Out Adventures’ fearless leader, Rob, first fell for Ljubljana when he visited Slovenia in 2017. He’d heard rumours about the country’s rising popularity and wanted to visit it himself, checking off all the major attractions from the Dalmatian Coast to Lake Bled and, of course, Ljubljana.
Between excursions, he’d shoot us lovingly long-winded messages about the pristine river running through the city, the 13th-century castle at its heart, the car-free city-centre and the country’s cuisine (“…the *expletive* best I’ve ever had!”).
Below you’ll find Rob’s top tips to get the most out of Ljubljana.
Where to Eat
According to Travel & Leisure, “Slovenia has become one of the continent’s most intriguing places to eat and drink.”
To best experience this rising cuisine, head to Strelec located in Archer’s Tower at the highest peak of Ljubljana Castle. The menu is curated by top Slovenian chef Igor Jagodic, who draws inspiration from the country’s three major terroirs: the Alps, Adriatic and Pannonia. An in-house ethnologist is hired to ensure the elaborate dishes respect the city’s history.
For a more affordable taste of Slovenian, try Druga Violina (“Second Fiddle”) in Old Town. The restaurant is officially ‘Gostilna Sloenija’ certified, a trademark given to restaurants that meet specific Slovenian traditions. As an added bonus, it primarily hires locals with special needs.
Where to Stay
If you’re looking to splurge, Cubo is your best bet. It’s small and stylish, and more than half the rooms have picture-perfect views of the castle.
Those who enjoy quaint B&Bs don’t have many options in Ljubljana. That said, Slamič is a surprising exception to the rule. If the weather is nice, take breakfast on the rooftop terrace.
Solo travellers looking to save money should book a bed in Tresor Hostel. The building itself was originally constructed as an opulent bank but has since undergone a cheeky conversion into the city’s best hostel.
What to Do
Any visit to Ljubljana should begin with a stroll along the river toward Old Town. For a small fee, a local guide can explain the work of Slovenia’s famed architect Jože Plečnik. His most notable designs include Triple Bridge, Cobbler’s Bridge and National and University Library.
After you’ve acquainted yourself with Old Town, trek to Ljubljana Castle for a guided tour of the city’s crown jewel. We suggest ending with dinner at the previously-mentioned Strelec restaurant in the castle’s Archer Tower.
Beyond Ljubljana Castle, visitors rave about Prešernov Square, Central Market, The National Gallery of Slovenia and The National Museum of Slovenia. Oh, and if you’re in town on a Sunday, haggle at the popular river-side flea and antique market located between Triple Bridge and Cobbler’s Bridge from 8 am to 2 pm.
Ljubljana has a surprisingly thriving bar and nightlife scene, thanks in part to the large student population. We recommend sipping a Slovenian vintage on a hip patio in Metelkova City, where the majority of bars are located.
In regards to gay nightlife, your only option is Klub Tiffany also located in Metelkova.
If you want to see more of Ljubljana, watch this incredible video by the tourism board of Slovenia. It perfectly captures the endless charm that won Rob’s immediate affection.
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