How to spend one week in Slovenia | travel itinerary

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Slovenia is seriously one of the most insanely beautiful countries in Central Europe. It’s located in central and Southeast Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

It’s located between the Alps and the Adriatic and is probably best is known for its mountains, ski resorts and picturesque lakes.

One week in Slovenia should give you enough time to experience some of the highlights of this small, yet charming country.

#Slovenia is nestled between the Alps and the Adriatic and is probably best is known for its mountains, ski resorts and lakes.

One week in Slovenia

With plenty of cheap flights, Slovenia has experienced a tourism boom in the last few years.

Travellers are super keen to experience its charming capital Ljubljana and explore magnificent Lake Bled.

Slovenia is a brilliant destination for backpackers, couples and family holidays. It’s an incredibly safe country and is easy to travel around in.

Many residents speak English and there is a real focus on sustainability, slow travel and the environment.

This tiny country also has a rather elaborate and complicated history that includes Tito’s Yugoslavia, a 10-day war and Slovenian independence.

Slovenia seven day itinerary

When planning a Slovenia holiday, you need to decide where you want to visit, what you want to see and where you want to stay?

Slovenia might be small but it is brimming with fun things to do and places to explore.

If you are wondering what to do in Slovenia, hopefully, my bumper Slovenia guide will help you decide on the best way to spend your time in this charming country.

My seven-day Slovenia itinerary includes things to do in Slovenia, as well as where to stay and suggestions for what to eat so you can plan your ideal Slovenia trip.

We talk more about travel planning on my weekly travel podcast – Travel Goals. If you love listening to travel podcasts, then make sure to subscribe to the Travel Goals podcast.

You’ll learn what’s new in the travel industry on this show. There’s also travel hacks, destination inspiration and stories of travel adventures from around the world.

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One week in Slovenia

Slovenia map

When you spend a week in Slovenia I would recommend limiting your time to just 4 destinations and enjoy a spot of slow travel.

This way you won’t spend all your time moving around every day and you can actually spend a bit of time in each destination.

My 7 day Sloveia guide includes the following destinations:

  • Ljubljana
  • Lake Bohinj
  • Lake Bled
  • Bella Krajina

Day 1 and 2 Ljubljana

Slovenia’s capital is one of Europe’s greenest cities and is an outdoor haven with pavement cafes, street food and gorgeous parks.

There’s also a real hipster vibe in the city with quirky street art, trendy bars, coffee shops, and a former prison-turned-hostel. 

I would recommend spending at least two days in Ljubljana before hitting up other Slovenian destinations.

two days in Ljubljana

Two days in Ljubljana

Two days in Ljubljana will require a little travel planning and scheduling. I would make a list of the Ljubljana attractions you want to visit and the places you want to see in the city.

We talk more about travel planning on my weekly travel podcast – Travel Goals. Subscribe now and catch up on all episodes.

One of the best ways to get to know Ljubljana is to go on a walking tour with a local.

This way you can see the main sights of Ljubljana with an experienced guide and discover the more off-beat places too.

Things to do in Ljubljana

Ljubljana is a really walkable city and is also super bike-friendly. Most of the centre is car-free and there’s also a cycle network.

This makes it easy to quickly reach all the attractions and point of interest in Ljubljana.

Some of the best things to do in Ljubljana include:

  • Visiting Ljubljana Castle
  • Exploring Tivoli Park
  • Check out Metelkova Mesto
  • Bike around the city
  • Take a boat ride down the Ljubljanica river

Visit Ljubljana Castle

Beautiful Ljubljana Castle is one of Ljubljana’s main attractions and is located just above the city, on top of Castle Hill.

I would ride the funicular to the top of Castle Hill, then explore the medieval fortress at your own pace.

You’ll also get great views of Ljubljana from the top of Castle hill and from the watchtower.

The castle complex has a long history stretching back for over 900 years. Not all of the castle is the same age and many modern amenities have been added to the castle including restaurants and exhibitions.

