Julie Slovenia 11 Comments

With one day, you can easily visit two of Slovenia’s most unique destinations, the Škocjan Caves and Predjama Castle. Be amazed as you tour the enormous, subterranean world of the Škocjan Caves. Then visit Predjama Castle, the largest cave castle in the world.

The Škocjan Caves truly are amazing. I’ve never been “wowed” by a visit to a cave until I saw this place. These caves are massive, the history is fascinating, and even walking the trails can be thrilling. The Škocjan Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest underground canyons in the world.

Tour your second cave of the day with a visit to Predjama Castle. This medieval castle was built in the mouth of another impressive, yet smaller cave.

Whether you are road tripping through Slovenia or have plans take a day trip from Ljubljana, learn how to visit Škocjan Caves and Predjama Castle in one day.

Day Trip to Škocjan Caves and Predjama Castle

Getting Around Slovenia

The best way to do this is on a road trip. The public transportation network in this part of Slovenia is very underdeveloped.

It’s almost impossible to visit both places in one day with public transportation. From Ljubljana, you can take a train to Divaca, the town next to the Škocjan Caves, but then you will need to walk 3 km (35 minutes) to get to the caves. As far as I know, there are no public transportation options that connect the Škocjan Caves with Predjama Castle.

With a rental car, you have a lot more freedom and flexibility. Plus, you can use the car to visit places like Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj and to drive the Vršič Pass.

Slovenia Day Trip Map

Tours to Predjama Castle, the Škocjan Caves, and Postojna Cave

If you do not have a rental car, there are tours that start in Ljubljana and visit Predjama Castle, the Škocjan Caves, Postojna Cave, Piran and/or Lake Bled.



Škocjan Caves

You can visit the Škocjan Caves and Predjama Castle in either order, but I am starting with the Škocjan Caves because that is what we did. Our day started on the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia. In the early morning, we checked out of our hotel near Porec and drove an hour and a half to get to the Škocjan Caves.

From Piran, it is a 45-minute drive and from Ljubljana it is a one hour drive.

Choosing a Tour

There are three options to tour the Škocjan Caves.

The main caves can only be visited on a tour. Called “Visit of the Skocjan Caves” on the Škocjan Caves website, the main tour takes about 2 hours. On this tour, you will walk 3 km.

Cost: The price of this tour ranges from 16 to 24 euros depending on the season (prices are higher in July and August and cheapest during the winter months).

If you want to explore the area further, you can walk the Škocjan Education Trail and learn more about the geology and cultural heritage of this region.

Skocjan UNESCO Sign

Touring the Underground Caves

The first tour of the day is at 9 am or 10 am, depending on the season. During the summer months, from June through September, tours are offered hourly. During the remainder of the year, only three to four tour times are offered per day. Get the updated schedule here.

If you want to take the first tour, I recommend getting to the visitor center 15 to 30 minutes before opening time. Lines can be long, especially in the summer months.

At the start of the tour, you will walk as a very large group to the cave entrance. This walk takes about 15 minutes and it is mostly downhill.

Since our group was so large, we were split into five separate groups. Group one was allowed to enter right away, and then each subsequent group was permitted to enter about 5 to 10 minutes later. If you are in one of the last groups, you will spend quite a bit of time waiting at the cave entrance.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: To avoid this wait, it helps to get your tickets early and to be at the front of the line as you walk to the cave. Once at the cave entrance, stand as close as possible to the turnstiles so you can be in the first group to enter the cave.

Skocjan Cave Entrance

Entrance into the Škocjan Caves.

In the Škocjan Caves

It’s a very chilly 12°C inside the Škocjan Caves, welcome relief during the hot summer months. Make sure you bring a jacket!

For an hour and a half, your guide will lead you through the caves, sharing historical and scientific facts. It is an overall downhill walk through the cave.

You will see enormous stalactites and stalagmites, Europe’s largest underground canyon, and the Reka River running through the base of the cave. Along the way, you will walk on trails that hug the side of the cave walls and walk across a narrow bridge that sits 50 meters over the Reka River.

