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Ljubljana in a LJU ease?

Hello! We leave next week for our Croatian/Slovenian trip and could not be more excited! After spending a few days at Lake Bled, my husband and I will be in Ljubljana for a day before we fly out early the next morning. What would you recommend seeing/doing in a 12 hour time span (I know it's not much - just enough for us to want to come back another time) to get the ultimate Ljubljana experience?

Also, our flight with Adria Air leaves at 7 AM to go to Amsterdam. How much time do you think we'll need to get through the airport? I have read that it's small, but some of the posts were years ago and I'm looking for someone who has traveled through recently to give more updated information if it exists. I also saw that if it's too early, some of the counters aren't open yet. My gut tells me we should be there two hours beforehand, but I also want to sleep... :)

Posted by
111 posts

I’m heading to Ljubljana in Sept, so I don’t have any experience of the town at all yet... but I have read that this place is worth a visit... it was in this forum and people agreed it was great! - Cacao

I’ll be interested in seeing other replies to this topic too! Have a wonderful trip.

Posted by
336 posts

Ljubljana is a very small capital, smallest in Europe. You'll have more then enough time to see the city.
We spent 5-6 hours 2 years ago, and did what we wanted. You'll want to wander in the city around the 3 bridges, the photo shot of the city and the center of it.
The bronze dorrs of the cathedral are gorgeous
Go to the dragon bridge, another popular sign of the city
We went on top to the castle and enjoyed that as well
See below, this is what RS proposes. I also had my lonely planet book. If you want to kno more about Plecnik, the famous architect of the city, you can visit his home. We didn't.
We basically walked, enjoyed architecture, stopped for a coffee, took pictures, etc.

▲▲▲ People-Watching Ljubljana's single best activity is sitting at an outdoor café along the river and watching the vivacious, stylish, fun-loving Slovenes strut their stuff.
▲▲ Riverside Market Lively market area in the Old Town with produce, clothing, and souvenirs.
▲▲ Serbian Orthodox Church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius Beautifully decorated house of worship giving insight into the Orthodox faith.
▲▲ National and University Library Jože Plečnik's pièce de résistance, with an intriguing facade, piles of books, and a bright reading room.
▲▲ Jože Plečnik House Final digs of the famed hometown architect who shaped so much of Ljubljana, explained by an enthusiastic guide.
▲▲ Slovenian Ethnographic Museum Engaging, well-presented collection celebrating Slovenian culture.
▲ Cathedral Italian Baroque interior and bronze doors with intricate, highly symbolic designs.
▲ Dragon Bridge Distinctive Art Nouveau bridge adorned with the city's mascot.
▲ Ljubljana Castle Tower with good views and so-so 3-D film.
▲ Contemporary History Museum Baroque mansion in Tivoli Park, with exhibit highlighting Slovenia's last 100 years.
▲ City Museum of Ljubljana Modern, high-tech exhibit covering the city's history.
▲ Cobblers' Bridge Columned bridge that epitomizes Jože Plečnik's distinctive architectural style.

Posted by
1100 posts

I was in Ljubljana for two days earlier this summer. One of those days was a day trip to Lake Bled. I spent one fantastic day exploring Ljubljana on my own, and included notes about that day in a trip report. Rather than repeating much of what I've already written, I'm pasting in and editing here some of my trip report about that day:
What a beautiful, lush, modern yet historic Western European city! Right under the Alps, with strong Austro-Hungarian architectural influence, it feels to me somewhat like Salzburg felt some 40 years ago (back in my youth hostel days). The river through the middle of the city is much treasured and enjoyed, with sidewalk cafes, bars, trees, benches, all along it through the center of the city. I flew there easily on a one-hour Adria Airlines direct flight from Sarajevo. (I was glad that I had opted for a window seat, as I could see the villages, fields, and approaching mountains on that clear day!) I also took RS's advice and pre-booked a GoOpti shuttle (9 euros) from the airport to the hotel which was waiting for me and took me directly to my hotel. (There were several other folks in the van but I was first drop off). Pensione Pod Lipo was quiet, clean, a ten minute walk from the river.... My one full day in Ljubljana began with the "Free Tour" in front of the Triple Bridge. There were about 20 people in my group and my guide was exuberant, articulate, funny, and passionate about Slovenia, architecture, art, history, and really helped me appreciate his city....(Edit: this tour took a couple of hours and we saw and learned about many of the sites included in the list in the earlier posting. I don't remember if I had to pre-register on-line for the tour. I don't think so. The large group that showed up was split into three groups, each with their own enthusiastic young guide.) I enjoyed shopping at the stalls of local artists and craftspeople in the covered arcade near the Triple Bridge and then cooled off and ate a great grilled fish sandwich in the fish restaurant in the lower level of that arcade (directions in RS's chapter on Ljubljana) with a table right on the breezy river. At that point, a castle sounded like a good idea, so I took the funicular up to the top of town. There are a number of museums, and castley rooms to see; I just didn't have enough time or energy to see them all, but especially enjoyed the very well done special exhibit on the mythology of dragons! Final note: dinner was pizza at a fun restaurant right on the river; don't remember the name. Just stroll, read menus, and choose one that looks cool!