Do not be fooled by Ljubljana's tiny size! The Slovenian capital is really small, yet its charm lies in it. The tiny town is one of the jewels of Slovenia. It is not as famous for its sights as Bled, Bohinj or Bovec, but you will not get bored here. It is a perfect destination for a weekend getaway, but it can even be part of a one-week trip to Slovenia.
Map - Where is Ljubljana?
Ljubljana can be an ideal stopover on the Slovenian coast. It is about 1.5 hours from Maribor, 2 hours from Bovec and only 45 minutes from Bled.
- Distance from Bled: 45 minutes, 54 km
- Distance from Bovec: 2 hours, 135 km
- Distance from Maribor: 1.5 hours, 127 km
- Distance from the Slovenian coast: 1.5 hours, 120 km
Sights of Ljubljana - A must-see city tour
“You also went up to the castle, right? Ohh, and those charming little bridges! ”
If you do not want to sit in silence in front of the questions that have been asked, you better not miss the city’s most famous spots. It would be a loss anyway, as Ljubljana’s city centre is well worth a visit. Here are the main attractions!
#1 Ljubljana Castle
It is almost impossible to lose sight of the more than 900-year-old castle towering over the city. Of course, it has been rebuilt several times since the beginning, which only adds to its historical value.
Access: on foot or by staring out from the glass cage of the cable car from the bottom of the hill.
Good to know: you can enter the main courtyard of the castle for free. However, if you are also curious about interior design and want to take a little journey through time, do not hesitate to switch tickets to the virtual tour!
- Address: Grajska planota 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
#2 Tivoli Park
Many of Ljubljana's attractions can be found in the city's green oasis, Tivoli Park. If you are going for this, do not just expect some lying around. Do not miss the botanical garden, which is home to exotic, tropical plants in the recently renovated greenhouse.
Access: it can be reached on foot from the castle and the city center in half an hour, but trams and buses also stop in front of it.
- Address: Tivoli Park, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
#3 Tivoli Castle
The neoclassical castle today functions as an art center, where graphic exhibitions play a major role.
In Tivoli Park, a small path leads to the top of the hill, to the entrance of the castle. The entrance to the castle is guarded by four cast-iron dogs, who lack their tongues.
- Address: Tivoli Castle, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
#4 Ljubljana Zoo
The zoo does not simply line up the various animals but also provides a number of programs to get to know them better.
Access: Ljubljana Zoo is also located in Tivoli Park.
Good to know: You can try what it is like to be an animal caregiver, you can take part in feeding, but you can even get to know your favorite animals more closely. What is more, they even organize night camping within the walls of the zoo!
#5 Central Market
The people of Ljubljana are often concentrated here to discuss their worries, problems and, of course, to buy ingredients for the dinner. This is a real bustling spot in the heart of an otherwise quiet city.
Access: you can find it at the bottom of the castle hill, close to the Dragon Bridge
Good to know: it is worth planning lunch here, as we can also try typical Slovenian dishes at the market.
- Address: Adamič-Lundrovo nabrežje 6, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
#6 Metelkova Mesto
The former Yugoslav barracks received a completely new function after the disarmament of the military. This is where the city's alternative art center is located. The street art paradise is an excellent photo theme during the day, while bars play the main role in the evening.
Access: search next to the train station, it will not be difficult to find!
Good to know: it is worth coming here every time you visit Ljubljana, as the artistic spirit constantly shapes the place.
- Address: Metelkova ulica 10, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Okay-okay, you can explore the city on your own, but there are other alternatives. There are themed and guided walks, and you can even explore the center of Ljubljana on a variety of means of transport.
Are you curious about the city's historic past? Or would you rather learn more about the street art sphere? Maybe you are interested more in trying local beers in different cozy pubs?
Choose the walking tour that best suits your interests and absorb the knowledge! We have put together some tips below so you have some to choose from!
