Explore Slovenia: Ljubljana Travel Guide

Ljubljana Travel Guide

Even in the high season, Ljubljana is quiet, cozy, and uncrowded: a great place to break out of the rhythm of life in megacities and relax. Its old and narrow pedestrian streets blend harmoniously with Baroque churches, bijou boutiques, and cafes. Together, they create a unique atmosphere of the South Slavic city.

Ljubljana is the Slovenian heart and one of the smallest, greenest, and safest capitals of Europe. Surrounded by the Alps and the Karst, it is on the banks of the Ljubljanica River. According to local legends, the hero of Greek myths, Argonaut Jason, who went north from Colchis, founded the city. Residents believe that Jason killed the dragon, depicted now on the city's coat of arms and flag, in Ljubljana.

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How to Get to Ljubljana

The fastest and most convenient way to get to Ljubljana is by air. Ljubljana Joze Pucnik Airport (IATA code: LJU; ICAO code: LJLJ) is the largest international airport in Slovenia, set 27 km (17 mi) northwest of the city. From the airport, you can get to Ljubljana by bus, shuttle, or taxi. For visitors planning to explore the whole country, a rental car will come in handy since Ljubljana is at the crossroads of major roads you can get from it to any point.

Ljubljana Train Station
Platform at Ljubljana Train Station


Trains connect the Ljubljana train station with not the country's other cities only. Every day direct trains to Belgrade (Serbia), Frankfurt and Munich (Germany), Praha (Czechia), Trieste (Italy), Zagreb (Croatia), and Zurich (Switzerland) depart from and head back to Slovenia's capital.

You can also get to Ljubljana from neighboring countries by bus. A list of available international routes is showing on the Ljubljana Bus Station website.

Public transportation in the city represents by buses and a funicular. Some trains can take you to the suburbs and neighboring towns. In the pedestrian area, residents and tourists can ride electric vehicles Cavalier for free or use the Urban train.

Top 10 Ljubljana Attractions

1. Ljubljana Castle

Ljubljana Castle
Southeastern view of Ljubljana Castle


Ljubljana Castle is an ancient castle with a 900-year history, located at the city's highest point. With medieval grandeur, extensive museum exposition, and rich cultural programs, the fortified structure attracts travelers to Croatian's capital.

There are several ways to get to Ljubljana Castle, and the most impressive is by funicular. Another way is on your foot or by taxi. The most extravagant option is by tourist train Urban which runs daily in Ljubljana.

Address: 
Grajska planota 1, 1000 Ljubljana

Transportation: 
Bus (line 02): Lutkovno gl.
Castle Funicular
 
Opening hours: 
Daily 10 am-6 pm

Price: 
General admission (including funicular railway) € 13. Discounts available for students, under-18s, seniors, groups.

2. Triple Bridge

Triple Bridge
Triple Bridge, with Franciscan Church in the background


The Triple Bridge, connecting the new part of the city with its historical center, is the most famous bridge in Ljubljana and one of the most unusual bridges in Europe. Built-in the 20th century, the structure represents three separate, fanning out from one point, bridges over the Ljubljanica River.

Transportation: 
Bus (lines 01B, 02, 03, 06, 06B, 09, 11, 14, 18, 18L, 19B, 19I, 27, N01, N03, N03B): Pošta

3. Dragon Bridge

Dragon Bridge
The northern part of the bridge


Built-in 1901 and guarded by four dragon sculptures, the Dragon Bridge is a three-span arched road bridge across the Ljubljanica River. This Art Nouveau masterpiece is one of the most recognizable sights of Ljubljana. It is the first Slovenian bridge paved with asphalt and the first reinforced concrete bridge in the city.

Transportation: 
Bus (lines 13, 20, 20Z): Zmajski most

4. Ljubljana Cathedral

Ljubljana Cathedral
Baroque interior of the cathedral


Ljubljana Cathedral is the most important and beautiful church in the city; its green dome and twin bell towers are recognizable symbols of the Slovenian capital. The temple was built in the Baroque style at the start of the 18th century to a design by the Italian architect Andrea del Pozzo. It has the shape of a Latin cross. In the church's interior, the 18–19th-century frescoes on the walls and vault, made by the Italian painter Giulio Quaglio and the Slovene portraitist Matej Langus, stand out.

