City trip to Ljubljana
We were able to spend a day in the Slovenian capital while we were traveling the country back in June. The city won the Green Capital Award in 2016, granted by the European Commission. And it shows! The biggest part of Ljubljana is pedestrian area and there are several parks and green area’s. Since we made a day trip out of it our time to explore the greenest capital of Europe was limited. Luckily, we participated in a Free Walking Tour (starts every day at 11AM on Plaza Prěsernov) and our guide was so friendly to give us some insider tips.
So, I created this top 3 listings of things for you to visit, eat and drink in the capital of Slovenia. You’re welcome!
Top 3 visit in Ljubljana
Ljubljana Castle with funicular
This beautiful medieval fortress was built in the 15th century and is located on top of the ‘castle hill’, in the heart of the city. You can walk all the way up to the castle but we took the ‘scenic route’, via the funicular.
The complete site has been renovated over the past few years and the result is quite impressive. The ‘Ljubljanski Grad’ houses a museum, a shop, a restaurant, a gallery and space for weddings and/or celebrations. However I thought it wasn’t completely clear what route to follow through the castle/museum, you get to discover quite some hidden gems: exhibition spaces, music rooms, etc.
I would also recommend the walk around the castle, outside the walls. Just take a rest on one of the benches and take the stunning views over the city in.
The Ljubljanica river flows through the center of the city and is lovely to walk along. You can stop and have a break in one of the many terraced cafes along the river and gaze upon the river and boats passing by.
I recommend you start at the famous Dragon Bridge and walk all the way south until the St James bridge. You will be passing six other bridges, including the Triple Bridge (counts for three, obviously) at Plaza Prěsernov where the free walking tour starts.
There is also a comfortable, clean toilet under the middle bridge – FYI, I know you hate looking for a clean toilet just as much as I do.
National and University Library
If you’re a bit into architecture, the National and University Library is a nice detour from your walk along the Ljubljanica river. The building was designed by Jože Plečnik (don’t worry, I can’t pronounce it either) and was built in the 1930’s. The architect designed a lot of buildings in Slovenia, but the library is considered his most important one. Nice to know: if you look at the windows on the top three floors, you will notice they illustrate open books.
The interior on the other hand is not open to the public. You can enter the main hall but that’s it, unfortunately. For the other rooms you need a member card. There are library tours once a month if you are really keen on visiting.
While you’re in this neighborhood, I recommend you make a stop at the Congress Square a few hundred meters further down the road. There is a beautiful park with a lovely patio right next to the square. It’s the perfect place for a rest during summer.
Oh, and for you shoppers out there: try Stari Trg. This street is home to a lot of cool boutiques, souvenir shops and coffee shops.
Top 3 eat and drink in Ljubljana
Located in the small Gregorčičeva street, Foculus is a well-known pizzeria in Ljubljana and loved by students. The interior may be a bit peculiar, but the pizzas are yummy and great value for money. When the weather is nice you can sit outside in the front.
OnThai Exotic Healthy Cuisine
In that same street as the pizzeria there is a small Thai restaurant, OnThai, where you can eat in (seats are limited!) or take away some decent Thai food.
Everybody loves ice cream! And if you don’t, you can still order a piece of cake or
Belgian waffle at Gelateria Romantika. But seriously though, at least try the ice cream. It’s 100% home made and there are gluten free and vegan options. The flavors are also innovative and surprising: cucumber with lime and cilantro, pumpkin oil on bourbon vanilla,… and if that still isn’t surprising enough for you: there is ice cream for your dog 🙂 I’m not kidding.
I hope these tips can bring your city trip to Ljubljana to a higher level. Enjoy!
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