Slovenia Recommendations

I am spending a week in Slovenia (splitting time between Lake Bled and Ljubljana). Looking for any and all recommendations, including restaurants, wine tastings, hikes, attractions, etc. We have accommodations handled. And we have one dinner–at Hisa Franko–on the books.

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I’ll be there end of September, I’m watching this topic.

Slovenia is lovely and the nature and scenery is lovely. Food and wine is great as well. assume you will have car? Well most things are within an hour drive if you are in Ljubljana.

Ljubljana is probably a day to explore, then for the rest I personally do day trips. I have only made a few quick stops to Bled so cannot recommend much there but there are other beautiful places nearby and reasonably close to Hisa Franko, like Slap Kozjak (waterfall and a beautiful hiking trail).

One of the places in Ljubljana where I have been taken to lunch for business several times is Gostilna Brinovc, is not in the center but I have always enjoyed the food.

The western part of Slovenia with Brda is probably the best wine region in the country but there are interesting wineries a bit all over. Some wineries you could visit in Brda could for example be Borut Blažič, Klinec (or better yet visit the restaurant - supposed to be very good, I couldn’t time it for when I was there) and Movia, Oslavia in Italy is interlinked with Brda so you can also visit some of the wineries just across the border like Gravner, La Castellada, Dario Princic and so on… And for dining I would go to La Subida (a few km into Italy), the food and check out that wine list…

In the south I would probably skip the coast, if that’s what you are interested in then better just head to Croatia, but there are some caves that are interesting (not sure about the name). And Cotar winery is relatively close by and as is Marko Fon. You could also visit the Vipava valley for more wine visits like Batic.

In the East you will find Terme springs among other (across the boarder in Croatia as well). Terme Olimia is one we consider visiting but it was fully booked on the day we could go. I unfortunately don’t know that part of Slovenian too well but if you happen to head to the Croatia part, then I could recommended a few places to eat. The wineries I would be curious to visit myself around there are Zorjan and Urbajs (Organic Anarchy). If you happen to be near Otočec, it’s worth a stop for a coffee a least.

In general the food ingredients are as good as it gets. You’ll find everything from steaks, horse, frog, fish, to great veggies and desserts (lots of them and many are terrific).

If you have instagram I would suggest that to check out Kaja Sakovic’s account, and you’ll find inspiration for good places to visit across Slovenia (and the world):

Have a great time there!

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Skocjan Cave is definitely worth a visit and easy day trip from Ljubljana.

I’m sure others think it’s too cliche, but I did have a great meal at Restaurant Strelec located in Ljubljana Castle. Food was great and wine was interesting.

Spajza in Ljubljana was also very good. Best horse dish I had in the country. Cozy and cool atmosphere.

I was there in December so very few tourists, even the locals told me to eat at Strelec that time of year. Lake Bled is super touristy, but absolutely gorgeous.

Enjoy your trip and report back, it’s an amazing and gorgeous country with wam, welcoming people.

The Warden chose Lake Bohinj over Bled for our fall trip, we’ll see.

Good list

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I also mentioned in my post earlier but I if anyone asked me then I would rather skip Piran and head to Rovinj in Croatia. A shorter drive a bit south and probably my favorite town on the Istrian coast, though the Amphitheater in Pula is also quite a sight (sometimes performances are held there as well!).

The Warden has us in Rovinj for 3 nights. She’s really excited about this place

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Rightfully so, beautiful and has a soul (Porec is pretty but lacks a bit of the latter somehow). And you should be right in time for the white truffle season - great timing! Do you have your wineries sorted for the stay in Istria? And do you plan to visit other places in Croatia, or is it Slovenia plus a stop the 3 night stay in Rovinj?

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We are doing Croatia, Montenegro, and Slovenia. I’ll get our exact itinerary but it’s Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split, Rovinj, then Solvenia.

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Sounds like a terrific itinerary. Let me know if any suggestions or recommendations related to Croatia. When you are in Dalmatia, insist on visiting a proper country side Peka place. It’s a culinary (simplistic long fire cooked food) highlight that too many miss out on when visiting Dalmatia/Croatia. We usually opt for Octopus, but goat, lamb, veal are all terrific as well for this style of cooking.

Bohinj is spectacular. Well, so is Bled. But if I had to pick, I’d go with Bohinj. A breathtaking lake at the end of a box canyon with unbelievable views over the Julian Alps from the summit.

Strongly recommend stopping along the drive down the Alps along the Soca River. My friends all think my pics were photoshopped.

