Why Slovenia Might Be My New Favourite Place (Ever)

What to do in Slovenia, Piran

Slovenia. It’s not a country you hear a lot about, is it? Tucked neatly between Italy and Croatia, it leads a pretty quiet life, often overlooked in favour of its more popular neighbours.

I’m telling you now, don’t overlook it. Seriously. Just don’t.

(Update: I’ve now curated 10 great articles as part of a short guide to Slovenia)

I’ll admit that I knew very little about Slovenia before I went, bar that there are cheap flights from Luton, its capital is Ljubljana, and there is a tiny bit of coastline that I was determined to hunt down and lie on.

In reality, there is so much more to Slovenia than these fairly abysmal points (not that Ljubljana, the beach, or cheap flights are abysmal by any standards, but it’s abysmal that this is all I knew about it and I’m sure I’m not the only one who was in the dark).

What to do in Slovenia, Piran

Lake Bled is a hugely popular place and I knew it was in Slovenia, but I also knew that I was staying too far away to make a potential visit. So, I had to look around for other ways to entertain myself. I guess it’s a good thing to go in without any preconceptions and literally having no idea what to expect. I highly recommend it! But why, I hear you ask, did I love Slovenia so much?

The friendly faces

I’ve always found that people in that region of the world are particularly welcoming, but I was completely blown away by the hospitality and friendliness of the locals everywhere we went in Slovenia.

Things to do in Slovenia, countryside

I didn’t have a single bad experience.

They were all good; like the guy who offered to pay our bill, the taxi driver who offered to drive us around for the day at no extra cost, the gentlemen who owned the house we were staying in announcing that “he believes in the young people”, and the lady who invited us into her home for food and drinks when we were lost.

People are so honest there, too, and you never feel like you’re getting ‘mugged off’ in anyway. In fact, I said thank you too early in one shop and the guy started panicking because he hadn’t given me enough change. “Not hvala yet”, he said, “because otherwise I will have bad karma for not giving you the right change.”

Things to do in Slovenia

Safety is a certainty

Like I’ve never met people as friendly as those in Slovenia, I’ve also never felt as safe as I did when I was there. With a population of only 2 million, it’s no wonder that the crime rate is so ridiculously low – and it’s noticeable, too. We were laughed at (in a nice way) when we asked to put our bags somewhere safe in a bar. Apparently, there was no need because “who is going to steal it?!”.

Our house was up a steep, steep hill, off-road, so it was a pretty long and dark walk back at night. Usually, I would be on guard, paying attention to my surroundings, but I felt I could relax more there because there was absolutely nothing to be wary of (I’m sure there are some isolated cases and, of course, I’m just speaking for myself here. You should always keep a little bit of your wits about you when in an unfamiliar place).

Predjama castle Slovenia, things to do in Slovenia

The scenery is spectacular

Like I said, I didn’t make it to Lake Bled (or any lake for that matter) so it’s easy to think that I missed out on a large part of Slovenia’s beauty. Luckily for me, the whole country is an absolute babe. I visited Predjama Castle – you know, that castle that’s famously stuck in the side of a mountain, and the Postojna caves which, although underground, are absolutely incredible (and the biggest cave system in the world that you can explore). Even the cities and towns were picturesque, with quirky architectural offerings and lush greenery.

weather in Slovenia, things to do in Slovenia

The storms were cracking

I must admit, I didn’t know much about Slovenia’s climate before I went, but I assumed it would be fairly warm in May like its neighbouring countries. What I didn’t realise was how many storms there would be. Literally every day. But, thankfully, they weren’t the miserable kind of storms you might expect to see in England, they were actually epic events. The clouds were heavy, black, and rolling, the thunder was booming and cracking, and the lightning was exceptionally forked and bright. Even the rain – which was that ridiculously sheet-like rain that soaks you in seconds – was refreshing. Slovenia is a very hilly country, and lies right where the warm air from the Mediterranean meets the cold air from Northern Europe, so you can expect some exciting weather.

There was so much more I loved about Slovenia, but these are the main reasons. From the amazingly friendly people to the views, scenery, and weather, Slovenia really is an incredible place that I highly recommend you visit if you haven’t already.

Have you been to Slovenia? What were your impressions of it?

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Lizzie Davey

Lizzie is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer who's written for big-name brands like National Geographic Traveller, Cheapflights, LateRooms and more. After quitting her job in August 2014, she had one month to get her business in order and off the ground. Somehow, she did it (magic, maybe?!), and now she runs Wanderful World, a place for creative freelancers to congregate and learn how to grow their kick-ass businesses and travel more. Join along for the ride!

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37 Discussion to this post

  1. Hamilton says:

    Slovenia has never been on my list. Looks like it’s time for me to reconsider!

  2. Slovenia looks lovely! Definitely one for a future trip.

  3. Greg says:

    Hi Lizzie from Sloveniaforyou.com ! We have shared your nice blog on our FB page 🙂 Definitely Lake Bled next time!

  4. Jure says:

    Hi, I just post your amazing blog on our FB page Adventure Slovenia. Thank you so much for everything … We love Slovenia also

  5. ivana says:

    Next time – Happy December – Veseli december 🙂

  6. Tomaž says:

    hi Lizz IT IS https://www.facebook.com/pages/NaturAvantura/441705835924717?sk=info NOTHING IN THERE….up to the next time 😉

  7. Isabel says:

    i just moved here and i fall in love every single day with this beautiful country! i keep telling everybody that this IS the place to be! the food, the scenery, the people, it’s like a fairytale. every single detail is breathtaking! great post!

