For our road trip in Slovenia, we had 6 days and since we were traveling with our 4 months baby we needed to keep some time to rest and couldn’t make this road trip as intense and adventure-packed as we would have as a couple. But we did go to a few of the best places to visit in Slovenia!
As a part of our Central Europe camper road trip, we arrived in Slovenia from Austria after staying for a while in Munich. We figured the best way for this trip to go well with such a young baby (and tired parents!) would be to have a base from where we could drive easily (we didn’t want to drive too long from our base) to some of the most beautiful cities in Slovenia. So we passed by on the day we arrived but didn’t get to visit for real and quickly drove to our base Cerklje na Gorenjskem, which was in the country and a very peaceful place to rest.
From there, our plan was to see some of the most beautiful places in Slovenia without driving too long and in a way that would allow us to have a good time with a baby. We would have loved to have more adventures in this trip because this country offers a lot of possibilities and there are so many beautiful places in Slovenia, but our baby was just so young!
So keep in mind that this is slow-paced and perfect if you have a baby, but you could add a few more stops and things to do if you have an older child or if there is no child involved! As you can see on the map below we have stayed in a nice area around our base Cerklje na Gorenjskem, and there’s a whole lot of the country we haven’t explored at all.
This post might contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or a reservation using one of those links, we might earn a small commission, at absolutely zero additional cost to you.
Our 6 days in Slovenia road trip itinerary with a baby
Driving in Slovenia
To drive in Slovenia you must buy a “vignette“, which is available at most highway stops, gas stations, by the border or the entrance of the Karawanken tunnel if you’re coming from Austria. You can choose between different durations during which the vignette will be valid (we bought one for 1 week for 15€). More informations on speed limits and traffic regulations are available here.
You can drive to Slovenia from one of the neighboring countries: Italia, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. We entered and exited Slovenia from Austria.
Of course if you choose to explore Slovenia from a set base you can go on day trips around Slovenia, but also in the neighboring countries.
Good ideas of day trips from Slovenia are for example Graz in Austria (around 2hrs from Bled), Zagreb in Croatia (around 2hrs from Bled), and Salzburg in Austria (around 2h30 from Bled). You could even drive to Venice in Italy (around 3hrs from Bled, or book an organized tour from Ljubljana or Bled if you don’t want to drive across borders)!
However make sure you are allowed to cross borders first if you rented a car!
Cities to visit in Slovenia
Here’s the list of the beautiful places in Slovenia we’ve seen during this road trip:
- Ljubljana (capital, where to stay /eat, castle, activities, attraction, sightseeing)
- Planšarsko Jezero
- Škofja Loka
- Cerklje na Gorenjskem
Day 1: Bled
As already stated above, we didn’t get to really experience “the Jewel of the Alps”. It was one of the places I was the most excited about: the idea of taking a boat (called “pletna”) to the little Bled island, visiting the castle towering above the lake… but we actually did none of that.
We arrived in Bled after spending the night sleeping uncomfortably (it wasn’t planned!) in our camper on the highway close to the Austrian border and were in desperate need of a good breakfast and possibly a shower. However it was already really hot when we parked in Bled at 10am and we had to park pretty far from all the action is because Slovenia is one of the least camper-friendly countries we’ve been to. So we parked on a supermarket parking lot that only allowed us to pay for 1 hour at a time. We then rushed to a breakfast place which was close to the lake and gave us serious dreamy thoughts about this place!
Walking down around the Alpine lake was beautiful and after breakfast we went to have a look at how easy (or not) it would be to go around. However it didn’t seem that easy at the time (I didn’t see us boating nor climbing up to the castle with a 4-month old baby) between the fatigue, the heat, and the sun, and it was overcrowded with tourists. So we decided to trek back to the van and come at a later date to enjoy Bled.
Which – as is often the case when you travel with a young baby – never happened!
