Where do I start with our 36 hours in Ljubljana? Relaxed, friendly, magical: The city was everything I hoped it would be and more!
Ljubljana was probably the place I was most looking forward to visiting, and not only for it’s close proximity to Lake Bled. And heard some very good things about this little fairytale city and let me tell you, it did not disappoint.
Our time in the city was pretty short but more than long enough to get a feel for the place. Although Ljubljana’s the capital of Slovenia, it’s a small city, very easy to explore in one weekend.
But if you’re like me you’ll end up never wanting to leave!
After a pretty short, 3-hour train journey from our previous stop in Zagreb, we arrived in Ljubljana late afternoon.
On a little side note, I would definitely recommend visiting both places in one trip if you’ve got the time. Both can easily be seen in a day and a half, and the views from the train journey are to die for! If you want to see how we spent our time in Zagreb, have a read of this post.
We stayed at Hostel Tresor. Being only a 30-second walk from the main square, the hostel was the perfect base to explore the city from.
After spending a bit of time sorting our things out, doing some washing and generally just relaxing we headed out to make the most of our 36 hours in Ljubljana.
As always, the first thing on the agenda was to go for a wander. I always find it best if I try and get my bearings from to beginning, work out how far away things are, and generally get a feel for the city.
Luckily everything in Ljubljana is incredibly close together.
In just that first evening we managed to spend some time taking in the sights and atmosphere of Preseren Square. These included the famous Triple Bridge and my favourite building in all of Ljubljana, the Franciscan Church of Annunciation, better known as the Pink Church.
I strongly suggest you send you’re first few hours just going where ever you’re feet take you. We stumbled upon the cutest little back streets, hidden statues and fountains, as well as grand buildings and monuments all while just walking with no real direction.
And my suggestion for food? Lajbah. So good we ended up going back on our last night as well.
A little out of the way, this pub is truly a hidden gem in the middle of Ljublijana. Specialising in craft beers Lajbah 16 different beers on tap at any one time as well as bottled beers. Not just about beers the pub also prides themselves on their food. They offer a small selection, very different from your usual pub grub. It changes according to the season and while we were there ranged from Slovenian struklji (cheese dumplings) to typically British fish and chips. Beers cost around €5 and food between €5 and €10 depending on what you order.
One of the things I loved about Ljubljana was the crazy number of restaurants, bars, and cafes along the riverside. You’ll have no trouble finding somewhere, to put your feet up and sip a few cocktails late into the evening like we did on our first night.
Our second day wasn’t actually spent in Ljubljana. We decided to take a day trip to Lake Bled, which you can read all about here.
I’m not gunna lie, most of our time in Ljubljana was spent just walking about like our first night. So if you don’t like a good wander then this itinerary probably won’t work for you. But if you do, Ljubljana will easily become your new favourite place!
We started by heading back through Preseren Square, over Triple Bridge, aiming for Ljubljana’s central market.
Selling everything from fresh fruit and veg, to handmade souvenirs and gifts, the market is definitely worth a visit even if you don’t buy anything.
The walk also gives you chance to see the cities other famous bridges; Butchers Bridge and Dragon Bridge. Have you really been to Ljubljana if you don’t take at least 100 photos of the dragons guarding the bridge?
One thing I did have planned for our 36 hours in Ljubljana was a trip up to the castle.
There is a funicular that will take you to the top and back down again for €4 but we made the decision to save that money for beer and use our legs. I decision I immediately regretted! It was a steeeeeep climb to the top. Definitely not recommended unless you want to end up a hot sweaty mess!
We were of course rewarded for all that effort with some of the most incredible views over the city.
You can, of course, pay to go inside the castle, but I was perfectly happy just to walk around the outside taking in views over each part of the city. Regardless of whether you go inside or not, Ljubljana Castle is one of the must-see sights in the city.
From the castle, we headed to one of the many riverside pubs for a spot of lunch. There’s so many and they’re all really similar so I would just suggest stopping at the first one you like the look of.
After lunch, guess what we did? Yeah, that’s right, more wandering.
This time we came across the main building of the University of Ljubljana, the Slovenian Philharmonic Hall, and Ursuline Church amongst others. All incredibly picturesque buildings. Ljubljana really is an Instagrammer’s dream.
We ended the afternoon with a trip to Cacao Cafe, for the dreamiest ice-cream coffee I’ve ever had. Seriously, don’t leave Ljubljana without visiting Cacao. At €5 each the prices were pretty reasonable too.
Our final evening once spent enjoy good food back and Lajbah, drinking cocktails along the riverside once more.
Our 36 hours in Ljubljana were pretty special. It is by far one of my favourite places I’ve ever visited and I can not wait to go back one day.
If you’re even slightly thinking about going, just go ahead and book that plane now. You will not regret it.
All my love,