Ljubljana's Dragon Bridge

The Dragon Bridge, Ljubljana.  Ljubljana is a wonderful city to visit, easy to reach from the UK by train without flying...

UK to Slovenia by train from 98...

It's easy, comfortable, affordable and safe to travel from the UK to Ljubljana by train, leaving in the morning and arriving the following afternoon with an overnight stop in Munich.  This page will explain the routes, train times, fares and how to buy tickets.

Train times, fares & information...

  London to Lake Bled & Ljubljana

  London to Koper

  Useful country information - currency, time zone, dialling code

  Hotels in Ljubljana & Slovenia

On other pages...

  Trains from Slovenia to other European cities

  Trains to Slovenia from other European cities

  Venice & Trieste to/from Ljubljana by train

  Venice & Trieste to/from Lake Bled by train via Nova Gorica

  General information about European train travel

  Taking your bike    Taking a dog    Luggage

  Buying tickets from UK towns & cities to connect with Eurostar

  Holidays to Slovenia & Croatia by train not plane

Route map:  UK to Lake Bled & Ljubljana by train

Route map:  London to Ljubljana & Lake Bled by train

Sponsored links...

 


Useful country information

Train operators:

SZ (Slovenske Zeleznice) www.slo-zeleznice.siEurostar times & fares   All-Europe train times

   

Railpasses:

Beginner's guide to European railpasses    Buy a rail pass online

Time zone:

GMT+1 (GMT+2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code:

+386

Currency:

1 = approx 1.15 euros  Check current exchange rates

Tourist information:

www.tourist-board.si also see www.sloveniaforyou.com   Recommended guidebooks

Accommodation:

Find a hotel in Ljubljana or Slovenia

Visas:

UK citizens do not need a visa to visit Slovenia.

Page last updated:

13 December 2014.  Train times valid 14 Dec 2014 to 13 June 2015.


London to Lake Bled & Ljubljana

Travel from London to Munich by train on day 1, stay overnight in a comfortable hotel, then take a lovely scenic ride from Munich across the mountains of Austria and into rural Slovenia next day.  It can cost as little as 98, plus the cost of your chosen hotel...

London ► Ljubljana

Ljubljana  ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Custom-made travel & hotel arrangements...

What's the journey like?

From London to Paris by Eurostar: See the Eurostar page for photos & information about Eurostar.

From Paris to Munich by TGV Duplex...         Click for video guide

Sit back with a glass of red and enjoy the ride - book an upper deck seat for the best views.  The train is equipped with power sockets for laptops & mobiles at all seats in both classes, and a cafe-bar serves drinks, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.  First class passengers on this route are given a simple but tasty meal box with a small bottle of beer or wine served at their seat, included in the fare.  The train soon leaves the Paris suburbs behind and speeds across a vast wide open plateau of woods & farmland at up to 200mph, past picturesque French villages of the Champagne region.  An hour or two later, the train leaves the high-speed line and slowly meanders through pretty wooded hills, the countryside eventually flattening out towards Strasbourg.  On leaving Strasbourg, look out for Strasbourg cathedral on the left with its famously missing second tower.  Minutes afterwards you rumble across the river Rhine into Germany, before heading on to Stuttgart & Munich.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

TGV Duplex at Paris Est. These impressive 200 mph double-deck trains link Paris with Nice, Marseille, Munich, Barcelona & Switzerland...

 

2nd class table for 4 on TGV Duplex upper deck...

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes....

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class seats on the upper deck, with a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.

 

A TGV Duplex.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

On board the EuroCity train from Munich to Ljubljana...

This is actually two trains, a smart modern Austrian EuroCity train with restaurant car from Munich to Villach on the Austrian/Slovenian border, then an equally smart air-conditioned Slovenian, Croatian and Serbian EuroCity train from Villach to Ljubljana and Zagreb.  The scenery along this route is superb, taking you from the Bavaria through the Austrian Alps, into Slovenia and along the Sava river to Croatia.  Sit back with a glass of red, catch up on your reading and enjoy the views...

The Austrian train from Munich to Villach   Austrian restaurant car between Munich and Villach

The EuroCity train from Munich to Villach, about to leave Munich.  It connects at Villach for Ljubljana & Zagreb...

 

An early lunch in the Austrian restaurant car as the Alpine scenery flies by...

Scenery in the Austrian Alps between Munich & Ljubljana   Lesce-Bled railway station

Through the Austrian Alps...  Clinging to the mountainside high in the Austrian Alps, the train snakes along between snow-capped mountains, wonderful...

 

Lesce-Bled station in Slovenia, reached not long after crossing the Slovenian border.  The train follows the pretty river Sava...

The EuroCity train 'Sava' from Munich to Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade   2nd class seats on the Munich-Ljubljana-Belgrade EuroCity train

The EuroCity train Sava from Villach to Ljubljana & Zagreb.  This is a Slovenian air-conditioned coach...

 

Comfortable seats:  Some 2nd class seats are also arranged 2+1 abreast, the same as 1st class!


Option 3:  London to Ljubljana or Lake Bled via Venice...


Visiting Ljubljana...

