When you listen to the country's capital, you probably think of stunning architecture, countless museums and galleries, churches, delicious food in restaurants, but you probably don't think about taking walks.
Well, Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a green jewel of Europe offering active and unique opportunities to embark on hikes within the city area.
There is no doubt that Ljubljana is one of the greenest cities in the world. The city has an impressive 542 square meters of green area per capita, some of which can be found in the heart of the historic city center. Lush green and wooded areas offer a perfect opportunity to active city vacations.
It is a green and active city, with a vibrant culinary scene, a wealth of museums and galleries to explore and tours and trips to do within the city or nearby. Time to make you plan future trips!
We have gathered the top 10 activities in Ljubljana to have the best active vacation in the city:
First impressions of the city
When arriving in Ljubljana, be sure to stop by Ljubljana Tourist Information Center (Adamič-Lundrovo nabrežje 2, 1000 Ljubljana), get the city map, say hi to the welcoming staff, get all the tourist information you need, buy Ljubljana Card and book a tour to see the city.
Purchasing a Ljubljana card will help you save on entrance fees to more than 20 of Ljubljana's top attractions, as well as covering bike rentals, wi-fi access, city bus and airport transportation costs . All the main things to do in Ljubljana will be covered.
To familiarize yourself with the city streets, it is best to book a guided tour at the beginning of your trip. Do you prefer to explore the city on foot, by bicycle, perhaps by boat? Ljubljana offers many interesting options that are thematically different and adapted to different interests. Check out the guided tours on here and let the pleasant walk through the city begin!
Discover the main attractions of the city
The picturesque image of the center of Ljubljana was marked by different historical periods and, mainly, by the works of the world famous architect Jože Plečnik. Take a walk through Ljubljana old town, be amazed by the Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings and visit Ljubljana Castle, the main attraction of the city. You can reach the castle by funicular or climb on foot. The tower and the castle walls offer the most beautiful views of the city.
Prepare your cameras while visiting the Prešernov trg Square, the heart of historic Ljubljana. Includes three of Ljubljana's most recognizable images: the pink façade of the Franciscan Church, the monument to the Slovenian poet France Prešeren and the Plečnik`s Triple Bridge.
Another perfect place for photos is the famous Fonte da Three Carniolan rivers (source of Robba) standing in front of the city hall. The Baroque masterpiece is the work of renowned sculptor Francesco Robba.
And lastly, don't forget to meet the dragons at Dragon bridge and find out why Ljubljana is also called the Dragon City. It is considered that if you did not take a picture with the dragon, you were not really in Ljubljana.
Cycle around the city and relax at Park Tivoli
Ljubljana is the city idea for cyclists. Its center is car-free and the network of cycle paths and circuits is constantly expanding. Without a bicycle? No problem! Bicycles can be rented literally throughout the city. You can join the locals and rent one Bicikelj, the city's bicycle sharing system or you can hire one on Ljubljana Tourist Information Center for a very affordable price. Ljubljana cardholders are entitled to a free bicycle rental for four hours.
Make sure to stop by the largest park in the city, Tivoli. Ljubljana's central park is a popular place to socialize and relax. There you will find runners, walkers, slackliners, yoga practitioners, children enjoying the playgrounds, mini golfers and people resting on the grass, enjoying the enchanting tranquility of the parks. You can also sit in a popular cafe called Čolnarna, next to the pleasant green area of the fish pond.
Tivoli Park is crossed by hiking and recreation trails that continue on the slopes of the Rožnik hill and allow an escape from nature in the city center.
There aren't many cities where the old center offers a walk through the forest to the top of a hill, but Ljubljana has it all.
The network of hiking trails it begins to spread out from the city center and becomes more and more dense as we move out. The green hearts of the city are the Rožnik and Šišenski hrib Landscape Park, Golovec, Raica and the popular Šmarna gora (Monte Santa Maria), the scenic "Ljubljana roof" with the city's favorite viewpoint. At the summit of Šmarna gora, you can enjoy a snack or lunch at Gostilna Ledinek, with a menu consisting of traditional Slovenian dishes.
Visit the Central Market and have a picnic
The central market is the heart of any city. This is certainly true for Ljubljana Market, which was designed by renowned architect Jože Plečnik. It is more than just a place to shop. Traditionally, it is also a place for residents to meet and have fun together. Sample some seasonal products from local farmers and producers, chat with them and buy the ingredients for your picnic.
Fortunately Ljubljana has many relaxing places to enjoy a picnic. You can relax on the Trnovski Pristan embankment, on the castle hill, in Tivoli Park or in Špica park, etc.
Paddle through the city center
The river Ljubljana, with its interesting bridges and picturesque embankments in the city center, is one of Ljubljana's most notable landmarks. The heart of Ljubljana's social life is the embankments of the Ljubljanica River, densely scattered by lively cafes offering outdoor seating. A good way to see the old city center and its famous bridges, picturesque buildings and vibrant embankments from a completely different angle is to participate a tourist boat cruise along the river.
