Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Reasons To Add Novo Mesto, Slovenia To Your Bucket List


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Noel Kessel



Welcome to Novo Mesto, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Slovenia. This charming city is often overlooked by tourists, but it is a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. With its rich history, stunning architecture, picturesque riverside, delicious cuisine, and breathtaking natural beauty, Novo Mesto has something to offer for everyone.


Located in the southeastern region of Slovenia, Novo Mesto is the administrative, economic, and cultural center of the Dolenjska region. As one of the oldest cities in the country, it is steeped in history that dates back to prehistoric times. The city’s strategic location along the Krka River has made it a significant economic and cultural hub throughout the centuries.


As you explore Novo Mesto, you will be captivated by its beautiful architecture. The city is dotted with stunning landmarks, including the magnificent Stari Grad (Old Castle), which offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside. The Town Hall, with its Renaissance and Baroque elements, is another architectural marvel worth visiting.


One of the highlights of Novo Mesto is its picturesque riverside. The Krka River flows through the city, providing a serene backdrop for leisurely strolls or boat rides. The riverside promenade, lined with charming cafes and restaurants, is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.


No visit to Novo Mesto is complete without indulging in its delicious cuisine. The region is known for its hearty traditional dishes, such as Belokranjska pogača (a savory cake), štruklji (rolled dumplings), and potica (a rolled pastry). The local restaurants and taverns offer a wide array of culinary delights, showcasing the best of Slovenian gastronomy.


Novo Mesto is also a gateway to Slovenia’s renowned wine country. The region boasts numerous vineyards, producing exquisite wines that are celebrated both locally and internationally. A visit to the local wineries offers the opportunity to sample unique varietals and learn about the winemaking process.


For nature lovers, Novo Mesto is a paradise. Surrounded by lush greenery, rolling hills, and meandering rivers, the city offers a diverse range of landscapes to explore. Take a hike in the scenic Krka River Valley or venture into the nearby Gorjanci Hills for breathtaking views and invigorating outdoor adventures.


If relaxation is what you seek, Novo Mesto is home to several thermal spa resorts. Unwind and rejuvenate in the healing waters of the thermal pools, indulge in luxurious spa treatments, and immerse yourself in a world of tranquility and wellness.


Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of activities to keep them entertained in Novo Mesto. From kayaking and cycling along the river to hiking and camping in the surrounding nature parks, there is an abundance of options for adventure seekers.


No matter when you visit, Novo Mesto is always brimming with festivals and events. Experience the vibrant culture and traditions of the region through music, dance, food, and art. From the Novo Mesto Summer Festival to the famous Bela Krajina Carnival, there is always something happening in the city that will leave you with lasting memories.


So, why wait any longer? Add Novo Mesto, Slovenia to your bucket list and immerse yourself in its rich history, beautiful architecture, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture. Discover a destination that will captivate your heart and soul.


Rich History and Cultural Heritage

Novo Mesto is a city with a fascinating history that spans over centuries. The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with evidence of ancient settlements and archaeological discoveries. The rich history of Novo Mesto can be experienced through its numerous historical landmarks and cultural heritage.


One of the highlights of Novo Mesto is the Stari Grad, or the Old Castle, which sits majestically overlooking the city. Dating back to the 13th century, this well-preserved fortress offers a glimpse into the city’s medieval past. Explore its ancient walls, towers, and courtyards, and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscapes.


Another architectural gem in Novo Mesto is the Town Hall, located in the city center. Built in the Renaissance and Baroque styles, this impressive building is adorned with beautiful frescoes, ornate decorations, and a clock tower. It serves as a testament to the city’s historical significance as a commercial and administrative center.


Immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of Novo Mesto by visiting the Regional Museum, housed in the beautiful Grm Castle. The museum displays a wide range of exhibits that showcase the history, archaeology, and ethnology of the region. From ancient artifacts and medieval treasures to traditional costumes and folk art, it provides a comprehensive insight into the local culture.


