The train from Venice to Ljubljana
 

Venice to Ljubljana by train, not bus...  No reservation needed, it's turn up & go with unlimited availability.  Great scenery - bring a picnic & beer if you like!

Venice to Ljubljana for €21.40...

I'm delighted to report that train service between Trieste & Ljubljana was restored from 9 September 2018 with two direct trains each way per day.  This is now the best way to travel between Venice or Trieste and Ljubljana with connections to/from Zagreb, see option 1 below.  It's cheap, comfortable, no prior reservation is necessary, it can't sell out, just turn up & go.  Much better than a cramped bus, the train has air-con, wheelchair-accessible toilets, plenty of luggage space, bicycle spaces, and power sockets at seats, And there are sights to see along the way.

Option 2 is a variation on the direct route, using the historic tram between Trieste and the Slovenian border at Villa Opicina, with 5 or 6 departures per day - the tram is an experience in itself, but unfortunately it has been temporarily replaced by a bus since an incident in August 2016 and has yet to resume.

  Option 1, using the Trieste-Ljubljana trains

  Option 2, using the historic Trieste tram

  Venice & Trieste to or from Lake Bled

  Trains from Venice to other European cities

  Trains from Ljubljana & Zagreb to other cities

Option 1, using the Trieste - Ljubljana trains restored in September 2018

A new twice-daily regional train started running between Trieste & Ljubljana from 9 September 2018, restoring rail travel between Italy and Slovenia after a gap of several years.  It's now the comfortable and civilised way between Venice, Trieste, Ljubljana and Zagreb.  You can check these times using www.bahn.de/en.

 Venice, Trieste ► Ljubljana, Zagreb  

 

 Zagreb, Ljubljana ► Trieste, Venice    

 From 9 September 2018

Mon-Fri

daily

 From 9 September 2018

 daily*

   daily***

 Venice Santa Lucia depart

05:04

15:41

 Zagreb depart:

18:38

12:36

 Trieste Centrale arrive:

08:03

17:46

 Ljubljana arrive:

20:57

15:14

 Change trains in Trieste...

daily

daily

Change trains in Ljubljana...

 daily

daily

 Trieste Centrale depart:

09:01

19:09

 Ljubljana depart:

05:57

16:10

 Ljubljana arrive:

11:36

21:48

 Trieste Centrale arrive:

08:39

18:43

 Change trains in Ljubljana...

  daily**

 daily*

 Change trains in Trieste...

daily

daily

 Ljubljana depart:

14:45

 08:25

 Trieste Centrale depart:

09:15

19:15

 Zagreb arrive:

17:10

10:23

 Venice Santa Lucia arrive:

11:20

21:20

* = Overnight stop required in Ljubljana when going to or from Zagreb.  Other trains available between Ljubljana & Zagreb, check times at www.bahn.de/en.

** = A later early-evening connection is available from Ljubljana to Zagreb if you fancy a stopover in Ljubljana, check times at www.bahn.de/en.

*** = An earlier connection is available from Zagreb to Ljubljana if you fancy a stopover in Ljubljana, check times at www.bahn.de/en.

Why not stop off in Trieste?

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

Route map...

Venice to Ljubljana train route map

Click for larger mapGreen = scenic routesReproduced from the European Rail Map with kind permission of the European Rail Timetable people - I recommend buying a copy of the European Rail Map for your travels, www.europeanrailtimetable.eu with shipping worldwide.  More details.

What is the train like?  See the video...

2nd class seats on the train from Venice to Ljubljana   The train from Trieste to Ljubljana

Inside the ETR563.  Larger photo.

 

The train to Ljubljana about to leave Trieste.  Courtesy of Marc Williams.

What's the journey like?

Regional train from Venice to Trieste, arrived at Trieste Centrale   2nd class seats on the regional train from Venice to Trieste

The hourly regional train from Venice to Trieste.  No reservation necessary, turn up & go!  You sit where you like.

Regional train from Venice to Trieste, arrived at Trieste Centrale   Regional train from Venice to Trieste, arrived at Trieste Centrale

Trieste town hall.  The city is well worth a stop...

Trieste Centrale station, on its leafy square...

The Trieste to Ljubljana train at Trieste Centrale

The air-conditioned electric train from Trieste to Ljubljana train, about to leave Trieste Centrale. Courtesy Marc Williams.

Scenery between Trieste and Ljubljana

Scenery in Slovenia, seen from the Trieste - Ljubljana train...

Ljubljana station

You arrive at Ljubljana main station, walking distance from all the sights and hotels...

Option 2, using the historic tram from Trieste to Villa Opicina...

This is essentially the same route as option 1, but instead of taking a train all the way from Trieste to Ljubljana, you use the historic Trieste tram (if operating) for the 6km (3.5 miles) between Trieste and the Italian/Slovenian border at Villa Opicina, picking up the train to Ljubljana there.  The tram line isn't marked on the route map above but you can easily imagine it as a fairly direct line from Trieste to Villa Opicina (so a much shorter distance than that taken by the train, which cannot scale the escarpment behind the city).  You don't get to pass through Prosecco station like you do on the train, but the tram is an experience in itself.  It's the only tram in the world that becomes a funicular half way through its journey to climb the steep escarpment out of Trieste to the plateau above the city, with great views over the city and the Adriatic, have your camera ready!  You get up to 6 departures a day this way rather than just two, as there are more trains between Villa Opicina & Ljubljana, in addition to the ones that extend to/from Trieste.

IMPORTANT: THE TRIESTE TRAM IS STILL OUT OF ACTION, REPLACED BY A BUS

The historic tram between Trieste & Villa Opicina had a prang on 16 August 2016 and has been out of action for repairs ever since.  It was due to resume in April 2017 then June then August, then in April 2018. But still no tram, and some sources say it may not resume until 2020.

You can still travel this route, as a replacement local bus service is operating every 20-30 minutes for the same price, although now the direct trains are operating there's little point if the historic tram is still out.  Do let me know if you find the tram back in service (as there's no easy way to check without going to Trieste.

Bus number 2 runs every 20-30 minutes between Trieste Piazza Oberdan tram terminus and Villa Opicina tram terminus (a short walk from Villa Opicina railway station).  Bus number 4 runs every 20-30 minutes between Trieste Piazza Oberdan tram terminus and Villa Opicina station, saving a walk.

Venice & Trieste Ljubljana & Zagreb

Zagreb & Ljubljana Trieste & Venice

What's the tram ride like?

Tram at Trieste Piazza Oberdam terminus   View over Trieste from the tram at the top of the escarpment

Trieste Piazza Oberdan tram terminal...

 

View over the city as the tram climbs the escarpment...

Trieste-Villa Opicina tram showing the tram buffered up to the drogue for climbing the escarpment   Trieste to Villa Opicina tram at the Villa Opicina tram terminus

Above left, for the ascent of the escarpment the tram couples up to a 'drogue', the only tram in the world to transform into a funicular railway for part of the ride.  Above right, the tram terminus and cafe at Villa Opicina, the Italian border town next to Slovenia.

Villa Opicina tram terminal

Villa Opicina tram terminal...

Train from Villa Opicina to Ljubljana   2nd class seats on the train from Villa Opicina & Sezana to Ljubljana

Slovenian local train from Villa Opicina to Ljubljana.  These trains are modern & air-conditioned with on-board information displays, toilets & ample room for luggage.  Take provisions with you, as there's no catering at Villa Opicina station or on the train.  These trains run up to 6 times a day from Villa Opicina on the Italian side of the border to Ljubljana.  You can check train times at the Slovenian Railways website www.slo-zeleznice.si.


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