10 best things to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Slovenia is SO beautiful. It’s such an underrated destination, and I absolutely loved visiting this off the beaten track country. I was honestly blown away by its mountains, lakes, and gorgeous towns – and none more so than the capital city, Ljubljana. We spent 3 nights here in April and despite incredibly variable weather, we had the best time. Here are 10 of our tried and tested best things to do whilst in the city!

1. Climb to Ljubljana Castle

The current castle in Ljubljana dates back to the 15th century, when it was built as a seat for the ruling Habsburgs and part of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1815 the castle then became a prison, and later a home for the poor which it remained until the 1960s when it was renovated and opened to visitors.

Approaching the castle entrance

We spent about 4 hours at the castle but I think a normal visitor would only need 1. We spent 2 hours in the Slovenian history exhibition reading all the virtual boards from Roman times to the fall of Yugoslavia as we found it fascinating, and we did the full audio guide and prison tour as well. We also ate an incredibly tasty lunch at the castle restaurant, which was made only with local produce.

2. Enjoy Triple Bridge & Prešeren Square

One of the most famous landmarks of the city, Prešeren Square is actually a circle, with lots of beautiful avenues off it and the striking pink church. There are also really beautiful views along the river up to it, which I managed to capture a perfect light for on my first evening in Slovenia.

The view up to triple bridge and Preseren Square
And in the square itself

3. Get lost in the Old Town (incl. Dragon Bridge)

Ljubljana old town is a small area and really nice for a stroll. It’s full of interesting architecture and a really good selection of shops and restaurants. The old town also has a river running through it and strolling along the riverside and enjoying all the different bridge views, and crossing the famous Dragon Bridge, is also a good way to while away an hour or so.

4. Relax in Congress Square

One of Ljubljana’s main squares, Congress Square is a lovely area to sit and take in a bit of sunshine, or at one of the street side cafes due to it’s spectacular view up to the castle. We chose this spot for dinner on our first night and were glad we did as we managed to see a bit of sunshine!

Beautiful views!

5. Cocktails at Nebotinik rooftop bar

Another spot for a wonderful view of the castle is Ljubljana’s skyscraper, Nebotinik. It’s also home to a rooftop bar, restaurant and café so is a nice stop for dinner and some drinks. We just stopped in for some cocktails with a view.

The view

6. Take time to wonder at Ljubljana Cathedral

The cathedral was built in the 1700s, in a stunning baroque style. I had it all to myself as I went inside and with only a 2 Euro entrance fee, it’s well worth it. Just look at that ceiling!

Inside the cathedral
And from the outside

7. Learn about Slovenia’s History at Tivoli Park & The National Museum of Contemporary History

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I love a good museum. The National Museum of Contemporary History sits in beautiful Tivoli Park in the west of Ljubljana. It covers Slovenia’s modern history from 1914, when it entered WW1 as part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, through to WW2 when it allied and was then occupied by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy – before being liberated by the Allies and voting to be included in the newly formed Communist Republic of Yugoslavia – right through to the fall of communism and founding of an independent Slovenia in 1991.

Of course I managed to spend 3.5hrs here when a suggested visit is 1hr, but I love my modern history. If history isn’t your thing there are also a plentiful supply of art museums to choose from as well.

8. Marvel at the magic of Lake Bled

Lake Bled is perhaps the most famous day trip from Ljubljana and all I can say is WOW – this has to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to on planet earth. Enjoy the views, row out to the church and take in Bled Castle.

It’s worth at least a full day trip from Ljubljana but I actually thought it looked so beautiful I decided to spend my fourth night in Slovenia there and enjoy 2 full days exploring the lake and its surrounding hiking trails. It was so worth it.

Lake Bled

You can read my full post on Lake Bled HERE (post coming soon).

9. Explore Predjama Castle and Postojna Cave

Another perfect short trip from the centre of Ljubljana is a visit to the amazing Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle. Both the cave and the castle are out of this world beautiful and so unique. I’ve never seen anything like them, and if you have the chance to visit then I highly recommend it.

You can read my full post on Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle HERE.

10. Get in to nature in Škofja Loka

And finally, another trip option only a short distance from the centre of Ljubljana is to visit the historic town of Škofja Loka. There is lots to do here and you can easily spend a day in the town visiting the castle, hiking to the church of the Holy Cross, exploring the old town and lots more. We also absolutely loved the ancient bridges and found the town to be really off the beaten path with no other tourists around.

Škofja Loka’s bridges

You can read my full post on Škofja Loka HERE (post coming soon).

I am so happy to have explored some of stunning Slovenia, and I would totally be doing Mr Travelling Han (MTH) a disservice if I didn’t share the amazing extent he went to to plan this trip as my birthday present.

The present was given to me in the form of a fully hand made, designed by MTH, escape room board game. The premise of the game was that a Roman artifact had been stolen from the British Museum and I had to travel the breadth of the Roman Empire to find it. Each country in the game (England, France, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt, Greece and Turkey) had a box with multiple puzzles – leading to codes to move on to the next location. The puzzles were personalised, referencing our own travels, my favourite books and more. The final puzzle lead to a card announcing a trip to Slovenia….and that’s how we came to visit!

