17 Ljubljana Sights What to see in Ljubljana, Slovenia by JetsettingFools.com

17 Ljubljana Sights: What to see in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Hey there! Welcome to JetSetting Fools! You will find our best travel tips for destinations worldwide. Some of the links on this site are Affiliate Links and if you use them to make a purchase, we may earn a small commission. For more information, read our Disclosure Policy.
   

Ljubljana is a city that lands on every Slovenia itinerary – and for good reason! The capital city looks like a fairy tale with the curving Ljubljanica River flowing through the center and around the hill-topping castle. The pedestrian-only Ljubljana Old City, decorated in ornate architecture and cafe-lined cobblestone streets, is filled with Ljubljana sights!

 

Ljubljana Walking Tour Self-Guided

Using our list of the best places to visit in Ljubljana, visitors can create their own Self-Guided Ljubljana Walking Tour – for free! We have marked the Ljubljana must-see sights on a map at the end of the post. Use the Ljubljana attractions map to route your way through the city!

Our Walking Tour of Ljubljana

For tourists who want to see all Ljubljana top attractions on our list, we outlined the perfect Self-Guided Walking Tour with Google Maps directions. You can find the free walking tour and Ljubljana tourist map directions at the end of the post!

 

17 Ljubljana Sights

Our list of 17 Ljubljana sights are our best tips on what to see in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Even if you only have one day in Ljubljana, these are the sights to see! Use our Ljubljana Old Town map that is labeled with the top 17 Ljubljana attractions (you will find it at the end of the post).

 

#1 Ljubljana Castle

The Castle is a Ljubljana must-see! Just like in a fairytale, the Ljubljana Castle sits prominently atop a hill complete with a lookout tower and giant, billowing flag. Visible from practically every point in town, it beckons a visit.

Ljubljana Castle History

The Roman castle dates to the 12th century, but has undergone major overhaul – twice – in the last century, giving it a more modern look. However, many of the original details are marked, like an old prison cell beneath the courtyard and stonework near the chapel.

Getting to the Ljubljana Castle

There are two ways of ascending the hill to the castle in Ljubljana: Funicular or Hike. The modern glass funicular zips visitors to the top of the hill for a small fee. However, we have always opted to make the steep climb up. Following signs though town, visitors are lead down an alley to the trail head. The path splits into two routes: A series of steep switchbacks or a longer, gradual incline around the hill. Either way, there are fantastic views along the way.

What To See in Ljubljana Castle

Whether you take the funicular or walk the path up the hill, the Ljubljana Castle should be #1 on your Ljubljana sightseeing list. Although the Medieval castle has seen many changes since it was first built, it bears the marks of the city’s history. 

Much of the Ljubljana Castle is free to visit – a ticket is only needed to climb the tower and enter the museum exhibits. Entering the courtyard (where there are restaurants and a cafe), visiting a few key castle sights and wandering the grounds is free of charge. 

Ljubljana Top Attractions Inside the Castle

At the base of the tower is the old chapel, which is decorated in a colorful Baroque style and full of light. Inside, a man demonstrates different writing styles through the centuries.

During World War I, the castle was used as a jail for POWs and political prisoners. Visitors can step inside the prison cells to read details of the detainees and to experience the cramped confinement.

Ljubljana Castle Price and Ljubljana Castle Opening Times can be found on the official website. Or, buy your ticket in advance on Viator

 

#2 Preseren Square 

Named for Slovenian poet, France Preseren, and marked by his statue, the bright square off the Triple Bridge is the heart of the city. Six streets lead into the main square in Ljubljana that is always packed with people and features historic buildings and the dominating Franciscan Church. The ornate square is one of the top sights in Ljubljana. Tip: Many Ljubljana tours meet in Preseren Square…more on tours at the end of the post!

 

#3 Franciscan Church

The hard-to-miss pink Franciscan Church of the Annunciation sits on Preseren Square. It was built between 1646 and 1660 – and is one of the top Ljubljana attractions. The dark interior is in sharp contrast to the bright exterior of the often-photographed Ljubljana church.

 Subscribe to JetSettingFools.com

#4 Triple Bridge Ljubljana

A well-known landmark in Ljubljana, the three part bridge was designed by Ljubljana’s famed architect, Joze Plecnik. The three bridges of the Triple Bridge have a Venetian flair. Walking across the Triple Bridge is one of the top things to do in Ljubljana. 