Make sure to Pre-book your entrance ticket to Ljubljana Castle online and avoid the crowds.

visit Ljubljana Castle

On your visit, you can explore the Pentagonal Tower, Castle Chapel of St George, Penitentiary, and Rustika gallery and learn more about one of the key landmarks in Ljubljana.

Chill out in Tivoli Park

Ljubljana’s largest park is located smack bang in the city centre and is a fantastic place to chill out or go for a stroll.

As well as being a beautiful green space, Tivoli Park has a range of activities, cafes and bars to explore.

There are even regular photographic exhibitions on the Jakopič Promenade, located in the middle of the park.

Tivoli Park

Cycle hire Tivoli Park

If you are looking to save money on a city break, chilling out in the park is a great way to keep costs down.

You can also explore the park by bike if you prefer? Ljubljana has a brilliant bicycle sharing system, Bicikelj and the first hour of bike use is free.

My top tip is to buy a Ljubljana Card for your Slovenia trip. This card will give you free tickets to lots of museums, galleries and attractions.

You’ll also get free bus travel and four hours of bike riding for free in the city.

Have lunch on the riverbank of Ljubjanica

A lazy lunch on the riverbank of Ljubjanica is a great way to relax and unwind in the city. There are lots of cafes with river views and great eats.

Many cafes will also serve a selection of beers and wines, so it’s a rather lovely evening stop for a glass of wine or 3 as well.

Some of the best cafes in Ljubljana include:

  • TOZD
  • Cafétino
  • Spica Caffe
  • Cafe Čokl
  • Café Moderna

What to eat in Ljubljana

Slovenian cuisine is full of locally sourced ingredients and regional specialities. Why not try some Slovenian dishes in Ljubljana and get to know the food scene?

Traditional Slovenian dishes and produce includes:

  • Kranjska klobasa [sausage]
  • Potica [dough cake]
  • Prekmurska gibanica [layered cake]
  • Kraški pršut [Pork leg]

Why not book a cooking class in Ljubljana and learn how to make delicious Slovenian dishes to recreate at home?

You can prepare a complete dinner with a local cook, and learn more about Slovenian food culture.

What to eat in Ljubljana

Where to eat in Ljubljana

Ljubljana is definitely an emerging culinary hotspot in central Europe. The city has a great selection of trendy restaurants, cafes and bars to choose from.

Some of the best places to eat in Ljubljana include:

  • Strelec
  • Restaurant Na Gradu
  • Spajza
  • EK Bistro
  • B Restaurant

Where to stay in Ljubljana

There’s a great range of unique accommodation in Ljubljana. You can choose from smart hotels, quirky hostels, B&Bs, luxury Airbnb’s and even a former prison!

Some of the best places to stay in Ljubljana include:

Day 3 Lake Bohinj

Beautiful Lake Bohinj is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia and is the gateway to the Triglav National Park. It’s also less touristy than Lake Bled and is a favourite with locals.

It’s a year-round destination with plenty of summer activities like hiking and boating and winter activities such as skiing.

The lake is around an hour and 20 minutes away from Ljubljana by car. You can do a Lake Bohinj day trip, or you can stay in the area if you prefer?

I personally would stay overnight in Lake Bohinj, to make the most of your time there.

Getting to Lake Bohinj

Ljubljana to Bohinj is connected via a regular domestic bus service on the Ljubljana-Bled-Bohinj route.

You can catch the bus from Ljubljana Bus Station, with services departing every hour.

A return bus ticket to Bohinj costs €16-18 approximately, you can also check the bus times online.

If you want a bit more flexibility, you could always hire a car for your Slovenia trip?

Things to do in Lake Bohinj

There are lots of things to d in Lake Bohinj to keep you entertained. It’s a perfect spot for swimming, hiking or a picnic. The water is incredibly clear and is replenished by the mountain streams.

Bohinjska Bistrica is the main commercial centre of Bohinj and is located 5km from the lake.

