We started our day by climbing up to the castle in the middle of the city to admire the panoramic view of Ljublijana. After walking around the castle, we headed to Križevniška, a historical street that is of great significance to the city of Ljublijana. Strolling down Križevniška, we ended up in the empty Križanke Outdoor Theatre, which was designed by the famous Slovene architect Jože Plečnik. We grabbed a few drinks along the embankment of Trnovski Pristan in the afternoon and ended our night by indulging in Union draft beer in Tivoli Park with live music.
See & Do
- Ljubljana Castle: As is standard in a bunch of medieval European cities, the center of the city is a tall hill upon which the king used to live. There are a few walking trails to get to the top (it’s not hard at all!)–but if you’re feeling particularly unable to walk uphill, you can take a funicular for an extra fee to bring you to the top. There was a wedding photo-shoot going on when we got to the castle, and who can blame them, this place is as picturesque as it gets. We didn’t go into the museum but instead wandered all the free parts of the castle which included a few small galleries and most importantly an observation deck beautifully overlooking the capital.
- Trnovski Pristan embankment: Tree-lined River front path along the Ljubljanica river. Enjoy artwork along the way as well as special events (i.e. free books available to read by the city while sunbathing). There are little riverboat bars set up near the end of the trail where you can grab a pint to relax after walking in the sun.
- Križanke Outdoor Theatre: Small little covered theater that’s used for a bunch of summer festivals in the middle of the French Revolution Square. The ceiling for the theater seems pretty low, I wonder if it’s for improved acoustics–or perhaps just to protect against the elements when a concert is going on. Don’t miss the beautiful greek architecture and sculptures visible throughout the theater area.
- Križevniška ulica: Narrow alleyway between the French Revolution Square and the Ljubljanica, this is one of the oldest streets in Ljubljana and used to be a gathering center for some of the best and brightest that the city have produced. Nowadays you can see artwork in little nooks and crannies around this street–including the benches lining the seat (which seem to have political messages written on them right now).
- Tivoli Park: Not to be confused for Tivoli in Denmark, this is not an amusement park but just a normal, green park. Kind of like the Central Park of Ljubljana. During the day we happened to get a brochure advertising a Union event in Tivoli Park with a bunch of local artists. Little did we know what we were getting into–perfect weather, an outdoor stage set up, super cheap beer (1 euro for a pint of Union!), and fans going wild at some of the Slovenian artists on stage such as Atomik Harmonik and Rock Partyzani. The music was quite folksy and very catchy.
- Sunday Flea Market: Every Sunday 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. If you’re interested in getting some mementos from the former Yugoslavic era, then this is the place to be. You’ll be able to get all sorts of military medals and gear, or old maps, stamps, and other memorabilia. We picked up a bag of former Cold War era stamps (who knows if they’re actually real, but they’re pretty cool). Includes stamps from Yugoslavia, East Germany, and a few other communist countries.
Eat & Drink
- Cafe Cokl: The best spot to get coffee in Ljubljana. Not only is the location convenient, the owner is extremely passionate about coffee and he will not settle for anything less than the best when it comes to brewing a delicious cup of coffee (iced or warm).
- Boat cafe on Trnovski Pristan: There are permanent house-looking boats along the Ljubljanica near the end of the Trnovski pristan. Even though it’s only a few minutes walk from the city center, it feels like you’re in a quiet, isolated area along the river. Not crowded at all on a Saturday afternoon (we were literally the only customers at this place). 0.5L Lasko for €1.90.
- Gujzina: Traditional Slovenian cuisine in the heart of the old city. This place was recommended to us by both our AirBnb host as well as the redditor we met the previous day. €11.50 Tagliatelle Prekmurje-style, which is fettuccini with ham and pumpkin seeds. €3.60 Prekmurska gibanica(Slovenian dessert stuffed with poppy seeds, cottage cheese, walnuts and apples.) €15.10 Pork with plum brandy and dried plums.
- Nobel Burek: Open 24 hours a day, this place serves the quintessential drunk food. Serves kebab on the left side and burek on the right side. Burek is a savory pastry with all different types of fillings depending on what you’re in the mood for (cheese, meat, etc). The food was pretty good, but part of me wonders if the beer that was consumed just prior to eating here influenced my opinion.
- Piranske Soline: Salt from Piran is apparently internationally famous–seems to be especially true of Japanese tourists as this place is always packed with them. 500g of coarse salt costs €3.50
- Krasevka: While sitting at Cafe Cokl, we overheard some tourists talking about the truffles they just bought and retraced their steps back to this shop. Great prices if you’re into truffles and truffle oil. Truffle Oil €4.80 Truffle Jar(90g) €6
- Honey House: Nice place to get honey-related souvenirs to bring back home. The clerk was extremely friendly and let us sample all varieties of honey and honey liquor to help us decide what to buy.
- Apartment in Old Town: Can’t beat this location just a 5 minute walk from Vodnikov trg and right in the middle of the city. The host was very responsive and even arranged transportation for us back to the airport. The apartment itself was clean and fairly large for European standards.
- Markun Shuttle: €9 one way trip per person from the airport to the city. We took it after dropping our rental car off at the airport. You tell the driver your destination and he will make a stop there–very simple and reasonably priced.
- 06/07/2014 – 06/08/2014