Landmark Triple Bridge by Joze Plecnik in Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

#5 Dragon Bridge Ljubljana

Four green dragons crouch on the pillars of the Dragon Bridge, seemingly protecting the castle sitting in the background. The Dragon Bridge has become one of the popular Ljubljana tourist attractions – and taking a photo of the dragons is practically required when sightseeing Ljubljana! 

 

#6 The Ljubljana Cathedral

The St. Nicolas Church Ljubljana is the city Cathedral. Decorative inside and out, St. Nicolas is one of the best places to visit in Ljubljana for a bit of quiet in the middle of the city. Before entering, take a look at the main doors; the artwork depicts the history of the Slovenian people, from ancient to current times. The Ljubljana St. Nicolas Cathedral interior is Italian Baroque and includes sculptures and ceiling frescoes.

The Ljubljana Cathedral in Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

#7 Ljubljana Market

The Ljubljana Market is comprised of stalls selling fresh, local produce, a section of clothing and goods, a flower market and an indoor meat and cheese market. The adjacent colonnade, which is made up of several small restaurants and the fish market, is one of the best places to visit in Ljubljana for freshly prepared meals. Tip: Find the Mlekomat – a fresh milk vending machine – one of the more unique Ljubljana, Slovenia points of interest! 

Flowers for sale at the Ljubljana Market in Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

#8 Ljubljana Town Hall and #9 Town Square

On the east side of the river, a short stroll from the Triple Bridge, is Town Square (Mestni Trg). The quaint square is home to the Ljubljana Town Hall, a building which dates to the late 1400’s. The building was renovated in the current Venetian style in the mid-1700’s. In the center of Town Square is the Fountain of Three Carniolian Rivers (Robba Fountain), a top Ljubljana Baroque monument that was sculpted in the mid-1700’s. 

The Ljubljana Old Town and Three Rivers Fountain on Old Square in Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

#10 Old Town

The street (Stari trg) that leads south from Town Hall was once the main street in Ljubljana and is one of the oldest parts of the city. Today, Stari trg is one of the top Ljubljana places to visit for tourists. Restaurants selling traditional fare and shops selling local products occupy the historic buildings.

The historic Old Town in Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

#11 Levstikov trg

The end of Stari trg opens into Levstikov trg – in the center of which is the Hercules Fountain, a replica of a 17th century fountain. At #34 Stari trg is the Sticna Mansion, which dates to the year 1628 and is one of the Ljubljana points of interest. 

Hercules Fountain on Levstikov trg in Old Town Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

#12 Upper Square

The inclined street to the east is Upper Square (Gornji trg). Dating to Medieval times, the street once led to the town gate. Up the street is the Baroque Church of St. Florian, which was built in 1672. This historic street is one of the places to see in Ljubljana that many visitors miss! 

The Medieval Upper Town in Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

#13 St. James Church

Built between 1613 and 1615, the yellow St. James Church sits between the river, Castle Hill and the main road along the southern edge of the city center. The St. Mary’s Column was erected in 1682. The square in front of the church is another one of the places to see in Ljubljana that was designed by the famous Slovenian architect, Joze Plecnik.

St. James Church and St. Mary's Column in Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

 #14 The Ljubljana Skyscraper

The 13-story building, named, “Skyscraper” (or Neboticnik in Slovenian), was built in 1933 and is a Ljubljana landmark. When it was built, it held the titles of ‘Tallest Residential Building in Europe” and the “Tallest Building in Yugoslavia.” Taking the elevator to the top floor, outdoor cafe and viewing deck is one of the best things to do in Ljubljana! The view over the city’s rooftops to the castle is a sight not-to-be-missed! Tip: Looking for Ljubljana nightlight? The cafe turns into a club at night. 

View of the city from the Skyscraper in Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

#15 Serbian Orthodox Church Ljubljana

The St. Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Church was built in 1936 for the growing Serbian population in Ljubljana. While it is one of the lesser-visited Ljubljana tourist attractions, we think it is stunning! The interior is absolutely stunning with nearly every inch of space covered in colorful artwork. Sorry, no photos allowed inside…to see the interior, you will have to add it to your list of Ljubljana, Slovenia things to do! 

St. Cyril and Methodius Serbian Orthodox Church in Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

#16 The US Embassy in Ljubljana

As the Slovenia capital, Ljubljana is home to many Embassies; however, not many rank as Ljubljana top attractions. The US Embassy, on the other hand, is one of the Ljubljana things to see…but is probably only interesting to Americans who are accustomed to seeing their government buildings made of concrete. The US Embassy in Ljubljana is located in a chalet that looks warm and welcoming…yet the armed guards didn’t invite us in for a cup of tea.

