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Is it Worth Visiting Ljubljana in Slovenia? An Honest Opinion

  • Post last modified:February 27, 2024
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Slovenia is one of those places that is incredibly underrated. One of the reasons that travelers love it so much is due to the unbelievable landscapes it offers, and when anyone raves about the country, it's usually about the stunning lakes, waterfalls, or canyons. So what about the capital? Is it worth visiting Ljubljana at all?


I've personally visited Ljubljana 2 different times, a decade apart, and during opposite seasons. Having two completely different experiences, I now have an even better understanding of Slovenia's capital, and whether or not I think it is worth visiting Ljubljana for other travelers.


In this guide we're going to share all of the details for visiting, from its location and how to get there, to all of the different things you can do inside and outside the city. Then you can see for yourself, whether you think it is worth visiting Ljubljana, or sticking to the other areas around the country.

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Where is Ljubljana in Slovenia?

Ljubljana is located in the center of Slovenia, which is a country that connects Western and Eastern Europe. Due to its central location, Ljubljana is actually a super easy destination to reach from many other countries in Europe. 


The country of Slovenia borders Italy to its west, Austria to its north, Hungary to its north east, and Croatia to its east.

where is Ljubljana

Ljubljana is located in the center of Slovenia.


How to Get to Ljubljana

In order to get to Ljubljana, you can either fly, take a train, travel in bus, drive, or get a Bla Bla Car.


Flying to Ljubljana

The airport of Ljubljana is a small one, and is located 25 km from the city center. Cities that fly direct to Ljubljana include Amsterdam, Belgrade, Brussels, Cologne, Dubai, Farnborough, Frankfurt, Geneva, Groningen, Istanbul, Kalamata, Leipzig, Linz, London, Munich, Nis, Paris, Pisa, Podgorica, Prague,  Sarajevo, Skopje, Venice, Vilnius, Warsaw, Zurich, and Zweibrucken.


Taking the Train to Ljubljana

Due to its central location, Ljubljana can easily be reached by train from a number of other popular cities in Europe. Here are a few common routes that you can find:

Taking a Bus to Ljubljana

Ljubljana can also easily be reached by bus both domestically and internationally. Here are a few popular bus routes you can look into:

Renting a Car to Visit Ljubljana

When visiting Ljubljana this year we were on a big road trip though Europe. We loved having a car during our travels, and decided to drive to Slovenia from Venice. The drive is super easy, and having a car to discover the parts of Slovenia outside the capital is definitely our recommendation.


You can easily rent a car from any city around Europe. Just make sure to book in advance for the best prices, and to purchase a vignette before crossing the border into Slovenia.


Getting a Bla Bla Car to Ljubljana

If you don't want to drive, or can't find a bus or train that meets your schedule. Another great option is to look into Bla Bla Car, which is a carpooling app that is popular throughout Europe.


Actually the first time that I visited Ljubljana, I hitched a ride with a bunch of Italians going from Venice to Ljubljana for the weekend. We had such a fun ride, and I even keep in contact with one them still today!


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Entry Requirements for Slovenia

Now that you know how to get to Ljubljana, let's quickly go over the entry requirements for visiting.


Visa Entry Requirements for Slovenia

As Slovenia is part of the EU and the Schengen Zone, they have the same rules and regulations as the other countries in these areas. Those who are from the EU have free access to work and travel inside Slovenia without any issues. Those who are not part of the EU, but do not need a Schengen Visa, can enter without a visa, but will need to abide by the 90/180 rule.


The 90/180 Rule

All countries that belong to the Schengen Zone have free travel amongst eachother. That means that tourists can have 90 days to travel within the Schengen Zone. This is important to know, because if you spend time in other countries that are in the Schengen Zone before Slovenia, you will have to subtract those days of allowance.


For example, you are going on a road trip, and spend 80 days traveling France, Spain, and Italy (which are all in the Schengen Zone). That means you only would have 10 days left in the Schengen Zone, or days that you could stay in Slovenia. After leaving Slovenia, if you have used all 90 of the days, you will then have to spend 90 days outside of any Schengen country before you can re-enter. The 90/180 rule states that you are able spend 90 days within a 180-day period.


We spend a lot of time in Europe, so we always use the Schengen Visa Calculator to make sure that we stay within the allowed time frame. (It is a serious offense if you even spend 91 days in 180-day period, so it is crucial that you make sure to stay in compliance).


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Visiting Ljubljana in Slovenia: Local Adjustments

When traveling to a new country (especially in Europe), things can get pretty confusing! That's why we add a "local adjustments" area to all of our guides, which shares some of the relevant details for visiting, such as the language, currency used, or how much to tip. Here's what you need to know for visiting Ljubljana in Slovenia.


