Ljubljana is a beautiful city in the center of Slovenia. It is the capital and the most important city to visit in the country. If you are a tourist in Slovenia and would like to stay for a few days before going to another town, you might ask yourself how many days to stay in Ljubljana.
In Ljubljana, there are many things to see, from the Ljubljana Castle to Tivoli Park. There are also many museums, and monuments to see, and restaurants to try. To have the time to visit the city without rushing, we would advise you to stay for three days.
Ljubljana is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, but it is also a small city, with around 200,000 inhabitants. It is relatively quick to visit, however, it does not mean you will have seen everything after one day in the capital. On the contrary, to fully appreciate the city, you will need to take your time. Let’s take a look at what to do for three perfect days in Ljubljana.
Day 1: Discover the City and the Castle
Morning: Take a Walking Tour of the City-Center
When you arrive in Ljubljana, the first thing you need to see is the old city-center. It is where most people go and where you will find life, attractions, and restaurants. Before you start visiting Ljubljana without knowing where to go, we advise you to take a walking tour of the capital.
This way, you will know where to look and what there is to know about the city in terms of history and culture. Ljubljana is a city with lots of things to look at and understand.
With a walking tour, you will learn about Jože Plečnik’s masterpieces around town, the Art Nouveau buildings, the Slovene history, and the numerous traditions.
Visiting town with a guide is also a perfect way to get some tips about where to go to eat or what to visit for the rest of your trip.
Lunchtime: A Taste of Traditional Gastronomy
After your visit, which generally lasts for about two hours, you will want to get something to eat. Eating out is not very expensive in Slovenia and it is great to discover the Slovene culinary specialties.
A good restaurant to taste traditional food in Sokol, in the center of Ljubljana. It is open every day between 7 am and 11 pm (except on Sundays when it opens at 10 am). It is a very good restaurant that is also vegetarian-friendly. You can check their menu and prices directly on the website.
Ciril Metodov trg 18, Ljubljana, Slovenia
phone: +386 1 439 68 55
If you are visiting Ljubljana on a Friday, do not think twice about where you want to eat for lunch. You should definitely go to the open kitchen near the market place. Over there, you will find stands where many great restaurants sell their products street-food style. It is the best place to eat in Ljubljana on a sunny Friday.
Afternoon: Visit the Castle
Since you have arrived in the city center of Ljubljana, you have necessarily noticed the fairy-tale castle overlooking the city. The afternoon is the perfect moment to visit the castle. You can climb up through different places by walking for 10 to 15 minutes, or take the funicular.
The Castle is nice, and you can enter the courtyard for free, however, we do not advise visiting the tower which you would have to pay for. The viewpoint from the top of the tower is not particularly impressive in comparison to the ones you will already have once you are up the hill. If you want to see a viewpoint from the castle, you can take the metal staircase for free.
Here are the prices for the Castle and the funicular. If you are interested in more activities in the Castle, do not forget to check their website for prices and timetables:
Castle Ticket – without funicular:
- Adults: 10.00 €
- Children (7-18 years), students, seniors, groups over 15 persons: 7.00 €
- Family: 24.00 €
Funicular Railway one way:
- Adults: 2.20 €
- Children (7-18 years), students, seniors, groups over 15 persons: 1.50 €
- Family: 6.00 €
Funicular Railway return:
- Adults: 4.00 €
- Children (7-18 years), students, seniors, groups over 15 persons: 3.00 €
- Family: 10.00 €
Here are the timetables for the Castle and the funicular:
- January to March and November: 10 am – 8 pm
- April, May, and October: 9 am – 9 pm
- June to September: 9 am – 11 pm
- December: 10 am – 10 pm
phone: +386 1 306 42 93
Grajska planota 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Evening: Slovene Dolce Vita
In the evening, you should stay in the center to find a nice restaurant or eat a burek, a traditional Slovene street food. Ljubljana is the best city to stay a long time sitting at the terrace of a restaurant, a bar, or a cafe, looking at the Ljubljanica and enjoying the dolce vita.
Day 2: Ballads in the Green Ljubljana
Morning: Biking Around the Trail of Remembrance
In the morning, hire a bike at the Tourism Office or with your Urbana Card to go for a ride thru the POT. The trail of remembrance is a path surrounding Ljubljana. It is the place where Fascist Italy put a barbed wire fence to prevent Slovenians from leaving Ljubljana during World War II.
