January is the right choice of month to visit wonderful Slovenia. However, be aware: by coming there at the beginning of the year, you will find a fantastic winter wonderland where almost everything revolves around snow. If you are fond of high temperatures, sun, and beach holidays, you should probably postpone your trip to June, July, or August.
If you come to Slovenia in January, you will have the chance to enjoy regular snowfalls and fantastic skiing conditions. This is the perfect time of the year to do winter sports and snow-related events and activities. The crowds will not be disturbing, and you will benefit from exciting costs.
Book your flights and beautiful accommodations for the month of January to appreciate around nine days of snow during the month. It will allow you to discover the Julian Alps, Lake Bled and Bohinj, Triglav National Park, and the fantastic Slovenian ski resorts in the best conditions possible, after the departure of Christmas tourists around the 3rd of January.
1. Start the Month with Ljubljana’s Fireworks
Tourists who want to enjoy the charming atmosphere of Slovenian Winter Wonderland in January should consider booking a reservation starting right before New Year’s Eve. The Municipality of Ljubljana organizes a huge ceremony every year to put an end to the December month of events.
The city is still enhanced by the beautiful lights and decorations. But most of all, Ljubljana is sublimed by the enormous Fireworks launched from one of the highest points in town, Ljubljana’s medieval castle. The whole night of the 31st of December is filled with wonderful events, from street concerts to opera performances.
Expect many tasty food and drinks stands to warm your evening and night through the transition to the new year. Whether you choose to spend the night in a Slovenian thermal bath, at the Opera’s gala fancy dinner, or in the middle of the streets, you will not regret spending New Year’s Eve in Slovenia.
Nature lovers will also be pleased in this varied country: you can spend the most fantastic day of the year right inside the wonderland mountains of Bohinj. I especially recommend you heading to Vogel, Krvavec, or Rogla for the New Year parties. These options will end your year beautifully after a day of skiing in Soriška Planina, Golte, or again Kope.
If you can, choose to spend both Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Slovenia in order to live the full Slovenian authentic experience.
2. Discover the Slovenian Ski Resorts
Ski resorts are definitely the most frequented attractions in Slovenia during January. The Winter tourists and Slovenians from all around the country go for an unforgettable ski break in the mountains. The tourists that are looking for fantastic ski slopes will be pleased in Slovenia with the breathtaking landscapes and the affordable prices compared to its more touristic European neighbors.
If you are looking for Slovenia’s most extensive ski jump, you have to make it to the sports center of Planica. The cute place organizes a worldwide ski jumping competition every year, attended by thousands of curious people and adrenaline junkies.
Ski and the other winter sports are extremely popular in Slovenia. Every inhabitant loves to put on skis, snowboards, and ice skates as soon as it begins to snow in the mountains, around the end of December the beginning of January. Even in the capital, people can enjoy a ski jump in the heart of Tivoli Park, in a lovely place called Mostec.
If you want to leave the boiling of the -relatively- big cities, you will find ski resorts almost everywhere in the country, as four-fifths of the country are not flat. You cannot go wrong with the most visited ski resorts: they are all worth the sight. According to Radio Slovenia, Cerkno’s ski resort is the best in Slovenia and was awarded this title seven years in a row.
For those who want to be able to combine winter sports and visits to the country, you have plenty of options. First, the Triglav National Park houses both the highest mountain in Slovenia -named Mount Triglav- and one of Slovenia’s loveliest ski resorts, in Vogel. It will guarantee you amazing views on Bohinj Lake, at an altitude of 1,800 meters above the sea level.
You can also choose the Bled Straza resort, located three times lower than Vogel. Its main highlight is the possibility to visit the fantastic snowy Bled Lake between two ski rides. One of the most famous Slovenian resorts is the one located in Pohorje, near Maribor, great for its wooden atmosphere. The Resort of Kranjska Gora is also excellent, but you can do way more than just skiing out there.
3. Assist in the FIS Ski World Cup for Women
Every year in January, Maribor’s lovely ski resort host the famous FIS Ski World Cup dedicated to Women’s competition. The Annual Golden Fox Competition is a really lovely event that attracts numerous tourists and skiers in Europe. Actually, the Pohorje ski resort is the most visited one in Slovenia, and it has Europe’s longest downhill night run.
