. Next, explore the wine centers of Slap and Manče nearby. Finally, head to the hilltop village of Vipavski Križ for panoramic views of the valley before heading back home.

Slap is home to Majerija, a renowned Vipava Valley restaurant. Make reservations in advance if you would like to stop here for lunch!

Getting from Ljubljana to the Vipava valley

By car: The town of Vipava is about 47 miles from Ljubljana. You can drive there in about 51 minutes in normal traffic.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to the town of Vipava by public transport, take the bus. The journey takes about one hour and 45 minutes, and there are multiple departures each day. If you wish to visit the village of Slap, you can take a taxi from Vipava town.

By guided tour: It isn’t very convenient to visit the Vipava Valley using public transport and you may want to consider a guided tour if you do not have a car.

Check out this 5-hour guided tour that takes you to the Vipava Valley and includes a wine tasting. You’ll drive through the valley for views of the landscape and have the opportunity to visit with some locals before your wine tasting.

#15 Kamnik

With not just one but two castles, and some beautiful architecture, Kamnik is a lovely day trip from Ljubljana. Nestled beneath the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Kamnik exudes medieval charm.

Kamnik is a charming medieval town inSlovenia

Kamnik has a stunning location!

Start in the main square, Glavni Trg, where you can pop into the Tourist Information Center for a map and some ideas for your day. The square has a beautiful fountain and a building started by Jože Plečnik, Slovenia’s most famous architect, but finished by one of his students.

Visit the Church of St. James before making your way to the Mali Grad, the little castle, for beautiful views over the town. If you have a car, you can then take the cable car to Velika Planina, a herdsmen’s village high in a mountain plateau nearby before you return to Ljubljana.

Velika Planina Slovenia

The tranquil beauty of the Velika Planina

Getting from Ljubljana to Kamnik

By car: The town of Kamnik is about 14 miles from Ljubljana. You can drive there in about 25 minutes in normal traffic.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to the town of Kamnik by public transport, take the bus. The journey takes about 50 minutes, and there are multiple departures each day.

By guided tour: It isn’t very convenient to visit the Vipava Valley using public transport and you may want to consider a guided tour if you do not have a car.

Consider this full day guided tour that takes you to Kamnik and the Vekia Planina plateau.

#16 Maribor

The second largest city in Slovenia, Maribor is famous for its vineyards and wine. In fact, it is home to the oldest vine in the world. It was planted over four centuries ago and still bears fruit.

When you visit the Old Vine House to see the vine, wander through the charming Lent district with its Jewish Quarter and various towers. Located on the bank of the Drava River, Maribor’s Old Town features lots of lively cafes and restaurants.

Old Town Maribor Slovenia

Maribor’s Old Town along the bank of the Drava River PC: Ralf Roletschek, Wikimedia

Admire Slomškov trg, where you’ll find the Gothic cathedral and other beautiful buildings. You can climb the bell tower of the cathedral for views over the city. Relax with a drink and do a spot of people watching in the Main Square. Gawk at the massive Water Tower, and visit the Maribor Castle.

If you enjoy wine, visit a couple of local wineries for some wine tasting and a relaxing way to end your day in Maribor!

Getting from Ljubljana to Maribor

By car: Maribor is about 81 miles from Ljubljana. You can drive there in about 1 hour and 25 minutes in normal traffic.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to Maribor by public transport, take the bus. The journey takes about one hour and 45 minutes, and there are multiple departures each day.

You can also take the train from Ljubljana to Maribor. The journey takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes on average. There are multiple trains each day.

Old Town Maribor is about 0.8 mile or a 15-minute walk from the train station or the bus station. Or you can take a taxi.

By guided tour: Book a full-day guided tour that combines a visit to Maribor with a visit to Ptuj and the historic Žiče Carthusian Monastery.

#17 Ptuj

Ptuj, located on the bank of the Drava River like Maribor, is the oldest town in Slovenia. Its stunning red roofs, with the castle rising up behind, make for beautiful photos.

