It was my second trip to Zagreb (Croatia) this year. Of course I was there for work because Zagreb wasn’t the place I would like to travel again that soon. I reached two days prior to my work schedule and grabbed this opportunity to explore another beautiful city in a different country which is just 150 kms from Zagreb. I took an afternoon coach from Zagreb main bus station and within 2 hours I reached Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital and the largest city.
How was Ljubljana for me?
After traveling through the bustling cities in Europe for a month, I found my peace in Ljubljana. Although I stayed there only for a day but I had some memorable time. Calm streets, chilly weather, no traffic noise, no hustle. I walked to the old town in the evening and it was so beautiful, the old architecture, river flowing through the town, outdoor cafes lined next to the river, cosy yellow lights, couples strolling around, people enjoying coffee or drinks in those riverside bars, cafes and restaurants.
It was all so relaxing.
Although I couldn’t explore the whole city in the limited time I had, but I found the following information which could help you if you are planning to visit Slovenia.
Things to do / Places to Visit in Ljubljana
Take a Stroll in the City Center/Old Town:
Start your day from Cankarjevo Nabrezje, the main street in the city center. From there take a sidewalk to inside lanes and you will find the best restaurants and shops there. You will love this cosy town for its architecture, cobblestone streets, cosy cafes, and the relaxed atmosphere. From there you can walk to the next stop - the Ljubljana Castle.
You can either take the funicular ride to the Castle or walk up to the hill. I would really recommend a walk if you aren’t lazy. The Castle is an interesting place and the best part is the panoramic view from the top. Castle requires about 2 hours to explore it properly and to click your Instagram photos with best views.
You can check the entrance ticket and opening hours of the Castle on their official website : Check out this link
Canal Cruising or Stand-Up Paddle Boarding:
I really wanted to do this, but sadly I didn’t have enough time. It's an interesting way to explore the city on a boat through river canals and to add some adventure to this you can book special tours for Stand-Up Paddle Boarding.
There are many tours operators, so here is a random suggestion for you to have an idea what I am talking about and what you can expect : Check out this link!
Afternoon in Tivoli Park:
Tivoli Park is Ljubljana’s largest green space. It’s a great place to visit after lunch and relax there for a bit under the trees. Don’t miss Roznik hill and Koseski bajer lake in the park.
Metelkova is a neighborhood, which is about 10 minutes walk from the old town square. This place is full of psychedelic art and graffiti, but besides that its the most weird place I found in Ljubljana. I don’t know the full story of the place, but this is what they say “An abandoned Slovenian military barracks become a punky-political art squat”. It’s totally worth to visit this neighborhood for cool pictures and to get a different kind of feeling about the city. I went there late in the evening in search of a night club but all I found there, were local bars selling local liqueur and young crowd chilling outside in groups. Most of them were dressed in black, and a few guys were smoking marijuana. I didn’t find the place unsafe but yes just as precautionary, I won’t advise to go there in the night, because I found this area a bit isolated.
Cathedral of St. Nicholas:
It’s worth a visit. Admire the exquisite frescoes on the walls and you’ll be amazed to see the work on the ceiling.
Day Trips from Ljubljana
Ljubljana is surrounded by many stunning locations which are maybe more popular than Ljubljana. You can easily take a day trip to these places and make your trip in Slovenia with worth while.
Lake Bled - I think, this is the most famous tourist attraction in Slovenia.
Other places - Lake Bohinj, Predjama Castle, and Postojna Caves.
Where to Stay in Ljubljana
I would advice to find your accommodation near the old town so that you can easily walk to the center and cover all the major highlight in Ljubljana on foot. I stayed in “Lev hotel”. It was a comfortable stay; room size was decent and the hotel is 10 minutes walk from the old town.
Wanna Stretch Your Trip?
Slovenia is great gateway to other countries in Europe. The closest cities to its border are Milan (Italy), Budapest (Hungary), and Vienna (Austria). You can plan a 10 days road trip as follows : 3 days in Slovenia, 3 days in Budapest, 3 days in Vienna.
Interesting facts about Slovenia
Currency - Euro
Visa to visit - Schengen Visa
Language - Slovenian
Cost of an average meal in Ljubljana - 5 to 10 Euro
Cost of a meal in a fancy restaurant in the old town - 20 - 30 Euro (including wine or beer)
Ljubljana is pronouced as Loo-bee-aana.
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