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Best things to do in Ljubljana & Central Slovenia

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Slovenia  /  Ljubljana & Central Slovenia

Top 15 things to do in Ljubljana & Central Slovenia

1. Ljubljana Old Town, Ljubljana

Walk down the cobbled streets of Ljubljana Old Town, nestled between the river and the hilltop castle. The historical center features local designer shops, cafes, and restaurants, a farmer's market, several historical bridges, and the only row of 19th-century buildings that survived the 1895 earthquake. The charming narrow lanes lead to two squares: the city square with the city hall and a copy of the 18th-century "three rivers" fountain, and the upper square. Taste local specialties, enjoy watching street artists, and take in the architectural details, such as wall carvings, sculptural decoration, or elaborate metalwork on fences and balustrades. The nearby castle and tower provide panoramic views of the city.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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2. Ljubljana Castle, Ljubljana

Walk the steep climb or take a funicular to reach Ljubljana Castle on the top of the hill, offering panoramic views of the Old Town. Visible from every corner of the city, the castle was built in the middle of the 15th century and served as a military hospital and arsenal in the 17th and 18th centuries. Walk over the remains of the fortifications turned into a promenade and join a guided tour, where costumed characters representing different historical periods will take you back to the time of wars, Ottoman invasions, and Habsburg rulers. The castle houses restaurants serving traditional Slovene food, and hosts art exhibitions, concerts, theatre shows and an open-air cinema. Shop for traditional handcraft at the gallery by the entrance.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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3. Room Escape Games, Ljubljana

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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4. Triple Bridge, Ljubljana

Stylishly marking the entrance to the Old Town, Triple Bridge combines a 19th-century stone bridge sandwiched between two side bridges added in 1930s. The stone bridge linking the main square with the Old Town and the market replaced an old wooden one in 1842. Due to busy traffic, the city employed the famous Slovenian architect Joze Plecnik to reconstruct the old bridge. Instead of widening it, he built two side pedestrian bridges with stairways leading down to the riverbank. The middle bridge, which used to be crossed by cars, buses, and a tram line, is today lined with benches. Look for an inscription at the base of the bridge dedicating it to Archduke Franz Charles in 1842.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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6. Food Tours, Ljubljana

Suggested duration: 4h 30 min
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7. Tivoli Park, Ljubljana

Enjoy some outdoor recreation among the bucolic lawns, pastures, rose gardens, and wooded areas of Tivoli Park. Nestled among rolling hills, the largest park in the city was laid out in 1813 and is also home to a number of cultural sites, such as a 17th-century mansion and a neoclassical castle with the fountain guarded by four cast-iron dogs. At the park's entrance, notice the monument dedicated to the founder of the Slovene national identity, Primoz Trubar. Kids can enjoy adventure playgrounds with mini-golf areas and a zoo. The lawn beside a shallow rectangular pond features an open-air library, which moves into the nearby greenhouse during winter.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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8. Dragon Bridge, Ljubljana

Walk across the Art Nouveau Dragon Bridge and admire the four large dragons protecting its corners, symbols from the city's coat-of-arms. Built at the very beginning of the 20th century, it was the city's first reinforced concrete bridge and Slovenia's first bridge paved with asphalt. Floral motifs decorate its arch and railings, while smaller griffins embellish the plinths of its eight bronze candelabras. Notice the dashes of red paint at the dragons' mouths and claws, recent additions by an anonymous enthusiast.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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9. Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, Ljubljana

Admire the elaborate details of Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, known for its high-Baroque exterior and the distinctive pinkish color of its outside walls. Dominating the square on the left bank of the Ljubljanica River, the church was built by Augustinian priests between 1646 and 1660, but Franciscans painted it red when they took over in the 18th century. The three sets of stairs lead to the main entrance with a copper statue of the Madonna with Child standing at the top of the gable. Notice the onion-shaped spires topping the bell towers by the presbytery. The original 19th-century wall paintings were damaged by the 1895 earthquake and the new frescoes were painted in 1930s. Don't miss the highlight of the interior: the Baroque main altar carved by Francesco Robba in 1738.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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10. Union Experience, Ljubljana

Discover a mysterious world of production and indulge in the exquisite taste of our beer. A must try experience for all lovers of brewing industry.

UEX tour (without Brewery production tour) Children are allowed in the Union Experience attraction as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Children age 15+ can visit also Brewery production tour.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. Cathedral of St. Nicholas, Ljubljana

Visit one of the city's landmarks and a prime example of mature Baroque in Slovenia at Cathedral of St. Nicholas. Modeled after Rome's most famous Jesuit church Il Gesu, the building replaced an earlier Gothic church, dominating the skyline with its twin towers and green dome. The most prominent features of the exterior are the elaborately decorated wooden and bronze doors and Roman tombstones built in the exterior walls. Notice the keystone with Christ near the entrance, which was preserved from the older church. The Gothic pieta and statues of significant bishops and saints stand in the niches of the facade. The interior features a painted dome and the altar of Corpus Christi surrounded by angels.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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12. Metelkova, Ljubljana

See another side of Slovenia's capital in one of the alternative clubs of Metelkova. Often compared to Copenhagen's Kristiania, Metelkova is a self-declared "autonomous culture zone" occupying former military barracks painted with street art. Its seven buildings include a hostel set in a former prison, several clubs and live music venues, artist studios, art galleries, and the only women's center in the country. This city-within-a-city hosts numerous social and cultural events and is home to several community clubs for gays and lesbians, as well as for people with disabilities.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. Ljubljanica River, Ljubljana

See the city's famous buildings, sculptures, and bridges from a different perspective by floating down down Ljubljanica River. The canal follows the U-shaped route dividing the Old Town from the newer parts and curving around the hill with the city castle perched on top of it. Many visitors opt for a 30-minute boat ride, but standup-paddle and kayak tours offer an active way to navigate the river (more time is required for these tours). Alternatively, stroll the paved path along the canal, lined with cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, and boutiques. Have some mulled wine on a boat or grab a scoop of gelato and watch for wild otters splashing around in the water.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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14. Butcher's Bridge, Ljubljana

Butcher's Bridge is a sort of an open-air gallery featuring sculptures and miniatures by contemporary Slovenian artist Jakov Brdar. While another famous Slovenian artist, Joze Plecnik, conceived the bridge in 1930s, the modern bridge, with a stairway at its left entry and glass walkways at the sides, is much simpler than the original plan. Walk among figures like Adam and Eve, Satyr and Prometheus, and take in great view of the city. Note the multitude of love locks that have been attached to the railing and even some sculptures.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Nature & Wildlife Tours, Ljubljana

Suggested duration: 8 hours
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