In retrospect I really believe we made the right decision not to rush or force it, and now that Cesare is 1 year old I feel like now would be the best time for us to enjoy it with our baby. I would feel confident boating with him and going around exploring the little island, putting him on my back in a baby carrier to visit the castle, etc.
Where to sleep in Bled: We didn’t get to stay a night in Bled but Naturel Hotel Lukanc has been highly recommended to us as an affordable and calm place to stay, a short distance away (15-20min by feet) from the lake.
Day 2: Ljubljana
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and the first city we really (somewhat) visited in the country. We only spent a couple hours there and didn’t get to ride the little train nor visit the castle (totally bookmarking it for our next trip though!) but we really enjoyed it. Ljubljana has an easy-going feeling and there’s plenty of beautiful places to walk around, especially as the car traffic is restricted in the city center. We mainly stuck to the older parts of the city as it’s what we usually enjoy the most, and even though it’s quite small, it was the perfect outing for us.
We enjoyed spotting the landmarks of Ljubljana like the castle, the funicular, the Triple Bridge, the Dragon Bridge, the University, the Prešeren Square,…
Also check out the House of Experiments and the Museum of Illusions which would have been amazing with a bigger child, as well as the Botanical Garden.
Where to stop for lunch: We enjoyed a very tasty vegan lunch at Gaudi Ayurvedic & Vegan bistro, with seats indoors and outside.
Day 3: Planšarsko Jezero (Planšar Lake)
We wanted to see one of the gorgeous lakes and beautiful landscapes of Slovenia but knew we couldn’t hike for long and couldn’t be acrobatic or anything. So instead of opting for the most popular Lake Bohinj, we decided on the heart-shaped Planšar Lake, surrounded by a beautiful landscape of Kamnik-Savinja Alps mountains.
We were able to circle back on a short hike once Cesare fell asleep in his father’s arm who was carrying him, but there is quite a few things to see around if you have time. This place is absolutely stunning and dreamy, and there’s also a restaurant on site so you don’t have to worry about bringing any food or refreshments (except enough for your hike, of course!).
Where to stay in Planšar Lake: We didn’t spend the night, but we considered setting our base in Zgornje Jezersko since it’s also a great place for a lot of activities. The Tourist Farm Šenkova Domačija has both rooms and apartments, which is great for families!
Possible alternatives to Planšarsko Jezero: Lake Bohinj for a gorgeous lake, or if you’re looking for adventures you could also decide to hike the Julian Alps, the Valley of the Seven Lakes or explore the Soča Valley. These are the most popular destinations for an outdoor and adventure packed road trip in Slovenia.
Day 4: Škofja Loka
On our 4th day in Slovenia, after seeing the famous Bled, spending some time in the capital Ljubljana and a nice afternoon at a beautiful lake, I wanted to see some of Slovenia’s fairytale cities. After a quick search, we settled on visiting the medieval town of Škofja Loka.
We parked our camper way down from the town – near the Puštal Pool – and the walk to get there was something to see in itself! We crossed a beautiful wooden bridge, strolled around residential little alleys, and finally made it to the small village.
We started with the main square which was blissfully empty of people, went to find a couple of vegan croissants and stopped on a bench so that I could breastfeed our baby. Then we strode to the beautiful Capuchin bridge (picture above) before going back on our steps to climb all the stairs up to the castle. The few steps are well worth the beautiful view! We didn’t visit the castle but it is possible to get in as it now holds a museum with archeological, historical, cultural, artistic, natural science and ethnological collections, or you could also walk around the Castle’s park.
After our visit we walked back to the van and spent a little time there by the Poljanska Sora river, where people were lounging, fishing and bathing.
Not to miss in Škofja Loka: Every six years, a unique performance is held in the old town center. The Škofja Loka Passion Play is on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and it can only be an incredible thing to witness. The next one is happening in 2021 and you should not miss it!!
