Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia is a small city compared to other capital European cities. It’s the hidden gem of Europe. For a quick taste a day in the city is enough to get a glimpse of Ljubljana’s vibe, but if you want more you can easily spend a couple of the days here. There is always something going on.
The main square – Prešeren Square
Prešeren Square is the heart of Ljubljana, a meeting point, with a beautiful statue of Slovenia’s greatest poet France Prešeren located on the eastern side of the square. France Prešern is known for his poem, “A Toast” (Slovenian: “Zdravljica”) which is also the Slovenian national anthem. The Monument with a muse above it is symbolically faced to the statue of Julija Primic, his greatest love he never had, you can find her statue in the Wolfova ulica, on the facade of a building located across the square.
Jože Plečnik was a Slovenian architect. He left a major impact on three central European cities: Vienna, Prague, and Ljubljana. His vision of urban planning was one of most important works of art in the 20th century. The architecture of Athens was the greatest inspiration for Plečnik’s Ljubljana. You’ll find his best works all over the city, the best-known works include the Ljubljanica bridges like the Triple Bridge and the Cobblers’ Bridge, the Central Market, the Križanke Theatre, the Bežigrad Stadium, the National and the University Library building. Make sure you include them in your itinerary and if you’d like to explore more of his life and work, you can visit the Plečknik’s House and get a glimpse of what it was like in his lifetime and admire a permanent exhibition showcasing his work.
The Ljubljana Castle
The Ljubljana Castle stands on the Castle Hill above downtown Ljubljana, it’s a medieval fortress constructed somewhere in the 11th century. Climb the Viewing Tower and enjoy the 360-degree view of the city, learn the history at the available exhibitions and explore the Gothic chapel.
Built around 14 AD, where now stands the capital city of Slovenia, Emona had an important role in the Romans Empire’s system, due to its geographical position. One of its burial grounds was located on the site of Kongresni square, where you can also find a replica of a bronze statue of an Emonian. You can visit the Emona museum to learn about the legacy of the Roman city of Emona, Emona House archaeological park, Early Christian center archaeological park or explore the remains of the Emona walls in the Mirje area of Ljubljana – search for “Arheološki park Emonska hiša”.
The Nebotičnik or Skyscraper is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Slovenia. Here’s why, the thirteen stories high building was built between years 1931 and 1933, upon completion, it was the highest building in the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia, with 70,35 meters/231 feet and the ninth highest in Europe. The top floors now serve as a bar, where you can enjoy some mesmerizing views of the city and excellent cocktails!
The Tivoli Park is Ljubljana’s largest park. The park stretches through the Rožnik hill, it contains several walking paths and trim trails expanding over five square kilometers. If you’ll walk through the Jakopič’s Promenade you’ll find different outdoor exhibitions of photographs all year around.
Open kitchen(Odprta kuhna)
The Open kitchen is a food market, a popular place to try different cuisine from a lot of different restaurants and styles of food from all over the world, everything from Persian to traditional Slovenian food. The food market is open every sunny Friday, from spring to fall between 12.00 am to 9.00 pm (in the summer until 10 pm).
Metelkova City also known as ‘Metelkova City Autonomous Cultural Center’ is a social center in the center of Ljubljana named by the nearby street. Former army barracks were transformed into one of the most interesting attractions in Ljubljana and in Slovenia. It combines nightclubs, bars, with a center that hosts art exhibitions, festivals, events with a mixed crowd and special street art. You’ll have a lot of stuff to do here and amazing pictures to take, it’s really extraordinary. Nearby is Hostel Celica. Well, this is more than a Hostel, once a prison, now a modern accommodation that has its own art gallery and a museum of solitary in the basement. There are 20 unique cells and 8 rooms to stay in with the original bars still on the doors and windows. The Hostel Celica is located in the city center of Ljubljana in the Metelkova street and is always filled with live music of rock, jazz, punk… If you are seeking for a unique experience, this is the right place for you.
The Flea Market lies between the Triple Bridge and the Cobblers’ Bridge on the Old Town side of Ljubljana. The market is open each Sunday, here you’ll find antiques, art, and souvenirs.
The Flea Market is held by the locals and is a great place for finding some surprising things.
The Central Market lies between the Triple Bridge and the Dragon Bridge. It was designed by the architect Jože Plečnik. Inside you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses, bread, spices, and souvenirs as well as some traditional Slovenian food like Potica and Prekmurska gibanica (a type of cake). The Market is open every day, except on Sunday, until 6:00 pm in the summer and 4:00 pm in the winter.
There are quite a lot of Museums in Ljubljana you can visit:
- The City Museum of Ljubljana, Ljubljana’s cultural heritage from the 4,500-year-old prehistoric pile to the present-day.
- National Gallery, the country’s largest collection of fine art, among them also some Slovenian artists like Ivana Kobilca, Ivan Grohar, Rihard Jakopič, Matija Jama,…
- National Museum of Slovenia, the location of the 60,000-year-old Neanderthal flute named Divje Babe Flute.
- The Slovene Ethnographic Museum, responsible for the preservation of the collections of artifacts related to the Slovenian and non-European materials.
- Railway Museum, a collection of steam engines and other railway museum vehicles and items.
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