Hiking around Ljubljana
This page is intended for travellers, visitors, students and others in Ljubljana who are dependent on public transport (or decide for it) to reach starting points for hiking in Slovenia. While many places could only be reasonably visited on a day trip if you start by car, there are many higher and lower mountains and hills that can be easily reached by bus or train, the advantage of public transport being that you don't have to return to the starting point.
The places are listed roughly from easiest to hardest.
General transport info
If you plan trips in the Alps, maybe for several days, the best place to start is the annual publication Timetables in the Alps, 2015 edition is the latest so far, but double check all the info before relying on it! Other places to look for connections are Slovene railways and Ljubljana bus station (to see the prices, switch to Slovene version!).
Ljubljana city bus transport: Check the zone map, the zones look weird because it depends on the level of co-financing from other municipalities, not distance from Ljubljana. The usual 90-min ticket for €1.20 is valid for the whole zone 1, otherwise you need to tell the driver beforehand that you need a ticket for 2 or more zones. The driver usually doesn't really care if you don't have the right ticket, but controllers won't be happy. You can plan you trip also in Google maps, but better check Timetables for each line (Slovene only) and Interactive map
Most Slovenes use cars though to go hiking, so especially on sunny weekends it's often easy to hitch a ride back if you miss the bus, or it's too long to wait for the next one or if it's a long walk along some road to the bus stop. Do talk to other hikers you meet along the way or in huts, they might have some free space in the car.
Rožnik - popular forest area above Tivoli park, west of city centre
Grajski grič (Castle Hill)
Golovec - continuation of the Castle Hill to the southeast, on the other side of Ljubljanica river channel
On the edge of the city
Clockwise from northwest:
Šmarna gora - the twin peaks at the northwestern end of Ljubljana, the most popular hiking spot in Slovenia, on weekends it is quite crowded. There's a fortified church and a pub on the slightly lower peak. There are loads of possible paths and starting points, including a climbing path on the western side. Take bus #8 Gameljne (Mon-Sat) to the first stop across the bridge (Tacenski most), then follow the signs or ask around. This is the most popular starting point and easiest to reach. You can also continue two more stops and start from Šmartno. You can also take the train to Medno, cross the foot bridge and then go up, but don't take the climbing path without proper equipment and experience.
Rašica - the hilly area east of Šmarna gora, across the highway and about the same height. There's a hut and a viewing tower on top. Take either bus #8 or #21 to the last stop Gameljne, from there you'll first reach the village Rašica and then continue to the top. There are several possible paths. Another option is bus #6, direction Črnuče. In that neighbourhood there are several options/bus stops to start your way uphill.
Debni vrh - at the eastern end of Ljubljana, with a viewing tower on top. Take train two stops east to Ljubljana-Zalog or bus #11 to Zadružni dom (after the bus goes under rail tracks and turns left at traffic lights), then continue a bit further along the main road. Just across the bridge you can turn towards the hill and start walking up. There's also a millstone quarry somewhere if you manage to find it.
Krim - take city bus #19B to the last stop Jezero, then take the left road and be careful to follow the signs through the village, after that orientation is easy, just be careful at crossroads as there are many forest roads crisscrossing the hill. Another option is to take the bus #19I to last stop in Iška vas, but it's in a different tariff zone! Krim is a bear zone, they usually avoid people but surprises are possible, so be careful. If you meet one, do not panic, run or make any sudden movements, but slowly retreat.
Sveta Ana - a small hill with the best views of the Ljubljana Marsh. Take bus #19B to the last stop, take the right road to a little lake where you can jump in for a swim after the hike, a little past the lake you will see signs to the path uphill. It's also possible to continue from the church to the top of Krim.
Pekel - a gorge with a series of 5 waterfalls. Despite ropes and some iron stairs, good hiking shoes are necessary and you should stick to the path as it is too easy to slip on the wet rocks! Take a bus or train to Borovnica, the start of the gorge is a couple of kilometres away. You can return the same way or continue past the 5th waterfall to an easier path around.
Polhov Gradec - a village west of Ljubljana, reached by suburban bus #51 (different zone!). It has a little castle with beautiful garden and telecommunications museum. From there you can go for a short hike to Polhograjska gora, but the best views are from Grmada. You can also continue to Tošč and/or descend to another village in the valley and take the bus from there.
Toško Čelo - take bus #5 to last stop in Podutik, a bit longer options are also last stops of #7 Pržan and #1 Vižmarje. From there you can continue to the village Topol pri Medvodah and to the peaks Sveti Jakob, Katarina and Jeterbenk around it. They can be also reached from Medvode or Medno (train or bus #25)
These hills east of Ljubljana lie on the banks of Sava and Savinja valleys where the railway was built, so it's very convenient to start from one train station and descend to another one.
Kum, the highest peak - starting points are Zagorje, Trbovlje, Hrastnik, Zidani Most (this one involves "cicka", a hand-operated cable car across the Sava river!), Radeče
Kopitnik above Rimske Toplice - start from Rimske Toplice (several paths), Zidani most or Hrastnik (via Gore)
Veliko Kozje - start from Rimske Toplice, Zidani Most or Loka pri Zidanem Mostu (via Lovrenc), you can also arrive from Lisca!
Lisca - start from Sevnica or Radeče or across Veliko Kozje
West of Ljubljana
Lubnik - bus to Škofja Loka (train station is outside the town), then find the castle with the museum and start the hike
North of Ljubljana
Velika planina - bus to Stahovica is the most beautiful path, you can also change in Kamnik to a bus for Kamniška Bistrica and ask to be dropped off at the cable car. You can pay to be lifted up or start walking up a steep path.
Kamniška Bistrica - starting point for many places, Kamniško sedlo is the most popular with a nice hut and great views to both sides of the ridge. From there you can continue to Brana or Planjava. Kokrško sedlo has another hut and is the starting point for Grintovec, Skuta and Jezerska Kočna. Several circular routes are also possible.
Bohinj Valley: you can reach as far as Bohinjska Bistrica by train or Ukanc at the western end of Lake Bohinj by bus:
Črna prst - from Bohinjska Bistrica, you can descend back to BB or continue on top of the ridge towards Vogel, possibly descending by cable car to Ukanc
Vogel - up by cable car, then it's a not so difficult hike to the top.