Only have one day to see the Slovenian capital? Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered for the perfect 24 hours in Ljubljana. Be prepared, it involves lots of sightseeing, several cups of coffee, and a long night in one of the quirkiest neighbourhoods in town.
Early morning (7 – 9am)
Start your day off with a visit to the Central Market along Ljubljanica River, from the Dragon Bridge to Triple Bridge. It’s a nice walk along the riverbanks of the Ljubljanica, and you can stop for a morning coffee or just admire Plecnik’s work. This is also where to go if you want to buy Slovenian delicacies like Karst prosciutto and cheeses, or traditional potica cake. The market areas are located at Vodnikov trg, Pogačarjev trg, and Dolničarjeva ulica, while trading is also carried out at the Plečnik’s Arcades and in the indoor market.
Morning (9am – 12pm)
Once you’ve toured (and snacked your way) through the market, a visit to Ljubljana Castle is a must. It’s the perfect spot to admire Ljubljana from above, while you sip a tea or coffee. You can join a guided tour or just visit any of the exhibitions, like the 3D time machine experience (takes you through the history of Ljubljana Castle, complete with costumed castle guides impersonating historical personalities). You can walk up to the castle (about half an hour, uphill) or take the funicular from Krek Square, opposite Ljubjana Central Market.
Noon (12 – 2pm)
Enjoy lunch at Gjužina, a restaurant and gourmet store that offers local Slovenian dishes with a trendy twist, or at As Aperitivo, which is popular with the local crowd for business lunches, light snacks, and after-work drinks. It’s about a half-hour walk from the castle to Gjužina, and 45 minutes to As Aperitivo, giving you just enough time to work up an appetite!
Afternoon (2pm – 6pm)
Walk off your lunch with a stroll along Cankarjeva cesta and a visit to Tivoli Park and Tivoli Mansion. The mansion has recently been renovated and now houses the International Centre of Graphic Arts. On the way, you can see the scenic Jakopič Promenade (Jakopičevo sprehajališče), designed by architect Jože Plečnik in the central part of Tivoli Park. It has become a well-known outdoor venue for exhibitions of large-format photographs, open throughout the year.
Evening (6pm until late!)
For dessert and a coffee, head to the lounge at Nebotičnik, which offers the best view of the city (it was the seventh highest building in Europe when it was built in 1933). From there, you can see Castle Hill and old Ljubljana on one side, and Tivoli Park with Alpine peaks in the backdrop on the other.
End the night at Dvorni Bar, which is the trendiest wine bar in town, or at Cutty Sark Pub, where locals go for a good mix of local and international beers. If you’re more of the adventurous type, check out Metelkova City, an internationally renowned alternative culture community that often draws comparisons to Copenhagen’s Kristiania. Metelkova City is a unique place and definitely a must-see — not only for the nightlife, but also for the eclectic art scene.
All these night spots are centrally located, except Metelkova City which you can reach by public transportation or taxi, or on a half-hour walk along the very picturesque Trubarjeva Street.
Don’t have time for a full 24 hours in the city? No worries, we’ve got the speedy version for a shorter layover. The fastest option for getting into the city centre is by taxi (it’s about a half-hour drive), or you can book a shuttle if you have some extra time to spare.
If you’re in Ljubljana in the morning or early afternoon, head to the city centre and walk the streets along the Ljubljanica river. Since Ljubljana is so small, you’ll only need about two hours to walk the riverbanks and get a taste of local life. Grab a coffee and lunch or dessert, or go on a shopping spree — everything is within a one-mile radius.
Our local guides are true Ljubljana experts. Take a Ljubljana tour with them to see this city from a unique perspective.