Once a rival to Ljubljana and Kranj for economic dominance of Carniola, today's Kamnik (Stein in German) is a sleepy suburb of Ljubljana, with a population of just over 10,000. While there is some modern sprawl to the south, the medieval Old Town (Staro mesto) has been wonderfully preserved and makes this town well worth a visit.
Orienting yourself in Kamnik is easy enough. Most medieval buildings line the pedestrian street of Šutna, and its northern end lie Mali grad and the city square of Glavni trg. To the east runs the Kamniška Bistrica river and across it are the ruins of the Old Castle.
You can get further information, leaflets and a map of the municipality in the 1 Tourist Information Office, Glavni trg 2, ☏ . M-F 08:00-16:00, Sa 08:00-13:00; extended hours in summer. , which also has a computer for internet access (payable) and offers high quality maps of the municipality (which includes most of the surrounding mountains, free of charge) and rents out bikes.
Kamnik is 15 km away from Ljubljana's Brnik Airport. A taxi costs around €25.
- Airport Taxi, +386 41 670216, email@example.com.
SŽ has hourly commuter services from Ljubljana, taking about 40 minutes. There are three stations in Kamnik, with 1 Kamnik-Mesto train station. being the closest to the Old Town. There are no services on weekends or holidays.
Kam-Bus runs frequent services from Ljubljana (€3) and some limited direct services to other points nearby. The 2 bus station (avtobusna postaja Kamnik) is very centrally located at the edge of the old town, and there's a map to orient yourself as you exit. On weekdays, buses leave every 15-30 minutes from 05:00 until 24:00 and take just under an hour. On weekends, services are reduced to once per hour.
Kamnik is accessible via highways A1 (Maribor - Ljubljana), exit Domžale, and A2 (Villach (Beljak)/Jesenice/Ljubljana), exit Vodice. Parking is payable and mostly time-limited in the very center, but if you go somewhat outside, you may park for longer, at some places even for free.
The town of Kamnik is easily covered on foot.
The municipality spans wider and covers many of the mountainous areas around (nearly up to the Austrian border or around 20 km north to south and about 25 km East to West). Most settlements and places within the valleys are accessible by public bus, the network is operated by KamBus, please be aware that services are regular and reliable but not frequent. Biking is quite popular amongst the sporty people (you can rent bikes at the tourist information). Most areas are easily accessible by car, although parking is not always easy.
The mountains are great for hiking, Slovenia's biggest Alp Velika Planina is accessible via 3 cable car base station (nihalka na Veliko planino) (located about 3km before the end of the valley, near Kamp Alpe), ☏ . . Mountain roads are mostly service roads only, closed to public traffic.
It roughly covers the area from the southern end of Šutna (pedestrian zone), over glavni trg, up to medvedova ulica in the northern part of the city center (including some of the side roads) and offers many very nice historic buildings.
- 1 Mali grad (roughly at the center of the historic old town, access to mali grad is possible from Samčev predor (where Šutna is cut into the hill)). The "Small Castle" may lie in ruins, but the chapel next to it is still in one piece and, with its shapely curves and hilltop location, has become Kamnik's symbol. Entry into the chapel, featuring some 16th-century frescoes, but views from the hill over the red roofs of the town are free.
- 2 Stari grad (30 min hike from trailhead off Maistrova ul (when coming from the old city, take the bridge at the end of Usnjarka cesta (where the Spar supermarket is), cross the street and go some 50m to the left, the trail starts at the end of the wall). Literally the "Old Castle", this 13th-century structure now lies in ruins. Half the fun is the hike up the hill, through a forest and a meadow; keep an eye out for miniature cascade of water through pinwheels halfway up. Up top, you'll be rewarded with commanding views over the plains north to the Alps and south all the way to Ljubljana.
- 3 Medobčinski muzej Kamnik, Musejska pot (on the Zaprice Hill in the center (go the pedestrian street Šutna up to the southernmost end, where you hit the main road, turn right, cross the rails and walk up the hill)), ☏ . Kamnik's museum with permanent and occasional exhibitions.
- 4 Galerija Miha Maleš (right off the main square), ☏ . The art branch of Kamnik's museum
- 5 Volčji potok arboretum (4 km south of Kamnik). March: 08:00-18:00, April - August: 08:00-20:00, September: 08:00-19:00, 1 October – 29 October: 08:00-18:00, 30 October – 4 December: 08:00-16:30, 5 December - 24 February: 08:00-16:00. Kamnik's best-known sight is this arboretum specializing in flowers from the Kamnik Alps (the mountains between Austria and Slovenia). It also hosts an exhibition of sculptures by Janez Boljka, open when the cafe is open on weekends.
