Metlika lies in a valley at the foot of the Gorjanci Mountains. While the town itself doesn't have much to do or see of note, it acts as a springboard for hiking and cycling in the area. Metlika is surrounded by Croatia on three sides; the Kolpa River and its ‘beaches’ lies about 1km to the south.

There was a major Hallstatt settlement here during the early Iron Age, and the Romans established an outpost in Metlika on the road leading to the important river port of Sisak in Croatia. During the Turkish onslaught of the 15th and 16th centuries, Metlika was attacked 17 times and occupied in 1578.