Ljubljana is one of Europe's most engaging cities. Situated in the Ljubljana river basin, at the juncture of the Alps and Dinaric mountain ranges, everything converges here: all major transport links, industry and commerce, culture, politics and power. However, with a population of less than 300,000, Ljubljana retains a distinctly languorous and provincial air and, while the city boasts a number of eminently enjoyable museums and galleries, its real charms lie outdoors. Ljubljana's central core is a showcase of princely Baroque and Secessionist edifices, while the legacy of magnificent buildings, bridges and pathways bequeathed by Jože Plečnik, Slovenia's greatest architect, is difficult to overestimate.
Geographically and socially, the heart of the city is Prešernov trg, a small, animated square located on the left bank of the River Ljubljanica. Several important streets converge here while just about all the major sights and points of interest are within comfortable walking distance.
Most people head straight for the magical Old Town on the right bank of the Ljubljanica: strewn with gorgeous Baroque townhouses and stately churches, all wrapped around a regal, castle-topped hill, it is easily the most appealing part of the city. The left bank too has more than its fair share of fine architecture, notably south of the main square Kongresni trg, beyond which are the delightful village-like suburbs of Krakovo and Trnovo.
Ljubljana Top Attractions »
Ljubljana is a compact city and while it has attractions you will find nothing as famous as Eiffel tower. However you will be amazed by the abundance of green parks and renaissance, baroque and modern architecture. Markets and cultural events give the city an unforgettable spirit of peace and harmony.
Explore Ljubljana's sightseeing opportunities and points of interest. The major tourist attraction is arguably the Ljubljana castle, but there are many other castles and manors in the city and its immediate area.
Visiting museums is a perfect activity when the weather's not on your side and also is an entertaining opportunity to learn about Slovenian history and culture. Ljubljana offers various museums on the history of Slovenia and Yugoslavia, as well as its architecture, art and other interesting themes.
Ljubljana Zoo is a relatively small one but if you are in town it is worth seeing. It is situated within the natural forest on the West of Ljubljana, only 20 minutes walk from the city centre under the Roznik hill. The Zoological garden (in Slovene: "Zivalski vrt" - useful while you need directions) makes a perfect day out with the children. For a fee you can "adopt" your own animal and come and see it being fed. It is recommended that you visit the Zoo on the weekend when guided tours and workshops usually take place. It is reachable by foot, car or by chartered bus.
Atlantis, Ljubljana aqua park
If you feel like a splash then visit Atlantis. Ljubljana's aqua park is one of the biggest indoor parks in Europe and offers pools, saunas, massages and a solarium. It is situated within BTC City, a shopping and entertainment area 5 km North-East from the city centre, meaning you don't have to end the day too soon to travel home.
The city market
To truly feel the city's atmosphere and its people, visit the open market. It is one of the masterpieces of Plecnik's architecture and located by the river, where its monumental arcades connect the Triple and Dragon bridges. With the cathedral of St. Nicholas and baroque surroundings it seamlessly melts into the Old Town. For practical information see the markets in Ljubljana.
The House of Experiments
This is the ideal place for all those visitors who look for intelligent entertainment, education and science at once. The house of experiments (Hisa Eksperimentov) is designed for visitors of all ages, to learn, test themselves and exchange ideas. The building is situated in the very centre, and is open for visitors every Saturday and Sunday from 11h to 19h.
Krizanke is a relatively extensive monastic monument, located at the French Revolution Square, next to the City Museum. It was built by Teutonic Knights in the 13th century, while centuries later baroque renovations and Plecnik's designs gave it its final image. Today as a place of open-air theatre it attracts hordes of people during the summer time to numerous concerts, plays and other cultural performances. It is a place of art, history and inspiration and also houses a bar with food and drinks. If you do come to Ljubljana, check the programme as you may hit upon something good.
Getting around in Ljubljana »
Ljubljana train station
The main train station in Ljubljana (in Slovenian: Zelezniska postaja) is relatively small, and is situated in the middle of the city, some 10 minutes walk to the old town. There is a tourist information office in the building.
Ljubljana bus station
This will be your starting point if you arrive by shuttle from the Brnik airport. The bus station is actually just a bus parking space situated in front the train station. The station serves long distance buses, which during the day travel to many towns around Ljubljana, making them the ideal means of transport for a day trip. There is a small cashiers desk offering information and tickets, although often these things are directly available from the drivers.
Getting around by foot
Ljubljana is a small ciy and unless you need to visit some institution outside of the city centre, you can manage easily without using public transport. Locals waiting at the zebra crossings do not cross while the red light is showing on the traffic lights - it is dangerous and you can also get a fine. Watch out for bikers, even on the pavements and the pathway along by the river.
