Ljubljana, Slovenia: 10 things to see in the capital

Ljubljana, Slovenia: 10 things to see in the capital

If you are planning a trip to Ljubljana, discover important things not to miss in Slovenia’s capital, its most important tourist sites and events.

Ljubljana has seen many nations and eras and has inherited a culture, architecture and history that in itself justify a trip to Slovenia. The city is not very big and can be visited very quickly. So here are 10 things to see and do in Ljubljana.

Historical Center

A visit to Ljubljana should definitely include a colorful old town where you can admire the diversity of the city and trace its history. As the center of Europe, Ljubljana has been conquered many times since the beginning of its history, hosting great nations, including the Romans and the Venetians. This complex history has left its mark on the city’s architecture, which includes castles, Roman buildings, Venetian facades and Soviet buildings.

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Historical Center


Ljubljana Castle, built in the 12th century, is in very good condition . You can walk around the walls and visit the interior of the castle and the museum it houses. Inside you can see an exhibition of Slovenian history, a small doll museum and many temporary art exhibitions. Located on a hill, it offers a breathtaking view of the city . You can get to the castle by cable car, or for the more adventurous, on foot.

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Take a tour of the Central Market

The Ljubljana Central Market, located on one of the banks of the Ljubljanica River flowing through the heart of the Slovenian capital, is worth a visit. You will discover the nice and colorful market, where locals love to go. Here you will taste the best local products!

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Take a tour of the Central Market

Ljubljanica River Walk

The small Ljubljanica River flows through the center of Ljubljana . Stroll along its banks and enjoy the peace and quiet of this small capital. Here you can go on a gastronomic tour of Slovenia: the promenades are full of terraces, bars, ice-cream parlors, cheese stores – in short, everything to please your taste buds in a beautiful setting!

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Ljubljanica River Walk

Tromostovje (three bridges)

It is an architectural feature of Ljubljana ; Tromostovje (three bridges in Slovene) consists of a stone bridge built in 1842 and two other bridges added in 1931. They were all designed by architect Jože Plečnik.

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Tromostovje (three bridges)

St. Nicholas Cathedral

St. Nicholas Cathedral is easily recognized by its green domes and twin towers. It is located on Vodnik Square near Tromostov (Three Bridges). The interior is decorated with Baroque frescoes of the 18th century.

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St. Nicholas Cathedral

Visit museums

The city of Ljubljana has many interesting museums: art museums, especially the Slovene National Gallery, the Puppet Museum, the Beer Union and the Ethnographic Museum. The most intriguing is the Railway Museum, which allows you to visit about fifteen steam locomotives.

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Visit museums

Ride a bicycle

Slovenia is known worldwide for its efforts to preserve the environment. So much so that in 2016 Ljubljana was chosen as the green capital of Europe. So, get to know the local life by renting a bike and walking around the Slovenian capital. You can also get to other areas away from the city center and many parks!

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Ride a bicycle

Metelkova Microdistrict

This atypical neighborhood in Ljubljana is really worth a visit. Metelkova is the trendy and underground district of the capital. Visit the best art events in the former Yugoslav military barracks. If this “neighborhood” is worth seeing because of its street art and alternative culture, you still have to “follow” some rules. For example, put away your camera and phone. The residents here are not very open to discussing and sharing their art through photographs .

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Metelkova Microdistrict

Tivoli Park.

If you want to spend a quiet day, Tivoli Park is the perfect place . This 5 km2 park, opened in 1813, is very pleasant to visit. It is located about 100 meters from the city center, so it is very easy to get to.

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Tivoli Park.

What is worth seeing in Ljubljana?


Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia. This cozy little town is located on the banks of the Ljubljanica River in the center of the country. Ljubljana is considered the cultural, economic and political center of the state.

The image of modern Ljubljana is formed mainly by two styles: Italian Baroque and Art Nouveau. Their combination creates a unique and harmonious image of the city. Ljubljana is full of original sculptures and monuments, elegant cafes, parks and gardens.