Address: 
Dolničarjeva ulica 1, 1000 Ljubljana

Transportation:
Bus (line 02): Lutkovno gl.

Opening hours: 
Mon to Sat 6 am-7 pm; Sun 6.30 am-7 pm

Price: 
Adult € 2

5. Metelkova Art Center

Metelkova
Artistic corner of Metelkova


Developed from a squat in a former Yugoslav National Army barracks, Metelkova is an alternative cultural center. Here live fantastic trash art: sculptures, mosaics, graffiti, endless small creative things, and a relaxed atmosphere, reminiscent of Christiania in Copenhagen (Denmark). The center became one of the best-known attractions of Ljubljana. If you are looking for some fun, hang out with your friends, or meet some new ones, Metelkova is the best place to do it in Ljubljana.

Address: 
Metelkova ulica 10, 1000 Ljubljana

Transportation: 
Bus (lines 02, 09, 12, 12D, 25, 27, 27K): Friškovec

6. Roman Wall

Ljubljana Roman Wall
Roman Wall


The Roman town Emona existed from the 1st to the early 6th century in this place. It had a wall with towers and four main gateways. The southern section of the structure preserves completely. Pillars, designed by the Slovene architect Joze Plecnik, are the main feature of the former main gate. Worth a look if you are touring the city.

Address: 
Mirje, 1000 Ljubljana

Transportation:
Bus (lines 01, 01B, 06, 06B, N01): Aškerčeva

7. Franciscan Church

Franciscan Church
Triple Bridge over the Ljubljanica, with the Franciscan Church in the background


The 17th-century Franciscan Church of the Annunciation is one of the most famous churches in Ljubljana. It is located on Prešerna Square, on the left bank of the Ljubljanica, next to the Triple Bridges. The church houses an imposing Baroque altarpiece by the Italian sculptor Francesco Robba (1698–1757) and beautiful frescoes by the Slovene Impressionist painter Matej Sternen (1870–1949).

Address: 
Prešernov trg 4, 1000 Ljubljana

Transportation: 
Bus (lines 01B, 02, 03, 06, 06B, 09, 11, 14, 18, 18L, 19B, 19I, 27, N01, N03, N03B): Pošta

Opening hours: 
Daily 7 am-9 pm

Price: 
Free

8. University of Ljubljana

Ljubljana University
The main building of the Ljubljana University


Since 1919, the beautiful Neo-Renaissance Mansion on Kongresni trg Square has housed the Seat of the University of Ljubljana. It was built between 1899 and 1902 to a design by the Czech architect Jan Vladimir Hrasky. The Carniolan Provincial Assembly hold the first session in the new Carniolan Provincial Mansion in 1903.

The exterior is decorated with 14 medallions, depicting the coats of arms of Carniolan towns. A spacious inner courtyard, a small park with a fountain, and a clock turret surmounting the facade facing Vegova Street are other remarkable features of the building – an important cultural monument of the first category in Slovenia. 

Address: 
Kongresni trg 12, 1000 Ljubljana

Transportation:
Bus (lines 01, 01B, 02, 03, 03B, 06, 06B, 09, 11, 11B, 19B, 19I, 27, N01, N03, N03B): Drama

9. Slovenian Philharmonic Building

Slovenian Philharmonic Building
The building of the Slovenian Philharmonic


Built-in 1701, the Slovenian Philharmonic building is an architectural beauty in a city full of fetching architecture. It is worth a quick look when the entrance is open, but the best thing is to listen to one of the concerts in an impressive concert hall. The building stands on the Kongresni trg square, close to the University of Ljubljana, and after the live music performance, you can stroll down and up the Ljubljanica, which is only 100 steps away.

