Ljubljana is one of the smallest European capitals. Although it is not the most popular place compared to other cities, it has a unique charm and quite a lot of monuments. Opinions about Ljubljana are quite extreme, from votes that the capital of Slovenia is boring and there is nothing to do here, to words full of delight and love.
However, it’s best to see for yourself about this city.
Let’s start exploring Ljubljana with our tourist guide.
Map of Ljubljana / Where is the capital of Slovenia located?
Ljubljana is located on the river Ljubljanica, surrounded by mountain hills. The city is medium-sized, which is why most attractions and monuments are located in a relatively small area.
For this reason, the best way to explore is simply to walk or bike.
See on the map where Ljubljana is located:
The matter is greatly facilitated by the fact that the center of Ljubljana itself is closed to car traffic. It is an ideal city for people who like the idyllic atmosphere on the one hand, but still feel good in the urban jungle on the other. A weekend is enough to calmly explore the entire capital of Slovenia. The big advantage of Ljubljana is also the fact that it is an excellent base for exploring the whole of Slovenia.
The capital of Slovenia is green, safe and tidy. There are plenty of beds of various standards and a diner. In the evenings, the city teems with night life until late at night. It is also worth adding that Ljubljana is extremely coherent in terms of architecture – mainly Italian Baroque style and Art Nouveau.
The local architect Joze Plecnik also had a big impact on this look. However, when exploring the city you will also come across such alternative places as Metelkova. There are plenty of green squares and parks where you will find respite in the summer. There are also many bridges in Ljubljana, which of course is associated with the flowing river Ljubljanica.
The city also has several interesting museums and a few pearls of construction. It is close to everything, so you can combine sightseeing with a walk around the whole area.
So what sights, interesting places and tourist attractions await us in the capital of Slovenia?
Sights of Ljubljana
In the buildings of Ljubljana, ancient times can be seen – the city can boast of remains even from 5,000 years ago! However, the most visible fragment of urban buildings is definitely the urban hill on which the medieval castle is located. It is also a great landmark and viewpoint.
Ljubljana Castle – a medieval building, the seat of Slovenian rulers, then also the garrison’s residence and the prison. Currently, the castle in Ljubljana is restored and partly opened to tourists. To get here you can use the cable car or enter on your own. You can walk around the courtyard and the ramparts. The entrance to the tower is paid, from where there is a panoramic view.
The castle also houses the Doll Museum (included in the ticket price), the chapel of St. George and restaurants. Part of this object is very often used for various types of exhibitions, concerts and performances.
See on the map where the Ljubljana Castle is located:
St. Nicholas’s Cathedral, nicknamed šenklavška cerkev – another important monument on the set of Ljubljana. This is the largest church in the capital of Slovenia. The beginnings of the cathedral date back to the 13th century, but its current appearance comes from the reconstruction of the 18th century. From the outside, the building is distinguished by two twin towers and a dome.
Inside, you can admire rich decorations and interesting figures, including: frescoes by Giulio Quaglio, a pieta, a beautiful altar, decorations made of pink marble from Ruščica and doors (main and side) showing the history of the diocese and 1250 years of Christianity.
Town Hall – a popular attraction of the city. The town hall building is located on Mestni trg square. It has been rebuilt several times and its characteristic element is the clock tower. The town hall is currently the seat of the mayor of Ljubljana. Inside, you can often see various art exhibitions. In front of the town hall on the Mestni trg square stands the characteristic Robba Fountain, also called the Fountain of the Three Rivers. Krka, Sawa and Ljublianica (the main rivers in Slovenia) are represented here as three titans holding jugs from which water is poured.
See on the map where the city hall of Ljubljana is located:
When visiting Ljubljana, it is also worth paying attention to buildings such as Gruber’s late baroque palace, which now houses the State Archives and ministries. The seminar at which the first public library in the city was opened is also noteworthy. Currently, you can admire valuable literary works, such as manuscripts or printed books.
Another notable building in Ljubljana is the Archbishop’s Palace with a well-preserved courtyard. The palace building has rich facade decorations made by Leopold Hofer from the 18th century. Currently, it is the seat of the Catholic Metropolitan of Slovenia.
