12 Best Things To Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia: Top Attractions

by Sam
Best Things To Do in Ljubljana Slovenia

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Ah, Ljubljana, what a treat of a city. I had the pleasure of visiting the Slovenian capital during the summer and was blown away by its stunning aesthetic combination of old-world and modern feel.

Despite being the capital, it doesn’t have the typical big-city vibe. With a small population of 280,000, it felt more like a tight-knit community, ready and proud to showcase its rich history and culture to its visitors. Ljubljana is easily explored by foot, but that lies in its magic. Though it is compact, its interior embodies the feel of a big city, boasting a huge range of attractions.

From the picturesque Old Town to the ever-beautiful city park, Ljubljana has everything to keep you busy and more for a jam-packed itinerary. With that being said, what should you explore? Let’s find out.

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Best attractions in Ljubljana

With so many cool and exciting things to do in Ljubljana, let’s dive into its best attractions with tips and recommendations along the way. 

1. Visit the Ljubljana Castle

Perched on top of Castle Hill at one of the highest points in the city is Ljubljana Castle. This 11th-century monument is one of the best attractions to visit in Ljubljana, enhanced by the sheer number of panoramic views it provides left, right and centre of the city.

But yes, with a cliff-top view, you guessed it, it might require some climbing.

Aerial View of Ljubljana Castle in Slovenia

Getting there

For those looking for an easy way up, take the Funicular ride to the castle from Krek Square. It’ll cost you €6 for a return (concession discounts are available). Parking is also available just outside.

Funicular going down from Ljubljana Castle in Slovenia


If you are feeling a little adventurous, you can start hiking up the castle from most parts of the city, just as long as you are going up. 

The main starting point is Študentovska Pot; start working your way up. Or, if you want to explore the town first, walk up from Stair Tg when you are ready, next to Herkulov Vodnjak and follow the signs towards the castle.

Herkulov Vodnjak statue in Ljubljana

Activities at Ljubljana Castle

The castle is free for the most part. You’ll have the free reins to walk around the castle exterior, explore the inside courtyard, and climb the stairs to the upper walls.

Tickets cost €12 to enter the Castle Museum, which includes a 12-minute film on the castle in their cinema. Plus, there is access to a puppet museum, an exhibition on Slovenian history, and the Outlook Tower, which offers some of the best views of Ljubljana. 

You can pre-book your tickets or purchase them by the gates outside the castle.

Note: Ljubljana Castle also hosts an escape game. Tickets are available on their website.

2. Spot the dragons

Installed on their coat of arms, The Ljubljana Dragon has been a symbol of the city and its mythology for centuries. 

When you walk around the city centre, you may notice a few little hidden dragons around. Get hunting and see how many you can find! 

The prime location to find them is Dragon Bridge, which holds 4 giant dragon statues, all standing tall as the protectors of the city.

One of the dragons on the Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana

3. Explore the Old Town

The Old Town of Ljubljana is full of quaint little narrow paths, with cobbled streets and classical baroque architecture. Everything that makes it one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia

Its central hub is situated in Preseren Square, where you’ll find the iconic Triple Bridge and the instantly recognisable Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, which is adorned in pink. 

In the summer, sprinklers are available for a cool-off in the squares circle.  At first glance, you can’t see them at work, but when you walk in it, it gives the illusion that it’s actually raining. It’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced!

Preseren Square in Ljubljana overlooking the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation from Triple Bridge

4. Walk along the Ljubljanica River

The Ljubljanica River meanders along the entirety of the Old Town, through the city’s famous bridges, past the adjacent cafes and restaurants, city markets, attractions, important sights, you name it!

Explore it by walking along the waterfront or taking the Ljubljana River tour, which can be pre-booked online or in person, departing from Ribji Trg pier.

Ljubljanica River meandering through Ljubljana Old Town

5. Step onto the famous bridges of Ljubljana

Ljubljana has many famous bridges along the Ljubljanica River waterfront that not only have an important function to help visitors safely move across from city to Old Town but are an attraction in themselves.

