How to Spend 1 Day in Ljubljana
One day in Ljubljana is just enough time to see the main attractions of Slovenia’s capital. With limited time, planning ahead and booking tickets in advance is essential—look for tours that combine multiple attractions or opt for a private tour to devise your own itinerary. Here are some ideas.
Morning: Ljubljana Castle & the Old Town
Ljubljana’s atmospheric Old Town is a maze of cobbled lanes, lively plazas, and leafy riverside promenades. This is where most of the city’s landmarks are found so a walking or bike tour offers the perfect introduction. Exploring with a guide means that you won’t waste time map-reading or miss a photo opportunity—of which there are plenty.
After your tour, ride the funicular to Ljubljana Castle, which boasts panoramic city views and is home to the Museum of Slovene History—book tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line. Afterwards, cross the Dragon Bridge, visit Prešeren Square, and spot landmarks including the Triple Bridge and the Cathedral of St. Nicholas. Along the way, look out for buildings designed by legendary Slovene architect Jože Plečnik. The Križanke Summer Theatre and the National and University Library are just two examples of his distinctive Art Nouveau style.
Afternoon: City Views & Cuisine
Another Plečnik design is the Central Market, a popular lunch spot for locals. A food tasting tour is a must for traveling food lovers; a guide enhances your experience by pointing out the best stalls and restaurants, and providing insight into Slovene cuisine and culture. Tours typically include samples of regional cheeses, wines, and street foods, and reveal local specialties such as struklji pastries and hearty jota soup.
It’s a short stroll from the market to the river port, where sightseeing cruises sail along the Ljubljanica River. Relax on-board as you enjoy unobstructed views of the castle, the Old Town, and the Cobbler’s Bridge. For the most impressive views, coincide your cruise with sunset.
Night: Bar hopping in the Old Town
During the evening, the Old Town buzzes with activity. There’s a myriad of options for drinking and dining, with something to suit all tastes and budgets. If you want to party, join a pub crawl, which typically include an admission ticket to one of the city’s coolest nightclubs, where you can drink and dance until the early hours.
For a more sophisticated outing, a wine or beer tasting tour is a fun way to learn more about Slovenia’s wine and beer making heritage while you sample varieties from around the country. Alternatively, experience Slovenian folk music and dance during a traditional Slovenian dinner and show.