Ljubljana is less complicated than it sounds. Pronounced as /lubleyana/, this city is compact for a capital of a country known for its green lushness. I did stay here for three nights, but I spent one day in Lake Bled, and another day in Trieste, a coastal Italian city, just an hour bus away from Ljubljana. So it left me with one full day in Ljubljana, and here’s what I did that you can also do. But as I said, time and time again, feel free to tweak it to suit your desire.
For solo travelers
3.5-Hour Ljubljana Food & Wine Tour
From Ljubljana: Trip to Lake Bled and Bled Castle (personally recommended)
From Ljubljana: Postojna Cave & Predjama Castle Guided Trip
From Ljubljana: Lake Bled & Postojna Cave with Entry Ticket
While it’s possible to explore some of the highlights of Ljubljana in one day, the city has much to offer, and a longer stay allows for a more relaxed and comprehensive experience. But indeed it is possible to explore the key sights in the city.
If you have only one day, you can see the key attractions, but you might miss out on some of the hidden gems and the leisurely pace of the city. Consider extending your stay if you want to explore Ljubljana more thoroughly and enjoy its vibrant atmosphere, but if you are really pressed with time, here is my suggested one-day Ljubljana itinerary.
Personally, yes, especially if you’re new to Europe, and you want to explore the capitals of different countries. And since the city is quite compact, you can always include other nearby destinations like Trieste (Italy) and Lake Bled as part of your longer Ljubljana itinerary.
Plus, I find Ljubljana affordable. Sure it doesn’t have the glitz, glamour, or architecture of many western European cities like Vienna, Venice, or Paris, but it is unique on its own. And indeed Ljubljana is worth visiting, at least once in your life.
Absolutely! I traveled solo here and stayed for three nights. I felt very safe. As a woman. As a brown woman. As an Asian woman. There was no second at all that I felt that I was in danger even though I stayed out till late at night. Not because of partying or drinking out, mind you, but because of exploring all day long.
Prešeren Square and the Triple Bridge are like the morning coffee of Ljubljana. They’re bustling, full of life, and set the tone for the day. It’s a central spot where you can soak in the city’s pulse, with the first throng of locals and tourists passing by.
If you’re an early bird, it’s even better – you’ll have this iconic location mostly to yourself. Grab a coffee, find a bench, and watch the city come to life. Don’t forget to snap a photo or two, and then you’re all set to dive into the rest of your Ljubljana adventure.
I personally suggest coming here in the morning and in the evening, so you can really experience the different vibes of this place.
Prešeren Square in Ljubljana is the central and bustling heart of the city. Here are some things you can do in and around the square:
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday: 9am-6pm
Perched high on a hill overlooking Ljubljana, the Ljubljana Castle is like the city’s cool, older cousin. This medieval fortress is more than just bricks and towers; it’s a living piece of history. You can hike up for the view or take the funicular if your sneakers aren’t up for the challenge.
Once up there, explore the castle’s towers and courtyards. The view from the watchtower is Instagram-worthy. Pro tip: Visit at sunset for magical cityscape views. Oh, and they often host events and concerts, so check if there’s something cool happening during your visit.
Lunch along the Ljubljanica River is a delightful experience in Ljubljana. As you sit at a local cafe or restaurant along the riverbanks, you’ll savor not just delicious food but also stunning views. The calming waters and charming architecture provide a picturesque backdrop.
To make your life a bit easier, here are five highly recommended restaurants along Ljubljanice River to choose from
Certainly! Here are five lunch suggestions near the Ljubljanica River in Ljubljana:
After indulging in a hearty lunch along the Ljubljanica River, this park is the ideal place to digest, relax, and soak in the local vibes.
Tivoli Park in Ljubljana is like the city’s backyard. It’s a chill, green escape from the urban hustle. You can take a leisurely stroll along the tree-lined paths, have a picnic, or just kick back on the grass. If you’re feeling more active, renting a bike is a solid move.
The park’s got some cool statues and fountains, and there’s even a castle lurking at one end. It’s great for a breath of fresh air and an easy dose of nature right in the heart of the city. Just remember to pack some snacks and your sunglasses.
The park has activities all year round, so even though you visit in the dead of winter, most likely you can rent a sled and sled like a child here.
Of course, we need a bit of cultural pitstop in the city’s adventure. It’s not just about art or the pretense of knowing about art; it’s about getting a dose of Slovenia’s creative spirit. Stroll through exhibits showcasing both classical and contemporary works. T
PERSONAL TIP: Check their opening hours before you go, (I also put them on the top, you’re welcome), since they can still change. If you’re into art, it is a must-do in Ljubljana, but even if you’re not, it’s a great way to appreciate local talent and culture. Plus, it is often a welcome break from bustling city streets, so you’ll leave feeling cultured. 😛
Taking a boat ride on the Ljubljanica Rive is like a lazy drift through the city’s veins. It’s a relaxed way to soak in Ljubljana’s charm.
Tip: Opt for the evening ride for a more romantic experience as the city lights up. The boats usually have guides who share interesting stories about the city. Plus, it’s a fun way to see the city from a different angle. Don’t forget your camera; you’ll get some unique shots. And if you’re into birds, the riverbanks are a great spot for birdwatching.
The charming streets of the old town are like a maze of history. Tip: Get lost, that’s when you find the best hidden cafes and shops. Exploring the cobbled streets, you’ll discover cozy nooks, street art, and tiny bridges. Plus, it’s a haven for foodies, so try some local dishes in the many restaurants. It’s lively during the day, but it takes on a different vibe in the evening when the city lights come on. It’s the heart of Ljubljana’s social scene, so join the locals for a leisurely evening stroll.
Dining in the old town is like savoring history with every bite. Tip: Make a reservation, especially in popular restaurants. You’ll find everything from traditional Slovenian cuisine to international flavors.
The old town is known for its atmospheric restaurants and wine bars. Whether you’re up for a fancy meal or just a slice of pizza, you’ll find plenty of options. It’s a great place to unwind after a day of exploring the city.
Gostilna Šestica: on my back to Ljubljana from my day trip to Lake Bled, my busmate was also traveling solo from Budapest. We clicked instantly, despite the decade-plus gap between us. She badly wanted to try Restaurant Šestica. She said it was one of the oldest (1776), and it is very popular. I’m game, so we did. Luckily, there was a spot for two even though the waiting time was about 20minutes for the food to be served. I tried their seasonal dish which was a game bear. It was worth trying. Kinda similar to a deer goulash if you ask me.
Gostilna As: Known for its traditional Slovenian cuisine, Gostilna As offers a cozy and authentic dining experience in a historic setting.
Julija Restaurant: Located near the Ljubljana Castle, Julija Restaurant is famous for its exquisite seafood and Mediterranean-inspired dishes.
Manna: Manna is a well-regarded fine dining restaurant with a focus on creative and modern Slovenian cuisine, offering a unique culinary experience.
Gostilna na Gradu: Situated in Ljubljana Castle, Gostilna na Gradu provides a memorable dining experience with a stunning view of the city and a menu featuring Slovenian specialties.
Sokol: Sokol is a popular choice for those seeking classic Balkan and Serbian dishes in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
So there you have it, your one day itinerary in Ljubljana. Hope you are satiated, city-sated.
Til the next city,
Jona of backpackingwithabook.com