Despite its small size, Slovenia packs a big punch when it comes to gorgeous and diverse landscapes. With a large national park to the north, views of the majestic Alps overhead, over 11,000 karst caves, and a beautiful coastline – it’s impossible not to love SLOVEnia!
The capital city, Ljubljana (pronounced “lube-li-ana”) is compact, clean, pedestrian-friendly, and filled with gorgeous Baroque period architecture and bizarre statues.
Wander the cobblestone streets of the old city, ducking into the cute shops and cafes that line the pedestrian walkway, and then head up to the castle that looms over the city for breathtaking views. The banks of the river that run through the center of the city are lined with darling little outdoor restaurants and cafes – perfect for a lazy day spent sipping coffee and reading a good book in the sun.
Make sure to spend at least a few days in the darling little city of Ljubljana!
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Tips for Visiting Ljubljana
- Slovenia is a member of the EU and their currency is the Euro. It is also a member of the Schengen Agreement.
- Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and is also the largest city.
- The predominant language is Slovenian (which is quite similar to the languages used by other Balkan countries), but you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t speak English.
- A 10% tip is commonplace when dining out, but make sure that gratuity hasn’t already been added to your bill.
- Tipping taxi drivers is also common, but just round up your total.
- Slovenia is an incredibly safe country. However, 90% of all crimes reported involve theft, so take your usual precautions that you would anywhere else.
- Tap water is 100% safe to drink everywhere in Slovenia.
- There are lots of fantastic day trips from Ljubljana. If you have extra time, visit Lake Bled or Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle!
When to Visit Ljubljana
The peak season is June to August when temperatures are in the 80s. If you’re not a fan of crowds, plan your trip during shoulder seasons; April – May, and September – October. Temperatures are a bit cooler, but you’ll have an easier time reserving hotel rooms.
The 10 Best Things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia
1. Stay in a Swanky Hotel
The Grand Hotel Union is an absolutely stunning hotel located right in the heart of Old Town. It combines old-world charm and hospitality with modern luxury. Grand spiral staircases and intricate stained glass are commonplace around this historical masterpiece. You’ll be welcomed by a friendly and helpful staff before checking into your lavish room, which is equipped with every amenity you could wish for.
Start your morning with their delectable breakfast buffet, which features a wide selection of meats and cheeses, warm breakfast entries, pancakes, yogurt and muesli, freshly baked bread, and other mouth-watering treats. Be sure to grab a glass (or 2!) of the sparkling wine and some freshly squeezed juice for a morning mimosa! When you’ve had your fill of exploring the city, head to one of the gorgeous bars, restaurants, or comfortable private seating areas in the lobby.
The hotel also offers a fitness center with weekly classes, a wellness center with a variety of relaxing massages and treatments, and an absolutely stunning indoor pool and sauna. Spend an afternoon swimming in the inviting pool-with-a-view and pampering yourself in the gorgeous and relaxing spa!
2. Visit the Ljubljana Castle
The Ljubljanski Grad (Ljubljana Castle) is a beautifully restored masterpiece that looms above the city and can be seen from the square below. Even if you only have one day in Ljubljana make sure you stop by the castle.
It’s a short (but very steep) walk from the old city, or you can opt for the funicular railway for a small fee. You can see most of the castle for free, but if you want to see any of the exhibits or venture to the top of the clock tower, you’ll need to purchase a ticket.
3. Walk Across the Triple Bridge
Walk along the river to view the picturesque Tromostovje (aka “triple bridge”) from all angles. Three pedestrian bridges cross the river within feet of each other in this area of the Old Town, and it’s worth a stop for a beautiful photoshoot.
4. Relax in Tivoli Park
Take a relaxing afternoon stroll around Tivoli Park, which stretches right into the center of the city and is Ljubljana’s largest and loveliest park.
5. Peruse the Central Market
The Central Market in Ljubljana has so many locally made artisan crafts and delicious Slovenian foods to try! It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the city.
6. Dine on Delicious Local Cuisine
Serving up classic Slovenian dishes as well as favorites from all over the world, the food scene in Ljubljana is sure to satisfy every tourist. Bring your appetite because, with this many mouth-watering options, you’re going to want to try everything this city has to offer!
- If you’re looking for a quick but healthy afternoon snack, then you’ll go crazy for Back Werk. It’s also the only place in town we’ve found where you can get an extra large coffee to go! Grab a wrap or a fresh pastry before your walk around town!
- Not only does Pop’s Place offer a large selection of craft beer, they also have burgers that are melt-in-your-mouth-delicious and giant salads if you’re looking for something on the lighter side.
- If you’re looking for a lovely outside seating area for prime people watching while you take an afternoon break from sightseeing, you must try Le Petit Cafe. Try a glass of the rose and the olive tapenade and tomato on toast for a snack.
- If you’re tired of Slovenian food and want to change it up, both Asian Bistro OSHA and Abi Falafel are quick, reasonably priced, and delicious!
- If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience in a beautiful rustic setting, try Atelje which is located right outside of the Grand Hotel Union. The suckling pig is absolutely to-die-for!
7. Check out the Lively Ljubljana Bar Scene
The craft beer scene in Ljubljana will probably take you by surprise! While many countries in Europe offer only a few (usually bad) beers on tap, Ljubljana is serving up IPAs and crushing the Radler scene! And with prices on par with a cup of coffee, it’s impossible not to day-drink here…
- If you are a craft beer connoisseur then you’ll love Pop’s Place. They have the best selection of draft and bottled craft beer in town!
- If you’re the fancy cocktail type, try Kolibri. They have a short list of delightful and unique cocktails that they specialize in, but if none of those suit your taste, you can always order off the menu.
- If you want a good old-fashioned, reasonably-priced draft beer and a lively atmosphere, try Union Pivnica. Their homemade goulash with a pretzel on the side is the perfect snack to accompany your beer!
- If you are looking for a lively sports bar, Fany & Mary offers both indoor and outdoor television sets, and it is a favorite among the locals.
- If you want spectacular views of the city, head up to Skyscraper for a coffee or a cocktail at sunset and soak it all in. There’s no doubt that Ljubljana is one of the most beautiful places in Europe.
8. Indulge in Dessert
There is no shortage of delectable desserts and gelato around Ljubljana. But with so many options at your fingertips, picking the perfect after-dinner sweet treat can be a challenging decision. We conducted endless research to bring you our favorites…
- Vigò Ice Cream – try their namesake ice cream, it just might be the best gelato we’ve ever had!
- Cacao – they offer a wide selection of gelato flavors as well as a huge case of irresistible desserts. You can’t go wrong no matter what you choose!
9. Explore the Museum of Modern Art
Check out the Museum of Modern Art, which houses a permanent collection of 20th-century Slovenian art as well as hosts exciting new temporary exhibitions.
10. Shop in the Boutiques
All around the city’s main square are the cutest little local boutiques. If you’re looking to buy some Ljubljana treasures to take home with you, this is the perfect place to do it!
We hope you have an incredible time in lovely Ljubljana!
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22 thoughts on “The 10 Best Things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia”
Absolutely loved your article on Ljubljana. We visited in winter of 2015 and instantly fell in love. Coincidentally we also stayed at the Grand Union and had an amazing stay there. Can’t wait to go back in warmer weather and again enjoy that incredible view from the Clock Tower looking out towards the Julian Alps.
How funny! It is a lovely city and a beautiful hotel – so glad you got to experience it! Thank you so much for reading!