Ljubljana Travel Guide

Ljubljana Vacation

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 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 in Europe. Surrounded by the Alps and the Karst, it lies 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.


Ljubljana was the first city I visited in Southern Europe. To my great surprise, it seemed to be more like an Eastern European city and reminded me a bit of Bratislava, Slovakia's capital. A week of my vacation in Ljubljana flew by, but I had enough time to get to know it thoroughly. I adore relief historical European cities with mountains and rivers. The Slovenian capital completely captivated me – it was fantastic to climb a hill in the center of Ljubljana and gaze out over the city from the top.

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Ljubljana Map


How to Get to Ljubljana


By Plane


The quickest and most convenient way to get to Ljubljana is by air. Ljubljana Joze Pucnik Airport is Slovenia's largest international airport, located 27 kilometers (17 miles) northwest of the city. You can take a bus, shuttle, or taxi from the airport to Ljubljana.


By Train

Ljubljana Train Station
Platform at Ljubljana Train Station

Trains connect the Ljubljana train station to other cities in Slovenia and Europe. Every day, direct trains depart and return to Slovenia's capital from Belgrade (Serbia), Frankfurt and Munich (Germany), Praha (Czech Republic), Trieste (Italy), Zagreb (Croatia), and Zurich (Switzerland).


By Bus


Buses from neighboring countries can also take you to Ljubljana. The Ljubljana Bus Station website provides a list of available international routes.


Ljubljana Public Transportation


Buses and a funicular serve as public transit in the city. Some trains will transport you to the suburbs and nearby towns. Residents and tourists can ride for free the Cavalier electric vehicles or take the Urban train in the pedestrian area.


Renting a Car in Ljubljana


DiscoverCars.com is the ideal place to hire a car in Ljubljana. They compare car rental prices from many providers so you can find the best deal for you.


Top 10 Attractions in Ljubljana


1. Ljubljana Castle

Ljubljana Castle
Southeastern view of Ljubljana Castle

The 900-year-old Ljubljana Castle, which stands on Castle Hill, is a significant landmark in Slovenia's capital. It is home to three restaurants, a wine shop, the Puppet Museum, the Museum of Slovenian History, and various cultural events. The most impressive way to get to Ljubljana Castle is by funicular. Another option is to walk or take a cab. The most attractive option is to take the electric train Urban.

Address: Grajska planota 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Website: The Ljubljana Castle


2. Triple Bridge

Triple Bridge
Triple Bridge, with Franciscan Church in the background

The Triple Bridge, which connects the new and old parts of the city, is the most famous bridge in Ljubljana and one of the most unusual bridges in Europe. The 20th-century structure consists of three separate bridges over the Ljubljanica River that radiate from a central point.

Address: Presernov trg 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


3. Dragon Bridge

Dragon Bridge
The Dragon Bridge's northern part

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 Ljubljana's most famous and recognizable landmarks. It is the city's first reinforced concrete bridge and the first asphalt-paved bridge in Slovenia.

Address: Resljeva cesta 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


4. Ljubljana Cathedral

Ljubljana Cathedral
Ljubljana Cathedral's Baroque interior

Ljubljana Cathedral is the city's most beautiful church, and its green dome and twin bell towers are recognizable symbols of the Slovenian capital. The church was built in the early 18th century in the Baroque style to a design by the Italian architect Andrea del Pozzo. It has the shape of a Latin cross.

The 18–19th-century frescoes by the Italian painter Giulio Quaglio and the Slovenian portrait painter Matej Langus stand out on the church's walls and vault.

Address: Dolničarjeva ulica 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Website: Stolnica


5. Metelkova Art Center

Metelkova
Artistic corner of Metelkova

Metelkova is an alternative cultural center that grew out of a squat located at the former barracks of the Yugoslav National Army. You can find fantastic trash art here, including sculptures, mosaics, graffiti, and an atmosphere reminiscent of Christiania in Copenhagen (Denmark). The center became one of Ljubljana's most well-known attractions. If you want to have some fun, hang out with your friends, or meet new people, Metelkova is a great place to go in Ljubljana.

