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.
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.
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.
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 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
- 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
Where to eat
I went to a few nice places, but these two I can highly recommend:
- 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
- Nice place to have dinner or only for drinks
- Amazing food
- Great value
- Friendly service
- Pet friendly
- The terrace upstairs is highly recommended