Biking in Ljubljana
The town has a lot of respect for bikers and offers a good infrastructure of bike paths. Renting a bike is highly recommended if you want to see more distant sights like the ZOO, or architectural exhibitions in the Fuzine castle.
Renting a bike is as cheap as 5 Euros per day and bike rental businesses are spread all over the city, for example one is in the tourist office at Krekov trg 10, which is open from 8am-7pm (even longer in the summer). There is a guided bike tour offered as well.
Buying a bike
If you are coming for longer, you may consider buying a bike as second hand ones start at less than 50 Euros. Never buy a stolen bike however, as it will certainly be recognized by its rightful owner. Just like in Amsterdam, the most popular style are 'grandma's bikes', but do consult our gallery of cool bikes in Ljubljana. There is a specialized shop selling both new and second hand bikes called Rog Sport at Trubarjeva street 76, tel. 01/4305410.
Taxi or cab
There is a taxi rank in front of the railway and bus station. While the taxi companies have different rates, we suggest calling the cheapest taxi,one as they also speak English and we have received more recommendations for them than anyone else.
Local public bus
If you intend to use bus transportation in Ljubljana, you need to buy Urbana transport card. You can get it at tourist information centers, most city street kiosks and post offices hold it as well. One journey costs 0.80 cents and allows you to change as many busses as you need in a time of 90 minutes. If you do not posses the Urbana card, coin of 1 € covers a journey with one bus ride only.
Ljubljana by a small tourist train
Brings tourist from the city center to the Ljubljana castle.
Getting aroud by boat
There is a boat offering short trips on the Ljubljanica river. The boats depart from under the wooden bridge and the price is around 4 euros. In the summer time, the Ljubljana tourist office provides a free tourist boat on the river.
Ljubljana restaurants, cafes and bars »
Zlato Runo - Georgian Restaurant
Amongst all the international restaurants in Ljubljana, Zlato Runo is certainly one to try out. The place has an original feel and is decorated with ethnic Georgian motifs such as carpets, paintings and instruments. The food is delicious and is based on beans, cheese, nuts, meat and mushrooms. As the welcoming owner Tamazi says, the food is prepaired with both heart and soul. Do you accept a challenge to drink out of a ram's horn? Gaumarjos!
Plac – a good deal for budget travellers
Traditional stews and struklji (dumpling), sausage and cabbage, roast meat, pasta or a conventional steak with potatoes or rice and a salad. There are around 8 dishes to choose from every day, running from only 2 € to 5 € maximum. Drinks are cheap also. Walk Plecnik`s Market Place in the direction of the Dragon Bridge. Several steps before it you will notice some red papers with names of the dishes and prices stuck in the windows of the restaurant. Since the menu is in Slovene, you will have to ask the kind staff for an explanation. Remember to be there before 2.30 pm, since 3.00 p.m. is closing time, falling in line with the closing time of the entire market (4 p.m.).
La Storia Restaurant
La Storia is an Italian restaurant located in a quiet street in the city centre. With a well chosen interior and ambient atmosphere, La Storia is perfect for a romantic dinner or a business lunch. If you are in a group, the restaurant can take up to 50 people but make sure you make your reservation in plenty of time.
Address: Kersnikova 5, Ljubljana
Stari Tisler is not just a restaurant, it´s a monument. Established more than 100 years ago, Stari Tisler's walls whisper tales of coachmen that stopped by for warmth or out of curiosity for the town. Even today the house features the old entrance arch, high ceilings and horse berths on the outside facade. Stari Tisler has retained its level of hospitality throughout the century. It offers a place to stay for travellers and cooks traditional domestic food as it used to do in the past.
Address: Kolodvorska 8, Ljubljana
Stara Macka Steak House
The concept of the steak house is to provide it's visitors with a top quality, complete steak dinner at an affordable price, served in a warm, comfortable atmosphere with friendly service. The restaurant is an urban escape in the very centre of the city, suitable for business a meeting or romantic date.
Address: Krojaska 8, Ljubljana
The „Ribca“ bistro is situated in the main food market, the masterpiece of the famous Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik. Its close proximty to the largest fish market in Slovenia, makes it an interesting location for visitors, as well as locals. Their cooperation with the fish market assures a daily offering of fresh fish, crab, squid (calamari) and fish salads. A vast range of grilled fish such as swordfish, John Dory, scorpion fish, gilthead seabream and trout is offered. A selection of fried sardines, anchovies, hake, calamari, prawns, octopus salad, sea fruits and fresh salads are available throughout the year. In the spring and summer time you are invited to have a meal in one of the most romantic places in town – by the river with a view of the main square. Open Mon – Fri 8h to 16h, Saturday till 15h, in summer time Ribca will serve you till 22h.
