Please sign in to post.

Slovenia Trip Report

Hi all,

We wanted to write a trip report to help others who plan to travel here. This was part of a larger trip including Croatia, we followed RS’s 2 week tour traveling during the last two weeks of May. Overall we thought the 2 week tour was perfectly paced. We stayed at the following towns: Lake Bled (2 nights), Ljubljana (3nights), Motovun (2nights), Plitvice Lakes (1night), Split (2nights), Hvar (2nights) and Dubrovnik (3 nights). We are an active couple in our early thirties.

We first started in Lake Bled, which was beautiful and very relaxing, it was a great way to start out trip. We stayed at Hotel Berc recommended by RS, it was a great place to stay. In terms of sights to see we did a lot of the things RS recommends and loved the overlook/hike called Ojstrica, it gave you a beautiful view of the lake with mountains in the background. When we were there they had some type of music festival going on with food carts, which were actually really good. Another place that stood out to us was Okarina restaurant recommended by RS. We went to Vintar Gorge but unfortunately it’s not open until June, in RS book it says May. We were able to see only the beginning of the gorge and it was beautiful.

After 2 nights at Lake Bled we drove through the Julian Alps which was beautiful. If we had more time we would definitely stay a night in Soça valley. It’s such a beautiful area with, what it seems like, a lot of nice hiking trails. We couldn’t get enough of how blue the water was, we will always remember the teal blue water with the greenery and the mountains in the background. After we drove through the Julian Alps drive we headed to Ljubljana.

As soon as we got into the traffic free old town of Ljubljana it gave off a very relaxing fun vibe with people out and about and enjoying the many cafes along the river. The best part of Ljubljana is enjoying the ambience outside af the cafes and people watching, just as RS says in his book. We stayed in Mescanka apartments, which was an ideal location right in the center of everything. Despite being right on top of the busy cafe scene it was very quiet in the room. The one restaurant that stood out to us was Mostera Bistro where we had a 4 course lunch. The food was delicious, they use seasonal and local food. For the quality of the food it was a great price for 2 people with wine around $70 total. It seems that there are a lot of good restaurants in Ljubljana. The other 2 places that we liked a lot was TaBar (a tapas style restaurant with Slovenian ingredients and a great wine list) and we decided to give Pops Place a try and we were actually very surprised on how good the cheeseburgers were! They used grass fed beef from Slovenia. They also have a great craft beer list and it’s a great place to sit and people watch while enjoying dinner.

Overall we loved Slovenia, you can definitely spend 2 weeks there to experience the coast, Logarska Dolina or even the wine regions (they have delicious wine). Driving was also very easy and google maps worked well throughout the whole trip. The people were very nice and laid back. After Ljubljana we headed towards to Croatia. We’ll post the remainder of our trip on the Croatia forum.

Posted by
3381 posts

Adam, thank you for sharing your detailed trip report. We will be traveling a similar route in a few months. Especially appreciated the information on Mescanka Apartment! We will be staying there two nights before our tour begins. Sounds like an ideal location to take in the ambiance of charming Ljubljana. Looking forward to reading your next installment!

Posted by
4933 posts

Thanks for the report - always glad to see someone writing about Slovenia, one of my favorite countries. Ljubljana is probably my favorite city in Europe. Tourism has increased there since I first visited almost ten years ago, but it's surprising how undervisited it still seems (especially by Americans) compared to all of the other hotspots in Europe.

Posted by
2269 posts

Andrew: Please DON'T TALK ABOUT HOW UNDERVISITED SLOVENIA IS!!!! SHHHHHH!!!!! Mum's the word. Between Zagreb, Ljubljana, and Beograd, I can't decide which my favorite is. Budapest also (James E is probably reading). Western Europe (France, Germany, etc) gets all the press, and has the high prices too.

Posted by
72 posts

Jlschandler - you’re welcome! You’ll love Mescanka apartments!

Andrew - you are right, we didn’t hear too many American tourists at all. A lot less compared Croatia in Hvar and Dubrovnik.

