Thinking outside the box: Best airports if you are flying on a budget to Slovenia

Ljubljana city view from Vladimir Yaitskiy kronny on Flickr

It is no secret, I’m flying to Slovenia in just a couple of weeks, and while I already got my tickets, the search was a bit tougher than I’m used to. So I’ve decided to share the “best flight to Slovenia” search.

I must admit that I started looking at flights that went directly from A to B (in this case from Madrid to Ljubljana), but that was not an easy or cheap choice. So what could I do?

I wasn’t going to accept just the few options a MAD – LJU flight was about to offer. I chose to think outside the box instead and started looking for airports in a radius of 250 km or less. These are the best options I found:

a. Flying to Slovenia via Italy: Trieste & Venezia TRS / VCE

Flying to Venice’s airports was one of the major options if you want to save on your flight to Slovenia. Why? Almost every low cost flies there and you have two different airports competing for the best price, from accross all Europe and beyond.

Trieste airport is connected to Barcelona with Vueling, London with Ryanair, Munich with Lufthansa and many italian cities with Alitalia. The city was once slovenian it is really close to the border.

Venezia is not as close, but it is just in front of the Slovenian landmark of Piran and still less than 250 kilometer from Ljubljana. Best thing is that you can get there through almost every major airline in the world.

But how do you go from Venezia to Ljubljana and other sites in Slovenia?

  • By bus, from the bus station of Trieste, many companies will take you to Piran / Portoroz for about 10€, but it could take you up to 3 hours, while it is only half an hour away. You could do it way faster by Taxi, but it will cost you about 140€.
  • A shared transfer with Goopti from VCE airport directly to Ljubljana is about 50€ per passenger (return ticket). They take you to Piran and many other places too.
  •  Ferry ships from Venezia take you to Piran from 70€ per person (one way). And there are many companies that connect both places a couple of times a day, in about 2 hours and a half.
  • Train from Venezia to lake Bled or Ljubljana is not an easy trip, but they say it is one of the most beautiful train routes in Europe. Couldn’t tell you the exact price, it involves crossing three different countries (Italy, Austria and Slovenia) and tickets are not available for the full route.

b. Flying to Slovenia via Austria: Graz GRZ

Graz is an interesting option if you are visiting Slovenia from the north of Europe. I must admit I didn’t find good prices here, but Swiss, Austrian, Alitalia, AirBerlin, Turkish and FlyNiki fly there.

How do you go from Graz Airport to Slovenia?

  • You can go by train from Graz to Maribor and then to Ljubljana. To do that you need to take the bus to Graz’s train Station (2.5€) and then take a regular train (1.5 hours to Maribor) or an Eurocity. Price? from 15 euros /person one way, 30 euros if you continue to Ljubljana from Maribor.
  • By bus. There are different options with Eurolines and other companies, but I didn’t find the routes online.
  • A shared transfer with GoOpti from Graz airport costs about 35€/ person (one way) to Maribor. 45€ if you are going to Ljubljana.

c. Flying to Slovenia from Croacia: Zagreb ZAG

This was my final choice. It wasn’t cheaper than flying to Venezia, but it was best for my travel plans. The bad side? Croatia doesn’t use Euros, so you need a few kunas to move around the place.

Zagreb airport is connected with almost everywhere in Europe through Croatian Airlines, but you can get there with Vueling, Turkish or Swiss, to name a few.

But, how do you go from Zagreb to Ljubljana?

  • Trains connect Zagreb with Ljubljana in just two hours and about 18€ per person (one way). From there, you can get to Maribor, Piran, Bled and almost everywhere in the country. From the airport, you need to take a bus to the bus station (30kn) and then a tram to the train station (or walk).
  • By bus. Different companies connect Zagreb with Ljubljana by bus, from 9€ up.
  • By shared transfer from Zagreb airport to Ljubljana with GoOpti, for about 16€ per person (one way).

Other options are Dubrovnik or Split. Dubrovnik airport is a good option in summer season, but is only connected with Split and Zagreb by bus. Split is closer to the Slovenian border but offers just a few international flights.

d. flying to the Slovenian airports

Ljubljana looks like the obvious airport when flying to Slovenia. As I told you at the beginning, it was my first choice, only to find that it mucho more expensive to fly there from Spain. Having said that, it could be a great choice too: Easyjet, Wizz, Turkish, Adria Airlines…

Best? You can go anywhere in Slovenia from Ljubljana by train or bus. There’s even people who travel the country by bike.

There are other two airports in Slovenia: one in Maribor (north-east) and Portoroz (at the coast.) But they offer few to zero flights. The reason? They are way too close to other international airports in the area.

What about you? Have you been to Slovenia? Which airport did you fly to?

Where to fly if you are visiting Slovenia on a budget

 

*Photo from Vladimir Yaitskiy on Flickr

trucosviajeros

I've been travelling all my life. In 2011, I decided to open trucosviajeros, an Spanish travel blog with a focus on technology and travel tips to make us travel more and travel better. Now, I write in English and Spanish. Outside of trucosviajeros.com, I am a marketing consultant with focus on strategy and B2B marketing on digital environments. Find me online at @trucosviajeros and @travelto5

4 Comments

  1. I haven’t been but i want to go so bad! Its gonna be intresting to read your blogposts about your experiences:) See you on Tbex this summer, gonna be fun to get to know you!

  2. Why not fly to Venice and rent a car, and just cross the border? Is that a potential issue?

    • Hi Matt! actually it is a great option from any of the places you could fly to Slovenia. Just remember to buy the sticker for the Slovenian highway before you enter the country to avoid fines (or check if the rental company provides with one).
      Nice travels!

Any ideas? questions? Let me know what you think