Is it worth visiting Postojna Caves in Slovenia?

The Postojna Caves are unlike any other. Located near Postojna in southwestern Slovenia, the caves are the most visited in Europe and a rather unique experience as you need to take a train to visit them. Below, we will explain this thoroughly.

With a total size of 24,120 m (79,130 ft), the Postojna Caves are the second-longest in Slovenia (the largest are the Migovec system caves). Like most caves in Slovenia, they are Karst caves and were created by the Pivka River.

The Postojna Caves are one of the most famous landmarks in Slovenia, but they are also one of the most expensive ones. So, is it worth visiting the Postojna Caves? Is it for everyone? Let’s explore this and much more.

Planning a trip to Slovenia? Look at our 50 things you need to know before traveling to Slovenia!

Postojna Caves – general information

  • Name: Postojna Caves
  • Train Distance: 7 km
  • Hiking Distance – About 1.5 km
  • The time necessary – About 2 hours
  • Difficulty – easy
  • Signs (1-5) – There’s only one way;
  • Highlights: The train ride, the rock formations, and the olms
  • Cost: 28.5 Euros (low season), 29.5 Euros (high season)
  • Check the flyer in English.
Is it worth visiting Postojna Caves in Slovenia
Stalactites and stalagmites inside Postojna Caves

How much does the Postojna Cave tour cost?

The Postojna Caves tour is a bit expensive. The low season price is 28.5 Euros, while in the high season, it costs 29.5 Euros per person. If you are driving, you must pay for parking (as always in Slovenia).

Furthermore, this ticket only allows you to visit the cave – if you want to visit the Vivarium and the expo cave karts, you need to buy the 100% Cave Experience, which costs about 40 Euros per person. So, this is not cheap!

At first, we were so surprised by the price that we thought maybe it wasn’t worth visiting. I mean we have been to many impressive caves, including the ATM Caves in Belize, the Kong Lor Caves in Laos, and the Benagil Caves in Portugal.

However, we ended up going, and we enjoyed it very much. It was one of our favorite experiences in Slovenia. One that combines a sense of adventure with exploring a remarkable place.

We should note that a combined ticket for Postojna Cave + Predjama Castle allows you to save 6.5 Euros per person. It is a small save, but we believe it’s worth it because the castle is also pretty cool to visit.

How much does the Postojna Cave tour cost?
Inside Postojna Caves

About the Postojna Cave tickets

You should note that when buying the Postojna cave tickets, you have to choose a time slot. It is not a ticket for the day or a general ticket. It has a time, and you have to enter at that time.

This makes perfect sense, as you are taking a train, so you need to take the specific train into the caves. Also, you need to be by the entrance about 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the tour.

About the Postojna Cave tickets

Our experience visiting the Postojna Cave

As mentioned, we must be at the entrance about 15 minutes before the ticket time slot. At the entrance, the visitors are organized by language. You can choose the preferred language for your tour.

When we visited, there were four languages (Slovenian, English, German, and Italian). Each group enters separately from the other, and each has one tour guide that will explain the tour in that language.

This tour consists of three parts:

  • A 3.5 km train ride through the caves;
  • 1.5 km of walking inside the caves;
  • Another 3.5 km of train back to the entrance;

Right at the caves’ entrance, find a small train with open carriages that take two people at a time. We need to climb and enjoy the ride. The 3,5 km takes about 10 minutes, but it is really wonderful. It feels like you are in an 80s adventure film or a very immersive video game.

The ride is slow, not dangerous at all, but it is fun. During this time, we see many large chambers, tunnels, and rock formations. The underground network of karst corridors, galleries, and halls is staggering. Plus, they are all filled with stalactites and stalagmites.

inside the postjna caves Slovenia Is it worth visiting Postojna Caves in Slovenia?
Walking inside Postojna caves

After these 10-12 minutes of this soft adventure, we need to descend from the train and start walking. This is a guided tour, so the guide will stop a few times to tell interesting facts about the caves and the rock formations we see.

You will learn about the most important karst features, including stalagmites, stalactites, columns, and formations called curtains or draperies that look like folded curtains. The largest and most impressive features are a 16-meter-high stalagmite known as the Skyscraper and a magnificent five-meter-tall bright-white stalagmite called the Brilliant.

The hike is a bit hilly, with several ups and downs, but it isn’t difficult. Anyone can do it. Plus, the ground is paved, making it even easier. During the hike, we must cross a large bridge and get close to the rock formations.

At the end of the cave hike, we reach an expansive hall where you will find a post office. The first post office in the world to be located inside a cave. It is more of a curiosity than anything else, but you can also send a postcard to someone at home (or even yourself as a souvenir).

visiting the Postojna Cave
The first post office in the world to be located inside a cave

One of the most famous things about the Postojna cave is the olm, also known as the human fish. Its pale appearance, adaptability to subterranean life, longevity, and unique biological characteristics make it a captivating species for scientific study and a popular attraction for visitors to the cave.

Despite this, and because it’s so fragile, you cannot freely see the animal in the cave during the tour. The only opportunity is in a large aquarium located at the end of the hike before reaching the hall where the post office is. Do not direct light on it, as it harms the olms. No flashlights, no camera flashes.

How to visit postojna caves
Olms inside a large aquarium located at the end of the hike

The third part of the tour is taking the train back to the cave entrance. It takes another 10-12 minutes, and it’s very similar to the first part. Most of the train ride is through the same tunnels and galleries. Don’t worry, it’s still lots of fun.

