Slovenia is a destination that had been on my bucket list for some time. We don’t usually visit such mountainous places for our travels, but once you’ve seen photos of Lake Bled, it’s really hard to get that view out of your mind!
So last year I surprised Darryl with flights for his birthday, and we finally got to take the trip – thankfully just before Coronavirus put a halt on travel – earlier this month.
If you’re thinking of visiting, here’s everything you need to know about planning your dream trip to Slovenia.
Read more: 3 Days in Slovenia
Things to know about Slovenia
Where: Formerly a part of Yugoslavia, Slovenia is a European country that shares a border with Italy, Croatia, Austria and Hungary.
Tipping: As with everywhere in Europe, tipping 10-20% is expected in restaurants, cafes and bars.
What you’ll spend: Some things you’ll find expensive, and other things you won’t. For example, I was shocked that coffee is often less than 2 euros out there, whereas some fairly basic meals in restaurants were not far off 25 euros.
Getting there: It’s very easy to fly from around the world! We flew from London Stansted.
Weather: Picture chilly winters (often with snow) and hot, balmy summers.
Food: We didn’t come across tons of local food during our trip, mainly Italian dishes, however the famous Bled Cream Cake is an absolute must try!
Ljubljana: This is the capital of Slovenia. It is a fairly small city with a tiny Old Town! You will only need one day at most to explore here.
When to go to Slovenia
Slovenia really is blessed with some in every season. From snowfall in winter to heatwaves in summer, and gorgeous temperatures in-between, this country is a great place to visit all year round.
We visited in March and had sun, rain and snow in the space of three days. But one thing I would say is that it was bitterly cold!
Several locals said to us we have to return in summer, which is when tons of locals and travellers head into the Slovenia for a swim. So guess what – we’ll be back!
Where to stay in Slovenia
Many stay in the capital, Ljubljana, but instead I would one hundred percent recommend that you stay at one of the many lakes – specifically Lake Bled or Lake Bohinj.
There is so much natural beauty to this country, it would be a shame to not have it on your doorstep every morning of your trip!
Read more: Staying at Vila Alpina in Lake Bled
Top things to do in Slovenia
Here are some of the top things to do in Slovenia:
- Hike around Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj and other lakes
- Try some water sports at Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj and other lakes (seasonal)
- Swim in Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj and other lakes (seasonal)
- Visit Bled Castle at Lake Bled
- Take one of the famous Pletna boats out to Bled Island at Lake Bled (you can also pay 6 euros to ring the bell for good luck!)
- Hire your own boat to take out to Bled Island at Lake Bled
- Hike to the Mala Osojnica viewpoint at Lake Bled
- Visit Waterfall Savica at Lake Bohinj
- Explore Triglav National Park
- Ski or snowboard at the many resorts (seasonal)
- Visit Vintgar Gorge (seasonal)
- Explore Ljubljana Old Town
- Restaurant hop to try all the local delicacies
Getting to and from Ljubljana Airport
Depending on where your accommodation is, it may be easy to get a bus from the airport.
We didn’t find a straightforward bus route from Ljubljana Airport to Lake Bled, so we hopped in a shuttle for 13 euros each as we exited the arrivals terminal. You can also arrange for them to pick you up for your return flight.
How to get around Slovenia
Public transport is so punctual, clean and easy! We got buses on several occasions, and I’m sure it’s easy to take trains around too.
Just be aware that whilst some buses look like they take card, they don’t. And return tickets don’t seem to be a thing – unless two bus drivers just didn’t understand us!
What to pack for Slovenia
This really depends on when you visit, but here’s a rough packing list for Slovenia:
- Hiking shoes and spare trainers or sandals
- Heavy duty coat or light rain coat
- Light layers for spring/summer, plenty of thermals for autumn/winter
- Winter hat or sun hat
- Gloves and scarf (winter only)
- Swimwear and towel for lake swimming
- Sun cream and bug repellent for summer
- Camera and charger
- Phone and charger (use Google My Places to get around if you have a data package)
- Portable phone charger
- Currency or travel card (such as Monzo)
- European adapters (although we found everywhere accepted our UK plugs!)
- Travel documents
What I spent in Slovenia
Here’s what the trip cost for the two of us:
- £155 return Easyjet flights from London Stansted Airport
- £160 3-night stay at Vila Alpina at Lake Bled
- £50 airport parking
- £300 spending money
Total trip cost: £665 / £332.50 per person (£221.60 per day for 3 days)
Final thoughts on Slovenia
As you can see, this was a pretty cheap but adventure-packed European weekend break! We loved every minute of our time in this beautiful country and will absolutely be back one summer in the future.
Next time I want to stay at a chalet beside Lake Bohinj and visit the places that were closed for winter during our visit, such as Vintgar Gorge!
Have you been to Slovenia before? Is it on your bucket list now?