It’s a good place to base yourself and to find and book outdoor activities around the lake. There’s also a selection of cafes and restaurants here.

Hiking in Lake Bohinj

There’s a really walkable 12km long trail around Lake Bohinj that has lots of scenic stops.

The walk can take anywhere between 3-5 hours, depending on how often you stop for photos or to take a quick dip?

It’s a pretty straightforward hike around the lake, though you should still take some basic hiking equipment and a water bottle for this walk.

Most people start the 12km trail by following the lake just over the bridge in Ribčev Laz, on the north side.

There’s also a wide variety of trails, ranging in difficulty, in the surrounding area.

Popular hikes near Lake Bohinj include Mostnica Gorge & Voje Valley, Rudnica and Savica waterfall.

12km trek around Lake Bohinj

Boat trip around Lake Bohinj

Taking a boat trip on Lake Bohinj will give you incredible views of the mountains and the pristine, alpine waters.

It’s also a great way to get some scenic snaps if you are into travel photography.

There are several scenic boat trips available on the lake to choose from. The Ladja Bohinj Tourist Boat is a popular and reasonably priced boat trip that also offers audio commentary.

If you like paddling, you can also kayak on the lake and paddle around in glorious surroundings.

You can hire kayaks on the lake and also do a range of kayak courses with Slovenian adventure operators if you are looking to brush up on your paddle skills?

Visit Savica waterfall

Savica Falls is one of the most iconic and well-known waterfalls in Slovenia. Crystal clear water cascades 78 m into a vivid emerald green river pool below, it is a beautiful sight to behold.

The waterfalls are famously immortalised by Slovenian poet France Prešeren, in his poem ‘Krst pri Savici’.

It’s a great place for a hike but you must be reasonably fit as the trail through high gorges and rocky walls can be a bit tricky.

Visiting Savica Falls Slovenia

How to get to Savica waterfall

You can hike to the waterfall from Ribčev Laz, this 11km trek should take you 2-3 hours depending on pace.

You can also take a free shuttle bus to the waterfalls that departs from the parking lot in Bohinjska Bistrica, to Ukanc village. From there you can reach the falls by foot, via a marked trail.

Once you arrive, there’s a pay cabin, where you pay your small entrance fee to Savica Waterfall, [Currently €3 for adults and €1.50 for kids].

Where to stay in Lake Bohinj

There’s a great selection of places to stay near Lake Bohinj. Choose from hotels, guest houses, hostels and a selection of Airbnb properties.

Some of the best places to stay near Lake Bohinj include:

Day 4 Lake Bled

Dreamy Lake Bled is the crown jewel of Slovenia, this pretty lake is also one of the most charming fairytale destinations in Europe.

The lake is about as picture-perfect as a destination gets and is a huge draw for people who love travel photography.

You can view the lake from a castle on a cliff and also visit the small island in the centre of the lake on a traditional “pletna” boat.

visiting Lake Bled

How to get to Lake Bled

Lake Bled is around 25 minutes drive from Lake Bohinj. You can travel onwards from Bohinj to Lake Bled via the local bus service, or drive between the two locations if you have a hire car.

You can also do a day trip to Lake Bled from Ljubljana if you are basing yourself in the city.

Personally, I would spend the night at Lake Bled to make the most out of your time there.

How to get to Lake Bled

Things to do in Lake Bled

Lake Bled is more than just an Instagrammable location, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy.

If you love outdoor adventure, there are a range of activities around the lake such as swimming, boating and walking.

There are also several cafes and restaurants that are worth a visit, especially if you want to try the famous Bled Cream Cake!

Walking in Lake Bled

The walking circuit around Lake Bled is just 6km and is super easy to walk around.

The walk should take around 2 hours as it’s largely a flat path but I would still bring some basic hiking equipment and a water bottle for this walk.

There are also several Lake Bled viewpoints you can walk to and get incredible views of the lake.