At the end of the train ride, there’s one final highlight as we reach a small underground dam and waterfall. It seems that this cave has always been something to surprise us.

Hiking postojna caves
Underground dam and waterfall in the Postojna caves

About the Postojna Cave – Fun facts

The Postojna cave is one of the most impressive landmarks in Slovenia, featuring several records, fun facts, and points of interest.

  • The Postojna Cave is estimated to be around two million years old;
  • The cave includes some fantastic geological formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and curtains.
  • Postojna Cave has been illuminated with electric lighting since 1884, making it one of the first electrified caves in the world.
  • The cave had electric lighting before the capital, Ljubliana.
  • Postojna Cave is the only karst cave with a railway.
  • It was introduced in 1872. It is the only cave railway of its kind and allows visitors to explore deeper into the cave system more comfortably.
  • The olm is easily the most famous animal in the caves. It is a blind, cave-dwelling amphibian with pale pink or white skin and a slender, elongated body resembling a snake. It lacks pigmentation, giving it a translucent appearance.
  • They are also known for their remarkable longevity, some reaching over 100 years.
  • They have a slow metabolism and can be months without food intake.
  • For all this, the caves receive 1.2 million people yearly, making them the most visited in Europe.
  • And in our opinion, one of the natural wonders of Europe.
About the Postojna Cave
Stalagmites, stalactites, columns, and formations called curtains inside Postojna caves

When is the best time to visit the Postojna Cave?

The Postojna cave is open all year, and as it has a controlled environment, it’s fun to visit at any time of the year. In practice, it doesn’t make much difference if it’s winter or summer, if it’s hot or cold outside. Though, it’s much more fun to visit with nice weather, as anything else.

However, as it is an extremely popular natural landmark, during peak season (mostly summer), it will have lots of people, which may make the visit less enjoyable. Plus, if you are planning to visit during peak season, make sure you buy your ticket in advance to reserve your time slot. There are limited entries.

When is the best time to visit the Postojna Cave
Trail inside Postojna caves

Is it cold inside the Postojna Cave?

Yes, a bit. As mentioned, the weather outside the cave doesn’t really make much of a difference, as the temperature inside the cave is around 10 Celsius. This is pretty cold and something to be aware of, particularly when it’s hot outside.

So, whatever the weather is outside the cave, make sure you bring enough clothes to keep you warm. Don’t forget that with the open carriages, it feels even colder. Anyway, a warm jacket and long pants should be more than enough.

inside the Postojna Cave
Riding Postojna cave train

Who can go to the Postojna Caves?

This tour is available for everyone, even people with reduced mobility and impairments. Children will obviously enjoy it thoroughly, with the train ride and all the other fun attractions.

Postojna Cave is fully adapted to visitors with mobility impairments. During the cave tour, the Postojna Cave staff help get visitors on and off the train and make sure wheelchairs are delivered to the final train stop.

As mentioned, the hike has a climb of about 200 meters in the beginning, but it has a non-slip concrete surface and doesn’t have steps. The elderly and people with reduced mobility may have tough 10 minutes, but it’s short enough for anyone to be able to do it.

Who can go to the Postojna Caves
Beautiful rock formations in Postojna caves

What to bring to the caves?

This is an easy and straightforward tour that is available to everyone. As such, it doesn’t really have a long list of things you need to bring. The most important is to remember to bring layers or at least a warm jacket and pants, whatever the weather outside is.

Also, the surface where you’ll walk is non-slippery and made of concrete, so you can hike with any kind of shoes. However, we strongly advise you to use a conformable pair.

The tour takes only one hour and a half, so you don’t really need o bring water and snacks into the caves. But, there’s no harm if you do, except that you have to carry them.

Finally, don’t forget a camera or a smartphone with a good camera. There are plenty of shooting opportunities! As expected, it’s a bit dark, but it’s still possible to take some amazing pictures.

What to bring to the postojna caves
The entrance to Postojna caves

How to get to Postojna caves?

The Postojna caves are located very close to the town of Postojna, so the area around the caves is well-developed, with hotels, restaurants, and cafes. Thus, if you arrive early, you can have a coffee or a drink on one of the pleasant terraces.

The caves are extremely well-located for a short visit as they are relatively close to many important cities such as Ljubljana (50km), Portoroz/Piran (70km), Trieste (45 km), Zagreb (90 km), Rijeka (60 km).

The easiest and most flexible way to reach the cave is by car. There are huge parking lots by the caves, but as usual in Slovenia, they are paid. If you don’t have a car, there are also busses and trains to Postojna. Have a look at the complete info here.

If you are planning to visit the Predjama castle, you can park here and take the shuttle to the castle. It is very handy if you don’t have a car. And even if you do, it only costs one Euro (you need to combo entry-ticket), so you will save in parking by the castle. And you won’t have to drive.

How to get to Postojna caves
Parks surrounding the Postojna caves

Where to stay when visiting the Postojna Caves?

Slovenia is a small country, so you don’t really need to stay close to the caves to visit them. You can stay on the coast in Piran or Ljubljana, and have a day trip to the Postojna Cave and the castle. Or, if you are doing a road trip, you can visit the caves on the way to other destinations. You can even take a day trip from Croatia, Austria, or Italy.

Whatever your plans are, there’s always the possibility of staying close to the caves. There’s even the possibility of staying in the famous Hotel Jama, by the caves. It is an excellent hotel and by far the most convenient hotel to stay. Check more reviews and book here.

Many other hotels and accommodations are close to the caves, as shown in the map below.

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How to visit the Postojna Caves in Slovenia

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