5 Reasons to Get Off The Beaten Track and Explore Ljubljana, Europe’s Hidden Gem

A travel guide to Ljubljana, Slovenia

The city of Ljublana is a gem hidden in plain sight. It’s sandwiched between two popular backpacking destinations in Europe. Lake Bled and Zagreb. Yet, Ljublana receives only 1.1 million visitors each year. 

Slovenia’s capital is a small city home to just 278,000 people. But that doesn’t mean it’s not as fun as other major cities within a few hours’ drive. 

The river in Ljubljana city

There are endless reasons why you should visit this hidden gem. And can discover some of them down below!

1. Ljubljana’s Fairytale Old Town

Europe is home to plenty of picture-perfect medieval towns. And Ljublana is up there with the very best. 

The Old Town dates back to the 12th century, and many important buildings are standing throughout the decades. The Old Town Hall was originally built in the 15th century and perfectly blends with the city’s Baroque architecture.

The postcard city is built along the Ljubljanica river. Here, you can admire the castle dominating the town with each passing step along the cobblestone lanes.

Colourful buildings in Old Town Ljubljana

2. Ljublana is a Budget Friendly City

Ljubljana doesn’t have rock bottom prices like Romania or Poland. But it is very affordable. 

It’s more expensive than most eastern European nations but much cheaper than the west.

Food and drinks are surprisingly cheap in Ljublana. You can find burek for as little as 2.60 EUR in many stalls across the city. We ate out for every meal and never spent more than 6 EUR.

Expect to pay around 2.60 – 3.60 on a pint of beer in town.

A view from a hotel in Ljubljana

3. You Can Rent Bikes For Free in Ljublana

Public transport is inexpensive in Ljublana, but getting around is even cheaper with a bike. 

The city is small, so it’s never a long cycle to anywhere. It took us under 10 minutes to cycle from the main square to Tivoli Park, the largest in town.

There is a 1 EUR registration fee. But after that, you can pick up a bike from one of the many stations in Ljubljana and explore the sites with eco-friendly transportation.

Free bikes in Ljubljana

4. Ljubljana Is Off The Beaten Track

Exploring hidden gems is arguably the hottest travel trend in recent years. Some want to explore unexplored parts of the globe, and others wish to travel sustainably. But whatever your reason, you should check out Ljublana if you’re looking to get off the beaten path.

Venice is located around 220km west of Ljublana and has around the same population. So you would expect the two cities to receive the same number of tourists? 

Well, it’s not true. Venice welcomes almost 20 times more visitors through its gates!

Many stop here for an hour or so when travelling between Zagreb and Venice. But you should spend more time here to uncover its hidden treasures.

Flowers in from of a museum in Ljubljana, Slovenia

5. There Are Countless Things to Do in Ljubljana

From kids to adults and everyone in between, there is something for everyone in Ljublana!

One not to miss attraction is The Ljubljana Castle. You can take a funicular or walk up the steep hill (mountain!) You can explore the medieval castle and learn about the city’s history or sit on the castle walls with a drink while admiring the sunset. 

Food lovers will fall in love with the Central Market. If you enjoy visiting museums, you have plenty to choose from. Some of the most popular are the National Museum, National Gallery and the Natural History Museum.

If you’re travelling with young kids, Ljubljana Zoo is not to be missed!

The Old Town Hall in Ljubljana

Visit Ljubljana, Eastern Europe’s Hidden Gem

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