Updated: 25th November 2014

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This year has been my year of Europe (before it became my year of Asia as well). I have been lucky enough to visit 15 of its wonderful capital cities. But my favourite is still the same as this time last year. The charming, quirky and cool capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana.

visit ljubljana slovenia

Only a short train ride from the natural beauty of Lake Bled, which by now is making it onto the main stream Europe destination list you can easily visit both destinations in a long weekend.

So, why do I love it so much? What makes it my favourite capital city and why should you visit Ljubljana, Slovenia on your next trip?

Ljubljana Photography

WANDERING ON FOOT

I can happily while away my days in Europe wandering down little alleys, peering in shop windows and soaking up the coffee culture. This is one city totally suited for that! It is compact enough and centres around the river. Some people say its like a small relaxed Amsterdam, I say that’s a good thing.

SURROUNDED BY NATURE

Slovenia is a stunning country, both because of its hospitality and its incredible scenic surroundings. The view from the top of the castle overlooking the mountains is beyond impressive, especially if caught at sunset.

FOODIE HEAVEN

When you are done with your coffee culture for the day, or your sunset beers along the river Ljubljana packs a punch for dining options. The cobbled streets and outside tables make for a great surrounding to enjoy some of the local dishes including the famous Bled cake (that is, if you can’t make it to Bled for the real deal.) Head to the market for a lively way to feast your way through some of the local Slovenia sausage specialities.

Slovenia Sunset
Slovenia Ljubljana Eating
Slovenia Night Life

GET SHOPPING

This is my kind of city for having a little splurge. Sure, you have plenty of high streets names but down these small streets sit some pretty unique gems. From vintage vinyl stores to tiny boutiques and collectables stores you can spend a good few hours picking out stuff that might not be required but will make your house look that little bit cooler.

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SIMPLY ENJOY A LAID BACK CAPITAL

Capital cities can be brash, bold and beautiful at once however here in Ljubljana you can just chill out and go with the flow. With plenty of other spots nearby to explore use this as a base before getting out to enjoy Slovenia. It is certainly a country high on my list to get back to.

Slovenia has so much more to offer though and you could easily fill weeks exploring this beautiful country. Check out this incredible list of day trips from Ljubljana to see just how stunning this nation truly is.

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Slovenia Ljubljana Castle
121 replies
  1. Seema says:

    When we planned on visiting Ljubljana, I had never heard of the place. Still can’t pronounce the name correctly. But I fell in love with this vibrant town. Your blog conveys the essence of the city quite well.

    Reply
  2. Stojan Špegel says:

    The Coal mine museum of Slovenia, Velenje
    The underground adventure

    Prepare yourself for an adventure like never before.
    Visit the Coal mining museum of Slovenia in Velenje, which is one of the most popular museums in Slovenia.
    Put on the miners boots for a short time, descent 160 m beneath the surface of the earth and go on an interesting journey into the once active mine tunnels of the mine Škale, which are now a part of the museum.
    Come and convince yourself how mysterious the underground world is. In the company of our guides you will enter the coal mine exactly as the miners did last century. Dressed in mining clothes, overcoat, with a helmet on your head and with a snack in your hand, you will get into the coal mine, 160 meter deep, through the Old shaft from 1888. In the underground tunnels you’ll see in an hour and a half a vivid demonstration of how the miners work looked like in the past and how it does today.
    http://www.rlv.si/muzej
    Velenje
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0_CGH3ZxFw

    Reply
  3. Simon Svetlik says:

    … road trip definitely; you can “pick” amongst many themes: one is wine regions with “open” cellars (of course you’ll have to try lots of finest wine varieties which are also still “undiscovered”) and beautiful sceneries (you’ll need sober driver)…

    Reply
  4. Iva says:

    So nice to read. :) And speaking of foodie heaven, you are more than welcome next time you’re here to join my personal foodwalks. The tasty side of Ljubljana awaits you. :) I also second Soča river valley, wine region Goriška brda, Vipava valley, tiny Karst villages (think Coljava, hehe), and I also like to take a dip in Laško natural spa. Or any other spas. Welcome!

    Reply
  5. Kevin Casey says:

    Hey man.

    That’s a really cool article. I’m Irish and live in Dublin but I’ve also lived in Barcelona, London, Catania, Almeria, Trieste, Taipei, Ciudad Real, Limerick, Galway, Toronto, Reading, Daejeon (SK) and I have to say Ljubljana is one of my favs! Also come to Ireland and you’ll always be welcomed! Slainte!

    Reply
  6. Airtrail Slovenia says:

    Good post, I liked your way of writing. Personaly as a local I would say that the best places are outside the capital. On a very small place you can take a look at alps, karts, adriatic coast, vinecountry and even pannonian plain.

    Reply
  7. Airtrail Slovenia says:

    Good post, liked your way of writing. Personaly as a local would say that Ljubljana is beautiful, but still best places in Slovenia are outside the capital. On a very small place you can take a look at alps,karts, vinecountry, adriatic coast and even pannonian plain.

    Reply
  8. Robert says:

    Make a visit to the upper Kolpa river valley, combined with a tripp to Ribnica – center of wooden ware making in the province of Dolenjska (Lower Carniola). Or why not just make a roadtrip around whole of this less known part of the country? =)

    Reply
  9. tinapogorelcnik says:

    Haha, Daniel! I see many Slovenians already give you tips for your next visit! Maybe you will need to stay more than just for a weekend? :) Already suggested Velika Planina and Soča are our favourite in summer, but also very crowded. I fyou like nature, Nadiža is very popular too!
    If you will not be able to go outside of Ljubljana, due to lack of time, I suggest you have a walk to the Cankarjev vrh- Rožnik. Locals usually go there for a quick escape from the “city” in the middle of the working day and really good Slovenian dishes are served in a restaurant on the top too. Koseški bajer is on the other side of the hill, so you have Rožnik practically on your way :)

    Reply
    • Daniel James says:

      Yes, haha. I think I’m going to need a few weeks, which is fine by me!

