Getting around Slovenia is not difficult, but it does require some planning. Since this is a question that concerns almost all visitors to Slovenia, I’ve decided to give you an overview of what you can expect and help you better plan your trip in the country.
Getting around Slovenia: overview
Public transport in Slovenia is not the best, but it does its job. Buses and trains are frequent and reliable, they just tend to take a bit longer. Renting a car is also a viable option, as roads are in good condition and make for a good drive.
Whether you are traveling by car on your own or plan to rent a car, driving is definitely the best way to explore Slovenia.
Slovenia is small, driving around Slovenia is not only the most comfortable way, but it is also often the fastest way to move around. From Ljubljana, most places are reachable within a mere two hours.
When you should think about driving in Slovenia:
- If you prefer to improvise stops along the way and explore fewer places of tourism and the countryside.
- If you like road trips.
- Those who are in a group, or a larger family, usually find traveling by car the cheapest option.
- Those who plan to visit the Soča valley and explore the region.
- If you have very little time, but you want to go to several places.
Traveling in Slovenia by bus
On public transport in Slovenia, buses are your best choice. The bus network in Slovenia is extensive. Buses are frequent, quite reliable and affordable (though not cheap).
Bus stations are usually located in the city center or within walking distance of the city center. The fare also includes your luggage, but if you have an extra bike or oversized luggage, the bus driver may ask you to pay something extra.
There are many bus operators in Slovenia. Most of them drive only locally, but some operate throughout most of the country and even cover some international routes. One example is Nomago – you can use them for intercity travel and to reach nearby airports, like Ljubljana or Venice.
Flixbus also operates in Slovenia. They don’t offer many domestic routes, but they do connect Ljubljana to other nearby cities, making it a convenient way to go to and from Slovenia.
Getbybus does a good job adding different bus lines and timetables in Slovenia. You can also book tickets online through their website.
If you travel to or from Ljubljana, the Ljubljana bus station has a good overview of the schedule of all buses, you can buy tickets online. You can also visit the largest bus operator’s website for more information.
When to go by bus:
- You plan to spend enough time in Slovenia, say two weeks or more, and you won’t mind spending more time traveling on the bus.
- You just need to go from point a to point b and then plan on staying there.
- If you are a single traveler or a couple on a budget, buses are perhaps the cheapest option to travel around Slovenia. For larger groups and families, it can be as expensive as renting a car.
- You are not comfortable driving on the roads of Slovenia.
Traveling around Slovenia by train:
In Slovenia, taking a bus is almost the same as taking the train. The prices are often the same, and the ride takes about as long. The connections are also similar, as most of the railroad network runs beside the highway.
International travel, however, is a different story. Slovenian rails have special deals, for rides from Ljubljana to other European cities, Like Zagreb, Vienna, Venice, Munich, etc., and back. These routes are a great way of reaching Slovenia or continuing your trip elsewhere in Europe. For prices, and more details, check their website. These offers come with an inconvenience though. You can’t buy or book the ticket online, you’ll have to visit the counter at the train station. Just look for an international counter at the main train station.
In short, there isn’t much difference between taking a bus and a train. I suggest you always check both options and simply take the most convenient of the two.
Taxis in Slovenia
Taxis are still very expensive in Slovenia, except Ljubljana. Taxi service is strictly regulated and rates are fixed. Still, some drivers will try to rip you off regardless, so keep your guard up.
Uber (and similar apps) are not available in Slovenia at all. The closest you can get to Uber is calling the taxi company and ordering a cab. There are countless taxi companies in Ljubljana, but I usually use Metro, Laguna or Cammeo, and they’ve all proven to be reliable. Since recently, Metro and Cammeo also have an app, which makes ordering a taxi even easier.
As for the other towns, the same rules apply as for Ljubljana, just the prices will be a bit higher. You can also give Cammeo a shot outside Ljubljana, as they operate in several towns and are constantly adding new.
In short, don’t plan to use a taxi too much unless you don’t mind spending a lot of money.
An interesting and viable option. But as always, only for the most adventurous amongst you. Slovenia is a generally safe country, and so is hitchhiking, but it’s not as common as it used to be. There are some hitchhikers around, especially in summer, so it is doable, but expect to wait a bit. I always pick up hitchhikers when I can, but chances are I won’t pass by when you’re hitchhiking.
Much like hitchhiking, just a bit more expensive, and much more reliable. It is a fairly popular way of getting around Slovenia, especially amongst the students. It is also great if you’re on a budget. An inter-city ride will cost about half as much as a train or a bus ticket would. The rides usually cost about 5€ per 100km.
Blablacar, Europe’s most popular carpooling site doesn’t work in Slovenia. Instead, we use our own website, prevoz.org. To use it, you must first create a free account, and then contact the driver via SMS or phone call. In other words, you’ll need to get a Slovenian Sim card, unless you already own a SIM from elsewhere in the EU. The website is entirely in Slovene, but Google can translate it for you. As for contacting the drivers – most Slovenians speak English, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
Prevoz.org is widely used in Slovenia, but almost exclusively between Ljubljana and other major towns. The most frequent routes are Ljubljana to Koper, Nova Gorica, Novo Mesto, Celje, Maribor, Murska Sobota, and vice versa. You can, of course, make it some other towns as well, you’ll just have a harder time finding a ride.
You can also use Prevoz.org to come to, or leave Slovenia. The website also has an International section, where you can find rides from Europe’s nearby cities to Slovenia.