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

17 Ljubljana Sights: What To See In Ljubljana, Slovenia

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

 

Sightseeing in Ljubljana Old Town

The best sights in Ljubljana city center are the incredible architecture, historic buildings, fabulous bridges and lush nature. Our list of what to visit in Ljubljana highlights the absolute best things to see.

To help visitors find their way, we have marked the Ljubljana must-see sights on a map at the end of the post. In fact, we share multiple maps, including a Ljubljana sightseeing map that you can print, as well as an online Ljubljana city map that is interactive. 

 

Old Town Ljubljana Walking Tour – Self-Guided

Looking for free things to do in Ljubljana? Create your own Free Walking Tour Ljubljana! 

Using our list of the best places to visit in Ljubljana, visitors can create their own Self-Guided Ljubljana Walking Tour – for free! Use the Ljubljana attractions map to create your own route through the city – or use the already outlined Walking Tour of Ljubljana, Slovenia that we created.

The walk includes all the Ljubljana top attractions on our list. To help you find your way on the free Ljubljana walking tour, we also include a link to Google Maps with walking directions. 

You can find the free walking tour and Ljubljana tourist map directions at the end of the post.

Need more Ljubljana things to do? We highlight the best tours, day trips and travel tips at the end of the article, as well!

 

17 Ljubljana Sights To See

Best View of Ljubljana, Slovenia

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 we recommend. Use our Ljubljana Old Town map (at the end of the article) that is labeled with the Top 17 Ljubljana Attractions to easily find each sight.

Pin, Bookmark or Save our What To Do in Ljubljana blog post so that you can access it during your trip to Slovenia!


 

#1 Ljubljana Castle

Ljubljana Castle courtyard in Ljubljana, Slovenia

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 modern look. However, many of the original details remain, 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 throughout 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 of Ljubljana along the way.

 

What To See at 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 still bears the marks of the city’s history. 

Much of the Ljubljana Castle is free to visit – a castle ticket is only needed to climb the tower and enter the museum exhibits. Entering the courtyard (where there are restaurants and a café), 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 castle tower is the old chapel, which is decorated in a colorful Baroque style and full of light. Inside, there’s a demonstration of 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 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, Ljubljana 

View over Preseren Square, Ljubljana

Named for Slovenian poet France Prešeren and marked by his statue, the bright square off the Triple Bridge is the heart of the city.

Prešeren Square sits at the center of six streets. It is the main square in Ljubljana and is nearly always bustling with people. Top features of Preseren Trg Square are the many beautiful and historic buildings as well as the dominating Franciscan Church (which is next on our list).

The ornate square is one of the top sights in Ljubljana.

Top Tip: Many Ljubljana tours meet in Preseren Square…more on that at the end of the post.

 

#3 Franciscan Church (Pink Church, Ljubljana)

What to see in Ljubljana: Experience the city!

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. In 2008, the church was listed as a Cultural Monument of National Significance in Slovenia. 

The stunning Baroque façade and the bright exterior makes it the most photographed Ljubljana church. 

Step inside the church (it’s free to enter) to see the rich décor. The dark interior is in sharp contrast to cheerful exterior – and it’s a must see in Ljubljana. Note the elaborate altar and the ceiling frescoes (many of which had to be repainted after an earthquake in the late 1800s). 

 

#4 Triple Bridge Ljubljana

What to see in Ljubljana: Triple Bridge

Straddling the Ljubljanica River is the Triple Bridge – another famous landmark in Ljubljana. The three-part bridge was designed by Ljubljana’s famed architect, Jože Plečnik – who is responsible for much of the city’s current style. 

Walking across the Triple Bridge is one of the top things to do in Ljubljana. 

The Triple Bridge connects the oldest part of the town to the modern area of Ljubljana. The bridge was built on the site of an older bridge that tended to bottleneck with too many crossings. In 1929, Joze Plecnik designed the three bridges to alleviate the congestion – but he did it with a Venetian flair. 

The 642 balusters (although made of simple concrete) are the most eye-catching feature of the Triple Bridge. 

