A second chance in Ljubljana

Ljubljana, Slovenia. By Packing my Suitcase.

The first time I “visited” Ljubljana was in August 2012, on my way from Munich to a last minute and unplanned trip to Croatia. I did not check the weather, nor chose the hotel carefully as I normally do, so of course it wasn’t a surprise that it really didn’t work out. W, me and Enzzo stayed one night at a hotel a bit far from the center, and we ended up not visiting the city at all because it simply wouldn’t stop raining. Disappointed, we left to Croatia.

However, two year later, I had a second chance to finally visit this little cute Slovenian town on my way back from a trip to Baska, Croatia earlier in June. This time I had the opportunity to see what this city has to offer to a young couple and a dog. With everything planned, no rain and a nice hotel in the center city: I finally got to meet Ljubljana!

The sun was shining – well, more than that – during the two days I was in town. I couldn’t help but notice how much people enjoy the nice weather by sitting in a café or restaurant near the Ljubljanica River. Ice cream was of course a hint, and so was prosecco – for some reason, but I liked the idea.

Ljubljana, Slovenia. By Packing my Suitcase.

We took our time wandering around the old town, probably one of the most medieval one I have been to: narrow streets in cobblestones, passages, very well preserved buildings and even a medieval fair. With all the heat and the busy streets on a Saturday, we found a quiet cute little café called Repaete, and we enjoyed a glass of cold prosecco and a delicious peach pie, while sitting outside in the shadow.

Apart from spending most of our time crossing the enchanting bridges of the city from one side to the other, we visited the stunning Ljubljana Castle up in the hill. No doubt, this place was the highlight of the trip. There are two ways of getting up there, one is taking the funicular, and the other is walking. Since dogs are not accepted in the funicular, we walked our way up. I must say I didn’t mind the effort, I was glad about this, funicular isn’t my thing, I am afraid of heights.

Ljubljana, Slovenia. By Packing my Suitcase.

The Ljubljana Castle offers an amazing view of the city, up there you can visit the museum, grab something to eat in their restaurant and even get married! Yup, we got there in the middle of a wedding photo shooting. Anyone still looking for a romantic and unique place to get married?

What caught my attention in Ljubljana was how incredibly pet friendly the city is. I say this not only because there were indeed so many owners and their dogs walking around, but also because basically every hotel accepts dogs and every restaurant offer at least a water bowl to your friend. When you walk around with a dog, everyone wants to come and greet him. I can only say that Enzzo enjoyed his time, as he could always explore the city with us.

My traveling dog. By Packing my Suitcase.

I have to confess that Ljubljana reminded me a lot of Prague, though less crowded and smaller. The atmosphere of the city couldn’t be better, the people are very welcoming, the food is great, the prices are more than fair, and at night the center city is very alive. It was hard to decide where to have dinner among so many great options, but we ended up deciding for a place called Gostilna AS. What a great atmosphere this place offers, all built up around a gigantic tree, with an amazing terrace and impeccable food and service. It was a perfect end to our day.

It was well worth the while to finally get to know the city better. It is a perfect place for a short stay and for those looking to see a beautiful and unique European city that isn’t packed with tourists.

Ljubljana, Slovenia. By Packing my Suitcase.

Tips

  • Ljubljana is a small city, so you will be able to visit most of the attractions in two days;
  • Stay in the center city, it is totally worth it;
  • Try the local white wine, is very good;
  • The winter in the city is very humid and cold, so I advise you to visit it in a warmer season.

Where I stayed

Best Western Premier Hotel Slon

  • Perfect location
  • Booking in advance is cheaper
  • Rooms are amazing and the breakfast is delicious with endless options
  • Great service
  • Amazing confortable bed + pillow menu!
  • Pet friendly
  • Paid parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

Best Western Premier Hotel Slon, Ljubljana. By Packing my Suitcase.