Posted by
34 posts

Adam,
I am planning the same trip but in reverse, one question is you said on your way to Motovun you stopped at Rovinj but that looks out of the way. Also, did you rent a car in Slovenia and drop off in Croatia? If so was the one way fee high? Thanks

Posted by
72 posts

Hi Kathy,

In total it probably took an extra 90 minutes with the detour we took to Rovinj, an extra 30 minutes to Rovinj then an hour to Motovun. It didn’t feel like a long detour because we enjoyed our time in Rovinj and it was very relaxing. Yes we did rent a car, the drop off fee was high, it was about 400 euro.

Posted by
4933 posts

Kathy, there are various ways to get between Slovenia and Croatia without the rental car and rent two cars to avoid the steep one-way fee. In the past, I've done it by taking the train between Ljubljana and Rijeka or between Ljubljana and Zagreb. I am not a big fan of long bus rides and love trains, so I didn't take the bus from Ljubljana to Rovinj, where I could have rented a car last time - instead, I picked up the car in Rijeka and drove to Rovinj. You can also pick up another car on the Slovenian coast if you say drop the Croatian car in Rovinj. Some people use the Slovenian transfer service GoOpti to get between Slovenia and Croatia instead of a public bus or train.

The steep one-way fee might make sense in some cases, but as a solo traveler it never has for me.

Posted by
2018 posts

I am so glad you had such a wonderful trip! I quickly fell in love with Slovenia during my first visit and think it's one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. Ljubljana stole my heart and quickly became my newest favorite city. Planning to return very soon. Lovely report; thank you for taking the time to post it!

Posted by
34 posts

Thank you Adam and Andrew, I will research the options to see which makes the most sense for the two of us.

Posted by
828 posts

Hi Adam,
I really enjoyed your trip reports for Slovenia and Croatia. Did your hotels have parking for your rental car?
Thank you!
Karen

Posted by
72 posts

Yes, Lake Bled and Plitvice Lakes did. Motovun you aren’t allowed to park in the old town so there is a free parking lot down the hill, our hotel shuttled us up and down. Ljubljana didn’t have parking because it was in the traffic free zone but our hotel recommended safe places to park within a 10 minute walk and it was reasonably priced.

Posted by
3 posts

I've seen a few people talking about driving cars in Slovenia. What about travelers who only used trains to get to the 'hot spots' like Lake Bled, the Karst region, Soca Valley, the coast, etc. Was it challenging to get from point A to point B? Thanks - we're planning for 2019.

Posted by
4933 posts

jenibare, Slovenia doesn't have an extensive train system like western European countries. In Italy, France, etc., you can get almost anywhere by train. Slovenia has a train system but it is limited. On the upside, they have a good bus system. You can get some places by train...but most places by bus. When there's a choice, the bus is often better. (I personally dislike buses and always prefer trains unless it is impossible or much more difficult than a bus.)

For example, to get from Ljubljana to Bled, the easiest way is to take one of the numerous daily buses:

https://www.alpetour.si/en/public-transport/bus-schedule-browser/

You CAN get there entirely by train - it's just less convenient. There's a direct train from Ljubljana to Lesce-Bled, which is a few kilometers from the town...so you either need to take a local bus (the same one that started in Ljubljana) or take a taxi to the town. Or, you can take a train from Ljubljana to Jesenice and change there to another train to Bled Jezero station. That station is across the lake from the town of Bled and slightly up a hill. For a day trip, it works...if you don't mind starting/ending your trip across the lake from the town and don't mind the little hill up to the station. The train schedule is also much more limited than the bus schedule. I returned from Bled to Ljubljana this way last May. It worked out, but I can see why most people would prefer the bus.

There's also this website for Slovenian buses (beyond the AlpeTour buses linked to above for the Bled area). This site has always been a challenge for me - but it basically works:

http://www.ap-ljubljana.si/en/

And here's the Slovenia train site:

http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/

If you're unsure how to get from point A to point B, try the website Rome2Rio or just Google Maps - it does have some public transit routings.

But driving is easy and fairly affordable, which is why I often rent a car even if just for a day when I visit Slovenia. If you don't want to drive, you can certainly get to most places by bus and train, if you are patient.

Posted by
62 posts

Thank you Adam for such a detailed report and the restaurant & hiking recommendations.

My husband & I are en route for a 19 day exploration of Slovenia, Croatia, & Montenegro and are doing some last minute research.

RS forums are always the first place I stop as the info is reliable and detailed.