Novo Mesto is also known for its vibrant music scene, with a strong tradition of choral singing. The Novo Mesto Choir Festival, held annually, brings together choirs from Slovenia and beyond, creating a harmonious celebration of vocal music. The city’s love for music is further exemplified by the Anton Podbevšek Theater, where various theatrical and musical performances take place throughout the year.


As you stroll through the streets of Novo Mesto, you will notice the influence of different architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque. Explore the charming old town, with its narrow streets, colorful facades, and quaint cafes. Discover hidden treasures, such as the Rotating Bridge, which was the first rotating bridge in Europe, connecting the two banks of the Krka River.


Throughout the year, Novo Mesto hosts a variety of cultural events and festivals that showcase its rich heritage. The Bela Krajina Carnival, one of the oldest and most famous carnivals in Slovenia, brings the city to life with colorful parades, costumes, and traditional music. The Dolenjska Wine Road Festival celebrates the region’s winemaking traditions, offering wine tastings, culinary delights, and live entertainment.


Novo Mesto’s rich history and cultural heritage are deeply ingrained in every corner of the city. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply curious about the local culture, you will find something to captivate your interest and leave you with a deeper understanding of this enchanting destination.


Beautiful Architecture

Novo Mesto is a city that proudly showcases its beautiful architecture, combining different styles and periods throughout history. As you wander through its streets, you will be greeted by a plethora of stunning buildings that tell the story of the city’s architectural evolution.


One of the must-visit landmarks in Novo Mesto is the Stari Grad, or the Old Castle. This medieval fortress, perched atop a hill, offers a magnificent display of architectural grandeur. Its solid stone walls, imposing towers, and elegant courtyards take you back in time to the days of knights and lords. The views from the castle are equally captivating, offering panoramic vistas of the city and the surrounding landscape.


The Town Hall is another architectural gem in Novo Mesto that should not be missed. Its Renaissance and Baroque elements create a visually striking facade, adorned with decorative details and statues. Step inside to admire the beautifully preserved interiors, adorned with frescoes and intricate woodwork. The clock tower, standing tall above the city, is a symbol of Novo Mesto’s historical significance.


As you explore the city, you will encounter various examples of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture. The Church of St. Nicholas, with its Gothic spires and intricate stone carvings, is a testament to the city’s religious heritage. Take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into creating this magnificent structure.


Novo Mesto’s old town, with its narrow streets and colorful facades, is a treasure trove of architectural delights. Walk along Roška Street, one of the oldest streets in the city, and admire the well-preserved medieval and Renaissance buildings that line its path. The House of Andrić, a stunning Renaissance palace, stands as a prime example of the city’s architectural splendor.


Another architectural highlight of Novo Mesto is the Rotating Bridge, a unique engineering marvel. This pedestrian bridge, built in 1924, was the first rotating bridge in Europe and connects the two banks of the Krka River. Its intricate design and mechanical operation make it a fascinating sight to behold.


Novo Mesto’s commitment to preserving its architectural heritage is evident in the careful restoration and maintenance of its buildings. The city’s architectural beauty extends beyond its historical landmarks, with modern structures blending in harmoniously with the old. The Novi Mestni Center, a contemporary shopping center, is a prime example of how modern architecture can seamlessly integrate with the traditional aesthetics of the city.


The diverse range of architectural styles and periods in Novo Mesto creates a captivating tapestry that showcases the city’s past and present. Whether you are an architecture enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of well-crafted buildings, Novo Mesto’s architecture will leave you awe-inspired and appreciative of the city’s rich heritage.


Picturesque Riverside

One of the most enchanting aspects of Novo Mesto is its picturesque riverside, which adds to the city’s charm and beauty. The Krka River gracefully meanders through the city, creating a serene and captivating atmosphere.


A leisurely stroll along the riverside promenade is a must-do activity in Novo Mesto. The promenade is lined with charming cafes, restaurants, and shops, offering a perfect spot to relax, dine, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance. As you walk, you will be treated to stunning views of the river and the surrounding landscapes.


