When planning where we wanted to go on our European Adventure with Eurail and STA Travel, we knew there were two countries we 100% wanted to visit – Austria and Hungary. So, we grabbed our Eurail map and looked at what countries connected from these two via rail and Slovenia was the first to jump out at us. We knew nothing about the country, all we saw was a train line running from Vienna to a city called Ljubljana and thought, why not go there? This was one of the best decision we have ever made!
I think we may have found one of Europe’s most underrated cities!
Check out our vlog below to see what we got up to during our 24 hours in Ljubljana, and keep scrolling if you would like to read more on what to do during a visit to Ljubljana!
Ljubljana: Slovenia’s Capital City
Ljubljana is one of those European cities that you never hear of, but upon visiting you realise you have found a little hidden gem.
Ljubljana is not only Slovenia’s capital and largest city, but is also one of Europe’s greenest and most liveable capitals. Car traffic is restricted in the centre, leaving the heart of the city free for pedestrians and cyclists to roam. In summer, cafes set up terrace seating along the river and in the winter, cafes provide blankets and outdoor fires to keep you warm. It was one of the cutest little capital cities we have ever visited!
How To Get There
Being only a small country, Slovenia only has one international airport, Airport Joze Pucnik, 30 km from Ljubljana. And there are only two low-cost airlines flying to Ljubljana – Easy Jet and Wizzair, which makes Slovenia quite an expensive destination to fly to. So, we recommend coming here via train instead!
It is much cheaper to fly into a neighbouring countries airport like Venice in Italy, Zagreb in Croatia or Vienna in Austria – from there you can easily catch a train to Ljubljana. We used our Eurail Pass and it was fantastic. We simply jumped on a train in Vienna and 6 hours later we had arrived in Slovenia, and within 10 minutes we had walked from the Ljubljana train station to and checked into our hotel.
Where To Stay
Hotel Cubo: This is where we stayed during our short time in Ljubljana. It’s a gorgeous little boutique hotel within walking distance from the town centre. The rooms are super modern, with slick finishings and large bathrooms. The breakfast and staff are also both exceptional, with the breakfast being included during your stay with fresh, cooked to order meals to start your day.
Urban Hotel: This hotel is super central, right in the heart of Ljubljana! This 3 star hotel provides a smartphone to use during your stay, and free scooter and bike rentals to get around the city.
Lesar Hotel Angel: This cute boutique hotel is located right at the foot of Ljubljana Castle hill in a medieval house and just a short walk from the city centre. The design of this hotel has more of a classic, traditional feel.
Book an Airbnb: We have stayed in Airbnbs all around the world and is one of our favourite ways to spend a few nights in a city. Usually they can be a lot cheaper than hotels, but with all the same perks, if not more!
Have you stayed in an Airbnb rental before? If not and you would like to sign up to Airbnb why not use this link here so you can receive a $50 Airbnb travel credit.
Things To Do
Located in the heart of Ljubljana, named after one of Slovenia’s greatest poets, this square is full of stunning buildings with a Preseren’s statue as its centerpiece.
Just behind the Square is the famous Triple Bridge, one of the city’s most significant landmarks. The middle bridge already existed when the architect of the square added the two others. This was to help with traffic pass from one side of the river to the other.
Take a Stroll or have a Drink along the Banks of the Ljubljanica River
Winding through the Old Town, the Ljubljana River is one of our favourite things about Ljubljana. Lined with trees, colourful buildings and amazing cafes and bars – it is the perfect way to start or end a day exploring the city.
Ljubljana’s Riverside Market is one of the most unique city markets we have ever experienced. Full of amazingly fresh fruit and vegetables brought in straight from the farms, this is a great place to grab some picnic supplies on a warm summer’s day.
Make sure you check out the milk and yogurt vending machines while you are there. Every morning the farmers come and bring fresh cows milk to fill up the machine with, you then grab yourself a bottle and fill it up with the fresh milk for 1 euro a litre!
Ever since Jason slew a dragon in a swamp near Ljubljana centuries ago, the dragon has become a symbol of the city. If you are looking to find this symbol within the city than you must head to Dragon Bridge.
Dragon Bridge is very a photogenic spot within the city, and is also the starting place for the steep trail up to Ljubljana Castle.
The views from Ljubljana Castle over the city are amazing, and make the steep walk worth it. If you are looking for a viewpoint, than this is your spot! Unfortunately, the castle itself is a replica of the original built back during the 12th century.
Day Trip to Lake Bled
Located only an hour bus ride away is the magical Lake Bled, one of the most beautiful and iconic sights of Slovenia. After spending a day or two exploring Ljubljana we highly recommend you take this opportunity to venture out for a day trip to experience Lake Bled, it is one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited!
Where To Eat
Here is a list of some of our favourite spots to find a bite to eat in the city…
- For coffee & breakfast try La Petit Cafe.
- For burgers check out Hood Burger.
- For pizza head to Pizzaria Parma.
- To try a traditional carniolan sausage go to Klobasarna.
- For fresh Mediterranean cuisine try Manna.
- For delish cakes and pastries head to Lolita Cafe.