Slovenia - 2 Days in Ljubliana

Spending two days in Slovenia is easy

Slovenia was not very far away but the flights to Ljubljana were always disproportionately expensive. I have been watching the prices for many years and I haven't seen them as low as they were this winter. This was the opportunity to finally visit Slovenia over the weekend.

Did not have a big program for Ljubliana. My expectation was that I will arrive, see the old town and spend the rest of the time in coffees watching the scenery around the old town and doing nothing. It's supposed to be my 50th country in Europe.


Friday - Arrival in Ljubliana

The airport of Ljubliana is about half an hour away from the city center and a bus is the only public transport that connects the airport with the city. I just missed the public bus and would have needed to wait another 30 minutes for the next one, so I took the shuttle bus 10 Euro.

What else can I do in Ljubliana in one weekend?

After checking in at the hotel I was told that not too far away there is a beautiful lake with a small island in it with a church on it. At the edge of the island there is supposed to be a mountain with a castle on it. Hmmm... that sounds actually more exciting than I expected.

I asked the bus station when the departure times are for tomorrow and how it all looks logistically:

The bus to "Bled" leaves every hour and costs a few euros. The trip takes about 80 minutes and starts from here.

Perfect! This will now be my program for tomorrow.



12 Things to see in the Old Town of Ljubliana

Ljubliana is very small. Had my hotel in the center and from there, everything could be reached within 10 minutes of walking distance. In order to see all these things in Ljubliana without going too much in detail, it takes approximately one day. I divided the visit of the Old Town into two half days, Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon.


1. The main square "Prešeren Square"

It is actually the heart of the old town, where many streets come together, including streams of tourists.

The Prešeren Square is in the center
Prešeren Square has an orange buildingSmall Ljubliana on a tableOn the bottom is Prešeren SquareAround the square are many touristsPrešeren Square is connected by a bridgeLjubliana



2. Beside the river is the "Congress Square"

A large park in the center next to the river.

In Ljubliana is the Congress Square
Many people gathering around Congress SquareAcross the Congress SquareIn the center of Ljubliana at the Congress Square



3. Around the bridge "Ribja brv"

A bridge.

Three main bridges along the river
Ribja brv stairsIts connecting old town and new townOn the Ljubliana River


4. The most famous bridge "Cobblers' Bridge"

Another bridge, but this one is the oldest bridge in the town.

Cobblers' Bridge for tourists
In the center of LjublianaCobblers' Bridge is ancientRiver in Ljubliana



5. At the end of the Old Town is the "Sv. Jacob Church"

A normal church at the southern end of the Old Town. The old town can be walked through within 10-15 minutes, so when the church appeared I knew the Old Town is finished.

At the lower end is the Sv. Jacob Church
Not far from the Sv. Jacob ChurchBut worth to see is the Sv. Jacob Church



6. Obviously, the castle on the hill Ljubljanski grad (Ljubljana Castle)

I did not walk up there but heard there is also an elevator. The view from the bottom was fine as I didn't have time to walk around the hill and then the way up :).

It has two names, the Ljubliana Castle
Ljubljana CastleLjubljana Castle with a Slovenia Flag


7. Good view on Ljubliana and the castle from "Nebotičnik - Skyscraper"

Was in the cafe on the 12th floor and it paid off because the view over Ljubljana is perfect. The view of the castle and the whole town is very worth it.

Great view on the castle
Good coffe in the Nebotičnik - SkyscraperIts one of the highest buildings in LjublianaNebotičnik - Skyscraper



8. Bosnian food in Slovenia in "Sarajevo '84"

In the middle of the center, this place is simple and unpretentious and some say its the best restaurant in Ljubliana. The "čevapčići" meat is like a huge burger.

Sarajevo '84 had good dinner for me
But bosnian food is similiar to slovenianSarajevo '84 has good hamburgersIts in the middle of Ljubliana


9. From the old town to medieval town "Tromostovje"

The area is made of the three bridges, which connect the new town to the old town and the medieval town.

Tromostovje with the two dragon bridges
Ljubliana has a place called TromostovjeLjubliana has a lock bridgeTromostovje is beside the old town



10. The major square "Town Square" with the "Town Hall"

The huge square on the medieval side in Ljubliana, with many tourists and restaurants.

Way to the old town leads through Town Square
Old town LjublianaTown Hall is just besideIts nice to walk through Ljubliana



11. The area "Central market" with the "Dragon Bridge (Zmajski most)"

There are 4 dragons sitting on the bridge. The dragon is something like a symbol of Ljubliana and it is printed on almost every souvenir item like a T-shirt, fridge magnets, cups.

Dragon Bridge (Zmajski most) is beside the old town
Huge dragons sitting on the pileLjublianas Dragon Bridge (Zmajski most)


12. Metelkova Art Center

Streetart in various forms, but it is almost something like a tourist attraction and much visited. I guess inhabitants start to get annoyed by tourists, as there are many signs "No Photos".

Party area for Ljubliana at the Metelkova
Tall building in SloveniaLot of art around the Metelkova Art CenterLots of graffity at the Metelkova Art CenterMetelkova Art Center is full of strange artifactsNot much going on during the day in Metelkova Art CenterGolums sitting at the Metelkova Art Center




Day 2 - Saturday - The Bled castle and island

The bus from Ljubliana to Bled leaves every hour and costs only a few Euros. Had to be there at 8 o'clock, didn't want to spend the whole day in Bled but rather be back in Ljubliana at noon.
The drive was very pleasant and took about 80 minutes. Bled is the last stop and the bus stops directly at the lake.

Through the town of Bled

At 9.30am most of the shops were still closed and based on the kind of restaurants and stores it seemed Bled is a very touristic place in summer with many souvenirs on sale. The castle is not far away from the bus station and its easy to find.

Through the town of Bled in five minutes
The way to the Bled castleLjubliana is 1 hour away from BledBled a has a lake and a castle


Bled Castle (Blejski grad)

The castle is on a small mountain and it needs some energy to climb up there. Went to the entrance of the castle but did not go into the castle because it was a little expensive and I also had no time to stay there. My goal was just to see the lake and walk around a bit. So I walked from here down to the lake again.

Blejski grad
Bled castle is 10 minutes up the hillThe castle overlooks the lakeGreat view from the Blejski gradBled castle is expensiveBled castle is spectacularMagical lake with a castle



Church of the Assumption of Maria

To walk around the whole lake takes about 1.5 hours. Logically, there are all kinds of possibilities to cross the lake or to visit the church on the small island. But as it was winter, there were not many possibilities. So I walked along the path and after about an hour back to the bus stop.

In Bled
Two attractions in BledThe cathedral in Bled is on a islandAround the lake in 45 minutesOld Slovenian houses in BledTraditional houses in BledLake of Bled is nice to walk around



Back in Ljubliana - The afternoon in the old town

From Bled it was about 90 minutes in a comfortable big bus with lots of space. At noon I was back in Ljubliana to see the second part of the capital in the afternoon.

80 minutes between Bled and Ljubliana




Sunday - Bye bye Slovenia

Even though I did not see all the things in Ljubliana, I had a very good overview and actually did not miss anything.

OK, maybe I could have taken a closer look at the castle at the top of the mountain in Ljubliana, but maybe I will go to Slovenia a second time and then I will be able to do that in peace.

Nice weekend visit in Ljubliana. Back over the alps.


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