#7 Treasure hunt
Treasure hunting is a great way to explore the city through playing. After all, it not only makes walking much more exciting but also draws attention to facts and details that you would otherwise easily slip through.
Where can you book? For example, on the Airbnb site.
#8 Bike tours
Would you rather roll instead of a walk? No problem, as all the sights of Ljubljana can be reached by bicycle. Moreover, in the city’s tourist center, you can rent a bike at a discounted price during the summer months.
Access: The Tourist Information Center is located near the castle, not far from the central market.
Good to know: With the Ljubljana card you can use the bikes rented here for free for four hours.
#9 Cruising in Ljubljana
On the river of Ljubljana, Ljubljanica you can enjoy a unique sightseeing tour. You get to see the most famous bridges in Ljubljana, the Trnovo Bridge, the Shoemaker Bridge, and the Triple Bridge from a different perspective, the river.
Access: Boat trips usually start in front of the town hall and return to the same place.
Good to know: the boat makes a circle around the famous Plecnik Ljubljanica sluice gate and the Spica embankment.
# 10 SUP on the Ljubljanica
Maybe you are craving a slightly more extreme water adventure than a cruise? Regardless of the weather, Ljubljana awaits you with a stand-up paddle water tour with neoprene clothes in winter and summer. You can really enjoy Ljubljanca up close, without freezing.
Are you ready? Have you seen all the mandatory attractions? You do not have to be disappointed, there are plenty of programs and experiences waiting for you still!
Here are some tips for active recreation in and around Ljubljana.
#11 One night at Hostel Celica
Have you spent an evening ever behind bars? It is possible in Ljubljana! Hostel Celica is renting out twenty cells of an old military prison to adventurous tourists.
However, do not be afraid, the hostel itself is super cozy and spotlessly clean. Click here to book a room so you do not miss out on this unique experience!
#12 Bring out those golf clubs!
Slovenia is an untouched mecca for golfers. There are a total of 13 golf courses in the country, three of which are in the immediate neighborhood of Ljubljana. On the outskirts of the city is the Trnovo Golf Course, a nine-hole course.
If you seek to play on a bigger course, you do not have to go far either. In the village of Volcji Potok, the Golf Arboretum and in Smlednik, the Diners CUBO golf course Ljubljana awaits both experienced and novice players with 18 holes.
#13 Go-kart - step on the gas!
Ljubljana is also not short of go-kart tracks. The indoor track of Karting btc is deservedly famous for providing fully equipped well-maintained cars. Not to mention an exciting route perfectly designed for racing.
So if you are in the mood for a little scorch, do not hesitate! Advance booking is essential, you can do this here, on this website.
#14 Wellness and SPA pampering
Slovenia is an area rich in thermal water, so it is no wonder that wellness centers can be found almost anywhere. One within Ljubljana is the Atlantis Water Park, located in the BTC Plaza. You can find saunas and indoor pools here. For outdoor pools and wellness facilities, visit Laguna Spa & Fun. In addition to this, you can relax in much smaller, even private SPAs in almost all parts of the city.
Good to know: Terme Snovik, one of the best thermal baths in Slovenia, is only 30 km from Ljubljana. Here you can also try various massages and beauty treatments for total refreshment.
#15 Ljubljana Summer Festival
Ljubljana offers a wide range of programs during its cultural festival - which actually covers the whole summer. Thus, if you visit the Slovenian capital in the summer, it can easily happen to stumble upon world-class concerts and theater performances.
The performances of the 67th Ljubljana Festival take place on 70-80 different stages throughout the city and attract about 80,000 visitors a year.
Good to know: you can find information about the programs and dates on the festival website.
#16 Day trips to the nature
Ljubljana is located in the middle of Slovenia, surrounded by beautiful natural wonders. You should also pack hiking boots and visit some of these beauties. We will give you some ideas on where you can get to in a day and get back before dinner.
Caution! The venues listed below are all extremely tempting, it will not be an easy choice!