- 6 Cerkev Marijinega brezmadežnega spočetja (church of Mary's immaculate reception), Šutna (somewhat north of house no. 23). The current church has replaced a church standing at the exact same place since 1207; after a fire and several earthquakes, the current church has been built in 1734. Even on the outside, you notice a particularity: five statutes decorating the top of the front wall. It contains paintings by F. Jelovšek and K. von Goldenstein, the oil paintings are created by Valentin Metzinger. During Christmas time, a nativity scene is on display.
- 7 Cerkev sv. Jakoba in frančiškanski samostan (St. Jacob's church and Franciscan monastery), Frančiškanski trg 2. First mentioned in 1423, the original St. Jacob's church has probably been dedicated in the high medieval age; the current buildings date back to the late 17th century when Jakob Schell ordered to build a Franciscan church and monastery. It has been built in the Italian baroque style, the works have finished 1703, although the building has only been santified in 1730.
Out of the core town
Churches and monasteries
- 8 Cerkev sv. Benedikta, Zagorica nad Kamnikom 11 (at the very northern end of Zgorne Stranje, access is already via the next settlement). It has served as church since the 13th century, and was completely been rebuilt in the 19th century. It was used as a fortified seat of the German military during World War II, and then rebuilt as a church by architect Majda Neřima and her teacher, famous architect Jože Plečnik (and is counted among the latter's most important oevres made after the war). Especialy recognized by public: the sacristy.
- 9 Sveti Primož nad Kamnikom (from Stahovica settlement, walk towards the Praprotno settlement and take the road up to the Alp, the church is at about half way up to Velika planina; from the valley it takes about 1 hr 30 min to hike there.). A historic church with Gothic Revival frescos (the main one dating around 1504), it is on a plain above Črna/Stahovica, which also offers a great view (depending on the weather even towards Ljubljana)
- 10 Mekinje Ursuline monastery, Polčeva pot (more or less at the upper end). First mentioned as early as 1143, this former Ursuline monastery has now been transferred to the municipality, the rich cultural heritage staying in place. The exact use of the location is still in discussion. When heading there, you may want to cross via the bridge on Cankarjeva cesta over the Nevljica river - it has been built by the notable architect Jože Plečnik in his very distinct style.
- 11 Kamniška Bistrica spring (drive to Stahovica, there towards the Calcit factory and continue on the road straigt on (you will see the quarry ahead of you on the left side); continue the road towards the end of the valley, the spring is where you cannot drive any further straight ahead; public transport take the bus to Kamniška Bistrica (the line to Gornij Grad also stops there, but ask to be sure there is no other lines which don't stop there), the stop is the last in the valley and also named "Kamniška Bistrica" – please note that connections are infrequent, be sure to check the schedule!). A small lake and karst springs of the Kamniška Bistrica river; the lake is artificial, you will find the acutal springs when you look around the lake, the water comes out of the lime at different places.
- 12 Predaselj valley (At the Kamiška Bistrica spring, cross the bridge over the river down the valley, at the next possibility, turn into the road heading right (ca. 50 m from the bridge), follow the road until after the bridge and then turn onto the footpath on your left; this footpath follows the river down the valley, will bring you to a picknick point and shortly thereafter to Predaselj, which is somewhat more than a one km walk from the spring)). If you like, when visiting Kamniška Bistrica spring, also take a walk to Predaselj valley, a steep and narrow valley which the river has cut into the rock.
- 13 Slap orglice (small organ waterfall) (in the valley of the stream "Kamniška bela" which is a side valley to the Kamniška Bistrica valley (coming from Stahovica, it is located on the right hand side, about 2km after the Velika Planina cable car); the public transport is the same line as to Kamniška Bistrica spring, the valley is located between the "Kopišča" stop and "Kamniška Bistrica" stop. "Kopišča" is the better choice, from here, continue in the driving direction (further towards the end of the valley) for about 1 km). The hike is about 50 minutes to go up. Besides the waterfall, you may access two commemoration sites with a small detour (10 minutes or so): an american pilot grave and a former partisan hospital (ruins and memorial information)
- Kamfest. The KamFest is an arts festival is held every year over a week or more in August at the grounds of the Mali grad and surroundings, with concerts and arts performances and other events.
