Postojna Cave, Slovenia

Postojna Cave, Slovenia: Complete Guide to Exploring

January 1, 2024

What is Postojna Cave in Slovenia?

Postojna Cave is a karst cave system near the town Postojna in southwestern Slovenia. With a length of 24,340 meters, it is the longest cave system in Slovenia and one of the most popular tourist destinations. Postojna Cave stands as the most visited cave in Europe and an exciting attraction in Slovenia, which is open every day of the year.

Is Postojna Cave worth a visit?

Absolutely worth it! If you are visiting Slovenia or in the area, whether in northern Italy, southeastern Austria or western Croatia, you should also plan a day in Postojna and a trip to Postojna Cave.

Interesting facts about Postojna Cave

  • The caves were created by the Pivka river over millions of years. The cave system has three levels. The Pivka River flows through the lower level, so the cave is still expanding today.
  • In the vicinity of the cave system, several other stalactite caves have been formed, among them the Škocjan cave system.
  • A total of 175 species live in the caves of Postojna. Of these, 115 are troglobionts, which means that they occur exclusively in caves. The most important of these is the olm, which can be seen during the cave tour.
  • As water droplets containing various minerals fall to the ground, they gradually precipitate out the minerals, forming stalagmites, also known as standing stalactites. The stalactites you will see in Postojna Cave are up to 500,000 years old.
  • The most famous stalagmite in the Postojna Cave is the Brilliant, a 5-meter-high, snow-white standing stalagmite in the center of the cave. It is also called the symbol of Postojna Cave.
  • While the cave system is 24 km long, only 5 km is open to the public.
  • Tourists are transported inside the cave by electric, underground train. The cave train takes about 3.5 km and the guided tour on foot is 1.5 km.
  • From the cave entrance, the train runs through narrow passages, but there are parts of the cave where a cathedral could be built.
  • The cave system includes a concert hall, which has been in use since the 19th century and can host up to 10,000 people.

Best time to visit Postojna Cave

Because the temperature inside the Postojna Cave is roughly constant all year round, it is recommended to visit at any time.

However, if you can, avoid visiting during the peak summer season, when most people come to Slovenia on holiday. These are June, July and August.

If you still want to visit the Postojna Caves in the summer months, plan ahead, buy your tickets days or weeks in advance and plan enough time for traffic jams and parking problems.

The temperature in the Postojna Cave is around 10°C all year round, so take this into account when choosing your clothes.

In case you forgot warm clothes, there are affordable rain jackets available for hire.

How to get to the Postojna Cave

The Postojna Cave is most easily accessible by car. Wherever you come to Postojna from, you will almost certainly arrive from the A1 highway. You just have to follow the GPS instructions or the road signs. The destination is often written in Slovenian as Postojnska jama.

The drive from Ljubljana is about 54 km and 45 minutes, but traffic jams are frequent on that part of the highway, especially in summer. The drive from Koper is about 60 km and 40 minutes. From Trieste in Italy, it is about 50 km and takes also 40 minutes.

Postojna is also accessible by bus or train. From Ljubljana, you can get to Postojna mainly by train. However, if you take the train, you have to take into account that the train station is on the other side of town, so you have to walk about 2 km to the cave.

From Koper, the best option is the bus. From Koper it takes about 45 minutes by bus to Postojna. And Postojna bus station is only 1.3 km from the cave.

Furthermore, a group bus trip is also a good option. In this case, you don’t have to worry about anything, they take care of the travel, parking and tickets for you.

How much time to plan to visit Postojna Cave?

Unfortunately, as there are guided tours, you cannot spend any time in the cave. A group tour takes about 1.5-2 hours, including the train ride. So you need to plan 2.5-4 hours for the tour, parking, possibly dining and shopping, plus getting there.

The timetable of the tours can be found on the official website of the Postojna Cave.

Entrance ticket and parking

You can buy tickets on the official website of the Postojna Cave Park.

There are many different types of tickets to choose from, depending on what you want to see. The Postojna Cave can only be accessed during the pre-booked time slot. In winter there are only 3 of these time slots, in summer there can be up to 10.

Parking is available on a ticketed system. There are several car parks on both sides of the road, including caravan and bus parks. Parking is no problem from autumn to spring, but there may be problems in the summer, so it’s worth arriving early.

Practical information about visiting the Postojna Cave

After parking or getting off, you have to walk a few hundred meters along a footpath to the entrance to the Cave, which is located at a yellow old building on the hillside.

In front of the cave entrance, you will find some shops and restaurants. Here you can spend your time before or after visiting the cave. You can taste Slovenian food, buy souvenirs…etc. There will also be a souvenir shop inside the cave with a lot of very nice stuff.

Next to the shops and restaurants, you will find the ticket office. If you don’t already have a ticket, you must first buy a ticket at the ticket office.

If you have already bought your ticket, go to the entrance of the cave where the staff will wait for you, they will check your ticket, ask you in which language you want the guide and show you your group.

