Slovenia is not a shopper’s paradise, per se, though travellers looking for items to take home will find a nice selection of local crafts, as well as foodstuffs like honey, cheeses and chocolates, and local wine. Ljubljana’s Old Town, particularly along Mestni Trg and Stari Trg, is a good place to look for souvenirs. Outside the capital, local TICs often have a small area for purchasing regional handicrafts.
Handicrafts & Souvenirs
Both Idrija and Železniki, west and northwest of Ljubljana, specialise in lace. Ribnica in Dolenjska is famous for its suha roba (‘dry goods’ – wooden household utensils), Rogaška Slatina in eastern Slovenia is known for its crystal, and Prekmurje for its Hungarian-style black pottery. Some people think they’re tacky, but traditional beehive panels (panjske končnice) painted with folk motifs make original and unusual souvenirs – especially the one showing a devil sharpening a gossip’s tongue on a grindstone. In Kropa, particularly at the UKO Kropa Forgers’ Workshop, look out for objects made of wrought iron.
The silver-filigree jewellery you’ll see for sale in shops all over the country, but especially on the coast, is not distinctively Slovenian but a good buy nonetheless. Many shops are run by ethnic Albanians who brought the craft here from Kosovo.
Natural Remedies, Food & Wine
Natural remedies, herbal teas, sea salt and apian products, such as beeswax, honey, pollen, propolis and royal jelly, can be found in speciality shops around the country.
Slovenes are proud of their specialty-food products, such as chocolates, honey, meats and cheeses, and a box chocolates or a jar of artisanal honey are thoughtful gifts to bring back home. Bear in mind, though, you may have problems importing certain food products (like cheese) through your home country’s customs control.
A bottle of quality Slovenian wine also makes a great gift. Buy it from a wine shop (vinoteka) or a dealer with a large selection, such as Vinoteka Movia in Ljubljana. A couple of monasteries in Dolenjska – the Cistercian one at Stična near Ivančna Gorica and the Carthusian one at Pleterje – sell their own brand of firewater made from fruits and berries. It’s fragrant and potent stuff.
Most cities and towns of any size will have a dedicated sporting-goods shop where you can pick up any outdoor equipment, hiking boots or camping supplies you might have left at home. In Ljubljana, check out Annapurna or Lovec.
Locally made ski equipment and skiwear are of high quality. Skis and snowboards are made by Elan in Begunje na Gorenjskem near Bled, and ski boots and trekking shoes by Alpina at Žiri, northeast of Idrija. If you’re just coming for a relatively short ski trip, however, there’s no need to bring your own gear, as rental places around resorts are plentiful.