Ljubljana in a day
Lively, colorful and charming – these are the three words that describe Ljubljana perfectly. The picturesque, lush banks of the Ljubljanica River, which flows through the city center, gave the city its nickname – Little Venice. And while visiting Ljubljana means exploring its rich cultural heritage and world class architecture, it also leaves space for checking out some great restaurants and bars and its active clubbing and cultural scene. Here are some tips what to visit in a day:
1. TRIPLE BRIDGE
Make your way to the popular Triple Bridge, Ljubljana’s most photographed landmark. It lies beside Prešeren Square, the city’s main square that serves as a major site for open-air cafés, street theater performers and buskers. The bridge was designed in 1929 by the prolific architect, Jože Plečnik, who was instrumental in transforming Ljubljana into an architectural and urban planning tour de force. Triple Bridge links Prešeren Square on the west bank of the Ljubljanica river with the Market on the east.
2. CONGRESS SQUARE
The square was built in 1821 at the site of the ruins of a medieval Cappicin monastery, which had been abolished during the reign of Habsburg Emperor Joseph II. The square was used for ceremonial purposes during the Congress of Ljubljana, after which it was named. Great place for chilling.
3. PRESEREN SQUARE
Is the central square in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. It is part of the old town's pedestrian zone and a major meeting point, where festivals, Ljubljana carnival, concerts, sports, political, and protest events take place.
4. DRAGON BRIDGE
The Dragon Bridge is probably the paradigm of a fairytale-like bridge more than any other I’ve seen. It spans the Ljubljanica river connecting the Old and New Town. Perched atop the chunky pylons at each corner of the bridge are four bronze, menacing, swirly-tailed dragons, which lend the bridge its name. It was built in 1901 replacing an old wooden bridge and is one of the earliest examples of a reinforced concrete bridge in Europe.
The bridge does exude a certain old world charm and is yet another grand example of Secessionist architecture. Watch out for the dragon figurines that festoon the bridge’s lampposts, they are beautiful.
5. LJUBLJANA CENTRAL MARKET
Ljubljana’s buzzing Central Market occupies a large space on the Northern end of the Old Town. We were there on a Saturday which is apparently the day when hordes of locals descend upon the open-air market to buy local fruit and vegetables, herbs and specialty foods. The Central Market also hosts Open Kitchen – an event where local chefs prepare various food dishes from over the world. Open Kitchen is held every Friday from mid-March until the end of September.
6. TIVOLI PARK
Tivoli Park is the biggest and most beautiful park in Ljubljana lying west of the city center. The park is a lush expanse of greenery crossed by broad promenades, statues, chestnut tree-lined lanes, and landscaped with neatly arranged flower beds and thickets of trees. It was first laid out during the era of Napoleonic rule in the early 19th century and is named after the Jardins de Tivoli in Paris. Tivoli is beloved by Ljubljana natives for its recreation facilities and serene atmosphere, which make it a magnet for strollers, joggers, and dog-walkers.
7. LJUBLJANA CASTLE
Ljubljana Castle looms large above the Old Town from its position atop a hill. Its first inhabitants were the Spanheim family of Carinthian dukes who settled here during the 12th century before the Habsburgs took over residence in the 14th century. Thereafter, the castle was used as a barracks, a provincial jail and as a refuge for the poor. Today, the castle and its irregular courtyard are among the best things to see in Ljubljana.
8. METELKOVA PLACE
Metelkova mesto, an alternative culture centre that developed from a squat in a former army barracks and became one of the best known attractions of Ljubljana, brings together a variety of different artistic practices and events. It is home to a large number of clubs hosting a regular programme of concerts, club nights, and one-off club events featuring underground artists and DJs from around the world. The centre also hosts art performances, exhibitions, and an occasional festival. Running a vibrant daily programme of events, it draws together people on any night of the week. The crowd is mixed, including anyone from students and underground music fans to visitors to Ljubljana and professionals enjoying a night out.
After you drop your bags at our luggage storage place, you can freely enjoy in Ljubljana.