The months of Summer are definitely the best if you want to enjoy the beautiful city of Ljubljana in bright sunlight. The Slovene capital has an abundance of fun and original activities to offer, but it can seem difficult to enjoy it as its best if it’s raining dogs and cats outside the window.
While planning your trip to Ljubljana, you may have discovered that it is one of the wettest European capitals, even in Summer. You have to be prepared to face the rain and get out of your bed to explore the many monuments, curiosities, and viewpoints. Here are ten ideas that will make you fall in love with the city.
Let’s find out together which hidden treasures of Ljubljana will brighten your Summer rainy day, through a Top 10 of your best possibilities.
1. Go Discover its Best Museums
Before even considering to complain about the weather, you definitely have to make a stop to Ljubljana’s best museums. They are a compulsory step in your discovery of the city, whether it rains, shines, or snow. These cultural institutions will offer you both a shelter and an almost free trip to the Slovene history and way of life.
You can dive into the country’s culture for about 3 to 7 euros for adults, and the numerous buildings offer different reductions for students, kids, and seniors. You should then be able to make a nearly exhaustive tour in enough museums to keep you busy all week.
If you are planning to spend a whole day discovering exhibits, Metelkova ulica is an absolute must-see. You will find different museums in this charming street, that count amongst the best in town.
Within a short walking distance, a large range of possibilities awaits you there: the Ethnographic museum, the National Museum of Slovenia, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Metelkova will illuminate your rainy day of Summer. The little extra is that you will be able to visit them all for the price of one ticket (5 euros for adults and 2.5 euros for students if you begin with the Contemporary Museum).
All around tow, a lot of other options face you. The National Gallery, the Railroad Museum, or again the town’s Museum are amongst the many diverse possibilities you have. More than escaping the rain, you will find there a unique experience.
There are museums in every capital or big city but the Ljubljana ones are definitely worth the sight, as they grant you an authentic trip inside the Slovene culture, history, and traditions that will guarantee you an unparalleled experience.
2. Find A Shelter in Europe’s Biggest Mall
If you are a shopaholic, the rain may become your perfect excuse to immerse yourself in an enormous shopping center. In the field of shopping, Ljubljana has way more to offer than any of its European counterparts.
Fifteen minutes away from the center, BTC Ljubljana is easily accessible by bus, taxi, or even bike. Once on the site, you will discover more than 500 shops organized as a replica of the city of Ljubljana: that is why its other name is BTC City.
Luckily, it is a covered city that will keep you busy at least a whole day: it takes some time to explore this 475,000 kilometers square area of clothing stores, retail outlets, souvenir shops, and even a significant market.
BTC Ljubljana offers so many activities that you will probably not try them all before the sun’s return. In the diverse recreational areas and leisure spots, you will have to stop by the bowling alley, the electric karting track, or even the internal tennis court.
This is also the place to go if you want to make your children happy and make them forget about the rain. It will only be a distant memory when you will sit at a table in Slovenia’s only Burger King, or take them to the Trampoline Park.
3. Definitely Enjoying Water in a Pool or a Terme
If it is already “lije kot iz škafa” (when it’s pouring like from a bucket), let’s fight evil with evil and completely dive into the water of an amazing Slovene Terme. Passing by a Slovene pool is an essential phase to any Slovenian trip, but it is even more mandatory in Summer.
Indeed, even if it is raining in Ljubljana, you might be surprised by the warm weather. Bathing on rainy days is then great to escape the rain’s unpleasantness and still enjoy fully your Summer trip.
Furthermore, it will allow you to immerse into the Slovene tradition of Thermal baths. For the fine connoisseurs, this whole country is particularly renowned for its health cures and spa programs. Ljubljana is no exception: the town offers a lot of pools, thermal baths, saunas, and even has its own Water Park nearby.