 

#5 Dragon Bridge Ljubljana

Dragon on Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Built in 1901, the Dragon Bridge is a classic example of the Vienna Secession style (closely related to the Art Nouveau style) used in Ljubljana when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Although the bridge is not particularly extravagant, it was an engineering feat in its time. 

What makes the bridge a Ljubljana must see is the four green beasts crouched on the pillars of the Dragon Bridge. They appear to be 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

What to see in Ljubljana: The Cathedral

The St. Nicolas Church Ljubljana stands as the city’s 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 Old Town.

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.

 

#7 Ljubljana Market

What to see in Ljubljana: The flower market

The Ljubljana Central Market is comprised of stalls selling fresh produce, a section of clothing and goods, a flower market and an indoor meat and cheese market. The market is one of the best places to visit in Ljubljana to experience the city’s vibrant culture. 

The adjacent colonnade houses the fish market – along with several small restaurants the dole out freshly prepared meals. It’s one of the fun Ljubljana places to eat lunch while people watching. 

Top Tip: Find the Mlekomat – a fresh milk vending machine – one of the more unique Ljubljana, Slovenia points of interest! 

 

#8 Ljubljana Town Hall

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 structure was renovated in the current Venetian style in the mid-1700’s.

 

#9 Town Square Robba Fountain

View of Ljubljana Town Square Robba Fountain

In the center of Town Square is the fanciful Fountain of Three Carniolian Rivers. Also called the Robba Fountain for the Italian who designed it, Francesco Robba. 

A top Ljubljana Baroque monument, the fountain was sculpted in the mid-1700’s and stands today as a symbol of the city. (However, the fountain in the square is a replica…the original is in the National Gallery of Slovenia.)

 

#10 Ljubljana Old Town

View across the river of Old Town Ljubljana

Walking south from the Town Hall on Mestni Trg, which was once the main street in Ljubljana, leads through the oldest parts of the city. About halfway along, Mestni Trg turns into Stari Trg, and this entire stretch is one of the top Ljubljana places to visit for tourists.

The wide pedestrian street is perfect for strolling. The Ljubljana Old Town restaurants that line the route sell traditional fare and there are shops selling local products that occupy the historic buildings.

 

#11 Levstikov Trg

Fountain at Levstikov Trg, Ljubljana, Slovenia

It’s just a 5 minute walk to the end of the street where it opens into Levstikov Trg. While it is not one of the top Ljubljana, Slovenia tourist attractions, it’s one of our favorite squares. In the center stands the Hercules Fountain, a replica of a 17th century fountain.

Also look for #34 Stari Trg. It is the Sticna Mansion, which dates to the year 1628 and is one of the top Ljubljana points of interest for it’s fine architectural style featuring stone carvings and arched wooden doorways. 

 

#12 Upper Square, Ljubljana

What to see in Ljubljana: Upper Town

Moving away from the Ljubljana center to the east is an inclined street that leads to Upper Square (Gornji Trg). This is one of the Ljubljana best places to visit to see the oldest part of the city. 

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!

 

#13 St. James Church, Ljubljana

What to see in Ljubljana: 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.

 

 #14 The Ljubljana Skyscraper

What to see in Ljubljana: View over the city from the 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 “Tallest Building in Yugoslavia.”

Taking the elevator to the top floor, which hosts an outdoor café 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!

Top Tip: Looking for Ljubljana nightlife? After dark, the café turns into a club. It’s one of the fun things to do in Ljubljana at night!

 

#15 Serbian Orthodox Church Ljubljana

What to see in Ljubljana: Serbian Orthodox Church

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 incredible with nearly every inch of space covered in colorful artwork. No photos allowed inside…so in order to see the interior, you will have to add it to your list of Ljubljana, Slovenia things to do! 

 

#16 The US Embassy in Ljubljana, Slovenia

What to see in Ljubljana: US Embassy

As the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana is naturally home to many Embassies; however, not many rank as Ljubljana top attractions you’d want to visit. The US Embassy, on the other hand, is one of the Ljubljana things to see.