Where to stay in Škofja Loka: What about a hotel with a private beach? For that, book a room at Hotel Garni Paleta in Škofja Loka!
Day 5: Radovljica
On our last day of visiting the country, we wanted to see another one of the best places in Slovenia: the small medieval town of Radovljica. It’s another fairytale city, where we could even hear music from the Radovljica Mansion’s School of Music as we strolled from the main street to the Linhart Square at the heart of the Old Town centre. Life there contrasted strongly from packed Bled, as it was almost deserted and most of the people sitting at the terrace of the restaurants seemed to be locals.
It’s the perfect town to have a nice walk around, stop at one of the museums, admire the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Brezje (the Slovenian national shrine!) and St. Peter’s church rectory, and watch the beautiful scenic view of Slovenia’s green countryside over the Gorenjska region at the lookout on Jamnik from Kropa.
Where to stay in Radovljica: If you want to stay in fairytale mode, the Linhart Hotel in the center of town is where you should sleep!
Tip: Radovljica and Škofja Loka are quite small and you could easily squeeze them both in one afternoon.
Day 6: Relaxing day in Cerklje na Gorenjskem
For the last day we decided to take a day off from driving and stay around our base. We walked around the town of Cerklje na Gorenjskem, stopping at the Church of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary which holds the oldest statue of Mary with Jesus in Slovenia.
At the end of the day we even got to both enjoy our hotel’s gorgeous private spa. We had reserved it each for one glorious hour of jacuzzi and sauna, and that was definitely a great idea! It helped us relax and get ready to get back on the road the next day as we were going back North to stop a couple of nights in Vienna.
As a matter of fact, Cerklje na Gorenjskem is a great place to choose as base since it is the starting point of many hiking and cycling routes as well as ascents to the Krvavec ski resort.
Best place to stay in Cerklje na Gorenjskem: We stayed during our whole 6 days road trip in Slovenia at the Penzion Vodnik which had a restaurant (therefore it could get a bit noisy at night) and a great private spa.
Tips & Things to know when doing a road trip in Slovenia
Slovenia is not van life-friendly: I had heard about it, but seeing it with my own eyes was quite surprising. It is really strongly prohibited to sleep in your camper anywhere in Slovenia except on camping grounds (which are NOT cheap!) and to crack down on all the wild camping they even fine campers parked on parking lot during the day!! That sounded pretty insane to me and we always got scared that we might get back to a fine even though we were staying in a hotel for the whole trip. That was definitely some stress we could have done without but in the end we followed the advices we found on the Park4Night app or on specific Facebook groups and all went well for us.
Slovenia is a very small country: Slovenia is so tiny it’s great for a road trip because you could really see most of it while not having to spend too much time driving! It’s also a great thing if you decide to have a fixed base because you can easily go on day trips all over Slovenia without having to think about it: just drive in the morning and come back at night!
There was always traffic: The downside of a small beautiful country, and even more as it’s popular with tourists during the high-season, is that there was always traffic. Which honestly wouldn’t have been so bad if we were by ourselves, but with a tiny baby who really fell asleep only when we were driving and woke up (and cried, of course) every time we had to stop because of traffic, it wasn’t the best.
Some places were crowded with tourists: Honestly one of the reasons why we didn’t make it back to Bled is that it looked like a nightmare because it was really overpacked with tourists when we made it there the first time – which was in the morning (so I’ll let you imagine in the afternoon). Slovenia had become pretty popular in the last few years and it’s not the “off the beaten path” destination we were expecting!
THE BEES: There are so many bees. Everywhere. Which is good, for the planet. But if you’re scared of insects like I am, you’re going to have to take a lot of very deep breaths.
Best time to go on a road trip in Slovenia: We were there in August and the heat was not to be ignored, as well as the crowds in the most popular places. Even though Summer is best to go to the beach, it seems that the best time to enjoy a rad road trip in Slovenia would rather be Spring April/May/June or Autumn September/October.