Then board the train that takes you inside the cave. The train ride takes about 10–20 minutes. During this time there will be plenty to see, but photography is difficult because the train is moving quite fast.

While the train is riding with you in the cave, you should also be careful not to hit your head, because the train is going very close to the wall. And because you will be in a cave, some drops of water will surely fall on you from the walls.

After the train arrives at the inner station of the cave, you will get off and start the group guided tour.

Postojna Cave tour means a walk of about 1.5 km up and down winding paths, full of interesting stalactites and small lakes.

Inside the Postojna Cave

The above-mentioned guided group tour lasts about 50–60 minutes. During this time, the tour guide will tell you some interesting information. Don’t worry, they don’t overload you with too much information, fortunately, so you don’t have to listen to boring long stories.

The road they take you around is winding, leading up and down (without stairs), with hundreds of magnificent stalactites and stalagmites everywhere.

The only critical point is that because of the large groups (about 20–40 people), it is difficult to take photos walking in groups. Everyone wants to move at their own pace, which is difficult to do. It is not the fault of the place, but it is the fault of the organization, that you have to buy a VIP ticket to be able to take really good photos. In a large group, there is almost always someone who will jump into the picture, and in our case, some were even pushed.

So if good photos are important to you, for example because your work is connected to the visit to the Postojna Cave, we recommend buying the more expensive tickets, where you can take photos more calmly without being disturbed.

Other activities at Postojna Cave

After returning to the entrance, you can explore more of what the Park has to offer, such as the Vivarium and Expo Cave Karst, which are located right near the entrance.

So if you can fit it into your day, at the end of the tour, we recommend checking out the other cave experiences and activities offered by Postojna Cave Park.

  • For fun and experience for the whole family, visit the Vivarium, where you can meet popular cave animals, especially baby dragons. Officially known as Olm, the cave salamander is renowned for its remarkable adaptation to life in the darkness of its habitat. Because their eyes are undeveloped, Olms navigate their environment without sight, relying instead on their highly developed sense of smell and hearing.
  • The EXPO Cave Karst show explores underground karst structures and tells the story of the cave in an interactive way. Among other things, you can learn interesting information about the formation of stalactites and stalagmites.

Where to stay near Postojna Cave

There is a hotel near the entrance to the Postojna Cave, which is recommended for those looking for accommodation near the cave.

The hotel is called Postojna Cave Hotel Jama.

Other attractions near the Postojna Cave

Pivka & Black Caves

Both caves join the Postojna cave system and are the last two along the Pivka River before it disappears.

The entrance to the Pivka Cave is located five kilometers from the Postojna Cave. It can be accessed via more than 300 steps, which can be a bit tiring. This is the only part of the Postojna cave system where the tour follows the underground Pivka River.

The Black Cave, stretching over a length of 3 kilometers, features expansive chambers, level passages, and distinctive black stalactites and flowstone formations, from which the cave derives its name.

Visiting both caves takes approximately one to one and a half hours. The entrance is from the camp in the Pivka Cave.

Predjama Castle

Nearby Predjama Castle is a Renaissance castle built in the mouth of a cave in southwestern Slovenia. The 6-storey structure is the largest cave castle in the world and one of Slovenia’s most famous landmarks. The castle is located near the village of Predjama, about 11 km from the town of Postojna.

If you want to read more about Predjama Castle, by clicking on the link, you’ll find a more detailed article about it.

You can include a visit to the Predjama Castle as part of your Postojna Cave Park experience by purchasing a combined ticket along with your cave admission. Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle are two of Slovenia highlights and can be reached and visited in a day, for example if you are planning a day trip from Ljubljana.

Slovenian coast

The Slovenian coast is only about 50-70 km from Postojna. So if you are in the area, especially in summer, the beach is definitely not to be missed. Even during the colder part of the year, there are excellent walking opportunities in the Slovenian coastal towns.

Škocjan Caves

The Škocjan Caves, located near the village of Škocjan close to Divača in southern Slovenia, are a similar attraction to the Postojna Cave.

This stunning cave system boasts deep chasms, huge chambers, and incredible stalactite formations. Linked by a vast tunnel network, you can witness the Reka River that shaped these caves. The Martel Hall, towering over 100 meters high, is particularly remarkable.

Guided tours cover a part of the caves, while three routes are available for self-guided exploration, with only the shortest route accessible in winter. Because of this, for a more detailed visit, we recommend the summer season.

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Škocjan Caves showcase the captivating beauty of nature and are a must-visit near the Postojna Cave.

Postojna Cave or Škocjan Caves?

If you’re in search of breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites, look no further than Postojna. However, if you want to explore other caves and crave a more distinctive, and less touristy experience, be sure to visit Škocjan Caves.

In summary, a visit to Postojna Cave is a must for those seeking an underground adventure in Slovenia. With its captivating formations and easy access to other attractions, it’s an ideal destination for any traveler.

Explore the wonders of Postojna Cave and discover the natural beauty that Slovenia has to offer.

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