For our fifth wedding anniversary, we decided to head to Europe. We prefer to go to Europe during the off season to avoid the crowds. We covered three countries during this trip - Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia.
We started our trip at the beautiful capital city, Prague. True to our travel style, we ventured out of the city on our second day in Czech Republic. We did a day trip to Cesky Krumlov, one of the most magical fairy tale small town in South Bohemia. Followed by another trek in Narnia.
After Czech, our next stopover was at Slovakia - for two rather short days. We arrived by train from Czech (because it is efficient and cost effective).
Our final stop on the trip was Slovenia. When you travel to three countries in one trip, its tough picking a favorite. However, this one time was a no-brainer. The Bohinj valley in Slovenia was undoubtedly the highlight of our winter getaway last December. There is something about these postcard perfect places that leaves us speechless.
Is it the tranquility, the landscape or just the thrill of being there taking it all in?
Day 1 - Christmas markets
Day 2 - Lake Bled and Bohinj Valley
Day 3 - Ljubljana city
Best time to visit
I would imagine the weather is pretty amazing in the summer but the winters are rainy, gloomy with snow and temperatures in the low 20s (Fahrenheit not Celsius). That being said, visiting Europe during the winter is absolutely magical and something everyone must experience at least once. So if you haven't done that already I would highly recommend visiting Slovenia during the Christmas season to soak in all the festivities.
Luckily when we visited, there wasn't a lot of snow but the temperatures were below freezing during the night.
Getting there and Visa
We arrived by train from Slovakia via Vienna, Austria. The central station is centrally located in the city and I would recommend taking the train to get here, if you are already in Europe.
A Schengen Visa is required for entry into Slovenia.
The official language spoken in the country is Slavic.
Travel and Medical Insurance, Currency
Travel and Medical Insurance is mandatory to travel to all Schengen countries.
Currency is Euro.
Where we stayed
We stayed at the quaint but comfortable Art Hotel in Ljubljana. I chose this place because it's literally a 5 minute walk from the city center.
The rooms were a decent size. The breakfast was delicious - if you need a latte or Hot Chocolate, they make it for you (sometime for an additional charge).
Cost and getting around
Slovenia was not very expensive overall. Hotels are reasonably priced (during the off season). Cabs are expensive, as you would expect them to be anywhere in Europe.
A proper meal on average will be around EUR 10 per person.
Had no issues with safety. We felt everyone we met was warm and helpful.
As always, I was able to find lovely vegan friendly restaurants around the area.
If you decide to stay at the Art Hotel, you have to check out the what can only be called the best pizza in town from Pizzeria FoculuS. I was jumping for joy looking at the crazy kinds of veggie and vegan pizzas they had on the menu. We tried two of them - both amazing. The place was packed at 10 in the night - so maybe book a table if you want to spend some time there.
What to pack
Winters are cold. Pack rain jackets, winter jackets, scarves and beanies if you are going around the same time as us.
Day 1 - evening
We took the train from Slovakia and after a short 15 minute walk go to the hotel. It was nearly 7 in the evening when we checked in. So quickly freshened up, coffee in hand, we decided to check out the city. What welcomed us was quite simply the most amazing market we had been to so far.