Ljubljana travel guide
Updated: Apr 19
One of the smallest capitals in Europe. Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a perfect destination for a city break. Because it is one of the smallest capitals , there are not countless sights to see. But it is definitely a must-see destination. Because the city is not so big, you can reach everything on foot. Super convenient! In the city there are plenty of buildings to see and many nice streets full of Street art. By reading this blog further, you will learn more about the best things to do and how to travel there.
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What not to miss?
Prešeren Square is the centerpiece of the city of Ljubljana. The square is home to the Franciscan Church, Jože Plečnik's triple bridge and the statue of France Prešeren . This square is also named after France Prešeren, which is why there is a statue of him. France Prešeren is a national poet of Slovenia.
Prešeren Square is a meeting place where various concerts and festivals are held. It is also a place where sports, political events and prostrations take place. The square is part of the pedestrian zone.
The square is full of nice stores, cafes and restaurants. There is always atmosphere in the square due to the sounds of street musicians and other entertainers.
The Triple Bridge is a group of three bridges over the Ljubljanica River. This river connects the medieval part of town and the modern part of town.
In 1842, the medieval wooden bridge was replaced by the power plant that form the Triple Bridge. Later, side bridges were added so that pedestrians could also walk the bridge safely. The bridge was designed by the architect Jože Plečnik,.
In 1992 the bridge was renovated one more time and since 2007 the bridge is also part of the pedestrian area in Ljubljana. The triple bridge is a real tourist attraction.
The Ljubljana castle is located on a high hill above the city. The castle is a real beauty of architecture. Through the watchtower and the ramparts of the castle, you get a great view of the city.
Under the watchtower is the chapel of St. George, Kapela Sv Jurija. This is one of the oldest remains of the castle.
Inside the castle itself, you can watch the puppet theater, a museum exhibition about Slovenian history and you can take a time machine tour.
The Dragon Bridge is a bridge decorated with famous dragon statues. The dragon sculptures are a true masterpiece, which is why the bridge is so famous.
It is one of the largest bridges built in this way in Europe. Namely with reinforced concrete. At the time the bridge was built, it was also the third largest arch in Europe.
The reason the bridge is decorated with dragons has several reasons. According to legend, Jason was the founder of Ljubljana and killed a dragon along with his argonauts. According to local legends, the dragons wag their tails when a virgin crosses the bridge.
Tivoli park is the most beautiful and largest park in Ljubljana. The park consists of several parks joined together. In the park there is a pond with a small botanical garden with a greenhouse next to it. In this greenhouse exhibitions of tropical and carnivorous plants are held.
The parks together cover an area of about five square kilometers and contain several walking paths. The cultural monument, The Jakopič promenade is located in the Tivoli park. Various art exhibitions are held in the promenade.
What else to visit?
Ljubljana's central market is a place you can store, but it is also a place where the population mingles and has fun together. The park is the most direct connection between rural and urban areas in Slovenia.
The market consists of an open air market and a covered market. The open air market is on the squares Vodnikov trg and Pogačarnev trg. The covered part is between these squares. Along the Ljubljanica River there are also a few food stores.
The central market also has more to offer such as several restaurants, kiosks and still other catering establishments.
Metelkova Mesto is a cultural center that originated from a squat. It allows different artful creations and events to come together in a beautiful cultural center.
The center is also the base for several clubs. These clubs organize concerts, club nights and events with underground artists and DJs from all over the world.
Because of the many events, it attracts many people every night. These range from students and music fans to tourists who come to visit Ljubljana.
The Town Hall is the seat of Ljubljana's municipal administration. With a visit to the Town Hall, you can climb the beautiful staircase and see the Venetian-style bakom. The town hall also has a clock tower.
Inside the Town Hall hangs a plaque from the original town hall building. Another attraction in the town hall is a statue of Hercules with a lion. The statue is from the 17th century.
A replica of the Narcissus Fountain stands in the courtyard of City Hall. The three river gods representing the main rivers of Slovenia are depicted on the Narcissus Fountain.
As a visitor, you can also visit the wedding hall, the Grand Council Chamber and the banquet hall in the City Hall. There are also four exhibitions to view at City Hall consisting of local and international art exhibits. The glass atrium, the central atrium, the right atrium and the historic atrium.
Ljubljanica River Trip
The Ljubljanica River flows through the center of Ljubljana's Old Town. It used to be the main trade route.
Present day it is a place of gathering of people. The river is bypassed by all sorts of restaurants, markets and cafes. It is an atmospheric place where everything revolves around conviviality.