To be fair, the building is probably only interesting to Americans who are accustomed to their embassies being well hidden and often not in the city center . The US Embassy in Ljubljana, however, is located in a chalet that looks warm and welcoming…yet the armed guards didn’t invite us in for a cup of coffee.

 

#17 Tivoli Park, Ljubljana

Ljubljana park Tivoli City Park and Tivoli Castle

Not all Ljubljana top sights are man-made structures – there is nature, too! In fact, the city boasts several nature parks near Ljubljana downtown.

Tivoli Park is the most of popular of those parks – and a Ljubljana must-do! The expansive area has green lawns, a lake, the National Gallery of Slovenia (which is 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 more about 4 Ljubljana Parks to visit}

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Ljubljana City Map of What To See

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

Map of Ljubljana Sights

 

Interactive Map of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Use this link to Google Maps for an interactive, online version of our Ljubljana Map. 

Sightseeing Ljubljana Map by JetSettingFools.com


 

Self-Guided Free Ljubljana Walking Tour with Directions

Using our list of Ljubljana top sights, it is very easy for visitors to create a self-guided walking tour of what to see in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In fact, we feel we’ve created the perfect route through the city – and it’s completely free for you to use!

In order to create the best route, we rearranged the order of the sights on our list. The entire walk from start to finish is 4km (2.5 miles) and can take as little as an hour to complete. However, we recommend allowing at least 2-3 hours to thoroughly enjoy the walk. 

 

Free 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 town. Facing the front of the church, 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

After entering Levstikov Square, turn right and walk along Stari Trg, through the Old Town to the Town Hall and Town Square Robba Fountain. 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, retrace your steps back down to the river and cross the river using the Dragon Bridge. At the end of the bridge, turn left and follow the riverside walkway west to Preseren Square. 

 

Preseren Square and Ljubljana 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!

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


 

Guided Ljubljana Tours

Our list of tourist attractions in Ljubljana, Slovenia is by no means complete! After touring the top sights in Ljubljana, consider taking one of the many tours offered in the area. 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 small group food tour is a great place to start. It’s entertaining, educational and filled with some of the best bites in Ljubljana. Get the details!

 

Alternative Ljubljana Tours

The walking tours by Alternative Tours explore the edgier Ljubljana sights and colorful street art. They host tours like a Cycling Rebellious Tour and a Graffiti Tour – along with a workshop (which is definitely one of the unusual things to do in Ljubljana). Reserve your space!

 

Guided Walking Tours in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Travelers looking for a guided introduction to the city can join one of Ljubljana tours led by a local guide. 

 

City Tour with Castle Entrance

One of the highly-rated tours is the City Walking Tour, which also includes Ljubljana Castle entrance. Read the rave reviews!

 

City Walking Tour of Ljubljana (Boat Tour Included!)

Embark on a walk with a local tour guide to learn about this history and architecture of the city – then relax on a Ljubljana boat tour on the river. Get the details!

Check Viator for more Ljubljana tours and book in advance to reserve your space! 

 

Ljubljana Excursions

Want to see more of Slovenia? Ljubljana is a great jumping off point for some of the best places to visit in Slovenia. Visitors can take half- or full-day tours to spectacular attractions.

We feature the best destinations in our Guide to 15 Day Trips from Ljubljana. Our list includes both DIY tours and top-rated organized tours.

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

 

Ljubljana Facts

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

 

Ljubljana, Slovenia Population: 287,000 (2022)

 

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.

 

Ljubljana Tourist Card

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!

 

Ljubljana Travel Tips

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

 

Planning a Trip to Ljubljana

We know that there is a lot more to planning a Ljubljana trip than figuring out what sights to see. We share our top tips attractions and destinations in beautiful Slovenia on our Slovenia Travel Guides blog page – or you can get started right now with these guides. 

Travelers planning a trip from overseas can also use our Guide to Planning a Europe Trip. We share need-to-know details and our personal advice for how to plan the best trip. 

As you make your plans, staying organized is key! Use our Printable Travel Planner to stay on top of all your trip details! 

