This small and beautiful European destination is easily discovered in a day. Although there are plenty of things to do in Ljubljana, most of the attractions are located in the city centre area, making it the perfect destination to discover on foot.
Our trip to Ljubljana was a day trip from Trieste, Italy which is about an hour’s drive away! In this guide we share our favorite things we did in Ljubljana in one day, but be sure to also check out our article on our day trip to Lake Bled .
Travel to Slovenia is on the rise mainly to visit Lake Bled, however visitors forget to plan their trip to Ljubljana and don’t know what they are really missing. Ljubljana is a combination between Venice and an Eastern European city and you can have a full experience in just one day. From Ljubljana you can make many day trips as it is located in the center of this small country close to many cities such as Vienna , Venice , Budapest , Zagreb and Bratislava . Some of our favourite day trips are Lake Bohinj , Vintgar Gorge , Predjama Castle and Skocjan or Postojna caves .
Ljubljana is pronounced ju’bleeyana. The Slovenian language is a bit tricky to pronounce, so I thought it was important to share how we say the city’s name, as I saw many tourists struggling with the city’s name.
How long should I spend in Ljubljana?
As I mentioned earlier you only need a day or two to explore the city. It all depends on the number of museums you want to visit or how long you want to stay to explore the other attractions nearby. We’ve explored the main things you can do in Ljubljana in a day, but with two days you can take it more leisurely and really get to know this city. I would keep other days by either doing day trips to different locations or staying in other destinations within Slovenia.
Top 20 Attractions You Can Do In Ljubljana
1. Get lost in Ljubljana’s Old Town
Ljubljana has a very small Old Town and the best thing to do is to walk around and get lost to find more hidden treasures. Sit for a moment in an outdoor café and have a beer by the Ljubljana River to soak up the atmosphere.
Be sure to take a walk on the pedestrian-only Cankarjevo Nabrezje pedestrian street. Some of the best restaurants and boutiques can be found on the pedestrian streets of Mestni trg, Stari trg and, of course, Gornji trg.
2. Zmajski Most AKA the Dragon’s Bridge
The Dragon Bridge is one of the most beautiful landmarks of the city and by far the most famous bridge in Ljubljana. The bridge is decorated with several dragons as the dragon represents strength, courage and greatness.
➳ TIP: Dragon is also the symbol of the city and you will see it embodied in many things throughout the city.
Without a doubt, taking a selfie on the Dragon Bridge is one of the top things to do in Ljubljana.
3. The Best View in Ljubljana From the Castle
Ljubljana Castle is located at the top of the hill which you can either walk to or take a cable car for a small fee. We choose to take the cable car as the walk can take 40 to 60 minutes. You can just wander around the castle grounds for free and enjoy a beautiful view. If you want to visit the museum or climb the tower for the best panoramic view of Ljubljana, an entrance ticket is required.
Cost: 10 € adults, 7 € children 7 to 18 years old; entrance + audio guide 13 €; permit. Buy your tickets online and save 10%.
Opening hours: 9 am to 11 pm from June to September.
Transfer by cable car : 4 € return or a package of 13 € including return and the entrance ticket to the Castle.
4. Cathedral of St. Nicholas
The 18th-century Gothic cathedral is a symbol of the city with its green dome and tall spires. Visit the interior of the cathedral to see the magnificent frescoes adorning the walls and ceiling. See the bronze carved doors outside the cathedral, and you can see the reliefs depicting a scene from the history of Slovenia and portraits of the bishops of Ljubljana.
5. The Roman Walls
These 2,000-year-old Roman walls were built to last for an eternity to help protect this historic city.
6. Tromostovje, Also known as the Triple Bridge
Tromostovje is also known as the Triple Bridge, as it is actually three adjacent pedestrian bridges that span the Ljubljanica River to connect the old city with the modern one. The reason why there are three bridges side by side is that in 1842, the main bridge was built to replace the original wooden medieval bridge and almost a century later the adjacent bridges were built on either side of the main bridge to cope with more TRAFFIC on the roads. Today all three bridges are pedestrian only.
7. Preseren Square
Preseren Square is one of the main squares and the central square in Ljubljana’s old town. In this square you will find the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation and a scale model of Ljubljana. Be sure to visit the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation to see the frescoes inside.
8. Franciscan Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary
This beautiful red church is located in the Preseren Square, built in 1600.
9. Congress Square
The Congress Square is another one of the central squares of the city. This green area is surrounded by many important buildings, such as the Casino building and the Slovenian Philharmonic.
10. Fountain Robba
This 18th century fountain consists of three representative male figures surrounding a 10 metre obelisk.
11. City Square and Ljubljana City Hall
Ljubljana City Hall was originally built in the late 1400s, but has undergone several major renovations changing its architectural style. You can take a guided tour of the Town Hall for 5€.
Ljubljana, Slovenia…! A treasure green city of the world!
12. Cobblers’ Bridge
The Bridge dates back to one of the first bridges in Ljubljana and was most recently reconstructed in 1931. As its name suggests, it was once home to shoemakers’ work chambers.
13. National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Slovenia
The magnificent building of the Slovenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Ljubljana offers not only a beautiful facade but also a fascinating interior.
14. Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity
The fascinating baroque design of the Ursuline Church offers one of the most unique church designs we have encountered in Europe.
15. The Butcher’s Bridge
The modern Butcher’s Bridge is often referred to as the Bridge of Love, due to the prominent position of the love locks placed on the bridge. This pedestrian bridge is also home to many statues and sculptures by Slovenian sculptor Jakov Brdar.
16. Enjoy local food and buy souvenirs at the Central Market
In the Central Market you will find a little bit of everything, from handmade goods to textiles, arts and crafts to delicious food. It’s a good place to try some Langos. Prices and choices are similar to other markets in the city. On Sunday the market is closed.
Ljubljana has many museums that you can visit and learn more about the city, the country and its culture. Our favourites include the Museum of the City, the National Museum of Slovenia, the Museum of Illusions and the Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana.
The Museum of Illusions is a great place to go with children. You can learn more about the world of illusions in a fun and interactive way.
18. Metelkova Mesto
We love Metelkova Mesto because of the crazy street art and the freedom you can perceive. Once abandoned barracks full of squatters, it has evolved into a cool art district that comes alive at night with its many clubs. We went during the day to appreciate the unique art on the walls and it was a fantastic experience.
19 . Learn the history of Ljubljana
It’s a good idea to learn about the long history of Ljubljana and Slovenia by enjoying either a free or paid walking tour of the city.
20. Enjoy the panoramic view of Ljubljana from Neboticnik
The two best places to get panoramic views of the city are from Ljubljana Castle and the terrace of Neboticnik, a 70-metre-high skyscraper with a roof terrace and observation deck at the top. It is free to visit the observation deck on the rooftop terrace.