      Cant believe your country has so many beautiful places to visit. Nadiža also is somewhere that looks to good to miss!

      Thanks for leaving your comments :)

      Reply
  10. Veronika says:

    Many people recommanded Soca valley. Nobody mentioned, that beside rafting, you can go cayaking on Soča. Furthermore, in that area are some caves you can visit, and some of the most beautiful canyons in Europe.
    If you are up for an adrenalin experience in the middle of beautifule nature, I higly recommand those.
    If you go canyoning, I would not choose Sušec, because it is the most touristic one.
    You can find all the information and a great guide for all the activities here:
    http://www.outdoor-galaxy.com/canyoning-bovec/

    Reply
  11. Hablando says:

    If you are interested in sightseeing a medieval city, you should visit Škofja Loka. It is a small city, it takes you 20 minutes with train from Ljubljana station via Jesenice, train ticket costs cca. 2€ in one direction….There, you can visit Škofjeloški grad (castle), eat in Jesharna (great pizzas, pasta, salads etc.), and for desert, stop by Homan, where they have amazing cakes and other deserts…but visit it in summer time, in winter it is quite dull, except for the local bars with amazing coffee (yep, typically Balkan style, great coffee all day long hehe). In summer, city is fairly crowded with tourists, which are interested in Upper square, with tiny old houses and small shops. Škofja Loka will make you busy for a day, check it out ;) I hope I helped.

    Reply
  12. Nina says:

    It is always nice to hear someone saying such beautiful things about my home land :) Apart from Soča valley (which really is amazing if you are into nature) I’d add heart shapped vineyard on Plački vrh and cute little old town in Radovljica (close to Bled) where you can taste amazingly tasteful slovenian culinary.

    Anyway…I also am a traveler so if you are up for sharing some stories in and about Slovenia, let me know (:

    Safe journey!

    Reply
    • Daniel James says:

      Thank you so much for the comment!

      Radovljica looks so cute! I can see myself eating a lot on my next visit haha!

      Sounds great, ill let you know when I am next in your lovely country.

      Safe travels to you too!

      Reply
  13. vanesa says:

    Visit Prekmurje and Prlekija… Jeruzalem and its wines and good food and nice scenery in Goričko and happy people of course:) will make u like Slovenia even more.

    Reply
  14. Jonas (@JonasBadalic) says:

    Great article, Ljubljana is really stunning! But you really should stop in Vipava Valley on your next visit. Vipava has some great winemakers, restaurants and is very rich in natural and cultural heritage. It offers sports activity that you can mix with great gourmet offer. The Vipava river is actually the only river in Europe with a delta spring and in the old days, the royal family from Vienna had a castle which is now almost fully rebuilt. Since I’m a local there just let me know when you arrive and I can give you a quick tour or give you some of the sights you should see in Vipava.

    Reply
  15. ProtSI says:

    Goriška Brda-village Šmartno is the most beautiful natural monument in Slovenia. – A glass of of excellent wine and top slices of ham with spectacular views of the Brda vineyards and orchards.

    Reply
  16. Lara says:

    I tkink you should visit Idrija! There is a lot to see and you can try Idrija speciality dumplings..they are just so jummy! And ofcourse you must visit Piran and Portorož :) Greetings from Idrija, Slovenia

    Reply
  17. skokicaRebecca says:

    Kranjska Gora , with Vršič (highest car pass trough mountains) and Zelenci (water source of river Sava)
    cycling in the mine

    Reply
  18. Nina says:

    Hi,

    Very nice words about Ljubljana,thanx a lot:)
    My recommendations:
    Mountain area: Bohinj area; river Soča,Bovec,Kobarid;Kranjska Gora, Planica,Vršič;Logarska dolina
    Coastal side: Piran,piranske soline, small villages in inner part of slovenian Istria
    Panonian area: Lendava,Goričko, Ptuj
    …..

    Reply
  19. sonx says:

    River Kolpa is nice. Or go to slovenian mountains:Triglav, Mangrt,… There is hundreds of stunning Mountains in Slovenia
    Lake Cerknisko jezero is nice as well…

    Reply
  20. Peter says:

    You are warmly welcome in our little, friendly, cozy and international Capital, ifyou come back. There are also mayn other sights of our beautiful country you hould see.

    Reply
  21. Cx2075 says:

    Restaurants: Skaručna (close to Aerodrom Ljubljana airport; a bit pricey, but well worth it), Mahorčič (moderate prices, totally cool food). Pizzas: Da Mattia (Trzin), Garaža (Ljubljana).
    Vistas: Logarska dolina, Piran.

    Reply
  22. irinasmiht says:

    škocjan cave, Postojnska cave ( although a bit too touristic) and definetely the coast, it’s very mediterrenian. Bohinj lake is also very relaxing

    Reply
  23. Alex says:

    If you’re in town just for the weekend, make sure you take Top Ljubljana Foods food tour – a fantastic combination of a food walk and city tour! Google them!

    Reply
  24. Jure says:

    With bike from Kobarid to Goriška Brda.. There is one paved road with no traffic from Kolovrat range directly to Brda Wine region.

    Reply
  25. Naty says:

    If you like nature and sports then Soča valley is a must
    And of course the whole coastline with the old city like Piran.
    Hope it helps :)

    Pozdrav from Slovenia,
    Naty

    Reply
  26. Tamala says:

    If you haven’t been in mercury mine yet,than go to Idrija. Small town west from Ljubljana. At the same day you can visit Piran on Slovenian coast as well. Or Postojna cave,or go to Soča valley.

    Reply

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