Our Slovenian adventure ended in the country’s capital, Ljubljana. This adorable city is set in a valley surrounded by mountains, making it even more picturesque. Great food, beautiful buildings and lovely weather made our stay in Ljubljana delightful and relaxing.
Ljubljana, Slovenia Travel Guide
Getting to Ljubljana from London
You can fly from London to Ljubljana. Once there, it’s about 30 minutes driving to the city center. Public transport will run you a little longer, up to an hour.
We flew into Venice and roadtripped to Bled, then from Bled to Bohinj, then the Motorail and, finally, onto Ljubljana. It is a small city, so finding a space in a public lot near our AirBnb was easy. We parked in Nuk II.
What to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Designed by famous Slovenian architect, Vladimir Subic, the Skyscraper is a beautiful Art Deco building a short walk from the Town Square that offers stunning views. There’s a cafe and restaurant at the top, perfect for grabbing your drink of choice and watching the sunset.
We found that arriving one hour before sunset was ideal. The sun sets behind the mountains, so with an hour to spare, we had a good few minutes where the castle was bathed in golden hour light before the sun sank too low.
I booked us a table ahead of time, thinking it would be packed at sunset on a Friday night. That was hardly the case, so maybe it is a hidden gem!
Free Walking Tour
Each day at 11am a free Ljubljana walking tour departs from in front of the pink church.
We figured this would be the perfect way to make the most of our day in Ljubljana. Over the course of two hours, we walked all over the old city and learned about the fascinating history of Slovenia.
One side of the river is Austrian Art Deco inspired, the other Italian baroque.
There are dragons everywhere in Ljubljana! There are several legends that led to the dragon’s status as official mascot of the city. I regret not picking up two plush ones for the nephews, they were so cute.
After several attempts to find lunch after our tour, we set off up to Ljubljana Castle. Our tour guide discouraged getting tickets to go inside, instead she recommended just walking around and checking out the view. After visiting Bled Castle, we figured her advice was worth taking.
After the Skyscraper, the view was a little anti-climatic since it was not 360 degrees and didn’t include the lovely castle itself. The views from the walk up to the castle were my favorite part of that excursion.
Wine Tasting Ljubljana
Ever since our fabulous wine tasting in Lisbon, I’ve been searching for something similar in cities we’ve visited since. I haven’t had much luck until Slovenia. I came across Wine Tasting Ljubljana and after reading a few reviews, I booked us two spots.
It was a fabulous tasting! We tried seven wines while learning about the history and variety of Slovenian wine and winemaking methods. Our host, Boris, was incredibly passionate about Slovenia’s winemaking history and on a mission to share Slovenian wine with the world. His enthusiasm was contagious.
The session was interactive and took place in a beautiful wine cave setting. We tried a diverse array of wines, but I don’t want to give too much away! If you like wine, this wine tasting is an absolute must. We learned a lot and had a great time. It was the perfect pre-dinner activity.
Where to Stay in Ljubljana
We booked an Airbnb in the Old Town just off the river. Ljubljana looks small on GoogleMaps, and once there we could really appreciate just how centrally located our Airbnb really was. The old city is the perfect spot to stay for touring. It is incredibly quaint.
Our Airbnb was an adorable little studio flat and perfect for our needs during our stay in Ljubljana.
It also had an insane bathtub, which appears to be a trend in European Airbnb’s?
What to Eat in Ljubljana, Slovenia
For such a small city, Ljubljana has fantastic food! Both of our dinners were absolutely fantastic and some of the best we’ve had this year. The food and the service at both restaurants was outstanding. Book ahead, as both places had to turn people away when we arrived.
Our first night, we dined at Most. Right on the river, this lovely restaurant serves up fabulous comfort food dishes.
We got scallops on puréed cauliflower to start and it was so good. For our mains, I ordered the chicken breast and Andrew the pork ribs. Both were phenomenal and the kind of meals that leave you a little sad when your plate is cleared.
For dessert, we split the creme brûlée. Again, just fabulous.
On our second night, we had dinner at the beautiful Julija. Just steps from our AirBnb, our dinner here was fantastic.
We got the grilled polenta to start, followed by the salmon with grilled vegetables and Andrew got a steak with cheese dumplings. It was a special meal!
I had read that Romantika Gelateria was a must-visit, so we stopped by for dessert after our meal at Julija. Marked with signs declaring it the best gelato in Ljubljana, we were excited to give it a try. My chocolate gelato was positively heavenly.
We stopped into the adorable Cafetino coffee shop while waiting for our Airbnb host to greet us. I got a hot chocolate, realizing at some point during our stay that Slovenian hot chocolate is not what we are used in the US or UK. Instead, it’s like a warm, slightly more liquid chocolate pudding (in the US use of the word!). Decadent and delicious.
What to Drink Ljubljana
Thanks to the cheap drink, Ljubljana is becoming a popular spot for stag and hen do’s, so we hear. We didn’t see any during our stay, but they may have been out at the clubs in Metelkova. Speaking of, we didn’t make it there, but it looks super cool!
The drink to order in Ljubljana is wine, though the craft beer scene in Slovenia is growing. With the help of our wine tasting, we were able to try all different types of Slovenian wine, from dessert wines to sparkling rose.
After dinner Saturday night, we grabbed a drink along the river at Zlata Ribica (and actually returned for lunch the next day which definitely exceeded our expectations for a spot so well-located in a touristy area). Right on the river with cozy seats and warm heaters, this spot was perfect for people watching after dinner. Despite being hopping with nearly every table full, the service was quick and reliable.
Vineria del Ponte
A favorite of tour groups stopping by for a free sample of blueberry liquor, Vineria del Ponte is a lovely little wine store dedicated to Slovenian wines. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Located just across from our Airbnb, we popped in to grab a bottle to try.