Slovenia is a tiny nation, so traveling about is usually fast and easy. However, the rapid increase in vehicle ownership has made life more difficult for public transportation, and bus timetables in particular have been cut, necessitating some forethought. On Saturdays, services are few, and on Sundays, they are very restricted.
Slovenia’s railway network, run by Slovenske železnice (SŽ), will take you to the majority of the country’s destinations, but there are some irritating gaps in the network and routes may be convoluted, so getting from anyplace to anything generally needs a change in Ljubljana. Trains, on the other hand, are about 30% less expensive than buses, and weekend return discounts are available. Purchase your tickets before boarding, since there is a fee for tickets purchased from the conductor – unless they are not available at the station. Any InterCity train additionally has a €1.20 fee.
The system has been modernized with a lot of money and effort, and the newest trains are as beautiful as anything you’ll find in Western Europe. Although rural stations are sometimes very basic, most stations are exceptionally well maintained, with flowers adorning the platforms during the summer months. The name of the station, in instance, is usually only visible on a single sign on the station building itself, thus figuring out where you are requires a lot of craning of the neck. Newer trains feature a voice announcement system that informs you of the station you are approaching. Trains are usually on schedule (except for certain foreign ones), so double-check the anticipated arrival time and some prior station names to ensure you get off at the right place. To find your next train from a station, electronic signboards are uncommon (outside of Ljubljana), but paper timetables are always available: odhod (yellow) indicates departures, while prihod (white) means arrivals, however this is generally stated in both English and Slovene.
Buses fill in the gaps and are generally a preferable alternative for certain places that are not directly serviced by rail from Ljubljana (e.g. Bled, Piran). Some of the larger stations offer convenient computerized search engines for timetables and tickets.
Slovenia’s roads are generally well-maintained and well-signposted, so driving or renting a vehicle should be no issue. Having a vehicle adds a degree of mobility and self-direction that you won’t get from using the train or bus.
Ljubljana has a number of vehicle rental and taxi companies. The major multinational firms are all represented, but if you’re on a tight budget, the local businesses have some good deals if you don’t mind driving an older vehicle.
Slovenian railroads also provide Motorail service on certain lines, allowing you to transport your vehicle on the train and save the stress of driving.