Slovenia is prime family-holiday territory, especially in July and August when Europeans hit the road and celebrate the summer break. Water parks, caves, swimmable lakes and walking trails designed for little legs are just part of the story – many businesses go out of their way to make families welcome.
Best Regions for Kids
The capital's attractions include a bridge guarded by dragons, a castle reached by funicular, a zoo, the House of Experiments and a mega-waterpark. For the littlest ones (and their parents), there's even a 'public living room' with workshops, crafts, puppet shows and so on.
- The Julian Alps
Prime spot for outdoor, active pursuits. For younger kids, there are cable cars up to the mountaintops, lakes to swim in and leisurely boat rides. Teens will enjoy rafting, camping, cycling and 'glamping' in the open air.
- Southwestern Slovenia
Kids won't soon forget descents into two enormous, awe-inspiring caves, plus castles, dancing horses and the usual seaside activities.
- Southeastern Slovenia
Castles, gentle forest walks and cycling, water parks and whitewater rafting rides suitable for the whole family.
- Eastern Slovenia
Castles, forest trails, massive water parks and uncrowded ski areas.
Slovenia for Kids
If you’re travelling with kids, you’re in for a pretty easy ride. Slovenia gets a big tick for its friendly locals, accessible nature, unique attractions and short travel distances. Get your kids involved in your travel plans – if they’ve helped to work out where you’re going and they've heard plans of dancing white horses, train rides through caves, or dragons on bridges, they'll have plenty to look forward to in Slovenia.
Sights & Activities
Make a point of stopping by the local TICs – everywhere has attractions where kids are king, and there will be recommendations on sights, activities and how to spend a rainy day.
Newer museums are interactive (some have a dedicated kids’ section), and there are parks, playgrounds and swimming pools, plus year-round water parks. Many attractions allow free admission for young kids (up to about seven years) and half-price (or substantially discounted) admission for those up to about 15. Discounted family tickets are usually available.
In the great outdoors, there are loads of family activities. Kids will enjoy paddling on a lake at Bled or Bohinj, swimming in the Adriatic, taking a cable car up a mountain at Vogel or Velika Planina, or riding a train through a cave at mighty Postojna.
Popular warm-weather activities like rafting on the Soča River can be done from around age five; other adventures (kayaking, canyoning) are possible from around age 10.
Winter activities include ski schools – close to Ljubljana there's Krvavec ski centre; in the west, Kranjska Gora is well set up; and the east has Maribor Pohorje.
Sleeping & Eating
In peak season (July and August) campgrounds are hives of activity, and many organise activity programs for juniors; some are attached to water parks. Campgrounds often have bungalows for rent, while 'glamping' (upscale camping) brings creature comforts to the great outdoors – and with options ranging from log cabins to treehouses and safari tents, it's a fun way to amuse the kids.
Most hostels are geared more towards young backpackers, but others are set up for, and welcoming to, families. Rooms may sleep up to six (in bunks); there will invariably be kitchen and lounge facilities. Check out the apartments at Jazz Hostel in Bled, or family rooms at Hostel Pod Voglom on Lake Bohinj. Farmstays offer a rural idyll and/or the chance to get your hands dirty and are perfect for families. Many guesthouses and hotels offer family-sized rooms, and self-catering villas and apartments are plentiful.
On the whole, restaurants welcome children. Many will have a highchair and a children’s menu, or serve the kind of food kids will eat (like pizza and chicken). Self-catering is a breeze if you stay somewhere with kitchen facilities – larger supermarkets stock all you’ll need (including baby items), but may have shorter opening hours than you might expect.
Having your own vehicle will make life easier, but getting around using public transport isn’t impossible.
A cycling holiday may be doable with older kids, as distances between towns are not vast. Larger bike-rental outfits supply kids bikes.
Ljubljana Castle Ride the funicular to the castle, and poke around up top among the ruins. Older kids will like the 'Time Machine' tours.
Bled Castle A cool mountaintop fortress with tip-top views. Halloween celebrations here are awesome.
Predjama Castle A castle in a cave with history that involves a toilet – it's every kid’s dream.
Old Castle Celje The largest fortress in Slovenia, perched on a high hill, is straight out of a fairy tale.
Atlantis Multiple pools in the capital.
Terme Čatež Near Brežice, with watery activities and a campground bursting with family fun.
Terme Ptuj Out east, with indoor and outdoor pools and lots of waterslides.
Balnea Wellness Centre Ahoy! At Dolenjske Toplice, the Lagoon at this spa centre has an open-air pool with a pirate ship.
Terme Olimia At Podčetrtek, with an abundance of slides, pools and activities, plus a child-care club.
Aquapark Bohinj Overflows with indoor and outdoor pools and play areas; ideal rainy-day fun for everyone.
Vintgar Gorge Near Bled, this is an easy path (1.6km each way) through fabulous nature, on a wooden walkway.
Postojna Cave Stalagmites, stalactites, a train ride through a cave, eyeless human fish. If your kid likes science projects, this is paradise.
Savica Waterfall Magnificent waterfall that cuts deep into a gorge. The long hike out to the falls is more suited to older children and teens.
Križna Cave What fun! You get boots and a lamp, and set out on a boat ride across a lake inside a cave.
Kozjak Waterfall From Kobarid, a forested walk to a beautiful chute.
Bled For lake swimming, rowboats, bike rides and the kremšnita cream cake.
Bohinj More lake swimming, boat rides, horse riding, and a cable-car ride up Vogel.
Bovec Family river rafting is perfect, the older/braver can try canyoning and kayaking.
Kranjska Gora Winter skiing is facility-laden; summertime sees hiking and cycling.
Portorož The most active city on the coast, with lots of seaside activities.
Logarska Dolina The Fairytale Forest perfectly pairs walking trails with storytelling.
When to Go
The best time for families to visit Slovenia is between May and September, when you're likely to get good weather and attractions are in full swing. On the downside, facilities crowd up once local schools close for summer holidays from late June to early September and hotels and campgrounds charge peak prices.
All car-rental firms in Slovenia have children’s safety seats for hire; make sure you book one in advance. Hotels will also usually be able to handle special family requests, like cots, cribs and extra beds, but it's always better to arrange these things in advance.