For a different perspective, take a boat ride along the Krka River. There are various options available, from sightseeing cruises to more adventurous kayak or canoe excursions. Glide effortlessly through the calm waters, soaking in the tranquility and marveling at the natural beauty that surrounds you.


The riverside is not just a place of leisure and relaxation; it also serves as a hub for cultural and social activities. During the summer months, the Krka River hosts the Novo Mesto Summer Festival, a series of open-air concerts, performances, and cultural events. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and enjoy live music that resonates across the water.


Novo Mesto’s riverside also offers picturesque views of the city’s architectural landmarks. Admire the reflection of the Stari Grad, or the Old Castle, in the calm waters of the Krka River. Capture the beauty of the Town Hall’s facade as it stands proudly by the riverside promenade. These breathtaking sights create perfect photo opportunities, allowing you to capture the essence and charm of Novo Mesto.


During the warmer months, the riverside comes alive with various outdoor activities. Join in the fun by cycling or rollerblading along the dedicated paths that run parallel to the river. Find a spot along the riverbank and have a picnic, enjoying the fresh air and the soothing sound of the flowing water.


As the day comes to a close, witness the magical transformation of the riverside as the sun sets. The warm hues of orange and pink reflect on the water, creating a mesmerizing sight. Take a moment to savor this peaceful and serene atmosphere, and let the beauty of the riverside captivate your soul.


Novo Mesto’s picturesque riverside is a true gem that adds a touch of enchantment to the city. Whether you decide to take a leisurely stroll, embark on a boat ride, or simply sit and soak in the beauty, the riverside will leave you with lasting memories of your visit to this charming Slovenian destination.


Delicious Cuisine

When it comes to culinary delights, Novo Mesto offers a delectable array of dishes that will satisfy even the most discerning palates. The region is known for its hearty and flavorsome cuisine, which showcases the best of Slovenian gastronomy.


One of the signature dishes of Novo Mesto is Belokranjska pogača. This savory cake is made with a rich dough, filled with ingredients such as cracklings, cottage cheese, and herbs. The result is a mouthwatering combination of textures and flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. A slice of Belokranjska pogača is the perfect snack or appetizer to start your culinary adventure in Novo Mesto.


Štruklji is another traditional dish that deserves a spot on your food itinerary. These rolled dumplings can be found in various flavors, including cheese, walnut, and tarragon. Each bite is a burst of deliciousness, as the soft dough encases the flavorful fillings. Whether you choose to have them as a main course or as a dessert, Štruklji is a must-try dish in Novo Mesto.


For those with a sweet tooth, potica is a dessert that should not be missed. This rolled pastry is made with a sweet nut filling, usually walnuts or poppy seeds, and can be enjoyed in different variations. The rich flavors and delicate layers of potica make it a delightful treat to savor, especially when paired with a cup of Slovenian coffee.


When it comes to dining in Novo Mesto, the local taverns and restaurants offer a wide range of culinary delights. The dishes are often prepared using locally sourced ingredients, ensuring freshness and quality. From hearty meat dishes to lighter vegetarian options, there is something to please every palate.




Wine Country

Novo Mesto is nestled in the heart of Slovenia’s renowned wine country, making it a paradise for wine enthusiasts. The region’s favorable climate, fertile soil, and rich winemaking tradition have resulted in the production of exceptional wines that are celebrated both locally and internationally.


For wine lovers, a visit to Novo Mesto is a journey through vineyards and wine cellars. The city and its surrounding countryside are adorned with vineyards, where different grape varieties thrive. Take a scenic drive through the rolling hills and picturesque landscapes, and you will discover a wine lover’s paradise.


The wines of Novo Mesto are known for their exceptional quality and diverse flavors. The region produces a variety of white, red, and rosé wines, each with its own unique characteristics. The crisp and refreshing white wines, such as the iconic Cviček, are perfect for warm summer days. On the other hand, the full-bodied red wines, like Modra Frankinja (Blaufränkisch), offer rich and complex flavors that pair well with hearty meals.