The Vodno Mesto Atlantis Water Park, located 30 minutes away from Ljubljana, is the perfect spa to spend a rainy summer day in. Once wet, you will easily be able to enjoy both the indoor and outdoor pool in family, but also its particularly remarkable wellness treatments, which include massages and saunas. It offers a complete experience of the Slovene culture in a short amount of time, perfect in case of a quick raining episode.
4. Visiting Metelkova and Other Alternative Places
If it begins to drizzle during your visit to Ljubljana, do not worry about missing your alternative experience of the city. First, you have to stop by Metelkova, possibly after having experienced one of the museums of the street.
This is a group of vacated barracks transformed into one of Europe’s most famous alternative and cultural center. Metelkova is now an artistic complex, a kind of open sky museum but where you will find a lot of shelters.
The Metlkova center is worth the sight any day of a rainy week, but you will find different things according to the date. If you are lucky, you may assist in a temporary exposition that takes place between the walls. On weekends, many concerts and parties are organized by the clubs of the center, that will definitely brighten your rainy evening.
If you are really adventurous and eager to visit other alternative places to remain busy, I advise you to take a look at the Cukrarna center, inside the walls of a former sugar fabric. You will ascertain that this ruined building was transformed into an amazingly entertaining place during the past few years, becoming a truly major cultural institution where you can visit a fantastic gallery and rest in the middle of a Book Palace.
5. Experimenting the Slovene Coffee and Beer Culture
If you are tired after your long day of visiting the city and experimenting with the diverse options of this list, there is nothing better than sitting on the banks of the Ljubljanica. The city and its inhabitants are used to the rain, even in Summer, so you will not have trouble finding a table at a sheltered terrace.
Rainy days of Summer offer a great opportunity to discover the Slovene drinking tradition without freezing outside. You will probably even have the chance to observe the flashes of lightning of the numerous Summer storms while enjoying your snack.
Tourists have then the chance to observe how much the Slovene culture is impregnated by the tradition of coffee, and that it is very well represented in Ljubljana. You will undoubtedly be impressed by the quality of the Slovene coffee, due to its historical implantation and the proximity with Italy, and by the number of places where you can taste it. If you are looking to taste some fancy coffee, do not hesitate to stop by Tozd café, on the riverbanks.
Indeed, coffee is to enjoy on the spot in Ljubljana, as it is a central aspect of the Slovene’s life. It also creates an opportunity to speak with the town’s inhabitants. There is always someone at a café’s terrace, even when the sky begins to become overcast.
If you are not fond of coffee, you can still enjoy a good pint of Union Beer or some fantasy microbrewed beverage. Beer in Slovenia is both a tradition and a socializing tool, and it will allow you to offer yourself a shelter for less than 3 euros the half-liter.
6. Have a Unique Entertainment Experience
Usually, rainy days during trips offer great opportunities to explore the unknown and look more attentively into brand-new experiences. Ljubljana is particularly well prepared to make you discover unexpected activities, as it is used to rainy weather and recently took the path of developing recreational playgrounds for both kids and adults.
First, Ljubljana is specializing in becoming a major city in the field of escape games. There was a huge boom of escape rooms creation in the past few years. There is now plenty of choices and they are becoming a very popular attraction. The whole family will be able to spend a great afternoon in the Enigmarium for example, if you have a certain budget.
The many escape games participate in Lubljana’s international influence, and they also allow you to discover the town in different ways. For instance, you can visit the town’s most known escape room, located inside the Castle of Ljubljana.
There is equally plenty of other options for you if you are eager to spend some time inside different universes: the Agatha Christie theme is very popular, as well as the one about Ljubljana’s Dragon or again about World War II.
You also should not miss the House of Experimentations, that will guarantee you to have some fun while testing a unique activity. Especially on rainy days, we understand while Ljubljana is competing for the title of European’s capital of culture: it succeeds to propose numerous diverse activities that you will rarely see elsewhere.
7. Delve Into The Caves Close From The City
If the above suggestions have not really convinced you and you are still looking for a more typical activity, you should consider visiting the caves near Ljubljana. The Postojna Cave, located only 40 minutes from the capital city, will let you immerse in an exotic experience that is not dependent on sunny weather.
