10 Must See Things in Ljubljana

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Are you planning a trip to Slovenia? You can't miss a visit to the capital, Ljubljana. It's a small town, rich in history and also romantic, with a lively and surprising character. You can't help but fall in love with it at first sight! The attractions offered by Ljubljana include breathtaking landscapes, fine architecture, a considerable cultural heritage, all in a relaxed atmosphere that will soon lead you to love this city. Furthermore, discovering all the treasures offered by Ljubljana is not at all difficult, the city can be easily visited on foot or by bicycle.
The main and most interesting monuments to see, museums and galleries are kept in the historic center the city market which, as often happens, concentrates the history and traditions of the population. There are therefore many reasons that can convince you to take a trip to Ljubljana, in this article we have gathered 10 things to see absolutely.


  1. Library
  2. The castle
  3. The Cathedral of San Nicola
  4. The Central Market
  5. The TiFlights Park
  6. The Bridge of Dragons
  7. The Triple Bridge
  8. The Civic Square
  9. Metelkova neighborhood
  10. Nebotičnik
  11. User questions and comments

1 - The library

The most important work of the great Ljubljana master Joze Plečnik is the National and University Library (NUK) in Ljubljana. Designed in 1932 and inaugurated in 1941, it looks like an imposing building, rectangular but irregular, with four floors. It is an easily recognizable building, its facade is in fact decorated with red bricks and stone blocks placed alternately. These two elements have the particularity of having been positioned irregularly, based on the decision of the masons while carrying out the construction work. To introduce visitors to the knowledge that is hidden inside the building are two heads of horses, on the handles of the main door, representing Pegasus. The interior is also fine, in particular the great central staircase in dark marble and its 32 black columns, as well as the large reading room flooded with natural light thanks to large windows. It is kept inside the library the country's largest collection of literature, but also important medieval manuscripts and Renaissance prints.

  • Turjaska 1, you arrive on foot - Get directions
  • Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 20:00, Saturdays from 9:00 to 14:00
  • Free, free visit

2 - The castle

The oldest castle in the whole city stands on a hill called Grajska Planota. In medieval times, the wooden castle was inhabited by the Carinthian prince Spanheim, who also ruled the entire province from here. It became part of the properties of the Habsburgs and underwent a process of fortification and change over the centuries: it became a warehouse, barracks and military hospital and also provincial prison. Abandoned in 1849, it was used again as a penitentiary in 1868, until the end of the Second World War. To date it turns out owned by the municipality and hosts, after having undergone several renovations, cultural events, concerts, exhibitions and shows.

  • Grajska planota, can be reached on foot or by funicular - Get directions
  • castle and panoramic tower from 1 October to 30 April every day from 10:00 to 21:00, from 1 May to 30 September from 9:00 to 23:00. It is possible to participate in guided tours (also in Italian) which take place in June at 10:00 and 16:00, in July and August at 10:00, 11:30, 18:00 and 19:00, in September at 10:30, 12:00, 16:00 and 18:00
  • the guided tour that includes castle, tower and exhibitions with funicular included costs € 10,00 full and € 8,00 reduced

3 - The Cathedral of San Nicola

One of the most representative examples of Baroque art in Slovenia is the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, dedicated to the patron saint of fishermen. The ruins of a Romanesque basilica, dating back to the th century, were subsequently modified to give life to the current building, whose construction was completed in the early th century. It was designed by the Jesuit architect Andrea Pozzo and is decorated inside with pink marble and white and gold stucco. There are also numerous frescoes by Giulio Quaglio depicting scenes from the life of San Nicola.

  • Pogačarjev trg, can be reached on foot - Get directions
  • Monday to Friday except Tuesday from 11:00 to 18:00, Tuesday from 14:00 to 18:00, Saturdays and holidays from 11:00 to 15:45 and from 16:45 to 18:00, Sunday from 13: 30 to 15:30 and from 16:45 to 18:15
  • Free, free visit

4 - The Central Market

Every day at the central market the city comes alive, thanks to commercial exchanges but also chatter and socialization. This place, in fact, represents not only the main commercial point of Ljubljana, but it is also a very busy and lively meeting place. It was designed between 1940 and 1944 by the famous architect Jože Plecnik. It is a very characteristic place that includes the open market of Vodnikov trg and the covered one of Pogačarjev trg. What most distinguishes the Central Market are, however, the many stalls that populate it, where it is possible to find practically anything, from food to flowers, from objects belonging to local craftsmanship to typically Slovenian specialties such as, for example, Karst ham and "potica" cake. We bet you will end up wandering around the various stalls of the market for hours, touching, tasting and letting yourself be tempted by easy purchases!

