The Best Things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia

by shortgirlontour
Best Things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana is simply..lovely! Colorful and compact, this capital city of Slovenia is definitely worth exploring! The good news for travelers who may not have a lot of time on their hands is that you don’t need a lot of time to explore Ljubljana. Everything I’ve mentioned below can be seen and experienced in a day with an overnight stay. Here are the best things to do in Ljubljana.

Things to do in Ljubljana

Triple Bridge

The triple bridge or Tromostovje is perhaps one of the most famous sites in Ljubljana. The center bridge was built in the 1800’s to replace an old medieval bridge and the two bridges on either side were added later for pedestrians.

Best Things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Prešeren Square and the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation a.k.a the Pink Church

Named after Slovenia’s most famous poet, this busy square is best experienced first thing in the morning when the crowds are less. The square is home to a statue of Prešeren along with the famous pink church that was built in the 17th century.

Best Things to do in Ljubljana
Best Things to do in Ljubljana
Best Things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Cankarjevo Nabrezje

Ljubljana’s pedestrian-only street that lines the river. This street is filled with cafes and restaurants and is a great place to sit and people watch.

Best Things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Gornji Trg, Stari Trg and Mestno Trg

These roads make up what is considered Ljubljana’s old town and is filled with quaint shops and amazing restaurants and cafes.

Best Things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Castle

My honest opinion is that the castle itself is nothing much to write home about. Especially if you have seen some of Europe’s finest castles in France, Germany, England etc. What the castle does offer whoever are almost 360 degree views of Ljubljana and the surrounding areas.

You can either take the funicular that is across the street from the market square or walk up the steep pathway either from near the Dragon Bridge or Stari Trg. I walked up from Stari Trg and came down near Dragon Bridge. It wasn’t too bad but may be a challenge for some.

Best Things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Dragon Bridge

The dragon is the symbol of Ljubljana and has been so for centuries. This particular bridge was dedicated to the 40th anniversary of Emperor Franz Josef’s reign but is better known for its dragons who guard the entrance of the bridge.

Best Things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Cobbler’s Bridge

Named so for the actual cobblers who used to work along the river in the olden days. Nowadays it’s surrounded by pastel colored buildings and is a pretty site to see.

Best Things to do in Ljubljana

Butcher’s Bridge

Ljubljana’s version of a lock bridge!

Town Hall and Robba Fountain

Both the town hall with it’s pretty clock tower and this roman style fountain are part of what makes up Ljubljana’s town square. The figures with vases on Robba fountain represent the 3 rivers that flow through this region.

Best Things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Plecnik’s Covered Market and the Outdoor Market

I love a good market and really enjoyed walking around this one. The covered market sells homemade goods and has small food stalls while the outdoor market a few feet away sells fresh produce and colorful flowers.

Best Things to do in Ljubljana

Cathedral of St. Nicholas

Dedicated to St. Nicholas, the protector against floods and the patron saint of fishermen and boatmen. The interior is in the Italian baroque style and is worth a quick peek.

Graffiti at Metelkova Mesto

This is an interesting area. Every single building here is covered with graffiti and art. It used to be army barracks back in the day that were taken over by squatters to prevent it from being demolished. It’s farther away from most of the other attractions but still walkable from the city center. The small word of warning – maybe go during the day and with someone if possible. I didn’t feel unsafe per se but it can be a little quiet out there.

View from Neboticnik

Neboticnik is a skyscraper in Ljubljana with some of the best views of the city with the castle as the backdrop. The restaurant at the rooftop terrace is a wonderful place to grab a bite and take it all in.

Best Things to do in Ljubljana

Serbian Orthodox Church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius

This was my first glimpse into an orthodox church and it was really beautiful. There was a christening going on at the time I went so I didn’t want to walk around too much but the interior was stunning and definitely worth a visit.

Best Things to do in Ljubljana

Tivoli Park

Tivoli park offers lots of greenspace and an escape from city views. Skip it if you are pressed for time but definitely go if you want to just relax and walk around or sit and enjoy the day.

Where I Ate

I had heard wonderful things about a restaurant called Julija and wanted to try it but made the mistake of not making a reservation ahead of time. What I discovered through this mistake though was another restaurant called Landerik that turned out to be amazing! Everything that is served at Landerik is locally sourced from different parts of Slovenia! From the wines to the desserts, the servers do a really good job explaining where each ingredient comes from. You can either choose from a set menu or al a carte.

Where I Stayed

I stayed at a wonderful apartment that was a short walk from the city center. Parking in European cities can be a challenge and Ljubliana is no exception but this location has parking. The hosts were lovely and were waiting outside for me. It’s super easy to check-in and check-out as well. HERE is the link.

Day or Side Trips from Ljubljana

Slovenia is a small country and Ljubljana is conveniently located almost in the center of the country. Given its location, there are lots of day trips and side trips that you can do from Ljubljana. My recommendation is to see Predjama castle and the Postojna Caves from Ljubljana. It’s about 35 minutes from Ljubljana to Postojna Caves and another 10 minutes from Postojna to Predjama.

Postojna Caves

I think I said “wow” more times that I can count on this 1.5 hour tour of the Postojna Caves. I have never seen anything like these caves and all the unique formations. The most impressive part is that these caves are 2 million years old! Bring a jacket regardless of what time you visit. The temperature is a constant 8°C to 10°C always.

Postojna Caves vs. Skocjan Caves

This is a famous question that most people face. Both caves have their differences and these differences may be the deciding factor for you! My advice would be to read up before you go (there are a ton of resources out there on this topic). I chose Postojna because it was closer to Ljubljana and also close to Predjama which helped me cover 2 things in one visit.

Predjama Castle

Predjama Castle is the largest cave castle in the world and is perhaps one of the most famous sites in Slovenia. It’s easy to tour this castle from Postojna. There is an add-on for the caves at the castle which I think can be skipped if you have already seen Postojna or are going to.

Best Things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Tip – There is a combo ticket if you are visiting Postojna and Predjama that is slightly cheaper than what you would pay if you bough them individually.

Driving in Slovenia

It’s super easy to drive around in Slovenia! The roads are amazing and the signage is great. However, you need to get a toll pass called a vignette or vinjeta. You an either get this at a gas station as soon as you cross the border to Slovenia (if you are driving across the border) or you can buy it online, which is what I did. It’s really easy and only takes a couple of minutes. All you need is a credit card and the license plate number of your vehicle. I bought the weekly pass for 15 euros as I was staying in Slovenia for a few days. You can also probably ask your rental car company if they offer it too (I rented in Croatia so I opted to get the e-vignette online). Click to learn more about driving in the Balkans!

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Pin this Post for Later

Love charming cities like this in Europe? Check out my other posts on cities just like this HERE!

Heading to Bled after Ljubljana? Check out my detailed travel guide HERE or below.

I visited Ljubljana as a part of a 12 day road trip around the Balkans! Check out this trip HERE or below!

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5 comments

Anonymous July 5, 2022 - 9:16 am

Great information and a fantastic read!

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shortgirlontour July 5, 2022 - 9:45 am

Thank you very much! Glad you enjoyed it 😊

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About Me

Welcome to my blog and thank you for visiting! Believe it or not this blog is not my full time job! I work 8-5 in Supply Chain and run this blog after work!  I’ve dreamed of traveling the world since I was a child and at 42 countries and counting, I am so grateful to get to live that dream.

To say travel is my passion is truly an understatement! What I love most about travel is that I get to connect with locals and meet with fellow travelers from around the world. In addition, travel also enables all my other interests like photography, architecture, art, music and food! Please feel free to share any posts or leave me feedback on how I can improve. Thank you and happy travels!

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