Our city guide gives you a run down on Ljubljana in Slovenia. We will let you know the best things to do, the best places to eat and a few tricks we picked up during our time there. Enjoy!
It may be impossible to spell, but Ljubljana is one of our favourite cities in Europe. It has the best parts of western Europe without the crowds or the price tag. There’s some great pubs along the river to try, and lots of great restaurants. The nightlife is (in)famous and the street art will leave a lasting impression.
What To Do?
Here were our favourite things to do during our stay in Ljubljana. There’s plenty more but if you only have a couple of days, you can’t miss these great things to do.
Visit the Triple Bridge
The Triple Bridge (map here) is really the centre of Ljubljana, and connects the old town with the newer part of the city. There was originally only one bridge, but there was so much traffic that an extra bridge was built on each side. The original bridge was wooden, but after burning down (more than once) it was finally replaced by the current stone bridge.
Wander Preseren Square
Preseren Square (map here) is the main square of Ljubljana, and is a popular meeting spot. The square is named after the famous Slovenian poet, Dr. France Preseren. A statue of his love interest, Juljia, is located just down the street in the house where she once lived. Preseren’s statue is now looking toward Juljia as a symbol of their love. Juljia came from a wealthy Slovenian family, so they never actually got together!
Get artsy at Metelkova and Rog
These bohemian art and culture hubs are two of the highlights of Ljubljana. Metelkova describes itself as an ‘autonomous social centre’ and has a few established businesses like a hostel and bars. There is some incredible graffiti and street art on the walls, and you could spend hours checking out all the nooks and crannies. Rog is a bit more free range than Metelkova, and is a true artists’ hub.
Hike up to Ljubljana Castle
This stunning castle (map here) was built in the 15th century, and has even served as a jail, military hospital, and arsenal. Entrance to the castle courtyard is free. There is a funicular up to the castle, but the walk is probably quicker due to the line ups for the funicular. The view is great too!
Throwback to Soviet times at the Museum of Contemporary History
This is not the most famous museum in Ljubljana, but we think it is the coolest! The Museum of Contemporary History covers the history of Ljubljana from 1914 to today. There are some great exhibitions that discuss life in communist Yugoslavia to Slovenian independence to now. We also loved the temporary exhibition during our visit, which was a photography exhibition of rock concerts in communist Yugoslavia. Fantastic!
Where To Eat?
There is a ridiculous number of bars, restaurants and cafes jammed into Ljubljana and it’s surrounds. Here’s a few of our favourites that we had to visit more than once!
Pop’s Place (Cankarjevo Nabrežje 3) is a delicious American-style gourmet burgers with a great outdoor area right by the river.
DA BU DA
Ah-mazing Asian fusion restaurant DA BU DA (1000, Šubičeva ulica 1a) serves up one of the best curries we have ever eaten!
Pining for smashed avocado and a poached egg? Brunch lovers will be huge fans of Robba Cafe (Mestni trg 4), which has great breakfast dishes, coffee and juices.
For a decent priced traditional feed in the old town, you can’t beat Druga Violina (Stari trg 21). The service isn’t fantastic but the food is tasty.
Where To Stay?
We stayed at Vrba Hostel, which was a great value option just outside of the Old Town. It is pretty quiet though, so if you want to party you are better off finding a spot near Metelkova.
How To Get There?
By air – Good news: there are some great budget flights to Ljubljana! Budget airlines Wizz Air and Easyjet both fly to Ljubljana, so you can get bargain flights from places like Brussels and London from as little as $15.
By train – There are direct trains from Austria (Vienna), Germany (Munich), Switzerland (Zurich), Croatia (Zagreb), Hungary (Budapest) and Serbia (Belgrade). You can get the ever-popular Eurail pass, or book your ticket at the station. For international timetables and online bookings, check out www.bahn.de.
By bus – There are plenty of buses for domestic routes and you can see the timetables here http://www.ap-ljubljana.si/en/. For international routes, there are plenty of options. A few to try include Bus Croatia, Flixbus and Eurolines.
Have you visited Ljubljana? What did you do during your stay? Tell us in the comments below!