Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its most important city. Located not far from other influential tourist hubs like Venice and Vienna, makes it ideal to be visited on a multiple destination trip. As a matter of fact we were there during our Interrail through Europe! Slovenia is a small country in Europe and Ljubljana is a must if you are travelling to this part of the continent.
WHAT TO DO&SEE IN LJUBLJANA
Ljubljana has a vibrant vibe thanks to its young population of University students. Many green areas rise along the Ljubljanica River flowing right through the heart of the old town. The city is dominated from above by the castle, Ljubljanski Grad.
1. CROSS AND ADMIRE THE MANY BRIDGES
There are several bridges over the Ljubljanica River and they are very close one to the next in the old town. The most famous one is surely Tromostovje, or Triple Bridge, a peculiar three way bridge in the centre of Ljubljana. To the East of Tromostovje is the Dragon Bridge, an art nouveau style construction designed by native architect Jože Plečnik, featuring 4 dragons on its ends. Butcher’s Bridge, where lovers make promises to each other hooking locks onto it, lies in between the forementioned. To the southwest of Tromostovje you can find Cobblers Bridge, one of the oldest of Ljubljana, where today many street artists like to perform.
2. HIKE UP TO THE CASTLE – LJUBLIANSKI GRAD
The medieval fortress of Ljubljanski Grad is the symbol of the city, other than an impressive landmark to simply look at. It can be appreciated both from the town below, becoming particularly magical when lit up at night time, and from up close by hiking up to it. The walk is not hard at all, just a 5-minute-long ascent directly from the old town centre. If you feel too lazy there’s an elevator running up and down just behind the hill. Anyway make sure you reach the top to enjoy a great view over Ljubljana.
3. HEAD TO TIVOLI PARK
No, we are not suggesting you to fly to Denmark, there’s a Tivoli Park in Ljubljana as well! Difference is, the entry is free here! Tivoli Park has plenty of walking and cycling paths, recreational areas, and even an outdoor gallery exhibiting large format photographies.
4. VISIT THE CENTRAL MARKET
Markets are always worth a visit and a shop too, in order to buy some fruit to keep hydrated when walking around. Ljubljana’s Market was designed by Jože Plečnik too, take time to appreciate both the square and the buildings hosting the covered market.
5. TAKE IN THE VIEW FROM PRESERNOV TRG SQUARE
Back into the old town, the pink facade of the Franciscan Church is impossible to miss. With Presernov Trg Square right in front of it, this spot is one of the most iconic views in Ljubljana. You can also admire the castle dominating the city from this point of view. Come in the early morning for a quieter experience.
6. RENT A BICYCLE AND DO LIKE LOCALS DO
You’ll soon see how much Slovenians love to cycle, and they are not shy to penetrate through the city’s alleys either. They probably don’t fancy tourists when they fill popular spots, we were even photo-bombed by a local! So instead of becoming an obstacle just hop on a bike to try and be like them. The best thing to do by bike in Ljubljana is going to Tivoli Park and enjoy the open air. If you don’t feel like cycling, free walking tours are a good option too, taking place every morning at 11am. Check their website for more info. Swipe left on our Instagram photo below to see how we were photo-bombed!
7. TAKE A LOOK AT METELKOVA NEIGHBOURHOOD
Interestingly enough, another thing in common with Copenhagen is the neighbourhood of Metelkova. Similarly to Kristiania in Denmark’s capital, Metelkova is an alternative area in Ljubljana which has been recuperated by locals and is now administrated independently rather than by the municipality. Street art and colourful murals characterise this quirky neighbourhood.
+1! DAY TRIP TO LAKE BLED
Although outside Ljubljana city, a trip to Bled is a must do activity, especially if you are not planning to go and spend a night there. Lake Bled is just 45 minutes away and it can perfectly be visited on a day-trip. Read here our dedicated blog post on Lake Bled.
You should now have a better idea of what to do&see in Ljubljana. Get a few more practical tips under here and you’re set to go! Safe travels!
WHERE TO STAY IN LJUBLJANA
- Gloria Rooms Ljubljana: offering 3 private rooms in an apartment with shared toilet and bathroom. Excellent and safe location in the centre, comfy beds and easy self check-in.
- H2O hostel: a nice hostel at 5 minutes walking from Tromostovje. Cool common areas and dorms, the private rooms are ideal for couples too.
- Need more hotel inspiration? You can pre-book all your stays in Ljubljana and Slovenia with free cancellation here.
HOW TO REACH LJUBLJANA
- By plane+shuttle bus via Ljubljana Airport.
- By Flixbus from various European destinations including Trieste, Venice, Vienna, Budapest.
- By train from bordering countries Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Austria.
Never leave home without a reliable travel insurance. Even if you trust yourself, you can’t always trust others. Better safe than sorry! Get your quote here.
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