Travel Planner Printables by JetSettingFools.com

 

Where To Stay in Ljubljana, Slovenia

During our visits to Ljubljana, we stay in Airbnb Apartments. We find that Ljubljana holiday apartments often have more space than hotels – and the added benefit of a kitchen. However, the fees for a short stay in a vacation rental can add up quickly. 

 

Ljubljana Hotels

We think the best place to stay in Ljubljana is in the heart of the city – and there are many hotels to choose from in – or close to – the city center. We are featuring a few of the best Ljubljana hotels for your stay. 

Want a deal? Use our Guide to Finding the Best Hotel Rooms at the Best Rates!

 

Grand Hotel Union

A classic hotel just steps from Preseren Square, Grand Hotel Union is housed in an iconic Art Nouveau building. In addition to the prime location, the hotel gets great reviews for the comfortable beds, a superb included breakfast and helpful staff. Check rates and availability!

 

Hotel Cubo

A luxury stay in the city cetner, Hotel Cubo features modern rooms and amenities – including bathrobes and slippers. Guests love the spacious rooms and the excellent breakfast. Check rates!

 

Adora Hotel

A family-run boutique hotel in Ljubljana Old Town, Adora Hotel is a wonderful place to stay. Bright but cozy, the hotel has spacious rooms that offer a good value for money. Check availability!

 

Ljubljana Hostels

Budget travelers looking for a cheap place to stay in Ljubljana can check out these hostels that get good reviews from fellow travelers: Hostel Tresor or Vila Veselova Hostel

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

 

How To Get to Ljubljana, Slovenia

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!) and we have flown to Ljubljana from both Zurich and London – but we have also used the bus and train for transportation to (and from) the city. 

 

Ljubljana Airport

The Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport (LJU) is located 25km (15 miles) north of the city. The airport is serviced by European carriers to major destinations like London, Paris and Frankfurt.

Travelers can book private transfer from the Ljubljana, Slovenia airport to the city in advance! Find more Ljubljana Airport info can be found on the official site.

Start your search for the best deals on airline tickets on Skyscanner – but first, use our Tips for Finding Cheap Flights!

 

Ljubljana Train

The Ljubljana train station is located on the north side of the city, just a 15 minute walk from the center.

That said, trains to Ljubljana are somewhat limited. International lines connect Ljubljana to Frankfurt (via Munich) and Budapest. We have use both routes. Read about our experience riding the Ljubljana to Budapest Train.

 

Ljubljana Bus Station 

The main bus station in Ljubljana is next to the train station. There are many Ljubljana bus connections – both within Slovenia and internationally.

We have arrived/departed from Ljubljana via bus to Zagreb, Croatia. In fact, for travelers going to or coming from Croatia, using the bus is the best option. 

When traveling by bus, we like to use Flixbus. Check schedules at the bus station or on Rome2Rio.

 

What To Pack For Slovenia

You are almost ready for your Slovenia trip – you just need to pack! We are sharing a few must-have items for your trip, but you can find all of our advice on our Packing Tips blog page. You can also get your FREE Packing Checklist here!

 

Walking Shoes

Ljubljana is a walkable city…but only if you have the right travel shoes! Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable walking shoes for your trip. I like to wear versatile sneakers and Kris wears Merrell Trail Shoes for city sightseeing. 

 

Travel Camera for Slovenia Photography 

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. It takes amazing photos and comes with heaps of free accessories, which is why we think it is one of the best cameras for budget travelers!

 

Map of Slovenia and Guidebook

It’s easy to get turned around in any foreign city…even Ljubljana! We have provided maps of Ljubljana that will help you get around to the top sights. However, it always a good idea to have a paper map – like this one! – too. We also recommend picking up a guidebook for your trip to Slovenia.

 

Day Pack

Whether you travel with a backpack or a suitcase, you’ll also want to pack an amazing day bag for your trip. We carry backpacks when sightseeing to organize and secure all our essential everyday travel items!

 

Slovenia Travel Insurance

We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip to Slovenia, 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!

 

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! 

 

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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! 😉

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