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Ljubljana Top Attractions 2024: Landmarks of Slovenian Capital

Ljubljana Walking Tour_Private Guide

Top 25 Sights of Ljubljana: The Gems of Slovenia's Capital

Welcome to Ljubljana

Located almost in the very center of Slovenia, Ljubljana is a city with historical charm, architecturally unique and boasts vibrant cultural diversity. Ljubljana is a perfect spot to stay for a few days and explore Slovenia and neighbouring areas: 1 hour drive to the borders of Italy/Austria and Croatia, no more than 1,5 hours to almost any remarkable destination in the country, 1,5 hours to Zagreb or Trieste, Klagenfurt or Rijeka, 2 hours to Graz and 2,5 hours to Venice. Doesn't that sound like heart of Europe?

But Slovenia's beautiful capital has lots to offer itself! Here is the list of 27 historical and natural landmarks of Slovenian capital: follow and enjoy! Below the list, there is a map for your convenience. When visiting the city you can attend Free Walking tours in Ljubljana and find our more about local events on VisitLjubljana.com  

Hungry yet? Best affordable restaurants/foods in Ljubljana

And if you are looking for private tours of Slovenia and Ljubljana, please, feel free to contact me directly!

  1. Ljubljana caslte
  2. Tromostovje: The Triple Bridge
  3. Preseren Square
  4. Franciskan Church
  5. Vurnik House
  6. Urbanc House
  7. Dragon Bridge
  8. Butchers Bridge
  9. Ljubljana Market
  10. St. Nicholas Cathedral
  11. Robba's Fountain
  12. City Hall
  13. Baroque Ljubljana
  14. Shoemakers' Bridge
  15. Zidovska Street
  16. Ljubljana National Library
  17. French Revolution Square
  18. Vegova Street
  19. Congress Square
  20. Zvezda Park
  21. Neboticnik: The Skyscraper
  22. National Museum
  23. National Gallery
  24. City Museum
  25. Krizanke
  26. Botanical Gardens
  27. Tivoli Park

A Walk in Ljubljana

Ljubljana Castle view

Ljubljana Castle view

Ljubljana castle

Arguably, the most noticeable attraction of the city, located on the top of a hill and clearly visible even from a distance. The castle was first mentioned in XII century and had quite a long history as a fortification. Throughout the history it has been military barraks, prison and even a residential building for poor families in XX century. But, for some reason, was almost never used by any of it's noble owners of medieval times for living purposes. Nowadays the castle houses a museum, a few cafes and restaurants.

More detailed information about Ljubljana castle

For more information visit the official website

Tromostovje (Three Bridges) and Ljubljanica River

Tromostovje (Three Bridges) and Ljubljanica River

Tromostovje: The Triple Bridge

The iconic Triple Bridge, or Tromostovje, stands as a symbol of Ljubljana's architectural uniqueness. A wooden bridge, called "hospital bridge" had been standing on this spot for centuries. In XIX century it was replaced by the stone one. And two pedestrian bridges on the sides were added, according to the plan of famous local architect Joze Plecnik in 1930-s. Connecting the baroque part of the city to the modern, it's a prime spot to witness the pulse of daily life and marvel at the Ljubljanica River.

France Preseren Monument

France Preseren Monument

Preseren Square

Preseren Square, named after Slovenia's most valuable poet, France Preseren, is the central meeting point. He is the author of many great poems and slovenian anthem. Basically it is a part of his poem, called "Zdravljica" (Toast).  The square is bordered by historical buildings, mainly late XIX-early XX century. For instance you can notice Urbanc palace with date 1903 on it's facade and statue of Marcury, god of trade, on the top. Another remarkable building is so called Hauptman house (or small Neboticnik - Skyscraper), decorated with colourful tiles.  And, of course, Preseren square is the heart of Ljubljana's cultural scene. By the way, usually all the city tours start here.

Franciscan Church Ljubljana

Franciscan Church Ljubljana

Franciscan Church

The red facade of Fransiscan church of the Annunciation is one of the most remarkable features of Ljubljana city center. Built in the middle of XVII century the church boasts very rich interiors. Next to the church the very monastery is situated. It houses a huge library of more than 40000 of books. The visits to the library are possible by prior arrangements.In general the distinct red facade and serene interior of Franciscan church make it an architectural and spiritual gem. For 2 euro you can enter the church to see the beautiful interiors.

Vurnik House

Vurnik House, an art nouveau masterpiece, showcases the city's architectural diversity. The house on Miklosiceva cesta was built by prominent slovenian architect Ivan Vurnik and decorated by himself and his wife Helena. They used traditional slovenian colours and patterns in exterior and interior of the house, which makes it's design completely unique. The colorful facade and intricate design of Vurnik's house are nowadays a testament to Ljubljana's artistic heritage.

