Postojna Cave (Postojna Jama in Slovenian) is a unique attraction in picturesque Slovenia. The cave is famous not only for its beautiful and varied petrified formations but also for its original sightseeing. Part of the tour takes you on a special underground train.

Postojna Cave is a wonderful world hidden under the earth’s surface, formed by drops of water over millions of years. It was discovered in 1818 and is still the most visited attraction in Slovenia. Slovenia is a small country with many unique attractions, so it is not surprising that over 40 million tourists have already passed through the mysterious corridors of the Postojna cave.

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River - Postojna cave

The Pivka River excavated the Postojna cave. It is 24 km long and has underground halls and corridors. The tourist route is “only” 5.5 km long, of which the entire 3.7 km in depth is covered by train, and the last part is walked on foot.

History of the cave

The cave was opened to visitors in the 19th century. At first, the cave was lit by candles and torches and entered on foot. In 1818, the Austrian Emperor Francis II visited the cave. and his wife, Karolína Augusta. For this visit, the cave was illuminated for approximately 300 meters.

Already in 1872, tracks were laid on which two-seater carts ran. The guide pushed a cart with tourists two kilometers through the cave. Later, the tracks were widened, and locomotives were purchased to pull the wagons.

In 1884, electric lights were turned on for the first time in the cave, making the Postojna Cave one of the pioneers of electricity. The lights were on there six years earlier than the lighting installed in the streets of Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, and many other European capitals.

Until 1957, the locomotives were petrol-powered, which meant that the exhaust fumes greatly reduced visibility in the cave. Later, diesel locomotives were replaced by electric ones. In 1964, a two-track railway line was opened, which still allows the continuous transportation of a large number of tourists.

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The mysterious dragon from the Postojna cave

When you exit the last room, you will reach a place where you will encounter one of the cave symbols. It’s the cave creature Proteus Anguinus, a blind amphibian with a slow metabolism that eats once every 10 years! It looks interesting—like an eyeless snake with legs and fins at the end of its body. You can buy it in front of the cave as a magnet or a stuffed animal.

Proteus Postojna cave

Cave Macarates are endemic only to the Dinaric Karst, which means that they live on only a very small piece of the world. Their habitat is Slovenia and the Postojna Cave. The peculiarity of their cave life is precisely the life in the dark, constant temperature, and long periods without food. These characteristics have made these cave salamanders pioneers of survival and equipped them with unique super powers.

The Tour

You can join the tour 15 minutes before it starts. Before entering the cave, guides check tickets and divide tourists into language groups. For us, it was Slovenian, English, and others. The others got an audio guide around their neck in their native language. Underdressed, the temperature in the caves is a steady 10C. They offered us a warm cape and piled us onto the yellow train, thus beginning our tour.

Train - Postojna cave

The approximately ten-minute drive along the 3.7 km long route full of tunnels connecting the magnificent illuminated halls of the Postojna cave was wonderful. You didn’t know where to go with your eyes. Sometimes one of the tourists could be heard whistling as a stray drop of water fell on their face on the way. After the ride, it was time to explore the cave for a while.

I would guess that around 150 of us were in the audio group. Only our family took 9 seats, and we felt literally lost among so many people. The whole group took 2 trains. Normally we would be bothered by such a large number of visitors, but the visit to the caves was so wonderfully organized that 10 people or 150 made no difference!

And it was mainly because of the audio guide, which was absolutely brilliant!!! Our whole tour was done in silence, without stopping and waiting for the rest of the group. We walked through the halls of the cave smoothly. They could enjoy themselves and take pictures of whatever we wanted. Our guides only used signs to alert us to the numbers for the audio guides at the new stations and ensured we didn’t stray somewhere.

The audio guide also entertained the children. Everyone listened quietly to their device and then told us about everything they learned. Even the little ones enjoyed pressing the station numbers and looking for stalactites resembling animals, buildings, and people according to the instructions from the tiny speaker in the halls.

room of Postojna cave

During the tour, you will visit, for example, a gray room with magnesium, an orange room with copper with iron admixture, and a white room with calcite. The cherry on the cake is the most beautiful stalagmite, one of the symbols of the Postojna Cave. It’s called “Brilliant,” and it deserves that name. It is perfectly white and has a beautiful shape.

Admission prices and how to save

The entrance fee to the caves is not small, but you will not regret your investment! It costs something to preserve such beauty and make it available to visitors. Tours are always guided and start at a specific time. The number of places is limited, so buying a ticket in advance is definitely better. Especially on holidays and weekends. We bought tickets the night before, and there were plenty of seats. Only the last 10 tickets remained for the eleventh hour. Almost everywhere was full in the morning, even before the opening of the caves. The last spots left on afternoon tours. And that was a Sunday in March.

The basic entrance fee for visiting the Postojna cave is €29.90 (3/2024). Students and children are then entitled to a big discount. And children up to and including 5 years old have an entrance fee of only a symbolic €1 (3/2024). The price includes a guided tour, train ride, and audio guide.

An option to save on the entrance fee to the Postojna Cave is to buy a ticket to one of the other tourist attractions nearby at the same time. For example, by buying a combined ticket to the Postojna Cave and the nearby Predjam Castle, you will save about €7, which is already worth considering.

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Useful information

  • The ideal time to visit the park is on a weekday outside of holidays and holidays when you don’t have to worry about tickets being sold out.
  • There are plenty of parking spaces around, but they are paid
  • There are also several public toilets before entering the cave, and they are clean and free
  • There are also many souvenir shops and places to eat around the entrance to the cave.
  • Toilets can also be found inside the cave before boarding the train and returning to the surface.
  • It’s cold inside the caves. Something to think about
  • A photographer will take your picture as you enter, so smile. When you leave, you will find your printed photo on the notice board, and you can buy it and take it home
  • There are no stairs anywhere in the cave, but the paths are wet and can be slippery
  • The whole tour takes about 1.5 hours
  • The website of the cave has many wide range of language variants

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