Language Spoken in Ljubljana

The official language in Ljubljana is Slovenian, which is a Slovak language. If you travel to some of the Balkan countries such as Croatia, Serbia, or Montenegro, you will notice they speak quite similarly, and have a lot of similarities in their languages.


Is Ljubljana English Friendly?

We found that a lot of people do speak English in Ljubljana. As the capital, they were quite English friendly, and it was very easy to get around.


What Currency is Used in Slovenia?

The currency used in Slovenia is the euro.


Do I Need Cash in Ljubljana?

We honestly didn't use any cash while in Ljubljana. However, they do have some great outdoor markets, where some vendors only take cash. If you happen to be visiting on the weekend, then you might want to have some cash on you just in case.


Is Ljubljana Cheap or Expensive?

Ljubljana is a relatively cheap city, especially when you compare it to some of the surrounding European capitals! It is definitely an affordable city, and can be done on a decent budget.


What Plugs Are Used in Ljubljana?

Ljubljana uses the same plug types as the rest of Europe, which are types C, E, & F. The standard voltage in Slovenia is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz.


Is the Water Drinkable in Ljubljana?

The tap water in Ljubljana is perfectly safe to drink. We suggest bringing a reusable water to fill up, and requesting tap water in the restaurants rather than purchasing bottled water.


Should I Tip in Slovenia?

The answer to this is neither yes, or no. In Slovenia sometimes people leave the change, or tip up to 10% of the bill if they feel like they received good service. In Ljubljana it is a bit more common to tip in restaurants, but it all depends on how good the service was.

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Is it Worth Visiting Ljubljana? Things to Do in Slovenia's Capital

Now that you know almost everything you need to know about the basics, let's dive into the fun stuff- if it's worth visiting Ljubljana! Here are the best things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

is Ljubljana worth visiting pin
is Ljubljana worth visiting pin
is Ljubljana worth visiting pin

Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #1: Roam the Old Town

Ljubljana is a pretty small city, and most of the highlights are located right in the Old Town. Located along a river, Ljubljana's old town is quaint and simple. There aren't a ton of major landmarks, but it's a great place to simply walk around and soak up the good vibes, admiring the architecture and cute cafes.


Ljubljana old town, Is it worth visiting Ljubljana
Ljubljana old town, Is it worth visiting Ljubljana
Ljubljana old town, Is it worth visiting Ljubljana
Ljubljana old town, Is it worth visiting Ljubljana

It's worth visiting Ljubljana for it's beautiful old town.


One of the most notable and peculiar attractions is the "artificial rain" installations, which has been made to cool people off during hot summer days.


artificial rain in Ljubljana
artificial rain in Ljubljana

In the summer there is an artificial rain installation in Ljubljana.


Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #2: Cross the Beautiful Bridges

Being located along a river, Ljubljana is full of bridges (17 to be exact!) and one is more beautiful than the next. Don't miss out on visiting Tromostjove, which is a group of the three most popular bridges, as well as our favorite bridge, the dragon bridge.


bridge in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting
bridge in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting
dragon statue in Ljubljana
bridge in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting
bridge in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting
bridge in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting
bridge in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting


Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #3: Visit the Ljubljana Cathedral

One of the most notable structures in Ljubljana is its cathedral, also known as Saint Nicholas's Church. Originally a gothic church from the 13th century, its style changed in the 18th century to Baroque with a second tower. It's free of charge to enter, but just make sure you go before noon or after 3 pm, as it's closed during those hours.

St Nicholas's Church in Ljubljana
St Nicholas's Church in Ljubljana
St Nicholas's Church in Ljubljana
St Nicholas's Church in Ljubljana

St Nicholas's Church is the most famous cathedral in Ljubljana.


Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #4: Browse the Central Market

Right in the heart of Ljubljana is a large market with fresh produce, handmade craftas, and local goods. This is the perfect place to indulge in Slovenian flavors, as well as shop for a souvenir. The market happens from Monday to Friday 7 am to 4 pm, and on Saturdays from 7 am to 2 pm.

market in Ljubljana

Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #5: Shop at the Flea Market

On the other end of the Old Town is a large antique flea market that happens on the weekends. Lined all along the river are different vendors selling old collectibles, artifacts, and vintage artwork for you to browse through.

antique fair in Ljubljana

Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #6: Have a Drink at the Top of the Neboticnik Skyscraper

Looking for the best panorama of Ljubljana? Well, head to the rooftop of Neboticnik Skyscraper and treat yourself to a drink with a view! The rooftop itself is free to visit- you just need to pay for whatever food or drinks you consume.


rooftop in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting
rooftop in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting
rooftop in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting
rooftop in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting
rooftop in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting

Neboticnik Skyscraper has the best views in Ljubljana.

Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #7: Take a Tour at the Ljubljana Castle

The Ljubljana Castle is the top tourist attraction in Ljubljana. Sitting high on a hill, it overlooks the old town, and can be seen from anywhere in the center. Take the funicular up to the top, and then enjoy the beautiful rooms inside while learning about the history of Slovenia.


Ljubljana Castle
Ljubljana Castle
Ljubljana castle

It's worth visiting Ljubljana's castle for sunset.

Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #8: Watch the Sunset from the Ljubljana Castle

Another reason that people love the Ljubljana Castle is because of the beautiful views of the city below. Head there during golden hour to join the other people hanging out with a drink watching the sunset.


Ljubljana Castle
Ljubljana Castle
Ljubljana Castle
Ljubljana sunset at the castle

The best place to watch the sunset in Ljubljana is at the castle.


Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #9: Explore the National Gallery

The biggest art gallery in the country is located in Ljubljana, and right in the heart of the city. The National Gallery holds the country's largest fine art collection from the High Middle Ages to the 20th century, and is over 100 years old. You can visit daily from 10 am until 6 pm, and until 8 pm on Thursdays.

National gallery in Ljubljana

Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #10: Take a Free Walking Tour

Want a bit more out of your visit than simply walking to each highlight on your own? Well, the best way to really learn about the history of Ljubljana and to see the hidden corners of the city are by taking a free walking tour. 


You don't have to pay at all upfront! Guides work on tips, so you get to decide how much you want to give. That being said, guides who work for tips are always the best ones out there! We use GuruWalk, as they are reputable and always use locals.


walking tour in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting?
walking tour in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting?
walking tour in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting?
is Ljubljana worth visiting
is Ljubljana worth visiting
is Ljubljana worth visiting
walking tour in Ljubljana, is Ljubljana worth visiting?

Doing a free walking tour is a great way to learn about the city.

Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #11: Go Kayaking on the River

If you plan on visiting Ljubljana in the spring, summer, or early fall, you'll definitely want to take advantage of the good weather. Being that the river runs right through the city center, renting a kayak is a fun way to be able to see the city from another perspective. 


We actually found this activity as a free tour on Guruwalk!


Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #12: Take a Boat Ride Down the River

Want to experience seeing the city by water but don't want to kayak? There are also boat rides you can take down the river going right through the center!

boat cruise in Ljubljana

Here is a boat tour that you can book in Ljubljana:

Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #13: Roam the Metelkova Art Center

Looking for a colorful hipster atmosphere? Well, just a 15-20 minute walk from the center of Ljubljana is a completely different vibe. The Metelkova Art Center is full of colorful murals and quirky artwork to check out. It's a bit of a "rougher" spot, but certainly interesting to see! Just be mindful of your surroundings and don't go when it's dark out.

Metelkova art center, things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Metelkova art center, things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Metelkova art center, things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Metelkova art center, things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Metelkova art center, things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Metelkova art center is the most colorful area of Ljubljana, Slovenia


Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #14: Shop for Local Goods

If you happen to visit Ljubljana on a Sunday like we did, you may not have the chance to make it to the Central Market. No worries though- there are actually also quite a few shops right on the Main Street that have local honeys, oils, and olive wood products. Go sample the products, and take some home to your family and friends.

local products in Ljubljana
local products in Ljubljana

Slovenia is known for their beautiful olive wood products.


Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia #15: Take a Day Trip

While Ljubljana is worth visiting for a quick trip or basing yourself from, the best places in Slovenia are certainly outside of it! The good thing though, is that Slovenia is really small, meaning Ljubljana is jam packed with epic day trips.


Explore the iconic Lake Bled, take a dip in the Soca River, or take a train ride inside of a cave. There are so many cool things you can do just 1-2 hours away from Slovenia's capital. Make sure to check out next week's article for our full list of things to do in Slovenia!


In the meantime, here are a few cool tours that you can take:


Is it Worth Visiting Ljubljana? The City's Food & Drink Scene

One of our favorite parts of visiting Ljubljana was its rich food scene! They have delicious food, and an array of restaurants to choose from.


Local Food in Ljubljana

Slovenia has an interesting mix of foods, and being the capital gives it a cool modern mix of flavors. They have a lot of hearty stews, soups, dumplings, and meats. Here are a few of the local specialties that you should try:

  • Beef Tartar: a dish of raw ground beef
  • Idrijski žlikrof: dumplings made with potato filling
  • Kranjska Klobasa: Cornolian sausage
  • Yota: a stew made of beans, potatoes, and sauerkraut 
  • Štruklji: rolled dumplings with a variety of fillings
  • Jabolcni Zavitek: apple strudel
  • Palacinke: thin pancakes served with jam, cream, or Nutella
  • Prekmurska Gibanica: a layered cake of poppy seeds, cottage cheese, walnuts, and apples
  • Potica: the oldest pastry in Slovenia, which is a rolled dessert filled with poppy seeds, nuts, honey, or other similar fillings
  • Chimney cake: a spiral shaped dessert covered in cinnamon and sugar, which is also popular in Hungary & the Czech Republic 
chimney cake in Ljubljana
food in Ljubljana
food in Ljubljana