4 hours of play with countless puzzles and intricacies ❤

This trip will forever hold a special little place in my heart. Slovenia is the only country in the world with the word ‘love’ in the middle of it. And I absolutely fell in love with it – it’s such a beautiful country and if you ever get the chance to visit, I totally recommend it! Stay safe and happy travelling everyone.


  1. What an extraordinary place to visit, Hannah! Such a wonderful vintage town, architecture, rivers, and, the Ljubljana Cathedral – oh my! The interior is magnificent, beautiful. I really like your mountain photograph with Bled Castle visible across Lake Bled! And, caves too! Thanks for sharing, my friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gorgeous! I remember you telling me about going on this trip, and I’m glad Slovenia went above and beyond in all of its beauty and charm! I only had a 3-hour layover in Ljubljana a few years ago, and I only had time to sweep through the Old Town and get a photo at the Nebotinik Tower. Dying to go back to see Lake Bled! Can’t wait to read more about Slovenia and whatever adventures you have ahead. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really did, it’s such a wonderful country and Ljubljana was just a small part of that. I really hope you get to Lake Bled one day, it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been for sure…post coming soon of course!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend 🙂

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  3. Every time I go in for a cleaning my dentist and I love to talk travel. I was just there last week and I found out he’s heading to Ljubljana this fall. It’s been on my radar as part of a wider trip across a few European countries. I hope to make it a reality one of these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooo that’s awesome and I hope your dentist enjoys his trip! It would definitely make a great itinerary with some other countries – perhaps Croatia, or Serbia, or Austria…so many options in Europe 🙂

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  4. What an awesome guy you’re married to Hannah! It must have taken him months to devise the board game. And then you got to travel to such a fabulous place! I totally enjoyed the post and your photos. Visiting Slovenia would be a dream come true. Happy belated birthday!

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  5. Excellent tips, Hannah! And beautiful photos. We loved Ljubljana and felt it really epitomized “Old Europe.” And it looks like you discovered a few things we missed. Now we have a good excuse to go back. Thanks, Terri

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  6. I’ve heard such wonderful things about Slovenia and your post just reaffirms it. Sounds like you had a wonderful time in Ljubljana. The Old Town looks very charming. It seems like April is a good time to visit as it looks like you had the place all to yourselves. What an incredibly thoughtful gift from MTH. A trip is one thing, but the escape room board game takes it to the next level. He’s certainly set the bar pretty high!

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    1. Oh for sure I support all the good comments about Slovenia, it has so much to offer in such a small area so it’s easy to travel around and see all the main sites. There were barely any crowds on our visit but I imagine in summer it’s crazy. MTH definitely outdid himself with the gift bless him, he put so much time in to it which is what made it mean so much 🙂 Have a great weekend!

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  7. I’d love to visit Slovenia and to explore it’s capital Hannah. We’d put plans in place but then Covid wreaked havoc to them so we really ought to make efforts to go there now as I’m inspired by your informative posts.

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  8. Oh my goodness, what an elaborate birthday present! That’s amazing that he made all of that and planned you a trip. Slovenia is one of the European countries I’m most excited to visit so I’ll be bookmarking this for when the time comes.

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    1. He definitely outdid himself Diana, I was blown away by the thought and time he put in to it! I really hope you make it to Slovenia, it’s a truly wonderful country with so much to offer. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

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  9. Wow, what an incredible birthday present! It must have taken months to put that together. I’ve only heard good things about Slovenia and it’s one of the places in Europe I’m most keen to visit. It looks fascinating and so charming. That lunch in the castle looks phenomenal, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was….he spent months making it all, so it really meant a lot. Slovenia was incredible and I totally recommend a visit if you get the chance one day. Thanks for following along and have a great weekend 🙂

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  10. What an amazing gift! That’s just so thoughtful and a fun way to way do it! Good luck to him trying to top that for another year haha! And I’m not sure I’ve seen many photos of Ljubljana but wow, it’s so pretty! Definitely taking these recommendations for my future visit, especially the cocktails!

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  11. I’m sold on Slovenia and Ljubljana has got a bit of everything. What an experience to be exploring that Cathedral without crowds, so beautiful. MTH is a keeper, what a beautiful idea.

    It’s going to look like I’ve started stalking your posts as I catch up, I’m not sure why WordPress reader hasn’t been showing me them? I looked you up as I’d missed your posts and am now enjoying all that I’ve missed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is isn’t he, such a thoughtful gift for sure. Ahh so glad you like Slovenia, we were totally taken with it that’s for sure 😊 Oh that’s weird, perhaps you’ve accidentally muted me or something, but glad you’re enjoying catching up 😁


  12. Hannah, what an excellent and comprehensive post on things to see and do in Ljubljana. Very well done as always. I wish we had seen this post before our visit.

    We had been doing some hard traveling in Bosnia and Serbia, and afterwards made a stop in Ljubljana. Wow! What a breath of fresh air and relaxing city. It’s also a wonderful walking city. ~James

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you enjoyed it James, thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I agree that it’s a wonderful walking city and really easy to navigate. We visit Bosnia next year so I’ll have to get your tips.


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