Slovenia's capital city, Ljubljana, is a popular destination due to its quaint size, beautifully colored buildings, lush green parks, and Balkans-focused museums.
This ancient complex is located on a hill overlooking the Old Town center, which can be accessed via cable car or a short, well-marked hike.
These four detailed dragon statues were constructed in the early 20th century and have since come to symbolize the city of Ljubljana.
Just outside of the city center, this sprawling park offers several lakes, bowling greens, and picnic areas for visitors.
This museum was the first structure dedicated to Slovenian culture starting in the late 19th century. Here you can get more information about the Balkans history, art, and culture.
This neighborhood is the stomping ground of many local eccentric artists, who create disturbingly grotesque sculptures, installations, and murals among the crumbling old buildings.
Located North of the Central Market and crossing over Ljubljanica River, the Dragon Bridge has become a common symbol of Ljubljana. According to local legend, Jason the founder of Ljubljana killed a dragon and saved the city. It's whimsical Art Nouveau design with four dragon statues was created by famed architect Jurij Zaninovićback at the turn of the 20th century. Dragon Bridge was Ljubljana's first concrete bridge laid with an asphalt road, and it has parapet lamps adorning the bridge's corners. Fun Fact: the bridge was initially designed to have lion statues.
It's impossible to miss the imposing ramparts of Ljubljana Castle set high on a hill above Slovenia's capital. The castle was built in the 11th century, with many improvements made throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, it is one of the most visited monuments in the whole of Slovenia. To reach the castle, you can either take the funicular or walk the short but steep path winding up to the top. In the summer months, the castle hosts many cultural celebrations, movie showings and art exhibitions.
For those who want a bit of fresh air, Tivoli Park is the perfect respite from the crowded Ljubljana city center. There are several buildings within the park which you can visit including Tivoli Castle and Cekin Mansion, or you can simply take advantage of the park's many walking trails and wide-open spaces. It is here that you can easily see local residents walking their dogs, having a picnic or doing a bit of fishing. Those looking to spend a lazy day in the green expanse will love the open-air library beside Tivoli Pond in the summertime.
The Ljubljanica Canal runs quietly through the nation's capital, with many restaurants, bars and government buildings taking advantage of its calming ambiance. You can easily spend a few hours here exploring all of the little shops and markets along the waterfront. We recommend taking a riverboat tour along the Ljubljanica River to learn more about Slovenia's ancient history while passing by notable sites such as the Triple, Dragon and Butchers Bridges. The 30-minute tour will be just long enough to enjoy people watching, a cold bottle of beer and to snap a few envious pics for the family back home.
Preseren Square serves as a meeting point for locals and visitors alike and is part of a larger pedestrianized zone in Old Town Ljubljana. Most of the city's walking tours starting in Preseren Square next to St Nicholas Cathedral before branching out into the many tourist shops, art galleries, university buildings and small parks in Ljubljana. The square is small but well designed, giving it a quaint European city feel. The open Preseren Square is also used for many festivals, carnivals, sporting events and art performances throughout the year. From here you'll have an amazing view of both Ljubljana Castle up above and the Ljubljanica Canal.
The best time to visit is during the summer, when the city puts on many free public events and concerts, and visitors can take advantage of Slovenia's many outdoor sport opportunities.
Ljubljana Joe Pučnik Airport (LJU) is located 16 miles outside of the city center. Most tourists then connect by shuttle bus to their downtown accommodation for EUR4.50.
The bus and train stations in Ljubljana are combined at Trg Osvobodilne fronte. Trains from nearby Zagreb, Croatia take two hours and cost around EUR20.
Drive along the E70 highway from Zagreb, Croatia to reach Ljubljana in just under two hours.
Bus Station Ljubljana has daily domestic and international connections to nearby cities of Zagreb, Venice, and Vienna. A one-way ticket from Venice costs EUR15 and takes four hours.
Celica is a renovated former military prison offering artistic dorm-style accommodation in the Metelkova neighborhood. Urban Hotel is located in the heart of downtown with boutique-like decor.
Old Town - the pedestrian-friendly historic center has numerous buildings with intriguing architecture and lovely facades, as well as many restaurants, bars, and hotels.
BTC City Shopping District - here in the southwest corner of the city you'll find several traditional shopping malls with multiple stalls.
Metelkova - this grungy artistic neighborhood has many outdoor concerts, performances, and alternative-living celebrations.
To ride the city buses, you must first purchase a refillable Urbana card and load your fare onto it. A single ride costs EUR1.20.
Order a taxi by phone to avoid over-charging and rude drivers. Tariffs start at EUR1 and should only cost EUR10 around the city center.
Daily rental cars can be picked up for as little as EUR15 from the Ljubljana airport, train, or bus station.
The open-air Central Market is located on the right side of the Ljubljanica river, predominantly selling produce, local cheeses, and cured meats. Tourist souvenirs can be bought from boutique shops along Čopova street.
Mercator and Spar are the two biggest grocery markets. A dozen eggs costs EUR2.
Spajza serves traditional Slovenian food and European dishes in a terraced garden setting. A meal for two including drinks costs EUR35.