Slovenia by Train: Exploring Top Cities to Visit

Many travelers agree that Western Europe is pretty familiar and comfortable, and these individuals are probably in the midst of booking their flights to Paris or Rome, nothing wrong with that…but this Spring, why not be a little more daring? Why not travel to Slovenia and experience all this hidden treasure has to offer. You will be surprised and will find yourself falling in love with the country…after all, LOVE is right in its name!

The great thing about Slovenia is that it has such a variety of culture and tradition to experience. From regions that are comparable to Venice, to the Alps (where you’ll feel like you’ve arrived in Switzerland!). When you visit Slovenia, you’re visiting a very unique destination where the people are more than welcoming and the atmosphere is inviting. Plus, many Slovenes speak English, so the fear of a language barrier should not discourage you!

Have we sparked your interest? Great! Let’s help you with some things to see and do as you explore Slovenia by train. Enjoy our top picks for things to see and do in Slovenia.

Square in Ljubljana.
Square in Ljubljana. Courtesy of Matej Vranič/

Take a trip to lovely Ljubljana!

Ljubljana may be the capital of this welcoming country, but it is the melting pot of Slovenia as well. When you visit Ljubljana you will notice cultural influences from all regions of Slovenia. There is much to do in Ljubljana, from a trip to the castle to its thriving cultural achievements including one of the oldest Philharmonics in the world. Depending on when you travel, you can always find a selection of cultural events to attend, the city hosts more than 10,000 a year!

After getting your fair share of culture in Ljubljana, spend an afternoon on the Ljubljanica River, enjoying a tranquil and serene boat ride. After, meander through the city, stopping at Tivoli Park. Nearby the park you can find the Botanical Garden, or simply continue on to have some fun at the Ljubljana Zoo. This will be a day children and adults can enjoy together!

If you didn’t fly directly into Ljubljana, you can easily reach the city by direct trains from many cities in Europe, such as: Vienna, Munich, Zagreb, Budapest, Zurich and Belgrade.

You can travel by local or inter-city train from Ljubljana to Litija in about 30 minutes. Right outside Litija, you can take a trail to Bogensperk Castle. This castle is one of the best preserved castles in all of Slovenia. We also suggest exploring the Posavje hills. You can find many bicycle trails along with a terrific horseback riding circuit. Time spent outdoors, taking in the fresh air, is always time well-spent.

Exploring the fairy-tale region of Kostelsko

For those seeking something out of a book (mystery or fairy tale), be sure to get lost in thought as you wander around Kostel Castle, found in the Kostelsko region in southeastern Slovenia – not too far from the Croatian border. The surrounding area is chock-full of mystery and wonder. A very fairy-tale type atmosphere can be found here. Be sure to also check out the Nežica waterfall nearby, a great place to snap some photos for the memory book!

Don’t miss the Postojna Caves!

In the chilly corridors of the Postojna Caves (Postojnska Jama), you’ll discover over 12 miles of passages, nearly 80 different species of cave animals and galleries bursting with stalagmites and stalactites. Hop on a cave train and uncover a dazzling natural world, and learn centuries of history, too. Check out graffiti from the 13th century and the soot-covered stalactites that show where the Germans hid their fuel supplies during the war.

Travel from Ljubljana to Postojna by train in just over an hour. During peak travel season you will find buses from the Postojna train station direct to the caves. Alternately, you can also hop in a taxi to get to the caves.

Embrace the mysteriously cool city of Predjama

Not too far away from Postojna you can take in all the mystery of Predjama. This town is literally just a few miles away from from Postojna. So why would you want to travel here? To embrace Predjama Castle, conveinietly located at the top of a 400 foot cliff!  This castle is built in the mouth of a cave. A visit to this castle includes seeing the living quarters as well as the dungeon. Enjoy breathtaking views while on the observation deck – on a rocky cliff! The castle is said to be haunted…after your visit be sure to comment on this with your thoughts on the subject!

Beautiful city of Maribor, Slovenia.
Beautiful city of Maribor, Slovenia. Courtesy of Matej Vranič/

Make time for Maribor on your trip to Slovenia

Maribor is another great city to add to your itinerary. Take the train to Maribor from Ljubljana and arrive in as little as 2 hours!

Maribor is primarily known for its university and cultural attributes. You can enjoy an Opera, catch a show at the theater, or visit one of the numerous museums and galleries. Aside from a dose of Slovenian culture, from Maribor it is also possible to hop on the bus to take you to the cable railway where you can be lifted to the top of Pohorje. At the top, spectacular views await you.

Slovenia’s Karst Region

If it’s authentic landscape you’re after, you should check out some of the Mediterranean towns on the Adriatic coast. Cities and towns found in the Karst region will help inspire you to explore. Olive groves and vineyards along with peach orchards and cherry trees fill the region. Plus, under this amazing setting is one of the most beautiful underground worlds found on Earth. This region is home to more than 8,000 Karst caves. Visitors are able to explore 20 of these limestone treasures. Wander through and truly appreciate the mysterious atmosphere all around you.

Idrija is where the tradition and practice of lace bobbin in Slovenia comes from. For all of you crafters or collectors of fine lace products, this is the stop for you! While you go off in search of the perfect table runner and matching doilies, your travel companion can check out the once world-important Mercury mine and Gewerkenegg Castle, housing various museum collections.

To reach Idrija from Ljubljana you can take a bus. The trip is approximately a half hour long. Tickets can be purchased locally.

Julian Alps, Slovenia.
Julian Alps, Slovenia. Photo courtesy of and Copyright © ufoncz

Last stop, the Julian Alps

And finally, a visit to Slovenia MUST include a trip to the Julian Alps. Get yourself to the top of Mount Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia. Below the peak of the mountain, between two rivers you’ll come to Triglav National Park. This park is a sanctuary for plants and animals specific to this region. Picturesque views will take your breath away. With a range of peaks in the Julian Alps, outdoor sports are in abundance so get ready to have some fun!

Slovenia is all yours to explore, and a Eurail Slovenia Pass can help you see much of it! With nearly 1,000 miles of track, you can see much of Slovenia by train. In addition, why not broaden your horizons even more with multiple country passes that include Slovenia, be sure to check them out!

Don’t be afraid to travel outside your comfort zone, rather, expand your comfort zone by traveling to new and exciting destinations. With anything new comes the feelings intimidation and anxiousness. Traveling to a new country for the first time should be exciting so, kick those feelings of nervousness to the curb and get ready to embark on your next big adventure. Your trip will be as great as you make it, so live it up and enjoy every minute!

If you’ve already fallen in love with Slovenia, we want to hear about it! Be sure to share your experiences in the comments below!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Avatar fornelli5 says:

    On October 3rd, 2013 I took a train from Zagreb to Ljubljana, while on the train I fell asleep. I woke up in time to get off the train in Kranj, Slovenia. I must say it was a great accidental way of getting to do some unexpected tour of a lovely town. I only wish I could have spent a day there instead of a few hours as I had to get back to where I had originally planned to spend my birthday.

    As a result of my falling asleep on the train I ended up staying the night in Ljubljana just so I could see a bit more off this beautiful city.

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