Rick Steves

Visit Slovenia: 5 Unexpectedly Delightful Destinations

Even in today's well-traveled world, Europe has managed to keep some of its hidden charms. And Slovenia, tucked away where Germanic, Mediterranean, and Slavic worlds meet, is one of Europe's most fascinating, yet least visited corners.

Rick Steves takes a cultural voyage through this charming, former Yugoslavian country, starting at its lively capital then heading toward the Julian Alps and to the Slovenian coast. Here's a look at the top destinations featured in the episode.

Get more ideas from the full episode here. You can also tune in for more of Steves' Euro adventure tips weeknights at 7:30 p.m.

1. Ljubljana

Located midway between Venice and Vienna, Slovenia's largest city and cultural capital is the perfect place to kick off your trip. Start at the Triple Bridge, which connects the city's historic banks to the modern part of the city. The best way to take in the sites here is to simply stroll the riverfront, check out the Art Nouveau and Art Deco influences in the buildings, visit the market, and then relax at a riverside café.

If you're a fan of architectural history, you can also visit the home of the city's most influential architect Jo?e Ple?nik. Take a guided tour through his house and see some of his equipment, models, and plans on display.

2. Lake Bled

Moving out of the city, Steves takes us to see some of Slovenia's natural alpine wonders at Lake Bled. In addition to peaceful, glassy waters, this area boasts gorgeous views and villas. It's a popular getaway destination for locals, and offers a tranquil mountain resort experience. Lake Bled's major focal point is its charming little island, and romantic local boats, called "Pletnas" provide a pleasant way to reach it. Once you're there, you can tour the island's adorable Church of the Assumption.

3. Julian Alps

Continuing to explore the Slovenian countryside, a drive through the Julian Alps is perfect for nature lovers. You'll pass valleys, mountain villages, and see Mount Triglav mark the skyline. This is a popular spot for travelers who love hiking and seeing nature. This area offers a unique alpine landscape.

4. The Karst Region

Head south for a different kind of landscape. In the Karst region, you'll find rolling hills of grape farms, small towns, and an impressive network of caverns and underground rivers. An absolute must-do is a tour through the ?kocjan Caves. There, you'll follow your guide through about two miles of caverns, where you'll spelunk through hundreds of dripping stalactites formations, hear the crashing underground river and much more. This looks really impressive.

This area is also home to one of Europe's most scenic castles -- the Predjama Castle. Built in the 16th century mainly for hunting, there's not much to see inside. But it does offer a nice backdrop for a scenic drink. And the spectacular views alone make it worth the drive out there.

5. Piran

Head to the Adriatic coastal town of Piran for some coastal relaxation. For breathtaking views of the coastline, hike to the cathedral and walk up its Venetian-style bell tower. The town's beautiful and traffic-free harbor front offers an inviting place to stroll, sunbath, and enjoy fresh seafood as you bring your Slovenian adventure to a close.


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European Travel Skills, Part III

The last episode in this three-part mini-series distills Rick Steves' 30 years of travel experience into 30 minutes of practical advice on how to have a fun, affordable, and culturally broadening trip to Europe. Shot on location in Amsterdam, Germany's Rhineland, Venice, Siena, the Italian Riviera, the Swiss Alps, Paris, and London,these episodes cover Rick's favorite 3,000-mile European loop while providing viewers with essential travel skills.

  • 2019-12-06T01:00:00-08:00

Western Turkey

From the port of Kusadasi, we wander the streets of ancient Ephesus, soak in a natural spa at Pamukkale, learn why the dervishes whirl at Konya, munch lunch in a Turkish pizzeria, and cruise the Mediterranean on a traditional Turkish gulet from Antalya. Turkey is a mighty nation whose ancient heritage, Muslim faith, and western ways are coming together...and we'll see how.

  • 2019-12-09T01:00:00-08:00

Central Turkey

We marvel at the fascinating landscape of Cappadocia from high above in a balloon...and from deep below, prowling an underground city where Christians once hid out. We'll join a circumcision party, explore troglodyte ghost towns, shop for sheep at the market, and chat with an imam. Then we enjoy the modern capital, Ankara, and pay our respects to the father of modern Turkey, Ataturk.

  • 2019-12-10T01:00:00-08:00

France's Loire: Chateau Country

Along the Loire River Valley, the beautiful French countryside is studded with evocative chateaux. Home-basing in Amboise, we visit four unique castles: elegant Chenonceau, massive Chambord, stately Cheverny, and fragrant Villandry. Along the way, we tour Leonardo's home, feed hunting dogs, enjoy the local cuisine, and savor a princely garden.