Address: Metelkova ulica 10, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Website: AKC MetelkovaMesto


6. Roman Town Wall

Jože Plečnik's Piramid
Jože Plečnik's Piramid

Emona, a Roman town, existed on the current French Revolution Square from the 1st to the early 6th centuries. It had a wall with 26 towers and four main entrances. Some Roman components you can still find here today. Although Slovene architect Jože Plečnik's redesign of a section of the Roman town wall is not entirely authentic, it does serve as an impressive memorial to the Romans' earlier presence.

Address: Mirje, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


7. Franciscan Church

Franciscan Church
With the Franciscan Church in the background, the Triple Bridge crosses the Ljubljanica

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

Address: Prešernov trg 4, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Website: Župnija Marijino oznanjenje


8. University of Ljubljana Building

Ljubljana University
The University of Ljubljana's main building

The stunning building – a first-class cultural monument in Slovenia – built between 1899 and 1902 and housed the Seat of the University of Ljubljana since 1919, has four distinct façades designed in the German Renaissance style with neo-Gothic elements. The architect Jan Hrasky created the design, later revised by Josef Hudetz. Vegova Street is in front of the building, which has a large interior courtyard, a small park with a fountain, and a clock tower.

Address: Kongresni trg 12, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Website: University of Ljubljana


9. Slovenian Philharmonic Building

Slovenian Philharmonic Building
The Slovenian Philharmonic building

The Slovenian Philharmonic building, built in the 18th century, is a work of art. If the entrance is open, a quick look is worthwhile, but the best thing to do would be to attend one of the concerts in the impressive music hall. The building stands in Congress Square, close to the University of Ljubljana. After the live music performance, you can take a stroll along the Ljubljanica River, which is only 100 steps away.

Address: Kongresni trg 10, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Website: Slovenska filharmonija


10. Tivoli Park

Tivoli Park
17th-century Tivoli Castle  the venue for the International Centre of Graphic Arts

Designed in 1813  by the French engineer Jean  Blanchard combining the parks that had surrounded the Podturn and Cekin mansions, Tivoli Park is the largest and most beautiful park in Ljubljana, stretching right into the city center. This beautiful, cozy spot with green lawns, clean air, and rich history is ideal for strolls and picnics.


Best Ljubljana Tours


Learn about the city's history and culture from a qualified local guide, and afterward, cook a complete dinner with a local chef. Enjoy!



Slovenian Currency


Slovenia joined the Eurozone in 2007, so visiting Ljubljana and traveling around Slovenia and two neighboring countries – Austria and Italy – will be highly convenient for you.


Where to Stay in Ljubljana


Ljubljana has a wide range of lodging options. The majority of hotels are within walking distance of the historic center. There are nearly 500 hotels and places to stay in the city that you can book on Booking.com

Booking.com


According to this online travel agency for lodging reservations, Urban Boutique Hotel Center, Hotel Nox, and Ahotel Ljubljana are some of the favorite hotels in Slovenia's capital.



What to Buy in Ljubljana


Bovec cheese. The Bovec cheese, also known as Bovški in Slovenia, is a traditional Slovenian cheese. It is a full-fat hard cheese made from raw sheep's milk.

Chocolate Gorenjka. Gorenjka – Slovenia's most recognized chocolate brand – has been satisfying chocolate lovers since 1958, offering chocolates in various sizes and flavors.

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

Piran salt. This salt, which forms on the surface of the Salinas Basin in southwestern Slovenia, is harvested by hand using the same salt panning methods that have for over 700 years. It has a moderate flavor with subtle undertones of a distinct sea aroma.

Pumpkin seed oil. Well known for its intense nutty flavor, Slovenian pumpkin oil is produced only from handpicked pumpkin seeds of the highest quality; it is all-natural and high in vitamins, anti-inflammatory agents, linoleic and oleic acids.

Rogaška crystal. With a tradition of 350 years, Rogaška Glassworks fosters and continues the crystal ware-making art in Slovenia. Since its inception, the company has been exporting premium home and lifestyle products made of high-quality crystals.

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