Slovenia— The Basics
Wedged between Austria, Croatia, and Italy, Slovenia is an often overlooked destination. Most of us don’t see Slovenia in our media, nor did we ever hear anything more than a brief mention of Slovenia in the history books. It’s a shame, really, because anyone who travels to Slovenia just can’t get enough of this place. What this country lacks in deserved recognition, it makes up for in friendliness, natural beauty, and sheer unforgeability. If you’ve considered possible travel to Slovenia, good! You’re on the right track to a once in a lifetime travel experience. With a little experienced travel advice to tie it all together, your trip to Slovenia will be even better than you had imagined!
Sights and Attractions
Lake lovers won’t be disappointed by the stunning picturesque quality of Lake Bled . It’s like a painting that’s just a little too perfect to believe that it’s real. In the midst of the clear water lies an island. Ascend the steep steps and stand before a charming church. Built in the Baroque style nearly 400 years ago, the church on Bled Island still hosts weddings and the occasional religious activity.
If you pass through the town of Bled, don’t forget to indulge in some Kremna Rezina — a cream cake dish that has its own local festival. Surrounded by forest and in the shadow of the Karawanks Mountains , this lake and the entire Bled area are an idyllic picture of rural Europe. Everyone who plans to travel to Slovenia should mark Bled on the map.
Although its coast is somewhat narrow compared to its neighbors, don’t think that Slovenia lacks breathtaking Adriatic beaches! Sail up and down the coast to see all of the cute coastal villages and towns. Among the coastal settlements you’ll see, the town of Piran stands out.
Tartini Square and St. George’s Church showcase some of the most beautiful Venetian designs all across the Adriatic. Any old castle and fort junkies can go to Piran to see the 7th-century walls of Piran. These ancient fortifications are still in tip-top shape nearly a millennium and a half later! Absolutely incredible!
Soca (pronounced so-cha) Valley is a must-see destination for anyone who wants to travel to Slovenia. Paddle down clear, pebbly rivers as you gaze up at the mountains all around. If you’re allergic to green, then you’d best avoid this place. For those who love striking sights and clean, fresh air, you can’t beat the quality of Soca Valley .
Go for a hike up the mountains, and visit the valley’s villages after you get back from the peak. Your legs will be sore after ascending Mt. Triglav , so why not sit down, relax, and take in the valley’s spectacular beauty from the seat of the historic Bohinj railway line. Passing over steep cliffs, and squeezing through tight tunnels, this scenic train ride is the perfect way to see the Soca Valley from all angles! Lovers of history cannot miss out on the Kluze Fort near the town of Bovec.
Utilized in the times of Ottoman invasions, Napoleon’s marches and even the first world war, this little fort nestled in Soca Valley is a true testament to the historical significance of this natural Eden on Earth.
Slovenia Travel Tips
Slovenia Currency Considerations
The currency in Slovenia is the Euro. For visitors to neighboring Austria or Italy, this is good news! The Euro is accepted in 19 countries, so you don’t have to exchange your currency very often on a multi-country tour of Europe. Still, you will have to exchange those dollars for Euros. Your best bet is to exchange for Euros in your home country. If you wait until you reach Slovenia to exchange your money locally, chances are you will get a lousy rate.
Airport kiosks and tourist hotspots are notorious for ripping off travelers with terrible exchange rates. As you’re basically paying for your own money when you exchange currency , don’t wait to get a subpar rate by exchanging currency in Slovenia. Consider using an online currency exchange site to get a reasonable rate and get the most out of your trip. More Euros in your pocket means more Kremna Rezina in your belly!
A universal tidbit of travel advice: always keep an eye on your money and your valuables. Although Slovenia is extremely safe, you still do not want to let your guard down. Thieves, pickpocketers, and ne’er do wells can be found in every country, even one as perfect as Slovenia. Don’t leave your belongings unattended at the beach. Always keep your wallet in your front pocket. A back-pocket wallet is sure to make a pickpocketer’s day!
Always look out for the best travel deals. Sometimes local attractions can be bundled with hotels or tours. It’s still worth trying to save a buck if you were going to spend your money on something anyways. Even though Slovenia is rather inexpensive, and maybe you saved even more money with good travel deals.
Don’t waste too much money on silly trinkets or airport gift shop wares. You want to leave Slovenia with good memories and exciting experiences to look back on. You don’t want to get ready to leave Slovenia with too much luggage, none of which is particularly interesting. That’s not to say don’t bring anything home. You’ll save money and have a better time by spending your Euros on things of greater cultural value than some cheap trinket.
There are many inexpensive, high-quality options for hotels, homestays, and hostels in Slovenia. If you take advantage of online travel deals, you can save even more on a roof and a bed! Try to look over your options ahead of time. Travelers who just wing it in regards to their hotel tend to spend way too much. You may be beat and decide to check into a hotel, only to pay twice as much as one of the same quality down the street. A search engine is your friend, and a little planning stretches your wallet a long way.
Flights and Transportation
There are a few international airports, but you’re most likely to land in the capital, Ljubljana. Buses will take you where you need to go to Slovenia. The railway network is not very extensive, nor is it modern.
Slovenians speak Slovene. Many Slovenians can speak English, especially around tourist hotspots. If you have any problem communicating with the locals, use your handy translator app or phrasebook. Learning a few key phrases of a local language is some travel advice that applies anywhere. Directions, days, and any terms to do with transactions are invaluable. Hello, please, thank you, and goodbye are always helpful, too.
Slovenia Considerations and Etiquette
Slovenia is a wealth of natural beauty, and the people are proud of that. Littering is very looked down upon. Even a dropped cigarette butt will elicit the glares and scowls of the locals.
Slovenia was a part of Yugoslavia. Although not as affected by the Yugoslav wars as other former-Yugoslav nations, it’s best to avoid this subject.
Slovenia was occupied by the Axis powers during the Second World War. As with most occupied nations, Slovenia and its people were not treated well. Be mindful when bringing up anything from this era.
Slovenia is a real treat. It’s a hidden gem, and it’s emerald waters reflect that. Just don’t wait to exchange your currency in Slovenia. Your Euro goes a long way in Slovenia, so it’s best to get the most of it. No European trip is quite complete without a few days in this incredible land!
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