The tour of the cave ends at the natural opening of the cave. This is only place on the tour where you are permitted to take photographs.

Skocjan Cave Day Trip


From here, you can take an elevator (quick and easy) or walk past several more caves and up the steps (more scenic but also more strenuous) to get back to the visitor center. Or, continue with a tour of the Reka River.

Another Cave

On the walk back to the Visitor Center you will see more caves and an underground waterfall.


Skocjan Waterfall


At the visitor center, there is a restaurant that serves a variety of food, and it’s surprisingly good. We ate here before moving on, but you could also grab a bite to eat in one of the nearby towns.

Predjama Castle

From the Škocjan Caves, it is a 30-minute drive to get to Predjama Castle.

A visit here is relatively quick. You pay your entrance fee and then you tour the castle at your leisure with the provided audio guide. I highly recommend the audio guide because you would wander through the rooms without knowing what you are seeing. Plus, you learn several interesting facts as you go.

The audio guide tour takes roughly one hour.

Predjama Castle Day Trip

Predjama Castle from Ljubljana

Inside Predjama Castle

Inside Predjama Castle


View from Predjama Castle

View from Predjama Castle

During the summer months, you have the option to add on a tour of the cave under Predjama Castle. This tour takes 45 minutes. Learn more here.

During our visit at the end of July (in 2018), there was no line for tickets or audio guides, however, it was a bit crowded inside of the castle. The rooms inside of the castle are small and there can be a short wait to walk up and down the various staircases inside of the castle. But once again, it’s cool inside of the castle, welcome relief during the summer months.

Website: Get updated pricing and hours on the official website.

It takes one hour to drive from Predjama Castle to Ljubljana.

Škocjan Caves vs. Postojna Caves

We only had the time (and the desire) to visit one cave while in Slovenia. We chose the Škocjan Caves for its reputation as being less touristy and its UNESCO World Heritage status. Since we did not visit Postojna Caves, I cannot comment on how good they are. But I can tell you that we were amazed by the Škocjan Caves and we don’t feel like we missed out on anything by skipping Postojna Caves.

The Postojna Caves are more popular and more touristy than the Škocjan Caves. There is more online marketing and more advertising in and around Ljubljana for the Postojna Caves. It’s also better connected to Ljubljana by public transportation, so it’s easier to include on a day trip from Ljubljana. But easier doesn’t mean it’s better.

On the way to Predjama Castle, we drove past the numerous ads for Postojna Caves and its mega-sized parking lot. The parking lot is huge! And in July, it was filled with cars. I can’t imagine the number of people that tour this cave per hour during the busy summer months.

There are a lot of gimmicks to attract people to the Postojna Caves, such as a 3.7 km trip on an underground railroad and Murano glass chandeliers hanging in the cave. The Postojna Caves may feel more like a Disneyland experience than an underground cave visit.

If you want a more authentic cave experience, and want to share the experience with fewer visitors, we recommend the Škocjan Caves.

If you have any questions about how to visit the Škocjan Caves and Predjama Castle, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Slovenia

PLACES TO GO IN SLOVENIA: Visit lovely Ljubljana, spend the day in Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, drive through the Soca River Valley and over the Mangart Saddle, explore Vintgar Gorge, and go hiking in the Julian Alps. Get the full list in our Best Things to Do in Slovenia article and how to put all of this together in our 10 day Slovenia Itinerary.

ISTRIAN PENINSULA: Learn about the best things to do in Piran, how to spend one day in Piran and Koper, and how to spend 3 days on the Istrian Peninsula.

TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Here are 15 fairytale destinations to visit around the world. For more great travel destinations, check out our article 10 Cool Travel Spots to Put on Your Wish List.

Planning a trip to Slovenia? Read all of our articles in our Slovenia Travel Guide.


