When thinking of a solo adventure to Europe, most travelers probably imagine romantic ideas of popular destinations such as France, Spain, or Italy.
But Europe is a huge and diverse continent with many hidden gems just waiting to be explored.
One of the best of those hidden gems lies nestled in the heart of central Europe, bordered by Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia, with a short stretch of Adriatic coastline.
Give yourself a pat on the back if you guessed Slovenia.
This magical land of mountains, forests, ancient cities, and unique experiences has all the ingredients to make it perfect for solo travelers.
And the Slovenia Tourist Board just emphasized that Slovenia is safe to visit and ready to give tourists a warm welcome after some recent flooding in some regions.
Here are 4 reasons why you should consider adding Slovenia to your solo travel bucket list:
Charming Towns and Cities
Ljubljana is one of the smallest capital cities in Europe, but don’t let that fool you; this town has a lot to offer.
Brightly colored buildings with red rooves create a perfect contrast against the abundant green space that you’ll find everywhere in this impressive place.
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The understated yet pretty Ljubljana Castle has watched over the city for some 900 years, while the Dragon Bridge that crosses the Ljubljanica River is another must-see attraction.
Away from the capital, Slovenia is home to many charming mountain towns such as Bovec and also Bled, which is home to the iconic and serene lake of the same name.
For those interested in sampling that short stretch of coastline on the Adriatic, the self-proclaimed ‘most beautiful town in Slovenia’ Piran is worth your time.
This medieval marvel is comprised of bustling streets, Mediterranean-style charm, and a world-famous salt production industry due to the natural salt pans it was built around.
Uniquely Beautiful Nature
Slovenia sometimes calls itself the ‘green country’, and once you spend some time there, it will be easy to see why.
The country has no shortage of impressive hills and mountain ranges including the Pohorje Hills and the incredible Soca Valley.
The aforementioned Bled and also Bohinj are two of the famous Alpine areas in Slovenia where fantastic hiking, cycling, and camping can be found.
Slovenia is also home to some of Europe’s most impressive and dramatic caves in the Karst region of the country.
Here you will find Postojna Cave and the Skocjan Caves, which are UNESCO-listed.
It’s A Safe Country To Visit
Slovenia has already been hailed as one of the safest destinations in Europe for American travelers.
The country is ranked as the eighth safest country in the world according to data from the 2023 Global Peace Index, with very low rates of violent crime and a generally stable political situation.
The U.S. Department of State has Slovenia ranked as a level 1, which means that there are no special safety aspects to consider when visiting, just the usual travel precautions.
Slovenian people are known for their friendliness and are generally welcoming to the new influx of tourists visiting their nation. English is also relatively well-spoken.
The Slovenian Tourist Board is an extremely helpful and welcoming organization that can offer advice on how to plan a successful trip and also help visitors out during their stay.
Not As Expensive As You Might Think
Despite the richness of Slovenia’s culture and natural beauty, visiting won’t break the bank if you’re smart.
Perhaps this is one of the many reasons why the country is breaking tourism records this year.
Travel in Slovenia can easily be achieved on a modest budget – hotel rooms or Airbnb stays generally cost no more than $60 a night if you shop around.
Food and drink are also pretty cheap, with the average pint of beer coming in at around $3 and a meal out at a restaurant for two costing about $40 on average.
Public transport in Slovenia is also very cheap and could bring you big savings if you use it over private taxis.
The country also uses the Euro currency, making getting travel money easy.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com