During our 6-week Balkan trip, Ljubljana was one of the stops we made in the beginning. I didn’t have high expectations from the city as I didn’t know anyone who went there before. Once again, I learned that going somewhere without expectations might be even better! We loved Ljubljana. The city is insanely pretty, they have some good bars and places to go for food. This Ljubljana City Guide will provide you with some tips on how to spend your time in Ljubljana.
Tip: Ljubljana is only a one-hour drive away from Lake Bled, so you can perfectly combine them. Read everything about Lake Bled here.
Ljubljana’s nickname is little Paris, mainly because of the beautiful canals running through the city. The famous square with the pink town hall is stunning and the whole area is perfect for photographies. Just stroll around and you’ll already run in to some great places, without even following this full Ljubljana City Guide.
When we visited Ljubljana it was around 35 degrees during the day. This meant that we were forced to spent most of the afternoon somewhere in the shade. Our hotel was located next to Tivoli Park, so we actually passed the park every time we walked into the city centre (just 15 minutes). We bought some craft beers from Tektonic and chilled in Tivoli Park during the afternoon. Fun story, we saw Tektonic on Google Maps and decided to go there because we thought this would be a taproom. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. However, I was walking around with a bag from a small brewery in the Netherlands so one of the locals assumed that we were looking for Tektonic and actually let us in so we could get some beers straight from production!
If you don’t like walking up to the castle (as it is located on a hill), you’re lucky as there is a funicular railway you can use to get up. Otherwise, it will cost you around 45 minutes to walk up the hill. You are rewarded with views over Ljubljana and there is a restaurant located (more about that later).
Metelkova is definitely part of this Ljubljana City Guide as it is THE alternative area of Ljubljana and one of the most famous neighbourhoods in Europe. You’ll find loads of graffiti during the day and parties at night. However, when we went there during the day, there actually wasn’t much to do and it felt a bit creepy. I would say, definitely visit Metelkova in the evenings as well to discover the nightlife that is going on there.
There are two main markets in Ljubljana. One is located outside and is normally open everyday except Sundays. Next to the outside market, there is an inside market where you can find nice pastries and other stuff. Definitely have a quick look or have a seat and enjoy Ljubljana’s day to day life passing by. The market is located at one of the ends of the main city centre and you’ll find it on maps by “Central Market” / “Marketplace”.
Ljubljana’s famous icon is the Dragon’s Bridge crossing the Ljubljana River. You’ll probably cross it somewhere during your stay in the city.
As in most cities, the Old Town is always worth discovering. You’ve already seen a lot while passing by the Town Square and by following the canals, but definitely walk around the Old Town a bit more to discover little alleys.
This was one of our favourite places and unfortunately there is no footage available. However, definitely head to Pop’s Place when you are into beer and burgers. Pop’s Place is located at the canal, so also the scenery and location is good.
On top of the castle, there is restaurant located called Strelec. It is high in price class, but if you are in for a treat and a special memory, it is a place to consider.
A great place for brunch, a cup of coffee or something stronger is Magda’s. We spent the whole afternoon here, sitting in the shade and sipping prosecco (I wished I was so fancy I would be able to say champagne here).
This colorful bar has a small terrace where you enjoy a drink in the sun, but also inside there is a great atmosphere. It isn’t your average tourist bar, even though it is still located quite in the city centre. I would definitely recommend this one! The colorful outside already tells enough.
When walking from Tivoli park towards the city centre, the first place you run into is Jazz Bar Gajo. The place has a wonderful garden full with chairs to enjoy your drink in the shade during a hot summer day and evening. As the name already tells you, great chance you run into a nice jazz performance in the evening.
Enjoy the terrace during the day and an inside space that is decorated with lounge chairs and sofa’s, so you’ll feel at home straight away. Klub Daktari is one of the most famous bars in Ljubljana and is found at the foot of the castle hill. Don’t expect a large ‘club’ atmosphere, as it is more like a cultural/music center.
A place with several beers on tap and a great craft beer list. The outside area is rather small, so chances are great you have to sit inside. Expect an English style pub where you can cool down and enjoy a nice beer.
We did stay at OH Apartments & Rooms for about €45 a night (for one room). The place was decent and definitely delivered good quality for the price. It was located near Tivoli Park and it therefore took around 15 to 20 minutes to walk to the city centre. Book the apartment here.