Ljubljana Guide

Travel tips

1 Travel tips

Exchanging money in Ljubljana is as easy as spending it - just look for a sign that reads 'Menjalnica' or 'Exchange.' Avoid exchanging your money in…

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Getting to Ljubljana

2 Getting to Ljubljana

Above: Train-hop to the castle Below: You should be so lucky!By Air Ljubljana has its own airport in name, although Ljubljana-Brnik…

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Getting around Ljubljana

3 Getting around Ljubljana

Above: Should I stay or should I go now? Below: On yer bike!By Taxi Hmmm, what can we tell you about the taxi experience in and around…

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Money Matters

4 Money Matters

You won't have any problem paying by credit card in most shops, as this is the preferred method of most Slovenes, but for little things like a coffee…

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Language

5 Language

Most Slovenes, particularly the younger ones, speak a very, very, very high level of English, but that's no excuse not to try and impress the locals…

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Info about Ljubljana & Slovenia

6 Info about Ljubljana & Slovenia

Ljubljana has always been Slovenian, despite the fact that an independent Slovenia has only existed since 1991. The struggle for independence lasted…

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About the guide

Above: Aerial view of the Ljubljanica, Triple Bridge and Preseren Square
Below: The columns of Plecnik's colonnade

Easily among Europe's most darling capitals, Ljubljana may be bereft of big-name attractions, but its overwhelming hospitality, outstanding architecture, atmospheric bars, bustling nightlife and cafe culture make it an incredibly easy place to get comfortable. With a towering hilltop castle, charming old town centre, stylish student community and vibrant street culture centered around the cafes and bridges of the sunlit Ljubljanica river, those lucky enough to have visited Ljubljana tend to fall in love and linger.

Ljubljana Castle is hard to ignore, regally hovering over the city. As the city's most overt attraction, visitors tend to start here, and why not? The vantage over the town will certainly help you get your bearings and the gorgeous view of an alpine horizon over Baroque and Art Nouveau masterpieces is certainly inspiring - as is the castle's pastiche of styles and 3D 'virtual museum.' Entrance to the ramparts and courtyard of the castle is free, but a superior 360 degree view is afforded for those who climb the 19th century tower. From the castle there are many lovely hiking trails through the woods for those with a little wanderlust, all of which inevitably lead back to the river and Old Town.

The three interweaving town squares wrapped around the foot of the castle bluff are arguably Ljubljana's greatest overall attraction. Dappled with cafes and ideal for people-watching, you'll find yourself strolling through this area again and again, soaking up the atmosphere and admiring the architectural gems of Ljubljana's favourite son - celebrated architect Joze Plecnik, whose indelible stamp is all over his native city. Between Plecnik's Cobblers' Bridge and the city-signature Dragon Bridge, the main sights include Town Hall and its impressive Baroque fountain, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, and Plecnik's Market - a monumental colonnade brimming with shops and food vendors. Plecnik's elegant Triple Bridge, with its pedestrian appendages, leads directly into Preseren trg - Ljubljana's main square whose features include the monument of Preseren - Slovenia's most famous poet, several Art Nouveau facades and the Franciscan Church.

Ljubljana's Tivoli Park brings lush forest right into the city centre and also houses a couple mansions. The nearby National Gallery is an essential stop for culture vultures, as is the Modern Art Museum. After nightfall, there are plenty of clubs, bars and riverside haunts, but if you're feeling particularly brave take a trip out to Metelkova. Formerly a military garrison, this area was claimed by squatters after independence and now hosts regular parties, DJs, film screenings and we can only guess what else. A visit after midnight is recommended for the adventurous.

Once you've made the most of Ljubljana, don't forget that the rest of Slovenia is one of the most naturally spectacular countries in Europe - small enough that it's amazing karst caves and Julian Alps are easily within reach!

Comments

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t from Slovenia Reply Mar 5th, 2012

The Cobblers' Bridge is the third of Ljubljana's popular thoroughfares over the Ljubljanica river which the city's street life centres around. Formerly a wooden bridge connecting Mestni trg (Town Square) and Novi trg (New Square), the original Cobblers' Bridge featured space for cobblers' workshops (hence the name) and hosted a statue of Christ at the south end which has been relocated to St. Florian's Church.

Keith from United Kingdom Reply Aug 18th, 2010

I really like this little city, but there's not a great deal to keep you here for more than a long weekend. It is great for a short break.