Postojna Caves is one of the largest cave complexes in the world, and located in central Slovenia. It is, in fact, a real-life version of Gringotts from Harry Potter! Massive caves, train rides, stalactites and stalagmites—Postojna is really just missing a dragon or two and huge quantities of wizard gold. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of a visit to Postojna Caves!
Postojna is a quiet town in Slovenia, southwest from the capital Ljubljana. Buses run at least every hour from Ljubljana to Postojna—the journey takes a little less than one hour. My one-way ticket there cost 7.50€, and my ticket back cost 6€. The caves are located about 1 km away from the bus station. A visit to Postojna Caves is often combined with a visit to Predjama Castle, located 10 km away from the caves. You can buy a combination ticket for both the caves and the castle—there is a shuttle between the caves and the castle, but it only runs during the summer months.
Entrance to Postojna Caves is 19.10€ for students (23.90€ for adults), and tickets are done for timed entry. You can buy tickets in advance online—it might be helpful during the busy summer season. Once it’s time for your tour, groups are divided by language (including English, Slovenian, German, and Italian). Audio guides are available in a wider range of languages, I think. The 1.5 hour tour is absolutely worth the admission fees!
The highlights of the caves (for me!) were the 2 km train rides into the cave and on the way out. All aborad! This was the major draw of the caves—the roughly 10-minute train ride made me feel like I was sitting in a cart with Harry on his first visit to Gringotts!
“I never know, what’s the difference between a stalagmite and a stalactite?” –Harry
“Stalagmite’s got an ‘m’ in it. An’ don’ ask me questions just now, I think I’m gonna be sick.” –Hagrid
You aren’t accompanied by a goblin to see your worldly treasures in a vault, but you are taken through the caves by a tour guide. During the walking portion of the tour the guide tells you interesting facts about the architecture and history of the caves.
The Russian Bridge, built by Russian POWs during World War II, is one of the highlights of Postojna Caves. The walking tour shows the Spaghetti Hall, White Hall, and Red Hall—named after the colors and types of stalactites and stalagmites.
One of the highlights is the Brilliant Passage, which has a picturesque stalactite and stalagmite, that are the symbol of the caves.
The tour then goes to the Concert Hall, where you can see another symbol of the caves: the eye-less cave salamander (proteus) that inhabits the caves.
After the Concert Hall, it’s another roughly 10-minute train ride back to the surface. There are tons of souvenir shops and restaurants/cafes at the caves complex, but besides that there’s not much else to see.
Even though it was missing Harry, Hagrid, Griphook, and a dragon or two, Postojna Caves really was like visiting the real-life Gringotts. The train rides were so much fun, and the cave itself was spectacular. The caves make for a great daytrip from Ljubljana, and are well worth the price. If you want to feel like you’re in the magical world of Harry Potter, head to Slovenia and check out Postojna Caves!
Have you ever been somewhere that reminded you of Harry Potter?!