Ljubljana: Underrated Capital City of Slovenia

Looking for a cheap holiday getaway? Look no further head off to Ljubljana! There are cheap flights from U.K and cheap quirky accommodation in the city capital of Slovenia. I know when you think of Slovenia the first thing comes to your mind is the magical setting of Lake Bled. I don’t blame you, to be honest I myself only wanted to go to Slovenia to visit the stunning Lake Bled. But after my amazing experience in Bled I decided to visit the capital city, as I’m flying back from Ljubljana Airport to U.K.

So from Bled I took a bus to Ljubljana costing €4. Just under an hour journey along the motorway passing through thick forest of fine trees and suddenly we were welcome with some concrete buildings and scattered graffiti everyhere! There’s even an area full of graffiti and guess what I will be staying in that hippie area. From the bus station I navigated myself towards Metelkova way.

When communist ruler Yugoslavia collapsed in the 90’s, this area was left with an abandoned army barracks and former political prison. Over the years this area was taken over by squatters. And refusing to leave they redecorated the area with Graffiti or Street Arts, you decide whatever you call it!

Now a days the district is thriving area with cool bar scene. And the former prison buildings was converted to a hostel called Celica Art Hostel, a popular place for backpackers. Who would pay to stay in a prison cell? Yes me! I’m staying in this accommodation just to feel the lively hippie atmosphere of the area. And not everyday you stay in a prison cell without conviction! I was lucky to be shown around the hostel before my check in time together with an italian journalist. We visited the solitary confinement cell at the basement and some of the private cells on the first floor, was designed by different local and international artists with their creative theme. The private cell can be booked as well as the 2nd floor which is a dormitory style accommodation. With en-suite bathroom and shared kitchen, they also have bar and restaurant.

As soon as I checked-in, I decided to have a nap for a couple of hours. And in the afternoon I went for my usual meandering around the old town for my photography stroll. After an hour or so wandering around, my legs started to ache from the previous days hiking, so I decided to go back to my hostel.

On that evening the hostel restaurant was catering for a barbecue night. For only €5 we had unlimited barbecues from pork chops, to meat rolls and chicken kebab with salad and creamed potatoes. It’s a bargain I would say! And not to mention a free jazz band for the nights entertainment, it was a good food with great people to share it. A perfect way to end a lovely night.

The following morning, I joined the Free Walking Tour around the old town. I took the chance to capture the beautiful buildings while listening to the guide interesting facts about the place. We crossed those stunning bridges from the Dragon’s Bridge to Love bridge and ended up in the triple bridges. Walking around the Old Town being amazed with the history and admiring the different architectural designs, from Roman, Baroque,Vienna Secession style. Thanks to Jože Plečnik a local Slovene Architect most notably designed the iconic triple bridge and other quirky modern buildings gives a major impact in the city’s identity.

If you like to watch sunset and see the captivating glittering lights of the city. I highly recommend taking a hike up to the Ljubljana Castle. You need to pay the castle entry to the main chambers, but if you are on a budget there are areas that doesn’t need a ticket. There are exhibit in some part  of the castle that are free of charge. There  is also a café & restaurant in the  grounds.

If you are visiting Ljubljana between March and October. They have an Open Kitchen every Friday near the cathedral. Rows of food stall offering different cuisines you can hardly imagine in one location.

Are you curious of Slovenian night life? Disco and night clubs aren’t my scene, but I was invited with my friend Juliet (a Korean girl) by an American guy to join the pub crawl together with a funny British guy. So I said why not! We visited few bars and clubs with our beers at hand singing karaoke, playing beer pong and necking every free shots ( oh boy the horrible after taste!) I had the most amazing time dancing the night away till we catched a taxi home by 3am.

If you like nature, why not visit the largest park of the city. Tivoli Park is located on the northern outskirt of the city. You will see a several buildings around the park including  the Tivoli Castle, the Museum of the Contemporary History  of Slovenia and Tivoli Hall. On the main  entrance there  are art exhibits from the National Geography. A good place for jogging, cycling  or meet up friends  for picnic.

Insiders Tip :

Getting to Ljubljana City Center. From the airport you can take either a bus €4 or a shared shuttle van cost €9, travel time will take about 20-30 minutes depending on the traffic. If your coming from Bled there’s an hourly bus service that will take about an hour journey cost €4.

Join the Free Walking tour meeting place at the Prešeren Square infront of the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation (Pink Church ). The tour starts at 11 am and 3 pm that will last about 2 hours.

If you’re a foodie there’s an Open Kitchen every Friday from Mid March to October. A chance  to taste local food, and international cuisine that is guaranteed freshly prepared and amazingly delicious.

Looking for a cheap restaurant that serves fresh and delightful menu that doesn’t compromised great service. Look for Drugga Violina they have daily specials on the menu costing €5, main meal with salad for starter or dessert not bad at all.

But if you are looking for a quirky place, head towards Sarajevo84 Restaurant they served traditional Balkan cuisines. If the food doesn’t entice you at all just go for the ambience. The cool atmosphere of the place and enjoy a cold beer is good enough excuse to visit the place!

Have you ever been to Ljubljana Slovenia? Leave your comments below, I love to hear your experience. Do check out the link below for my other Slovenia blog 


Explore Slovenian Nature

31 thoughts on “Ljubljana: Underrated Capital City of Slovenia

  1. I’ve never been to Ljubljana. It wasn’t really on my travel radar. But I love what you tell about it. I love the colors in your pictures. It’s really amazing. Especially the clouds on the first pictures and the light at the castle. I love visiting castles by the way. It has always a bit of a magical feeling.

  2. I have read a bit about Ljubljana and it is a place I would visit when I get to the former eastern block countries. The free tours are a great way to see the highlights of the city and it’s good to see that it’s available in Ljubljana. I love your street art photos, particularly the mosaic wall.

  3. I absolutely loved Ljubjana. We particularly loved the markets, the food (great restaurants) and getting up high on the hill via the funicular. Awesome photos in this article – such colour.

  4. Ljubljana is one of my fave European capitals too! Spent a few days there earlier this year, and really enjoyed it. Cool Old Town, small enough to explore in a few days, but big enough to offer plenty to see and do. Great people too!

  5. Ljubjana looks like an amazing place – and great it only cost you 4 Euro to get there from Bled. I haven’t managed to get to Slovenia yet, but this underrated capital is at the top of my list!

  6. That hostel sounds really cool! If a bit strange! ? what a great short break to take from the UK. Will keep this in mind next time I want to get away!ree love30

  7. For the past seven years, I lived just over an hour from Ljubljana and frequented the city. There’s a great food and craft beer scene. Christmas is one of my favorite times in Ljubljana though. The city is just magical during the holidays.

  8. Ljubljana was such a great place to travel! I want to travel there again! ❤️❤️
    It is amazing post! Miss you!

  9. I really love your spontaneity and all the fun you had in Ljubljana. It really sounds like a wonderful place to visit. This will absolutely make my list when we visit Slovenia! A great read!

  10. Wow Ljubljana looks absolutely amazing – I keep seeing cheap flights there from London and think about it but now I really have to go! Thanks for sharing your adventures!

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