Where to eat

I went to a few nice places, but these two I can highly recommend:

Repaete

  • Little cafe in the old town
  • At night it turns into a bar
  • Offers everyday a different menu for lunch and burgers for dinner
  • Quiet location
  • Outside sitting
  • Pet friendly

Gostilna AS

  • Nice place to have dinner or only for drinks
  • Amazing food
  • Great value
  • Friendly service
  • Pet friendly
  • The terrace upstairs is highly recommended

Ljubljana, Slovenia. By Packing my Suitcase.

 Have you ever been to Ljubljana? If not, would you like to?

About Allane

A Brazilian living in Germany. Married to W. mommy to a baby girl and a Golden Retriever. Traveler, writer, aspiring photographer, diver, wine appreciator, Formula 1 fan, avid reader of historical and young adult fictions books. City girl, nature lover, believer of a better world, one little change at a time.

  • This looks like a really nice place to explore. Second time lucky for you! 🙂

    • It is a very nice city!! Very easy to explore and fun, especially during summer!
      Ljubljana is not so far from Munich by car, and its always on our way to Croatia, so the 2 times we drove there was on our way to or from Croatia. I happy that second time it actually worked 😀

  • Bridges, castles, ice cream and Prosseco? What’s not to love? It looks beautiful

    • hahaha nice right? If you go, try to go during summer, its fun and the city is so alive 😀
      During winter is great if you are planning to go skiing, since there are many mountains around!! 😉

  • I have not been, but after reading this post, would definitely like to 🙂 also reaffirms my faith in the Best Western chain of hotels 🙂

    • Awnnn thank you Shikha, I hope you go sometime when you visit Europe!!
      Yes, me too… so far all the Best Western hotels I’ve stayed in were very good!! Nothing to complain 😀

  • Sha

    Looks like a place I would love to explore, less crowds, old architecture…another place to add to my list! Only thing I’m trying to figure out is the weather…how is it humid yet cold at the same time? Hahaha, I think I’m too used to Singapore’s humidity to be able to think about this..;)

    • Yes you would love this city Sha, Im sure!! It is so pretty 😀
      Ohhhh I also didn’t understand how it can be humid and cold… but I tell what, imagine cold, now imagine double cold… thats cold + humidity haha… very cold and windy. Places like Stockholm, Montreal, Copenhagen are very cold, as their winter is pretty humid.
      I was also used to the Brazilian humidity ahahah… a bit different! 😀

  • Isn’t Ljubljana a wonderful, semi-hidden secret? We enjoyed it immensely the summer before you did! I particularly liked your photo of the castle up through a narrow street – very nice. It’s obnoxious to put a link to one’s own blog in the comments, but here is my post on this lovely little city, if you are interested. I just wanted to share because we Ljubljana lovers are a small group!
    http://lexklein.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/lovely-ljubli/

    • Yaaay you also love Ljubljana? 😀 Awesome!
      Thank you for the compliment… Im happy you liked the post and the photo 😀 and no problem, thank you for sharing your post, I will take a look for sure 😉
      Have a great week!!

  • I’ve been, but would love to go back one day. A really chilled city. We found a bar by the river called Macek (Cat in Slovenian) and enjoyed watching the tourist boats go by during the day.

    • Great description: a chilled city… I couldnt agree more with you. I felt the same when I was there…I also would like to go back there! It is nice to sit by the river isnt? And there are great options around 😀

  • I’ve never been there and to be honest, I’ve never considered this destination 😀 but it looks nice, for a little getaway !

    • Yes, it is a very nice options of a little getaway. You dont need to stay long to get to know everything, and its a very pretty city 😀

  • Ive been first time to Slovenia this year – it was one of few countries in Europe that I havent visited and accidently, there were hitchhiking championships from my hometown to piran in slovenia, organized as well. i dont know why, but ive lways expected ljubljana to be bigger, though i liked it! i actually found entire slovenia really cool – having this charm of both italy and croatia and not that crowded as both of these ; )

    • hahaha nice!! As you I also thought Ljubljana was bigger… but I liked it. It is exactly like you said, a mix of Italy and Croatia, and still not crowded as most European cities 😀
      Slovenia is indeed a beautiful country.
      Thank you so much for your comment and for reading 😉

  • We loved our time in Ljubliana! Thank you for taking me back and for sharing your beautiful photos.

  • Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    Allane, you and I must have SUCH similar taste! I too went to Ljubljana in May just a month before you, stayed at the same hotel and also went to Rapaete for food! We did a fabulous food walking tour out there (post on my blog if you fancy reading more about it) & I totally agree with what a great, friendly,gigood value destination it is!

    • hahaha OMG are you serious?! We really do have VERY similar taste!! What are the odds? 😀 I guess we do have good taste hahaha
      I wanted to do the food walking too, but my hubby was tired and it was very hot, so we decided not to go and explore a bit more of the center city. I will for sure take a look at your post ahahaha 😀

  • What a nice city guide. Never been here or anywhere in Eastern Europe apart from Turkey, but it looks really cool! Good that you took the stairs up and not the train – I would do that too; I need to burn off the calories! 😉

    • Thank you Lee 😀
      Slovenia is a great country, the perfect combination with Croatia 😀
      hahaha yesss, I also needed to burn some calories 😀 I normally prefer walking than taking the easier way.

  • Julia

    Awesome post Allane! Love the pictures! What is your favorite restaurant? Remember to add it to your Besty List! http://www.thebesty.com/packingmysuitcase

  • Great stuff! I’m heading to Ljubljana in a few weeks and this is all inspiring for me! When I get back you can check out my adventures at http://www.travel-tramp.com/

    • Cool!!! I hope I helped you somehow with your trip 😀
      Enjoy your time in Ljubljana! 😉

  • Ljubljana is lovely and so are these photos 🙂 I hope you had a nice time in Croatia too (where I am from 😉 )

    • Hi Paula! Thank you for your comment and compliment!
      Yes I had a wonderful time in your country, I always do when I go to Croatia. Your country is amazing, and I am always happy to go back! 😀

  • Looks lovely – I’m planning a trip next summer and can’t wait, thanks for the tips!

    • Yaay awesome, I hope you enjoy this little town!! You’re welcome 😉

  • It looks so pretty, yay for second chances!:D Slovenia hasn’t been on my radar, but I love Prague and similar cities in Romania (watch out for the Sibiu post! 😉 ), so maybe I can visit Ljubljana one day.

    • Yesss, Ljubljana is a great option… you should consider going there 😉 and maybe Lake Bled together 😀
      Ohhhh Im tuned, cant wait to read more about Sibiu!!! 😉

  • thanks for such a lovely portrait of one of my favourite cities in Europe!

    • You’re welcome!! How cool, good to know Ljubljana is one of your favorite cities, I would never guess 😀

  • Sooooo pretty. I was tempted to swing by on my October Balkans tour, but it was starting to get way too cramped and the weather took a turn for the worse. I get all Euro-nostalgic tho, when looking at these photos.

    • I guess the weather in Ljubljana changes really fast… first time I went just didnt stop raining 🙁

      Awwwnn Euro-nostalgic, I like that 😀
      Come more often!!!! 😉

  • Ljubljana looks like a ridiculously awesome city, thanks for the guide. 🙂

  • Ljubljana seems like such a great city to visit ! It’s gaining serious popularity with the travellers & tourists alike !

    • It is a very pretty city 😀
      True I also noticed that! I guess people are looking more for places not to touristy 😀 thank for stopping by!

  • I’ve always wanted to go to Ljubljana mostly because when i learned all the country capitals in high school i LOVED how it sounded 😛 It’s so pretty!!

    • hahahaha true!!! I also find the name pretty and different 😀
      Its a very cute and cosy city, great for young people 😀
      Thank you for the comment… have a very nice day!

  • What a lovely place…the best part as you have highlighted that everybody there love to play with and move with dogs…the picture of dog with the water droplet is brilliant.