Urbanc House

Built in 1903 Urbanc house was the first department store in Ljubljana. It was made with wide usage of iron and steel, so popular and modern materials at the beginning of XX century. Throughout the history it was rebuilt a few times, but finally got it's original look (even the exteriors) after huge renovation in 2010s. One of the most peculiar examples of art-nouveaux architectural style still houses a few fancy stores and is named Galerija Emporium nowadays. Steeped in history, Urbanc House offers a glimpse into Ljubljana's past. This architectural wonder reflects the city's evolution through XIX-XX centuries.

Dragon Bridge

Built of stone, the bridge was once called "Anniversary bridge" and appeared here to celebrate 40 years of reign of austrian emperor Franz Josef I in 1888. It was badly damaged by the earthquake in 1895 and replaced with a very modern concrete bridge, considered to be one of the first works of art-nouveaux architectural style in Ljubljana. The dragons were made in Vienna and placed here in 1905, thus giving the bridge its name. There are a few legends about dragons in Ljubljana, arguably, the most known tells us about Jason and the argonauts to pass this area, defeating a dragon on their way.

Butchers Bridge

Crossing the Ljubljanica River, the Butchers Bridge is a modern one, appeared only in 2010. But the idea of this bridge comes from first half of XX century and plans of Joze Plecnik. It was WWII that didn't let him to realize his plans with this bridge. Nowadays it is also famous for unusual statues by local artist Jakov Brdar: Prometheus, Faun, Adam and Eve. And, of course, the bridge is known for the views and numerous locks, the travellers and couples leave here.

Market and Plecnik's Market

City market appeared on the spot, where once a school used to stand. Market is open every day, except Sunday, and offers variety of fresh local vegetables, fruits, cheeses, dairy products etc. Don't forget to check milk&egg vending machines. Plechnik's market is two buildings, 150 meters each, located on the bank of the river and remarkable with it's long colonnade and number of cafes, restaurants and shops will local foods and delicacies.

St. Nicholas Cathedral

The majestic St. Nicholas Cathedral, an architectural marvel with its Baroque style and stunning frescoes. The cathedral is considered to be one of the remarkable examples of baroque architecture in Ljubljana. The first church of XIII century on this spot was dedicated to St. Nicholas, patron saint of sailors and fishermen. It was replaced with a majestic cathedral in early XVIII century. Pay attention to the doors: they have plots of Christian history of Slovenia.

Ljubljana Walking Tour_Private Guide

Robba's Fountain

Robba's Fountain appeared on the City square (Mestni trg) of Ljubljana in the middle of XVIII century. The city commissioned Venetian artist Francesko Robba for this work. It is considered that the artist couldn't find job in Venice, so had to move and look for possibilities in other regions. Original fountain was moved to Slovenia National Gallery, to preserve it, so nowadays we see a replica.

City Hall: Historical Importance

City Hall, a prominent landmark, narrates stories of Ljubljana's history. The first house of City Hall was built on this spot in XV century, being rebuilt and renovated a few times. City Hall houses mayor's office and Ljubljana has a very long tradition of mayor's election since 1504.

Baroque Ljubljana: Architectural Evolution

All this part of the city, located on the eastern bank of Ljubljanica river, is called old town or "baroque Ljubljana". It was mainly built during XVII-XVIII centuries, with the oldest house in Ljubljana originating from the middle of XVI century. A few squares (Ciril-Metodov Trg, Mestni Trg, Stari Trg and Gorni Trg) basically run one into another with perfectly preserved colourful old houses on the sides.

Cobbler's bridge

Cobbler's bridge

Shoemakers' Bridge

An iron bridge once used to stand on that spot. It was replaced by a new one, designed by architect Joze Plecnik. It offers beautiful views of Ljubljanica river and castle, and known for some design features. Pay attention to the lights, designed in shape of Triglav mountain, slovenian national symbol.

Zidovska Street

Zidovska Street, the Jewish Quarter, is a part of old Ljubljana next to Novi Trg (New square). Once it actually was a ghetto, populated with Jews, but it was in XVI and XV centuries. At the end of XV centuries a few anti-jewish laws were issued by emperor Maximilian I and jews had left the territories of modern-day Slovenia. Nowadays there is a jewish society on Krizevniska street.

Ljubljana National Library

The history of National library begins in 1774, when Austrian empress Maria Theresia established Ljubljana liceum and it was granted with first 637 books. The modern building of Ljubljana library was erected in 1936-1941 according to the project of prominent architect Joze Plecnik.

