Top Five Towns Under One Hour from Ljubljana

15 Apr 2024
On average, visitors to Ljubljana stay 2-3 nights, and while there is more than enough to fill that time with the city’s cultural activities and general loveliness, there may also be time to squeeze a quick day trip in. Here are a few suggestions of beautiful small towns that can be easily reached by car or public transport in under 60 minutes, yep, just one precious hour.


At just 23 km north-east of Ljubljana, Kamnik can be reached by car in around 30 minutes, or a direct bus will get you there in under 40 minutes, each offering beautiful mountain views as you approach. Once there, you’ll step into an enchanting town full of medieval architecture, cobbled streets and natural splendour.

In a land full of castles, Kamnik boasts three of its own… though two of them now lie in ruins on the outskirts of town. Nevertheless, if you enjoy a bit of a walk then they are still worth a visit because you’ll be rewarded with some spectacular views. The third, Zaprice Castle, is just a short stroll from the town centre and home to the Regional museum. You can read more about the three castles here.

Also closer to the centre of town are the Miha Maleš Gallery, Rudolf Maister's Birthplace, Sadnikar Museum, and several works of Jose Plečnik. For more information about places to visit and Kamnik highlights, swing by the Tourist Information Centre.

Škofja Loka 

Škofja Loka lies the same distance from Ljubljana as Kamnik, but over to the north-west. Trains run regularly and only take 16 minutes… but dump you about 2.5 km from the centre, so travelling by car or bus is preferable, each taking just a little over half an hour.

The town is one of the oldest settlements in Slovenia and offers a quaint and captivating escape into history and nature. With a population of around 12,000, this charming town exudes a tranquil ambience, perfect for leisurely exploration. On the hilltop and impossible to miss is the imposing castle, which is home to the Loka Museum, where visitors can view archaeological, historical, cultural-historical, artistic, ethnologic and natural science collections. In the surrounding area, there are many more museums and galleries, which you can learn more about here.

Though small in size, Škofja Loka boasts a vibrant cultural scene, with festivals, concerts, and art exhibitions held throughout the year, celebrating the town's heritage and creative spirit. 
Škofja Loka


Like Kamnik, Kranj can also be reached by car in about 30 minutes or by bus in around 40 minutes, you can also get a direct train which takes only 20 minutes but requires a 1 km walk to reach the centre. However you arrive, you’ll be greeted by some stunning architecture and a great choice of places of interest including, France Prešeren’s house, which is now the Prešeren Memorial Museum, Layer’s House, The Ossuary, and Pungert Tower, to name just a few. Hiding beneath Kranj’s town centre are some fascinating tunnels that date back to WWII. Guided tours of the tunnels can be arranged through www.visitkranj.com.

As the fourth-largest city in Slovenia, with a population of approximately 38,000, Kranj offers a perfect balance of urban amenities and small-town charm, as well as no end of outdoor activities in its surrounding area. Once you’ve walked up an appetite we highly recommend stopping in one of the old inns to enjoy Kranj’s culinary trio of Kranj sausage, Kranj craft beer and Kranjski štruklji. Read more about things to do here.
Glavni trg, Kranj


Nestled at the foot of the majestic Nanos plateau, Vrhnika invites visitors to uncover its hidden treasures and bask in its natural beauty. With a population of around 15,000, this small town makes a perfect retreat for those seeking tranquillity and charm.
Vrhnika's architecture reflects its rich history, with well-preserved buildings showcasing a blend of styles from different eras, from iconic churches to the quaint streets and charming squares.

History lovers will find plenty to explore in Vrhnika, with museums like the Ivan Cankar Memorial House offering insights into the town's cultural heritage and artistic legacy. Vrhnika is surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The nearby Ljubljana Marshes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, provide opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and exploring diverse ecosystems.


No article about day trips would be complete without the inclusion of Bled, which just about squeezes into the ‘under one-hour’ criteria if you get a direct bus (59 minutes), otherwise, add another 10-15 minutes. Trains do run between Ljubljana and Bled, but the station is 4 km from the town centre.

Your first glimpse of Lake Bled will have you widening your eyes and dropping your jaw, it really is like something from a fairytale, and there are many ways to enjoy it; You can swim in it, take a boat trip across it, or walk, take a pony and cart or tourist train around it. The backdrop to the lake, and adding to its fairytale image is, of course, Bled Castle which stands on the clifftop.
All of the above will create some wonderful, lasting memories, but so will simply sitting by the water and soaking up the peaceful ambience of this magical place - especially if you indulge in a slice of the famous Bled Cream Cake
There’s no end of activities and places of interest in and around Bled, click here for more ideas or visit the Tourist Information Centre.
Lake Bled
Photo by Maria Clara Cavallini on Unsplash


Connect via social media
google sign in button
Leave a comment using your email This e-mail address is not valid
Please enter your name*

Please share your location

Enter your message*
Put our app in your pocket
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here. AGREE