I hop off the Flix Bus from Croatia to Slovenia and peek outside for the first time since awaking. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t this. I haul my luggage along the cobblestone streets to the hostel entrance, and breathe a sigh of relief.
Often overshadowed by its neighboring countries, travelers may struggle locating exactly where the country is on a map. Towering castles against flowing canals and rolling hills are like something from a fairytale book.
I had grown up in Europe and traveled across its landscapes for more than 2 decades before I stumbled upon this charming country. Narrow canals, elaborately decorated bridges, and pastels buildings – a true gem in the heart of Central Europe.
Besides being one of the safest destinations to visit in Europe, Slovenia has so much to offer travelers. History, culture, and European charm all packed into one small country.
If you’re short on time and want to hop around, then Slovenia should be your hub. Surrounded by Croatia, Hungary, Austria, and Italy – ease of travel is no concern.
Where To Stay
As the largest city, Ljubljana is one of the best places to visit in Slovenia and a smart hub choice for those looking to explore more of the country. With a population of over 200,000, the capital is small enough to feel safe solo traveling, yet large enough to meet new people.
Steps from the central station and Old Town, sits the impressive glass façade of the Intercontinental Ljubljana Hotel.
Lavish rooms, marble bathrooms, and a rooftop bar with 360 views of the city. The spa area is the perfect hideaway on a chilly day, with an indoor pool, jacuzzi, and sauna. Each space within the Hotel is made to provide guests with a sense of calm and serenity.
Minutes from an array of restaurants and the main shopping area, Hostel Zzz is a buzzing meeting point for solo travelers looking to meet others on their travels. Spacious, plenty of communal spaces, and a central location, Hostel Zzz seems to be a hub for both backpackers and locals alike to gather & mingle.
If you want a true Slovenian experience, then venture through the lobby to Bar Zorica. With weekly events, this is the happening place to be – whether inside or on the outside terrace. If you prefer a quiet stay on the weekends, this probably isn’t the place for you, as the K4 Club in the basement vibrates until late into the night.
What To Do In Slovenia
Whether you choose to self drive or opt for day tours around the country, you’ll be tired of craning your neck in an effort to take in all of its incredible landscapes.
As mentioned above, a trip to Slovenia isn’t complete without visiting its colorful capital. Stroll along Ljubljana’s canals, climb the steep hill to the Castle, or explore Tivoli Park. The city’s narrow streets and multiple bridges make it especially easy to navigate, and stumble upon hidden treasures at every corner.
Hop on a local bus for an hour or so, and explore the Lake Bled region. A prime area for backpackers and solo travelers, Bled is lined with quaint cafes, crystal-clear waters, and is no doubt one of the best places to visit in Slovenia.
With year-round activities, one of the most thrilling experiences I’ve had was right here in Lake Bled. As my ski-lift drifted higher and higher into the clouds, I knew it was almost time. With a line of people waiting behind me, there was no turning back. I pulled back the lever on the Toboggan cart and soared down the green hills at full speed, with the Lake in full view.
An underground wonderland does exist. Hop on board the tram, and venture into the depths of Postojna Cave. Explore the fascinating subterranean structures and meet the Baby Dragons – cave-dwelling Olms that are the cutest inhabitants of Postojna.
Perfect for solo travelers to meet people in groups, and one of the best places to visit in Slovenia, you’ll feel as though you’re exploring the depths of Gringotts Bank with your Goblin driver at the helm!
If you book a day tour, most will include admission into the caves and also Predjama Castle. A fairytale castle perched on a 123-meter cliff, Predjama holds more than 800 years of history.
Is Slovenia Good For Solo Travelers?
Absolutely. After traveling alone across Europe, this is no doubt one of my favorite solo travel destinations. Feeling completely comfortable during my visit, I even felt safe walking to the train station at 2am from my hotel to catch the overnight bus to Budapest.
The locals are friendly, the streets are safe, the country is easy to navigate, and there’s a thriving travel community in the cities. If you are considering booking a trip to Slovenia alone, my top tip would be to book the free walking tour – it’s the best way to meet people day one!