  • 2019-12-11T01:00:00-08:00

Paris Side-Trips

Side-tripping from Paris into the Ile-de-France, we indulge in the world of royal and aristocratic extravagance in the pre-Revolutionary playground of France's elite. We explore Versailles, Europe's palace of palaces; exquisite Vaux le Vicomte; and extravagant Fontainebleau, home to centuries of French rulers. We'll also marvel at the glass and statuary of Chartres cathedral and dine like kings.

  • 2019-12-12T01:00:00-08:00

The Best of Israel

We start in Jerusalem, alive with religious tradition and passion - Christian, Muslim, and Jewish. We then visit cosmopolitan Tel Aviv, with its in-love-with-life beaches; ponder the sad fortress of Masada; and join pilgrims at biblical sights around the Sea of Galilee. We'll also pay our respects at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, drop into an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, and savor the local cuisine.

  • 2019-12-13T01:00:00-08:00
  • 2019-12-25T11:30:00-08:00


Palestine is the Muslim and Arab half of the Holy Land. After visiting Jerusalem, we harvest olives near Ramallah, follow pilgrims to the place of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, approach Abraham's tomb - as both Jews and Muslims do - in Hebron, drop in on friends for dinner, and bob in the Dead Sea. We'll also learn about walls, Israeli settlements, and the challenges facing this region.

  • 2019-12-16T01:00:00-08:00

Italy's Riviera: Cinque Terre

Exploring Italy's most remote and romantic stretch of Riviera, we visit five tiny port towns: dramatic Vernazza, surrounded by vineyards; reclusive Corniglia, high on its bluff; pastel Manarola; hardscrabble Riomaggiore; and the pint-sized resort of Monterosso. Fishing for anchovies, sipping wine out of rustic barrels, and savoring twinkling Mediterranean vistas, we enjoy the ultimate Riviera adventure.

  • 2019-12-17T01:00:00-08:00

Italy's Veneto: Verona, Padua, and Ravenna

In the shadow of Venice, we visit three great cities. Padua is famed for its venerable university, precious Giotto frescoes, and pilgrim-packed Basilica. Verona is a hit with aficionados of Roman ruins and Romeo and Juliet fans. And Ravenna, with its shimmering mosaics, was once the western bastion of the Byzantine Empire. We enliven each stop with a tasty dose of Italian dolce vita.

  • 2019-12-18T01:00:00-08:00


Europe's best-preserved 17th-century city, Amsterdam is quaint and jarring, traditional and modern. Filled with history and happy-go-lucky, it's a delight to explore. Uniquely entertaining Amsterdam shows us Rembrandts and Van Goghs, more bikes than cars, flirting prostitutes, and pot-filled coffeeshops - all under tall, skinny facades leaning out below quaint church towers.

  • 2019-12-19T01:00:00-08:00

The Netherlands Beyond Amsterdam

By train, bike, and boat, we visit the top Dutch sights outside of Amsterdam: from Haarlem to Rotterdam, and from Delft to the Zuiderzee. Along the way, we enjoy charming towns with fragrant cheese markets, soggy polderland, mighty dikes, and windmills both new and old. Rolling through the Netherlands and connecting with its people, you can't help but think, "Everything's so... Dutch!"

  • 2019-12-20T01:00:00-08:00


The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is the best-preserved Baroque city in Central Europe. We experience its massive castle, beloved statue-lined bridge, evocative Jewish Quarter, and thrilling 20th-century history while enjoying its infectious love of music and perhaps the best beer in Europe. With a beautifully preserved Old Town, Prague deserves its nickname: the Golden City of a Hundred Spires.

  • 2019-12-23T01:00:00-08:00


A tumultuous 20th century left Berlin filled with powerful sights - from evocative memorials, to surviving bits of its communist and fascist days, to its glass-domed Reichstag. We enjoy its now-trendy east side, its people-friendly riverfront, and its vibrant social scene. Reunited Berlin - perhaps the fastest changing and most happening city in Europe - is entertaining more visitors than ever.

  • 2019-12-24T01:00:00-08:00

Siena and Tuscany's Wine Country

Siena, once a proud and independent city-state, retains its confidence and unique traditions. Rick enjoys a front-row seat at its wild horse race - the venerable Palio - and marvel at cultural treasures from the days when Siena rivaled Florence for leadership of Tuscany. Then he heads into wine country for a little dolce vita under the Tuscan sun.

  • 2020-01-02T01:00:00-08:00

West England

The quintessence of charming England is the "West Country": quaint Cotswold villages with their fine churches, manor homes, and gastropubs; Wells, England's smallest cathedral town; and the New Age capital of Glastonbury, with its legends of the Holy Grail and King Arthur. He finishes by pondering the dramatic prehistoric stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury.

  • 2020-01-03T01:00:00-08:00