- 1 Kul petek (culinaric Fridays) (accessible from the northern end of Šutna/southern end of Samčev predor, located next to Kolodvorska ulica in between of Samčev predor and the "Kamnik mesto" train station.). Fridays starting 19:00 (ends on August 18, 2018). during peak summer season, there is live music and food and drink stands in Park Evropa
- Go hiking or biking in the Alps, some of the options are:
- 2 Big Pasture Plateau (Velika Planina) (you can take the cablecar from Kamniška Bistrica Valley or hike up from Črna valley (from the settlements Črna or Krivčevo)), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Velika planina (Big Alp) is Slovenia's biggest mountain pasture and offers some great views, hikes and also mountain bike tours (including freeride downhill). Bikes may be rented at the tourist information, however, if you plan tougher tours, especially down the hill, bring a suitable bike. In winter, you can also ski here. You can also walk over to Mala planina (Small Alp), where you find serviced mountain huts which also offer food and sleep possibilities (names and contact information in sleep section, please verify whether they are open before relying on them!)
- 3 Kamniški vrh (from Stahovica head towards Županje Njive, via Bistričica enter the Bistričica valley, you cross the stream once when entering the narrower valley and then once again at a place where the road seems to go straight on but actually turns left over the bridge; then continue some more and stop where the road to Slevo splits to your right (it starts with a bridge) (note that you have gone too far when you once again reach a more open part with big meadows). Park here and walk up the road to Slevo (or drive up if you want to shorten your way), continue further up, Kamniški vrh is the peak at your right hand side (the one on the left is called Planjava; you may easily walk up to both. From Kamniški vrh, you may also contine past Planjava and see the now defunct but nice small alp "Osredek", you can walk down from there giving the waterfalls "Korošaški slapovi" a visit).). Finding your way is not always easy, so you may want to bring a map with you. Kamniški vrh is a hike which is popular amongst locals for a short trip (you can reach it in 1 hr 30 min from Slevo, probably about 2 hr from the valley).
- 4 Kamniško sedlo (One starting point of the standard tour is at the "Dom v Kamniški Bistrici" (end of Kamniška Bistrica valley), from where you need about 3 hr 30 min to reach the saddle and will need to climb about 600 m in altitude)). This saddle at the very northern end of the municipality offers a great view both to the South and to the North. On the latter, it is the boundary to Logarska dolina, a lovely greenish further valley, which separates you from the Austrian border (which is at about 3-4 km airline distance). You can hike in that direction via the hut "Frischaufov doma na Okrešlju" (1 hr 30 min from Kamniško sedlo, evelation 1396 m) The next peaks you can reach from here are Brana (1 hr 30 min to reach an elevation of 2252 m) and Planjava (2 hr to reach an elevation of 2394 m).
- 5 Grintovec (amongst others accessible via Kokrško sedlo). One of the higher mountains, consequently a more demanding hike.
- If you want to go skiing or biking in a park, head to Krvavec (which is located in the neighbor municipality Cerklje na Gorenjskem).
- 6 Terme Snovik, Snovik 7, SI-1219 Laze in Tuhinju, ☏ . Spa complex, 9 km out of town. Indoor and outdoor pools, water slides, dry and steam sauna, frigidarium (-5°), etc. Accessible on two buses a day on weekdays, but only one on Sat and none on Sun. €10 for all day pass, additional €5 for sauna.
- Tunjice zdravilni gaj (holistic healing grove), Tunjice 12 (drive by car: coming out of the city center, you turn left into the road "Tunjiska cesta" (follow the sign for Tunjice), the grove is in the village, ca. 4 km from Kamnik, in the village follow the signs for "Zdravilni gaj"), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 10:00-17:00, closed on public holidays.
- 7 Dom Kulture Kamnik, Fužine 10, ☏ . Home to contemporary culture, has theatre shows, etc. Visit website for programme.
- 8 Golf Arboretum, Volčji Potok 43G, 1235 Radomlje, ☏ . One of Ljubljana's golf courts is in the Kamnik municipality, just "next door" to the park Arboretum
- 9 Letni bazen (open air swimming pool), Maistrova 15. A 50-m swimming pool, about 300 m east of the city center
While Kamnik is rather small, it is home to a small but very friendly coworking scene, located in KIKštarter at the southern end of the former chemical/explosive plant (address: Fužine 9, next to the cultural center). Possibilities for employment are rather rare, if you look for them, rather head to Ljubljana as the next bigger city.
Unfortunately, change in time has not left Kamnik untouched and many local shops, especially in the pedestrian area have closed. However, from time to time, new shops open. And there still are some small shops the central area, which extends somewhat south further down from Šutna and around around Glavni trg, to some extent also north on Medvedova. Please also have a look at the side roads, as there are some shops that are not obviously located on the main roads.