The river is also crossed by several tourist boats that take you from place to place. A cruise on the Ljubljanica River is a trip where you can see and visit all the nice places along the river.
How to travel there?
There are several ways to travel to Ljubljana. Each option is described below.
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is located 26 kilometers from Ljubljana (20 minutes by car). So it is possible to go to Ljubljana by plane, only from the plane you still need transportation to the city itself.
There are several means of transportation you can use to/from the airport. Namely:
- Cab: Taxi services are available at the airport itself.
- Car rental: There are several car rental companies at the airport.
- Bus route: There is a regular bus service between Ljubljana Airport Jože Pučnik and Ljubljana Central Bus Station (stop no. 28).
Ljubljana is located at the crossroads of Slovenia's main roads. As a result, highway connections from all neighboring countries are easy.
If you want to use Slovenian highways, which includes the road to Ljubljana, you need to buy a road tax vignette. These vignettes can be purchased at gas stations in the border areas of Slovenia. But they can also be bought at post offices, most newsstands and automobile clubs.
The train station in Ljubljana is the main train station in Slovenia. It is easily accessible from several countries.
The train station connects Ljubljana with Frankfurt, Zurich, Trieste, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Munich, Zagreb, Graz and Belgrade. So there are more than enough options to get to the train station in Ljubljana.
In the city itself, trains are also widely used if you want to travel quickly from place to place.
Ljubljana's bus station has connections to all of Slovenia's neighboring countries.
Some cities with direct bus connections to Ljubljana are: Florence, Venice, Milan, Trieste, Munich, Vienna, Klagenfurt, Dortmund, Budapest, Paris, Sarajevo, Zagreb, Belgrade, Sofia and Nis.
Well-known destinations within Slovenia are also easily reached by bus.
When to travel there?
The best months to visit Ljubljana are from April to May or September to October. In these months the weather is nicest for visiting things and doing things in the city. These months are also cheaper than summer because they fall just outside the high season.
In the summer, it is very hot in Ljubljana. This may make it unsuitable for tourists, as it is too hot to do many activities. Unless of course you can stand the heat very well.
In the winter there is also a lot to do in Ljubljana. So it is also a possibility to go there in winter, only in winter it is also crowded in Ljubljana and thus relatively more expensive than in the shoulder seasons.
On average, you will spend €69 per day. This is an average price based on several visitors.
For one person you will be around €484, if you stay in Ljubljana for one week.
For two people, you will spend around €967 in week. So about double the price of one person.
If you travel with children, the price will not quadruple, because tickets and prices for children are lower than for adults.
Of course, the prices always depend on how expensive and luxurious you want to make it yourself.
What to eat?
There are a huge number of delicious places to eat in Ljubljana, but to give you some direction, here are the top 3 best local food restaurants:
Strelec is located high up in the archer's tower of Ljubljana Castle. The restaurant offers a beautiful view of the city. The cuisine has a Roman, medieval and modern atmosphere combined with a unique menu.
Manna is located in a colorful cottage on a beautiful street in Ljubljana. The restaurant offers a selection of modern Mediterranean dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the evening, a wide variety of seafood is also available. And the wine list includes 300 different types of wines.
Valvas'or's menu consists of modern European dishes. Order a delicious steak or opt for a nice piece of tuna or perhaps something vegetarian. It is all possible in this wide range.
There are many events in Ljubljana to go to, but of course at all different times. The top 3 annual events in Ljubljana are:
Dragon carnival is a traditional parade through the streets of Ljubljana. The parade features various Slovenian carnival characters. The tradition of celebrating carnival parades with masks goes back to many years ago. It is a very colorful and atmospheric event, which shows a lot of culture and features from the past.
The Lent Festival
The Lent Festival is a festival that is really alive! There are all colorful lights, sounds and rhythms. The Lent Festival is a festival where everyone is welcome.
The Lent Festival is the largest Slovenian outdoor festival and one of the largest in Europe.
The festival is a celebration of culture, art and creativity of all genres and for everyone. It is a festival for discovering new things and meeting people and being together in a variety of cultures.
Summer Festival of Ljubljana
The Summer Festival of Ljubljana are several events that are free to the public. The events take place annually from mid-June to mid-September.
The squares in the center, the various church buildings and the patios are the stages for the events. These are played each evening.
The festival concludes with "Night in Old Ljubljana".
This is the end of the Ljubljana guide. We believe that this article will you help by planning your trip. Ljubljana is a beautiful city and we are sure you will be amazed by it. We also have other places for you to explore, see our guides to Salzburg, Vienna, or Bern. Do not forget to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be always updated on the new releases.