Restaurant Recommendations in Ljubljana

We were only in Ljubljana for a couple of days, but we worked hard to find some of the best restaurants. Here are a few of our top recommendations we found from locals:

  • Gostilna Sokol: one of the most traditional restaurants with Slovenian cuisine right in the city center (one of the most popular by tourists)
  • Druga Violina: an incredible restaurant with local cuisine- you'll need a reservation for this one!
  • Slovenska Hisa-Figovec: another really great restaurant with Slovenian cuisine and a cute indoor area. This is definitely a local favorite.
  • Dragon Street Food: some of the best chimney cakes you'll ever have
Dragon Street food, places to eat in Ljubljana
places to eat in Ljubljana
restaurants in Ljubljana

Getting Around Ljubljana in Slovenia

Now that you know all of the best things to Ljubljana, let's help you navigate around the city.


Is Ljubljana a Walkable City?

Ljubljana is a very walkable city! In fact, we would suggest sticking to solely exploring by foot, as almost every tourist attraction can be walked to within 15 minutes. We parked our car in the same spot and spent our entire two days just walking.


Taxis is Ljubljana

If you plan on going outside the center or aren't able to walk as much, no worries! There are taxis also available, and they're actually cheapest when ordered in advance.


Public Transportation in Ljubljana

The cheapest way to get around for longer distances is by taking local buses. They are just 1.30 per ride, and tickets are valid for 90 minutes to combine lines.

public transportation in Ljubljana
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Where to Stay in Ljubljana

The best area to stay in Ljubljana is around the old town, so that you are walking distance to all fo the tourists attractions, bars, and shopping. Here are some different hotel options for all different budgets:

where to stay in Ljubljana
where to stay in Ljubljana
statue in Ljubljana
where to stay in Ljubljana

The best area to stay in Ljubljana is in the old town.


Is Ljubljana Safe?

So is it worth visiting Ljubljana? The city is very safe, which is just another we loved visiting. The only area that you want to be a bit more mindful, is the Metelkova Art Center, as it's a bit of a rougher area. Since it's outside the city center though, there's really no reason to be around there at night.


Is it Safe to Walk at Night in Ljubljana?

The center of Ljubljana is completely safe to walk around, even at night.

 

Is Ljubljana Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

The first time I went to Ljubljana I actually went as a solo female traveler. I went out at night, and felt completely safe. As it's a small city, it really is a great place to go for solo travelers both male and female.


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Other Things to Know About Visiting Ljubljana in Slovenia

Now you know all of the things to do in Ljubljana, how to get around, and where to eat! But wait- there's more. Here are a few final details for you to keep in mind while visiting Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Weather in Ljubljana

Ljubljana experiences all four seasons, with warm and sunny summers, and cold, snowy winters. I have visited in both summer and winter, and had two completely different experiences.


The Best Time to Visit Ljubljana in Slovenia

While summers have really nice weather in Ljubljana, I personally loved my time in the capital so much in the winter time.


In December you can experience the incredible Christmas market, and really get a warm and fuzzy feeling. Sipping hot chocolate with the heaters on outside, and lights everywhere, was the perfect mix to enjoy the vibe that Ljubljana had to offer.


Packing For a Trip to Ljubljana

Packing for a trip to Ljubljana, Slovenia is pretty easy! All you need are the basics. You won't need to walk a ton, so any footwear is acceptable, and you can wear whatever clothes you normally would while exploring a city.


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Is it Worth Visiting Ljubljana in Slovenia?

As the capital of the country, we definitely think it is worth visiting Ljubljana. While it may not be as impressive as some of the other capital cities in the area, it certainly has its charm, and is a great place to be able to meet locals and have a bit of nightlife while in Slovenia.


How Many Days in Ljubljana is Enough?

We honestly think doing 2 nights and 1 full day in Ljubljana is enough. The city is very small, and you can easily see everything in very little time. We would only suggest a second night so that you could experience the nightlife, as well as a few different restaurants for dinner.


Another option is to have Ljubljana as your home base, and take day trips to other areas. This will allow you to experience the capital at night, and you can dedicate the rest of your days exploring the other cool things to do around Slovenia.


is Ljubljana worth visiting
is Ljubljana worth visiting
is Ljubljana worth visiting
is Ljubljana worth visiting

It's worth visiting Ljubljana for a weekend, or to base yourself there during your Slovenia travels.



So what do you think? Do you think it is worth visiting Ljubljana in Slovenia? Let us know in the comments below!


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