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Visiting Ljubljana: City of Dragons

Visiting Ljubljana: City of Dragons

Known as the city of dragons, Ljubljana is gaining in popularity amongst travellers. With cheap flights to the Slovenian capital tourism is expected to continue to grow with visitors from all around the world realising what this relatively young country has to offer. Both for those seeking a short city break or backpackers exploring the newer capitals of Europe Ljubljana is on the rise.


WHERE IS LJUBLJANA?


Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia which is bordered by Croatia, Austria, Hungary and Italy. Slovenia, with a population of just over 2 million is one of the youngest countries in Europe. It gained independence in 1991 following the collapse of the Yugoslav federation.  Slovenia joined the European Union in 2004 and the currency is the Euro. The dragon is the city emblem of Ljubljana.

There are 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Slovenia.

The centre of Ljubljana is pedestrianised and there was a great atmosphere sitting by the river enjoying a drink and a meal in the evenings. We had some great meals and some great milkshakes. I cannot pass up the chance to try new flavours and a coffee shop called Cacao made terrific ones from a vast array of ice cream flavours. Go and try them – tell me what you think!


THINGS TO SEE WHEN VISITING LJUBLJANA


This is what we managed to fit into our weekend itinerary to Ljubljana. We also included great day trips from Ljubljana into our Slovenian itinerary.

If you are visiting Ljubljana whether for a few days or longer there is plenty to see and do. With a great cafe culture if you visit in summer I would recommend spending some time simply relaxing by the river and people watching.

cruising-along-the-river in Ljubljana

READ MORE
Things to do in Lake Bled Slovenia

 

THE OLD TOWN

The Old Town is quite small. It is centred around the river and there are beautiful buildings, bridges and squares to see. We were there in summer and I can imagine just how magical this place would be at Christmas!

river-cruise in Ljubljana

There are loads of restaurants and bars so you really are spoilt for choice. We ate at Pop’s Place which, if you like burgers or ribs, I highly recommend! They also had a fantastic array of craft beers to choose from. The service was  excellent everywhere we ate/drank. We also ate at The Wok for some fast food noodles – the food was made to order, was delicious and not expensive.

The tourist advice is also based in the Old Town and is on the left after you cross the Tromostovje or Triple Bridge.

tourist-information in Ljubljana

tourist information on the left!

THE TRIPLE BRIDGE – TROMOSTOVJE

Well I have never seen anything like this bridge. It is absolutely fantastic and you can cross a different bridge each time. The name does give it away so yes ‘the’ bridge consists of 3 bridges!

triple-bridge in Ljubljana

triple-bridge in ljubljana

View of Preseren Square

 

DRAGON BRIDGE – ZMAJSKI MOST

The dragon is the symbol of the city of Ljubljana and this bridge with its four guardian dragons is a must-see. And they are very photogenic little dragons too!

view of the dragon bridge in ljubljana

dragon in ljubljana

dragon-with-a-wasp-bombing-the-picture

Photo bombed by a wasp!

 

LJUBLJANA CASTLE

There is a funicular to the castle or if you are feeling energetic you can walk up for some spectacular views of the city.

LJUBLJANA CASTLE

 

PRESEREN SQUARE

This is the main square with the ‘three bridges bridge’ off it and a big pink Franciscan Church in it. And it has its own climate!! Yes its own climate – it rains! So even on sunny hot days you can get a cool down under the rain!

 

welcome-rain in Ljubljana

It really is a pretty city! There are bicycles everywhere as it is pretty flat. Sit by the river, relax and enjoy the view!

VISITING LJUBLJANA

Cafe by the river

decorated building in Ljublana

beautiful-buildings

love-locks

love locks – but where?


WHERE TO STAY WHEN VISITING LJUBLJANA


We stayed at the Best Western Premier Hotel Slon which is in the centre (Old Town) and was walkable distance from the train station.

Click this link to make a booking at the Best Western or search for another hotel.

 


RECOMMENDED TOURS WHEN VISITING LJUBLANA


 


NEED TO KNOW


NEED TO KNOW SLOVENIA


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ljubljana-city-of-dragons

Have you been to Ljubljana? Did you find the love locks? I am sure I didn’t get to see everything – are there other things you would recommend to see/do in Ljubljana – leave your feedback/comments below!


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Author: Tracy

Tracy is your expert expat!

