Venice to Ljubljana for 22, Venice to Zagreb for 40, unlimited availability!

  Train from Villa Opicina to Ljubljana

Venice to Ljubljana by train, not bus...  No reservation needed, it's turn up and go with unlimited availability so it can never 'sell out'.  Great scenery too - bring a picnic & beer onto the train if you like!

Sadly, there are now no mainline express trains at all across the border linking Venice with Ljubljana & Zagreb.  EU policy and Trenitalia's disinterest have succeeded where 50 years of Communism failed, effectively closing the border to rail transport.  But there's a clever way to travel between Venice, Trieste & Ljubljana that's easy, cheap, historically interesting and very scenic, and with two Slovenian local trains a day now extended one stop across the border to/from Villa Opicina on the Italian side, it's easier than ever.  I haven't seen this wonderful journey explained anywhere, so I'll explain the secret here.  There's also a clever way to travel between Venice or Trieste and Lake Bled too!

  Venice to Ljubljana & Zagreb 06:41 every day

  Venice to Ljubljana & Zagreb 09:41 Mondays-Fridays

  Venice to Ljubljana & Zagreb 13:41 every day

  Venice to Ljubljana & Zagreb - other departures

  Ljubljana to Venice 08:10 every day

  Ljubljana to Venice 10:40 Monday-Friday

  Ljubljana to Venice 14:33 every day

  Ljubljana to Venice - other departures

  What's the journey like?

  Venice & Trieste to or from Lake Bled

  Trains from Venice to other European cities

  Trains from Ljubljana & Zagreb to other cities

>>>>   IMPORTANT UPDATE 2018 <<<<

THE TRIESTE TRAM IS STILL OUT OF ACTION.  The historic Trieste to Villa Opicina tram 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.  in the meantime a replacement local bus service is operating every 20-30 minutes on the same route at the same price, not as fun but no big deal.  Do let me know if you find the tram back in service as there's no easy way to check without going to Trieste!

>>>>   GOOD NEWS FOR 2018 <<<<

NEW DIRECT TRIESTE-LJUBLJANA TRAIN ON THE CARDS FROM SEPTEMBER 2018.  Plans are in hand for twice-daily direct trains between Trieste & Ljubljana,  likely to leave Ljubljana around 05:57 & 16:10, and leaving Trieste around  09:01 & 19:09, journey time likely to be around 2h40.  See  Was due to start in June, now looks like September.  It all still has to be confirmed, but watch this space...

Venice & Trieste Ljubljana & Zagreb:  06:41 from Venice, every day...

Venice & Trieste Ljubljana & Zagreb:  09:41 from Venice, Mondays-Fridays...

Venice & Trieste Ljubljana & Zagreb:  13:41 from Venice, every day...

Trieste & Venice Ljubljana:  Other options...

  • In fact, trains link Sezana, on the Slovenian side of the border, with Ljubljana every 2-3 hours throughout the day, so you can always take a taxi (11-12) across the border to Sezana and pick up a train there.  No reservation is necessary you just buy a ticket at the station and hop on.  You can check train times at either, which will also confirm the price.

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

Step 1, Venice to Trieste by regional train.  These run every hour, fare 12, no seatbelts or reservations needed, just turn up, buy a ticket from the machine or the ticket office and off you go.  These regional trains are spacious and have toilets and plenty of luggage space.  If you get the chance, take an earlier one and stop off for a few hours in Trieste, it's a great and historic city.

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

Step 2, Trieste Piazza Oberdan to Villa Opicina by historic tram.  Runs every 20 minutes, fare 1.30, buy a ticket at the tram stop, see  Above left, a tram at the Piazza Oberdan tram terminus, just 3 minutes walk from Trieste Centrale station.  Above right, the tram climbs an escarpment out of Trieste, with fantastic views looking back over the city...

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.

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

Step 3, take a Slovenia local train from Villa Opicina to Ljubljana.  Fare 9 or so, no reservations necessary, just hop on & pay on board.  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 every hour or two from Sezana (on the Slovenian side of the Italian border) to Ljubljana, but since December 2013 two trains a day have been extended across the border to start at Villa Opicina on the Italian side.  You can check train times at the Slovenian Railways website

Beautiful Slovenian scenery from the train from Villa Opicina to Ljubljana   Ljubljana main station

It's a lovely scenic rural ride across Slovenia, at one point curving in a horseshow right around a valley... Ljubljana's historic railway station, walking distance to all the hotels and sights.

Ljubljana Trieste & Venice:  08:10  from Ljubljana, every day...

Ljubljana Trieste & Venice:  10:44 from Ljubljana, Mondays-Fridays only...

Zagreb & Ljubljana Trieste & Venice:  06:50 from Zagreb, 14:35 from Ljubljana, every day...

Ljubljana Trieste & Venice:  Other options...

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