The Slovenian city of Ljubljana (pronounced Lube-liana) is small compared to other capital cities in Western Europe, but this charming little town has a lot to offer. Its cobblestone streets are loaded with sculptures, artwork, and little squares. Restaurants, bars, and cafes line the streets offering delicious Italian infused food and local beer and wine. And to top it all off, Ljubljana is relatively inexpensive for food, activities, and to explore!
Below we outline six things you need to see in Ljubljana. You can see most of what Ljubljana has to offer in a day, giving you time to explore some of Slovenia’s other enchanting destinations like Lake Bled and Piran. For a list of other places to visit in Slovenia, see our article on 5 places you’ll fall in love with in Slovenia.
1. Ljubljana Castle
Ljubljana Castle sits upon a hill 375-meters east of the Old Town and dates back to the early 16th century. It’s free to walk around, but you’ll have to pay to enter the Watchtower, where you will get the best views of Ljubljana.
There are several ways to access the castle, with the easiest being a 70m-long funicular that leaves from Old Town. You can explore the castle’s various attractions at your own pace, or join one of the 90-minute Time Machine tours, led by costumed guides who walk you through six of the city’s most noteworthy periods, starting with Roman Emona.
2. Prešernov Trg
The centerpiece of Ljubljana’s wonderful architectural aesthetic is this marvelous square, a public space of understated elegance that not only serves as the link between the Center district and the Old Town but as the city’s favorite meeting point.
3. Triple Bridge
The Triple Bridge is probably the most unusual and the most frequently crossed bridge in Ljubljana. Three picturesque bridges span the river right next to one another and connect the main square and a newer part of town with the Old Town and Central Market. Offering you a view of the river Ljubljanica, Old Town, Prešernov Trg, and Central Market, Triple Bridge is a perfect place to stop and feel the city.
4. Dragon Bridge
The Dragon Bridge, adorned with famous dragon statues, appears in the most recognizable images of Ljubljana. If you haven’t been photographed next to a Dragon Bridge dragon, you can hardly claim that you have visited Ljubljana. The four dragon statues, which look slightly terrifying and almost real, are a masterpiece that has been causing imaginations to run wild with stories since the bridge was built.
5. Central Market
Central Market is worth a trip both to stock up on provisions or just have a look around. Go first to the vast open-air market (Tržnica na Prostem) just across the Triple Bridge. Here you’ll find a daily farmers market (except Sunday). In the next neighboring square – Pogačarjev trg – there are always stalls selling everything from foraged wild mushrooms and forest berries to honey and homemade cheeses.
6. Tivoli Park
Tivoli Park is Ljubljana’s largest and most beautiful park, stretching right into the city center. The park, covering an area of approximately five square kilometers, is crossed by three grand horse chestnut tree-lined walks and landscaped with ornamental flower beds, interesting trees, and numerous statues and fountains. It’s the perfect spot to stop and relax after a long day of sightseeing!