Ljubljana Castle

The Old Town on the right bank of the river – Ljubljanski Grad – has been preserved since the Middle Ages. It was founded in the X-XI centuries, and was used as a defense structure. Later it housed a government residence. You can get to the castle from the market square by funicular railway (the ticket price is 2 euros one way). In the fortress it is interesting to visit the well-preserved Gothic chapel of St. George, the interiors of which are decorated with unusual paintings. Also in Ljubljana Castle there is an observation tower open for tourists. In the castle itself there are often held various exhibitions and expositions.

The return descent can be made on foot along picturesque paths, which offer wonderful views of the wonderful red-brown tiled roofs of Ljubljana.

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The center of the city

The old part of the city with its old churches and squares adjoins the hill. This area of Ljubljana is quite compact and very beautiful. Unlike other cities in Europe, Ljubljana successfully combines a cozy provincialism and metropolitan grooming. The river, blending picturesquely into the urban ensemble, gives the central part of the city its special flavor. Along its banks are built galleries, which are a variety of restaurants and cafes. You can take a boat trip down the river.

On the main square in the town of Prešerne stands a monument to the Slovenian poet Franz Prešerne.

Nearby is the majestic Cathedral of St. Nicholas.

The central part of the city is extremely beautiful and elegant. On it like to stroll and residents of the city and many tourists. Here is an important attraction of Ljubljana – the Three Bridges. It is three fan-shaped bridges, spanning the river and decorated with sculptures of dragons.

There are Old and New Squares in Ljubljana. On the New Square, it is interesting to see the Lontowrz Palace, which now houses the Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Another famous bridge in Ljubljana is the Dragon Bridge, which is located within walking distance from the city center. On both sides it is guarded by four dragons, which are historically considered symbols of Ljubljana.

A very interesting attraction is the Cathedral of St. Nicholas. It is located near the city market. Its dome and two towers are visible from afar. The facade of the church is decorated with sculptures and unique bronze doors. The interior of the church is in Baroque style, most of the paintings date from the beginning of the XVIII century.

On Prešerna square there is the Franciscan church which has the biggest statue of the Mother of God in Ljubljana. The church was founded in the XVII century and very well blends into the modern image of the central square of the capital. Nearby is Miklosevic Street, interesting with its pretty buildings.

Another attraction that you will see in the city is the fountain of the Three Rivers of Carniola . It is Baroque in style, and the figures decorating it symbolize the three rivers of Slovenia: the Sava, the Ljubljanica and the Krka.

In addition to the churches mentioned, there are many more cathedrals and palaces in the city that are worth seeing. These are the Church of St. Michael, the Church of St. Florian with an unusual roof, the Gothic Church of St. Jacob.

In the western part of Ljubljana there is a picturesque Tivoli Park with a castle and an art gallery.

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The evening city is also very interesting, when the streets and squares are lit stylishly.

City museums

On the left bank of the river is a large number of museums – the City Museum, State Museum, Natural History Museum, State Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Architecture Museum, Technical Museum, Ethnographic Museum.

Museums are usually open from 10:00 to 18:00 from Tuesday to Sunday, Monday off. The price for a ticket is usually 3-5 euros. The city is convenient for trips with children. There are no heavy traffic and long distances. In addition, in Ljubljana is a small zoo, adult ticket to which costs 8 euros, children’s ticket – 5.5 euros.

Tourist card

You can buy a tourist card for Ljubljana. With it you can get discounts in many museums, and some visit for free, free public transportation, to take a free cruise on the tourist boat. It comes in 1, 2 and 3 days. The cost of such cards from 23 to 35 euros for adults and from 14 to 21 euros for children.


Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is hidden between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, on the banks of a beautiful river. A beautiful and cozy city that is definitely not to be missed. For those going to Ljubljana, we can advise to visit these sights:

Modern Art Gallery.

The building housing the gallery was constructed in the middle of the last century. It impresses first of all with its stone blocks on the facade and nice columns … in the middle of the windows. In this museum you can admire the works of Slovenian and foreign artists of the 20th century, paintings, engravings and sculptures. Every two years this museum hosts the International Biennial of Graphic Art.

