Best Things to See in the Friendly City of Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Ljubljana, Slovenia

Day 9 of our 10-country, 10-night road trip from North Germany to Italy was to discover a little more of Slovenia. We chose three places: the capital city, Ljubljana, Lake Bled, and Predjama Castle.

We wanted to enjoy a day in Ljubljana, and we wanted the full experience.

For us, this meant the food, sights, and historical heritage of a city named for its friendliness and modern lifestyle.

4 Friendly Benefits of Ljubljana

Buy a City Bus Pass (Urbana) for €2, and then each 90-minute bus fare, regardless of the number of journeys,  is only  €1.20

Kavalir (Gallant Helper) is a free city centre electric vehicle for up to 5 people and can be hailed to get from point A to B

Most Slovenians have some knowledge of the English language

The Tourist Information Office is for local and national information


What we discovered about Ljubljana’s historical heritage

  • Ljubljana Marshes UNESCO site where lake dwellers lived 6,000 years ago
  • Ljubljana was once the Roman city of Emona
  • The city was a gateway between central Europe and the Mediterranean
  • Joze Plecnik is considered a pioneer of contemporary architecture, and he designed many early 20th-century buildings in Ljubljana, his birthplace.


So, Where is a Good Place to Start Your Day?

Ljubljana is built around the river, and the old medieval town is centred on the river bank under the castle. With many bridges crossing over the curving Ljubljanica River, it’s easy to do a loop to cover the main sights of this wonderful city.

Presernov Square

This was our first stopping point, and it’s here that you will find the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation. It is a popular place to meet, and the distinctive pink-coloured church is always a draw.

Take a wander over the Triple Bridge; there has been a bridge here since the 1200s.

As the city grew, the Triple Bridge became a concern because of the structure of the middle bridge built in 1842. So, to protect the Triple Bridge, two pedestrian bridges designed by Joze Plecnik were added (at angles) in 1929-32.

Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Triple Bridge, Ljubljana

Breg Embankment

A walk along the Breg Embankment offers views of Ljubljana Castle and access to the famous Cobbler’s Bridge of architect Joze Plecnick. The embankment is lined with cafes and restaurants offering local dishes, wine, beer, and coffee.

From here, it is a short walk to Zois Palace.

Not to be missed is Novi Square, which showcases architecture from the 13th century to the designs of Joze Plecnik. If you love grand buildings, then a small detour here is worthwhile.

Best Things to See in the Friendly City of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Cobblers’ Bridge Ljubljana
Best Things to See in the Friendly City of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Breg Embankment, Ljubljana


Ljubljana Old Medieval Town

Mestni Square, Stari Square and Gornji Square form the Old Medieval Town.

As you cross the Triple Bridge, you will enter Mestni Square to find the imposing Town Hall and Fountain of Three Carniolan Rivers.

From here, take a walk in the direction of Gornji Square along the narrow cobblestone street to where the old town gate used to stand. This street will have you stopping to admire traditional shops, eyeing delicious gelato and deciding what restaurant to choose for the evening.

One option for local Slovenian food is to check out the menu at Sokol.

Best Things to See in the Friendly City of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Fountain of Three Carniolan Rivers.


Best Things to See in the Friendly City of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Old Medieval Town

Vodnikov Square – Central Market

· Fresh produce and food stalls of local foods

· Cathedral of St Nicholas – unique entrance door

· Funicular to the Ljubljana Castle – restored in glass and steel

· Dragon Bridge – see some fierce-looking dragons

This is a great place to taste local food dishes from the food stalls or purchase fresh produce for later. But if you feel like browsing, there are the usual clothing and souvenir stalls as well.

We chose two local dishes: The Burek, which has ricotta cheese in a flaky filo dough/pastry, and a Pleskavica burger.

Central Market with fresh produce
Dragon Bridge

The Cathedral of St Nicholas will leave you in awe with its stunning baroque interior. The church is easy to find, and the Salzburg Cathedral inspires its dome top and twin belfries.

When you enter the cathedral, stop and take a look at the doors. These bronze doors from 1996 depict 1250 years of Christianity in Slovenia.

Best Things to See in the Friendly City of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Cathedral of St Nicholas, Ljubljana
One of the 1996 Commemorative Doors – Cathedral St Nicholas – Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle

You have a few options for accessing the castle: on foot, on the tourist train, or a funicular ride. As you arrive at the castle, you’ll find restaurants, museums, and a free viewing platform of the city.

The castle dates back to the 15th century; it was built as a fortress for the Hapsburg empire; today, it’s more of a venue for events and weddings.

Tip: We found the views across the old city to be more impressive from the castle’s east side.

Best Things to See in the Friendly City of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Funicular Ride to Ljubljana Castle, Slovenia
Best Things to See in the Friendly City of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana Castle
Best Things to See in the Friendly City of Ljubljana, Slovenia
View from Ljubljana Castle

Riverside Walk of Ljubljana

Our Airbnb host, Greg, had recommended descending the castle via the pathways to the River embankments of Krakoski and Trnovsk. From here, we had views back across to the castle and found a small bar to stop and admire the surroundings.

Tip: This walk takes you away from the main attractions but is worthwhile if you have the time.

Best Things to See in the Friendly City of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana River with a view of Ljubljana Castle

River Cruise of Ljubljana

Now, a perfect way to end your exploration of the city would be to take a cruise along the river. The 45-minute boat trip is informative and gives another perspective of Ljubljana’s medieval history with its Celt and Roman influence.

How to Enjoy a Wonderful Day in the Friendly City of Ljubljana, Slovenia
River Cruise, Ljubljana (Breg Embankment, Pink Church and Triple Bridge)

So, what did we love most about our Day in Ljubljana?

Triple Bridge – whichever way you look, you have varying views of this wonderful, friendly city.

Old Medieval Town – the walk here will have you falling in love with the beauty of this picturesque small European city.

River Cruise – a history lesson, great views and an orientation of the city.

Ljubljana is the Gateway to Slovenia – it provides many day excursions to UNESCO sites, national parks, and the Alps.

Consequently, we chose two popular places to visit: Lake Bled and Predjama Castle.

Predjama Castle. Slovenia





    • TravelKiwis says:

      This funicular was odd looking but it’s an easy level platform so great for those who are a little queasy on heights

  1. TravelKiwis says:

    Thanks Sylvia – It is a beautiful city and so easy to get around. Great food and plenty to see.

  2. TravelKiwis says:

    It is definitely a great city to visit and use as a base for lots of day trips. Hopefully it won’t be long until you visit.

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