Postojna Cave is the world’s most captivating cave with magnificent cave formations and diverse fauna. You will definitely enjoy the memorable ride on Postojna Cave’s underground train and experience a fascinating subterranean paradise shaped by tiny droplets over millions of years.
How to reach
Postojna Cave is located in the town of Postojna, Slovenia. It is almost the same distance from Ljubljana, Portorož, Rijeka, and Trieste. It is about 2 hours or a bit more drive from Salzburg, Vienna or Budapest.
The closest airports are in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, in Italy (Trieste, Venice, and Milan) and Croatia (Zagreb, Rijeka, and Pula).
By car, you can reach the Postojna Cave Park via the A1 motorway from Ljubljana, Koper or Trieste (Postojna motorway exit No. 41, which is two km from the Park).
There is also good connectivity by Train & Bus.
Arriving by train, you get directly to the town of Postojna, from where you can take an approximately 25-minute walk to the Postojna Cave Park. In fact, Postojna is on the Vienna-Venice railway line and so very convenient to reach from Italy or Austria too.
If you plan for the bus, then they reach all the way to the bus stop in the car park in front of Postojna Cave. There are also more intercity bus connections available via the Postojna bus station in the town center.
Where to stay
My recommendation would be to stay at the Postojna Jama Hotel. Not only because it is in the same vicinity as the Cave, but also due to the fact that we stayed here and enjoyed the surroundings.
You can take a nice stroll around the hotel, and if lucky can come across the deers jumping around.
The rooms are very comfortable and include free wifi and safe parking for your car. Are you someone who would like to spend every few more minutes on the bed during vacation? Then just pick this hotel, and enjoy your sleep.
It is just a few meters of a walk to reach the cave, so you are never late! Moreover, if you are traveling with kids, just close your eyes and book this hotel.
Tip: Do not miss my detailed review of the Hotel Jama to know more about this.
If you are coming to visit Postojna with your own Caravan or Camper, you are in luck. Yes, the park does have a camp with a capacity to park up to 20 such vehicles. And it is just 250m from the cave entrance!
Tickets are available online, or at the counter. You can either book an individual ticket to have access to just one venue like cave or castle or vivarium etc or buy a combination of venues in a single ticket. Obviously, the later is lighter on your pocket.
The most sort after tickets are the combi-ticket that allows entry to both Postojna Cave & Predjama Castle. It costs around 40 Euro depending on the season.
You can head to Postojna Cave tickets section to know about the ticket costs and packages.
Tip: Make sure you book the 9am or 10 am slots to beat the crowdsYou see, staying in Hotel Jama has its own advantage, right?
Postojna Cave is a pretty spectacular 24km long limestone cave that has been carved by the Pivka River over a period of 2 million years. The water slowly dripping down the stalagmite deposits a thin layer of flowstone, giving the Brilliant its shiny white color.
Hold on your breath, for you are about to witness something unimaginable. Yes, you would have never thought about what’s under our feet in this world. Now, you are going to see them live!
Tip: Irrespective of the season, the cave will be around 8-10 degree Celsius. So, be prepared with sufficient warm clothes.
Currently, around 6 KM of passage is open for the public. Initial 3-4 km is done with the electric train and the remaining on foot through walkways and bridges built by the Russian prisoners.
Before exploring and admiring the cave on foot, you need to take the famous electric train. I believe that this is the only underground train of its kind inside the cave for the public in the world.
This world’s first railway in an underground cave was opened here in 1872. Of course, it was manual-powered. I mean pulled by the guides of the cave. And it slowly evolved to gasoline, then to today’s electric train powered by the battery. Currently, there are 6 such iconic trains running continuously in the cave.
Do not miss this ride on the underground train to enjoy the 3.7-km-long journey on the world’s only double-track cave railway.
The train – something in between the regular and a toy train – can accommodate up to 100 people in a single run.
Note: Watch out for your head around those low hanging sections, if you are a bit tall.
Once you get down from the train, you will be taken around the walkways by the guides who also provide an excellent summary of the history of this cave and how things developed in here.
During the exploration, you will be briefed on all sorts of incredible natural formations that have happened here.
Our guide explained about the stalactites – grow downwards, by water dripping from the ceiling through the deposit of calcite, which builds up to create these shapes.
