1. The pedestrian part of the city center is comparatively large – certainly not just a street or two
2. Most of the sights are in one relatively confined area, so you can walk between them all
3. Nice cafés, and riverfront restaurants
4. You come across a lot of clever, creative art ideas – shoes hanging from a wall, interesting street art etc.
5. The locals are pleasant and helpful
6. It’s good to enjoy Ljubljana’s excellent bike lane network on a rented bicycle
1. A relatively expensive city
2. The beers are nothing special
3. A lot of ugly graffiti, and not just in the outer districts, but in the old-town part of the city center. Even for someone used to the graffiti in Budapest this came as a surprise
4. On the way up to the castle, you imagine a spectacular panorama with the Alps in the background, but the view is spoiled in every direction by ugly apartment blocks
(V. Gabi, 2014)
“If I could give one piece of advice, it would be this: just walk, and keep your eyes open! You won’t get lost, since you can see the castle from everywhere, and it will help orient you. Same with the river! And after pleasantly strolling along for a while, you’ll suddenly realize you’ve explored the whole place!
Alright, I’ll give a couple of extra tips. At some point you’re sure to cross the Triple Bridge, but don’t forget to look down between them! Also, look towards the market square. If you see something going on there, drop what you’re doing and head straight on over. The colonnaded building on the edge of the square sells the best sausage, ham, gibanica and Štruklji you’ll find in the city.
Behind the market is the old cathedral, Sv. Nikolaja (or St. Nicholas’) – take a moment to admire the frescoes! It’s also worth exploring the roads to both the left and right of the Robba fountain, since the old town district beneath the castle has many interesting buildings. If you head up towards the castle on foot, for instance on Gornji Street, it feels very similar to walking up to the Castle District in Buda(pest).
Heading up towards the castle, you stop to admire the panoramic view, and realize that the forests of apartment buildings aren’t quite as picturesque as the city’s park, the Tivoli. With a little luck from the castle, your eye will pass over these, and see only the snowy mountain peaks in the distance!
And if you’ve got a few more miles left in your legs, you can head back towards the riverside, where you’ll find all the bars and restaurants! Here you can enjoy yourself, quench your thirst, listen to the street musicians, and realize as you listen that, unlike in most tourist cities, almost all the staff are local Slovenes.
From what I hear, relatively few young Slovenes emigrate. The possibilities and salaries for young people are good, and they’re working hard to pull the country up, like the proverbial carthorse hauling the wagon out of the ditch. The prices have definitely reached Western European levels, but the quality is at that level too.” (2018)
“Don’t expect big city life or a bustling downtown. You could explore the old town in a couple of hours if you tried, but it’s worth slowing down and taking your time. The smell of freshly baked bread wafts from the bakeries, and it lured me in. At the Triple Bridge you’ll find a circular spray contraption which is everyone’s favorite in summer. Stand under it, and it feels like it’s always raining 😊” (2018)