Skocjan Caves and Predjama Castle Slovenia


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Comments 11

  1. Avatar for Sarah

    Hi guys! Thanks so much for all the helpful information that y’all put out. I’ve used your blog to plan numerous trips and alway come back to your site for reference. I’ll be in Slovenia in July and am working out my castle/cave tours. Did y’all purchase tickets in advance for the castle and cave? Thanks so much!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Sarah. I don’t think we purchased our tickets in advance. We did this trip in 2018 so my memory is a little hazy. If I returned now, I would book them in advance. That seems to be the trend lately, whereas 6 years ago you could show up at more places an purchase tickets right on the spot. Have a great time in Slovenia! Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Alexa Metcalf
    Alexa Metcalf

    Hello! I have been following your blog since I discovered your Norway Itineraries and have since frequently used your recommendations as a guide for many of our travel planning for trips taken across Europe with my small family of 4. Your advice always proves to be incredibly helpful and in line with the style of vacations my family enjoys most with lots of time outdoors and hiking.

    I am currently researching our next family trip to Slovenia and have been looking into the official websites of the Predjama Castle and Skocjan Caves. I found the price you list on this page a little confusing, so it might help to clarify for readers – 145.80 euros can appear off putting when weighing the value of a visit to the castle without further research. On the website, the cost is listed at 16.90 euro per person with discounted tickets for children base by age; however, this is for only the Castle and there are several combined ticket packages to choose from.

    Many thanks for all of your valuable advice!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Thanks for writing in and clarifying the price. I must of added an extra zero at some point??? I have updated this article…thanks again! Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Hank

    Nice blog! Next time you go to Slovenia I would recommend the Postojna Caves also. They are on the way to Piran. They are absolutely incredible, and are one of the largest caves in Europe. Happy travels!

  4. Avatar for Jenny Brown
    Jenny Brown

    So enjoyed your stories, thank you. Appreciate your detail-so helpful. visiting Rovinj and Llubijana with day trips, after what you have written ( coming from Venice via ferry). . do you think it would be possible to hire a driver, any ideas on companies? Then fly back to Rome for a cruise.
    Unless you can suggest better way to do it. Many thanks

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Jenny. I don’t have any private drivers to recommend. You might need to do an internet search for more info. Another source you could ask is your hotel for transportation advice (we frequently ask our hotels for driver recommendations and they usually can help us set something up). Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Amanda

    We have a trip to Slovenia with our two kids next month and I just want to let you know that your blog posts have been incredibly helpful with our planning. We also followed your advice on the Isle of Skye last summer and Brother’s Point was a highlight of our trip. Thank you for your insightful and helpful blog posts. We love seeing all of the great places you go and following in your footsteps! Your site has become one of our top “go-to” sites for trip planning.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Great! This is wonderful to hear. 🙂 For the month July we will be in Switzerland and Iceland…maybe ideas for you for next year? 🙂 Have a great time in Slovenia, it’s an awesome country. Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Yasmin

    Hi there! Thanks for sharing your experience! I am planning a short trip to Slovenia in August, first solo, then joining a group tour for 4 days. I found the information shared on the cave and castle really useful and eager to check it out. Just wondering as a solo traveler, if I have 2 days, could I cover the Pedjama Castle Castle, Skocjan Caves, Soca River Valley and Vintgar Gorge? My group tour includes the Lake Bled, Bohinj Valley and the capital, Ljubljana. Many thanks!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Yasmin. As for your timing if you can do everything in 2 days, it depends on where you are staying. The Soca River Valley takes a full day, if you follow what we did here. Vintgar Gorge takes about 2 hours and is best visited right at 8 am. You could visit Vintgar Gorge before driving around to Kranjska Gora and the Vrsic Pass. This is possible (but it will be a long day) if you are staying in or near Lake Bled. If you are coming from Ljubljana, this will add several more hours of driving. However, you could visit Skocjan, Predjama Castle and Tolmin Gorge on one day, and then Vintgar Gorge, Kranjska Gora, Vrsic Pass, and the Soca River Valley on the 2nd day (if you are coming from Ljubljana). Cheers, Julie

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