    Beautiful pictures, nature and castle looks so fabulous, you have nicely portrayed the place, the people and the stay…

    We miss out so many things in our first visit and do see and enjoy when we make our second visit to the same place…

    • Thank you Nihar!! hahaa yes, that is Enzzo my dog… he was thirsty and we found this little fountain nearby the Castle, and crazy for water as he is, couldnt stop playing with it after we showed him how to drink water from there 😀 very cute.

      Ohh how nice that you have been to Ljubljana before!! I hope you liked it… and next time you check things you still haven’t seen 😀

      • O! it was your dog Enzzo, they are so much a part of our family…such is attachment we develop with them, it is difficult to live without them…in fact long back we had in our family and after he passed away, it was terrible and so never had one thereafter…but they are so adorable…

        No No, I have not yet come to Ljubjana, just seeing your picture I was captivated and wants to come down sometime…

        • Yes 🙂
          I also had other dogs throughout my life… and lost them. It is always hard, each time is different 🙁 Im so sorry about yours!
          I love dogs, my life is much better with a dog around 😀

          • Yeah you are so right, in fact my cousin doesn’t like to call dog, she gets annoyed and she calls them as their son…they are so much part of our family, their unconditional love for us…no doubt they are our best friend, they cannot speak but they understand our language, sometime better than our fellow beings and they communicate through emotions…
            Yes parting with them is such a painful moment…I can understand…

          • hahaha same here!! Enzzo is a son 😀
            It is unbelievable how amazing they are… Enzzo always notices when Im said, stressed… and he knows when he has done something wrong 😀
            It is a hard moment when losing them… it takes time… but the amazing memories will always be with you!

          • They are so much a part of our family and their unconditional love and unflinching faith, so selfless… they are just like our sons/daughters…they fully submit themselves to us, they want our affection and that too equal amount of affection as we do others…those beautiful moments with them are imprinted forever.

            They are just brilliantly adorable…

          • I couldn’t have said better myself 😀
            I can’t compete with your amazing words!

            I wish you a wonderful week Nihar!

          • O! you have such a lovely choice of words and description, i just enjoy it… I keep learning various new perspective from your beautiful post. Have a great week ahead…

          • Thank you so much for your kind words Nihar, I am so happy to know you think that! I hope you keep enjoying my posts 🙂
            Thank you!

          • Yes, I do and love to read your posts!!!

          • Thank you Nihar!! I also love reading your posts, always makes me think about certain things in life that I normally don’t! 😀

          • Thanks ….It has been a lovely exchange of thoughts…happy interaction and blogging…our meaningful engagement grows with time.

          • Yes!! I have met wonderful people through blogging, and I love that, I always try to learn a lot from each one!

          • Yes, very true…it is great to know so many nice friends and understand so many different perspectives of life…

          • Exactly, I think the same too! And everyone writes about the same topic in a different way and with different opinions, it is great to see that! 😀

  • Looks like a beautiful town! I’ll have to try and make it there sometime!

    • Its very pretty!! And it still isnt so popular, so you can enjoy your time there without so many tourists! I hope you go there sometime 😀

  • I went to Ljubljana when I was younger but I’d love to visit again as an adult. Your photos look amazing!

    • Ohhh really? How nice!! Then its time to go back 😀
      Thank you so much for the compliment, happy that you liked the photos 😀
      Thank you for the comment, I hope you have a very nice day!

  • This looks wonderful! I love the photo of the dog 🙂 Seems like an ideal destination to visit!

    • Thank you Marissa!! 🙂
      Ljubljana is a very nice city to visit, small, not so touristy, with great food and relaxed 😀
      Thank you for your comment!

  • I have never been to this place but it certainly looks interesting. I had no idea you were afraid of heights, it does not sound like you at all for someone who always sits up high in the sky in planes 😀 But I suppose you forgot all about your fear when you reached the top – what a spectacular view.