Some of the popular viewpoints include Osojnica View Point, Bled Castle and the waterside boardwalk.

Boat trip to Bled Island

One of the best things to do in Lake Bled is to take a boat trip to tiny Bled Island in the middle of the lake. The Island is home to a historic church, art gallery and a small museum.

The best way to reach the island is on a traditional pletna boat, which is a large gondola style boat, that carries around 20 passengers.

The boat journey to Bled Island takes 20 minutes each way and costs around €12 for a round trip.

You can also rent a traditional wooden boat on Lake Bled and have a romantic trip out to the island with your beloved.

It’s a great way to get some exercise and to get some scenic snaps of Bled Island from your very own boat.

Visit Vintgar Gorge in Bled

Vintgar Gorge is around 4km from Bled in Triglav National Park, and is definitely worth a visit.

A variety of viewing galleries and wooden bridges and will lead you down the 1.6 km long gorge.

You can see an array of crystal clear pools, waterfalls and cascades in this remarkable gorge.

Visit Vintgar Gorge in Bled

The entry price to Vintgar Gorge is only €5 per person, making it one of the best budget activities in Lake Bled.

The best way to get to Vintgar Gorge is by taking the low-cost Vintgar gorge Shuttle bus, from the Mamut office on the main bus station in Bled.

Try the famous Bled Cream Cake

The iconic Bled Cream Cake was created in 1953 by confectioner Ištvana Lukačević, whilst working in the Hotel Park.

This perfect square of deliciousness contains puff pastry atop layers of light vanilla cream and custard.

You can get cream cake in most cafes and restaurants in Bled but probably the best place to eat it is, of course, Hotel Park.

Try the famous Bled Cream Cake

Where to stay in Lake Bled

There’s a great selection of places to stay near Lake Bled. Choose from hotels, guest houses, hostels and a selection of Airbnb properties.

Some of the best places to stay near Lake Bled include:

Day 5, 6 and 7 Bela Krajina

The Bela Krajina region has a range of charming towns and beautifully diverse landscapes located along the River Kolpa, that borders Slovenia and Croatia.

This under-the-radar destination is a slice of authentic Slovenia with handicrafts, local wines, small villages regional food and traditional events.

Outside of Slovenia the region is not hugely well known and is a perfect ‘off the beaten track’ region for travellers who love exploring untouristy destinations.

3 days in Bela Krajina is a great amount of time to explore the area and to base yourself at BIG BERRY Kolpa Luxury Lifestyle Resort.

How to get to Bela Krajina

The Bela Krajina region is around 156km from Lake Bled and is 100km from Ljubljana.

The easiest way to get to Bela Krajina is to hire a car, this will also make exploring the region a lot easier.

Other transport options include getting a direct train from Ljubljana to the town of Metlika, the journey takes around 2h 40m.

Or you can take the bus from Ljubljana to Metlika, more information can be found online.

Start the adventure at BIG BERRY Resort

When visiting the Bela Krajina region, I highly recommend you stay at the BIG BERRY Luxury Lifestyle Resort in Primostek.

We were invited to stay at this upscale resort and we really impressed with the location, facilities and hospitality.

Big Berry is a fantastic, laid back base in the region and they can also help you organise activities and trips in the area.

At the risk of sounding frightfully hipster, Big Berry is more than just a glamping site, it’s a concept.

Why you should stay at Big Berry

Staying at Big Berry is a living, authentic experience that’s in partnership with the local community, suppliers and artists.

Staying at Big Berry is an opportunity to get to know the region better and experience the heritage, gastronomy and produce in the area.

Stay in one of their luxury lodges that are located right on the River Kolpa and let the friendly staff help you plan your Bela Krajina itinerary.

You can drive to Big Berry from Lake Bled and park on the site for free. Alternatively, if you are arriving by public transport, get in touch to enquire about shuttle services and pickups?

Things to do in Bela Krajina

Bela Krajina is a nature lover’s paradise with rivers, rolling hills and hiking and biking trails to explore.

