Nestled amongst better-known countries such as Italy, Austria, Croatia, and Hungary, Slovenia is a place you may not know much about.

Though it’s only the size of New Jersey, it packs a lot of amazing things into one place. It’s one of Trav’s top 5 countries in the world, and we’re excited to share it with you.

Below, we list our favorite places to eat, drink, and see in Slovenia:

Ljubljana

Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia, and it’s where we spent most of our time during our trip. As such, most of our recommendations are located there (though read to the end to learn about some of our favorite places beyond the capital).

Where to Stay

  • Airbnb – Plenty of inexpensive options located around the city.
  • Intercontinental Ljubljana – A modern, nice hotel. We used one of our free hotel nights to stay in a luxurious suite. Not a cheap place to stay, but it’s gorgeous and has excellent facilities.
  • Hostel Celica – A hostel located in an old prison.

Where to Eat

  • Das ist Walter – A great restaurant to eat ćevapi (a type of rolled sausage served with pita and spreadable cheese). A huge plate of food for just a few euros.
  • Burek Olimpija – A 24-hour spot to eat burek (a light, crispy dough filled with cheese or minced meat).
  • Vino & Ribe – With a name meaning “wine and fish,” it has fantastic fried calamari (and plenty of other great fish dishes).
  • Klobasarna – They sell whole sausages and half sausages, served with bread, mustard, and horseradish. Simple but delicious.
  • Bazilika Bistro – Smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and vegan options with a delightful cafe ambiance. A couple of locations across the city.
  • Pizzerija Foculus – A cool building with over 90 types of pizza (also Italian-influenced). Trav loved the chicken shawarma pizza. Note that the pizzas are massive.
  • Verace – Neapolitan-style pizza, it was Heather’s favorite pizza spot in Ljubljana.
  • EK Bistro – Good spot for breakfast or brunch, it’s cute and trendy. Also good coffee.

Best Places for Gelato

  • Vigo – The best gelato Trav has ever had (his eyes lit up with pure joy upon taking the first bite).
  • Gelato Romantika – Second to Vigo, also very good.
  • Cacao – Good gelato, though not as good as Vigo.
  • Bazilika Krisanke – A spot for breakfast and brunch, they also have good gelato.
  • Lolita – Decent gelato, known for their “cannabis” flavor.

Where to Drink

  • Pivoteka za Popen’t – A craft beer store selling brews from Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia. Very knowledgeable owner.
  • Pop’s Place – Nice little beer bar with several Slovenian craft beers on tap.
  • Sir William’s Pub – Another popular spot for craft beer (though it can get very busy).
  • STOW – A place that’s very serious about coffee, it’s located in the Ljubljana City Museum. Delicious, innovative coffee (there was even something Trav liked).
  • Crno Zrno – A tiny, standing room only shop with good cold brew. The owner is Colombian and imports his coffee from there.

Ljubljana Activities

  • Ljubljana Castle – Located above the city, you can either hike or take a cable car. Beautiful views of the city and wonderful for watching the sunset.
  • Tivoli Park – A scenic park located to the west of Ljubljana. Great place to spend time in nature and an easy bike/walk from the city.
  • Metelkova – A former army barracks, it’s now a squatter village with fascinating graffiti and bars.
  • Rog Factory – Another squatter village that used to be a bike factory. Cool counterculture vibe.
  • Open Kitchen – An open-air market and food festival on Friday nights in the summer featuring chefs from around the city.

The Rest of Slovenia

We could easily spend all of our time in Ljubljana, but we did manage to get outside of the city and see some other spots around Slovenia. Here are some of our favorites:

Where to Stay

  • Villa Flora – Located in Kranjska Gora, this charming community of apartments is nestled among the Julian Alps. An excellent place to stay if traveling with family or friends.

Where to Eat

  • Pirat – A restaurant located in Piran, a beautiful medieval city along the Adriatic Sea. The best seafood we had on the entire trip (delicious calamari, both fried and grilled). Get the fried potatoes.
  • Karamela – A gelato place where we stopped on our way out of Piran. The peach gelato blew Heather’s mind.

Activities

  • Lake Bled – A beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. There’s an island with an old church and a castle on one of the mountains. Quite the fairytale feel. And only a 45-minute drive from Ljubljana. There’s swimming, boating, and camping.
  • Lake Bohinj – Nestled in a tiny town, it’s less touristy than Lake Bled. A great place to experience nature and escape the tourists.
  • Drive the Vrsic Pass – A fabulous drive through the mountains down into a valley. The river there is a stunning color.

Destination Map

Want to see all of our favorite Slovenia destinations on a map that you can access from your phone? We’ve pinned each location mentioned in this guide on the Google Map below:

Final Thoughts

Slovenia more than exceeded our expectations, and we’ll definitely be back. If you’re planning a trip to the Balkans, you should absolutely give Slovenia a visit.

Prefer listening to reading? Check out the accompanying podcast episode.

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