We’ll just come right out and say it: we wish we would’ve had more than 2 days in Ljubljana. While we did a lot of things and filled our tummies to the brim, time flew by. That means we had an awesome time though, right? We most definitely did and you will too!
In this post, we share a 2 day itinerary for Ljubljana with you, including sights to see, food to try, and a day trip. If your length of stay in the Slovenia capital differs from ours, feel free to amend this list to fit your schedule and desire. Let’s get started!
Day 1: Exploring Ljubljana’s Old Town and Authentic Food
Start Your Day Off at a Bakery
Like most of Europe, Ljublana has many bakeries with incredible goods for sale. From donuts to croissants to sausage- filled rolls, a bakery in Ljubljana is the perfect place to fill up before setting off to explore this beautiful city.
Ljubljana Free Walking Tour
As with any itinerary in a capital city, we recommend a free walking tour as your top priority. You’ll walk the streets, learn a little bit about its history, and be able to ask a local any questions you might have. And it’s free! Of course, please tip your guide (they’ll do a great job!) as that’s how they earn their money.
The Ljubljana free walking tour was special because we got to try a little bit of Slovenia’s national drink (more on that below) and they give you discounts for attractions and activities! Also, a fun fact: Slovenia is in the shape of a hen.
Since you’re going to be walking through a lot of Ljubljana on the tour, especially Old Town, you’ll pass by a lot of the sights to see, saving you time to do other things during your 2 day stay. They also offer a free Old Town and castle tour as well as a paid communist tour (12 euros).
Pro Tip: We think the Ljubljana Pass is a really good deal. For 48 hours, it’s 35 euros per adult. That includes admission to over 20 attractions, free wifi, free bus travel, free river cruise, and a free ride on the funicular to the castle. They offer 1 day, 2 day, and 3 day deals!
You can either climb the hill (about 10-15 minutes) or take the funicular to the top for a closer look at Ljubljana Castle. It’s 4 euros/adult for a round trip up and down. While we only toured through the free exhibitions, there are other options for the museum and tower viewpoint. There are several guided castle tours to choose from.
However, as our walking guide said, the views from the walls are almost the same as from the tower so save your money unless the museum interests you. So, since you’ve only got 2 days in Ljubljana, we recommend checking out the castle and moving on.
But the tower viewpoint sounds pretty cool, right? Instead of paying 10 euros for the museum and tower, we decided to wander outside of the walls and we found a great view of Ljubljana for free! Just walk around the castle grounds until you see Old Town below. There’s a wide ledge for you to take in the sights!
As you’ll learn on your tour, Ljubljana is synonymous with Jože Plečnik. While that’s not entirely true, this architect was involved in so many projects throughout the city that practically everywhere you look you can see his work. From bridges, to the market, to the fascinating public and university library, Plečnik was a busy man. There is a lot of his architecture to appreciate as you wander through Ljubljana.
Probably the most iconic bridge in the city, be sure to walk across Dragon Bridge at least once. While it can get pretty crowded due to photography lovers, try the evening or early in the morning for a closer look. Ljubljana is connected with the legend of Jason and the Argonauts and their victory over a dragon in the area; even more reason to appreciate the dragons flanking the bridge’s entrances!
Statue of France Prešeren
France Prešeren is the national poet of Slovenia and rightfully so, as one of his poems, Zdravljica, is the Slovenian national anthem. It’s not often you hear of a national poet regarded with so much respect so this statue, located in Prešeren Square, is a unique monument. There’s a love story mixed up with this statue but you’ll have to take the walking tour to find out. Hint: there’s a young girl across the way from him.
Franciscan Church of the Annunciation
While in Prešeren Square, be sure to head into the 17th century Baroque style church. You can’t miss its vibrant reddish-pink color and their is plenty of art to appreciate inside. It’s free!
One of the coolest buildings in Ljubljana (in our opinion) is the university library. Or course, this was designed by none other than Jože Plečnik. While the exterior colors aren’t pure eye candy, the fact that the windows appear to be open books is quite impressive. Speaking of impressive, we hear the reading room is quite a sight to see.
Unfortunately for us visitors, you need a library card to enter and those are for citizens only. However, the outside of the library is still worth a long observation and a cool photo.
Okay, what about that Slovenian cuisine? Head to Druga Violina, located near the Hercules Fountain, and dig in. This restaurant has a huge section of Slovenian food. This restaurant hires people with disabilities so it’s a win-win. Expect a line around lunch time and if you’re planning on going for dinner then call a day or two in advance for a reservation.
