Exploring Postojna Cave & Predjama Castle in Slovenia

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A Day Trip to Postojna Cave & Predjama Castle (video below)

Slovenia is a fairytale country filled with natural wonders and historical attractions, and two of the most unforgettable experiences are the Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle. These are arguably two of the best day trips to take from Ljubljana and are reachable in under an hour.

The Postojna Cave (Postojnska Jama in Slovene) is one of Europe’s most captivating cave systems with over 24km of tunnels. It is filled with magnificent cave formations as well as bizarre cave-dwelling fauna that look like they’re straight out of a fantasy-movie. This underground paradise, shaped by tiny droplets over millions of years, is easily explored via an underground train and walking tour. 

Up above aground, just a few kilometres from Postojna Cave, is Predjama Castle (Predjamski Grad), the largest cave castle in the world. An impregnable feat of medieval engineering, this Renaissance castle was built within a cave on the side of a 123 metre-high cliff over 800 years ago. Behind this cave castle is a network of secret tunnels, from where the Knight Erazem of Predjama would set out on his plundering expeditions. Under the castle, the cave is home to a colony of bats. If Batman had a hideout in medieval times, this would be it! 

This blog will serve as a guide to help you explore these two unforgettable attractions.

Postojna Cave System
Postojna Cave Bridge
How To Get  To Postojna Cave

I suggest first taking transport to the Postojna Cave Park (or town of Postojna which is walking distance away). You can reach the Postojna Cave Park via car, bus or train.

By Car If driving by car, take the A1 motorway from Ljubljana, Trieste, or Koper and take Postojna motorway exit No. 41. This drive takes less than an hour from Ljubljana. 

By Bus You have two options arriving by bus. First, take the public bus which frequently transports passengers from Ljubljana to the town of Postojna, and then walk 20 minutes to the Cave Park. Or second, take one of the dedicated buses that drops you off directly at the attraction. The second option only runs a few times a day so be sure to check the timetable. The bus ride takes about 1 hour from Ljubljana. 

By Train Arriving by train, you can get directly to the town of Postojna from where you take a 25-minute walk to the Postojna Cave Park. Postojna is a stop on the Vienna-Venice railway line and connects with Zagreb, Salzburg, Rijeka and Koper. Check the timetable here. The bus brings you all the way to the bus stop in the car park in front of Postojna Cave: check the timetable for buses to Postojna Cave. More intercity bus connections are available via the Postojna bus station in the town centre, including hourly buses from Ljubljana to Postojna. The closest airports are in Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, Milan, Trieste and Venice in Italy, and Zagreb, Rijeka and Pula in Croatia.

Purchasing Tickets

 

 

 

 

 

 

I purchased my tickets online from the official tourism website. I saved a few euro and most importantly, time, by booking online and avoiding queues (n. 7 on the tragic travel mistakes to avoid list). Note that tickets are also slightly more expensive during the high season (June to September).

I chose the inclusive package that allowed me to see the Postojna Cave, the Vivarium (underground zoo), the exhibitions, as well as Predjama Castle. This enabled me to use the free shuttle bus between the two attractions.

Getting to Predjama Castle From Postojna Cave

The Predjama Castle is about nine kilometres from the entrance to Postojna Cave. Visitors with tickets to Postojna Cave and the Predjama Castle can use the free shuttle service between the Postojna Cave Park entrance and the Predjama Castle, which is available part of the year. Taxi rides can be arranged at the ticket office. 

Note that these two attractions are merely 15 minutes apart and if you get tickets to both, you’ll get a free shuttle bus service to travel between Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle.

Postojna Cave
Postojna Cave Entrance

 Things To Do At Postojna Cave

  • Go on a walking tour and take the cave train;
  • Ogle at Olms in the Vivarium;
  • Peruse the permanent Karst exposition; and
  • Check out if there are any other temporary exhibitions.

Where To Sleep Near Postojna Cave

Convenient Option If you’d rather stay in the area, there is the famous Postojna Cave Hotel Jama located inside the Cave Park. It has gorgeous rooms at reasonable prices and offers modern amenities along with an on-site restaurant and bar.

Budget Option You can also stay at Hostel Proteus Postojna located in the town of Postojna. The hostel has all the usual amenities including free WiFi and private parking, and is 900 metres away from the Cave Park.

Unique Option If you yearn for a more rural getaway to make your trip complete, consider Tourist Farm Hudičevec. For a bargain price, this stay has mountain views, a sauna, and an on-site restaurant with fresh produce offering a nice introduction to local cuisine.

Experiencing the Unique Postojna Cave

We entered the Postojna Cave during the midday tour to escape the summer heat. Whilst the outdoor temperature was 28°C, the temperature inside the cave was a consistent 10°C throughout the year. It is essential you bring some warmer clothing, as it can feel pretty cold quickly.

The tour takes about 90 minutes and starts with a cave train ride before exploring on foot with a guide. The cave tour is wheelchair accessible and suitable for small children.  

Inside, we witnessed some magnificent rock formations, enveloping the entire inside of the cave, making it look like some massive lair from some underground kingdom.