Ljubljana is a wonderful city to visit, you'll find tourist information at www.visitljubljana.si.  The station is just a few minutes walk from all the central hotels and you can easily walk between all the sights and places of interest.  See the Dragon Bridge, the Franciscan church, the triple bridge, and of course take the funicular railway up to the castle.  The Best Western Premier Hotel Slon and City Hotel are both good choices.  Try the traditional Slovenian dishes served in the Sokol restaurant just to the left of the town hall, one of Ljubljana's best-know eateries.  Map of Ljubljana.

Ljubljana railway station   Ljubljana's Dragon Bridge   Castle watchtower

You arrive at Ljubljana railway station, only a few minutes walk from the city centre and all its hotels.

 

The famous Dragon Bridge, guarded by four dragons...

 

Ljubljana Castle watchtower...

Ljubljana castle   Ljubljana main square & town hall

Take the funicular railway up to the castle and climb the watchtower for spectacular views over the city to the ring of mountains beyond.

 

The old town main square, town hall & cathedral.  The excellent Sokol restaurant is in the background.


London to Koper

London Koper

Koper ► London

Fares & how to buy tickets

Buy tickets and check fares from London to Ljubljana as shown above.  then simply buy a Ljubljana to Koper ticket at the station when you reach Ljubljana.

Regional train from Ljubljana to Koper   Inside these Slovenian regional trains

...The train to Koper, at Ljubljana.  Most trains to Koper are modern, air-conditioned regional trains like this.

 

Inside, these modern regional trains have comfortable seats, air-conditioning and information displays...


Ljubljana - Trieste & Venice

There's a clever way to travel between Venice, Trieste & Ljubljana that's frequent, cheap, historically interesting and very scenic, and with two Slovenian trains a day now extended one stop across the border into Italy, it's easier than ever.  For details, see the Venice to Ljubljana page.


Lake Bled - Trieste & Venice

There's also a cunning, cheap and scenic way to travel from Venice or Trieste to Lake Bled in northern Slovenia, via Gorizia and Nova Gorica, where Italian and Slovenian railway stations are just a few kilometres apart.  For details, see this page...


Recommended guidebooks

Rough Guide Slovenia - click to buy at AmazonLonely Planet Slovenia - click to buy at AmazonLonely Planet Eastern Europe - buy online at AmazonYou should take a good guidebook.  I think that the Lonely Planets and the Rough Guides are easily the best for the independent traveller.  Both guides have plenty of background historical and cultural information, plus lots of practical information.  You won't regret buying one of these guides..!

Click the images to buy at Amazon...

My own book, an essential handbook for train travel to Europe based on this website called "The Man in Seat 61", was published in June 2008, and is available from Amazon.co.uk with shipping worldwide.

 

 


The European Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team have set up a private venture and published the first edition of a reborn European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online with worldwide shipping at either www.stanfords.co.uk or www.europeanrailtimetable.euMore information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

A Traveller's Railway Map of Europe covers the whole of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  On the back are detailed maps of Switzerland, Benelux & Germany, plus city plans showing stations in major cities.  Scenic & high-speed routes highlighted.  Buy it online for 14.50 + postage worldwide (UK addresses 2.80) at www.stanfords.co.uk/Continents/Europe/Maps--Atlases/Europe-A-Travellers-Railway-Map_9789077899090.htm or (in the Netherlands) for 13 + 5.50 postage from www.treinreiswinkel.nl.


Find hotels in Ljubljana & Slovenia...

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


Holidays to Slovenia & Croatia by train

 

020 3327 0761 (UK)

1-800-408-3280 (USA)

1300 971 526 (Aus)

0800 002 034 (NZ)

Railbookers for tailor-made holidays & breaks to Slovenia by train...

Railbookers can tailor-make a flight-free holiday to Ljubljana & Zagreb, or indeed a train-based tour of Eastern Europe, with train travel, transfers & hotels all arranged for you, for however long you like, leaving on any date you like.  If you tell them what you want, they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels and sort it all out for you.  They get a lot of repeat business and a lot of recommendation by word of mouth!

In the UK, call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.com

In the US & Canada call free 1-800-408-3280, www.us.railbookers.com.

In Australia, call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au

In New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 or see website.


Travel insurance & health card...

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel without proper travel insurance from a reliable insurer with at least 1m or preferably 5m medical cover.  It should also cover loss of cash & belongings (up to a limit), and trip cancellation.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year - I have an annual policy myself.  However, don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, Seat61 gets a little commission if you buy through these links, and feedback from using insurance for rail & ferry travel is always welcome.

In the UK, use www.confused.com to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get an EU health card, it's free...

If you're a UK citizen travelling in Europe, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, which entitles you to free or reduced rate health care if you become ill or get injured in many European countries, under a reciprocal arrangement with the NHS.  This replaced the old E111 forms as from January 2006.  The EHIC card is available from www.ehic.org.uk.  It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though.

Carry a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low/no ATM fees

Taking out an extra credit card costs nothing, but if you keep it in a different part of your luggage you won't be left stranded if your wallet gets stolen.  In addition, some credit cards are better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including all of the EU, the USA, Australia & South Africa.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy 20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.

 


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