What a most beautiful country!
Last week, I wrote a five (5) minute introduction to Slovenia!
I hope you like it?
I was intrigued to be visiting Slovenia so we based ourselves in the capital city of Ljubljana and spent a whopping seven days.
Seven (7) days!
And you know what?
It wasn’t anywhere near enough!
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SO WHAT WERE WE DOING IN LJUBLJANA?
Because I’m weird and I like going to interesting exotic places!
Seriously though, the reason why I wanted to go to Slovenia is because I’d heard such a lot of wonderful things from practically everyone! And remember, just two years ago, I hadn’t heard of any of the Baltic or Balkan States. In fact, I couldn’t even pronounce them!
But the other reason that I wanted to visit was because of Ljubljana. I was hearing mixed messages and that some “experts” were saying that Ljubljana wasn’t worth more than a few hours!
When I hear things like this, it makes my blood boil!
However, I am a strong supporter of Europe, and I have a weakness for tiny countries in the middle of beyond! Besides, I had such a wonderful time in Croatia, why wouldn’t I want to go to it’s “sister country” – Slovenia – too!
We spent a jam-packed week in Slovenia, and not once did we get anywhere near bored!
51 THINGS TO DO IN LJUBLJANA. THAT’S RIGHT!
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and has a population of just 278,789 people!
It was first mentioned at the beginning of the 12th century and was the historical capital of Carniola, a Slovene-inhabited part of the Habsburg Monarchy from the Middle Ages, until the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918!
The symbol of the city is the Ljubljana Dragon!
The dragon is believed to be adopted from England’s patron saint – Saint George – who is also the patron of the 15th century chapel in the Ljubljana Castle!
The dragon is found on the top of the tower of Ljubljana Castle, on the Ljubljana coat of arms, on the Dragon Bridge, otherwise known as Zmajski Most, and can be seen literally everywhere!
We wanted to spend some time rambling through the cobbled streets and running from one museum or local attraction to another, using the Ljubljana Card.
Thanks very much!
Here’s what we did:
- Ljubljana is tiny. Go for a walk! After checking into our hotel – Hotel Park – Urban & Green – we rushed out and went for a stroll and a bit of a ramble around the local area, poking into every nook and cranny!
- Eat Slovenian meat!
- Check out Metelkova Mesto! Metelkova City is an abandoned army base and one of the largest, and most successful, urban squats in Europe!
- Go on a Ljubljana city tour. We were lucky to have a private guide so that we could get inside knowledge from local experts on the things that interested us. However, regular Ljubljana city tours usually include a walk around the historical city centre, exploring major attractions, an opportunity to taste traditional Slovenian dishes as part of a brief tasting session, a return funicular ride to Ljubljana Castle, and a visit to the outer part of Ljubljana Castle!
- Visit street and food markets! One particular evening, we were passing through the Central Market and saw one person pick up a fiddle, and start playing! And then a few people just sort of joined in and started dancing! We were the only tourists present so I didn’t take any photos, as it felt slightly intrusive!
- Do a walking tour of Plečnik’s Ljubljana: Jože Plečnik was a native of Ljubljana and considered one of the world’s most important pioneers of modern architecture with buildings not only in Ljubljana, but Prague and Vienna too!
- Make sure to visit the Triple Bridge: You’ll see why!
- Go to the Town Hall: It’s one of Ljubljana’s most striking Baroque monuments and if you’re lucky, you might even see one of the guides dressed in Slovenian traditional costume!
- Visit the Antique Flea Market: It’s held every Sunday on one of the bridges further down the street!
- Take photographs of the splendid buildings in the Old Town!
- Have ice-cream! There are many ice-cream parlours and the servings are huge! Yum!
- Get free WiFi! You can have free wifi access anywhere in the city for up to 60 minutes a day! In fact, if you have the Ljubljana Tourist Card, you can have free access for 24 hours with the code on the card! Mind you, we found logging into the WiFree Ljubljana network directly on your phone far easier!
- Explore the history and architecture of Ljubljana which you can see all over the city!
- Join in the free open-air festivals! We went in June and saw the biggest festival of all!
- If you’re broke, make your own independent walking tour, go to any of the two Tourist Information Centres (TICs), pick up maps, and as many booklets as you need, then take off!
- Be impressed by the elegant 19th century University of Ljubljana!
- Visit the very grand-looking national museums and galleries. And if you use the Ljubljana Card, many of them are free!
- Marvel at the many palaces, not only in Ljubljana, but in the surrounding area too!
- Hike up the 900 year old castle hill, and be amazed by Ljubljana’s main attraction!
- Or take a ride up the funicular, and take in the city view
- If you do nothing at all, make sure you go to the Ljubljana Castle. We spent half a day there and really had a fantastic time. It’s free with the Ljubljana Card!
