Before I head off to Ljubljana, I tried finding some advice on things that I can/should do there. While I did discover that every blogger who has ever been there is madly in love with Slovenia, I didn’t find what I was looking for (perhaps because I failed to find the www.VisitLjubljana.com website, which I now strongly recommend to everyone). Now that I’ve been to Ljubljana, I have some suggestions myself, that I hope you’ll find useful. Here’s my “must do” things in Ljubljana. Enjoy!
MUST DO IN THE MORNING
Coffee shops in Ljubljana open at about 8-8:30 in the morning and I suggest you don’t lose the day sleeping. Start early to make the most of your time. Meanwhile, if you’re staying at the Bit-Center hotel consider playing some badminton in the morning – it’s a nice way to start your day!
1. Grab a coffee at Slovenska Hija
Right in the very center on Ljubljana you’ll see many coffee shops, restaurants, and beer gardens. One of them is called Slovenska Hija, and they serve the most lovely coffee in the sweetest possible way.
2. Walk around the old town
The old town of Ljubljana is where fairy tales are written! We were silly enough not to sign for the Free Ljubljana tour (a mistake we will correct next time we’re there), but even walking by yourself you will enjoy a beautiful city scenery – a combination of Italian charm (without the unnecessary pomposity), German perfectionism and cleanliness topped up with Slavic warmness. Ljubljana’s old town is similar to other European capitals, yet so unique. Do not miss the chance to see it!
3. Visit Ljubljana’s famous castle
If this is your first day in Ljubljana you may not want to enter the castle because you’ll probably end up spending a lot of time there, but don’t miss taking a walk around it. The park surrounding the castle is very (I mean it) beautiful and a walk there is a must! Do not miss to walk inside the castle’s yard itself – there are couple of coffee shops and a wonderful winery.
4. See the Dragon’s bridge
The dragon, as you may already know, is a symbol of Ljubljana and seeing the bridge is an absolute must-do if you’re there!
5. Lock your love on Butcher’s Bridge
An odd sentence isn’t it? Well, this bridge is fairly new – opened in 2010 – and even though there are more beautiful bridges in Slovenia’s capital, this one is without a doubt the most interesting one. Along with padlocks lined up like little soldiers of love on the steel wire railings, there are some disturbing sculptures around the bridge. The contrast of modernist art, glass panels (which the bridge is made of) and romance is quite an experience for the eye of the tourist.
MUST DO AT LUNCH
6. Try Union beer!
After this exploring, you will probably be ready for some lunch. As you’ll be back in the center of Ljubljana, you’ll find plenty of options for you to choose from and quite frankly, you can’t go wrong. Nevertheless, whatever you opt for don’t forget to order a glass of the local beer – Union. It will be best if the place of your choice serves the unfiltered version of it – it is wonderful!
7. Have lunch at BTC’s buffet (Restavracija Interspar)
One of the places we found by chance (and fell in love with) was the buffet at the only mall in Ljubljana – BTC. We found it while searching for Sports Direct (what can I say – we’re addicted to this store after living in London for a while). The buffet restaurant offers a very rich selection of salads, cooked meals, and deserts. A full course meal there will cost you between 5 and 7 euros, but I promise – you’ll come back to thank us for this recommendation!
MUST DO IN THE AFTERNOON
There are many things you can do in the afternoon in Ljubljana and choosing is really difficult. Here are a couple of suggestions.
8. Go to Tivoli park
The biggest park in Ljubljana is a wonderful choice for a peaceful afternoon surrounded by beautiful nature. If you’ve decided to add Tivoli to your list, make sure you have some nuts with you. While there is no guarantee, there’s a large chance you meet a friendly squirrel that’s willing to eat off your hand.
9. Have a drink at Neboticnik at sunset
Neboticnik (pronounced “ne-bo-tich-nik”) translates as Skyscraper and even though it isn’t exactly a skyscraper (it’s only 12 floors) it is one of the tallest buildings in Ljubljana and offers incredible views of the capital. Located in the heart of the city, the top three floors of Neboticnik consist of a nightclub, a restaurant and a cafe/bar place with a beautiful terrace with 360 degrees view of Ljubljana. I strongly recommend going there about an hour before sunset. Make sure you charge your camera – you will want to take pictures!
10. Have some čevapčiči at the Sarajevo ’84 restaurant
The Sarajevo ’84 restaurant is located right across the street from Neboticnik (on the left-hand side of Hotel Slon) and doesn’t look impressive at all before you walk in. Once inside, however, things are completely different: it is a spacious restaurant with an amazing menu. If you’ve ever been to Bulgarian and love the Shopska salad you can order it there, but whatever you do, do not miss the “čevapčiči v pol lepinje” with some creme cheese. I strongly suggest ordering the small portion (the large is too much), adding the onion and the cheese inside and eating it like a sandwich. It’s finger lickin’ good!
We recommend signing up for the Ljubljana’s city bikes – you may think Ljubljana isn’t big but the one thing we know from experience is that the place is so beautiful that you can easily get carried away and end up really tired. So take our advice and ease your life 🙂