Nestled in an alpine valley and straddling the Ljubljanica River, Ljubljana is a beautiful, compact city teeming with historic architecture, restaurants and bars and a good smattering of museums and galleries.
Slovenia´s capital city is sometimes referred to as Little Prague, but that does not do justice to its charm and individuality. Ljubljana is a showcase to the works of the famous architect Jose Pleznik, a place where traditional and modernist architecture jostle side by side for attention and in doing so achieve an unexpected harmony.
Ljubiliana is the perfect base for those looking for a mixture of urban and adventure at more affordable rates than in neighbouring Austria or Italy, while still having the Alps and the Mediterranean sea on your doorstep.
Things to see and do in Ljubljana
Ljubljana is a small, picturesque city rising from a center whose river banks teem with great restaurants, bars and market stalls to the imposing historic castle set high on the hill overlooking the town. It is one of the smallest capital cities in Europe and can be easily explored in a day.
There is an excellent free city tour leaving twice daily in high season from Preseren Square that is well worth joining that takes in all the major sights of the city center.
Walk up to the medieval castle for an incredible view down over the city and over to the Sava River and Kamnik Alps in the distance. There are some great restaurants located up here if you want to stop for a special lunch, or alternatively take your own supplies and settle down for a relaxed picnic on the manicured lawns.
Downtown Ljubljana offers plenty of outdoor seating in the summer at the numerous cafés and bars and on the riverbanks. There is plenty of cheap and tasty local Slovenian food to be had along with a good helping of international cuisine.
Most of the nightlife takes place in the bars running parallel to the river. Take time to explore the backstreets where you are sure to stumble across a few hidden gems and make sure you check with the friendly locals to find out what’s happening.
Slovenians love the outdoors and if this appeals to you then Ljubljana is a good destination to spend a longer period of time. Slovenia is a beautiful country and this cozy city makes a great base from which to explore the surrounding area and further afield, especially in summertime. Three-day canoeing trips through breathtaking scenery, amazing hikes up into the Julian alps or a weekend visit to the Mediterranean sea… even a trip to Venice – all these are possible if you choose Ljubljana as your base. Meanwhile ski and board enthusiasts staying in the city during winter will love the fact that the ski resort of Kranje is only a 20 minute drive away.
Ljubljana is popular amongst expat English teachers who make a pretty good living feeding the Slovenes’ thirst for language – a good thing to know if you want to mingle with other foreigners. It is also very popular with weekend tourists who fill the town´s bars at night.
Accommodation & Internet in Ljubiliana
Many locals speak English, especially the younger generations, with many also boasting German, Italian, French and Russian so as long as you have a smattering of at least one of these, communication is no problem.
Internet in Ljubiliana is not only fast but also very reliable. A perfect place to get a lot of work done while living in this charming and affordable European city.
Accommodation here comes in many forms, from budget to high-end. There are plenty of low-cost options including hostels, small hotels and rooms in family homes, an interesting way to gain an insight into Slovenian life. It is also a very popular city amongst students, making it easier for you to find long-term accommodation.