- One of our highlights at the castle was a costumed characters castle guided tour of the Ljubljana Castle. We went on the Behind Bars tour, and it was great fun! It’s not included in the Ljubljana Card, but we only had to pay €4.00 more!
- If you’re at Ljubljana Castle and have a bit of time, I highly recommend the Museum of Puppetry. Even though I was travelling with a teenager, he found it interesting and fun. And so did I!
- Have a gourmet lunch on the Archers’ Tower of the Ljubljana Castle wall! Whilst there, we noticed a fancy restaurant – the Strelec Restaurant – and decided to spend our last night spending the rest of our money! The food was fantastic and the service attentive. I’ll tell you more about it in a few weeks!
- Fill up your bottle with fresh water! Unlike many countries in Eastern / Central Europe, you can actually drink water from the tap!
- Relax and take a break at Ljubljana’s largest and most beautiful parkland at the Tivoli Park!
- In fact, if you’re really into stuff, you can go on a guided tour of the Tivoli Park too ‘cos it’s huge!
- Hang out with the locals! We had such a great time with our guides, that we went out for drinks and met other locals! Thanks Urban. Good times!
- Have a seafood lunch! Ljubljana is surrounded by water and restaurants that give you a front-side view of the river.
- If you’re worn out after all that excitement, call for a free ride using Ljubljana’s electric-powered vehicles referred to as Kavalirs, which are a free city centre public transport option! Cool or what!
- Indulge yourself on a most delicious food tour with the Taste Ljubljana culinary tour. Because food. More on that in a few weeks. Yum!
- For ultimate excitement, try horse burgers! Yes, horse!
- Splurge on cocktails. Prices are cheap. Oh go on. You know you want to!
- Help yourself to a couple of cold beers at the many Slovenian restaurants and bars
- Try as many Slovenian dishes and delicacies as you can. Prices are low and won’t hurt the bank!
- Sail across the waters on a river cruise! It’s included in the Ljubljana Card, but we opted to pay €2.00 more and go with the tourist boat called Ljubljana. It was a little further away from the other boats but it left at 12:00, instead of 17:00, so I was alright with it!
- If you’re extremely active you can either go kayaking, rowing, or stand-up paddling down the Ljubljanica river!
- Rent a bike or go on a cycling tour! I was offered the latter, but since I and bicycles tours don’t reeeeally mix. I declined!
- Wander around Cobblers’ Bridge, and look for the organ grinders and other musicians!
- Go shopping!
- Experience many of the numerous museums and galleries. If you use the Ljubljana Card, entrance is free!
- Make sure you check out the Museum of Illusions that turned out to be one of our favourite museums and such a lot of fun! Go there, and you’ll see what I mean!
- Go to the City Museum of Ljubljana and learn about the history of Ljubljana, which we enjoyed very much, but had to rush as we had spent too much time at Ljubljana Castle!
- Check out the National Museum of Slovenia and learn about the oldest musical instrument in the world which I told you about last week!
- If you’re looking for something different go on the Union Experience Brewery Museum and tour! We didn’t go, but I believe families are welcome!
One of the amazing things about travelling to a country that is extremely small, is that you can do day-trips to other regions of the country, fairly easily!
- You can be a craftsperson for the day, and learn how to be a herdsman or a shepherd in the Velika Planina. More about that next week!
- You can hike up the Alps, mountains and waterfalls in Kamnik. More about that next week!
- You can take a bus or train out to Lake Bled. More about that in a few weeks!
- You can go to the beach or even go wine-tasting!
- You can get off the beaten path and discover the unknown parts of Slovenia. Even with 7 days, we didn’t have time to do that, but if you’re determined, YOU certainly can!
- You can do all the activities above and more, or do nothing at all, and simply enjoy the moment! Why not?
TAKE ME THERE!
The best way to travel to travel to Slovenia depends simply on where you’re coming from!
If you’re flying in, Ljubljana is connected by air with flights from most major European cities flying into the Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport (LJU), also known as the Brnik Airport!
If you’re coming from Italy, Austria, Hungary or Croatia, you can either take the train or drive.
I like excitement and making things more difficult for myself, so we decided to take the fourteen and a half hour (14.5) hour journey by FlixBus – the bus-coach company!
And I am because the coach-bus was delayed in some places, although we had a nice stop-over in Austria!
I’ve written about the FlixBus company already and even though the very long journey was quite enjoyable as it was sunny, it’s also quite exhausting!
I’ll continue to take bus journeys. But shorter.
That’s it for now.
See you next week.
51 THINGS TO DO IN LJUBLJANA. THAT’S RIGHT!
This article is part – sponsored, and even though I’m working in partnership with Ljubljana Tourism, absolutely all opinions, and the tremendous time that we had, are my very own!
I’ll be spending the summer in Germany!
Watch this space!
Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.
I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!