Besides Dragon Bridge, don’t miss out on stepping onto the famous trio: The Triple Bridge, Butchers Bridge and Cobblers Bridge. 

Triple Bridge

Ljubljana’s oldest and most historic bridge, ‘The Triple Bridge’, connects the Old Town to the main part of the city, interlinking them via, hence its name, three bridges. It connects you to Preseren Square, where you’ll find Ljubljana’s busiest crowds taking photos of its picturesque surroundings.

Panoramic view of The Triple Bridge in Ljubljana

Butchers Bridge

Butchers Bridge (Mesarski most) is Ljubljana’s very own love-lock bridge, where countless tourists lock away their love on the bridge rails and throw the key into the Ljubljanica River.

One little peculiar feature is its completely see-through floor made from glass, making you feel like you’re almost gravitating above the river.

Another feature is the impressive statues from Slovenia’s very own sculptor, Jakov Brdar. It is well worth the visit! 

Butchers Bridge in Ljubljana

Cobblers Bridge

Cobblers’ Bridge is one of the top attractions to visit in Ljubljana. 

It has had many uses throughout the years being home to establishments, including a butcher’s and shoemaker stores that hosted numerous cobbler workshops. This is where it famously gained its name! 

Every Sunday, it hosts a flea market where you can find a range of antiques and goods. Perfect for a souvenir shop on the holidays. 

Cobblers Bridge in Ljubljana

6. Try the local restaurants

Slovenia is blessed with delicious food, and there is no better place to explore this than Ljubljana. With an array of different restaurants, mainly on the Ljubljanica River waterfront, you’ll be spoilt for choice when dining out.

I highly recommend dining at Julija or Abi Falafel. I had the pleasure of eating at these restaurants during my time there, and these were by far my favourites. Both serve delicious food, have a huge range of options, and cater to specific dietary requirements. 

Key note: With its proximity to Italy, some restaurants in Ljubljana go by The Coperto rule, where you pay a charge for table linen, tableware, and bread.

I wasn’t aware of this until the bill came, and I was charged around €6 at the time. It’s best to ask the restaurant, just in case, before ordering.  

A collection of restaurants in Ljubljana on the river waterfront

7. Explore the Church of St. Nicholas 

Hidden away in the city, the Church of St. Nicholas is just a short walk from the Three Bridges and Preseren Square. 

On the outside of the cathedral are these beautiful sculptured bronze doors that don’t come with your typical door handle! 

As you enter the cathedral, you’ll instantly be struck by its breathtaking architecture and interior design. Its intricate frescoes covering the walls and ceilings all depict the life of St. Nicholas.

Visiting it is definitely one of the best things to do in Ljubljana! Oh, and it’s free to enter. We all love a freebie! 

A look at Ljubljana Cathedral's Side Door
the interior of Ljubljana Cathedral

8. Explore Tivoli Park

Just outside the city centre is Ljubljana’s largest greenery spot, with almost everything you need for a peaceful escape from the bustling city centre.

While walking around Tivoli Park, you’ll come across many ponds, a botanical garden, a cafe, a restaurant, a stunning mansion *deep breaths* and an outside art exhibition!

The Tivoli Park Gardens in Ljublijana

Yes, an art exhibition. Walk along Jakopič Promenade and see some of the finest local art. At the end of the walkway, you’ll also find the Tivoli Castle, where the International Centre of Graphic Arts is inside. 

Tivoli Park is huge, so take a walk, have a picnic or sit by the Čolnarna bar for a soothing drink by the nearby pond!

Overlook of the tivoli park mansion

9. Eat like a local at Central Market

Still feeling hungry after Ljubjana’s many culinary dishes? Head to Central Market for the city’s fresh and delicious foods, from meats to cheese, to fruit and veg, you name it.

With a large number of stalls in between Vodnik and Pogačar Square, hosted throughout the year, I’m sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy. 

