Ljubljana (FYI pronounced lib-e-arna) wasn’t on my list of destinations to visit, until I visited.
I had a bit of time to kill as I made my way from Lake Bled to Zagreb. So, I thought, why not hop on the train and spend the day in Slovenia’s capital while I wait for my connection to Croatia.
And my god. It was quite possibly the best spontaneous decision I have ever made in my life. Why the hell wasn’t this little wonder on my list before?!
Stepping off the train and into the main square I was greeted by one of the most mesmerising buildings I had ever seen. I mean, I was really drawn to it. But more about that below.
Here’s my list of the best things to see and do while day tripping in lovely Ljubljana ♡
One of Ljubljana’s most iconic landmarks, the Triple Bridge sits in the middle of the city centre and connects the central Preseren Square with the Old Town and castle, running over the pretty Ljubljanica River. It’s the perfect place to stop and get a real feel of the city and its unreal atmosphere. Plus, it makes a pretty cool picture too (if you can manage to find the right angle!)
ENJOY LUNCH BY THE RIVER
I don’t know about you but any opportunity I get to eat by a river, I will take it. And Ljubljana is the perfect place to do so. With a strip of different restaurants (that cater for every taste) placed along the willow-tree lined terraces, there’s bound to be one place that takes your fancy. I ate at Ljubljana’s best pizzeria, Ljubljanski Dvor where the food was spectacular and the view was even better. It was like ultimate Venice vibes.
ADMIRE THE STREET ART
Pretty much every street you wander down has at least one piece of mesmerising street art. Even if it’s not the most perfect, it will certainly catch your eye. I know it did mine.
If you have more time than me, I think it’d definitely be worth a visit up to the castle for views across Ljubljana. If I had more time to research before I went, I definitely would have gone up. And if you don’t fancy the trek up, you can hop on the Funicular Railway for €4. But even if you don’t make it up there, you can see it towering over the entire city. It truly is a sight.
CHILL IN A BEER GARDEN
Exploring the city, we stumbled across an alleyway which led to a little precinct of restaurants and pubs with the most magical beer gardens. Cutty Sark was the perfect stop to chill with a beer and soak up the atmosphere. You can’t get much more Eastern European than that.
Standing boldly in the middle of Presern Square sits Franciscan Church (the big pink and white building). And it’s been branded the most photographed building In Ljubljana for a reason. It’s the first thing I noticed as I took my first steps into Ljubljana, and I couldn’t stop staring. I don’t think the pictures do it justice. It’s just the most beautiful building I have ever seen. And I’ve been to Sagrada Familia. Enjoy the views of this pretty little sight and get some pics from as many different angles as you can!
Top tip: You can also pop inside for free to discover what lies within its beauty.
A bit of history for all you historians out there:
. The monastery was first built between 1646 & 1660 and completed around 1700.
. Until the end of the 18th century, the monastery was the home of Augustine monks.
. The monumental main altar was built by sculptor Francesco Robba in the middle of the 18th century.
. It’s adorned with Ljubljana’s largest Madonna statue, a copper statue of St. Mary.
. The inside of the church was painted with frescoes by Matevž Langus in the mid-19th century.
. It was rebuilt in the 19th century and renovated in 1993.
. In 2008 it was named the cultural monument of national significance of Slovenia
It took me a while to find the iconic Dragon Bridge, but when I did, it was definitely worth it. Adorned with four famous dragon statues that look over the city, the Dragon Bridge is a unique creation that crosses the Ljubijanca river and offers an insight into Art Nouveau architecture. You can’t say you’ve been to Ljubljana if you haven’t checked this masterpiece out.