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Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a small city I had never even heard of before I looked at visiting Slovenia. The population of Ljubljana is just 295,000, whilst the population of Slovenia is only just over 2 million. Despite not potentially being on every travellers radar, Slovenias capital certainly has a lot to offer visitors. Cities you know nothing about can often be the most interesting to explore so here is my guide of what to do in Ljubljana.
- 1 WHAT TO DO IN LJUBLJANA
- 1.1 How to get to Ljubljana
- 1.2 Ljubljana Accomodation
- 1.3 What to do in Ljubljana
- 1.4 Ljubljana Food and Drink
- 1.5 Enjoyed reading about What to do in Ljubljana?
WHAT TO DO IN LJUBLJANA
How to get to Ljubljana
I travelled to Ljubljana Slovenia from Split in Croatia on the train. The total journey time was 13 hours. I had to get a train from Split to Zagreb, and then from Zagreb to Ljubljana. Ljubljana train station is found in pretty much the centre of Slovenias capital. Ljubljana airport is around 16 miles from the city centre.
C-Punkt Hostel – £16/night for a 5 bed mixed dorm
There was a good kitchen which was well equipped. The beds were very clean and comfy, and the showers were clean too. The bathrooms were really spacious and some of the best I’ve seen in hostels. I had a little trouble finding the hostel as it is a bit further back from the Main Street.
What to do in Ljubljana
Free Walking Tour
Considering I hadn’t heard of Ljubljana I thought the best place to start would be a free walking tour to learn more about the city. Free walking tours are some of my favourite things to do when I arrive in a new city. There was a strong focus on architecture and Slovenia’s communist history. The country was part of Yugoslavia until it got independence in 1991.
The tour covered the ‘must sees’ in Ljubljana: Dragon Bridge, Old Town Hall, Butcher Bridge, Cobbler / Shoe Maker Bridge, the Main Square, the market and the Triple Bridge. The triple bridge (pictured below) was built to connect Ljubljana old town with Ljubljana new town.
Ljubljana Pub Crawl
As a solo traveller I find these can be a great way of making friends! Included in the price (15€) you got 5 shots, drinking games and club entry. This bar crawl takes you to Kapuciner Bar, Jet Bar and Shooters Club.
Ljubljana Castle and Funicular Railway
The castle and it’s view is certainly a must see when visiting Ljubljana. The funicular costs 2,20€ to use, but you could always walk up instead. On the way up you get a good view of the city, which is replicated when you go up to the free viewing tower at the top of the castle. There is a second lookout tower which has an entry fee of 8€. Adult entry to the castle is 13€ or you can get a combined ticket with the railway for 15€.
Graffiti Walking Tour
A slightly different and unique thing to do in Ljubljana is a tour of all the street art and graffiti in Ljubljana. I did this with the Alternative Tours group. It lasted for 2 hours and I booked for it in advance online. It is a free walking tour! They tour included information about different graffiti types, some local writers / crews and the stories behind some of the pieces.
After the tour I noticed different graffiti around the city a lot more and was able to understand it. The tour finished in Metelkova which is the oldest squat (more on that shortly).
When looking at what to do in Ljubljana, look no further than checking out the truly idiosyncratic Metelkova. This neighbourhood is made up of seven former military barracks that have been squatted since 1993 by artists, activists and young students. The squatters organise cultural activities at Metelkova such as art exhibitions, performances and concerts.
When Slovenia was given independence in 1991 the old barracks were abandoned. Hundreds of artists and activists petitioned for the government to use the site creatively. This didn’t happen. So, 2 years later they decided to occupy the site and declare it an autonomous zone. In 2005 the site was declared a National Cultural Heritage Site which prevents it from being demolished.
During the day the place is very cultural and at night there are lots of parties and music. More and more tourists have become attracted in recent years so more of the buildings have been transformed into shops, bars and clubs. Metelkova certainly one of the more fun things to do in Ljubljana!
Visit Lake Bled and Vintgar Gorge
When you’re visiting Ljubljana make sure you take at least a day trip to Lake Bled and Vintgar Gorge. This is one of the best places to visit in Slovenia! At just 55km away from Ljubljana you can get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana in just an hour by train!
Ljubljana Food and Drink
No ‘what to do in Ljubljana’ would be complete without some culinary recommendations! Organic Garden is a vegan and vegetarian junk food bar. I tried the tofu hot dog which was delicious! You can find organic garden at Ciril-Metodov trg 11 1000 Ljubljana.
At the end of the triple bridge there’s a little cart selling fresh corn on the cob for 2.50€.
Enjoyed reading about What to do in Ljubljana?
Read some more of my Slovenia content:
- Lake Bled Travel GuideThis post may contain affiliate links, including Amazon Associates. This means that I will make a small commission from any purchases you make, at no extra cost to you.Lake Bled was my main reason for going to Slovenia. Found in the Julian Alps in the northwestern area of the country, Lake Bled is located at …
- What to do in LjubljanaThis post may contain affiliate links, including Amazon Associates. This means that I will make a small commission from any purchases you make, at no extra cost to you.Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a small city I had never even heard of before I looked at visiting Slovenia. The population of Ljubljana is just …