Immerse yourself in the world of winemaking by visiting the local wineries in and around Novo Mesto. Many of these wineries offer tours and wine tastings, where knowledgeable sommeliers guide you through the tasting process, sharing their passion and expertise. Learn about the winemaking techniques, explore the vineyards, and sample the exceptional wines that the region has to offer.


If you’re in Novo Mesto in early September, don’t miss the Dolenjska Wine Road Festival. This annual event is a true celebration of the region’s winemaking heritage. Local winemakers gather to showcase their products, offering wine tastings, culinary delights, and live entertainment. It’s a fabulous opportunity to experience the vibrant wine culture of Novo Mesto and to indulge in the flavors of the region.


Whether you are a seasoned wine connoisseur or simply enjoy a good glass of wine, Novo Mesto’s wine country is a destination that promises to delight your senses. From exploring the vineyards to tasting the exquisite wines, you will discover a world of flavors and experiences that showcase the pride and passion of the local winemakers.


Natural Beauty

Novo Mesto is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, offering visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in breathtaking landscapes and tranquil surroundings. From rolling hills and lush greenery to meandering rivers and stunning viewpoints, the city is a haven for nature lovers.


One of the highlights of Novo Mesto is the Krka River, which flows through the city and its surrounding countryside. The river creates a picturesque setting, with its crystal-clear waters and verdant banks. Take a leisurely walk along the river’s edge, breathe in the fresh air, and listen to the soothing sounds of the flowing water.


The Krka River Valley, located just outside of Novo Mesto, is a treasure trove of natural beauty. This scenic landscape is dotted with charming villages, vineyards, and rolling hills. Explore the valley by hiking or cycling along the well-marked trails, and be rewarded with captivating views of the countryside and the river.


For a more adventurous experience, venture into the nearby Gorjanci Hills. These majestic hills offer breathtaking panoramas of the entire region. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a trek to explore hidden trails, discover picturesque viewpoints, and marvel at the untouched beauty of nature.


Nature parks in the vicinity of Novo Mesto provide further opportunities to connect with nature. The Lahinja Regional Park, part of the Natura 2000 network, is a haven for flora and fauna. Explore its diverse ecosystems, from wetlands and forests to meadows and riverbanks, and encounter a wide array of bird species, amphibians, and plant life.


Novo Mesto is also home to several picturesque forests, perfect for a rejuvenating escape amidst nature. The Brezovica Forest is a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts, offering well-maintained trails and peaceful surroundings. Take a leisurely stroll or have a picnic amidst the towering trees and enjoy the serenity of the forest.


The natural beauty of Novo Mesto changes throughout the seasons, offering a different experience year-round. In the spring, witness the blooming wildflowers and rejuvenated landscapes. Summer brings lush greenery and vibrant colors. Fall paints the scenery with warm hues, as the leaves transform into shades of red, orange, and yellow. And in winter, the region is covered in a blanket of snow, creating a peaceful and enchanting atmosphere.


Nature is an integral part of Novo Mesto’s identity, and its beauty is a testament to the region’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or simply a moment of serenity, the natural beauty of Novo Mesto will captivate your senses and leave you with a profound appreciation for the wonders of the great outdoors.


Thermal Spa Resorts

Novo Mesto is a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation, thanks to its proximity to a selection of thermal spa resorts. These resorts offer the perfect getaway for those seeking to restore their mind, body, and soul in a serene and therapeutic atmosphere.


The thermal waters in the region are renowned for their healing properties. With their high mineral content, the hot springs provide numerous health benefits, including stress relief, muscle relaxation, and improved blood circulation. In Novo Mesto, you can immerse yourself in these soothing waters and experience the rejuvenating effects firsthand.