There are 25 marked hiking trails in Bela Krajina, so there are lots of walking opportunities in the area.

You can hike along the Kolpa river or turn uphill towards the summits of Mirna gora, Krašnji vrh, or Smuk.

You can grab a hiking trail map at any of the Tourist Information Centres in Bela Krajina.

The area also has its own distinctive cultural, linguistic, and historical features just waiting to be discovered.

Big Berry can help you organise visits to local producers or cultural centres.

Wine tasting in Bela Krajina

Bela Krajina is a wine-producing region in Slovenia that is home to several boutique wineries.

Winegrowers here produce a range of wines from classic white and red varieties to straw wines.

The traditional Belokranjec PTP and Metliška črnina PTP also have a protected geographical origin.

There are several wineries you can visit in Bela Krajina including Malnarič vineyard, one of the biggest wineries in the region.

If you visit this vineyard at the right time of year you can help with picking the grapes that will become Belokranjec wine.

Malnarič vineyard

After a few hours of grape picking, we were able to sample some of their excellent wines including some Modri Pinot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon.

Learn history at Domacija Kuzma

You should definitely pay a visit to the tranquil Domacija Kuzma, a historic, family-run mill in the most gorgeous surroundings.

Here you can watch a mill demonstration, have a go at sharpening a millstone, rent a canoe and do a rakia tasting. Be warned, rakia is bloody strong, I was most lively after a few glasses.

The mill is right by Kolpa River and is also a lovely place for a stroll along the pebble beach and the river banks.

Explore the River Krupa Spring

Take a hike to the source of the Reka Krupa‘ [River Krupa], to see the most unreal scenery in Slovenia.

The source lake is located beneath a picturesque 30-meter rock cliff and is one of the most beautiful Slovenian Karst springs around.

Explore the River Krupa Spring

[I had to google what exactly a Karst spring is? Apparently it’s a spring that is part of a karst hydrological system. You learn something new every day right?

The area also has a biological significance as it is home unique species, such as the cave oyster (Congeria kuscri).

Take a stroll around the dreamy scenery and bring a picnic if you can? The water is incredibly blue here and looks like something straight out of a fairytale, I’ve not seen water quite like it before?

Go for a picturesque hike around the river canyon, there are plenty of photo opportunities as you walk around this ethereal area.

Try traditional dishes of Bela Krajina

There are a variety of traditional dishes of Bela Krajina that you can try. Big Berry can help you organise trips to local restaurants and to food producers in the area for tastings.

Some of the traditional dishes from Bela Krajina include:

  • Belokranjska pogača: a flat round sharing bread topped with salt and cumin and scored with lines.
  • Belokranjska povitica: rolled filo pastry with cheese and clotted cream filling.
  • Belokranjski žlinkrofi: pasta dough dumplings
  • Belokranjska šara: Vegetable and bacon stew

One of the most famous specialities in Bela Krajina is pogača. This is a flat round bread topped with egg and sprinkled with caraway and coarse-grain salt.

The bread is scored in such a way that makes it easy to tear off in chunks and share with people.

It’s widely available in most restaurants and cafes in the region and is absolutely moreish.

Where to eat in Bela Krajina

If you are looking to try traditional food in Bela Krajina then Big berry can recommend local restaurants that serve authentic dishes and marvellous local wines.

Some of the best places to eat in Bela Krajina include:

  • Gostilna Műller
  • Restavracija Štajdohar
  • Gostilna Pezdirc
  • Gostišče Veselič
  • Gostišče Kapušin
  • Hotel Bela krajina

Where to stay in Bela Krajina

There is a range of lodges, hotels guest houses and campsites available in the Bela Krajina region.

You can find Bela Krajina hotel deals on booking sites such as HotelsCombined and TripAdvisor and book your accommodation in advance.

