It is not doubted that Slovenia makes the warmest impressions on its guests. More than that, this relatively small country claims to be “the ideal place of living!” – cleanness, fresh air, luxurious alpine meadows and mountain landscapes, clear rivers! In short, local nature simply astonishes you with its beauty. Everywhere you can see private houses, but they are not those ruins which we are accustomed to, - these are taken-care-of houses with blossoming flower-beds and lawns instead of patches of vegetable and without fences.
It is simply necessary to have a memory of visiting this “ideal country”. These can be pleasanttrifles, including Slovenian symbols, famous Idrijska bones laces, multi-colored crockery or glass souvenirs.
If before your trip to Slovenia, your relatives and friends besiege you, demanding to bring them different gifts from a far-away land, you can buy them such small souvenirs as:
- wooden ware: cutting boards, spoons, spatulas, rolling pins, toys, reedpipes;
- crockery of the colors of rainbow with the symbols of the country;
- magnets with Slovenian landscapes;
- wooden and stone adornments;
- T-shirts, caps with the caption “I love Slovenia”;
- cards with local sights;
- different items with the picture of dragon – the symbol of Ljublana.
On the whole the choice of souvenirs is very wide; the most important thing is that you have enough money to buy all you want.
Frequently, as souvenirs, guests of the country buy hand-made articles – here there is a great choice of hand-made goods, which are of a very high quality. Folk craft in Slovenia is not only simple handicraft or any craft, it is real Art that has been worked out and perfected throughout centuries. Pottery, wine-making, wood carving, lace-making are a part of national culture of the people of Slovenia.
Idrijska cipka is knitted items, embroidery and laces made by Slovenian craftswomen from Idrija and Bled. Idrija (50 km west of the capital) is world known for its unique laces of a very high quality (both design and quality and skill are kept on a very high level). At the end of the 19 century craftsmen from Idrija made laces for Central and North Europe, for America and Argentina.
Variety of these goods is amazing – ranging from simple cloths and kerchiefs to exquisite gloves, beads and ear-rings. The widest choice lies in Galerija Idrijska Čipka on Mestni Trg.
Slovenian lace-making is so significant for the country that there is even the Festival of Laces. As it is vividly seen, it is not simple handiwork, but a mighty part of the national culture, a part of centuries-old heritage of Slovenia.
The Slovenes are real craftsmen, and they love making something from wood. Literally everywhere they sell toys, kitchenware, rattles and other noise making music instruments made from wood.
Pottery and ceramic goods are the items of natural crockery and articles of kitchenware. The most popular are pottery jars for milk and water which are adorned with molding and paintings and are called Majolka.
Do not spare your money and do buy bed quilts and pillows – this country has long been renowned for its artistic approach to painting of bedspreads and bedlinen. Having bought something of such bedlinen, you will definitely be very pleased.
Crystalware simply dazzles you with its assortment. The most well-known crystalware in Slovenia comes from the district of Rogaska Slatina.
The region of Bela Krajina is famous for its Easter eggs and embroidery.
It is worth paying attention to flax and knitted goods with the national embroidery, braids (baskets, bast shoes, souvenirs), painted chests and caskets, metalware. Local artists possess an outstanding skill of portrait and landscape painting, so you can sit for portrait – it is guaranteed that you will have an excellent one.
The Ribnica Valley.
The Ribnica Valley – the Valley of Ribnica – is famous for its wood carving which has centuries-old traditions. Such produce is well-known far beyond the borders of the country – the whole Europe knows firsthand about the art of carvers from Slovenia.
Besides, the Valley is rich in clay mines, which was the reason why pottery appeared here. Local craftsmen have achieved the highest mastery in working with clay. The most popular items made from clay are horsemen-whistles.
It is recommended to pay special attention to glassware. Do not spare you money and do buy several skillfully made colorful glass figurines, or beautiful crockery. Do not forget, by the way, that glass is a very fragile thing, and it is necessary to be careful with its transportation.
Cosmetics from fango (mud).
The country is exclusively rich in hot thermal springs and medicinal mud – health-care resorts have been unconditionally recognized in the tourist sphere. Without any doubt buy cosmetics made from local mud – you will never regret!
One of the most wonderful presents for connoisseurs will be Slovenian salt – traditional methods of its production add to the salt a very exquisite incomparable taste. For example, the Japanese purchase Slovenian salt for the most elite sushi-restaurants. Should you be on the shores of the Adriatic (the south-west of the country), do buy this salt in the shop Piranske Soline on Mestni Trg.