Some memorable spots were the five metre tall, bright-white stalagmite, some marvellous Murano-glass chandeliers hanging from the ceiling of the cave’s Dance Hall, and visiting the massive Concert Hall as well (yes, dances and concerts have been held here underground!). But by far the experience inside the cave was walking over an epic bridge that looked like it was straight from the “You shall not pass” scene in Lord of The Rings. This bridge is actually called the Russian bridge and was built in 1916 by Russian prisoners of war.

The caves are also home to the endemic olm. This cave-dwelling salamander is mostly blind and hunts with various supersenses that it has evolved with in order to adapt to its completely dark environment. This baby-dragon looking creature can live without food for up to 10 years and has a lifespan of up to 100 years. 

Due to its bizarre appearance, the Olm has captured the imagination of people for centuries. In fact, back in the 17th century, people thought the Olm was the  offspring of a wicked dragon living inside Postojna Cave.

Lastly, we visited the EXPO Postojna Cave Karst, the largest permanent exhibition about the cave and karst geology around the world.

Predjama Castle View
Predjama Castle History

Things To Do At Predjama Castle

  • Read up about the legend of Lord Erasmus before you go;
  • Explore the castle using an audio guide;
  • Hang out a café overlooking the castle and village; and
  • Stay overnight at Guesthouse Požar located just 130 metres from the castle.

Experiencing the Impregnable Predjama Castle 

We entered the Postojna Cave during the midday tour to escape the summer heat. Whilst the outdoor temperature was 28°C, the temperature inside the cave was a consistent 10°C throughout the year. It is essential you bring some warmer clothing, as it can feel pretty cold quickly.

We took the free shuttle bus to Predjama Castle. Upon reaching the attraction, we couldn’t help but stop and stand in awe at this amazing medieval structure.- the largest cave castle in the world.

There is a legend here of a rebellious knight, Erasmus of Lueg. He was the lord of the castle in the 15th century and a renowned robber baron who withstood the imperial army’s siege of the castle for over a year. Inside the castle, Erasmus had a secret vertical shaft which led to an outside the cliff. This shaft allowed Erasmus to secretly supply the castle with food in the time of the siege, whilst also continuing with his robberies. It sounded like straight of a fairy tale!

This castle has also been in a few different movies, most notably the 1986 movie Armour of God, starring Jackie Chan, where he got seriously injured in one of his own stunts. It’s also been the location for Ghost Hunters International. I can only imagine how creepy this castle can get during a cold wintery night.

Inside, we used an audio guide that explained each room and the history of the castle and its owners. There were some pretty interesting rooms depicting medieval life (including daily life, warfare and torture) inside, as well as some pretty sights from the windows looking out towards the village below.

Interestingly, there was a treasure in Predjama Castle which was hidden for several centuries until it was dug up accidentally during a renovation in 1991. It makes me think of what other treasure is out there still in the world we don’t know about!

To end the trip, we hanged out at a small cafe outside the castle which provided a stunning view. Afterwards, I took the shuttle bus back to Postojna Cave and walked into town where I took a public bus back to Ljubljana.

Predjama Castle Weapons
Predjama

A Well-Worthwhile Visit

Visiting Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle was an unforgettable experience. Seeing the Olm in the Vivarium was a highlight for me, as well exploring the castle which looked like something from my childhood dreams. 

If you’re going to Slovenia, it will be well worth your time to visit both of these attractions which are only a short distance from the capital, Ljubljana.

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Wow, what a breathtaking experience! I would love to explore this attraction. The underground zoo would be an added bonus.

    1. Definitely recommend checking out the Vivarium if you make it over. The Olm is truly a remarkable creature.

  2. Seeing a castle is a major bucket list moment of mine. This castle looks amazing and now I’d love to visit and see these attractions!

    1. All castles are cool, but this one was just next level!

  3. Wow! I have no words, the photos and all the helpful tips are astounding! I would love to visit and if given the opportunity I will remember this, thank you so much for sharing your amazing experience!

    1. A pleasure, Telisha!

  4. Wow. These two places are awesome! Honestly, I have not explored a cave in my life and I would want to try this experience soon! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. The Predjama castle is definitely a sight to see.

    1. The great thing is that they are so easily accessible from Ljubljana, and a short drive from each other.

  5. Another place in Europe which I wanted to discover. These photos are really awesome, inviting me to travel to Slovenia as soon as possible before summer ends. 🙂

    1. Let me know if you need any local tips 🙂

  6. Postojna Cave & Predjama Castle are both places I really want to visit. I hope I can check it out on my travel. It looks so interesting!

  7. What a gorgeous place! I would love to take my family there one day. I bet they would love to see a real castle.

    1. They would go bananas!

  8. This sure is a fun experience for you! Look how stunning that cave is!

    1. It was amazing. There’s also another on called Skocjan Cave that i’m dying to visit!

  9. This looks like it was an amazing trip! Love all of the pictures you shared.

  10. This looks like a destination I want to add to my bucket list. Great photographs. Thanks for the information.

    1. My pleasure!

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