One of the most popular thermal spa resorts near Novo Mesto is Terme Dolenjske Toplice. Nestled in the heart of the Dolenjska region, this wellness oasis offers a range of amenities, including indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, wellness centers, and luxurious accommodations. Indulge in a variety of spa treatments, from massages and facials to mud baths and thermal water therapies, and feel the stress melt away.


Situated near Novo Mesto, Terme Šmarješke Toplice is another esteemed thermal spa resort. Surrounded by lush greenery and tranquil landscapes, this resort is an ideal retreat for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. Dive into the thermal pools, take a leisurely walk through the park-like surroundings, or pamper yourself with holistic wellness treatments that will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized.


Terme Čatež, located a short distance from Novo Mesto, is one of the largest thermal spa complexes in Slovenia. With its expansive water parks, wellness centers, and a wide range of accommodation options, it offers a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment for the whole family. Soak in the thermal pools, float along the lazy river, or indulge in soothing spa treatments while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of this popular resort.


Thermal spa resorts in Novo Mesto and its surroundings not only provide rest and rejuvenation, but they also offer a wealth of recreational activities. Many resorts feature sports facilities, including tennis courts, golf courses, and hiking trails, allowing visitors to stay active and enjoy the natural surroundings.


Whether you desire a weekend escape, a wellness retreat, or a family vacation, Novo Mesto’s thermal spa resorts offer a serene sanctuary where you can unwind, recharge, and escape the stresses of daily life. Discover the healing power of the thermal waters and immerse yourself in a world of relaxation and well-being.


Outdoor Activities

Novo Mesto and its surrounding areas offer a plethora of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. From exploring scenic trails to adrenaline-pumping water sports, there is something to suit every interest and level of fitness.


One of the best ways to appreciate the natural beauty of Novo Mesto is by embarking on hiking or cycling adventures. The region boasts a network of well-marked trails that lead you through stunning landscapes, including forests, vineyards, and picturesque valleys. Put on your walking shoes or hop on a bike and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.


The Krka River, which flows through Novo Mesto, provides an excellent opportunity for water-based activities. Rent a kayak or a canoe and paddle along the river, peacefully gliding through the picturesque surroundings. As you make your way downstream, you’ll have the chance to admire the flora and fauna that thrive along the riverbanks.


For those seeking a bit more excitement, the Krka River also offers thrilling options such as river rafting and canyoning. Join a guided tour and navigate the rapids, cliffs, and waterfalls as you embark on an adrenaline-fueled adventure. These activities are sure to get your heart racing and create memories to last a lifetime.


Novo Mesto’s proximity to the Gorjanci Hills opens up a world of outdoor opportunities. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the well-maintained trails that wind their way through the hills, providing stunning panoramic views of the region. The hills are also popular with mountain bikers, offering challenging terrains and breathtaking descents.


If you prefer a more leisurely pace, why not try out golfing in the beautiful countryside? Novo Mesto is home to a picturesque golf course that caters to both beginners and experienced golfers. Enjoy a relaxing game amidst incredible natural surroundings and soak in the fresh air and peaceful ambience.


Camping enthusiasts will find several campsites nestled in the picturesque landscapes surrounding Novo Mesto. Set up your tent or rent a cozy cabin and immerse yourself in the great outdoors. Spend your days hiking, cycling, or simply unwinding amidst nature, and enjoy the tranquility of the star-filled nights around the campfire.


Novo Mesto’s outdoor activities cater to all seasons. In winter, the nearby ski resorts offer opportunities for skiing and snowboarding, while the surrounding countryside is transformed into a winter wonderland. In the warmer months, the region comes alive with vibrant colors, making it perfect for a range of outdoor adventures.


Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a nature lover, Novo Mesto and its surroundings provide a wealth of outdoor activities to satisfy your sense of adventure. Embrace the beauty, embrace the thrill, and create unforgettable memories while exploring the great outdoors.


Festivals and Events

Novo Mesto is a city that knows how to celebrate life and embrace its vibrant culture. Throughout the year, the city hosts a variety of festivals and events that showcase the region’s traditions, music, art, and culinary delights. Whether you’re a music lover, a dance enthusiast, a foodie, or simply someone who appreciates a lively atmosphere, Novo Mesto’s festivals and events will captivate your senses.


