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Ljubljana - how many days?

Ljubljana's our end-point of a 32-day trip next summer (Italian coast, down one side & up the other, I'm still amazed), and I'm thinking stay put for some R&R lazy days (hah, recovery) after allll the previous see & do. How many days would you give the city? We spent one night there several yrs ago & said, wow, come back here! Husband thinks maybe rent a car & go beyond - yes/no? Love countryside & small villages as much as charming small cities. We'll fly home out of Ljubljana. Thanks for any advice! Vicki

Posted by
19441 posts

I enjoyed the streetscape, markets and museums enough to think there's enough in the city to keep someone interested for at least 2 days if he doesn't hit the street st 8 AM and go-go-go without stopping. But I'm slow in museums and like early 20th century architecture as well as the older stuff. I spent a couple of hours browsing craft markets, at least one of which was held only one day a week. I also visited the cat caffe (their spelling). The castle was relatively time-consuming, and I am not much for castles.

I suggest taking a look at the TripAdvisor Things to Do listing.

Posted by
4700 posts

Yes, absolutely rent a car - driving in Slovenia is easy (at least it was for me), and renting a car doesn't seem expensive. There are lovely little towns near Ljubljana like Skofja Loka, Radovljica (near Bled), and Kamnik. Obviously Lake Bled is a major tourist draw, an easy day trip from Ljubljana or a base for exploring the area. You can get to all of those places by train or bus quite easily, but the car lets you take beautiful scenic drives. The drive from Skofja Loka to Bled up through the mountains via Jamnik and Kropa is spectacular - very scenic. You can also see larger, less developed Lake Bohinj nearby. (Lake Bied is beautiful but a developed, popular tourist resort, too busy for some people's tastes.) Rick Steves in his Croatia/Slovenia book has a great driving day tour through the Julian Alps Loop, over the Vrsic Pass, over a twisty road with many hair-pin turns and neat stops in between. Many explore the Soca Valley, and some stop in the town of Kobarid for the history museum (focused on World War I).

You could spend more than a day or two in Slovenia, obviously. Depends how much time you have to give it! Given that you have already spent a day in Ljubljana, you probably don't need a ton of time there. It's a lovely city, as you know, very charming but not very big. There are activities and things to see, but in my opinion, the highlight of Ljubljana is its charm and architecture, not any particularly site or destination. It's a great place to come back to at night after exploring places nearby during the day.

If you do rent a car, note that parking it can be a challenge. Ljubljana has huge pedestrian-only areas (also the most desirable parts of town), so you'll need to work out where to park. There are big parking lots right on the edges of the pedestrian zones, though. In May, I rented a car (from Avant Car) just for a day (not my first visit) and returned the car late in the evening after the office was closed, so I didn't have to pay to park it, and walking back to my B&B was easy given how small Ljubljana is.

Posted by
86 posts

I would second all the above. We just back from a one month trip through northern Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia (Istrian penisula). Spent about one week in Slovenia, and had a car the entire time. Saw most of the things mentioned above, and would highly recommend having a car there. In Ljublijana, it wasn't needed, but easy enough to find a place to park it for a couple of days there. But getting around the rest of Slovenia, car was great way to see things and move around easy. We loved driving through Julian Alps over the pass and Soca River Valley, Lake Bled, the cave areas and the countryside.

Posted by
50 posts

I also second all previous posts. Two days for Ljubljana and you can visit some countryside nearby. Jezersko, Logar Valley or Velika Planina are not so on radar but very beautiful and short trip from Ljubljana.

Posted by
1276 posts

We rented a car at marco polo, stopped in acquelia to see the mosiacs, and arrived at our agrturistimo at lake bled after dark. I would caution driving after dark... we just couldnt manage the intermittent signage

Posted by
2145 posts

I would give Ljubljana at least 2 full days. There is the castle, a couple small enthnographic museums, a short river excursion, and wandering around. There is a roman-era ruin of a church. The more time you spend in one place, the more you find. It's one of my favorite cities.

Posted by
284 posts

Hi Stewart & Vicki, We had 5 nights, 4 full days in Ljubljana and loved it! I think 1 less day/night would have been just right while my daughter thought 1 more would be perfect. as you can see this is very subjective. For reference, we did 2 day trips, Bled and Postojna Caves, and spent the rest of the time in Ljubljana. We did both a very good food tour, walking tour, the Illusion Museum (which was a lot of fun with teenagers), as well as the usual wandering, shopping, etc.