I have created myself a Twitter account almost a year ago but I have started using it just recently. Because I got lots of requests from travellers from all around the world to write a few words about the country where I have grown up and lived all those years until I moved to Croatia a year and a half ago, here it is, my blog about Slovenia where I am going to share with you every secret a local would never tell to a tourist, and those who would.
Name What You Like, We Have It
Slovenia is still kind of a young (it is going to celebrate its 28th birthday this year) and not a very known country but everyone who visits it is amazed by its nature, beauty and a wide range of diversity. More than a half of it is covered with forest and there are more than 170 castles, 320 lakes, 23 thermal spas and 10,000 caves. Not to forget the mountains, valleys, rivers, the sea so you can hike, climb, swim, fish, ice skate, and everything your heart desires. It is quite a small country and you can cross it from one side to another within just 3 hours of driving by car.
Ljubljana – The Dragon Capital City
Ljubljana is often mentioned among the most beautiful Europen capitals. Visit the Ljubljana castle to find out more about the city’s history and to catch some views of the city from a different perspective. There are many paths that lead to the top of the hill, just follow the signs in the old city centre or use your maps. It is also accessible by car.
My favourite part of the city is the centre, all the way by the river. Learn about the Dragon Bridge, the Triple Bridge, the national and university library, Ljubljana’s most famous architect who rebuilt the city after the earthquake in 1895, and more. Take a stroll also to the Tivoli park, (window) shop in the BTC shopping centre or attend a concert or a basketball game in the Stožice stadium.
There is one more famous part of Ljubljana that I know tourists like but usually, they do not realise the story behind it. I am talking about the Metelkova street, the place with many graffiti on the walls, skate park, etc. It is actually a place where people using drugs and drug dealers meet and organise parties in the evening.
There used to be military barracks but the place is now abandoned. Across the Metelkova street is a major Ljubljana’s Health Centre so people started gathering there and if someone overdoses with alcohol or drugs, they know that the doctors are near. I am actually afraid of that place and never go there even during the daylight but my fear might be exaggerated since I know many people who ‘party’ there and well, nobody forces them to do something they do not want…
Ljubljana is big enough to spend a few days in the city centre not being bored but small enough that you can reach everything on foot. Although, you can use public transportation (buses) if you buy a card (it costs 2€) and fill it with money at (almost) every bigger bus stop in the city. Each ride costs 1,20€ and you can change one line within the 90 minutes for free.
Slovenian Towns by the Coast
By the seaside, there lie three historical cities; Koper, Izola and Piran. The first two used to be islands but are now connected to the continental part without many visible marks (Škocijanski zatok near Koper is a proof that Koper used to be an island once upon a time). Each of these small cities is a beautiful place where you have nothing to do for more than a few hours except taking a walk through the centre. It is really sad to see that we have nothing to give or offer to the tourists.
Portorož is the most touristic Slovenian seaside city with a street where many hotels, casinos and shops are situated by. Nowadays, the city is oriented into ‘Casino tourism’ with mostly rich people from Italia as visitors.
What Else to See?
Maribor is the second biggest city in Slovenia and it might be worth a visit for a day. Lake Bled is famous but I am probably never going there again since the city’s mayor asked Slovenians not to come in the peak season so the parking places and hotel rooms stay free for foreign tourists. I believe this is a kind of discrimination and everything in the city is overpriced anyway. When he was asked to build a new hotel, restaurants, a garage house, etc. he refused and said something like, we have a lake, that is enough. The city has not changed in the last 20 years and it has nothing to offer except for the views.
A better choice would be visiting Cerkno lake (or Cerknica lake) and learning everything about intermittent lakes as this is one of the largest in Europe. Take a ride around the lake with ‘lojtrnik’ (hay carriage) in summer or ice skate on the lake in winter.
Visiting the biggest and the most popular Slovenian cave is not the best idea because it is by far not the most beautiful one in Slovenia. I mean, it has a train inside! They have ruined the whole authentic feeling in my opinion. My favourite cave is Škocjan and every Slovenian I have talked to about this agrees with me so visit rather that instead.
People & Safety
I think that Slovenians look kind of ‘cold’ at first sight because not many of us are going to start a conversation with you on the streets, on a bus or at some event but if you ask us for directions we will mostly be happy to help. Almost every Slovenian speaks English very good. Embarrassedly, I have to say that Slovenians are a ‘party nation’ and you can easily make friends with people in a bar after they had some drinks.
From my first-hand experience, I can assure you that I have spent years and years walking alone around Slovenia and I have zero negative stories to tell. Ljubljana and Slovenia in general are known for being very safe.
There is so much more I can tell you about my country so I will tell you more about getting around in Slovenia and the local cuisine in the next blogs. I am happy to answer all of your questions, help you with some more recommendations while you are here or meet you somewhere in Slovenia if you decide to visit it!
Check out the photos from my trips on my Instagram page @daisydadee. Feel free to follow my blog to get a notification when I publish something new. You can find the subscribe button under the comment section if you are on your phone or on the right side of your computer screen.
This is not a sponsored post.