Central Slovenia (Osrednjeslovenska) is the region encompassing Slovenia's capital city of Ljubljana and the Kamniške Alps north of it. It's purely a region for statistical purposes: Slovenia has no government layer between its national government and its 122 municipalities. In 2019 this region's population was 564,527.
- 1 Ljubljana is the picturesque capital.
- 2 Bistra monastery is now a museum of early industry.
- 3 Grosuplje is near the fortified church of Tabor and the "Mayor's Cave".
- 4 Stična has a well-preserved Cistercian abbey.
- 5 Kranj has a castle and a museum about the poet Prešeren.
- 6 Škofja Loka has an attractive medieval centre.
- 7 Cerklje na Gorenjskem is a scattered upland area, with the ski resort of Krvavec.
- 8 Kamnik is a lovely medieval town at the foot of the Kamniške Alps.
- 9 Jezersko is a scenic Alpine valley community on the border with Austria.
- 1 Iški Vintgar is the scenic gorge of the River Iška, 15 km south of Ljubljana.
- 2 Ljubljansko Barje, the Ljubljana Marshes, were a lake in prehistoric times, with ancient villages, then became wetland then farms. They're a protected habitat.
The River Sava flows out of the Alps and carves a long valley towards the southeast, a natural transport route. Several tributaries join it and in prehistory the confluence was a lake and wetland. Gradually this was infilled and drained to become farmland, and the medieval city of Laibach grew up. The city was the natural focus of the area, and morphed into Ljubljana as the country evolved from a part of Austria-Hungary then of Yugoslavia into independent Slovenia. The flat land supports agriculture and light industry but its boggy subsoil limits urban growth.
As Ljubljana is the capital of the country, naturally it dominates the region, though the airport is some way north. It has a cosmopolitan population who often speak English or German, or who can holler for someone who does.
For long-distance travel routes see Ljubljana#Get In.
Transport routes radiate out from Ljubljana, following the valleys. For travel cross-country or up in the hills, you need a car.
- Bistra was a monastery from 1260, suppressed in 1782 and in 1951 becoming the Technical Museum, with displays of early industry and several of Tito's cars. It's open Mar-Dec Tu-Su 09:00-17:00 (to 19:00 Sa Su and Jun-Aug), adult €6.50. Bistra means "fast-flowing river" so it's a common Balkan placename, this is the one in Vrhnika, Slovenia.
- Medieval town centres: Ljubljana, Škofja Loka and Kamnik have the best.
- Hiking: lots of trails, see Hiking around Ljubljana for those near the city.
- Balloon rides launch from Lljubljana and Bled.
- Winter sports: Krvavec is the best-developed in this area.
- Ljubljana has a cosmopolitan selection. Otherwise it's heavy Slovenian meaty fare, nice from time to time but inflicting gastric concussion when you have to eat it continually.
The tap water comes out of the limestone mountains and is safe to drink.
Slovenia's three main wine-growing regions are Primoska to the west bordering Italy, Posavje east bordering Croatia, and Podravdje northeast bordering Austria, Hungary and Croatia. So it won't be from this region but it won't have come far. It's mostly white, though Primoska also produces red. The better stuff will bear the letters ZGP, meaning it's quality or premium quality vino z zaščitenim geografskim poreklom, wine with protected geographical origin.
Usual hazards: traffic, traffic, traffic! Take care of valuables and give the swerve to damn-fool drunks.
The mountains need standard care over clothing and footwear, and treacherous surfaces with nasty drops. Camping in summer the bugs can be a nuisance; food must be carefully sealed otherwise the bears will sniff it out and come a-calling.
- South-west is Coast and Karst region, stretching almost to Trieste in Italy.
- South-east are the mountains of Southeastern Slovenia.
- East is the mountainous area of Pohorje-Savinjska, with the scenic Savinja and Šalek Valley.
- West are the Julian Alps, where Bled is a must-see.
- North is Carinthia in Austria, with Klagenfurt its chief city.