Things to do in Ljubljana
Walk next to Ljubljanica River and get to know Ljubljana
The first thing we do
What you’ll notice even during your first walk in Ljubljana is how clean the city is and what an effort has been put in to make the city as green as possible. Ljubljana is one of the greenest cities in Europe, with 542 m² public green areas per capita.
Ljubljana is pretty small, so you can walk to most attractions which is great. You can also rent a bike which is a popular way of getting around in Ljubljana.
Food Market Odprta Kuhna
Odprta Kuhna is a great food market that is organized every (sunny) Friday from early spring to late fall on Pogačarjev Square, behind the Cathedral. There are many wooden stalls with various dishes and cuisines from all around the world which are prepared by famous Slovenian restaurants. Here you can taste Slovenian, Asian, Italian, Egyptian dishes, as well as burgers, sandwiches and unique desserts. You can also buy Slovenian wine and craft beers.
The atmosphere is great, energetic – there are many people, but also plenty of space around the stalls where you can have a seat. We had a wonderful time here and we tasted as much as we could: ravioli prepared in Parmesan cheese, calamari, pulled pork and some kind of pancakes with fruit spread. If you find yourself in Ljubljana on a sunny Friday, make sure to visit this place.
Tivoli Park is a great way to spend some time in nature and it is right in the city. You’ll get from the city centre to Tivoli Park in 15-20 minutes of walking. The park is huge and looks gorgeous. It’s a great spot for a picnic or just a walk. There are often some exhibits in the park. We didn’t spend a lot of time in the park since there was a lot of rain during our visit, but next time I’m in Ljubljana I’ll be back for a picnic!
Metelkova Mesto is an alternative and artsy part of Ljubljana. It’s a colorful neighborhood with many graffitis, installations, mosaics… Even though army barracks were once located here, today Metelkova Mesto is an alternative culture centre. It’s home to an interesting hostel – Hostel Celica. Hostel Celica was once a prison and was later converted to a funky hostel by more than 80 local and international artists. There are still some elements of the prison, such as prison bars on windows and doors. Every room or cell is unique. So, if you’re into unusual accommodation, Hostel Celica is the place for you.
Metelkova Mesto comes to life on the weekend and in the evenings, but I had fun exploring the graffiti even during the day. There are a few museums nearby: a part of the
The Ljubljana Castle is a medieval castle and a symbol of the Slovenian capital. In the castle you’ll learn about the history of Slovenia and the castle itself, explore a former penitentiary and see medieval weaponry. There are many activities in the castle: guided tours, an Escape Room, restaurants, a cafe and a club. The best thing about the castle is its view on Ljubljana from the tower.
The ticket for the Castle costs 10 euros for adults and 7 for students. You can get to the castle by a funicular, but we walked there and it’s a nice walk, so I recommend you take a walk too.
Nebotičnik is a skyscraper with a cafe on the last floor, located in Štefanova Street 1. In the cafe you can enjoy the best view of Ljubljana while having a cocktail or a coffee. In my opinion, this is the best view of the city you can get. Yes, the view from the Ljubljana Castle is great, but it is missing the Castle itself from the view, which really looks amazing from a far. That’s why I recommend you definitely check out Nebotičnik when in Ljubljana.
Food and Drinks
We didn’t have enough time to go to many restaurants or cafes, but I can recommend a couple that we loved.
Pop’s Place – amazing burgers, and good fish & chips too
Cacao – a must for ice cream lovers
Slovenska Hiša – a cute restaurant next to Ljubljanica River, we only had a drink and enjoyed the view, but they serve Slovenian food
Tozd – a nice cafe near Ljubljanica, great for a break with coffee or beer
A Day Trip to Bled
Bled Lake was the highlight of this trip. It exceeded my expectations and is straight out of a fairytale! If you’re not going by car, you can get from Ljubljana to Bled by bus. It’s an hour and 20 minutes long ride and the price of the round trip ticket is 12 euro.
The are so many fun activities at Bled.
The Bled Castle is one of the oldest fortresses in Slovenia. The view from the fortress is magnificent: Bled Lake and the island in it right in front of you and amazing nature, Julian Alps and mountain Karavanke in the background. There is also a museum where you can learn all about the development of the area of Bled from the Bronze age up until today. In the Castle there are also a forge, a chapel, a wine cellar, a gallery and a restaurant.
It’s truly amazing to see the lake and the view from a different perspective, so I suggest you either come to the top of the castle or hike to one of the viewing points around the lake.
Boat Ride on the Lake
A boat ride under the sun on lake Bled was the most exciting part of my visit to Bled. There are two ways to explore Bled’s waters: renting a boat or catching a ride on the Pletna boat.
If you decide to rent a boat, you pay 20 euro for a one hour ride and you row yourself. We chose this option and had a lot of fun! It’s great because it’s just you on the boat so you can choose in which direction to row, how much you want to row and how much you want to relax and enjoy the view in the middle of the lake. The boat can fit a few people (the most I’ve seen is 5), but there is only one set of oars per boat which means only one person can row at a time.
If you don’t want to row, you can take a ride on a Pletna boat, a larger traditional wooden boat with colorful awning. The Pletna boat is operated by the Pletna oarsman so you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the view. The boat can fit around 20 people. The ride costs around 15 euro and the boat takes you to the Bled Island and back, and you also have free time to look around the island.
The Bled Island is the island in the lake and it’s mostly famous because of the church located on it, but also for the nature and the bell tower. There is a fee which includes the entrance to the Church of the Mother of God on the Lake and Lookout bell tower with pendulum clock. The prices are: 6 euro for adults, 4 for students and seniors and 1 for children under 14.
Bled Cream Cake
The Bled cream cake is a symbol of Bled and something you should definitely try when you visit Bled. The former manager of the Hotel Park patisserie had been testing out different recipes for years until he came up with the recipe of the original Bled cream cake. You can have the cream cake in most cafes and restaurants in Bled, but we chose to taste it at Hotel Park.
Explore the hills around Bled – Read about the trails here.
Vintgar Gorge – the first touristically arranged gorge in Slovenia is 4km away
National Park Triglav – the only national park in Slovenia is close to Bled
Bohinj Lake – another beautiful lake is only 30km from Bled