The red roofs of Ptuj in Slovenia

The beautiful red roofs of Ptuj are a joy to photograph!

Old Town Ptuj is compact and walkable. View the Orpheus Monument in Slovenski trg: in medieval times, criminals would be chained to the tombstone. Admire the graceful Town Tower rising up into the sky.

Next, walk to Mestni trg to view the Baroque Town Hall. In this square you’ll find cafes, if you need a break. Wander the cobblestone streets. Visit the Dominican Monastery, part of the Ptuj Regional Museum.

End your day with a visit to Ptuj Castle for beautiful views. Don’t miss the interior: you’ll see musical instruments, weaponry and costumes from medieval times. You can drive up to the top, or walk up.

Ptuj makes for a great day trip from Ljubljana!

The castle rises up from behind the rooftops of Ptuj

Getting from Ljubljana to PTUJ

By car: Ptuj is about 81 miles from Ljubljana. You can drive there in about 1 hour and 25 minutes in normal traffic.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to Ptuj by public transport, take the train. The journey takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes on average. The train station is about 0.6 mile from the Old Town in Ptuj.

Book your tickets in person at the Ljubljana station the day before you plan to visit, since your options for a day trip are limited in both directions.

By guided tour: Consider a full-day guided tour that combines a visit to Ptuj with a visit to Maribor and the historic Žiče Carthusian Monastery.

#18 Trieste

If you’re looking beyond the borders of Slovenia for day trip options from Ljubljana, consider Trieste in Italy. We spent a night in beautiful Trieste, but it makes for a great day trip as well, if you are willing to start early.

Panoramic View of Trieste, Italy

A view of Trieste from the Castle of San Giusto

Trieste’s historic center is magnificent. Visit the main square, Piazza Unità d’Italia, the largest sea-facing plaza in Europe. It is enormous, and lined with beautiful buildings. Walk the maze of streets and alleys that lead out of the square into the mostly pedestrian old town.

Head up the hill to the San Giusto Castle and the Cathedral. From the castle terraces, you get fabulous views of the city. Stop by the Roman Theater and the Santuario Santa Maria Maggiore if you have the time.

Trieste even has its own Grand Canal! Although nothing like Venice, it’s a nice photo spot to visit. And finally, reserve time to take the  boat to Miramare Castle. The complex is gorgeous, with wisteria-covered walkways, fountains, and great water views. You can take the bus back to the historic center.

Miramare Castle Trieste Italy

Miramare Castle as you approach in the boat

Getting from Ljubljana to TRIESTE

By car: Trieste is about 58 miles from Ljubljana. You can drive there in about 1 hour and 15 minutes in normal traffic and with a normal border crossing.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to Trieste by public transport, take the bus. The journey takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes on average. From the bus station, it’s a 10-minute walk to the Piazza Unità d’Italia.

Book your tickets in advance. There are at least a couple of buses each day that would work for a day trip, but you want to be assured of a seat both ways.

You can also take the train, but the journey takes longer and your options in terms of departures are very limited. From the train station in Trieste, it is about a 15-minute walk to the Piazza Unità d’Italia.

#19 Zagreb

Want a little taste of the Croatian interior while you’re in Slovenia? Head to Zagreb, the Croatian capital, for the day. It is a relatively compact European capital, perfect for wandering.

Start by making your way to the Upper Town, where you’ll love the medieval charm of the historic center. Here you’ll see St. Mark’s Church, with its gorgeous tiled roof.

The roof of St. Mark's Church is a must-see in Zagreb

The pretty tiled roof of St. Mark’s Church in the Upper Town

Also in the Upper Town, don’t miss the historic Stone Gate and the quirky Museum of Broken Relationships. Nearby you’ll see the Lotrscak Tower, and a viewpoint to photograph the beautiful rooftops of Zagreb.

Stop by the Dolac market on your way down, and stroll the lovely Tkalciceva Street. Back in downtown Zagreb, take in the hustle and bustle of Jelacic Square. The architecture is stunning!