One of the most famous festivals in Novo Mesto is the Bela Krajina Carnival, which dates back over a century. Held in February, this colorful and energetic carnival fills the streets with elaborate costumes, live music, dancing, and revelry. Experience the joyful atmosphere, join in the parades, and immerse yourself in the local customs and traditions.


For classical music lovers, the Novo Mesto Spring Festival is a highlight. Held annually, this festival brings together renowned musicians and artists who perform in various venues throughout the city. From orchestral concerts to chamber music recitals, the festival showcases the beauty and talent of classical music in a truly enchanting setting.


The Novo Mesto Choir Festival is another event that celebrates the region’s strong choral tradition. Choirs from Slovenia and beyond come together to perform and compete in this festival, creating a harmonious celebration of vocal music. Experience the power of voices coming together in perfect harmony and be captivated by the beauty of choral performances.


Novo Mesto Summer Festival is a highlight of the city’s cultural calendar. Running from June to September, it features a diverse program of outdoor concerts, theater performances, art exhibitions, and cultural events. The festival takes place in various locations around the city, including the riverside promenade, Old Castle, and city squares, providing a vibrant atmosphere where locals and visitors can come together to enjoy the arts.


The Dolenjska Wine Road Festival is a must-visit event for wine enthusiasts and foodies. Held in September, this festival celebrates the region’s winemaking heritage, offering wine tastings, culinary delights, live entertainment, and educational workshops. Experience the rich flavors of the local wines, indulge in delicious food pairings, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the festival.


Throughout the year, Novo Mesto also hosts a variety of cultural events, art exhibitions, and local markets that showcase the talent and creativity of the region’s artisans and craftsmen. These events offer a glimpse into the local culture, allowing visitors to experience the authentic traditions and customs of Novo Mesto.


Whether you’re seeking a festive celebration, a cultural experience, or simply a chance to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere, Novo Mesto’s festivals and events provide a vibrant and lively backdrop for unforgettable moments. Join in the festivities, embrace the music and art, savor the flavors and traditions, and create lasting memories in this vibrant Slovenian city.



Novo Mesto truly has it all – a rich history, beautiful architecture, a picturesque riverside, delicious cuisine, renowned wine country, natural beauty, thermal spa resorts, a wide range of outdoor activities, and vibrant festivals and events. This hidden gem in Slovenia is a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.


Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and cultural heritage as you explore its stunning architecture, visit ancient landmarks like the Stari Grad and the Town Hall, and delve into the local museums that showcase the region’s past. Take leisurely strolls along the picturesque riverside, enjoying the serene ambiance and capturing beautiful photos along the way.


Indulge your taste buds in Novo Mesto’s delicious cuisine, savoring traditional dishes like Belokranjska pogača, štruklji, and potica. Explore the wineries and vineyards, sampling the exceptional wines produced in the region. And don’t miss the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate in the thermal spa resorts, soaking in the healing waters and indulging in luxurious treatments.


For outdoor enthusiasts, Novo Mesto offers a wealth of options. Embark on hiking or cycling adventures through the breathtaking landscapes, navigate the Krka River in a kayak or canoe, explore the Gorjanci Hills, or tee off at the picturesque golf course. The region’s natural beauty will leave you in awe.


Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Novo Mesto by attending the city’s festivals and events. From the Bela Krajina Carnival to the Novo Mesto Summer Festival, there is always something happening that will enchant and entertain you.


In conclusion, Novo Mesto is a destination that combines history, culture, natural beauty, relaxation, adventure, and celebration. Whether you are seeking a peaceful getaway, an active outdoor experience, a cultural immersion, or simply a chance to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings, Novo Mesto will capture your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories. So, add Novo Mesto, Slovenia to your bucket list, and experience the wonders that this captivating city has to offer.