The food market at 1 Kamniška tržnica (off Maistrova ulica near the bridge and opposite the bus station). operates on Tuesdays and Saturdays, starting at 07:00 and running up to 14:00 in winter, 17:00 in summer (i.e. April through September) and, although small, offers a good choice of delicious local products.
Arts, crafts and gifts
- 4 Galerija Majolka, Medvedova ulica 16, ☏ . M-F 09:00-19:00, Sa 09:00-13:00. A local arts and crafts shop which also sells a lot of goods suitable as gifts.
- 5 Hiša Keramike, Šutna 29, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 10:00-13:00, 17:00-19:00. ceramics
- 6 Reciclarna, Šutna 27, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 10:00-14:00,18:00-19:00. an upcycling store
Clothes and attire
- Atelje Lara Bernot, Usnjarska 9. M-F 09:00-14:00. The atelier and show of young local fashion designer Lara Bernot.
- 1 Pri podkvi, Trg svobode 1, ☏ .
- 2 Pizzeria Napoli, Sadnikarjeva 5 (from Glavni trg, head south towards the pedestrian zone and just after the hill turn into the road at your left (which goes somewhat down)). Checkered red-and-white tablecloths and decent pizzas from a wood-fired oven. Some pastas and salads too. €5.
- 3 Pri Cesarju, Tunjiška 1, ☏ .
- 4 Majolka, Maistrova 11, ☏ . M 09:00-15:00, Tu-Th 09:00-22:00, F 09:00-23:00, Sa 08:00-23:00, Su 10:00-21:00. A very friendly café and restaurant whose operators also run a gallery with local arts and crafts. Free Wi-Fi. Enjoy tasty daily dishes.
Out of the "core town":
In Duplica (the rather industrial/commercial southern part of the town):
- 6 7 Burger, Ljubljanska cesta 45 (located more or less on the parking lot of the Hofer super market (next to the roundabout at the southern entrance to Kamnik)), ☏ . M-Th 09:00-20:00, F 09:00-00:00, Sa 12:00-00:00, closed on Su. A mid-priced "burger hut". Neither a nice restaurant, nor a great location, but decent and timely made burgers. €4-5 per burger + about €2 per side dish.
On Velika Planina and Mala Planina:
- 1 Kavarnica na glavnem trgu (Cafe at the main square), Glavni trg 1, ☏ .
- 2 Rotovž Caffe, Glavni trg 25. 7am-8pm.
- 3 Kavarna Veronika, Glavni trg 6, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This is one of the most traditional coffee places and an important meeting place in Kamnik. It offers breakfasts, pancakes, quality coffee and tea and a good selection of cakes, in summer complemented by ice cream.
- 4 Bar pri Maistru, Trg talcev 8 (located slightly north of the main square and pedestrian zone), ☏ . A friendly and nice cafe-bar, open during the day and evening, at a quite nice square and view of the mountains if sitting outside. Offers free WiFi to the guests.
- 5 Pod gradom, Sadnikarjeva 1a (at the northern end of the pedestrian zone Šutna, near the train station "Kamnik Mesto"), ☏ . It is just under "Mali Grad" with outside seating under nice old trees; you can watch the people passing by into the shopping street.
- 6 Bar Strelček, Murnova 3 (near the main train station, which is at the southern end of the very center). A friendly place in a rather residential area, fine for a coffee or a beer in the evening, mostly frequented by locals.
- 7 Paradiso, Šutna 32 (at the pedestrian road "Šutna", opposite the church "cerver Marijinega brezmadežnega spočetja" (Mary's immaculate conception)). Also has some outdoor seating at the middle of the pedestrian zone, probably one of the best places for people watching.
- 8 Pub Pod Skalo, Maistrova ul. 32 (from the central bus station head over the bridge and follow the main street slightly towards the left, the pub/hostel is the first building on the right hand side). Pub Pod Skalo is a part of the old house Pod Skalo and is one of the oldest bars in Kamnik. With an interesting interior, the pub illustrates rich history and development of the house and the surroundings. Refresh with a beer, have a coffee or enjoy ice cream in the summer on the terrace. In the evenings you can have fun playing table football, darts or listen to the local rock bands on occasional concerts. Pub is located across the road from the town`s swimming pool and next to the Hostel Pod Skalo.
