Ljubljana is a capital of Slovenia, located in the center of the country with approximately 300.000 inhabitants. One of its most representable trademarks is how green it is – green in the sense of mentality and pleasantly green to the eye. Ljubljana is one of these cities, where you can live for your entire life but still be amazed by its beauty.
A Weekend in Ljubljana
Ljubljana is relatively small, but offers great sightseeing opportunities. A Weekend getaway is enough to see the main sights and to get a general feeling of the city.
In the morning of the first day, take a walk along the Ljubljanica River, have some coffee and go for a boat tour, just to get some insight and a perception of the city. It usually lasts for an hour, hour and a half and there are many providers. After the boat tour, go to the Prešeren Square, with the famous Prešeren Monument in the middle. France Prešeren is a Romantic Slovene poet and the author of Slovenian anthem.
Right next to Prešeren Square is a Triple Bridge, another famous sight. The main bridge dates back to 1842 and was meant for traffic. Two side bridges that flank it, were meant for pedestrians and date back to 1932, added by Jože Plečnik, a famous Slovenian architect. Today there is no traffic in the city center of Ljubljana.
Just steps away are two more bridges that represent the iconic Ljubljana image – Dragon Bridge and Butcher’s Bridge. Dragons are an emblem of Ljubljana, you can spot them in the coat of arms and randomly all over the city. There are two legends associated with the dragon, the first one is that a Greek hero founded the city by killing a dragon and the second one, that every time a virgin passes the bridge, the four dragons of the bridge wag their tale.
Go for some traditional Slovenian food in one of the great restaurants. After lunch go to the Ljubljana Castle and enjoy the mesmerizing view over the city. You can either take a funicular or walk up the hill, it is not too difficult or far. The castle is approximately 900 years old and was changed many times throughout the history. There is a nice café, a restaurant and a gallery.
In Ljubljana, nightlife is very strong, so go out for some drinks, or to a concert or a play. If you are up for something different, visit Metelkova Mesto – a sight of ex-army barrack, the exterior of the seven buildings is a collage of artwork from both Slovenian and international artists. You can also visit a popular club or bar in Ljubljana.
In the morning go for a delicious brunch in the center. In the forenoon go to the National Gallery, it has been recently renovated, so the building is super nice. If you like impressionism and portrait painting, there will be few gems for you. You can visit any other interesting museum in Ljubljana.
A great lunch option that is also a nice attraction is the Central Market. Designed by Jože Plečnik in 1939, with three market areas – covered part where you can buy lots of local products, open part where there are mostly fresh fruit and vegetables stalls and a fish market, which is especially nice because it hugs the river bank.
In the afternoon, visit the Cathedral of St. Nicolas, which is a church with strong baroque qualities in the inside and outside. Another church definitely worth a visit is Franciscan Church of the Annunciation. The façade is in pastel red color, a symbol of the Franciscan order. It is very popular with locals and tourists, because every day there are masses held here in different languages.
On a third day you can choose to explore more museums, do some shopping or use it to make a nature break. Because Slovenia is so small, you can also take a day trip from Ljubljana. Make sure to buy some souvenirs for friends and family.