The chalet-style US Embassy in Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

#17 Tivoli Park Ljubljana

Not all Ljubljana top sights are man-made structures – the city boasts several nature parks near the center. Tivoli Park is the city’s most popular park – and a Ljubljana must-do! The expansive park has green lawns, a lake, a museum housed in a mansion and artwork sprinkled throughout. Tivoli City Park is one of the best places to visit in Ljubljana for a breath of fresh air and a full dose of nature! 

{Read about 4 Ljubljana Parks to vist}

 

Want more ideas on what to do in Ljubljana in one day? Read our blog post: One Day in Ljubljana Itinerary!

 

Ljubljana City Map of What To See

Our Ljubljana Old Town Map highlights the top city sights. Use the map to help find your way though the city – or purchase a more detailed map of Ljubljana, like this one on Amazon.

Map of Ljubljana Sights


 

Self-Guided Free Ljubljana Walking Tour with Directions

Visitors interested in completing a self-guided walking tour of what to see in Ljubljana, Slovenia can use our recommended route to Ljubljana top sights. 

 

Walking Tour of Ljubljana Route

Use this link to Google Maps for a Ljubljana sightseeing map with directions.

 

St. James, Upper Square and Levstikov Trg

Begin your Ljubljana city walking tour at St. James Church on the south side of the city. Walk between the church and the column on Rozna Street and follow the curve north to Upper Square. Turn left and walk down Gornji to the Hercules Fountain and Levstikov Trg

Stari Trg, Town Hall, Cathedral and Market

Turn right and walk along Stari Trg, through the Old Town to the Town Hall and Town Square. Continue walking a block past Town Square to the Ljubljana Cathedral. After visiting the cathedral, walk behind the church to the Central Market

Ljubljana Castle and Dragon Bridge

From the southeast corner of the market, walk south to the Castle Funicular or take the hike up the trail (find the trailhead one street west of the funicular) to the Ljubljana Castle. After visiting the castle, cross the river using the Dragon Bridge, then turn left and follow the riverside walkway west to Preseren Square

Preseren Square and Skyscraper

Take in the sights on the square – the Franciscan Church, Preseren Monument and Triple Bridge – then exit the square on Copova Street and walk west to Slovenska Cesta. Turn right and walk north one block to Stefanova; turn left and enter the art deco Skyscraper Building.  

US Embassy and Orthodox Church

From the Skyscraper, retrace your steps south on Slovenska Cesta and take your first right on Cankarjeva Cesta. Walk three blocks west to Presernova Cesta; the US Embassy is one block to the left (south) and the Orthodox Church is one block north. 

Tivoli Park

After seeing the embassy and the church, continue walking west on Cankarjeva Cesta and enter Tivoli Park. This is where we end our Free Ljubljana Walking Tour. Have fun exploring the park!


 

Guided Ljubljana Tours

Our list of tourist attractions in Ljubljana, Slovenia is by no means complete! There is so much more to do in the city! After touring the top sights in Ljubljana, consider taking one of the many tours offered in the city. We highly recommend joining one – or more! – of the following tours.

 

Ljubljana Food Tour with Ljubljanajam 

If you are looking for fun things to do in Ljubljana, this food tour is a great place to start! It’s entertaining, educational and filled with some of the best bites in the city. Get the details!

 

Alternative Tours

The walking tours by Alternative Tours explore the edgier Ljubljana sights. Check out their list of tours – like their Graffiti Tour and Cycling Rebellious Tour here.

 

More Tours in Ljubljana

There are many more Ljubljana tours on offer! One of the highly-rated tours is the City Walking Tour (which includes Ljubljana Castle entrance!) Check Viator for more Ljubljana tours and book in advance! 

 

Ljubljana Excursions

Want to see more of Slovenia? Check out our list of the top 15 Day Trips from Ljubljana – which includes both DIY tours and top-rated organized tours, too!

15 Day Trips from Ljubljana for your Slovenia Itinerary by JetSettingFools.com

The Best Day Trips Of Slovenia From Ljubljana

 

Ljubljana Travel Tips

Now that you know the best Ljubljana places to see, we have a few more tips for your trip! 