Spend some time walking some of the streets that lead out of Jelacic Square, to admire the architecture and linger in the many green spaces you’ll see. Consider a walking tour, to get a structured overview of the main sights.

Mimara Museum Zagreb

The Mimara Museum in Zagreb is beautiful!

Getting from Ljubljana to TRIESTE

By car: Trieste is about 58 miles from Ljubljana. You can drive there in about 1 hour and 15 minutes in normal traffic and with a normal border crossing.

By public transport: To travel from Ljubljana to Trieste by public transport, take the bus. The journey takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes on average. From the bus station, it’s a 10-minute walk to the Piazza Unità d’Italia.

Book your tickets in advance. There are at least a couple of buses each day that would work for a day trip, but you want to be assured of a seat both ways.

You can also take the train, but the journey takes longer and your options in terms of departures are very limited. From the train station in Trieste, it is about a 15-minute walk to the Piazza Unità d’Italia.

#20 Graz

Austria’s second city, Graz, is not too far from the Slovenian border, so a day trip from Ljubljana is doable and fun if you have a car. Start early to maximize your time in Graz!

Begin your day in Graz with a funicular ride to the top of Schlossberg Hill, for gorgeous views over the city’s medieval rooftops. Visit the clock tower and the bastion that are the only remnants from Graz’s castle.

The Clock Tower in Graz Austria

Beautiful view from the top of the Schlossberg Hill

The armory in Graz is definitely a must-visit! It houses the world’s largest old armory, with over 32,000 exhibits! Next, make your way to the Hauptplatz, the main square in Graz, where you can gawk at the beautiful architecture.

Visiting the Eggenberg Palace is a must on any Graz itinerary. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvel at the structure that’s cleverly structured around the Gregorian calendar and Enlightenment astronomy. And the peacocks in the gardens are a joy to photograph!

Eggenberg Palace Graz Austria

The Eggenberg Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site

Getting from Ljubljana to Graz

By car: Graz is about 120 miles from Ljubljana. You can drive there in about 2 hours and 15 minutes in normal traffic and with a normal border crossing.

By public transport: Sadly, there are no convenient public transport options that work for a day trip to Graz. 

*****

So there you have it: the best day trips from Ljubljana to add to your itinerary for Slovenia! If you are planning a visit to this gorgeous country, discover all the wonderful things to do in Slovenia.

And if you are looking for accommodation in Ljubljana so you have a comfortable base from which to explore, here are some great choices:

We stayed at the uHotel, the business extension to the Grand Hotel Union. The location, just off Preseren Square, is perfect. Our room was spacious and very clean, if a little dated. Furnishings are contemporary. They serve a huge spread at breakfast. We enjoyed our stay and thought it was a good value!
Read reviews on TripAdvisor | Book a room here

Hotel Cubo is located in the heart of the city center, within walking distance of many major attractions and close to restaurants. A boutique hotel, it features just 26 rooms. Rooms are spacious and elegantly furnished in a contemporary style. Bathrooms are modern. Breakfast is included. We love small boutique hotels, so this is where we will stay on our next visit to Ljubljana!
Read reviews on TripAdvisor | Book a room here

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

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MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR SLOVENIA TRIP

Lake Bled: 10 Fun Things to Do in Lake Bled
Postojna Cave: How to Do a Fun Day Trip to Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle
Lake Bohinj: What to Do at Lake Bohinj in the Summer
Vintgar Gorge: A Complete Guide to Visiting Vintgar Gorge
Piran: 10 Best Things to Do in Piran!

MORE FUN DESTINATIONS IN EUROPE

Montenegro: 15 Best Things to Do in Kotor
Italy: How to See the Best of the Ravenna Mosaics in One Day
Sweden: 25 Best Things to Do in Stockholm
Denmark: One Perfect Day in Copenhagen
Scandinavia: The Ultimate 10-Day Scandinavia Itinerary

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From scenic wonders like the Julian Alps to charming towns like Piran, discover the best day trips from Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

Photo License: Maribor, Wikimedia — GFDL 1.2

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