A popular option is to go glamping and camping near the River Kopla, one of the warmest and cleanest rivers in Europe. One of the best campsites in the area is Camping Bela Krajina.

Stay at BIG BERRY Luxury Lifestyle Resort

We stayed at the upscale and eco-friendly BIG BERRY Luxury Lifestyle Resort, located right on the Kopla River.

This unique resort consists of a reception and 7 contemporary, self-catering lodges that can suit a selection of group sizes.

BIG BERRY Luxury Lifestyle Resort

Each lodge is air-conditioned and features a number of amenities including:

  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Common area
  • Flat-screen satellite TV
  • private bathroom
  • safe deposit box

Our lodge came with its own private jacuzzi, which I was a huge fan of, especially with a glass of fizz.

Why stay at Big Berry?

Big Berry is a really unique experience, you really feel as if you are part of a small community rather than just being a guest.

The staff and interns do a great job of helping you plan local activities that will really introduce you to the culture and the nature of the region.

Their site is partnered with numerous local activity providers, businesses and food producers that will all enhance your experience.

It’s a great place to base yourself for 3 nights as you can take time to explore the area, or simply relax in dreamy surroundings.

Day 7 Ljubljana

On the last day of your week in Slovenia, head back to the capital to either continue your journey onwards or to head home.

You can either drive back to Ljubljana if you have a hire car or take a direct train from Metlika to Ljubljana. The journey takes around 2h 40m.

Or, you can take the bus from Metlika to Ljubljana, more information can be found online.

Getting to Slovenia

You can take a direct flight to Ljubljana Airport if you are flying into Slovenia but this isn’t always the cheapest option.

I found that it was a lot cheaper to fly into either Istria in Croatia, or Venice in Italy and then take a flix bus to Ljubljana.

You could always extend your trip by flying to Venice and then spending 3 days in Venice, before heading to Slovenia. Make sure to compare flight prices online, to get the best deals.

You can also take a train to Ljubljana from many major European cities such as Zagreb, Budapest, Vienna and Venice.

Airport Parking and lounges

Save money on your Slovenia trip by booking your airport parking in advance. You can find great airport parking deals online with Holiday Extras.

Get up to 70% off airport parking when you book in advance online. Keep your car secure and safe whilst you are on your holidays in an official airport car park.

You could also park your car at the airport with Car & Away. It’s the first person to person car-sharing service that matches car renters to car owners in a very simple and transparent way.

The service gives airport parking customers the opportunity to ‘rent and earn’ whilst on holiday. It’s a unique way to save money for travel, that’s for sure.

Why not spoil yourself with airport lounge access before your flight? Lounges don’t have to be super expensive, book online with Holiday Extras to save money on your lounge splurge.

Seven days in Slovenia

One week in Slovenia should give you a decent amount of time to explore some of the highlights listed.

You can create your own Slovenia itinerary that is as packed as you want it to be?

The great thing about Slovenia is that whilst there are plenty of activities, it’s also an ideal destination for slow travel.

Are you planning a trip to Cyprus? Where are you planning on visiting? Let me know in the comments below

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Recommended travel resources

Flights: To search for flight deals check out sites such as Skyscanner, Kayak and Travel Supermarket to compare the costs of flights. My top tip to save money is to fly mid-week and take just hand luggage if possible.

Accommodation: I love a nice boutique hotel on my travel and I regularly use as they have fantastic flexibility and cancellation. I also recommend Trip Advisor and hotels combined for hotel browsing. Additionally, I use Airbnb and TrustedHousesitters for homestays.

Travel Insurance: I highly recommend you always get travel insurance for your trips. Check out my Travel Insurance Page to see out why. I recommend World Nomads or Post Office travel Insurance.

Group Tours: I love booking group tours as a cost-effective and convenient way of discovering destinations. I recommend booking a small group tour with G Adventures.

Travel Guides: My favourite travel guide books are Bradt Guides, Lonely Planet and Rough Guides.

For more travel tools, head to my bumper travel resources page now!

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