 

Ljubljana Facts

Ljubljana, Slovenia Population: 278,853 (2015)

Ljubljana Currency: Euro – Check current exchange rates

Ljubljana Pronunciation: Often mispronounced, it’s best to remember that the J is more like a ‘i’ or ‘y’ – so it’s like this: LOO-BLEE-ah-Nah – take a listen here.

The Official Ljubljana Tourist Office provides information to travelers, as well as a free map of Ljubljana city center. They have an office at the Triple Bridge – or you can get information from their official website

The Ljubljana Card can be purchased to save money on top Ljubljana attractions. Buy in advance online and save even more money while sightseeing in Ljubljana, Slovenia!

 

Where To Stay in Ljubljana

During our visits to Ljubljana, we stay in Airbnb Apartments. (Not already a member of Airbnb? Use this link to create an account and save money on your first stay!) We find that Ljubljana holiday apartments often have more space than hotels – and the added benefit of a kitchen. And, they are usually more affordable than hotels, too. 

However, for those who prefer staying in traditional accommodations, there are many hotels to choose from in – or close to – the city center. Check out these top-rated hotels (based on guest reviews!) for your upcoming trip: Hotel CuboAdora Hotel or the classy Grand Hotel Union.

Budget travelers can check out these hostels that get good reviews from fellow travelers: Hostel TresorVila Veselova Hostel or Hostel Zeppelin

For a really unique stay, visitors should check out Hostel Celica – a former prison-turned-hostel that features decor by local artists and a jovial atmosphere. 

 

How To Get to Ljubljana

Ljubljana can be reached by plane, train, bus or car. Our preferred method of getting anywhere is by flying (we are JetSetting Fools, after all!). When we need to purchase plane tickets, we start our search for the best deals on airline tickets on Skyscanner. However, we have also arrived/departed from Ljubljana via bus and train. 

{Read about our experience riding the Ljubljana to Budapest Train}

Ljubljana Airport: The Ljubljana, Slovenia airport is located north of the city. More Ljubljana Airport info can be found on the official site.

Book private transfer from the airport to the city in advance! 

Ljubljana Bus Station: There are many Ljubljana bus connections – both within Slovenia and internationally. Check schedules at the bus station or on Rome2Rio.

 

What To Pack

Just a few things you won’t want to forget to pack! Looking for more packing tips? Check out my complete Packing List

Walking Shoes

Ljubljana is a walkable city…but only if you have the right shoes! Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable walking shoes for your trip. I (Sarah) have traveled with these shoes by Columbia and Reef. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell.

Camera

We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos. We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos, but can be a bit clunky) and a Canon PowerShot ELPH (which takes beautiful pictures, is slim and lightweight – and the new models are wifi enabled so you can share your trip pics to social media in real time!).

Map and Guidebook

It’s easy to get turned around in any foreign city…and especially Ljubljana! Make sure to have a good city map and/or guidebook before arriving.

Travel Insurance

We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.

 

Start planning your trip to Ljubljana! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!

 

 

Like what you’re reading? Join the journey!

Subscribe to JetSetting Fools and get new blog posts and our quarterly newsletter direct to your inbox: 

 

We want to know: What would you add to our list of top Ljubljana sights? Do you have advice on what to see in Ljubljana, Slovenia or is there anything you would add to our Ljubljana Walking Tour? Give us your best tips in the comment section below! 

 

Pin it! See all of our travel pins on our JetSetting Fools Pinterest Board.

Ljubljana Sights What To See in Ljubljana Slovenia by JetSettingFools.com

17 Ljubljana Sights to see by JetSettingFools.com 17 Ljubljana Sights What to See in Ljubljana by JetSettingFools.com

 

Airbnb Logo Sign Up to Save Money on your first stay

Join Airbnb and Save Money on Your First Stay!

10 thoughts on “17 Ljubljana Sights: What to see in Ljubljana, Slovenia

  1. I loved wandering through the old town. The fact that a large part of it is for pedestrians only makes a huge difference to the enjoyment factor. The Metelkova area is also a fascinating place to explore. I enjoyed your pics as well. They were a great reminder of the couple of days that I spent there.

  2. Jon Dunn

    A great list of sights and attractions in the heart of the city. But a little further afield are the Botanic gardens, and a superb, tree-lined walk south down either bank of the river will take you towards it, and Metelkova, the re-energised ex-army buildings. Three minutes walk east from the train / bus stations.
    Good article and photos which all served to make me want to go back there! 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.