Ljubljana is the capital city of Slovenia and situated in the heart of this wonderfully green country. This charming and compact city has all its main sights in walking distance, so you don't need public transport to see all the high lights.
It is situated along the Ljubljanica River and hugs a hill with a castle on top which overlooks the city for the last 900 years. In this blog I share my favourite sights and places for coffee, drinks and food.
Vurnik House is one of the most iconic buildings of Ljubljana. It was built in 1921 by Slovenian architect Ivan Vurnik in 'Slovenian national style' and inspired by Slovene folk art. The facade is decorated in the countries tricolour.
The National and University Library was built by Jože Plečnik, the architects most important work in Slovenia. During our visit students were studying in the Library because of exams, so we weren't allowed to have a look. But we were able to walk through the giant hallway with huge and impressive limestone stairs and checked out the attached NUK café.
Go there on Saturdays between 14:30 and 18:00 to be able to see the beautiful Library with large chandeliers as well.
The above mentioned Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik (1872-1957) had a major impact on the architecture of Slovenia and Prague. Ljubljana is one of the 19 cities of RANN (Réseau Art Nouveau Network) with a rich art nouveau heritage.
The Hauptmann House (depicted left) on Prešeren Square is designed in the Viennese Secession style and is one of the city's few buildings to survive the devastating earthquake of 1895.
The Franciscan Monastery and Church of the Annunciation was built between 1646 and 1660 and faces the famous Triple Bridge.
Metelkova is an autonomous social and cultural centre in the heart of the city. The former army barracks are now an urban sanctuary for artists and creative minds. It is home to some underground music (night)clubs, exhibitions, indoor skatepark and a great canvas for street art.
The soft tones of Ljubljana's facades give the city a variant look, even on grey and rainy days.
The Botanic Garden was established in 1810 and contains more than 4.500 different species and subspecies. The garden and tropical glasshouse are a great place to relax and come to rest.
View at the Castle Hill seen from the area of the Triple Bridge.
Even if you don't like to visit the castle itself, it's an easy 15 minutes climb to reach the top of the hill and enjoy the views over the city and the nearby Alps.
Coffee and Drinks
Between the cultural centre of Metelkova and the Dragon Bridge you will find EK Bistro, a breakfast and brunch spot with old brick walls. Their small terrace overlooks the river.
Črno Zrno Coffee is in my opinion the best specialty coffee bar in town, and by far the most personal. The coffee beans are bought from smallholder farmers who get an honest price for their beans.
Kavarna Moderna is a (gin)bar which belongs to the Museum of Modern Art, and is great for specialty coffee from their own roastery, lunch and (coffee)cocktails. Good to know: you don't need a museum ticket to enter the bar.
What I liked most about Pekarna OSEM Bakery is the openness. Other bakeries bake their bread behind closed doors, but not here. At OSEM you can watch the baking process while choosing you very delicious sourdough bread which is made in small batches.
El Patrón Tacos & Store is a good place to grab a bite between lunch and dinner at their long communal table. They serve original Mexican corn tortillas with fresh homemade salsas & fillings accompanied by several Mexican drinks and beers.
Local cuisine from the area of Prekmurje (the most eastern part of Slovenia) is served in a cosy setting with a vaulted ceiling cellar at Güjžina. They also have vegetarian/vegan options.
Indian cuisine is one of my favourites, so we ended up twice (!) at Namasté for a delicious vegetarian thali (a selection of various dishes on a metal plate). They offer culinary specialties of the Great Moghul cuisine of Northern India, mainly from the states of Rajasthan and Punjab.
Check out my blog post with Slovenias 10 best nature escapes to combine your city trip with great mountain hikes, impressive gorges & waterfalls and beautiful views over pristine lakes.
Do you fancy some Italian vibes with good food and a Mediterranean climate?
Then I can recommend to combine a visit to Ljubljana with a city trip to the beautiful city of Trieste in Italy, as it is only a good hour drive from here.
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Please note: this post is not sponsored