Europe, Travel

Postojna Cave – the biggest tourist trap in Slovenia?

Predjama Castle was one of those places I first discovered via Instagram, and after seeing photos of this castle built within a cave mouth it was immediately added to my bucket list. When planning our visit we discovered that Predjama Castle is only a short drive away from Postojna Cave and you can purchase a combination ticket for both. A quick look at TripAdvisor showed positive reviews for Postojna Cave, and the photos on their website were impressive so we decided it would be worthwhile to visit both attractions. Big mistake!

Entrance to the cave is only possible with a guided tour. Tours run hourly in the summer and are available in a number of languages. The cave is open all year round but tours are less frequent during the winter months.

After arriving at the cave and purchasing our tickets we had a bit of time to wait before our tour started, so we grabbed some lunch at one of the on-site restaurants. There are lots of eateries and even a hotel at the cave so there are plenty of food options available.

When it was time for our tour to start we made our way to the cave entrance. Everyone was split into groups based on the language they had chosen for the tour. It became clear at this point that the tour groups were going to be a lot bigger than I’d originally anticipated – the largest groups were English and Chinese with up to 110 people in each.

Then as we were heading into the cave to start the tour, the most bizarre thing happened. There were staff members standing at the entrance snapping photos of everyone. This wasn’t one of those scenarios where you stop and pose for a photo, they were literally just taking photos of people’s faces as they walked in. At the end of the tour these are available for you to purchase in the gift shop!

After escaping the paparazzi you hop on a little train which zips you 3.5km into the cave. The train ride takes around 10 minutes and was probably the most enjoyable part of the tour for me.

Once you’re off the train the tour guide leads up a winding pathway to the highest point in the cave. There are other tour groups coming up behind you, so you have to walk at a reasonably brisk pace to keep up with the tour guide. Also if you’re not towards the front of the group it’s difficult to hear the commentary as the guide just has a microphone, you don’t get headsets. There’s not really any time to admire the cave or take photos.

Finally when we reached the highest point, the tour guide stopped to give us some more information. This is one of the rare times when you can actually rest and take some photos. The walking route through the caves is 1.5km long and there were only a handful of stops along the way.

The cave itself is beautiful but unfortunately the large crowds and the way we were herded around like cattle just ruined the experience for me. At the conclusion of the 90 minute tour, we made our way to Predjama Castle which I’m happy to say was a much better experience! I’ll be writing more about that in a separate post.

Visitor information

Just in case this post hasn’t scared you off visiting Postojna Cave, here’s some useful information:

  • The Postojna Cave Park is open all year round and located near the town of Postojna, about a 40 minute drive from Ljubljana. There is plenty of parking available and it costs €5 to park all day. We were able to park for free with a motorcycle.
  • Alternatively, you can travel by public transport. You can catch a train to Postojna, from the station it’s about a 25 minute walk to the the Postojna Cave Park. Bus connections are also available.
  • Tickets for tours of the Postojna Cave Park sights can be purchased online or at the ticket office. The combination ticket for Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle cost €35.70, a single ticket to Postojna Cave costs €25.80.
  • The temperature inside the cave is around 10 degrees so definitely pack a jacket and sensible shoes.
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