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Itinerary Feedback

Hello all! I'm planning my first trip to continental Europe for late November. I snagged an amazing deal flying in and out of Vienna, but I'll be spending the majority of the trip in Slovenia and I'd like some feedback on my itinerary before I start booking accommodations.

I have a general idea of things I was to see and do each day but I don't like to schedule every minute. I'm mostly after natural splendor in Slovenia and interesting historical/cultural spots in Vienna. Bratislava seemed like a fun side trip that's close enough to the airport for an overnight stay. Are there any must-dos that I haven't mentioned, or really great restaurants I shouldn't miss?

I know it'll be the off-season - is Piran still worth visiting, or should I cut it and add a day in Croatia instead? And I'll be contending with limited daylight, so I'll be starting early each morning and don't want to schedule much, if any, driving after dark.

About me: I'm a budget solo traveler who enjoys a good clean hostel and an occasional splurge on a nice dinner. When I'm in a new place I like to try new foods, find a geocache or two, check out a museum, go for a hike, or just wander the streets and take it all in.

  • Day 1: Arrive Vienna airport afternoon, GoOpti to Ljubljana - sleep in Ljubljana
  • Day 2: Full day in Ljubljana - Castle, Old Town, Slovene Ethnographic Museum - sleep in Ljubljana
  • Day 3: Rent car - hiking/sightseeing in Lake Bled, Vintgar Gorge, Lake Bohinj - sleep in Bohinj
  • Day 4: Morning tour of Skocjan Caves, Piran in afternoon/evening - sleep in Piran
  • Day 5: Sunrise walk along coast - return car in Ljubljana, evening train to Vienna - sleep in Vienna
  • Day 6: Vienna - Hofburg, St. Stephen's Cathedral - sleep in Vienna
  • Day 7: Vienna - Schonbrunn Palace & Christmas Market - sleep in Vienna
  • Day 8: Morning train to Bratislava - Bratislava Castle & Old Town - sleep in Bratislava
  • Day 9: Airport for morning flight home

I appreciate any and all advice!

Posted by
16567 posts

You mentioned an evening train from Ljubljana to Vienna. The latest departure I see for tomorrow (could be different on other days of the week, I realize) is at 4:50 PM. It arrives just after midnight. But it requires four transfers, three of them quite short. So I'd be looking at the direct EuroCity 3:45 PM departure, arriving at 10:02 PM.

I don't know what Piran will be like in late November. I really like Ljubljana and think another day there wouldn't be a bad idea as long as you're prepared for the possibility of chilly and wet weather and the certainty of short days. Ljubljana does have additional indoor possibilities you haven't mentioned, but it doesn't have the wealth of museums found in Zagreb (too far off your path) and Vienna.

Posted by
3 posts

Yes, the 15:45-22:02 train from Ljubljana to Vienna was the one I was looking at. There's also an overnight train I considered but I don't tend to sleep well on public transportation.

Zagreb was initially on the itinerary but I cut it for an extra day in Vienna since I'll be meeting up with some friends. If I skipped Piran, I could take the 18:36-20:51 train from Ljubljana to Zagreb on day 4 and spend a day/night there. There's a 17:30 bus to Vienna the next day.

Posted by
10654 posts

If you can find one more night, I would skip Bratislava for Budapest. But I'm biased.

Posted by
3 posts

Budapest was on my radar but I think it fits better into a future trip I'm planning.

I think I'll cut Piran for Zagreb and save the Adriatic for a sunnier time. I wanted to avoid too many one-night stands but it's tough when you only have a week and want to see everything!

Posted by
10654 posts

I understand. Makes sense. But you will miss the Christmas markets that open second week in November.

Posted by
1840 posts

I think you have the makings for a very good trip. It's a little rushed for my personal taste, but then again, most people would think my recent trip spending 25 days in western Slovenia was a little slow for their tastes (okay, okay... a lot slow). Summary of my trip: Slovenia is awesome! A few thoughts/questions regarding your itinerary...

How late in the afternoon do you arrive in Vienna and how late are you expecting to arrive in Ljubljana? It looks like a 4+ hour ride on the GoOpti van. Any concerns about napping along the way that will affect your sleep that night? If arriving late, any fear of having trouble being ready to go early the next morning to do Ljubljana stuff?

I'm mostly after natural splendor in Slovenia

You have a day in Bled/Bohinj. If you dump Piran for Zagreb (I'm not sure what that means for Škocjan Caves), it doesn't feel like you're getting much natural splendor (at least to me).

I sent a message to my new acquaintance Saša who lives near Piran to get his thoughts on a visit to the town in November. I'll return to post what he says.

With such a late arrival in Venice on your return there, any concerns that you'll be tired/"beat" the next day while exploring Vienna?

Posted by
1840 posts

From my buddy Saša who lives near Piran when I asked if he thought a visit to Piran in November is worth it:

Piran is always nice, especialy if is sunny wether..☺️ So, i
recommended..

Posted by
467 posts

I agree with Saša, Piran is always nice in the sun, even in late November. I would keep things open and if the weather cooperates, go for it. A rental car gives you a lot of flexibility as far as finding accommodation is concerned and late November is very low season. You wouldn’t really need more than a couple of hours there anyway.

Posted by
91 posts

Hi Candicejean, I highly recommend that you consider scaling back your itinerary and correspond directly with Dejan on this forum about your travel plans! I just returned from a two week trip to Slovenia and have a few suggestions for visiting this beautiful country. First, think twice about taking GoOpti from Vienna! I wasted two days ($35 each way + $200 hotel) taking GoOpti from Venice to Slovenia and should have flown directly to the Ljubljana airport. Second, weather will be a big factor in your Slovenian experience since you indicated “I'm mostly after natural splendor in Slovenia”! Third, with one week, I would focus your time on Lake Bled, Vintgar gorge, Lake Bohinj, Julian Alps, Šoca river valley, Mangart saddle and Ljubljana. As another budget traveler, I highly recommend the
Penzion Kaps in Lake Bled as your base for 3-4 nights and a night in Boveč or Kobarid after driving through the Soča river valley. Also, you can save a lot of money shopping at the Spar grocery store in Bled (€1.29 sandwiches!) and I highly encourage the homemade Slovenian mushroom soup as suggested to me by Dejan! I’ve been lucky to travel the world and Slovenia is a unique place! Enjoy!