• Smarna Gora: you can easily reach the foot of the 664-meter high peak on the border of Ljubljana by public transport. From here you can reach the mountaintop in an hour’s walk, with beautiful views of the Kamin-Savinja Alps and the Julian Alps.
Lake Bled is less than 40 kilometers away from Ljubljana, so you can easily plan a day trip here. It would be a big mistake to miss Bled anyway, as the beauty of the lake, with the only island of Slovenia on it, is one of the most picturesque points in the country. And of course, there is the Bled Castle, which is also an ideal program with children.
Also quite quickly, in an hour you can get to Bohinj from Ljubljana. Once you arrive, you will not really want to get out of here. The place offers various hiking trails and water sports in summer, as well as skiing in winter.
50 kilometers from the capital, a completely unique experience awaits you in Postojna. The deservedly famous stalactite caves and the Predjama Castle built into the rock crevice attract visitors from all over the world.
And now, let’s talk about some seasonal offers. As we know, paddling in a clear water lake is quite refreshing in summer, but in winter it is all more painful. The same is true for winter sports. There are no great ski resorts in Slovenia if not a whit of snowfalls in July. So please place the following programs strictly in context and schedule them for the appropriate seasons!
The Vintgar Gorge near Bled is an unforgettable experience. The journey through the gorges made of wooden planks is an ideal half-day program.
The gorge is very popular, especially in the summer, so it is worth buying tickets online in advance. You can find a description of this and all the useful information in our article on the Vintgar Gorge.
#18 Diving in Bled
Even experienced sea divers can be very surprised by a freshwater dive. In the crystal clear lake, completely different flora and fauna await you, then on the Adriatic for example. Huge fish, interesting wrecks, and lots of adrenaline! If you are already an experienced diver, you can dive under the ice in the winter with an instructor.
#19 Winter sports, icy experiences
Slovenia is a real winter sports paradise. From simple blue slopes to the most extreme ice climbing, you can try everything.
You really do not have to go far from Ljubljana to ski. Krvavec is only a half-hour drive away and the snow lasts until May. One of the most popular ski resorts in the country, Kranjska Gora is only an hour's drive away. If you do decide to spend the night here, you can rent a real igloo for yourself.
#20 Eat yourself fully in Ljubljana!
In order to really get to know the Slovenian nation and its customs, it is essential to get into the local cuisine. Eating is an experience, as you got to know new flavors and cozy places. In the following, you will get a taste of Slovenian specialties and we will also tell you where to try them.
Appetizers, soups: Ljubljana restaurants often serve smoked beef tongue as an appetizer, a Slovenian specialty, with horseradish and apples. This is not really appealing to you? Then you could also order iota soup, which is made from sauerkraut, beans, and cooked sausage and is served with bread. Would you rather avoid meat? Choose the uha z jurcki in krompirjem option, which is nothing more than a sour-tasting, potato mushroom soup.
Main dishes: Kranjska klobasa is the Slovenians' own cooked sausage. They eat bread with it, but special garnishes are added to other meats. Zganci is a polenta-like garnish, and kisla repa is actually a pickled turnip pottage. Lastly, the great favorite of the Slovenes is mashed potatoes with onions.
Desserts: The Bled cream cake is already very popular, but why not try it in its homeland? Or do you prefer something new? Then the ipanica will be the right choice. It is a layered cake with a thin dough baked with apples, poppy seeds, walnuts, cottage cheese, and raisins. In addition to this, potica, a potcake-shaped walnut raisin cake, is also quite common.
The best restaurants in Ljubljana: The most popular restaurants in Ljubljana are Strelec in the castle and Vander in the city center. Both serve extremely elegant and carefully prepared dishes. For a more family-friendly atmosphere, visit Klobasarna or Julia for sausage, you will definitely not go hungry!
We hope we got to give you a taste of Ljubljana - and now we are not just thinking about food.
The city offers countless experiences, plenty of sports and leisure opportunities. Not to mention nearby attractions that are easily accessible on day trips.
If you feel we have forgotten something, write to us!