In 2021, these events will occur in the middle of the month, during the weekend of the 16th and 17th of January. After attending the competition and enjoying the crowd coming from all around Slovenia and beyond, you can quickly go visit the lovely city of Maribor, the second biggest town in Slovenia.
For more information, you can check the events’ website right here: https://www.visitmaribor.si/si/kaj-poceti/dogodki-in-prireditve/vsi-dogodki-in-prireditve/5947-56-zlata-lisica
4. Discover King Matjaž’s Snow Castles
Be prepared to book vacations for the last weekend of January 2021: Črna na Koroškem houses the 28th edition of these three-day celebrations that include a night slalom with torches and a contest of sculptures and snow castles building. Since 1993, about 1,300 creations were realized during the events in honor of King Matjaž.
The celebrations are very lively and pleasant, and they create an excellent opportunity to discover some Slovenian legends. You will also assist in a complete cultural and entertainment program that includes, among many others, musical performances, fire shows, and lightings of candles and torches.
In order to live this magical experience, adults of more than 15 years will have to pay 5 euros for each day’s entrance. Children from 8 to 15 years will be charged 2.50 euros on Saturday, but the rest of the events are totally free for kids. You cannot miss this one in a lifetime event!
5. Experience the Ice Trophy on Jasna Lake
The Ice Trophy is a great ice hockey event that brings back together ex-professional and amateur players who want to get the trophy home. Families can join the events for the fantastic cultural and entertainment program, while every recreational player can enter the competition and create themself an unforgettable experience.
The whole program is absolutely free and makes a great way to discover Slovenian’s passion for winter sports and the inhabitants’ friendliness and warmth. The event was canceled in 2020, so people will be extra happy to assist in it this year!
6. Ljubljana’s Gast Expo Fair: a Gastronomic Venue
By the end of January, Ljubljana traditionally hosts a vast fair that offers everything from exhibitions and workshops to tastings and competitions, accompanied with a domestic and international wine fair. The fairs are organized at the Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Center and feature every Slovenian meal you can think of.
Treat yourself with a beer, a cocktail, or a glass of local wine after the degustation of pizza or pasta. Do not miss the delicious Slovenian dessert or ice cream.
For more information, you can contact the organizers by mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (+386 (0)31 646 030): they will be happy to answer any of your questions.
7. Visit a Museum in Ljubljana to Escape the Cold
If your Winter trip to Slovenia includes stopping by the capital city, you should not miss the opportunity to try at least one of Ljubljana’s fantastic museums. Whether you are an art enthusiast or a history lover, traveling alone, with your family, or with your friends, you will find the perfect one for you.
Enjoying the pleasant railway museum with amazed kids who discover the ancient Slovenian locomotives and uniforms has no parallel, except maybe escaping the rain, snowfall, or cold at the ethnographical museum’s cafe, Kavarna SEM.
There are plenty of museums in town, from the modern art museum to the national one, but also more playful options. For instance, the House of Illusions, located right in the middle of the city center, in Kongresni Trg, will please the most rebellious kids and less youngs.
Outside of Ljubljana, you can also find many exciting galleries and museums on various topics, from apiculture (Radovljica) to lace or mine museums (Idrija), as well as historical venues like Kobarid’s museum dedicated to the Slovenian battles during World War II. You cannot go wrong with this enormous offer!
8. Warm Yourself Up with a Hot Beverage in a Lovely Café
The freezing atmosphere and the rain and snowfalls should never prevent you from living the Slovenian way of life and the national coffee tradition. The terraces are too cold, except if you are Superman, but the insides of the Slovenian cafés are offering the perfect relaxing and well-decorated spots.
If you wander in Ljubljana’s streets, do not pass on going for breakfast, a brunch, a snack, or even a simple coffee in the numerous venues in town. Try the warm local specialties, and let yourself be tempted by fantastic ice cream (they are cold but definitely worth it! Check our article about Ljubljana’s best ice cream venues here).
You can go for a Slovenian or Chinese tea with a pastry in Čajna hiša Cha, or for a warm French hot chocolate at Le Petit Café. You will hardly be disappointed in the capital since the prices are very fair and the quality is always here. The cold will not prevent you from spending the best holidays of your life!