- 9 Pod Gradom, Sadnikarjeva ulica 1a (just off Samčev predor/the beginning of Šutna), ☏ . It has a nice sunny view of the beginning of the pedestrian zone, under the ruins of "mali grad" (small castle). This pub offers a nice variety of beers and is loved by locals amongst others due to the nice and big terrace outside.
- 1 Hostel Pod Skalo, Maistrova ul. 32 (from the central bus station head over the bridge and follow the main street slightly towards the left, the pub/hostel is the first building on the right hand side), ☏ (landline), (landline), ✉ email@example.com. A small modern hostel under the Old Castle. Nine twin or double rooms and one triple room are available. Each room with a private bathroom and WiFi connection. From €23.50.
- 2 Penzion Špenko, Prešernova ulica 14c (where Prešernova ends at the main bus station), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Bed and breakfast right next to the bus station. €27.
- 3 Mili Vrh, Žale 10a (located up the hill somewhat higher than the cemetery), ☏ .
- 4 Pri Cesarju, Tunjiška 1, ☏ .
- 5 Kamrica, Trg svobode 2 (located just below Mali Grad (north of it)), ☏ , (mobile), ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:00. Bed and breakfast in the heart of town, with views toward Mali grad from some rooms. Cable TV, fridge in each room. English spoken. The price includes a massive breakfast spread. €25-32 per adult, reduced rate for children.
- 6 Hotel Malograjski Dvor (Sicom hoteli), Majstrova ulica 13 (located just below Mali Grad (north of it)), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Seemingly operating again after some time of closure.
Outside of core town
- 7 Pri Orlu, Stahovica 20, 1242 Stahovica, ☏ . €35-40.
- Pure Slovenia, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Traditional self catering Alpine chalet with two bedrooms, large enough for six. Several kilometres north of town — you'll need a car to get here. Weekly rental from £395, shorter stays (min. 3 nights) also possible.
- 8 Ecoresort, Godič 45, ☏ . Cottages built in a modernized style of Velika Planina down in the valley not too far from the city centre.
- 9 Kamp Alpe, Kamniška Bistrica, ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. operating May through Sept. Kamp Alpe is in the Kamniška Bistrica valley, 8 km from Kamnik. Its tent and motorhomes sites can welcome up to 80 guests. Appropriate sanitation and electric at the sites will make your stay a comfortable and pleasant one from May to October. It's eco-friendly and free up to 4 nights for individual travellers.
- 10 Kraljev Hrib Camping and Hostel, Kamniška Bistrica 2, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00-21:00, check-out: 08:00-11:00. Camping, hostel, a restaurant with local food, a and paintball facility.
- 11 Dom v Kamniški Bistrici, Kamniška Bistrica 9 (at the end of Kamniška Bistrica valley next to the spring of the river with the same name), ☏ . This alpine hut offers accommodation and meals and is operated by a local Alpine club chapter.
On mala planina (easily accessible from velika planina):
- 12 Domžalski dom, Žaga 18, 1242 Stahovica, ☏ .
- 13 Črnuški dom, Žaga 15, 1242 Stahovica, ☏ . Normally open on weekends.
The 2 post office, Glavni trg 27 (is just off Glavni trg (the central square), you will easily see the yellow sign.). As to the knowledge of the author, there are no internet cafes in town. However, some cafes offer free wifi (e.g. Majolka, see eat section).
- Ljubljana - Slovenia's capital and cultural and economic centre
- Kranj - the third out of the formerly three competing cities of the region (Kamnik, Ljubljana, Kranj), now also mostly a suburb to Ljubljana, but having a nice location and a great old city centre
- Maribor - the second bigger city in Slovenia, nicely located at the Drava river, European Capital of Culture 2012, with a very nice city core
- Celje – Slovenia's third biggest city, dating back to Hallstadt era and showing settlement also in Roman times, it is still home to a nice old town while being similarly sleepy as Kamnik, can be reached by a slow but nice drive through one of the two valleys heading Eastwads
- Škofja Loka - another of the somewhat bigger cities in Slovenia having a great Medieval old town
Nature and sports and to some extent history of the region:
- Cerklje na Gorenjskem (West of Kamnik) with Krvavec (one of the more notable mountains, home to a ski resort in winter and bike park in summer) is "just over the hills"
- Luče the municipality just north-north-east of Kamnik which has some nice mountains and smaller sights (such as for example a very old, still operational water mill)
- Solčava/Logarska Dolina (North of Kamnik and Luče), often also dubbed the Green Valley, is the last valley in Slovenia south of the Austrian border in the region. Near in kilometers but some passes and hence quite some time away. Old farms and village cores are worth seeing.