I only got to spend a few hours in the breathtaking city of Ljubljana and I knew the second I meandered into the old town that I would be making plans to return. The city center (really the only part of the city that I saw) was pedestrian only, which for me makes it 1000x better.So, grab a nice glass of Slovenian wine and read all about why you need to visit Ljubljana.
The city center is pedestrian only with over a dozen foot bridges crossing the Ljubljanica river. We were easily able to walk around the city center and back to our hotel with no problems. The hotel/hostel we stayed in was only about a 15 minute walk from the train station on your way into the city center. Very easy to navigate.
Beautiful walking city: CHECK
TAbor 9 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia
I was actually a really big fan of this hostel. I got a double room so I can’t speak for the larger rooms but the double was great. It was like a real hotel room except with single beds. The bathroom wasn’t gigantic but the shower was great. High pressure, no worries about hot water. So happy to have a nice shower. I even will go so far as to say that I enjoyed the breakfast. This was the only hostile that had fruit and vegetables that were fresh, as well as COLD milk for cereal which I hadn’t known was so impossible to find until I went on this trip.
Great places to stay: CHECK
Cankarjevo nabrezhje 7, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia
First of all, please don’t ask me how to pronounce the name of the restaurant, or the street its on. Second, I am so glad I treated myself to this amazing restaurant. By this time in the trip many of us were craving vegetables. Austria, Poland, and Hungary are all very heavy meat and potatoes kinds of places and I was more than ready for some lighter food. I ordered a salmon dish that had roasted vegetables and some mashed potatoes. It was to die for. Plus, the view was unbeatable. The restaurant is right on the river and we chose to sit outside to enjoy the view of the river and do some people watching. Night was falling and the outdoor patio had heat lamps which felt fantastic. This is the perfect spot on the river banks to enjoy a meal. And Slovenian wine? To die for.
Petkovškovo nabrežje 3, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia
Even if it’s a bit chilly, don’t let that stop you from getting this delicious ice cream. They have a restaurant and a small stand right alongside the river with breathtaking views. Have I mentioned before how lovely the river is? Grab a scoop or three and enjoy the sights. I promise, this ice cream is heavenly, and there are so many flavors. Even one of my favorite travel bloggers, Brooke, recommends it (read her Ljubljana post here)!
Delicious food: CHECK
Things To See:
Now, i’d be lying if I said I did anything other than wander around and eat in Ljubljana but, we had very little time in Slovenia. We arrived around 7pm and left by 8am the next morning. Despite being in town for around 12 hours and half of that being spent sleeping I fell in love with the small, capital city and I hope that you will too. Especially because anyone traveling through Slovenia should give themselves more than 12 hours.
//Triple Bridge- Exactly what it sounds like. It’s three pedestrian bridges right in the center of old town. Snap some pictures and take in the history. Apparently, there are mentions of this bridge dating all the way back to the 1200’s. The main bridge that’s there today was built in 1842 while it’s smaller bridges on either side were added in 1932.
//Dragon Bridge- Another self explanatory thing. A bridge with dragon statues on each of its four corners. The fun thing about this bridge though is that it’s got a little legend that goes along with it. Supposedly, if a virgin walks across the bridge the dragons will wag their tails. Unfortunately, nobody in my group volunteered to walk across the bridge so I can’t say for certain.
//Butcher’s Bridge- This one is right in between dragon bridge and triple bridge and it is not to be missed. If you’re a fan of the love lock bridge in Paris, you definitely need to check out this version in Ljubljana. This bridge has the most amazing sculptures by Jakov Brdar. They are haunting and wickedly cool all at once.
//Metelkova– If art is your thing then you really need to check out Metelkova. Now, I didn’t get to go there but it’s on my list for my next trip. This place is street art central and you can see some beautiful pictures over at Kaelene’s blog Unlocking Kiki. Her and her boyfriend went to Slovenia just a few weeks before I did.
Now bear with me, this last place is a bit far outside of the city but if you’ve got the time you need to go to Bled.
The most beautiful, calm lake I ever did see. (Sorry lake George) I was lucky enough to get a quick stop here on our way into Ljubljana but I will most definitely be headed back here in the future. Lake Bled is surrounded by the Julian Alps. I don’t think i’ve ever seen mountains so large and picturesque before.
And that right there is the most beautiful little island ever. In the summer you can rent rowboats to take out to that little church. Unfortunately we only had 10 minutes. 10! I was so sad to be leaving but know for sure that a hike up to the castle is in order for next time.
Amazing sights: CHECK
Can you spot me in my neon yellow raincoat?
Question(s) of the Day: Had you ever even hard of Ljubljana before? Do you want to go there now?