What to do with One Day in Slovenia

It’s funny because all I really remember about my first visit to Slovenia in 2004 was that it rained the whole time. I have some photos from Ljubljana somewhere that I took with a throw away camera but I have no idea where they are. So when I recently had one day in Slovenia, I decided to make the most of it, as I always do. It almost went perfectly except for a GPS malfunction or two. It turns out that if you only have one day in Slovenia, old-fashioned maps aren’t a pain-they’re a necessity!
Ljubljana Castle, Ljubljana, Slovenia, one day in Slovenia
I rarely plan much to be honest and with one day in Slovenia, I didn’t really plan anything except for the basic route I was going to take. We arrived early to Ljubljana Airport from Vienna and got a rental car. The idea was to see 3 specific places plus take in the scenery and given the size of Slovenia and the short distances between what I wanted to see it shouldn’t have been an issue.
Lake Bled, Bled, flag, Slovenia, one day in Slovenia
The first order of business was Lake Bled. I had been hearing for years about the beauty of this emerald alpine lake. I was told it looked like something out of Switzerland or Austria; which made sense because of the proximity of those countries and the Alps.
What to do with One Day in Slovenia, One Day in Slovenia, Slovenia, Lake Bled, Bled Castle, Bled Island
Upon arrival, the weather was not great, in fact in was pretty cloudy and there was rain in the forecast. However, the views were still spectacular but not as they might have been on a clear sunny day.
What to do with One Day in Slovenia, One Day in Slovenia, Slovenia, Lake Bled, Bled Castle, Bled Island
The first and best place to view Lake Bled is from Bled Castle. The castle sits about 100 meters above the lake itself and also has a museum and a very good café with free Wi-Fi. The steep cliffs give a great perspective of the size and shape of the lake. You get some sweet views with the mountains as a backdrop and a birds eye view of Bled Island.
What to do with One Day in Slovenia, One Day in Slovenia, Slovenia, Lake Bled, Bled Castle, Bled Island
After checking out the castle and taking way too many photos, we headed down to the lake and parked in the little town. From there, you can walk right up to the lake and get some cool shots and if the geese cooperate they make for a good foreground. They weren’t so cooperative with me but I also didn’t have bread for them.
What to do with One Day in Slovenia, One Day in Slovenia, Slovenia, Lake Bled, Bled Castle
There is a walking track 6km or 4 miles long around the entire circumference of the lake. I would’ve loved to do it but given the time constraints of one day in Slovenia and the threat of rain, we passed. Same goes for taking a gondola out to the island. I’ve heard it’s cool to do but I wasn’t prepared to get stuck in the rain, as it looked pretty ominous in Bled!
Ljubljana, Slovenia, one day in Slovenia, canal
From Bled it was back to Ljubljana to visit the Old Town and Ljubljana Castle. It’s only a 40-minute drive and it’s quite scenic so it’s no big deal. Ljubljana is a nice little European capital. I have to say it’s nothing amazing or anything but it’s cute and comfortable. It kind of reminds me of Tallinn, Estonia in that way.
Ljubljana Castle, Ljubljana, Slovenia, one day in Slovenia
We decided to park in Old Town; which was a bad idea because there was a parking ticket upon return but that’s OK-it happens. The funicular up to the castle is the best way to go and well worth a few euros.
Ljubljana, Slovenia, one day in Slovenia, view of old town
The castle itself is nice enough but nothing spectacular. It has been completely redone and looks almost like it’s a movie set or the setting for a medieval times restaurant. The views from the tower are excellent and although it’s an extra few euros, it’s worth the money.
Gostilna na Gradu, Ljubljana, Slovenia, One day in Slovenia
The best thing in Ljubljana was the restaurant Gostilna na Gradu. It’s said to be the best restaurant in the whole country specializing in traditional Slovenian food done in an exquisite way. That pretty much sums it up and it was a tremendous and filling lunch. The beef main and the lamb ragout appetizer were to die for. It’s also a great place for people watching as locals get all dressed up to go there for special occasions and it’s always packed-we were lucky to get in after I did some negotiating!
Gostilna na Gradu, Ljubljana, Slovenia, One day in Slovenia
As the end destination was Trieste, Italy we headed southwest and the objective was to stop at the World Heritage listed Skocjan Caves. However, in an epic GPS fail, we were taken into the middle of the woods dozens of miles down a dirt road. It never felt right but it’s hard to argue with GPS!

Shit happens when you travel. You win some, you lose some and sometimes you end up in the middle of the woods in the rain! That said, enjoy one day in Slovenia or however much time you have because it’s a very nice place!

Comments

  1. It’s too bad you missed the caves, they were fantastic. I also loved Trieste and hoping you post on Trieste soon as well. I saw a photo from there on your Instagram.

  2. Slovenia is one of the best countries I’ve ever been to but I needed 2 weeks to formulate that idea. Lake Bled is amazing.

    • It’s never enough time of course! Lake Bled was the main place I wanted to see on the day trip so I was quite happy…although the weather could always be better.

  3. Ljubljana is where I met my husband!

  4. Slovenia is a really small country, but it\’s beautiful and unique.

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