In addition, it is worth in Ljubljana to walk around the most important squares of this city. One of them is Congress Square, with not only historic tenement houses, but also the Philharmonic, University and the church of Holy Trinity.
Another is the Preseren square, one of the main in the city. A monument to the Slovenian poet Frans Preseren stands here. Another characteristic point here is also the Franciscan church with a pink facade. The third important place for Ljubljana is Republic Square. It is next to the building of the Parliament, with the main entrance decorated with naked figures. It was on this square in 1991 that Slovenia’s decree of independence was signed.
Tourist attractions in Ljubljana
Ljubljanica River – Ljubljanica River is the biggest attraction of Ljubljana. It is next to it that many restaurants, bars and shops are located, and more importantly monuments. For tourists there are also cruises from the waterfront prepared, and for those willing to rent kayaks. In this way we will visit the city from the water.
Bridges in Ljubljana – this is the city’s showcase. Many of them are an attraction in themselves. The main of them in Ljubljana is the Triple Bridge, which connects Preseren Square with the Old Town and the castle. It was built on the basis of a stone building from 1842, to which two footbridges (for pedestrians) were attached on both sides. In this way a triple bridge was created. The Dragon Bridge is another equally popular. As the name suggests, there are figures of four dragons on it. According to legend, their wings or tail (depending on the version) will move if a virgin crosses the bridge 😉 The next is the Butchers’ Bridge, located next to the Seminary. It is on him that couples in love hang padlocks, as a sign of their love. The shoemakers’ bridge is the oldest in the city. Its name is associated with the fact that once there were local shoemakers here.
Tivoli Park in Ljubljana – is another of the well-known attractions of Ljubljana. Green area in the very center of the capital. There are numerous alleys, lush vegetation and Tivoli Palace, the former bishop’s property, which now houses the International Graphic Center, waiting for walkers here for almost five square kilometers. The perfect place to hide from the scorching sun in summer.
See where the Tivoli park in Ljubljana is located:
Museums in Ljubljana
There are also interesting museums in the Slovenian capital:
The National Museum of Slovenia – is based in a neo-Renaissance palace, and its main task is to deepen knowledge of the history of Slovenia. There are rich collections of archaeological excavations, printing, works of art and means of payment.
Museum of Illusions – one of the most interesting and frequently visited facilities, ideal for children.
The Museum of Architecture and Design – this is definitely a place for those interested in the subject. The exhibition includes examples of Slovenian architecture and urban planning, as well as graphic design and photography. You can admire the works of Joze Plecnik – the chief architect of Slovenia.
Joze Plecnik’s House – a museum dedicated to a brilliant architect and his works. Plecnik not only designed many of the buildings in Ljubljana, but also those in Vienna or Prague.
Railway Museum – located next to the train station. It has nine steam locomotives in its collection. In addition, you can admire uniforms, old tickets and other exhibits related to the railway industry in Slovenia.
The Slovenian Ethnographic Museum – as in all establishments of this type, this museum has collections of everyday objects of the population living in these areas over the years.
What else is worth visiting in Ljubljana?
Interesting places in Ljubljana
Neboticnik – a thirteen-story skyscraper is an unusual sight in Ljubljana. This tower was built in 1933, and was once one of the tallest buildings in Europe. Today, on the top floors, there is a cafe with a beautiful view of the entire city.
Metelkova – an alternative district of Ljubljana and the area of former military barracks. A place adapted by local artists, where you can see modern art, graffiti and amazing installations at every turn. It also houses a lot of clubs and bars where you can listen to all kinds of music. A specific place of street art, alternative culture and artistic bohemia.
Finally, it is worth mentioning the Ljubljana Card – Ljubjana Card. Its purchase allows “free” entry to most museums. In addition, public transport is free, including one river cruise and one guided tour. Also a cable car ride to the castle hill is included in the price, as well as renting a bike for four hours. These cards are available in one, two and three days versions.
By buying such a card online you can save 10% on the starting price.
We also refer to the official website of the Slovenian capital where you will find some additional details about visiting attractions and monuments in Ljubljana.
Opinions about Ljubljana
Opinions and reviews of tourists regarding monuments, interesting places and tourist attractions in Ljubljana are very important, therefore we ask you to publish your own thoughts and opinions about this city.