Slovenia is a small, mountainous country in southern Central Europe, bordering Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Italy. Slovenia used to be a constituent republic of Yugoslavia and declared independence in 1991. It is the most affluent of former communist states. It is quite a safe country with very good infrastructure and the alpine landscapes are spectacular.
There are no big cities in Slovenia and the capital Ljubljana has a population of approx. 280,000 people, which is not much by European standards. The second largest city, Maribor, is significantly smaller than the capital and has a population of approx. 96,000 people. Despite the lack of cities, the country is very industrialized and has a relatively strong economy.
Most popular tourist destinations in Slovenia include the capital city Ljubljana, Lake Bled and the Adriatic coast with the charming town of Piran. There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovenia: Škocjan Caves, Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps and the Heritage of Mercury (a joint site of Spanish Almadén and Slovenian Idrija).
In many places you will notice Italian and Austrian influences. For historical reasons, the strongest Italian influences are in the coastal region: Koper (Italian: Capodistria) and Piran (Italian: Pirano). Slovenia was part of the Austrian Empire for centuries, so Austrian and German influences are also very visible in the culture and architecture.
Despite these strong influences, the core of the Slovenian culture is Slavic and the Slovenian language is a South Slavic language, closely related to Croatian and Serbian. It must not be confused with Slovak, which is also a Slavic language, but belonging to the West Slavic group. Slovak and Slovenian are not mutually intelligible, but speakers of these languages may recognize many shared Slavic words. Many Slovenians, especially the younger generations, can speak either English or German, and sometimes both these languages, so you should not experience major communication problems during your stay in this beautiful alpine country.
Have a look at some of my photos taken in Slovenia:
When is a good time to visit the stunning Lake Bled in Slovenia? I think any time is good to go to Bled, but autumn is a fantastic season especially for landscape photography. And landscape photography is the genre of photography that will keep you occupied when you visit this beautiful Slovenian destination. […]
Slovenia is not a big country. As a matter of fact, it is a relatively small country and by area it’s 150th country in the world. It may be small, but it is very picturesque nevertheless. […]
Lake Bled is one of Slovenia’s major tourist attractions and it offers many great photo opportunities. However, you have to climb very high sometimes, which can be tough if you have to carry heavy equipment on your back, but the views are absolutely amazing and the photos that you can take are a reward for your efforts and sweat. An extraordinarily beautiful place, isn’t it?