The most rapt attention should be paid on the meat delicatessen “prsut”. There are a lot of various techniques of its production, but the Slovenian recipe of branded prsut is considered to be one of the best. At first sight, this is just air-dried meat with spices, but the taste of prsut is exceptional, its smell is inviting, and juicy ruby meat will satisfy the most demanding gourmand. It is achieved thanks to a special technique of its making, fresh sea-air and carefully controlled process of drying (prsut is dried within the period from 12 to 14 months), choice meat and a special mix of salt and spices.
If you want to taste the best prsut, we recommend you to visit the region Kras which, apart from prsut, is famous for its wine “Teran”.
Lect is interestingly painted figurines made from dough. Making these sweet figurines, as beekeeping, wood carving, pottery and lace-making, is related to centuries-long traditions of Slovenia. The recipe of dough is very simple – it is flour, honey and water. Be attentive! Lect should be eaten only when fresh, that is during the first few days after it has been made. On the whole, dough figurines are mostly meant for decoration, not for eating. The most widespread shape of figurines is Lect’s heart. Such craft is preserved in four regions of Slovenia, but the village Radovlica can be singled out in this sphere.
It is worth buying Slovenian chocolate “Gorenjka” in one kilogram packing – this delicacy will be appreciated by all sweet-lovers.
Connoisseurs of alcohol should bear in mind that Slovenia has long been producing excellent wines, moreover, white wines are produced considerably more than red ones.
The best brand-names of white wine are Renski Rizling, Laski Rizling, Traminec, Beli Pinot, Sipon. You should pay attention to semi-sweet white wine Simcic and to Chardonnay Izbor, which are notable for their exceptional flavor and fragrance.
Among red wines it is worth mentioning Merlot, Refosk and Kraski teran (rough wine from the grape variety of Refosco), which is the real pride of the country. Besides, taste young ruby-red wine Cvicek (with raspberry flavor), made in the Dolenjske region.
The most popular wine producers are Zelen, Picolit and Pinela.
Take into account: the vineyards of Slovenia lie in the same geographical latitude as the vineyards of Bordeaux and Burgundy, and the traditions of Slovenian wine-making are rooted in the times of the Roman Empire. That is why local wines are notable for their high quality.
Advice: do not buy wines with the mark «uvoz» (import) – such wines are not always of Slovenian production and not always of the highest quality.
Beer is quite widespread in Slovenia. The most popular brands of beer are «Gambrinus», «Union», «Lasko» and «Elatorog».
The most original liquor in Slovenia is “Pleterska Khruska”, made by Carthusian monks. Having bought it, you can see the whole pear inside the bottle – it is its original production technique, when the pear is grown inside the bottle, then brandy is poured into it.
Lovers of stronger alcohol drinks are recommended to taste local vodka zganje, pear vodka “Viljiamovka”, plum vodka «Slivovka” or juniper vodka “Brinjerec”, which is made by the monks from the monastery Pleterje. Moreover, strong alcohol drinks are also made from apples, bilberry and blueberry (Borovnicka), from sweet cherry and honey (Medinica).
In shops you can buy both usual bottles and beautiful gift bottles and sets.
Haloze – the wine paradise.
Should you visit such municipalities as Zavrč, Cirkulane, Majšperk, Žetale, Podlehnik, which are situated in the valley Haloze, you will have an opportunity to taste real top-quality wine – here lie the most elite vineyards and the best wine storages in the country.
Souvenir produce is worth buying in a shop, located in the centre of the city Cirkulane: there you can see discs with local wine and national themes, photos, cards, books, tapestries, wine, honey, gift sets of all kinds. The shop’s address is Cirkulane 56, 2282 Cirkulane.
The valley Kočevska is considered to be the honey area – here in wild forests bees sip their best aromatic, top-quality and amazingly tasty health-giving nectar, and special equipment Kremni med helps to make unique cream-honey. Honey assortment of the valley Kočevska will definitely make you think over your choice.
You can purchase the honey itself, or you can buy some strong liqueurs on its basis. On the whole, all the items of folk craft, connected with beekeeping, will be an interesting and pleasant present from Slovenia.
There are unusual souvenirs made in the form of painted beehives. Such beehives and other interesting crafts you can buy in the Honey Museum near the lake Bled.
Panjske koncnice are also very popular, it means “the end of the beehive”. They present wooden panel pictures with fragments from different fairy-tales, and they have long been used as end caps for beehives. Usually the painting had a religious character - it was believed that it helped to protect beehives. Now such panel pictures can be bought on the markets or in souvenir-shops.
Shopaholics in Slovenia will experience some difficulties: high-quality goods, their wide assortment, low prices will not give you time to think over this or that purchase.
