After spending a few days traveling in Ljubljana, I’m excited to share this city guide. From where to stay in Ljubljana, to the top things to do, there is so much to love in this city. Ljubljana took me by surprise. Not only is it a beautiful city visually, but it’s also incredibly diverse as a cultural destination.
From a bustling restaurant scene to great third-wave coffee shops, Ljubljana seemed to have it all. It felt rather untouched by mass tourism as well — something to appreciate when in Europe. The city felt joyful, a certain atmosphere of easy-going and relaxed. Perhaps it is all the green space in the city, multiple parks, trees, and rivers. It’s no wonder it was named one of Europe’s most livable cities and green capital.
If you’re headed this way, here’s what you won’t want to miss while visiting Ljubljana.
The Ultimate Ljubljana Travel Guide
What to Know Before Visiting Ljubljana
Getting to Ljubljana: Major airports in Europe have connected flights into Ljubljana’s airport. Often airways like Easyjet, LOT, or Air France will run these. The airport is about 30 minutes from the center of town. You do not need a car in the city. To get into town, either take a taxi on arrival (no Uber) or take a shared van ride which is around 15 dollars from a company on arrival, I used GoOpti and is located just outside the baggage claim.
Getting around Ljubljana: It’s so easy to walk this city that you won’t need any public transportation. Most of everything is in or near the historic district. For longer distances, taxis are available.
How many days in Ljubljana: I’d recommend at least two full days here if not three to really do a deep dive of the city. There is also a lot to see nearby like castles and day tours to wine regions so you could consider staying longer and doing day trips.
Best time of year to visit Ljubljana: Shoulder seasons here are the best time like early fall or late spring to avoid the summer crowds. If cold weather doesn’t bother you, I think winter here would also be pretty magical.
Money: You’ll need some cash, so I recommend pulling a few Euros out from a local bank on arrival. Most places will accept credit cards.
Travel tip: Pay for a Ljubljana tourist card for either 24, 48, or 72 hours for access to most sights.
Where to Stay in Ljubljana
For Ljubljana, this trip I stayed in a local’s Airbnb right near the historic district. One thing to note is that if you’re within the pedestrian zone, cars cannot enter. So if you need door-to-door service, keep this in mind for your luggage. I’d recommend staying near the heart of the city or near the river.
* For Airbnb, use this link for $40 off your first booking when you sign up.
Best Restaurants in Ljubljana
Some of my favorite meals:
- Julija: My favorite meal in Ljubljana was here at Julija. Their freshly made ricotta pasta dish was delicious and the truffles were great. Come for dinner or lunch and reserve ahead.
- Restaurant and bar Atelje: I sat down to one of the best pre-fix lunches in Slovenia here. I loved the use of local ingredients, rich flavors, and beautiful presentations here. It’s certainly one of the nicer restaurants in Ljubljana.
- Abi Falafel: One of my favorite dinners was at this casual restaurant for falafel. So delicious and a hearty meal.
- El Patro Tacos & Store: Authentic tacos hailing from Mexico in Ljubljana? You bet and a welcomed surprise.
- TINK superfood café: Come here for a healthy breakfast, featuring acai bowls and avocado toast.
- Sisters Kurtoš: The spot for a local dessert called kurtos (pastry dough cooked over an open flame) and filled with things like Nutella or ice cream.
- Skyscraper: Come to this epic rooftop for 360-degree views of the city. I’d recommend sunset and coming for a cocktail.
Where to get coffee:
- Stow: Set inside a museum, it’s a quiet setting for a cup of coffee.
- Črno Zrno Specialty Coffee: Third-wave coffee shop down incredibly well, their beans were delicious.
- Cafe Čokl: Coffee only and a very much locals spot for espresso.
- Kaverna Moderna: Great interior, more industrial style with small bites.
- Hotel Lev lobby: A beautiful setting to come grab a coffee.
Top Things to Do in Ljubljana
Tour the Plečnik House.
One of my favorite experiences was getting to tour the architect’s Jože Plečnik’s home. It’s a small guided tour, limited to 7 people every hour on the hour from 10:00 to 7:00 and you get guided through his life and his famous works.
Explore the Ljubljana old town on foot.
Ljubljana is one of those cities you’ll want to get lost in. Alleys have small boutiques, little cafes are tucked away on corners, and it’s incredibly scenic. You could spend a few hours just making your way through the old town. Some of the top sights include Dragon Bridge, Cobblers’ Bridge, Robba Fountain, Ljubljana Cathedral, Prešeren Square, and Franciscan Church of the Annunciation. You can also shop local here, stop by GUD Shop to see a few Slovenian designers!
Ride the funicular and visit the Ljubljana Castle.
A fun and much quicker way of getting up to the castle is by funicular. Soaring views over the city you bring you up and then afterward you can visit the castle right there. The castle has many exhibitions and historical artifacts for seeing. I’d recommend even making the walk back down if you want some exercise.
Take a scenic boat ride on the Ljubljanica.
A short scenic ride on the river brings you through the city to get beautiful views of the buildings. Onboard you can also get a few drinks to enjoy while cruising. It embarks at the Breg embankment.
Museum hop your way through the city.
There are many museums in Ljubljana whether you want to experience contemporary art or dive into history. Some of the top options are the National Museum of Slovenia, the National Gallery, Slovenian Museum of Natural History, and Museum of Modern Art.
Go for a stroll in Tivoli Park.
If you’re looking to be immersed in nature, head to Ljubljana’s greenest space. Tivoli Park is large and you could spend a few hours strolling through its winding trails. Along the way, stop in for a drink or coffee at Art Cafe Tivoli for a break.
Stop by the Ljubljana Central Market.
I always love stopping by fresh markets in a new city to find local products and check out what the produce is like. This market is large and many vendors set up almost every day. Products like local honey to fresh fruits and vegetables are sold here as well as a small clothing area.