Ljubljana Travel Guide

You could be forgiven for not being able to place Slovenia on a map. You needn’t be ashamed that you haven’t heard much about its capital Ljublijana before either. In fact, take comfort because this is one of the few surprises left on the well-worn European tourist trails. In recent years, Ljublijana has proven it can stand on its own two feet, becoming one of the more stable cities that has gained breathing room after the fall of the former Yugoslavia.

The Yugoslavia post-separation anxiety has gone, and people have begun to take notice of Slovenia. Although Ljublijana is one of the smaller and more tranquil capitals in Europe, it’s quickly gained word of mouth popularity with travelers looking for that Prague-vibe without the neon puppet theatres. They like to drink here too, so the quintessential Czech Pivo pilgrimage may soon have a Southern rival.

There have been two major earthquakes in the city’s history and after each one extensive rebuilding was required. There are still some historical ruins scattered about, but the majority of the town is the result of the rebuilding after an 1895 earthquake that, to the benefit of us all, was undertaken when Art Nouveau was the preferred style of Central Europe. Today in Ljublijana, sitting outside a cafĂ©, perhaps staring up at Castle Hill, you may feel the place is more authentic than its more popular contemporaries, where mass tourism has Disneyfied any remains of real life. Watching it all shuffle by you can get the impression that here, you may know about something others don’t.


Ljublijana Castle: the most obvious landmark in the city is the castle, perched high on a green wooded hill; both the castle itself and the views afforded are worth the ascent.

The National Gallery: here you will find the largest collection of Slovene art in the country, a good place to get a sense of both the country’s history and its aesthetics.

The Path around Ljublijana: it hasn’t always been all idyll and architecture around here, and during WWII, the entire city was effectively transformed into a concentration camp whose periphery you can retrace.