Things to do in Ljubljana: A Handpicked City Guide

Last updated on January 11, 2024

Things to do in Ljubljana

Continuing with our “We love Slovenia” theme, here is a selection of photos from Ljubljana, a teeny weeny capital that cannot fail to enchant. It had all the quintessential ingredients of charm – cobbled streets, a medieval castle, colorful baroque architecture and a happy, relaxed vibe. We went for the Nights in Ljubljana Old Town festival, but we imagine it’d be a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year. Here are some of our favourite moments and some of the best things to do in Ljubljana, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities

Things to do in Ljubljana


The whole of the old town is pedestrianised, making it a lovely place to stroll around and take in the sights. It made us giggle when we read in the first line of the tourist brouchure that “Ljubljana has no world-famous attractions”, but this is actually a very good thing as you don’t feel any pressure to complete a “must-see” list (not that we ever tend to anyway!).


Despite the tour guide’s proclamation, there are lots of galleries and museums to choose from in Ljubljana, but we preferred to wander the streets and explore its independent boutiques and cafes. Frankie from As the Bird Flies has written a great round-up of the city’s vintage shops for those who are interested.


The main activity takes place beside the river and there are plenty of lovely cafes and restaurants to choose from. The bridges also tend to be hubs of activity and many lead onto pretty little squares.

Processed with VSCOcam with c3 preset

The best view can be found from the Castle, which is reached by funicular. There’s a cute outdoor library beneath the trees in the castle grounds, complete with deck chairs to lounge in.


We ate incredibly well in Ljubljana and Slovenia as a whole and we’ve written a full post on gourmet vegetarian Slovenia. Ljubljana is particularly good for ice cream!


Visiting markets is always one of our favourite things and Ljubljana has a beautiful one, full of fruits, vegetables and beautiful flowers. The plums were irresistible.


We’re also huge fans of street food markets – the hipster variety too – and Ljunljana has a great one. It happens every Friday and is called the Open Kitchen, featuring local specialities as well as food from around the world. It’s a great spot for people watching.


And, of course, a city is always best enjoyed with friends. We had the excellent Kash from Budget Traveller to share our time with. It’s also thanks to him that we’re included in the Must Love Festivals project, which this trip was a part of. Thank you Kash!

Useful info

We stayed at Tresor Hostel, which was nice and clean and very central but it lacked character if that’s what you’re looking for. We heard that the Celica Hostel ( a converted prison) is also a great option and more social. Celica is next to Metelkova mesto, which is an old Army Barracks that has been squatted since 1993 and now houses artists, galleries and bars with an alternative edge.

We went there one evening in the hope of finding live music. We weren’t successful in that but did enjoy hanging out in the party atmosphere for a bit (even though the average age seemed somewhat younger. It’s the kind of place we’d have loved in our early 20s).

It’s easy to focus your attention on the Old Town, but it’s also worth venturing out to places like Metelkova mesto (about 15 mins walk), as well as the parks that surround the city. One our way to Metelkova Mesto, we passed through a studenty area that had lots of cosy looking bars. The riverbank opposite the open kitchen is also popular with locals for evening drinks.

And the question everyone asks?! Ljubljana is pronounced lyoob-lyAH-nah. We had to check before we arrived!

Find out more things to do in Slovenia in our 10-day Slovenia road trip itinerary. Or if you’re only visiting Ljubljana on a city break, here’s a great guide to day trips from Ljubljana.

14 thoughts on “Things to do in Ljubljana: A Handpicked City Guide”

  1. Wow, Ljubljana is even more interesting than I thought. That Friday street food market sounds great! Now I’m even more excited to visit this quaint little place 🙂

  2. We missed the “Open Kitchen” market last year when we visited Ljubljana, shame because it looks lovely! I love this city and I’d happily go back and spend more time there, there is so much I’d love to see and experience still, plus it’s just a cool place to spend more than a couple of days 🙂

  3. Ljubljana is pretty indeed! Nice photo essay. I have been reading about this city so much of late, that now I am intrigued about it. Yes, I am inspired to visit it!

  4. Ljubljana is great!

    Next time go off the beaten track and also come to Maribor! It’s the second largest city in Slovenia known for the oldest grapevine in the world (guiness book). Great food and lot’s of sports activities if you are into that and nature. Cosy and nice for pics too.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.