  • Vodnikov trg, Pogačarjev trg, at the city center, within walking distance - Get directions
  • Monday to Friday from 6:00 to 18:00, Saturdays from 6:00 to 16:00; winter from 6:00 to 16:00, closed on Sundays and holidays. The covered market is open Monday to Friday from 7:00 to 16:00, Saturdays from 7:00 to 14:00.
  • Free, free visit

5 - The TiFlights Park

Not far from the city center, at the foot of the hill called Roznik, it rises the largest park in the city, which the citizens of Ljubljana frequent to stroll, relax and meet. The TiFlights Park covers 510 hectares and has been the green lung of the city since 1813. It is made up of tree-lined avenues with spaces enriched by fountains and statues, but it also houses a pond and a small botanical garden. In the park there is also an outdoor Olympic swimming pool, sports fields and a playground for children, a sports hall that hosts not only competitions and sporting events but also events and concerts. The so-called Jakopič promenade is the main attraction of this park: named after the Slovenian impressionist painter Rihard Jakopič, it is a path that leads to the TiFlights Castle where, to guard, there are four sculptures of dogs.

  • is located at the foot of the Rožnik hill, reached by crossing the underpass from Cankarjeva cesta - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • Free, free visit

6 - The Bridge of Dragons

It is one of the first bridges built in reinforced concrete of the European continent. It takes its name from the statues of four winged dragons fierce-looking, which seem to guard the whole bridge. It was built in 1900 in honor of the 40 years of reign of Emperor Franz Joseph I, and therefore initially took the name of Ponte del Giubileo. It was only in 1919 that it was renamed Zmajiski Most due to the dragons that also appear on the Ljubljana coat of arms. Legend has it that the city was founded by the Greek hero Jason, who killed the dragon that lived in the swamp near the source of the Ljubljanica river.

  • north of Vodnikov trg, you can reach it on foot - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • Free, free visit

7 - The Triple Bridge

Here is another bridge, this time smaller in size but with distinctive features that make it unique. It is called the Triple Bridge (Tromostovje) due to its conformation. It was built in 1842 as a very simple bridge but, between 1929 and 1932, it was necessary to expand it due to the increase in city traffic. Architect Jože Plečnik then designed and commissioned two more bridges, this time dedicated to pedestrians, to flank the existing structure. The result is a stunning triple bridge, enhanced with sturdy stone balustrades and side terraces with trees, ideal for a pleasant walk: along the bridge and in the surrounding areas, in fact, there are often street artists and musicians who animate and cheer the day of passersby.

  • Get directions
  • always accessible
  • Free, free visit

8 - The Civic Square

The main square in Ljubljana is called Mestni Trg and is surrounded by magnificent sixteenth-century buildings in baroque style. Among these, it is worth mentioning the Haman house, which houses the Mestna galerija (Civic Gallery) and the Lichtenberg palace with its decorated facade. The Town Hall, the Mestna hiša, dominates the square with its clock tower and is now the seat of the Municipality of the city of Ljubljana. Right in front of the Town Hall it is present the obelisk of the Carniolan river fountain, an eighteenth-century building that represents one of the most famous monuments of Ljubljana from the Baroque period, inspired by Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers, located in Piazza Navona in Rome.

  • Get directions
  • always accessible
  • Free, free visit

9 - Metelkova district

Although Ljubljana is a city of modest size, it can boast its alternative neighborhood, a city within a city that originated from the occupation of a former barracks. It is in effect the artists' quarter, a kind of open-air gallery dedicated to street art, with murals and all kinds of installations. When the sun goes down the area becomes the core of the city nightlife, where the nightlife is lively and full of alternatives including concerts, music of all kinds, clubs and clubs for all tastes.

  • walk from the historic center, in about 15 minutes. Drive all over Trubarjeva, at the crossroads take Metelkova Ulica on the left - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • Free, free visit

10 - Nebotičnik

This is the Ljubljana skyscraper, built in 1933. Although it is defined as a skyscraper, it is not that high, as it only consists of 13 floors. It remains however the tallest building in the city, where you can reach a panoramic terrace with a coffee, to enjoy a beautiful view of the city from above in complete tranquility.

  • Štefanova ulica 1 - Get directions
  • every day from 12:00 to 16:00 and from 18:00 to 22:00, closed on Sundays
  • Free, free visit

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