15 Things You Must Know Before Visiting Slovenia

by Sam
15 Things You Must Know Before Visiting Slovenia Featured Image

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Slovenia is one of those countries where, no matter how many times you visit, you always find yourself discovering new gems.

When I first visited, I didn’t know if I would be in awe of my surroundings. It is a country that is relatively under the radar, with other neighbouring countries receiving the attention that they feel Slovenia itself deserves.

If you are planning a trip to Slovenia, then good! Get ready for thrills, stunning natural wonders, picturesque views, mountainous landscapes and much more.

Here are 15 things you must know before visiting, with recommendations, tips and all you need for a wonderful trip to Slovenia

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Things you must know about Slovenia

1. Slovenia is very safe for tourists

Slovenia is incredibly safe for all tourists. In fact, it was voted the 8th safest country in the world by the 2023 Global Peace Index.

Much of Slovenia’s crime is kept out of the tourist areas, and for those walking at night, you’ll never feel safer. So much of Slovenia is stunning at night, with illuminated lights shining out its best attractions.

And I wouldn’t be too concerned about roaming out; the only thing you need to worry about attacking you at 3 am in places like Lake Bled is the stampede of mosquitoes. 

Lake Bled illuminated at night
Lake Bled is beautifully illuminated at night. Take that walk! But wear the insect repellent.

2. It is part of the Schengen Area

Slovenia is one of many countries in the Schengen area. So, for those travelling by train from a Schengen country, you won’t need to worry about the headache of border checks before entering the country.

It is perfect for those hopping from country to country around Slovenia during your interrail trip! 

A few countries need a Schengen visa to enter the area, which will be valid for 90 days. Here is the complete list of countries.


Non-EU residents can’t travel around the Schengen area for more than 90 days in a 180-day period without a visa.

3. Slovenia is very compact and small

You’ll be happy to hear Slovenia is a very small country and takes no more than 4 hours to get from end to end. So it can easily be explored in less than a week if you plan your trip well and prioritize the places you want to visit.

 Despite its size, Slovenia has a lot to offer – from picturesque towns and cities to stunning natural landscapes. If you’re interested in history, culture, or outdoor activities, then you’re in luck, this beautiful country has it all. 

4. Slovenia is cheap 

By typical European standards, Slovenia is a very cheap country. This is to be expected, with many of its cities and towns untouched and away from tourism.

You’ll find places like Lake Bled or Ljubljana double the prices of other countries’ counterparts. But that’s no surprise, it’s much busier there and naturally will cost more to match the visitor demand.

Tourists on a Pletna Boat on Lake Bled, Slovenia
People walking along the Triple Bridge in Ljubljana

A meal out in Bled or Ljubljana averages around €15-€25 per person, whereas away from its most touristy areas, it costs on average €5-€10.

And for those on a budget, some of Slovenia’s most beautiful places can be explored for free, which brings me to my next point.

5. There are a huge number of hiking trails

Much of Slovenia’s most beautiful places, lush greenery, and stunning mountainous landscapes can be explored through long trail hikes. All for free.

Areas like Triglav National Park and the surroundings by Lake Bled all offer some of the most scenic trails you’ll find in Europe, with glacial lakes, gorgeous viewpoints and all you need for an all-thrilling adventure.

They don’t call Slovenia the Green Heart of Europe for nothing!

A lake in Triglav National Park with a backdrop of the Julian Alps
Triglav National Park is a must-visit in Slovenia!

6. Slovenia has a lot of caves

Yes, Slovenia is renowned for its natural wonders, with a huge collection of 13000 caves discovered so far. That number may change in the near future!

Postojna Cave and Škocjan are the most renowned caves, showcasing Slovenia’s best underground caverns, huge rock formations, and just another level of beauty. 

They are possibly my favourite thing about Slovenia. Once you step into them, you’ll soon grasp how these formations have been naturally formed over millions of years.

Inside Postojna Caves Slovenia
Inside Skocjan Caves Slovenia

7. English is widely spoken in most areas

Although the official language is Slovenian, you’ll be pleased to know that English is widely spoken in Slovenia, especially in its most touristy areas.

Proficiency in the language is not surprising given the country’s emphasis on a high level of education.

However, I wouldn’t go around using jargon or slang. Stick to the basic set of English. Maybe start with a simple ‘hello’ whenever you need directions and go from there. And then, if you feel comfortable, you can start mingling all the works of Shakespeare together—whatever floats your boat!

8. There are so many stunning lakes and rivers

Slovenia is home to some of the most beautiful lakes and rivers. Honestly, you’ll be spoilt for choice while you’re here.

Lake Bled is Slovenia’s most famous lake, but other lakes like Bohinj and Jasna live in its shadows and don’t get the praise they deserve. 

Lake Bohinj
Overlooking Lake Jasna

There are so many great rivers for fun adventure days out as well.

Soca River has beautiful emerald green waters with hikes with constant jaw-dropping stop-offs in charming towns, natural gorge formations and cascading waterfalls; you name it! 

