Visiting Postojna Cave & Predjama Castle from Ljubljana

Wow, wow, wow. This was one of my favourite European day trips ever! Whilst on a visit to Ljubljana in Slovenia, I was looking for things to do in the area and came across Postojna Caves and Predjama Castle about 5km apart. They looked beautiful, but I assumed they’d be heaving with people and the photos would have just been taken at forgiving angles. But oh my goodness, they were STUNNING.

Part of Postojna cave
Predjama Castle

History of the cave & castle

Postojna Cave is a 24,000 metre long cave carved out by the Pivka River over millions of years. It’s made of limestone, and each 1cm of growth takes around 100 years! The caves were officially discovered in the 1800s (although graffiti in the caves dates back to as early as the 1200s), and have been open as a tourist attraction since 1819!

In fact, the caves were even given electricity before Ljubljana itself was, way back in 1884, and it even had a train line installed in 1872 – well ahead of its time. Today, the train is electric and only 5km of the cave is open to the public. But 5km is more than enough to explore one of the most amazing sites in the country.

Riding the train

Predjama castle is built in to the cave network, about 5km away from Postojna cave. It was first built in the 1200s, and is legendary for its 15th century resident, Erasmus Lueg. Erasmus came into conflict with the Habsburgs when he killed the commander of the imperial army and he fled from the vengeance of the Holy Roman Emperor of the time, Frederick III, by going to Predjama. He was able to withstand a siege for over a year, by escaping through the cave pathways behind the castle to get food. Erasmus was eventually betrayed by one of his men and shot from a cannon whilst on the loo!

Incredible castle

Getting to the cave & castle (incl. prices)

I recommend visiting the caves first in the early morning. This is because they are the biggest tourist attraction in the area and you have to visit on a tour which runs every 2 hours in low season (November to March), every hour in shoulder season (April, May, June, September, October) and every half hour in the peak season (July & August). We visited in the low season so got there for the first tour of the day and there were still about 100 or so people on the same tour as us. I dread to think what it’s like in summer and I highly recommend buying tickets in advance.

The easiest way to get to the caves from Ljubljana is to drive, which takes about 30 minutes. There is ample parking space. Entrance to the cave costs EUR28.50, or EUR40.90 including the castle as well.

Just look at them!

Alternatively, you could book a day trip picking you up from your Ljubljana hotel, and I highly recommend Slovenia To Do. A day trip (combining the caves and castle) will cost you somewhere between EUR70-100, depending on provider.

After the caves, head to the castle – which was almost empty on our visit save for about 5 other people. Again the easiest way is to drive or to have combined it on a pre-arranged day trip. A shuttle also runs between the two sites between July and early September, or the ticket office at the caves can book you a taxi which will cost around EUR10.

The cave visit

Arriving at the entrance to the cave, you are split in to different languages as each time slot runs in Slovenian, German, Italian and English. Each group is then taken to board a train which runs through the caves for 3.5km.

The train ride was so much fun, and we were so lucky as we managed to be right at the front of the train! Please do wear warm clothes though as it’s quite cold down there and the train goes quite quickly so the resulting wind makes it even chillier! The train then pulls in to the main chamber with the most incredible views.

After disembarking the train, you then also walk through the cave for 1.5km with a guide. This takes around 1hr and is just incredible. To avoid lots of people in my photos I made sure to be right up front to get the views out in to the caves uninterrupted and was very glad I did.

I can’t even begin to tell you how insanely beautiful and unique the cave was. The photos scarcely do it justice and the size and scale of the cave was amazing. I just kept saying wow around every corner and at all the formations. There were stalactites, stalagmites, curtains, pure limestone formations, red formations where the limestone has mixed with iron, and white formations where its mixed with calcium. There were strange shapes and beautiful colours, there were funny textures (which you’re not allowed to touch) and a constant drip, drip of water.

Some of the white calcium formations

After the walk, we boarded the train again and whizzed back through the darkness to the entrance. Even as I type this I keep saying wow to myself. I was totally taken aback by nature’s ability to create this wonderful place and I am so glad I visited. After that it was time to head on to Predjama Castle, but this truly was a highlight of my visit to Slovenia.

OK final shot of the ceiling

The castle visit

You can explore the castle at your own leisure, using an audio guide which has around 45 minutes worth of content. It’s a really unique castle, with half of it being building and half of it being cave!

Where does castle start and cave end?!

You are also able to head in to the mouth of the cave behind the building and see how big and deep it was. Though be careful, the steps are super slippy and steep so it’s very easy to slip and fall. Sensible shoes are essential!

Exiting the castle in to the cave!

Today the castle itself is preserved in the medieval style dating back to the structure of 1567, which was the last to be built after the previous versions were destroyed by earthquakes. The castle was in private hands and passed to the Windischgratz family in 1846, who remained its owners until the end of WW2, when it was confiscated and nationalized by the Yugoslav Communist authorities and turned in to a museum. And, after enjoying some final views out across the valley before leaving it was time to head back to Ljubljana – what a day!

View back across the valley from the castle turret

So, what did you think of Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle? Would you want to visit? I hope you enjoyed the tour as this was one of my favourite travel days ever so I hope I did it justice! Stay safe and happy travelling.


  1. Wow, Hannah. No wonder those two sites were your favorites of the trip. The cave reminds me of our own Carlsbad Caverns, but there is nothing in the US that compares to the castle built into the hillside and cave. Thanks for sharing your experience and your beautiful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Predjama Castle is stunning! Truly a unique castle practically embedded into the caveโ€ฆIโ€™d vaguely heard of the castle, but never truly heard about it until your post. I can see why it was the highlight of your trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love both of these and their proximity to Ljubljana makes them a must-see. Good to know June is still considered shoulder season. We try to avoid Europe in July/August (though this summerโ€™s trip straddles both โ€“ couldnโ€™t be helped) and can often make it there around mid-June. Itโ€™s still busy, but not quite as busy as the other two summer months. Iโ€™ll make a mental note for Slovenia: โ€œGo in June.โ€

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  4. What fabulous caves – you have captured the very essence of limestone caves (I have spent many hours in limestone caves). The colours are lovely. Was there any wildlife in the caves – the last caves I visited were in Chillagoe, Queensland – there were a lot of bats, prehistoric looking beetles and, I was told, snakes.

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  5. I love your photos, Hannah, and this is such a fantastic cave and a great opportunity to enjoy the natural wonders of the hidden subterranean world, a fantastic web of tunnels, passages, galleries and halls! This is definitely a must-visit attraction unless, of course, you have no interest in caves and their formations. Thanks for sharing and have a good day ๐Ÿ™‚ Aiva xx

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  6. All those cave formations look so stunning. Glad to hear you managed to snag the best seats on the train by being right in the front. I typically try to be in the front or very back of cave tours too to get better pictures. I must say, this is a very interesting spot to build a castle.

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  7. Stunning castle & cave captures, Hannah! Having this castle built to connect to the caves is awesome, as are the spectacular mineralogical stalactites & stalagmites inside. Sorry to hear about Erasmus passing on the loo – what a way to go! And, so cool there is a train for tourists to enjoy. Another amazing adventure, my dear friend ~ thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, a cave AND castle – how lucky can you be! And both are beautiful. The cave is almost magically beautiful – those formations are incredible. But oh my: Getting shot on the loo … that’s low (excuse the pun ๐Ÿ˜‰). Lovely photos!

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  9. Omg this is completely otherworldly- what an awe-inspiring place! I am absolutely adding this to my bucket list. Thank you for introducing us to such a magical natural phenomenon. ๐Ÿ’•

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