Top things to do in Ljubliana12:06 PM
Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia is a green wonderful city crossed by Ljublianica river. Due to the wondeful green public spaces but also its extensive network of sidewalks and bicycle paths (220km!) it has won the title of European Green Capital for 2016.
Little I knew about this wonderful city and it was such a great surprise to discover a beautiful European capital full of color and art. I only had four hours to discover Ljubliana's beauty but thanks to fellow travel bloggers I managed to see all the basic things and discovered even more. So here I would like to share my memories with you and propose you some things to do in this wonderful city!
1. Walk along Ljubljanica River
Obviously one of the top attractions of the city is Ljubljanica river! This beautiful river that crosses the city center and is surrounded by cute cafeterias, restaurants, open air markets, nice squares and many many bridges.
Walk along it, cross the bridges and discover almost all the city's attractions. If you have time take the riverboat that will sail you accross the historic centre for 45 minutes.
2. Drink a hugo coktail at Liquid cafe-bar
Maybe the most cute and wonderful place of the area! This little cafe is located right next to the dragon bridge. It has a small little garden where you can sit and sip your cocktail, cheap prices (a cocktail costs 3.50 EUR, not bad eh? ), free Wi-Fi and the most friendly staff.It is a relaxing spot to take a breath before continuing your tour. Order a hugo coktail, very famous in Slovenia as I realized. It tastes like a mojito and is very refreshing.
3. Cross the Dragon bridge
Okay maybe I shouldn't even write about this (but I wanted to post the photo, hehe). It is the most obvious thing to do and the most famous bridge over Ljubljanica river. Dragons are a favorite motif of the city and that's because a legend says that the city was founded by Jason and the Argonauts, to the point where he killed a dragon.
Impressive dragons at both sides of this small bridge will enchant you and place you inside a "Game of Thrones" scenery. It is not hard to imagine Khaleesi appearing from one corner waving to her dragons and see them fly above you and getting lost in the Slovenian sky!
4. Lock your love at the Love Bridge
This simple bridge called The Butcher's Bridge and not the love bridge as we call it by mistake, has only opened in 2010. It is located between the central Market and the Petkovsek Embankment. It is quite modern with its glass panels and steel wires. But if you have to compete with the old and beautiful bridges like the Dragon bridge or the Triple bridge, you have to find a different thing to stand out. That's the case with that bridge that found its own way to attract tourism. Love padlocks have filled the rather ugly wired railings creating a colorful piece of love.
In love with a person, in love with the city, in love with life how cute are these heart shaped lockers? This custom that is invading European cities has come here too and has become a touristic and business opportunity. Souvenir shops around this bridge are selling.. guess what ? lockers! ofcourse. So if you want to lock your love, it is pretty easy.
5. Cross Tromostovje (Τhe Triple Bridge)
Designed by Joze Plecnik, this bridge is rather impressive as it consists of three separate bridges which lie next to one another! It connects the Main Square and a newer part of town with the Old Town and the Market so you will defintely cross it!
6. For breathtaking views of the city, climb up the Castle
Ljubljana Castle is the most emblematic attraction of the city, dating back to 1511. Take the funicular to climb the tower-observatory and enjoy the panoramic views of the red tiled roofs, the turquoise domes and the beautiful bridges. When the atmosphere is clear, one can see up to the Slovenian Alps! Check their official site here for times, exhibitions and tickets.
7. Do not miss colorful Metelkova
What can I say about this area? I will say that I am lucky to have discovered it (thanks fellow travel bloggers!) and that I have seen something similar only in Callejon de Hamel in Cuba! The ambiance, the art anarchy, the magic in the air.. everything here is so different and attractive.
Metelkova is actually an old base of the Yugoslav army that has been occupied and become an autonomous cultural zone. It is located a bit out of the historic center, close to the train station. It is ideal for lovers of underground culture who want to discover a different kind of urban art and have fun in big clubs and alternative places. Alhtough its dark atmosphere, it is perfectly safe to walk in it even if you are a female solo traveler. As a Slovenian guy told me: "We are only 100.000 in Ljubljana! Crime is very low!". Check out the official site of Metelkova here.
Art Market - May to October
Ana Desetnica Street Theatre festival - June and July
Ljubljana Festival - July and August
Ljubljana Jazz festival - July
Ljubljana marathon - October