9. Sleep in an Igloo and Enjoy a Cocktail in Kranjska Gora’s Ice Village
Everyone who wants to live the full Slovenian Winter adventure can decide to book a night inside this ski resort’s ice village. The temperature inside the accommodation is always 0,4°C. The bed is made of a real ice cube, but do not worry, it is well insulated. Couples of travelers will leave an amazingly romantic experience in their dedicated romantic igloos, while other visitors can share an igloo for eight persons.
You will be pleased by the traditional meal served to customers: a delicious Slovenian sausage accompanied by horseradish and bread. You will also have the possibility to order a delightful (and very fresh) beer, punch, vodka, tea, or other soft drinks, but I especially advise you to try their unique self-brewed igloo mulled wine.
Kranjska Gora’s Igloo Village,
Borovška cesta 103A, 4280 Kranjska Gora
Phone: +386 40 455 345 (Matej)
Website: https://eskimska-vas.si/en/faq/ https://www.facebook.com/eskimskavas
10. Visit one of Slovenia’s 10,000 Caves
There are no required weather conditions to visit the Slovenian crowds, so you should definitely use your January trip to see the caves. It will allow you to avoid the crowds and enjoy one of the most renowned attractions in the country. This is also a unique opportunity to discover the Kras region, which houses the most impressive caves in the country.
The most touristic ones are the Postojna Cave, with its underground railway, the Škocjan Caves and its river, and also less famous but beautiful ones such as the Vilenica Cave, the Križna Jama Cave, and the Kostanjevica Cave.
Postojna and Skocjan are the most visited and biggest ones, but you will be able to beat the crowds here in January. This way, you should undoubtedly go for a trip to the Postojna cave and benefit from it to also visit the neighboring and impressive Predjama Castle.
You could be one of the 39 million visitors that visit these fantastic natural curiosities every year. The Postojna Caves were discovered about 200 years ago and encompass more than 24 kilometers of galleries. In the underground, you will be pleased with the Caves’ breathtaking landscapes highlighted by the presence of adorable baby dragons.
11. Taste Slovenia and its Local Delicacies
Slovenian people love to eat, and according to their local saying, love goes through the stomach. You will have trouble not to fall in love with Slovenia and its excellent Winter comfort food. The Slovenian culinary tradition enhances the plentiful and warm sauce dishes and stews.
Visiting Slovenia by the beginning of December is the best time to enjoy the mushroom soups, Carniolan sausages, and other Strukjlis or Goulashes. If you like buckwheat, sauces, and homegrown fresh vegetables and fruits, you will be pleased with the Slovenian recipes. Do not forget to try their streetfood Yugoslav delicacies, such as the famous burek. You can enjoy it with cheese, spinach, or again meat.
However, Slovenian food’s cream of the crop is its massive collection of pastries and desserts, especially around Christmas times like in January. You cannot go to Slovenia without trying their Potica, the national dessert during holidays, the Prekmurska Gibanica, the Bled Cream Cake, and even their simple delicacies like apple strudel or apple pie.
Those excellent options can be eaten from lovely cafés and restaurants all around the country, and they will surely warm your heart during these freezing days.
12. Discover Nordic Ski in Lake Bled or Lake Bohinj
There is nothing better than discovering the snowy outdoors and get to wander away from the noise and breathe fresh outdoor air. The environment of the most famous lakes in Slovenia is ideal for enjoying a scenery straight out of a postcard landscape.
In Bohinj, you can do nearly any kind of existing ski at the Vogel Ski Resort. Cross country and sledding are particularly appreciated. I could brag about it for hours, but there is nothing that can compare to seeing it from your own eyes.
In Bled Lake, you will get amazing views on the valley and the Lake’s island. When the place gets emptied of its many usual tourists, the atmosphere is really magical and definitely picturesque. Bled Winter Shuttle will take you to the Pokljuka plateau, offering you the most unique Slovenian Winter experience.
Fall in Love With Snowy Slovenia
Visiting Slovenia in January is a unique chance and an absolute blast. It will give you the opportunity to discover the importance of winter sports and activities in Slovenia, to connect with nature, and to admire the beautiful views on the Alpine mountains. The slow and peaceful Slovenian way of life is even more pleasant in January when time almost stops during the snowfalls.
However, if you do not want to miss a significant part of the country’s wonders, keep in mind that it would be amazing to come back another time when the sun shines and the Slovenians are outside. To see what time would suit you the most to visit the country, you can check our article about Slovenia’s weather throughout the year.