You have a few days off and you want to visit a peaceful European city - not too big, not too expensive and with many things to do and see.. maybe with a day trip to the seaside or to the mountains? Well, if you visit Ljubljana, it will cover all the things above!
Things to Do in Ljubljana
Stroll along Ljubljanica river
For the start, just walk along the Ljubljanica river to get a first impression of the Slovenian capital city. You will see, in the summer months and also in December, many things happen exactly along the river. Selling souvenirs, people playing music, performing, sitting in cafes, ships are cruising down the river, people kayak or sup...
Have a seat at the Preseren Square
Maybe a bit strange activity but sitting at the Preseren Square (pedestrian zone, central square where all the concerts and other events happen) will enable you to feel the atmosphere and the vibe of the city! Sit down and watch.
Go for a Boat Cruise
Pay 10 EUR and enjoy a ride through the city! The guided and unguided boat rides on the Ljubljanica river are available from April to October. It departs from Ribji trg pier. More info..
Stroll down the Slovenska cesta
Have a look at the newly renovated and since 1 year a no-car street called Slovenska cesta. You see that skyscraper on the photo below? Well, remember it, as this comes listed a bit later.
Shop in the Copova street
Copova street is the main street in Ljubljana, filled with cafes, shops, post office, banks..unfortunately even Mc Donalds ;) But definitely a street to stroll down when visiting Ljubljana.
Pay Attention to Stunning Architecture
On your visit to Ljubljana, you can't miss the historical buildings and bridges with amazing architecture. One of the most important and beautiful works in Ljubljana was done by Joze Plecnik.
Ascend to the Ljubljana Castle
Of course, not to be missed, the Ljubljana Castle. Why? Because of the amazing views and the stunning interior rooms of the castle. To access the castle, you can walk the short distance from the city centre, take the small train or ascend by the funicular railway. The latter will cost you 4 EUR for the return ticket. Also good to know, in July, there is an open air cinema at the Ljubljana castle.
Have a look at the Dragons
The legend is saying that a person called Jason was the founder of Ljubljana and he was apparently the one who killed a dragon. There is a triple-hinged arch bridge in Ljubljana, called the Dragon Bridge. Check it out!
Take Photos of the Pretty Locks
Photography lovers, this is for you. Walk to the Butcher's bridge and have fun taking photos of these pretty locks :)
Rent a Kayak
A great way to see the city is by kayaking down the Ljubljanica river! You can book the kayak here.
Sup on the Ljubljanica river
If stand up puddling is something you enjoy, then book a board via Bananaway. SUP on the river is a great way to see Ljubljana!
Rent a Bike
Lovely idea to do the sightseeing by bike. Check out about bike rental here.
Walk down the Trubarjeva street
Trubarjeva street is one of my favourite streets in Ljubljana. When strolling down, you will see that there are many graffiti's on the buildings' walls. There are also many lovely cafes, bohemian shops, international restaurants and take away stalls, tattoo shops, etc.
Choose your Lunch at Odprta Kuhna
Odprta Kuhna is an awesome place where you can order different Slovenian and international food. Remember, it takes place at the Ljubljana market place, every sunny Friday from 10 AM to 9 PM or even 11 PM in the summer months.
Observe the Old Town
A lovely part in Ljubljana is its old town. In the 12th century the Mestni trg square was the centre of the city. Sights to see are definitely the Robba fountain, City Art museum, Lichtenberg house, Souvan house and Haman house.
Take Photos of the Groce Sculptures
In Ljubljana, near the Butcher's bridge, there are some groce sculptures to observe which represent the Ancient Greek and Christian/Jewish mythology.
Have a food break
Once you start starving, it is time to find some delicious food in Ljubljana. Here is a list of top 10 restaurants in Ljubljana. Cacao, if you want to eat ice cream, Zvezda, if you are into cakes, Pizzeria Trta if you are a pizza maniac... Another great idea is to go on a Food Tour where you will try out traditional dishes and many sorts of wine!
Enjoy the Views from Neboticnik
This is the place you must go if you are a lover of amazing views! Neboticnik is the name of this great bar at the top of a skyscraper.
Read a Book on the Kongresni Trg
There is a nice library under treetop, as the call it, at the Kongresni trg square. It is a small park with benches and you are allowed to take a book you like and read it.
On your visit to Ljubljana, don't skip the Metelkova City, which is a social centre in form of barracks. It is a place where many cultural events and concerts happen. A must-see!
Relax in Prule
I really liked this peaceful, lush place if I just want to avoid the crowds. Go and sit at the riverside and take it all in!
Visit the Cat Caffe
You like cats? Well, then Cat Caffe is for you! Sip your drink and play with the kittens!
Try different Slovenian beers
A big fan of beer? Well, then buy a Slovenian beer in the shop Pivoljub - Dunajska cesta 115. I really liked "Rdeca Pomaranca".. ;)
Have a Break in Tivoli Park
When you need a break from the crowds, Tivoli Park is the best place to take a nap during your visit. It is also a big park to take a stroll, relax and doing some sports. Sorry, I don't have a blog photo ;)
When to go to Ljubljana
The best time to visit Ljubljana would be probably from May to September. In the summer months the sun is out, so expect it to be more crowded. However, if you go between June and August, you will have the chance to escape the city and take a plunge in the lakes or the sea. Another interesting time to visit Ljubljana would be also in December when there are many Christmas stalls and the city is lovely decorated with white and blue lights. If you ask me, I would go in June (when all cafes are out) and in December (to experience the Christmas time).
How to travel to, from and around Ljubljana
Travelling to Ljubljana:
Travel with Flixbus from Zurich, Zagreb, Milan, Vienna, Budapest etc. to Ljubljana
Travel with GoOpti (shared and private transfers)
Fly with Adria Airways to Ljubljana Airport
Take the train from several European capital cities to Ljubljana
Travelling in Ljubljana:
The majority of sights can be seen on foot. Otherwise you can travel by bus (buy a Urbana city card at the kiosk), by bike, by taxi, by small train which drives from the city centre to the Ljubljana castle.
Travelling out of Ljubljana in order to do a daytrip:
Rent a car at Ljubljana Bus Station
Travel by train from Ljubljana Railway station
Travel by bus from Ljubljana Bus Station
Where to stay in Ljubljana
1.) Budget accommodation:
2.) Airbnb Ljubljana:
Ljubljana on a Budget
To save up to 80 EUR, buy the Ljubljana card which enables you free entrance to 15 museums, free city tour, free tourist boat ride, etc.
To save money on accommodation, go for couchsurfing. It is for free and safe - don't worry :)
Map of Ljubljana
Day trips from Ljubljana
If you consider to do a day trip out of Ljubljana, I suggest to have a look at the travel agency Roundabout. They organise great tours to every corner of Slovenia.
I suggest to take a trip to these places, with or without a agency:
- Lake Bled and Bohinj
- Kranjska Gora and Zelenci
- Piran and Mesecni zaliv, Strunjan
- Skocjan and Postojna Caves
- Skofja Loka and Kamnik
- Velika planina
- Ptuj and Maribor
Boves, Tolmin, Kobarid with the lovely Soca River can be of course also nice daytrips, however, I would definitely go there for 2 or 3 days at least. This is due to the fact that the roads are quite curvy, it takes you a while to get there and there is so much to do ;)
Did you visit Ljubljana? If yes, what cool things did you do there? Did you go on any daytrips out of the city? Let us know in the comments below!