Visiting Postojna Cave, or Postojnska Jama as it’s called in Slovene, is one of the top attractions in Slovenia. It’s the most visited cave in the country, with over 40 million visitors from around the world viewing this geological wonder over the years.
But is Postojna Cave worth visiting?
Here we’ll share what to expect when visiting Postojna Cave, from the surreal underground landscape and natural wonders that have been created over millions of years to the legends of the baby dragon, so that you can decide for yourself if it’s worth visiting.
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About Postojna Cave
Postojna Cave is one of the largest and most beautiful caves in Europe, and understandably, it’s one of Slovenia’s most popular attractions.
Carved out by the Pivka River over millions of years, Postojna Cave is 24km long with many different caverns and passages, but only 5km is open to visitors.
The incredible formations found throughout the caves, such as the stalagmites and stalactites have slowly been forming over millions of years.
Among these formations is the “Brilliant”, a 5-meter-tall white stalagmite that has become a symbol of Postojna Cave.
Entrance to the cave is only permitted on a guided tour, which lasts about 90 minutes.
Did you know? Postojna is pronounced “post-oyn-ah”
Interesting Postojna Cave Facts
- Postojna Cave is the only karst cave with an underground train ride
- There are 24 km of underground passages, making it the largest cave system in Slovenia
- Incredible stalagmites and stalactites are found throughout the cave, but one in particular named “Brilijant” a 5-metre-tall white stalagmite
- In a decade, stalagmites and stalactites only grow one millimetre.
- One of the large caverns inside the cave is named the Concert Hall, which has excellent acoustic features and hosts many concerts.
- During the Christmas season, the cave hosts a large live nativity scene in Slovenia in the Concert Hall, a tradition that has been happening for over 100 years
- Postojna Cave is only a few kilometres from the highway and is one of the easiest caves to reach in Slovenia.
- The cave has been a tourist attraction for over 200 years
- Postojna is home to the Olm, also known as the human fish, or proteus, which is only found in this part of the world
- Olms can live up to 100 years, earning them the name human fish, and can go without food for a decade. (My kids found this a fascinating fact, and insisted that I add it in here…)
Postojna Cave Tour: What to Expect
The Postojna Cave tour lasts around 90 minutes and is available in 15 languages. Guides accompany each group on the tour and offer information in Slovenian, Italian, English and German. It’s also possible to rent audio guides for €3.50, which offer information in other languages.
The tour includes both a train ride, as well as a portion where you walk through the cave. You will want to wear a warm sweater and have proper footwear, as you will be walking on the cave floor.
The 4km train ride is a unique experience that takes you underground through the cave’s vast chambers and passages. You’ll pass by stalactites hanging from the ceiling and stalagmites rising from the floor, some illuminated to highlight their impressive formations.
The Postojna Cave train also passes through several large halls, one of which – the Dance Hall – has Murano-glass chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
The train ride ends at the Hall of Pillars, where the tour continues on foot for another 1 kilometre. Guides stop several times along the way to learn about various attractions in the cave.
The entire walk is accessible, as there are no steps, but there are some inclines to be aware of.
Cross the Russian bridge, named for the Russian pows who built it in 1916.
Then see the famous 5m high white pillar, Brilijant.
Along the tour, you’ll have a chance to see the Olm, often referred to as the ‘baby dragon’ or the ‘human fish’, which lives in the dark recesses of the cave. If you’re unable to see it here, as we were, you can also visit the Vivarium after the tour for a better chance of seeing one of these ‘baby dragons’.
At the end of the walking portion of the tour, there’s a shop to buy souvenirs and postcards, as well as an underground post office where you can mail the postcards.
Then climb back aboard the train which takes you back to the entrance.
Postojna Cave Tours, Options & Ticket Info
Several options are available for tickets and tours.
Postojna Cave tickets can be purchased for a single entry or as a package bundle with a visit to Predjama Castle, or can include entrance to the Vivarium and Expo Cave Karst. Prices start at €39.90.
We opted to do the Postojna Cave, Vivarium and Predjama Castle bundle, as the boys really wanted to visit the Vivarium and see the olms. It was well worth the visit in my opinion!
If you opt not to do multiple attractions, the Postojna Cave entrance fee is €29.50.
Tickets are available near the entrance to Postojna Cave or can be bought online beforehand.
Tours are also available from Ljubljana. This Postojna Cave & Predjama Castle Tour includes round-trip transportation from Ljubljana, as well as entrance tickets to both the cave and the castle.
Postojna Cave Opening Hours
Postojna Cave is open all year round, however, hours vary throughout the year.
From November to March, there are three guided tours at 10 am, 12 pm and 3 pm.
April and October: 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm
May, June and September: 9 am – 5 pm
July and August: 9 am – 6 pm
Other Attractions at Postojna Cave
In addition to the cave tour, there are several other attractions available at Postojna.
The Vivarium at Postojna is an interesting and educational addition to the cave tour where you can get a close-up view of the unique creatures that live in this underground world. The vivarium mimics the cave ecosystem, so light is minimal, but each tank has a light that can be turned on to see the creature inside.
The highlight of the vivarium is undoubtedly the olm, or proteus. This pale creature lives in underground caves and rivers in Southeastern Europe, but the most well-known spot to see them is in Postojna Cave, as well as nearby Škocjan Caves.
