Day trips from Ljubljana are great if you want to learn more about Slovenia and all its beauties. Ljubljana is a great base, as the capital lies in the middle of the country, so no matter which corner of Slovenia you plan to visit, you can do it in a day trip.
Best off the radar day trips from Ljubljana
For many travelers, who visit Slovenia, most popular places like Ljubljana, Bled, Piran and Postojna are must things to do, but why not visiting less popular places and hidden secrets? If you ask me, you will get much more in return and also much more for your money. Not to mention they are all great as day trips from Ljubljana – the capital.
Begunje na Gorenjskem and Radovljica
Most people drive to Gorenjska region to visit Bled and its lake, but if you are already on the way up, make sure to stop at the small village near Radovljica (a nice town for a quick stop too). Begunje na Gorenjskem are hardly visited by anyone, including domestic guests, but that is what makes them even more interesting. Local people enjoy hiking, so you will find lots of hiking opportunities there – I love the hike to Sveti Peter and further on to Sankaška koča, which offers great views over Bled Lake and Triglav – the highest peak in Slovenia. You will also find castle ruins near Begunje na Gorenjskem called Kamen, formal gestapo prison, museum of brother Avsenik – Slovenian musicians who first started with composing of, for many, popular Oberkreiner music. There is also a ski museum in the village, as Elan company, well known for skis, has its production there. Find out more information about Begunje na Gorenjskem in a special blog post.
Otočec, Kostanjevica na Krki, spring Klevež
You will find all these places in Dolenjska region, which is mostly overlooked by foreigners. The Otočec castle is mostly popular as a coffee stop among locals on their way to Croatia, but if you enjoy playing golf or are traveling to Ljubljana with kids, there is also a small spa to enjoy. Not far away from Otočec is the spring Klevež, which is constructed as a natural pool with really beautiful scenery. If you want to visit the smallest and the oldest town in Slovenia, head further on to Kostanjevica na Krki and also taste the wine at the Pleterje monastery – the only running Carthusians monastery in Slovenia. On the way back to Ljubljana, you can also stop at the beautiful Žužemberk Castle. Read more about a day trip to Dolenjska here.
Did you know that you can enjoy some Tuscany feel also in Slovenia? The SW part of Slovenia is full of hilly countryside, covered with picturesque towns and villages, vineyards and beautiful home-steads, where you can enjoy home made and local produced food, accompanied with delicious local grown wine too. Goriška Brda are so amazing that you should plan a two day visit – due to abundance of good wine, driving back to Ljubljana is not advisable. You can also take a guided tour around the largest wine-cellar in Slovenia. Head up the Gonjače viewing tower and see Šmartno, the most beautiful village in Goriška Brda, from above too. You can also head up to Sabotin, where remains from WW1 are still seen. Get to know Goriška Brda better here.
One of the most underrated destinations near Ljubljana, perfect for a day trip, is Kočevsko. Kočevsko is boosting with forests and wild animals, including bears, for which you can even arrange a guided tour to see. You will find numerous hiking opportunities in Kočevsko for all generations. On the outskirt of Kočevje town lies an artificial lake where you can swim, SUP or rent a kayak. There is even a camping ground available. If you are into war attractions, make sure not to miss a tour to the underground bunker Škrilj, constructed during the formal Yugoslavian Republic. Part of Kočevsko also includes the popular Kolpa River, which is perfect to enjoy during the hot summer months. Find out more useful travel tips about Kočevsko here.
Maribor is the second largest city in Slovenia and even though you can easily explore it for more than a day, it still makes a nice one-day trip from Ljubljana. In fact, if you are traveling to Slovenia with kids, we found it more kids friendly than Ljubljana – especially the old city center, where almost all cafes and restaurants offer some toys and play corners for the little ones. Unfortunately, we really miss that in Ljubljana’s city center. But Maribor is not just the perfect family destination, but it offers something for everyone. Make sure not to miss the city park (Mestni Park) and a gondola ride up to Pohorje, especially if you enjoy nature and hiking. Pohorje also offers nice views over Maribor and surroundings. Just underneath Pohorje is Habakuk Hotel – one of the best ones in Slovenia years back, which could use some make-over now, but if you are looking for a place with a swimming pool, you found yourself one, and that’s with natural thermal water.
Notranjska region in Slovenia offers so much more than Postojna Cave and Predjama castle. Well, don’t get me wrong, both places are stunning and unique, but make sure not to limited yourself just on the two of them. Notranjska will welcome you with the beautiful and renovated Snežnik castle and one of a kind intermittent Lake Cerknica on which you can SUP or/and rent a canoe. Hike up or drive up to Slivnica hill, which has great views over this special natural phenomenon. But be aware – Slivnica has always been home of witches. A great place to enjoy unspoiled nature is Rakov Škocjan with its two natural bridges.
