Ljubljana and Bled – Top Things To Do

Slovenia’s capital is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. It’s walkable, full of green spaces and has a great food scene. Plus, you’re only 40 minutes away from the iconic Lake Bled. If you’re planning a visit to Slovenia, enjoy this guide.

Things to do in Ljubljana

Walk next to Ljubljanica River and get to know Ljubljana

The first thing I do at a city break is take a walk in the main square or central area. In Ljubljana, we took a walk next to Ljubljanica, Ljubljana’s river. Ljubljanica is a gorgeous green-colored river with many cute bridges which make a perfect spot for a photo. The most famous bridges are Dragon’s Bridge and Triple Bridge, which was designed by Slovenia’s famous architect Jože Plečnik.

A dragon is the symbol of Slovenia’s capital, so you’ll see dragons in different shapes and forms all over the city, like on the Dragon’s Bridge. In the heart of the city you’ll find Prešeren Square, where a monument to the greatest Slovenian poet France Prešeren is located. The Ljubljana Cathedral or St. Nicholas’s Church is nearby, on the Cyril and Methodius Square

What I noticed during my first walk in Ljubljana is how clean the city is. Ljubljana is one of the greenest cities in Europe, with 542 m² public green areas per capita.

Ljubljanica River in Ljubljana

Ljubljana isn’t big, so you can walk to most attractions. Or, rent a bike. It’s a popular way of getting around in Ljubljana.

Food Market Odprta Kuhna

Odprta Kuhna is a food market that is organized every (sunny) Friday from early spring to late fall on Pogačarjev Square, behind the Cathedral. Wooden stalls with various dishes from all over the world, prepared by famous Slovenian restaurants. Here you can taste Slovenian, Asian, Italian, Egyptian dishes, as well as mouthwatering burgers, sandwiches and unique desserts. Don’t miss Slovenian wine and craft beers.

Although there were many foodies, there was plenty of space around the stalls to have a seat. I had a blast and tasted as much as I could. Parmesan cheese wheel ravioli, calamari, pulled pork and pancakes with fruit. If you find yourself in Ljubljana on a sunny Friday, make sure to visit this food market!

Tivoli Park

Tivoli Park is the place to spend time in nature without leaving the city. Take a walk from the city centre and you’ll be there in 15-20 minutes. The park is huge. And gorgeous. It’s a great spot for a picnic or a relaxing walk. We didn’t spend a lot of time here since our visit was cut short by rain, but next time I’m in Ljubljana I’ll be back for a picnic!

Tivoli Park

Metelkova Mesto 

Metelkova Mesto is an alternative and artsy part of Ljubljana. It’s a colorful neighborhood with street art, installations, mosaics… Even though army barracks were once located here, Metelkova Mesto is now an alternative culture centre. It’s home to a unique hostel – Hostel Celica. Once a prison, Hostel Celica was converted to a funky hostel by more than 80 local and international artists. Every room or cell is unique and prison bars on windows weren’t taken down. If you’re into unusual accommodation,  Hostel Celica is the place for you.

Metelkova Mesto

Metelkova Mesto comes to life in the evenings and on weekends, but I had fun exploring street art during the day. There are a few museums nearby: a part of the National Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art and Ethnographic Museum.

Ljubljana Castle

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 check out medieval weaponry. There’s much to do in the castle: guided tours, an Escape Room, restaurants, a cafe and a club. The best part is the view from the tower.

Ljubljana Castle

You can get to the castle by funicular, but I recommend walking.


Nebotičnik is a skyscraper with a cafe on the last floor, located in Štefanova Street 1. Enjoy the breathtaking view of Ljubljana while sipping on a cocktail or a cup of coffee. This was my favorite view of city. Ljubljana Castle offers a great view, but it is missing the main attraction – the castle itself. That’s why I recommend checking out Nebotičnik when in Ljubljana.

The view on Ljubljana from Neboticnik

Food and Drinks 

I didn’t have much time to explore restaurants and cafes, but here are a few places I loved.

Pop’s Place – spectacular burgers, and solid fish & chips

Cacao – a must for ice cream lovers

Slovenska Hiša – a cute restaurant next to Ljubljanica River

Tozd – the place for a coffee break… or a beer break

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 take the bus from Ljubljana. It’s an hour-and-20-minutes long ride.

Bled Castle

The Bled Castle is one of the oldest fortresses in Slovenia. The view from the fortress is magnificent with Julian Alps and mountain Karavanke as the backdrop. Visit the museum to learn everything about the development of Bled area since the Bronze age. On the castle ground you’ll find a forge, a chapel, a wine cellar, a gallery and a restaurant.

Bled Castle

I suggest you either come to the top of the castle or hike to one of the viewing points around the lake to get this view.

Boat Ride on the Lake

A boat ride under the sun 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. I chose this option and had a lot of fun! 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.

Boat ride on lake Bled

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 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’ll have time to explore the island.

Bled Cream Cake

Bled is famous for its cream cake. The former manager of Hotel Park patisserie had been testing out different recipes for years until he came up with the original Bled cream cake recipe. You can have the cream cake in most cafes and restaurants in Bled, but we chose to taste it at Hotel Park. It was tasty and sooo creamy!

Bled Cream Cake

More Ideas

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

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