Olms spend their entire life underground and can go for a decade without eating. They live to be an incredible 100 years old, and along with their white skin, has earned them the nickname “Human Fish”.
Another popular nickname is the Postojna Cave dragon, as olms are thought to resemble the mythical dragons due to their pale skin, long body and small eyes, as well as their habitat in the cave.
While the olm is undoubtedly the star of the vivarium, there are some other interesting creatures that can be seen in glass tanks throughout the vivarium. The included audioguide has interesting information about each of the creatures, and is available in several languages.
The Vivarium’s hours are dependent on the Postojna Cave tour timetable, but the tour is not guided so you can explore the exhibition at your own pace.
Expo Cave Karst
The Expo Cave Karst exhibition gives information and insight into the Karst world that surrounds Postojna Cave. The detailed information is great for adults interested in learning more about the Karst cave, and to keep younger kids engaged, an olm and beetle lead them through the exhibition. Children can also try driving a real train car.
Included in this exhibition are two other exhibitions; Life within a Billion Years , which shows how the earth has evolved throughout different geological periods. and Butterflies of the World, which has more than 3, 000 butterflies from all over the world.
A popular ticket option also includes Predjama Castle.
Located just a short distance from Postojna Cave, Predjama Castle is an impressive medieval fortress built into a cliff.
It is one of the most unique and picturesque castles in Europe, and the only castle built into a cave.
Explore the rooms and different areas of the castle on a self-guided tour. Audioguides are provided with information and stories about the different areas of the castle.
Parking is available at the castle (€5) and in the summer months, there is a free shuttle between Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle.
Tips for Visiting Postojna Cave
Postojna Cave Temperature: The temperature inside Postojna Cave is 10°C (50°F) year-round, so you’ll want to wear a warm sweater.
Footwear: Be sure to wear proper footwear, as you will be walking and the cave floor can be slippery in spots.
Photos: Unlike Škocjan Cave and other caves in Slovenia, it is possible to take photos inside Postojna Cave.
Food: There is a gift shop and several restaurants on-site, but you can also bring your own lunch or snacks and eat before or after the tour.
Parking: Postojna Cave parking is easy to find. There is a flat fee of €6 per day to park in the lots. There are also charging spaces for electric vehicles.
Campervan Parking: Parking is available for RVs and campervans as well from April to October and includes water, sewer and electricity connections. The price for 24-hour parking is €25.
How to Get to Postojna Cave from Ljubljana
Whether you drive yourself, take public transit or opt for a guided tour, Postojna is an easy day trip from Ljubljana.
Postojna is only 40 minutes by car from Ljubljana. The exit for the cave is well-marked on the highway, and the cave is only a few minutes from the highway.
It’s also possible to take a train or bus from Ljubljana to Postojna Caves. The trip takes just over an hour and costs around €6-7 one way.
Where to Stay at Postojna Cave
There are some interesting options for Postojna Cave hotels.
Right near the entrance to Postojna Cave, Hotel Jama is part of the cave complex and offers stunning rooms in an incredible location.
Rooms and apartments are also available in the town of Postojna, and another great option is camping in Postojna.
We stayed at Camping Pivka Jama, which is close to the entrance of Pivka Cave. Choose between a basic campsite or family-sized bungalows, which include a kitchenette. My kids loved the loft-style beds, and having a kitchenette was a great option for us. There’s also a swimming pool and restaurant on-site.
The best time to visit Postojna Cave is in the morning, as the afternoon can become busier and there are more crowds. Summer is a busy time, but there are more tours offered, while late spring and early fall have quite a few tour times and there are fewer crowds.
December is also a great time to visit. Between December 25th and 30th, local actors and musicians perform a Living Nativity show inside Postojna Cave, while 2,100 coloured lights illuminate the route inside the cave.
Depending on the time of year, you may need to drive yourself between the two attractions. In the summer months, there is a free shuttle between Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle.
During the rest of the year, you will need to arrange your own transportation. Predjama Castle is only 9km from Postojna Cave and takes less than 10 minutes.
Organized tours usually include visits to both Predjama Castle and Postojna Caves, and transportation between the two attractions is included.
The Postojna Cave tour has two parts. The first part of the tour is by train, and the second part is a walking tour led by a tour guide. In total, the Postojna Cave tour takes 90 minutes.
It’s possible, but not necessary, to book tickets in advance to visit Postojna Cave. Booking online ahead of time will guarantee your preferred time slot, but it’s also possible to buy tickets when arriving at Postojna Cave.
Plan to spend at least 2-4 hours at Postojna Cave. The cave tour lasts 90 minutes, but you will need to be there a few minutes before your scheduled tour time. After the tour, if you plan to visit the Vivarium or Karst Cave Expo, you will need at least another half hour for each of those.
Final Thoughts: Is Postojna Cave worth visiting?
Postojna Cave is an impressive sight to see and definitely worth a visit! It’s one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Slovenia for a reason.
The incredible scenery underground will leave you in awe, and while you can see similar formations in other karst caves around the area, the Postojna Cave tour offers a fantastic experience that’s great for all members of the family.
If you’re travelling with kids, the train ride through the cave is definitely a highlight! But even if you’re not, the train ride is comfortable and makes the journey into the cave much easier.
Visiting Postojna Cave is an unforgettable adventure that you should definitely make time for when in Slovenia.