Most castles in Slovenia stand on hilltops or in other prime locations. Their former inhabitants are, of course, long gone, but their lives are reflected in museum collections that also present the cultural heritage of the wider area. Some castles offer guided tours with costumed guides dressed as historical figures.
1) Ljubljana Castle
Ljubljana Castle has dominated the historic town centre below it for almost 900 years. Ljubljana's biggest tourist attraction, it contains two museum collections, serves as an events venue and a romantic wedding location, and offers gourmet dining in the two castle restaurants.
Recommended: the Ljubljana Castle Time Machine, with guides in the roles of figures from history.
2) Bistra Castle
Bistra Castle near Vrhnika is the home of the Technical Museum of Slovenia, with its remarkable collection of technical heritage covering a wide range of fields, including numerous old machines and gadgets still in working order.
Recommended: the collection of limousines once owned by Marshal Tito, the former president of Yugoslavia.
3) Bogenšperk Castle
Bogenšperk Castle in Šmartno pri Litiji was once home to the pre-eminent Slovene polymath Johann Weichard von Valvasor (1641–1693). Today it contains a varied museum collection presenting his life and work.
Recommended: the castle is an ideal venue for a romantic wedding.
4) Polhov Gradec Manor
This baroque manor house in a picturesque natural setting near the village of Polhov Gradec is, like Bogenšperk, famous for its former owner, in this case the Enlightenment intellectual Count Rihard Ursini Blagaj. Today it contains two museum collections.
Recommended: tea with Count Blagay
5) Zaprice Castle
Zaprice Castle in Kamnik houses a number of museum collections presenting the rich history of Kamnik since the Middle Ages, when the town enjoyed its greatest period of prosperity. The meadow behind the castle serves as an open-air museum with a number of granaries and other rural buildings from the Tuhinj Valley area.
Recommended: museum collection dedicated to the life of the herdsmen on Velika Planina