When my husband and I went to Zagreb, Croatia, we decided to take a day trip to Slovenia to see some of the highlights of the country. Slovenia is so tiny (about the size of New Jersey!) that we were actually able to see quite a bit in just a day! We hired a tour guide from Zagreb and took off early one morning. We were incredibly impressed by the small country, which is full of beauty and culture. Here are the highlights of our experience:
Ljubljana: Slovenia’s capital is an incredibly beautiful city, with a blend of art nouveau and neoclassical architecture. A river runs through city, dividing the financial/business district and the old town. The charming old town is the place to visit, with churches, cafes, and cultural sites throughout the area. Wander the streets, visit a café, and admire the architecture. The symbol of the city is a dragon, which you will see throughout the city, representing strength and courage.
Three sights not to be missed when taking a day trip to slovenia:
- Presernov Trg Square: this central square of Ljubljana features the Urbanc house, a stunning art nouveau building, a statue of the famed Slovenian poet, France Prešeren, and the Franciscan church of the Annunciation built in the 17th Century
- The Triple Bridge: To the south of the square is the city’s famous Triple Bridge, which was first built in 1280. It has since been rebuilt and renovated several times. The three bridges, made of limestone and concrete, connect the medieval town and the modern part of Ljubljana.
- The Dragon Bridge: Built in 1900, this bridge is adorned with four huge, impressive green dragons. It is awe-inspiring!
Lake Bled: After visiting Ljubljana we went to Lake Bled, which is one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever had the opportunity to visit. The town surrounding the lake is called Bled, and it is the perfect place to spend a night or two and enjoy all that the lake has to offer. Go for long walks, rent a canoe, and dine by the waterfront.
There are three activities that you must experience, even if you go just for a day trip to Slovenia:
- The Church On The Island: In the center of the Lake Bled is a teeny island which had only one structure, a 17th century church. You can visit this church and ring the wishing bell above the church nave. According to legend, whoever rings this bell and makes a wish is sure to have their wish come true!
- Bled Castle: A visit to the castle is essential when visiting Lake Bled, largely because of the gorgeous views of the lake. In addition to that the castle houses a museum which provides you with details about the history of Bled and the castle, which is the oldest castle in Slovenia. The castle also has a cafe and a wine cellar, where you can purchase delicious Slovenia wines.
- Lake Bled Cream Cake: Before you leave Lake Bled be sure to stop at one of the cafes along the water and sample the famous Lake Bled cream cake! It features a thick layer of sweet custard, topped with vanilla cream, and then finally puffed pastry. It is sweet and luscious, and the puffed pastry adds an element of crispiness. This treat is not to be missed! Enjoy it with a cup of coffee.
The Verdict: A day trip to Slovenia is a must! It’s a charming, wonderful country that is worth a day trip, weekend away, or even a week-long vacation.