Who doesn’t love a huge park in a European city? Tivoli Park in Ljubljana is massive. Filled with museums, cafes, nature and that wonderful peace and quiet, Tivoli Park is the perfect place to take a breather, let your food settle, and catch your second wind.
This church, dating back to the 1200s, has had a bumpy history. It was damaged due to fire twice before 1500, once accidental and the other presumably on purpose by the Turks (Ottoman Empire). Today you can enter and admire the outstanding detail inside. However, it costs 2 euros. We weren’t too happy about paying to enter but we think it’s worth it.
If you don’t venture in then at least take a look at the bronze doors to the cathedral. They represent the history of Slovenia and were constructed for Pope John Paul II in 1996.
Ljubljanica River Cruise
How about something that doesn’t require walking or thinking, just taking in the beauty of Ljubljana? If you went on the free walking tour then you’ll receive a coupon for a free drink! You’ll find ads all over the city for the Ljubljanica River cruise. It’s a relaxed activity, fun for the whole family and offers a unique view of town. You can also purchase river cruise tickets online through Ljubljana’s tourism department. Or, better yet, if you have the Ljubljana Pass, you have a tourist boat cruise included!
Pro Tip: All river cruises in Ljubljana cost the same and take the exact same route.
Dinner time! Julija is a tasty joint with a lot to offer. Their menu gives you the option of traditional Slovenian food or some international cuisine. The service and atmosphere were great. Julija is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of exploring Ljubljana.
Day 2: Foodie Time and a Day Trip
Perfect for breakfast or lunch, Kodila is located in the outdoor market of Ljubljana. They serve delicious omelettes with fresh ingredients for breakfast or tasty charcuterie boards for lunch. What you don’t want to miss out on is the cake, Prekmurska Gibanica! Its layers contain poppyseed, apples, walnuts, and cottage cheese. This cake is a regional delicacy and a must try!
Visit the Market
Another of Plečnik’s creations, the outdoor market in Ljubljana is great to wander around and shop for souvenirs or fresh produce! If you’re in the market for some in-season fruits or vegetables to snack on then this is the place to go! Everything we tried was incredible.
Vineria del Ponte
If you went on the walking tour then you were sure to stop by this small shop in the city center. Here you can try and buy the national liquors of Slovenia. Blueberry, or fig, or both! They go great by themselves or with a little bit of schnapps added to it.
Ljubljana Town Hall
Right in the center of Old Town, this 15th century building has a lot to show you! There are four main exhibitions inside, all free! You’ll also find several art exhibitions. It’s much quieter than the bustling streets outside and there’s plenty of shade. For a deeper look inside this beautiful Baroque building, tours of the non-public spaces are available.
This lovely square has its roots planted all the way back to 1821, when it was reconstructed for the Congress of the Holy Alliance. Today, you can find many beautiful buildings surrounding this historic square. The University of Ljubljana, the Philharmonic, Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity, the list goes on. It’s a beautiful place to down some gelato, or if it’s cold out, some hot cocoa. Keep your eyes peeled for events, especially in the warmer months, as there were events being held during our stay in August.
House of Illusions
If you’re looking for something other than history and architecture, give your brain power a go at the House of Illusions. Especially entertaining for kids, it’s a fun-filled way to kill some time if you have it. Tickets run between 5-8 euros, depending on your preference for “skipping the line”. You’ll find this neat attraction tucked to the side of Congress Square.
Day trip to Postojna Cave
Our short time in Ljubljana had room for one day trip so we chose to go to Postojna Cave. As it’s close to the city, you can easily fit this one in your itinerary. Plan on it taking up at least half of your day.
We drove to the cave since we had a car but you have several options to choose from if you’d like to go as well. There are tours running from Ljubljana but be wary as they’re not very budget-friendly. Buses and trains are available to take you to Postojna. For more info on this awesome attraction in Slovenia and how to get there check out our post on the stunning Postojna Cave day trip from Ljubljana!
If you’re more interested in a day trip to Lake Bled, another very popular tourist destination, be sure to read up on Ljubljana’s guide to visiting Bled!
A burger joint in Ljubljana you don’t want to miss. This is one of the best burgers we’ve had outside of the United States since we left in August 2018. Be sure to order a side of onion rings or the herb and parmesan fries.
Summary of 2 Days in Ljubljana: Guide to Slovenia’s Capital
With such a short time in the city, we hope this list has helped narrow down some fun things to do. No matter how you spend your time in Ljubljana, we’re positive you’re going to love it!