French revolution square

French revolution square

French Revolution Square

You won't find that many monuments to Napoleon Buonaparte outside of France, but there is one in Ljubljana and it stand on French Revolution square. In the beginning of XIX century Fench empire has defeated Austria in one of the wars and established a puppet state of Illirian provinces, with Ljubljan being it's capital. That four years of French rule made a significant impact on Slovenian national ideas, cultural development and, thus, history.

Vegova street_Ljubljana

Vegova street_Ljubljana

Vegova Street

Vegova Street is often called a "cultural axis" of Ljubljana. The street doesn't seem a huge landmark from the first glimpse, bu itt houses a few important cultural institutions: National library, High school, University of Ljubljana and Musical school. Along with houses, standing on the basis of medieval city wall and an alley of prominent slovenians.

Ursuline church on Congress Square

Ursuline church on Congress Square

Congress Square

In 1821 in Ljubljana there took place an event, which made it known outside of the county and even Austrian empire: Ljubljana or Laibach congress. That was one of the congresses of Holy alliance, those who defeated Napoleon and established the new rule in Europe for a few decades. Congress square was basically established to house some of the events. Nowadays it is surrounded with a number of remarkable institutions and architectural landmarks.

Zvezda Park

Basically the first park area in the central part of Ljubljana. The name Zvezda (star) comes from the shape of the lanes and planted rows of sycamore trees. Next to the park you can find some parts of archeological excavations in Ljubljana: remains of ancient Roman military camp (castrum) and further town of Emona.

Neboticnik

Neboticnik (the Skyscraper), with it's 71 meters (231 feet), built in 1933 was once the tallest building in the kingdom of Yugoslavia and ninth-tallest in Europe. Besides that for some time it remained the tallest residential building in Europe. Nowadays it houses a cafe on the top floor with beautiful views of Ljubljana and the area.

National museum Ljubljana

National museum Ljubljana

National Museum: Historical Treasures

The National Museum houses a treasure trove of artifacts, showcasing Slovenia's rich historical legacy and cultural heritage. The exhibition is quite exciting, describing the history, nature and most common local peculiarities. Here you can find out about pre-historic pile dwellings next to Ljubljana and see (and hear) the oldest musical instrument ever found: 60000 yo neanderthal fleut, made of a jaw-bone of a cave bear.

National gallery Ljubljana

National gallery Ljubljana

National Gallery

Art enthusiasts can revel in the National Gallery's collections, featuring Slovenian and European artistic wonders. If you like art and interested to find out more about slovenian traditional features or to see the collection of prominent local impressionists , National Gallery is the right place to visit.

Oldest wheel in Ljubljana city museum

Oldest wheel in Ljubljana city museum

City Museum: Reliving History

The City Museum of Ljubljana allows visitors to see the history of the city from ancient times till nowadays. Located in a palace of Auspreg family it houses a significant permament exhibition! For instance you can find here the worlds oldest wooden wheel (found on Ljubljana marshes) and the oldest bone needle. Another gem is the exhibition of Socialist times.

Krizanke, Ljubljana

Krizanke, Ljubljana

Krizanke

Krizanke, a former monastery of German knights, was completely rebuild and in a way "recycled" by architect Joze Plecnik. He was commissioned to perform this by socialist government after WWII. Former monastery was turned into a venue for different kinds of events. In particular, for the events of Ljubljana festival: musical and theatrical festival that takes place in Ljubljana every year. A fusion of Christian and socialist symbols on the territory is quite unique.

Botanical Gardens: Nature's Haven

Botanical gardens in Ljubljana is quite small and cozy. It was established more than 200 years ago, during the times of Illirian provinces and French reign. Now that is one of a few green areas around the city, and gives a possibility to escape to some of tranquility next to the city center.

Tivoli Park: Green Retreat

Tivoli park, as long as the botanical gardens, was established during the French reign. It's a huge territory, located next to the heart of Ljubljana and gives plenty of opportunities for walking and hiking, being one of the most popular destinations for the locals on the weekends. Tivoli park also provides lots of opportunities for sports and leisure.

FAQs

Is Ljubljana safe for tourists?

Ljubljana (as Slovenia in general) is one of the safest European destinations.

What is the best time to visit Ljubljana?

All year round. It's still "under radar destination", but of course during high season gets busier. My suggestion is November-December or March-April. February is quite cold, but one of the driest months, so also sunny and pleasant.

Are English speakers commonly found in Ljubljana?

Among younger generation, almost everyone speaks at leas A2 English. Among elder it's less common, but in general up to 80% of people here would speak at least some English.

Can I explore these sights on foot?

Yes, central part of Ljubljana is very friendly to pedestrians and almost completely flat.

Are these attractions accessible for individuals with disabilities?

Most part of those, yes.

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