In large cities, especially in Ljubljana, there are a lot of shops, boutiques, shopping centres and markets – you will find the place to treat yourself, the most important thing is that your finances will not let you down!
Boutiques in the capital offer a great choice of fashionable clothes of world renowned brands (Valentino, D&G, Ferre, R.Cavalli, Max Mara and others). In the capital you can also find fashionable clothes of Slovenian designers.
Apart from clothes and corresponding accessories, you may buy the antique, glassware and traditional national souvenirs.
You shall wander around the outdoor markets in Ljubljana, these markets are located in the streets of the Old Town and along the banks of the river Ljubljanica. Besides souvenirs, here you can buy foodstuffs: fruit, vegetables and meat delicacies. Every Sunday there opens a flea market in Ljubljana - a true happy hunting ground for connoisseurs of the antique.
Do not disregard the best bookshop in Ljubljana - Mladinska Knjiga, which is situated in Slovenska cesta. There you can see the collection of numerous books in different languages.
If you worship Art, visit the galleries in the centre of the capital. Your going there will not only allow you to enjoy authentic paintings and reproductions of well-known pictures, but also to obtain any painting that you have really liked.
To do shopping (both souvenirs and foodstuff) in Ljubljana, you can go to the shopping centre Nazorjeva ulica, which starts right opposite the tourist agency.
Shopping Centres in Ljubljana.
It is one of the largest shopping centres in Europe. The supermarket is situated in the north-western district of Ljubljana in Nove Jarše.
Address: Šmartinska cesta 152, 1000 Ljubljana.
Telephone: +386 (0)1 585 11 00.
Working hours - from 9.00 till 20.00, Sunday – day off.
Address: Šmartinska ulica 152 b, 1000 Ljubljana.
Telephone: +386 (0)1 587 30 10.
Working hours: weekdays - from 9.00 till 21.00, Saturday - from 8.00 till 21.00, Sunday - from 9.00 till 15.00.
E. Leclerc hypermarket.
Address: Dolenjska cesta 244, 1000 Ljubljana.
Telephone: +386 (0)1 420 41 00.
Working hours: weekdays - from 8.30 till 21.00, Saturday - from 8.00 till 21.00, Sunday - from 9.00 till 15.00.
Address: Jamova cesta 105, 1000 Ljubljana.
Telephone: +386 (0)1 423 71 10.
Working hours: weekdays - from 8.30 till 21.00, Saturday - from 8.00 till 21.00, Sunday - from 9.00 till 15.00.
Mercator center Ljubljana.
Address: Cesta ljubljanske brigade 33, 1000 Ljubljana.
Telephone: +386 (0)1 513 99 52.
Working hours: weekdays and Saturday - from 9.00 till 21.00, Sunday - from 9.00 till 15.00.
Shopping centres in other cities of Slovenia.
The Shopping centre Europark lies in the centre of the city Maribor. 119 boutiques, specialized shops and restaurants of the city are ready to offer you a wide variety of goods and services. Goods sold here are related to the world famous brands: Swarovski, Interspar, Peek & Cloppenburg, H & M Europark, Zara, Hervis, Limoni, New Yorker, Stiefelkönig and others.
Nama is a large department store where you do not only do shopping, but also have a rest, have lunch, drink a cup of tea or coffee.
This shop is famous for its children’s, men’s and women’s clothes, shoes, accessories of all kinds, leather goods, watches, belts and cosmetics, small household appliances, bedlinen, cutlery, decorative pillows, towels, crystalware and a lot of other things for decorating your homes.
On the top floor there is a café and grounds for children, and in the cellar you can find various foodstuffs, all Slovenian grape varieties, all wine brand names of local and imported wines. If you do not like cooking yourself, here you can buy ready-to-eat or take-away food of a very high quality.
Citycenter is the most modern shopping centre in the city Cele with a huge choice of goods and wonderful service. Here you can buy almost everything – furniture, appliances, cosmetics, clothes, accessories of all kinds and foodstuffs.
To go round the shopping centre and explore all its 80 shops, you will need great stamina and endurance, but then you can recharge your batteries having a rest and a snack in one of its numerous cafes. Citycenter offers to its visitors a spacious parking lot for 1600 cars.
The Factory Elan specializes in the sale of top-rank mountain skiing equipment, sports clothes and sports gear which you can purchase at the manufacturer’s price or with a considerable discount. So if you are a big fan of skiing or snowboarding, it is worth visiting the factory outlet. In other sports shops of the country the assortment is practically the same, but the prices are noticeably higher.