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Ljubljana Holidays

A lush, charming riverside capital

Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, already had a good thing going with its Baroque and art nouveau architecture, but visiting has become even more appealing since its mayor banned cars from the city centre – it’s now one of Europe’s greenest capital cities. A good place to start on Ljubljana holidays is at Presernov trg, the Old Town’s main square. In the riverside square stands a statue of romantic poet, France Preseren. Close by, the quirky Triple Bridge, designed by local-hero architect Joze Plecnik, crosses the Ljubljanica River, and boats glide along its waters underneath.

Depending on your interests, there are guided tours to suit every taste, themed around everything from beer to stand-up paddle boarding (not at the same time, of course) and traditional food. Ljubljana’s 900-year-old castle is its hilltop heart – catch a funicular and gaze down at the city’s red roofs and the mountains that lie beyond. While there you can visit the museums of weaponry, Slovenian history and puppetry, and grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants, cafes or wine bars.

There’s even a reading corner in the moat if you fancy a quiet moment. While the 19th-century museum quarter is interesting, holidays to Ljubljana are just as much about wandering its compact centre, strolling over its bridges and joining in the fun at its riverside terraced cafes – particularly lively during the summer and the perfect spot to raise a glass to a beautiful European capital – ‘Na zdravje’!

Need to know

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Time zone
GMT +1
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Flight time
1hr 40mins

* Average time from London Gatwick to Ljubljana

Explore our map of Ljubljana

Your Ljubljana questions, answered

No. Away from the pedestrianised centre, there are plenty of options. Hop on a boat tour of the Ljubljanica River, board the electric train, take the castle funicular or rent a bike.
Combine snacking and socialising at the Central Food Market, which runs from Vodnikov trg square to Pogacarjev trg and through Plecnik’s palatial two-storey riverside market hall.
If you're budget conscious, April to May is the best time to visit Ljubljana. The weather is mild and you'll see all the beautiful sights without pushing through big crowds. And accommodation prices are lower. Just pack a light jacket as it can turn chilly in the evenings. June through to August are the busy months. The famous folk and wine festivals create a real buzz, but they also drive up prices. Many tourists come to Ljubljana for a winter wonderland vacation. Snowfall transforms the giant mountains and dense forests into a scene from a fairytale.
Ljubljana has plenty of fun and exciting things to entertain the kids, making it an excellent family holiday destination. You could spend a day at the Ljubljana Nature Park and Zoo. It's just a 20-minute drive from the city and is home to tigers, giraffes, and sea lions. The park also offers a zookeeper experience package, where you feed your favourite animals. Budding scientists will enjoy an afternoon at The House of Experiments, an interactive science museum with 60 exhibitions. Other fun destinations include a giant trampoline park called Woop! and the puppet museum inside Ljubljana castle.
The dragon has long been Ljubljana’s emblem and they crop up everywhere, from the city’s coat of arms and manhole covers, to tourist shops and the ferocious statues on Dragon Bridge.
Ljubljana might be a small city, but it knows how to throw a party. Most of the nightlife revolves around Preseren Square in the city centre. This lively spot has places for every type of holidaymaker, including romantic restaurants, sophisticated cocktail lounges, and traditional pubs with well-priced beer and live music. Ljubljana also has a pumping electronic music scene for those who like to party right through the night. You'll find the best clubs near the Kersnikova district. Metelkova is the city's bohemian quarter. Head there if you're into jazz clubs, poetry nights, and quirky, independent bars.
It takes around three hours to fly directly. The Slovenian capital isn't a popular location for tourists flying out of the UK, so direct flights are limited. They mostly take off from London-Heathrow and London-Gatwick. Flights from other airports involve a stop in Germany, usually Frankfurt or Hamburg. Alternatively, you might have to change planes in Switzerland or Lithuania. Total travelling time is as much as 17-21 hours. Ljubljana Airport is a 30-minute drive from the city centre. Taxis cost around €40, or there's a bus service that picks up near the arrivals terminal.
Ljubljana is quite a small city, so you don't need a car to get around. The city's main attractions are within walking distance of the centre and Ljubljana's public transport network is clean, reliable and safe. Ljubljana is surrounded by stunning natural scenery, including epic mountain ranges, giant lakes, and lush forests. Renting a car is the best way to get out of the city and appreciate these natural wonders. Driving is safe in and around the city. The roads are in excellent condition, serious traffic accidents are rare and the road signs are easy to understand.
Slovenian cuisine is a diverse mix of Italian, Mediterranean, and Eastern European flavours. Seafood pasta dishes and rich risottos are popular mains at many of the restaurants. Lunches are usually lighter. Expect sharing mezze platters with cured meats, goats cheese, olives, and flatbread. Zganci is the national dish. This traditional peasant food is a hearty plate of homemade sausages, roasted vegetables, buckwheat, and pork crackling. You'll also see plenty of street food stalls selling juicy burgers. But they might look and taste a little different – horse meat is a big thing in Ljubljana.

All Resorts in Ljubljana