Address: 
Kongresni trg 10, 1000 Ljubljana

Transportation:
Bus (lines 01, 01B, 02, 03, 03B, 06, 06B, 09, 11, 11B, 19B, 19I, 27, N01, N03, N03B): Drama

10. Tivoli Park

Tivoli Park
The mansion, housing the International Centre of Graphic Arts, at Tivoli Park


Located among Ljubljana outskirts hills, Tivoli Park is one of the largest parks in Slovenia. It covers an area of 5 sq km (1235 ac). This beautiful, cozy place with green lawns, clean air, and rich history is perfect for pleasant walks and picnics.

Transportation:
Bus (lines 14, 18, 18L): Cankarjev dom

Ljubljana Map

How to use this map?

Click the orange icons on the map to get more information about the places I mention in this post. If you would like to save this map in your own Google Maps for later use, click the star next to the title.

Before going on vacation to Ljubljana, I knew very little about this city. Overall, Slovenia was the first country from the former Yugoslavia that I visited. Also, my feet touched the land of the Balkans for the first time. So, at least from this perspective, the experience was new and exciting for me.

Ljubljana is one of the cities that I like. It is green, quiet, hilly, and full of history. For those who love cities without thousands of tourists, I recommend visiting this city. Summer would be a perfect time as, without the city itself, you can take a walk around the beautiful hilly surroundings.

I hope you enjoyed my Explore Slovenia: Ljubljana Travel Guide post. If you like European capital cities with a unique atmosphere and historical heritage, here are a few more posts that I recommend you read next:

What to Buy in Ljubljana

Bovec Cheese. Locally known as Bovški, the Bovec cheese is a traditional Slovenian cheese. It is made out of raw sheep's milk and classified as full-fat hard cheese.

Chocolate Gorenjka. Offering chocolates of different sizes and flavors, Gorenjka – the most recognized chocolate brand in Slovenia – has been satisfying lovers of this snack since 1958. 

Dragon Souvenir. The dragon is one of the famous symbols of Ljubljana. You will see its figures wherever you go in the city.

Piran Salt. This salt is formed on the surface of Salinas Basin in the southwestern part of Slovenia and is gently harvested by hand, using the same salt panning methods and tools that have been in use for over the last 700 years. It is mild in flavor and varies in subtle undertones of a distinct sea aroma. 

Pumpkin Seed Oil. Slovenian pumpkin oil is produced only from handpicked pumpkin seeds of the highest quality and well known for its intense nutty taste; it is all-natural and rich in vitamins and anti-inflammatory agents along with linoleic and oleic acids.

Rogaška Crystal. With a tradition of 350 years, Rogaška Glassworks fosters and continues the crystal ware-making art in Slovenia. The brand's premium home and lifestyle products in a high-quality crystal have been successfully exporting from the very beginning.



13 comments

  1. Ljubljana looks absolutely stunning! I love history and architecture, so I'll need to put this city on my list of future travels.

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  2. I believe I have relatives in Slovenia. I would love to visit there one day.

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  3. Ljubljana is so beautiful. I love that entire region of Europe. I'd love to explore that area one day.

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  4. Great travel post.Thanks for this useful information.

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  5. Wow what a beautiful post. this place looks lovely to visit and the Ljubljana Cathedral is stunning and somewhere we would deffo go x

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  6. That cathedral is gorgeous. I love to visit cathedrals when I travel.

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  7. Such a beautiful place to visit! Your post made me want to travel even more, hopefully soon

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  8. I have never known that Ljubljana is such a beautiful place to visit. The Cathedral looks so beautiful and this detailed guide will really help if someone planning to go there.

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  9. I absolutely love Ljubljana. When I decided I'd go and check it out, I didn't even know how to pronounce this place! It was so stunning and we managed to get a hotel right by the canal. I would absolutely go back again there one day. Loved visiting all those places you mentioned too!

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  10. OMG Slovenia is definitely looks like in a romantic movie! How come this place haven't been give so much airtime?! Slovenia, wait for me!

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  11. I haven't been in Slovenia yet. I really want to see Ljubljana Cathedral. It looks amazing! I hope I can go back to Europe soon.

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  12. Ljubljana sounds like a great place to visit someday and with plenty of beautiful areas to explore.

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  13. Oh gosh this place is just stunning! I would love to visit!

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