However, Ljubljana with its bridges is much more than just photogenic. It offers unique experiences that you simply must try. In summer, you can enjoy an exciting water session in the center of Ljubljana and see the city from a different angle, taking a sup or one kayak tour.
Jog through the city center
Believe it or not, SightJogging it is something real and is getting more popular year by year. Ljubljana, with its wide streets and squares, is perfect for a pleasant run.
If you are a runner, you can combine your morning jog with exploring the city streets. Don't worry, the charming river Ljubljanica will show you the way. If you are in good condition, you can also go up the castle hill. You can also run your race on Path of remembrance and camaraderie, which surrounds Ljubljana, symbolizes the dedication to a healthy lifestyle and, at the same time, serves as a reminder of the city's history. It runs the 32.5 km long military barbed wire fence that surrounded Ljubljana during World War II. We guarantee that if you complete the entire circuit, you are ready to participate Ljubljana Marathon in the fall.
According to our calculations, during an hour-long run you will burn 803 kilocalories, which is equivalent to about two cakes. Speaking of cakes, make sure you reward yourself with the Stolp cake in Lolita. You deserve it!
Don't forget to explore the Ljubljana region
If there is still time left, we suggest that you not only enjoy the city, but take a trip off the beaten path and discover the surroundings Ljubljana Region. The city of Ljubljana is surrounded by fascinating smaller cities, lush nature and many, many opportunities for unforgettable adventures.
You will wonder if you landed in the Hobbit kingdom in the truly original village of traditional shepherds Velika planina. If you like adventures with adrenaline, we suggest you visit the Geoss Adventure Park in the village of Slivna, which offers climbing adventures in the treetops, a giant zip line and a unique opportunity to spend a night in the treetops. Cave enthusiasts will be able to admire the beauty of the Mayor's cave (Županova jama) located near the village of Cerovo. It consists of six chambers and a wealth of wonderful stalagmites, stalactites and other typical karst characteristics. If you like hiking and cycling, be sure to visit the Polhov Gradec Dolomites and embark on exploring the most photogenic hill in the Ljubljana region – Sveti Jakob or the hill once visited by royalty, Polhograjska Gora. If you’re there, make sure to stop at Polhov Gradec Mansion. You will not return empty-handed, as the hosts will not leave you without a Pack of Delights from Count Blagaj's land. If you are interested in the history and unique culture of stake dwellers, Ljubljana wetlands it is the place for you. Due to its incredible natural diversity and rich heritage, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Explore the vibrant culinary scene
Ljubljana is full of surprises, not to mention its splendid culinary scene. The city's culinary offer is strongly characterized by locally produced seasonal ingredients. Culinary adventurers can find a rich and diverse range of foods to suit every taste and budget.
We suggest that you try the local flavors and taste traditional dishes with modern makeup represented by Taste the Ljubljana brand. Reputed Ljubljana chefs like Igor Jagodic (Strelec), Jorg Zupan (Atelje) and Bine Volčič (Bistro Monstera), among others, creatively adapted old recipes to contemporary trends.
To try some local street food, we suggest Klobasarna where you can try a traditional Slovenian specialty – carniolan sausage. Another affordable way to experience Slovenian cuisine is to visit the Moji štruklji Slovenije, where they serve a daily variety of more than 20 different types of štruklji – cooked strudel – with creamy or classic fillings and toppings.
To start your day healthy, we are sure Breakfast in Ljubljana will prepare you for your long day of exploring the city. Checks Bistro EK or Slovenian house and try the most important meal of the day with high quality local and seasonal ingredients.
Take a look at the city's major art and history museums
Last but not least, mix your active adventure with a visit to at least one museum or, if you like the arts more, a gallery. Trust us, you will not regret it.
At the National Museum of Slovenia you will discover the rich heritage of diverse history and see the 60,000-year-old Neanderthal flute, which is the oldest musical instrument in the world. You can check the permanent display of the Ljubljana City Museum which shows the development of the city of Ljubljana from the prehistoric period to the present day. In the museum, it is particularly proud of two discoveries – the oldest wooden wheel in the world and a wooden arrow about 40,000 years old. Exceptional collections of technical heritage are on display at Technical Museum of Slovenia in Bistra, you can also admire Tito's limousines.
Ljubljana is also the city of exceptional artistic life. Its rich legacy is complemented by a lively contemporary art scene. O National gallery it mainly features older iconic works of art, such as works by Baroque artists, Slovenian impressionists and paintings by Ivana Kobilica and Zoran Mušič. The adjacent Modern Art Museum represents artistic phenomena of the 20th and 21st centuries, if you like to meet avant-garde artists from Eastern Europe, check Museum of Contemporary Art (MSUM) Metelkova.
There you have them, the top ten activities for the unforgettable adventure in a beautiful city of Ljubljana. The city is perhaps one of the smallest capitals in Europe, but it is huge in terms of the variety of what you can do, see and taste there.
If you are looking for an active holiday combined with rich gastronomic experiences and a thriving cultural scene, Ljubljana is without a doubt the right place for you.