Best Things to See and Do in Ljubljana

Ljubljana │
Ljubljana │ | © MemoryCatcher/Pixabay
Andreja Posedel

Ljubljana is a vibrant capital city with rich history and culture. The architecture is astonishing, and Ljubljana’s cobblestone streets are made for long walks. The city and its surroundings offer many ways to spend the time when visiting the capital of Slovenia. Here is a list of the 8 best things to do, that will make your stay in Ljubljana unforgettable.
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Visit Ljubljana Castle

The magnificent Ljubljana Castle is located just above the city, on top of Castle Hill. The castle can be reached on foot or by taking the tram, which opens up gorgeous views of Ljubljana and its surroundings. The castle offers an intriguing guided tour, “Time Machine,” taking visitors through the six most significant periods of Ljubljana’s past. This and other tours they offer, make Ljubljana Castle a great attraction for history lovers. The courtyard café and restaurant offer a nice spot to relax before heading back down to Ljubljana city center.

Relax in Tivoli Park

Ljubljana’s largest park is located just steps away from the city center. It offers many activities including tennis courts, mini golf, a bowling alley, and several locations reserved for children. In the middle of the park, there is Jakopič Promenade, where large-format photographs are exhibited throughout the year. For the thirsty and hungry there are a few cafés and bars. Visitors can also bring a blanket and, just like the locals, enjoy a picnic with friends on a sunny day.

Have lunch at Open Kitchen Market

Every Friday from early spring to the late autumn, Open Kitchen Market is the best option for lunch in Ljubljana. The Open Kitchen presents the best foods from Slovenia and around the world and wineries and breweries from all over the country offer their best drinks to compliment the food. Hugely popular among locals, visiting this market is a great place to get good food and make new friends.

Stand up paddling on Ljubljanica river

The Ljubljanica River and the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation welcome visitors to Slovenia’s capital

Standup paddling, SUPing, is becoming a more and more popular activity in Slovenia. Ljubljana is the only European capital that offers its visitors this unique way to explore the city. Stand up paddling on Ljubljanica provides an excellent way to see the city and its main attractions. For those who want the river views, but wish to see them in a more traditional way, there are also several boat tours offered on the Ljubljanica river.

Spend a day visiting museums and galleries

Rainy (or sunny) days are a great opportunity to visit Ljubljana’s galleries and museums. Art lovers should stop by the National Gallery or Gallery of Modern Arts to admire some of the best Slovenian artwork. The Slovene Ethnographic Museum introduces Slovene people, their culture, and traditions. One of the more interesting museums is the Museum of Illusions, where visitors can learn how easily our brains can be tricked. These are just a few of the many museums and galleries where visitors can learn more about the history and culture of Ljubljana and Slovenia.

Enjoy an afternoon on the river bank

Ljubljana is a city of coffee lovers. On the riverbank of Ljubjanica, there are numerous cafés with great views of the river. Stopping at one of the cafés is a great way for visitors to start their day or to take a break while exploring the city. . As most of them offer beer, wine, and spirits, cafés are also a popular choice for the evening.

Attend a concert in Križanke

Not many concert venues have a history as unique as Križanke. The most well-known outdoor venue in Ljubljana was a convent for priests and seminarians until the mid-twentieth-century. At that time, local authorities assigned Jožef Plečnik (the most known Slovenian architect of all time), to remodel the convent into a cultural venue. Since then, Križanke has hosted many great names from the world of music and theater. One of the most important is the international festival, Druga Godba. For over thirty years this festival has been introducing the less “well-known” artists and their music from across the globe to the audience of Central Europe.

Spend an evening in Metelkova Mesto

Located in the old army barracks, Metelkova Mesto (Metelkova City) is a popular hangout for local youth and those young at heart. Events happening all year round at this Autonomous Cultural Center create the illusion that this city, within a city, never sleeps. Metelkova is home to an art gallery, bars, artists’ studios, designer’s spaces, offices of cultural organizations, concerts venues, and a youth hostel. Besides individual events, Metelkova also hosts annual festivals such as the International Festival of Contemporary Arts – the City of Women, which takes place every year in October.

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