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A Question for those who have been to Slovenia.

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Good Morning,

We will be spending 3 nights in Slovenia (place(s) yet to be determined). We plan on visiting: Ljubljana, Bled, Skofja and as much in that area as we can fit in during our time there. We then drive South into Istria.

We are trying to arrange our days around Sunday and Monday so we don't miss anything significant as we've been reading (in a general sense) that a lot of towns, etc. are closed (hit and miss) on Sundays and Mondays. I was able to find the hours of Bled Castle and it seems to be open daily during the more touristy months, which is when we will be visiting (July).

For those of you who have traveled to the above parts of Slovenia, did you find that most places were closed on these days? On our last trip over in 2009, we made the mistake of staying in Munich over a Sunday and all was basically closed, at least the places we were interested in, so I'm trying to plan in advance so we don't run into this again.

Thank you again for your help!

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    I was in Ljubljana last fall on a Monday, and most of the museums were closed. I'm usually not much of a museum person, but it was a very rainy day! (I wound up walking around Tivoli Park with an umbrella and stumbling upon a huge outdoor photography exhibit there of beautiful photographs of Serbia.)

    I guess it's more important to ask what you will want to do specifically on those days in which towns? In your research, which museums and attractions might you want to see? You've already figured out that the Bled castle will probably be open every day in the summer. Are there other museums you want to see? If so, track them down and see when they are open. (There are castles in Ljubljana and Skofja Loka too; I didn't go inside the Skofja Loka castle but the view from outside is great!)

    Ljubljana is a big student town, so restaurants and things are generally open late any day of the week - though the students are mostly gone in July I imagine. Not sure if that means the town is more quiet, too, but I imagine it would get a good amount of European tourists in July, too. I arrived on a Sunday night in Ljubljana and still found restaurants open pretty late, etc.

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    Andrew, thank you for your response! The castles are definitely on our list of places to see - I will need to do further research and see if they are open. We are not huge museum people - but we like to visit the occasional museum that shows the history of the town or an important historical figure. I love photography so architecture and views are key. I'm going with my sister and dad and although my dad isn't a shopper, my sister and I are - so I guess I'm leaning more towards wondering if the shops and restaurants are open. The museums and castles I can look up online. Thank you again for your response - I read some of your other posts regarding your recent trip to Slovenia.

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    I'll post my trip report soon. I finally posted all of my pictures on my website, and I'm going to incorporate them into my trip report. Assuming good weather, you'll have no shortage of photography subjects in Ljubljana, Skofja Loka, and Bled, trust me! I'm sure I've said this before, but I highly recommend the scenic drive from Skofja Loka to Bled via Drazgose, Jamnik, and Kropa. The route is much easier to follow via the road signs than it appears on an internet map - I never got lost.

    I visited a couple of museums in Ljubljana in 2009 on my first trip there. I visited the City Museum of Ljubljana, which would probably interest you (some good history of the region; some contemporary stuff). But far more interesting to me was a tour of architect Joze Plecnik's house - it's only a half hour tour and a guide is required, but seeing how he lived and the little things he invented was fascinating. Plecnik is the famous architect who designed so many of Ljubljana's beautiful bridges and buildings.

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    I did a search and all the castles look to be open daily, which is great. The museums are hit and miss. City Museum is closed on Monday and Joze Plecnik's house is closed on Sunday and Monday. Exhibition of Slovenian History is open daily. I've emailed the Ljubljana office of tourism to find out about shops and restaurants on Sundays and Mondays. Nothing worse than getting into town and everything is closed, although it would be a great walking around town, picture taking kind of day. :)

    I am going to have to look more into the scenic drive you mention from Skofja Loak to Bled. I've ordered a guide book and it should be here this week. Up to this point I've been basically reading Fodors, In Your Pocket and the actual town tourism sites.

    Any suggests as to maybe where to base or would it be nice to split the 3 days up, maybe 2 night in Ljubljana and 1 night elsewhere? It probably makes sense to get a good idea of where we want to go first. We've booked our r/t tickets so now we are playing around with the days.

    Looking forward to reading your trip report and viewing your photos.

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    I'm almost certain you'll find plenty of restaurants open in Ljubljana on Sunday. Monday is a workday in the nation's capitol - I'm sure it will be pretty normal. Eastern Slovenia might be different (I found Celje and Ptuj pretty dead Sat and Sun in September).

    I fretted beforehand about getting a GPS or at least a good map before embarking on my drives in Slovenia last fall, but I wound up relying only a free tourist road map that turned out to be adequate. I also did some research ahead of time via Google Maps for various routes I had planned to drive. In Slovenia, the signs tell you which direction to the major towns, so if you know which towns are on your path, just follow the signs. The road names and route numbers aren't so well marked (route numbers are shown on the SMALL km markers though). It's a different style of navigating I quickly got used to.

    For example, driving from Skofja Loka to Bled, the route I drove took me through the towns of Drazgose, Jamnik, and Kropa, among other towns (shown on my map). I didn't see signs to Bled, but I saw signs to Drazgose, then Jamnik...then Kropa. It made a lot of logical sense to me as a driver, pretty quickly.

    People have different preferences. Personally, I loved Ljubljana so I'd recommend two nights there and a night in Bled myself. The town of Bled isn't that interesting, but it makes a great base for the area (if you want to go up to Bohinj or something). Ljubljana is a much more interesting place to be at night than the town of Bled is in my opinion. July is probably close to high season in Bled so it may be pretty crowded with tourists. Not sure about Ljubljana, but I'd guess it could absorb a lot of tourists better than Bled could. In other words, the few restaurant options you would have in Bled may be more crowded than they were when I was there in September. I personally try to avoid tourist crowds. To each his or her own.

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    Just a word on business hours. In Slovenia, businesses are normally open on Mondays, the only exceptions are some restaurants (many are closed on a certain day during the week, not necessarily on Monday) and some museums.

    Shops, apart from the shopping centres and some tourist places, are closed on Sundays, most shops are open Saturday mornings and closed Saturday afternoons. But weekend opening times differ from store to store. Most of them are almost certainly open on Mondays, though.

    And lastly, since you'll be there in July, it means a lot of opening hours will be longer, but others shorter (where they depend mostly on students and commuters). I am pretty certain Ljubljana will be full of people, the only thing is they'll be mostly tourists, not locals.

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    It really depends what you wish to see in those three days. Of course the weather will play quite a big role. Personally, I would ski Skofja Loka and focus on Ljubljana and Bled. Especially Bled is a real nature masterpiece. Boat trip (boat is called pletna) to the church on the tiny Bled island is a must. And don't forget to try kremsnita:). Ljubljana city center is really nice if the weather is ok. Maybe, you should take a boat trip on Ljubljanica river. It gives you a fairly unique city perspective. If you like to take picture you will love it.

    Wish you a nice staying in Slovenia.

    For accommodation in Ljubljana if you wish you can visit my family run hostel where we offer private room too if you don't like to be accommodated in dorms. If low cost accommodation is not for you then my advice would be to check the Ljubljana latest 4 star boutique hotel - Antiq Palace Hotel & Spa. I will be surprised how unique this hotel is.

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