Ljubljana (pronounce the j’s as y’s), is the capital of Slovenia. We made a detour there from Venice en-route to Croatia. Its compact size made it ideal as a short stopover for us, but there’s enough to keep you occupied for a few days. Here’s my thoughts on how to spend a day in Ljubljana, during the summer.
Stroll along the Ljubljanica River
In Ljubljana’s old town, the banks of the Ljubljanica River are ideal for a short stroll, no matter the time of day. Get there after sunrise and you’ll be rewarded with an almost empty promenade, and watch locals prepare for their day. As the day progresses, locals and visitors stream to cafes in the area. By evening, the area becomes a hive of activity, with performers keeping the crowds entertained.
Explore the old town
The charming and almost pristine old town is pedestrian and bike friendly. Old world shops run side by side to modern chain stores. The town hall is the natural focal point, as is the triple bridge across the Ljubljanica River. A daily market is held close to the town hall in the mornings.
Get a panoramic view
Climb the hill behind the old town and be rewarded with a panoramic view of old and new Ljubljana. There’s a castle on the hill, but we skipped it (there didn’t seem to be anything unique about this castle). During the summer, open air movie screenings are held at the castle, some of them in English.
Ljubljana is known to Europe’s green city – for its beautiful natural spaces (and recycling efforts). The green lung of the city is Tivoli Park and in particular, the forests on and around Roznik Hill. Here there were many trails for hiking and biking. We chose to do an hour long hike up some hills through the dense, lush forest.
Relax in the gardens
For a less active outdoor pursuit, the area of Tivoli Park closest to the old town are manicured and are great for picnics or gentler walks.
Admire the buildings
There’s a high concentration of well-preserved art deco buildings around town so it doesn’t take long to find one. You’ll also come across some street art.