    That is an awesome shot of your dog and the water droplets. Poor thing, looks thirsty. You certainly like your cafes, don’t you? I like cafes a lot too. I usually like to order pastries or sandwiches in cafes here in Melbourne, never the drinks (just the plain, free tap water) and the owners tend to give me weird looks 😀

    • hahaha ohh yes, I am really afraid heights!! And I guess every year it gets worse… I feel safer underwater 😀

      I do love cafes… I hate coffee, but I love pastries with hot chocolate or tea 😀 especially in winter!!
      Why not never the drinks? You don’t like them? 🙂

      • Oh no, so sorry that your fear of heights gets worse every year. Maybe a skydiving trip will cure it… 😀 I can see you love underwater very much from your underwater photos. You must be a good swimmer!

        I don’t drink coffee or alcohol or the beers because my body doesn’t react very well to them 🙂 I also get stomach ulcers easily, another reason and can’t it many foods. Maybe that’s why I’m so small 😀

        • hahaha I dont think a skydiving trip will help.
          Yes I love the underwater, I love the sea 😀 maybe because I grew up by the sea, and always by the water.

          Ohh I also don’t drink coffee, but because I hate it haha 😀
          Im sorry about that… ulcers are really bad 🙁 then I guess it is better if you avoid these things and eat healthy 😀

          • Next time you go diving and if I am there I will take photos of you jumping about the ocean like a big fish 😀

            I actually love the smell of coffee. I don’t mind the taste but this drink always makes me shaky. People laugh at me in Melbourne when I say I don’t drink coffee – Melbourne is one of the best cities in the world for coffee 🙂

          • Yes, because caffeine is very strong! My mom for example, loves coffee, but she doesnt drink expresso because its stronger, so she drinks it with milk 😀

            Ohh really? I didnt know that about Melbourne… and well, people often find weird that I dont drink coffee because I come from Brazil and its very typical there 😀 hahaha

          • Yes, you are from Brazil! I am surprised you aren’t a fan of coffee! In Melbourne, so many people catch up over coffee. Sometimes people will give you a funny look when say you don’t drink coffee here 😉

          • Yess here too hahaha people love coffee here! But I replace it with tea and sometimes hot chocolate 😀
            Do you like tea?

          • I like tea but I actually try not to drink tea too much too. The other day I had a bubble tea in the evening and then I couldn’t sleep until 3am in the morning 😀

          • hahahaa but bubble tea is full of sugar 😀 you have to drink the healthy ones 😀
            I love bubble tea 😀 but its been a long time since I last had one!

  • I never been, but I would love to visit. It’s funny how rain can ruin a trip. Glad you got the second chance to visit the town and share it with us

    • Yes, rain can really ruin some trips 🙁
      But yes we finally got the chance to visit the city, and it was worth it!!
      Thank you for stopping by… I am taking a look at your blog now, and I find it amazing, you guys are doing a great job 😀 lets keep in touch!

  • We have never been but gosh how we just want to go right NOW!

    We love the charm of European towns sooooo much – the walls, the towers, the medieval-ness about them!!

    How we would love to be in Europe again!

    Great post!

    • Ohhhh I can tell from here that you guys miss Europe!!! But don’t worry, next time you come you will still have some amazing places to visit 😀

      I hope you come again next year 😀

  • I was about to mention to you, that Ljubljana is so pet friendly! I miss my dogs so much (they’re back in Mexico) and I wish I could have them here so they could enjoy all of this! I’m so happy you enjoyed my city, it’s so lovely specially during summer!

    • Hi Isabel!! 😀
      Yesss, I couldn’t not noticed, I loved this about Ljubljana… we are surely coming back one day with Enzzo 😀
      Awnn I can imagine how much you miss your dogs!! Ever thought of bringing them to Ljubljana? Enzzo came all the way from Brazil hahaha 😀

      Yesss, Ljubljana is soooo pretty, especially during summer… with such a fun and relaxing atmosphere! I’d love to again, and its not even far from Munich 😀

      Thank you so much for your comment 😉

  • It does look such a pretty spot. I’d love a little time in Slovenia 🙂

    • Yes Jo, its a veeery pretty place, the entire country I believe! Lake Bled is also veeery beautiful and worth a visit! 😀

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