Gruber Palace

This three-story palace with yellow walls now houses the National Archives of Slovenia. The palace was built in the second half of the 18th century according to the design of Gabriel Grubber. In honor of him, in fact, and named the building. The astronomical observatory was built especially for the Grueber School of Mechanics and Hydraulics. What a man, eh! Got everywhere in time! The late Baroque building impresses with its facade decorated with floral designs. However, these flowers can also be seen inside. And also surprising is the oval staircase, which “flies up” to the dome of the building. At least for the sake of it you can come and admire the palace. On the lower floor of the building you can see the prayer room, the walls of which are painted with scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. These paintings date from the second half of the 18th century. If you raise your head, you can see that the domed ceiling is also very elegantly painted, it is true that the paintings are scenes of trade, artisans in business and so on. These paintings appeared there 10 years later than the paintings on the walls of the palace.

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Seminary Palace

This beautiful palace stands directly behind the Cathedral. It was erected on this site at the end of the 18th century. The first thing that catches your eye is the richly decorated entrance portal with stone reliefs, which is decorated with statues of Hercules on the sides. The whole structure is downright ah-ha! The statues are already a little blackened from time, but that only adds to the charm. Inside this interesting building is the Seminary Library, which, by the way, is the first public library in Ljubljana – it was opened in 1701. At first it was public, then it became a seminary library. It is not difficult to imagine that this library keeps valuable samples of books and documents. Note the ceilings of the building, they are very beautifully painted. And what beautiful oak furniture there is!

Ljubljana Castle

The castle was built on a high hill, above the old town. It is worth to get there at least for the magnificent view that opens from there. Nobody knows for sure when they built this palace, but, at least, this structure is mentioned in chronicles for the first time in 1144. That is, the castle is very old, it just does not fit in the head. This building is valuable because of its old architectural fragments. Fragments, because in 1511, there was a terrible earthquake that destroyed the fortress exactly as it was, and little was left of what it was In the 16th century the fortress, of course, was rebuilt, and left in it pieces of the old, thank God. To our delight. In the mid-19th century added another tower. Note the chapel of St. George, which dates back to the 15th century. Every year on the first Sunday in January, pilgrims come to the castle to honor St. George. This has been a tradition for many, many centuries. By the way, for some time there was a hospital, then a military garrison and even a prison in the castle (by the way, such fate befell many castles of the country). We can say that today this old castle – the symbol of Ljubljana. Or even Slovenia.

Cathedral of St. Nicholas

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The luxurious baroque cathedral with white and yellow walls was built on this site in the 28th century on the foundations of an old church from the 13th century. Inside and outwardly the cathedral looks very rich – frescoes, a luxurious greenish-blue dome, paintings. Note the doors of the church with engraved pictures related to the history of the Diocese of Ljubljana. These doors have been there since Pope John Paul II visited Ljubljana (in 1996).

Franciscan Church

This church was built in the middle of XVII century by Augustinian monks, and then the building was taken over by members of the Franciscan order. The main value of the cathedral is the Baroque altar. Very beautiful church vaults are covered with paintings from the mid-19th century. And the church has a library with 60,000 valuable religious books and writings.

National Gallery

Housed in a late 19th century building, this museum offers visitors a marvelous collection of art from the Middle Ages to the present day. The paintings and sculptures are mostly by Slovenian masters.

Archiepiscopal Palace

Baroque palace was built somewhere in the 18th century or earlier. Of course, like many buildings of the city, this palace had a couple of times rebuilt and even moved, but its original first floor and entrance can still be seen from the street Makova. The modern facade was created in 1778. It is part of the cathedral ensemble and is connected to it by a covered gallery. At one time it was even home to Napoleon’s headquarters, and was the seat of Tsar Alexander I in 1821.


This church is also called the Church of Maria the Helper. It is located next to the Summer Theatre of Krizanke. The church was built by the Teutonic monks at the beginning of the 13th century. However, no one can see what they built then, because all that remains is the relief of the main entrance of the temple – it depicts Cracow Madonna. That relief is now in the National Gallery of the city. The building itself was erected in the first quarter of the 18th century, and the project was managed by the leading Venetian architect of the time. The church was luxurious, with painted altars, paintings (which burned along with the altar in the 19th century) and other decorations. All this has already been replaced by new paintings, and the church was rebuilt too, last time in the 20th century. It is a kind of theater in the open air. Every year there is the Summer Festival, and you can enjoy a chamber music concert in the Knights’ Courtyard.

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