Pekel Gorge and Technical Museum of Slovenia
If you enjoy nature and hiking, a trip to Pekel Gorge will be for sure one of the best day trips from Ljubljana. With its 5 waterfalls the gorge is one of those places, where you will find peace and quiet, surrounded with unspoiled nature and not many visitors. The hike is not for everyone though – at least not all the way up to the fifth waterfall. You can visit the gorge Pekel all year round, but note that during the winter, the path is very slippery and in many cases with lots of ice, so crampons, helmet and suitable shoes are a necessity. Click here for more hiking tips to Gorge Pekel. Not far from Gorge Pekel you will also find the Technical Museum of Slovenia, set in a beautiful formal Carthusian monastery, what is definitely the added value to the experience and to more than 10 different collections.
Most people visit Podčetrtek for one reason only – wellness and spa. Terme Olimia has several thermal water options – adults, family fun and outdoor water park for the summer days. But Podčetrtek offers so much more than just a day trip from Ljubljana because of its water activities. I guess you realized by now, that Slovenia is a true outdoor paradise for everyone enjoying nature, hiking trails or cycling and it is no different in Podčetrtek. But all of you, that are not so much into nature, don’t loose hope to quickly – Podčetrtek has its own boutique chocolate production, fairy tale land, beer brewery, monastery and deer ridge, where you can even feed the animals. Oh and you will also find one of the best glamping in Podčetrtek too. If you are still not convinced, get more insight about things to do in Podčetrtek here.
On the far NE of Slovenia lies Pomurje, which is the furthest region to reach from Ljubljana. But in general Slovenia is not large and even this can be visited as a day trip from Ljubljana, but I would recommend you to stay at least 2 days here. Pomurje is another underrated region, which is mostly famous for good food, good vine and numerous spas with natural thermal waters. In fact, I can easily give you at least 21 reasons to visit Pomurje. Believe it or not, but many Slovenians like to say, Pomurje has some of the best wines in the country and you will be able to find several family owned wine cellars in this area, which organise wine tastings if booking in advance. When we visited Pomurje, we were charmed by its castles too, but for me, the most amazing one was the Grad Castle, which is also the largest baroque castle in Slovenia and was built by crusaders in 11th century. One of the most unique features is the fact, that the castle has 365 rooms – one for each day in a year. Not far from the castle you will also find a theme park Vulkanija, which your kids will enjoy for sure. It is actually about volcanoes and the guided tour will take you to the artificial lava tube, which shows you the center of the Earth. Don’t even forget to stop at the Love island and also climb up the viewing tower Vinarium, from which you can admire four different countries – Slovenia, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. You can find all the information about a day trip to Pomurje here.
When we first found ourselves at Ribniško Pohorje we knew, we found a special paradise, for which not many people know about. Ribniško Pohorje is not a destination for people looking hustle and bustle, as this area is peaceful and surrounded with nature – lots of it. You can either be an outdoor enthusiast (hiker, cyclist) or you just want to relax under a linden tree (one of the symbols of Slovenia), Ribniško Pohorje is perfect for both tastes. But most importantly, our memories on spending the weekend at Ribniško Pohorje, are not so much connected to all the beautiful nature, views, outdoor activities and attractions, but because of its people – we felt so welcomed here. Read our best reasons to visit Ribniško Pohorje here.
Velenje, Zlati Grič, Žička kartuzija
This day trip from Ljubljana will need a good plan, as some things to do should be scheduled. But if you are fine with that, I guaranty you, you will really enjoy the trip, showing you what a diverse country Slovenia really is. You will travel to the underground of a still running coal mine, which is part of the museum in Velenje. Continue your road trip into the vineyards Zlati Grič, where wine tasting and a guided tour around its wine cellar can be arranged up-front. You can have lunch in their Zlati Grič restaurant, with amazing views over the vineyards. Close your day with a visit to the Žice Charterhouse – Carthusian monastery from 12th century. Even though you will mostly walk among ruins, the area boost with history and special kind of energy. Read more about this day trip from Ljubljana here.
Litija with Sitarjevec mine, Bogenšperk castle and Geoss Adventure Park
Not many people decide to visit Litija, what makes it a great idea for a day trip from Ljubljana. Book a guided tour to world’s unique mine Sitarjevec (special guided tour for kids can also be arranged), visit a beautiful renovated Bogenšperk Castle just few kilometers away and indulge yourself with delicious local food with a modern twist for very reasonable price. Before reaching Ljubljana again, burn off some calories in an adventure park Geoss, which can be found very close to the Geometric center of the country Slovenia. The adventure park is ideal for the whole family as even 3 year old kids can already do few trails with the help of a parent. Don’t even miss the zip-line or maybe book unique experience – a picnic basket in the treetop.
We are based in Slovenia and we explore the hidden gems of our country often, so do check this blog posts for more updates and new off the radar day trips from Ljubljana, which will take you to lesser known corners of Slovenia. If you have time, you will enjoy all of the day trips from Ljubljana much more, when you make them as a two days trip. All the mentioned destinations are so beautiful, I am sure, you will want to stay there a bit longer, as we always do.