Strong recommendation for the town of Vipava if you’re nearby. Good restaurant there, Gostilna Podfarovz, where you can dine on the terrace adjacent to a beautiful, spring-fed pool. Solid food, not fussy.! The town is known informally as the ‘Venice of Slovenia’. Clearly not Venice, but does have multiple streams converge and is quite beautiful. Also noteworthy for having Egyptian sarcophagi in its local (and publicly-accessible) cemetery. One of the sarcophagi is quite rare, with one similar in the British Museum and two in the Cairo Museum. This one’s in the Vipava cemetery! the Slovenian

Have a fantastic trip! FWIW, all our kids would go back to Slovenia in a heartbeat. We spent a week there and a week in Croatia. In hindsight, we wished we’d spent more time in Slovenia.

You might have read and seen about the catastrophic flooding taking place in Slovenia, seems to be quite some devastation and will probably influence your plans.

Out of curiosity, where did you spend your week and what did you see/visit in Croatia?

3 nights in Rovinj, 2 nights elsewhere in Istria, a night in Plitvice and two in Dubrovnik and then two in Zagreb before flying out. We’d hear great things about Split and the islands but couldn’t fit everything in we’d hoped. Don’t get me wrong - Croatia was terrific, and we were also there during the World Cup where the team went pretty far! Our family just really loved the mountains, countryside, caves, and villages throughout Slovenia and the whole vibe. We talked recently about repeating a trip.

For a bit more than a week in Croatia you managed to see more than most (quite a pace to get through all of that!).Yes, the islands like Vis or Korcula are lovely but it’s another type of vacation perhaps with slowing things down (Split gets too hectic for me in the summer). I am found of mountains myself and I can see why you loved it, hope you get to do the trip sometime soon and the size of the country is one of the benefits as well.

As an update, the Slovenia trip was fantastic. The two big lakes (Bled and Bohinj) are amazing. I would stay in Bled (so many hotels on the water with a view; tough to beat) but spend at least a day exploring Bohinj. You only need a day or two in Ljubljana but could spend more time there if you want to visit museums or do day trips in the surrounding areas. Restaurant Strelec in Ljubljana was delicious—one of the best QPRs of any Michelin-starred restaurants that I have visited in Europe (especially with the setting). Peti 181 in Ljubljana was underrated and awesome as well (great French-inspired cuisine; ask to sit outside with a view of the Castle). Outside of Ljubljana, Hisa Franko was simply other-worldly; do it if you can.

If I did the trip again, I would do two things differently. First, I would spend more time in the Soča Valley (/ near Hisa Franko). There is a lot to do there, and we missed some beautiful places due to time constraints. Second, I would have gone to the Brda region and tasted wine. I had some Edi Simčič chard while I was there that was so unique and tasty and reasonably priced. And the servers unanimously told me how gorgeous the winery is. I would visit Brda just for that experience.


I had nearly zero expectations for Slovenia, based on ignorance, but my wife wanted to visit Bled and Ljubljana. I had a friend that went to both a few years ago and he said I’d really enjoy it. Good call! This was that tail end of an itinerary Oktoberfest, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split, Rovinj, Bled, and Ljubljana. I put thought on the other places in relevant topics.

We drove to Bled from Split, Croatia. Easy and fun driving to the based of the Alps right near the boarder of Austria.

Stayed at the Old Parish House which is next to the church at the based of the castle. If fact, it was the home of the priests for the church. Great location as there’s nothing there on that side of the lake and it’s a short walk into old town, decent breakfast. Rooms were small and adequate.

We only needed one night in Bled. Got there before 10am and drove up to the castle. Nice view but WAY over rated to visit as far as castles goes for 15 euro. We should of just hiked the trail up and been done with it. The castle is stunningly beautiful from the town and big hotels.

View of Castle from town

We walked the entire lake, I think it’s 5K. Plus we hiked up to the Mala viewpoint. Whoa, that’s a hike. Lots of elevation gain, steep, rooted, narrow, and the stairs towards the end are awesome surprise.

In town for dinner, had some of the best octopus. Delicious. Then walked to a wine bar for a night cap looking up at the lit castle.

Next day we hiked the gorge, wow, this kicks butt. Incredible. Don’t miss this. We got there early and there was nobody in any of photo ops for the entire 90 minutes walking along, across, and over the river below.

Drove to Ljubljana on the backroads for something different. Ljubljana is incredible but as others have stated you don’t need much time to cover the cool area. We spent two nights and saw everything. Incredible cafe, restaurant, bar scene lining the canal. The best people watching. The Ljubljana castle is an easy hike up from the old town and most of it is free. There’s a Michelin star restaurant in the archers tower, kind of cool, although we didn’t eat there.

Eat the local cuisine, once. LOL

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Bumping this thread to the top in case others have more to add. We are going to Slovenia in April and will be mapping out the trip details over the next few weeks. Very excited!!

If you’re a fan of driving, I highly recommend renting a car and driving Mangart Road and the Vrscic Pass. It’s a lot of driving but definitely doable as a day trip from Ljubljana.

I did it back in 2018, absolutely stunning scenery across a few very narrow, hairpin roads up the mountains.