Fresh fruit and vegetables in Central Market, Ljubljana


If you are visiting Ljubljana on a Friday from mid-March to late October, then be sure to go down to the Central Market for the Open Kitchen gastronomy event, one of the best celebrations of food in Europe.

Everything is Gourmet! From meats to delicious vegetarian/vegan dishes, there is just about anything to satisfy your taste buds.

Open Kitchen gastronomy event for food in Ljubljana

10. Visit Metelkova Mesto

Perhaps one of the most peculiar places I’ve visited in Ljubljana, this little urban centre is a top attraction in the city and well worth visiting if you are a fan of street art.

What was once a military barracks has been overtaken by artists who have used this centre since the 1990s as a form of self-expression. Its many buildings are adorned with graffiti and street art.

If you’re coming from the train station, make this your first stop, as it is only a 7-minute walk away.

Word Of Warning

In the last few years, this location has built up a reputation for having drug-related behaviour and being riddled with social crime.

I didn’t see any of this when I was there. However, I’ve heard many stories of visitors being provoked by strangers asking them to buy drugs. It is not advised to visit there alone! 

Metelkova Mesto in Ljubljana
Metelkova Mesto in Ljubljana

11. Go to the top of Nebotičnic Skyscraper

By far, one of the most thrilling things to do in Ljubljana is go to the top of Nebotičnik. You’ll be treated to many picturesque 360-degree panoramic views overlooking the entirety of the city. 

On site, you’ll find various shops, a delicious restaurant, and the Nebotičnik cafe located at the top, a brilliant location for a light-hearted beverage to soak up those stunning views. 

It’s also free to get to the top, with lifts readily available in the building to take you there.

Overlooking the Nebotičnik Skyscraper in Ljubljana

12. Take a day trip from Ljubljana

There is so much of Slovenia to explore away from the capital!

With many convenient connections from Ljubljana to attractions across the country, taking a day trip from Ljubljana is essential to experience the vast beauty of Slovenia.

Top attractions like Lake Bled, Triglav National Park, Predjama Castle and Postojna Caves are all reachable by car, public transport or through a tour company from Ljubljana.

Postojna Cave in Slovenia
Predjama Castle in Slovenia

How many days do I need for Ljubljana? 

Two days is enough to explore Ljubljana fully. One day is a good enough time to explore the main attractions, but there’s a lot to cover, and the city is best enjoyed when your itinerary is not rushed. 

Allocate three days or more if you plan to do day trips from Ljubljana. 

When should I visit Ljubljana? 

The best time to visit Ljubljana is from early May to late September. This is when the weather is the most suitable to explore the city and its surroundings. 

Christmas is also a wonderful time to visit Ljubljana, with much of the city adorned with festivity. 

Ljubljana adorned in Christmas lights

Is Ljubljana an expensive city? 

Ljubljana is relatively cheap for the budget-go traveller, and you’ll find prices are among one of the lowest for a European capital.

Accommodation is available for any budget, from luxury hotels to hostels. For food, restaurants are also reasonably priced, with options for street food if you want to save a bit of money.

Is it worth visiting Ljubljana? 

Yes, of course. Slovenia is one of the most underrated countries in Europe, and Ljubljana is truly the icing on the cake. With a perfect blend of old-world charm and a modern city, you’ll find plenty of things to do and see in Ljubljana to uncover its true beauty and rich history.

Cobblestone streets, classical baroque architecture, cultural landmarks, you name it, Ljubljana has got it! 

The colourful streets of Ljubljana
There are so many things to do in Ljubljana for you to explore!

Final thoughts 

And there you have it, Ljubljana, ready to be unwrapped and explored by its next adventurers. It was truly a delight to visit such a charming and picturesque city.

Whether you want to explore the Old Town and immerse yourself in its old-world aesthetic or head up to the castle for a breathtaking view of the city, Ljubljana has something for everyone. I hope you have a brilliant time as I did. Safe travels! 

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