Address: Adamič Lundrovo nabrežje 1, 1000 Ljubljana
Roxly bar and restaurant
The only Hard Rock Cafe style pub in Ljubljana offers a view of the Ljubljana Castle from the outside garden and original photos of rock stars in the inside. In the morning Roxly feels like a pleasant bar with coffees, cocktails, though carefully chosen wines and international and Slovenian food (with the famous “struklji” and “gibanica”) makes it a restaurant throughout the day. In the evening Roxly transforms into a music venue with a DJ or live rock or blues band playing until 3 in the morning. On two floors, premises are available for rent for private events. Find it in the centre between City Hotel and Trubarjeva street. For more info about events, menu or prices, see their web page.
Address: Mala ulica 5, Ljubljana
Tel: +386 41 399 599, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mencigar – Nobile restaurant
Find a taste of the Prekmurje region and its tradition just a short walk from the open market square. The interior of the restaurant is carefully chosen with wood and natural colours prevailing, while sitting outside on the terrace is also possible. Try typical Prekmurje dishes like Bograch, Tunka or homemade pork sausage with sour turnip, while for dessert the famous Gibanica is a must, though we were told that guests return for pumpkin ice cream also. The choice is yours. You can rent Mencigar-Nobile for private events. Mencigar-Nobile opens its bar every day at 6 a.m. and restaurant at 12 a.m. and closes at 11 p.m. It is closed on Sundays and holidays. Please see their web page for more info.
Address: Zarnikova ulica 3, Ljubljana
Tel: +386 (0)1 43 97 040, E-mail: email@example.com
Ljubljana Shopping - Slovenia's Authentic souvenirs »
You can find the local pulse of the Primorska countryside in the heart of Ljubljana's old city centre. The family run »Krasevka« offers homemade food products from the Kras and Brkini region. Each product is carefully selected, possesses the highest degree of quality and is of local origin. The products predominately originate from family farms, which have passed down the cooking and preparation techniques from generation to generation. Try the famous Prsut with organic goat or sheep's cheese - Refosk or Merlot wine fit perfectly with this. And don’t forget to try the best olive oil in the Mediterranean! Plum or apple home-made vinegar can be a great substitute to commercially produced alternatives. Choose from fruity delights, brandy, honey, various herbs, teas and dried mushrooms or just buy yourself a handy souvenir. Very home made, very traditional, very recommended!
Address: Ciril Metodov trg 10, Ljubljana
Phone: +386 (0)1 23 21 445, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Idrija Lace Gallery
Handmade Idrian lace has been produced by local women since the 17th century in the region of Idria, which lies a little to the west of Ljubljana. There is a shop in the centre of Ljubljana where you can see many original beautiful lace items. A beautiful, small and private gallery of the best lace works is situated in the old part of the city on Mestni trg. All of them originate from Idrija, the town of laces and are made in accordance with agreed standards. These products of high artistic value and old tradition have been a synonym for prestige and quality since the beginning. Get yourself a napkin or a table cover, curtains or bed linen, or even a dress or jewellery made out of lace. Of course all the exhibits are for sale as well.
Address: Mestni trg 17, Ljubljana
Phone: +386 31 314 558, E-mail: email@example.com
Slovenia has a rich and very diverse history of handicrafts, originating from various traditions, beliefs, ways of living, habits and customs. Items produced manually in a traditional way are unique and are often the most appreciated. If you do not know what “panjska koncnica” is, why witches are good or how honey liqueur tastes like, visit Galerija Rustika. Besides traditionally painted chests, books about the city, and wines and national foods, many wooden and clay artefacts (made with love and patience) can be yours to buy. You can find two Galerija Rustika shops in Ljubljana. One is at Ljubljana castle and the other one in front of Tourist Information Center by the Triple Bridge, Stritarjeva Street 9.
Phone.: +386 (0) 31 383 247
Dom - Souvenirs
Located by the road side of the Ljubljana market, Dom is pleasant, relatively big and has much to offer. It houses a nice and extensive collection of souvenirs with Ljubljana and Slovenian motives. The collection is enriched by traditional Slovenian handicraft, different sculptures and pottery, thus it is also a place to buy a present for any occasion. Prices are reasonable. It is open Monday - Friday from 8:00 till 19:00 and on Saturdays till 15:00.
Address: Ciril-Metodov trg 5, Ljubljana
Phone: +386 (0)1 2347630