The trail is now a beautiful place for biking, especially considering how much Slovenians love biking. On your ballad, you will see a lovely lake, the countryside, and many other amazing landscapes. You will feel far from a capital city while being right next to it.
Afternoon: Visit Tivoli Park
The Tivoli Park is a 5 square kilometers park near the center of Ljubljana. In only ten minutes you can join the most beautiful park in the city. It is not only the biggest and most beautiful park in the capital, it is also the meeting point of Slovenians looking for fresh air or a place to jog.
There are thousands of things to see in Tivoli Park. Here is a list of the most important monuments to check out:
- The Tivoli Castle, at the end of the Jakopič promenade. It is now a graphic arts gallery.
- The Ljubljana Zoo, it the National Zoo of Slovenia, where you will find animals from the world as well as animals native from Slovenia.
- The Cekin Manor, it was built in 1720 and is now a Natural History Museum, with exhibits like Slovenes from the 20th century.
- The Tivoli Pond, it is one of the loveliest places in Tivoli. You can rest near the pond where ducks and other birds live surrounded by water lillies. There is also a children’s park right next to it.
- Hala Tivoli, it is a sports complex inside the Park where you can go for hockey, basketball, handball, or relaxing at the sauna.
- The Park’s Sculptures: Deček s piščalko, Pastirček, or Sožitje.
Evening: Delicious Pizzeria and Amazing Ice Cream
After your long day inside the greenest parts of Ljubljana, you deserve to take a break at one of the best pizzerias in Ljubljana. We advise you to taste the pizzeria Foculus, on the way from Tivoli Park to the center, but you can also check our top 10 best pizzerias in Ljubljana.
After your pizza, walk back to the center and eat delicious ice cream at one of the many ice cream places in the center. If you want big ice cream, you should head to Cacao, and eat it at the terrace along the Ljubljanica. If you are looking for something else, take a look at our top 7 best ice cream places in Ljubljana.
Day 3: Get to Know Ljubljana’s Culture and Alternative Scene
Morning: Take a ride on a Boat Along the Ljubljanica
For a nice morning on your last day, you should go for a small boat journey on the Ljubljanica. You will find many different visits to the city by boat, going from the Marshes to the city-center.
To know everything about the Ljubljanica and the different boat trips you can take, check out our article about the Ljubljanica River in the center of the capital.
Crossing the city by boat is an unforgettable experience that allows you to see Ljubljana’s beauty from a new perspective.
After your trip, you will probably be hungry. Our next tip for you is to eat brunch at Le Petit Cafe, the best brunch place in the city. The restaurant is vegetarian-friendly and is open from Monday to Friday between 12:00 and 22:00, on Saturday between 13:00 and 22:00, and on Sundays between 13:00 and 17:00.
Le Petit Cafe
Trg francoske revolucije 4, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
phone: +386 1 251 25 75
Afternoon: Visit Museums
In the afternoon, you should head to the museums for a cultural visit. There are many interesting museums in Slovenia, and especially in Ljubljana. We would advise to visit one of the Metelkova Museum or the Railway Museum.
The Railway Museum is a unique museum, perfect for families. It will take you through the history of the Slovene railway. You will also see old trains, locomotives, and machines, which will amaze your kids.
Evening: Alternative Ljubljana
If you are into alternative lifestyles, or if you like street art, you should definitely pass by Metelkova. It is a former squat that is now the heart of Ljubljana’s street art. At the end of the week, especially after 1 pm, it is the perfect place for an alternative nightlife with its many clubs and bars.
If you are not a big party goer, visit Metelkova during the day to see the wonderful pieces of art. It is a unique place in the city.
Finish your trip by a drink on top of one of the tallest buildings in Ljubljana, Nebotičnik, also called the Skyscraper. It is the perfect place to end your three days in town, looking over the entire city with a delicious cocktail (or mocktail) in hand.
Three Unforgettable Days
Ljubljana is a beautiful city. If you are wondering how many days to stay in the capital, we advise you to stay for three days. These will be three full days that will allow you to see the most beautiful parts of town while still enjoying the dolce vita Slovenes love.
Pingback: Ljubljana Europe Green City 2016 (and Other Awards Received) | Slovenia Tour