10 Attractions in Ljubljana

Ljubljana Vacation

Even in high season, Ljubljana is cozy and relatively uncrowded: a great place to unwind from the hectic pace of life in megacities. Its old narrow pedestrian streets coexist with Baroque churches, charming boutiques, and cafes. They work together to create a distinct atmosphere in the South Slavic city.

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Ljubljana is Slovenia's capital and one of Europe's smallest, greenest, and safest cities. It lies on the banks of the Ljubljanica River, surrounded by the Alps and the Karst. Ljubljana Castle, positioned on Castle Hill south of the city center, has an elevation of 366 meters (1,201 feet).

Ljubljana was my first stop in Southern Europe. To my surprise, it appeared to be more of an Eastern European city, resembling Bratislava, Slovakia's capital. I didn't get a Southern vibe there. Although a week of my vacation in this city flew by in the blink of an eye, I had enough time to get to know Ljubljana thoroughly. I adore Europe's historical cities with mountains and rivers in relief. The Slovenian capital completely enthralled me; hiking Castle Hill and seeing the city from atop was an unforgettable experience.

Best 10 Ljubljana Attractions

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 the Puppet Museum, the Museum of Slovenian History, three restaurants, a wine shop, and various cultural events.

The most impressive way to get to Ljubljana Castle is by funicular. Alternatively, visitors can walk or take a taxi. The most attractive option is to take the electric train Urban.

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

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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 and 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

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5. Metelkova Art Center

Artistic corner of Metelkova

In former barracks of the Yugoslav National Army, Metelkova grew as an alternative cultural center. You can find fantastic 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 fun, hang out with your friends, or meet new people, Metelkova is an excellent place in Ljubljana.

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

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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

In 1919, the seat of Ljubljana University moved to this impressive building – a highly significant cultural monument in Slovenia – built between 1899 and 1902. It has four distinct façades designed in the German Renaissance style with neo-Gothic elements. Fourteen medallions depicting Carniolan town coats of arms adorn the façades.

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 is an architectural marvel that dates back to the 18th century. The building stands near the University of Ljubljana in Congress Square. It is worthwhile to take a quick look if the entrance is open, but the best thing to do is attend one of the concerts in the impressive music hall. After that, you can enjoy a walk 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

In 1813, the French engineer Jean Blanchard combined the parks surrounding the Podturn and Cekin mansions to create Tivoli Park, the largest and most beautiful park in Ljubljana. This beautiful, cozy place with green lawns, clean air, and rich history is ideal for strolls and picnics.

Ljubljana Map

Where to Stay in Ljubljana

According to Booking.com, in Ljubljana, Zlata Ladjica Boutique Hotel is highly rated by couples and families, and it has received great reviews from travelers regarding the views from the hotel rooms.

Slovenian Currency

Slovenia joined the Eurozone in 2007, so a trip to its neighboring countries – Austria and Italy (from January 1, 2023, and Croatia!) – will be convenient for you.

Ljubljana: City Highlights Walking Tour and River Cruise

If you want to visit the Old Town of Ljubljana with an expert guide, enjoy a sightseeing cruise on the Ljubljanica River, and admire the beautiful Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture, take the City Highlights Walking Tour and River Cruise.

Have you been to Ljubljana? Which one attraction would you prioritize if you visited Slovenia's capital? Do you have any suggestions based on your previous experience? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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