  8. pista says:

    you crazy, SLovenia sucks, is very boring, you can eat only pizza or italian food crap, every chinese restaurant has the same food, same menu, chicks are very rude….This guy must have been living in some awful british city, that even Slovenia looks good to him, I live here for 40 years and I run away each time I can…. crime is low, but rahter have higher crime than boring scenery, Sloveniana are usually very rude people, we are coming from balkan, lazy, , you can see grandmas gosssiping about every neighbours they can…lol, you fool must be trippin

    • Lizzie Davey says:

      I did not think Slovenia was boring in any way… There’s a lot to do there! And the scenery is beautiful – definitely not boring by any stretch of the imagination. I have to say that I found the people to be extremely friendly and I did not meet a single rude person (or lazy for that matter). You will find gossipy neighbours in every single country in the world, this is not unique to Slovenia.

      I’m sorry that you do not like Slovenia, but there are a massive amount of people that absolutely love it. And for good reason, I say! Thanks for stopping by anyway and for taking the time to comment.

      • Sounds like a bitter Slovene here… I’m an American who moved to Slovenia after living in Austria and Czech, and I adore this country. The cuisine is incredible – great Italian, German, and Balkan food especially. People here are great cooks! It’s not the best place for Asian cuisine, but what do you expect in south-central Europe? The coffee, wine, and schapps are also great here. I also think the women are incredible, though the men kind of suck.

        Lazy? Every Slovene I know does multiple things… if they have a full-time job, that’s not enough. They have a bunch of stuff they do on the side, as well. Yep, Slovenes are gossipy, but that’s just due to the size – plus there’s no external enemy, and when that’s the case, people turn at each other instead.

    • Wilson says:

      Ain’t you a funny one … 😉

  9. […] most of you now know I absolutely love Slovenia, which I emphasised in a post last week that proved to be extremely popular. Locals and travellers […]

  10. My favourite country too, even if it does look like a chicken on maps. As others have said, Bled is a must and is about 1 hour from LJ by bus.

  11. Lynx says:

    You should visit Slovenia in December. It’s a Happy December in Ljubljana. Then city become magical and it’s really like fairytale.

  12. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) says:

    I went there last month and completely agree that it is one of Europe’s best kept secrets! Bled and Piran were just gorgeous 🙂 I did a fabulous food tour there too (which you can read about on my blog if you’re interested) and it’s also a real foodie destination, which came as a pleasant surprise as I hadn’t realised that about it!

    • Lizzie Davey says:

      Piran was probably my favourite place I visited whilst I was there! So peaceful and beautiful. I agree about the foodie scene there. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was definitely not disappointed!

  13. Melita Gaber says:

    Great review. I live here and i am always so amazed, that someone from abroad thinks the same about my country as i do. Since i am from Prekmurje / Pomurje region (northeast – where the chick has the head 🙂 ) i must recommend to you, to visit this part of the country. Do not hesitate to contact me – i am sure that the visit is going to be unforgettable.

    • Lizzie Davey says:

      I’d be amazed if there was anyone who didn’t think Slovenia is fantastic! You live in a beautiful country 🙂 I definitely plan on returning to explore more of it, and will make a special effort to go to the northeast!

  14. Hi, Lizzie. Thanks for all kind words about Slovenia. You must come to Škofja Loka on one of your future visits to our beautiful country. It is the third oldest town in Slovenia with great history, nature, culture and one of the biggest sport events in the country – Four Bridges Run. Please check the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXOr-jipAMg&feature=share. Best, Igor

  15. dasha says:

    Hiya Lizzie! Great review, thank you 🙂 … and Bri made me laugh with her original and true depiction of Slovenia and my people, well done! 🙂 … If you come back for another visit and wish to see the South-East region of Slovenia, Bela krajina, please contact me. I’d be happy to be your host and guide 🙂 … greetings from Slovenia! <3

  16. […] one of the most beautiful, underrated places I have been to so far on my travels. As I stated in a post last week, it may well be my new favourite place and I challenge you to think otherwise if you get the chance […]

  17. Nick Vitayev says:

    Yes we did a great trip a few months ago. We actually found a list of what to see on a real estates site, i think all of it is on travel sites too but if your thinking of going do ALL of these places…. Our favorite was Lake Bohinj http://www.sloveniaestates.com/life-in-slovenia/slovenia-top-ten-attractions

  18. Chris van Viersen says:

    we where a few times in Slovenia, region Tolmin/Kobarid.
    Wildwater-rafting, hiking and exploring.
    Our staying was Kamp Koren, in Kobarid.
    I heard of this country, because a friend of my lived her for a few years.
    In Ljubljana, we were hiking up the hil in the centre, to go to the castle…..
    and when we where upthere, there was a tourist-train on the other side of the hil to bring tourists upthere. (little tip)
    Beautifull view over the capital city !!
    Also the cartrain from Lake Bohinj, to Most na Soci is a good recommendation, when you don’t want to drive back trough the mountains in the afternoon.
    Also beautifull views are the “lake”at Most na Soci, and Pod Miru.
    (pod miru is a frondline-walk of ww1, and means path of peace)

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