Stalagmites – that grow upwards, building from the drips above. And the famous columns form when a stalactite and a stalagmite join together. And not just that, you will be amazed to find other formations such as spaghetti stalactites or curtains.
Life in the Cave
Did I tell you about the lives inside this cave? No, not the cavemen. This cave is the only place where the baby dragons are present. In fact, they live only under dark regions. So, it’s a strict no-no to take pictures with flash.
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting you the Baby Dragons. Postojna cave is their main habitat. They are also called as Olms and are unusual even in their appearance: they have long snake-like bodies, and their length of 25-30 centimeters makes them one of the largest cave predators.
Their skin is pale and pink in color and looks almost translucent. They have small short legs with three digits on their forelimbs and two on their hind feet. They move around the water by snake-like twisting of their bodies, assisted by the legs.
Did you notice their eyes? No, you cannot. Because adult olms have no eyes. But wait, they are not blind. They can “see” everything with the help of skin receptors. They are very good at sensing their prey and their skin is also very sensitive to light.
Fact: These baby dragons can go without food for up to 12 years and have a lifespan of up to 100 years.
Finally, you reach the concert hall. It is the world natural concert hall formed within the cave and it can hold the sounds for up to 6 seconds as an echo. And this is the end of the trip, and from here you will take the train to reach the exit.
Overall, the whole adventure should take around 1.5 to 2 hours.
At the exit, you have a pleasant surprise. PHOTO! Yes, pick your photo as a souvenir, for a low price of 5 Euro.
Predjama castle ranks among the ten most fascinating castles around the world. Not just that, the Guinness World Records have listed this cave as the World’s largest cave castle.
Tip: This castle is not wheel chair friendly. Parents with kids or strollers visit with caution since there are numerous steps and climbs during the visit.
The cave is another living history to convey to us how betrayal can take down the life of any powerful person. Yes, although the knight Erazem was a brave and almost unbeatable knight, he was reportedly died while using a toilet after a betrayal by his own servant.
Predjama Castle does look like those fairytale castles on the cliff. I was really amazed by the way it was built in an impossible place. The castle is merged up in the middle of a vertical 123-meter high cliff face, cutting out of a giant rock. In fact, throughout history, this castle has gained a well-deserved reputation for being virtually impregnable.
You can reach the castle, which is just 10 km north of Postojna, by using the local road. There is a small car park in front of the castle and holders of combo tickets to Postojna Cave and the Predjama Castle can also use a free shuttle bus between the two attractions, which is available in July and August.
It is the quintessential image of a medieval castle, complete with a mini drawbridge. When you reach the castle, collect your audio guide that supports many different languages. Use the numbers displayed in front of the rooms and objects to key in the audio guide for respective historical information.
So, what is the history of this Castle?
This castle was built in the 15thcentury. Actually, it was the hideaway of the legend knight Erasmus – an olden day Robinhood. He was hiding here to save himself from the punishment due to the killing of the royal family of Austria. Inside you will learn the story behind this legendary Slovenian hero and how he was eventually betrayed by one of his soldiers.
The castle is so well built that in some places it would be almost impossible to note where the brick wall stops and where the cave starts. It’s so well merged.
The strategic location of the castle helped it to be hidden even when seen from the top of the same hill. Inside the castle, there is a torture chamber. In fact, you could hear prisoners being tortured throughout the castle. There is also a famous documentary from discovery channel on this torture room.
There are local saying that they hear weird sounds and screaming of prisoners sometimes which is said to be captured in the documentary. Search for Predjama castle on YouTube, and you know what I mean!
In one of the levels, you also have an armory room that exhibits medieval armors and weapons.
Ha, when you are in, make sure you ring the bell and make a wish. At the far end of the castle, there is a secret cave leading from the bowel of the castle to the Postojna cave, and from where it leads to the nearby the village of Vipava.
If you climb these stairs, this is the place their water source was. It would be interesting to know the kind of filtering they do for the water in those days. It was all filtered through the natural rocks.
So, this was my first visit to Slovenia, and I should say I was pretty impressed with the country.
Have you been to Slovenia? Did this article make you interested to visit Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle? Let me know if you have any other recommendation for my next visit to Slovenia.