9. Transport in Slovenia is efficient and punctual

The transport networks in Slovenia are all accessible which many connections provided so you can travel around the country efficiently. And the best thing about it, is that the public transport system is very punctual, which can be hard to say for most of Europe!

On trains, you’ll have a ticket inspection pretty much everywhere you go. Tickets can be bought the old-fashioned way from a ticket inspector. Other ways include from the station, online or using the online mobile app on both IOS and Android to purchase digital tickets

Slovenia Train App
Slovenia Train App Ticket

Using the IOS app helped me navigate the train system and get up-to-date information on the trains, all in English, which is useful for a novice like me for their first time in the country. If you get the app, it’ll first be in Slovenian so you’ll need to set the language in the settings. 

For the best place to travel from, I’d choose Ljubljana. It has easy access to some of its most popular places in the country, including Lake Bled, Piran, Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle, which can be accessed either by bus or train. 

10. You will have to pay for tourist tax

Ah, yes, the dreaded tourist tax. I only say that because it hits you when you least expect it. Sadly, Slovenia requires you to pay a tourist tax, and your charge will depend on where you stay. 

In more popular areas like Lake Bled and Ljubljana, you are looking to pay around €3 per night. I stayed just outside Bled in Jesenice, a much quieter area where I only paid €2 a night. 

So, it will differ depending on the tourist levels of your area, and it is well worth checking how much you might have to pay before your stay. 

11. Slovenia hasn’t got many dining specialties 

When you’re just a quick drive away from Italy, there might be a lot to live up to when it comes to food.

And sadly, Slovenia doesn’t have many of its own delicacies. Mind you that isn’t to say the food they do have isn’t great; it’s incredible.

Although there aren’t many specialities, there are a few you must try. If you’re travelling around Lake Bled, don’t miss the Bled Cream Cake—a famous puffed pastry filled with custard and whipped cream. It’s honestly delicious!

Having a bled cake next to a beautiful view of Lake Bled

A few places sell it along the lake, including the medieval castle Bled Castle, perched on a hill above the lake.

The restaurant also has a terrace overlooking the lake. Who could say no to a perfect view with a sweet treat? 

12. Slovenia doesn’t have many beaches 

While it may have mountainous landscapes and lush greenery,  it does lack in its coastline. Slovenia has very few beaches, but it isn’t a place that is set up for all relaxing holidays.

It does, however, share some of its coastline with Croatia along the Adriatic coast, with some nice beaches next to some Venetian-style towns like Izola and cities like Koper.

One of the best beaches is Portorož Central Beach, next to the beautiful town of Piran.

View of an empty Portorož Beach in Slovenia

While you may head for a nice spot of and sun and dip in the sea, I’d head over to Piran after to walk along its provenance and medieval Old Town. It’s one of the best places in Slovenia to visit! 

13. Tap water is free and delicious 

Like many countries along the Adriatic Coast, the water is among the cleanest in the world, and Slovenia is no different. 

Tap water is safe and delicious to drink, with plenty of refillable water fountains provided by in major areas. You can get around with just a refillable water bottle in Slovenia, and purchasing a new bottle is really not worth it. So save your pennies! 

Water Fountain in spraying out drinkable water in Ljubljana

14. Tipping isn’t compulsory but customary

Tipping isn’t required in Slovenia when paying in restaurants but it’s too be expected. Those dining out are usually expected to pay a 10% tip.

When I visited Ljubljana, there was also the Coperto Rule. This was not for every restaurant but ones that did include it in the bill, I was charged for the use of table cloths, bread and use of the cutlery.

This is mostly unheard of in Slovenia and more well-known in its neighbour Italy, which the waiter explained was the reason for the charge, as they adhere to their customs. However, don’t expect this in every Ljubljana restaurant, and just double-check with them that this is the case.

15. Slovenia is renowned for its wines

Slovenia is very famous for its wines, sharing the same interests as its close neighbour, Italy.

Maribor is the place to be for wine tasting. It holds the world’s oldest vine, which, to this day, remarkably distributes grapes and has been in business for 450 years.

The oldest vine in the world in Maribor, Slovenia

It is also said to have around one vineyard for every 70 people! And around 75% of Slovenia’s wine production is white wine.

Although its main production is white, there are a few popular reds. Terrano stands out as a notable favourite, a dark red wine made from the ever-popular Refosco Grape and from the Primorska Wine Region on the western coast of Slovenia.

If you’re not a massive wine drinker, then don’t worry; there is just every bit of alcohol at the ready to suit everyone.

Final thoughts

And there you have it, all you need to know before visiting Slovenia to get you on your way to a wonderful trip.

Slovenia is a real delight, and I’m sure once you get there, you’ll soon fall in love with its natural beauty, picturesque landscapes, and lovely people. I hope you have a brilliant time as I did. Safe travels!

What other things would you like to know? Have you visited Slovenia before? If so, is there anything you’d like to share? Please share them in the comments below.

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