They are the Slovenian most visited caves in the country. Since their discovery, two hundred years ago, 39 million visitors have pressed into the 14 miles of enchanting halls and galleries. This might be your best option if you are still looking for beautiful natural landscapes during rainy days. You will even have the chance to discover true baby dragons and the world’s oldest railway in an underground cave.
This is not something you can do everywhere and often, but it is always possible in Slovenia and in any weather! Likewise, don’t miss the opportunity to visit a real Slovenian mine, as you will be able to do in Idrija, a mercury mine. An activity like this one combines perfectly with a visit to the railway museum that you can find in Ljubljana.
8. Go Around Ljubljana’s Marvelous Historic Buildings
The Summer rain will probably not prevent you from discovering the many monuments of the city, that are absolutely worth the sight. Most monuments will also lead you to learn more about the town’s and country’s eventful past, as they are strongly impregnated in history.
You will then still be able to visit the wonders that convinced you to come and see Ljubljana. The most eye-catching religious buildings will shelter you for a while, letting you discover their richness and beauty, such as the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas or the Chapel of Saint George, perched on the hill of the Castle, which is also worth visiting.
It is also a perfect opportunity to visit all of Ljubljana’s landmarks and experience their essence. Amongst others, we recommend that you pay special attention to the City Hall and its exhibitions, and the residence of Plecnik, Ljubljana’s greatest architect.
If you wish to continue your journey, a stop at the National and University Library is a must. Created by Plecnik in 1774 and considered by many as his most important work, this place steeped in history is the ideal refuge for the more nostalgic, who enjoy devouring a good book in front of a rain-swept window.
9. Enjoy a Taste of Local Culinary Specialties
Between two visits and rain showers, Ljubljana’s restaurants will surely offer you the best welcome. The discovery of Slovenia cannot be made without the tasting of a comforting Carniolan sausage or Strukli, even more enjoyable on a rainy day.
Traditional cuisine can also be found outside of the restaurants throughout the whole city, and, luckily, in many covered places. For example, Ljubljana’s Central Market is the perfect place to wait for the rain to pass while you immerse yourself in the heart of the capital and Slovenian gastronomy.
For the more manual ones, a rainy day gives you the perfect opportunity to roll up your sleeves and sign up for a culinary workshop, combining the discovery of Slovene traditions and the sharing of family recipes while enjoying fine local food.
With all of these options, you will discover the vibrant Slovenian culinary heritage and its international influences coming from Hungary, Italy, or again Austria. It will allow you to learn a lot about the country, the inhabitants’ culinary habits, but also to taste one of the 1200 traditional Slovene dishes.
Just push the door of a honey, salt, or olive oil shop, to discover the real specialties of the country and even to bring back some meaningful souvenirs to your friends and family.
10. Brave the Wetness to Explore the Streets
However, even if the covered places have a lot to offer, wouldn’t it be a shame to have come all this way to stay locked up? In spite of the thousand riches of the city that can be appreciated indoors, you should not hesitate to brave the rain to appreciate the architecture and spirit of the city from the outside.
The banks of the River Ljubljanica can be very pleasant in the rain and can be enjoyed on foot, by bicycle, or by boat. You will discover the Dragon Bridge and the Triple Bridge in a new light that will give them even more authenticity. You can even go for a biking memory trip all around town through the POT path, on the traces of Ljubljana’s modern history during World War II.
Ljubljana will indeed always remain wet, even in Summer, so it is best to embrace it and explore it either way. Do not hesitate to enjoy the usual Summer treats: you will find out, for example, that a lot of people are eating ice cream even on rainy days.
The city is great under the rain and offers plenty of options for the less adventurous tourists: you do not have to worry about the weather when coming to Ljubljana in the Summer. You will always have the opportunity to book a trip to the Postojna caves for example.