She has lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to over 50 more. A qualified school teacher with an interest in history, reading, photography, nature and wildlife she is always planning her next trip (preferably by train)

Through down-to-earth stories, tips and advice (based on her own extensive knowledge and experience of life as an expat) she aims to support new and prospective expats to survive and thrive in Australia.

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, she is also able to share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help you travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

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32 Comments

  1. September 30, 2016 / 8:15 am

    Looks like a nice place for a short city break. Thanks for sharing, Tracy.

    • September 30, 2016 / 3:15 pm

      Yes definitely Jurga though I think I may want to stay longer around Lake Bled – post coming soon!

  2. Arianne
    September 30, 2016 / 9:42 am

    Culture, castles and DRAGONS! What else could a girl want? Loved reading this article! I’m inspired to travel there, even if I’ll never be able to pronounce it’s name ✨?

    • September 30, 2016 / 3:16 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it Arianne – it is a lovely city and I find spelling it as difficult as saying it! And the dragons…what can I say!

  3. September 30, 2016 / 4:17 pm

    What do you mean : it rains?? Like a fountain or something?
    And isn’t the paintwork on those building just gorgeous!

    • September 30, 2016 / 6:38 pm

      Hi it is weird but then I realised that they have very fine wires across the square that sprinkle rain! It was brilliant and a great way to cool down and as it was a fine mist you didn’t get soaked! Yes I loved that building – so beautiful!

    • January 15, 2017 / 2:29 pm

      Thanks Rhonda for commenting – yes its a lovely country and Ljubljana a great city to visit

    • January 15, 2017 / 2:25 pm

      It is a lovey city Michele – we really like it and Slovenia

  4. January 19, 2017 / 3:41 am

    I have to admit I’ve never heard of this city, But the buldings and the river and the ped zones all look quite lovely! And i can always go for a good milkshake!

    • January 23, 2017 / 7:14 pm

      Thanks Eileen – it is becoming very popular city to visit.

  5. January 31, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    Love that Dragon Bridge! I didn’t know much about Slovenia either before moving to Europe, but it is definitely creeping up my travel wish list. Anywhere that you bike to a cafe by the river is a bonus! Thanks for sharing, cheers from Copenhagen, Erin #CityTripping

  6. January 31, 2017 / 11:29 pm

    I’ve heard so many great things about Ljubljana and you’ve given me a few more trains to visit. Love the rain sprinklers and the fantastic terracotta coloured buildings! Can’t beat a pretty old town. I’d enjoy having a wander and coffee. #citytripping
    Elizabeth (Wander Mum) recently posted…City Tripping #62My Profile

  7. February 1, 2017 / 4:14 am

    Wow! I have been wanting to visit Ljubljana for a long time. Thanks for discussing the possibilities to move along the area on trains. I would go crazy taking pictures around the city. There is so much to see! #citytripping
    Ruth recently posted…Why you have to Walk the Brooklyn BridgeMy Profile

  8. February 1, 2017 / 4:56 am

    What a wonderful place to explore! The architecture of the bridges is amazing. I especially love the dragon statues, they seem to come alive the more you look at them. Definitely want to see Ljubljana someday!
    Brooke of Passport Couture recently posted…How to Sustain Healthy RelationshipsMy Profile

  9. February 1, 2017 / 5:44 pm

    Thanks Allison it is a beautiful city 🙂

  10. February 1, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    I loved Ljubljana when I visited – just for a few days so we did manage to get to the castle too but it’s wonderful to wander round the Old Town and sit by the river. We did a great bike tour and food tour too. Would love to go back and hopefully see Lake Bled next time. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping
    Cathy (Mummytravels) recently posted…City Tripping #62My Profile

    • February 1, 2017 / 9:48 pm

      It is a super little city – Lake Bled is well worth a stay as it is stunning!

    • February 2, 2017 / 7:11 pm

      To be honest I don’t know! It is pretty special though!

  11. A Slovenian
    February 11, 2017 / 8:30 am

    Just stumbled upon your page and read through the comments. Since some of you are wondering how the tripple bridge came to – no dramatic story 🙂 . Originally it was one bridge, but after the second world war somewhere, they planned to renew it. It was open for traffic back then, but instead of renewing it (it was still in good condition) they decided to build two pedestrian bridges along side it. It was renovated later on and gained the look of the tripple bridge and it later closed for traffic so the entire old city center is now for pedestrians only.

    • February 12, 2017 / 7:26 am

      Thanks so much for this information! I had wondered too how it came about!