25 May 7 reasons why Ljubljana worth a visit
The capital of Slovenia was a surprise for us mainly because it was not at the top of our travel bucket list. With only 250,000 inhabitants, Ljubljana is one of Europe’s greenest European cities, very clean and incredibly charming. As always, we went there, we experienced all the beauty, and we give you 7 reasons why Ljubljana worth a visit.
Ljubljana the green capital!
Take a stroll to the historical center next to the river.
Ljubljana is a small and easy city to get around (either on foot or by bicycle). Its center is extremely charming, with beautiful buildings and lovely coffee shops next to the river. So put on comfortable shoes and walk along the river. Drink a coffee accompanied by one of the most famous local delicacies – Prekmurska Gibanica sweet cake. Actually, this cake could be the 8th reason why Ljubljana worth a visit. The architecture of the city is influenced by several streams, but mostly from Joze Plečnik the most famous architect, who has designed many buildings. At the historic center, you will find the majority of “must visit” places in the city such as the Franciscan Church, the triple bridge and the dragon bridge as well as the central market.
Extra tip: Every Friday (mid-May to mid-October) in the main market they organize Open Kitchen, where you can find delicious delicacies.
Visit the triple bridge.
Do you remember the famous architect, Plečnik who we mentioned above? One of his creations is the triple bridge. Long story short, those three bridges replaced a wooden bridge in 1842. Initially, the two sides were for the pedestrians and the central one for the carriages. Today all three are for pedestrians and joyful travelers like us! The bridges have stairs that lead to the river, while on the one side you can see the Franciscan Church and on the other side the hill with to the Ljubljana castle.
Relax at the Tivoli Park.
The city of Ljubljana is very green, and one park contributes significantly to that. Tivoli Park! The green lung of the city. Just two minutes from the city center, this park covers about 5 square kilometers and is full of greens. The park was designed in 1813, but since then it is expanded and ‘renewed’ quite a bit. Today, you can find a small lake, botanical gardens, some intriguing statues, and a playground. Inevitably, a walk at the Tivoli Park is one more reason why Ljubljana worth a visit. The central “artery” of the park, Jakopič Promenade, was once again designed by the architect Plečnik. Also, from time to time, there are organized exhibitions and events!
Take a photo on the Dragon Bridge.
An interesting fact is that the symbol of the city is the dragon because it symbolizes courage and power. The creation of Dragon Bridge took place in 1900, and it replaced a wooden bridge. The bridge adorns 4 giant dragon statues, which are incredibly realistic! One of the “musts” that you need to do in Ljubljana is to take a shot with the dragons on the Dragon Bridge. To put it in a sentence, you cannot visit this Ljubljana and miss it! Beyond the Dragons, of course, the bridge is considered a typical example of Art Nouveau architecture that flourished in the 20th century.
Explore artistic Metelkova and stay in a former prison hostel.
Metelkova, is a quite interesting neighborhood, with the reputation of the artistic, alternative and, above all, live part of the city. Young people hanging out, exhibitions and art usually are some of the top activities. Many walls are decorated with impressive graffiti, but the truth is that this was not always the case. Once at this area there were the barracks of the former Yugoslav People’s Army. In 1991 they were abandoned by the dissolution of Yugoslavia and in 1993, with the help of volunteers; the area was given for artistic use. At this area, you can also find the unique Hostel Celica, a former prison hostel (we had a similar experience already)! It is budget friendly since it is a hostel with a specific concept and a youthful climate. The room that we stayed in was a former cell and had a very artistic decoration. The whole experience was exciting and worth spending a night there!
Get to the Ljubljana Castle.
The medieval castle of Ljubljana is another symbol of the city. It is located in the city center on a small hill, and over the last 900 years, it is proud of the town. It is effortless to reach it since it is just 10 minutes walking from the center. However, if you do not want to walk, there is also a funicular railway that brings you up. Ideal when the weather is bad or you have toddlers. The cost for a roundtrip is 4 euro per person, while opening hours are 09.00-2100 during summer and 10.00-20.00 during winter. The entrance to the castle is 15 euros. Inside the castle, there is an exhibition about Slovenian history.
Leave the town and get to Kamnik.
Although this escape cannot be included in the reasons why Ljubljana worth a visit, it’s a place to be. Kamnik is only 25 minutes by car from the city, so technically it is very close to Ljubljana. An under the radar destination ideal for nature lovers! Kamnik is a small picturesque town with the blessing to host mountains, canyons, and a river. Must visit points are Velika Planina and the valley Kamniške Bistrice. After Kamnik, you can quickly drive to the famous Bled Lake and continue your getaway in Slovenia! If you do not feel like driving, you can take a day tour!
Note: This trip was conducted in cooperation with Visit Ljubljana, and this article is based on our personal experience and view as ever.
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Read also : Discovering Kamnik, the secret gem of Slovenia.