Visit Ljubljana. Ljubljanica river

“How and why to visit Ljubljana? Travelers local tip - the best is by bike!”
I am Primož, one of Vandrovc-Globetrotter team – as You are, dear travelers. I have been living and guiding in Ljubljana a big part of the last 14 years. Many of our guests said to us after their visit that they feel sorry because they had not taken more time for Ljubljana. In the blog, You will be able to find some basic information’s based on the experiences with the wish that You will be able to plan Your trip and enjoy Ljubljana as much as possible.

In the blog You could find more about:

  • Were You wondering why the visit of Ljubljana in on a bucket list of travelers?
    • Ljubljana is Europe`s hidden gem. Why we could declare that it is?
  • How to visit Ljubljana?
  • On what to pay attention during Your visit to Ljubljana?
    • Ljubljana is a historical and geographical center of Slovenia and Europe.
    • Slovenia and Ljubljana are a connection spot of four European geographic units.
    • Ljubljana is an important Traffic center of Slovenia and Europe.
    • Cultural and nowadays Ljubljana visit experience.
    • Governmental and political center.
    • Educational center.
    • Business center.
    • Leisure Ljubljana visit experience.

Were You wondering why the visit of Ljubljana in on a bucket list of travelers?

Ljubljana is Europe`s hidden gem. Why we could declare that it is?

Ljubljana is one of the smallest capital cities in the world and Europe. Together with amazing historical background, Ljubljana is a modern, growing, international European city and Slovenia cultural, educational, business, geographical, traffic, governmental and political center. Therefore, has a bit of everything that big capitals could offer to You. Besides that, it is a perfect size that newcomer can get fast, great overview and gets a feeling of homeliness and familiarity.  Maybe it is easier to get these great feelings because some are saying that Ljubljana is the energetic belly button of Europe.

Thanks to its size nature areas like parks, nature protected areas, dense forest areas and other positive aspects of the countryside are always close. Therefore, besides exceptional environmental awareness and other reasons, Ljubljana holds the title of European Green Capital 2016. (video, publication)

Visit Ljubljana, Tivoli Park, Ljubljana bike tour
Tivoli Park, during Ljubljana bike tour-great place to relax, 5 min away from the main city square.

Why Ljubljana is a hidden gem?

The majority of tourists who are visiting Europe do not stop in Ljubljana. They do prefer to visit larger, more known cities close to Slovenia like Vienna, Prague, Venice, Budapest, Munich, Zagreb, Belgrade, Sarajevo. Because of historical and geographical facts, Ljubljana could offer to You a bit of everything that You could find in listed cities. Like mentioned Your traveling will be much more relaxing, fulfilling and safe because You will avoid the crowds. Your decision will enable You to experience the positive side of tourism/traveling. The way that could be broad-minded for travelers and hosts.

Visit Ljubljana, Ljubljanica river.
During Your visit of Ljubljana ride along Ljubljanica river and cross Hradecky Bridge.

How to visit Ljubljana?

Facts above are helping Ljubljana to be a charming small city. To get the best overview of main city attractions in the city center and surroundings it is perfect to be explored by bike. It is easy to ride off the beaten tourist tracks and find amazing places, mostly visited by the locals. While visiting Ljubljana You will be more efficient and relaxed because it is easier to cover a bigger area. Another important fact explained a bit more into the details under when to visit Ljubljana: During the summer it is great on the bike because of the constant light breeze while You are pedaling around.

Visit Ljubljana, Open air gallery: Tivoli Park Jakopič Promenade.
Open-air gallery: Tivoli Park with its central part Jakopič Promenade.

If You need philosophic reason:).: Like once one wise man said, we find it true: We cannot imagine a better way to explore a new city than in an active way. This is how we can feel an area, we see and explore hidden places, little details, etc. A great part of the satisfaction is that when we put some effort and power into anything we feel better afterward. Active travel is a way of connecting more authentically with the world and we will have a good time.

Visit Ljubljana historical city center, Old Square. 
Team from Island during their visit to Ljubljana's historical city center, Old Square.

If You need more practical reasons:).: Ljubljana is a cycler-friendly city. You will see many locals on their bikes throughout the whole year and especially in the summer. It is easy to rent a bike (Ljubljana Bike Tour and Bicikelj). There are many cycling lines and urban areas, because of Ljubljana Basin, are mostly flat. You could go around by bike on more and more pedestrianized areas in the center. Yes, we can, If You were wondering: "The use of a bicycle in Ljubljana is permitted in the pedestrian area, but only in such a way that it does not obstruct or endanger pedestrians," Ljubljana city police quoted current legislation.

Interesting history fact because we are talking about bicycles where wheels are important: The oldest preserved wooden wheel in the world was found not so far away...:) (it is displayed at the Ljubljana City Museum)

On what to pay attention during Your visit to Ljubljana?

Ljubljana is a historical and geographical center of Slovenia and Europe.

We mentioned how Ljubljana is an important center in many different aspects.
We will explain more into the details of how Geographic position influences climate and weather. At the same time, there are many more details to tell how does influences everyday life and customs.
Besides that when we learn about history&cultural background, we find out that this also contributes a lot to our everyday diversity.

For example: Did You know that at home traditionally half of Slovenia is drinking so-called Turkish coffee (unfiltered) and half so-called Italian coffee (filtered)-Why?

One of the reasons is that because of geographical position (south of central Europe) our area had influences from two very different systems/cultures. (From Ljubljana is the more or less same distance to Paris, France and to Istanbul, Turkey). Therefore, next to our area was the border of the Frankish Empire, Holy Roman Empire and Turkish/Ottoman Empire. Most of Ex-Yugoslavia countries were part of the Turkish/Ottoman Empire while Slovenia was for nine centuries part of the Habsburg monarchy, later Austro-Hungarian empire. The most important port of the Austro-Hungarian empire Trieste was because of the vicinity very important for Slovenians and Ljubljana. Trieste is still considered to be "the coffee capital of Italy" because the coffee industry has been developed in Trieste.

A division between eastern and western parts went close by also when Roman Empire fell apart. Because of that in a bit wider area are present for long centuries four big religions: Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Catholic Church, Islam and Judaism. Hm, why Ex-Yugoslavia after the second world war was not part of neither eastern neither western block but part of Non-Aligned Movement, etc.

All these influences are evident also in architecture and religious centers of Ljubljana and the wider area.

Visit Ljubljana Congress Square.
Many important historical events have been going on Congress Square.

Slovenia and Ljubljana are a connection spot of four European geographic units.

(Alps - Adriatic(Mediterranean) - Pannonian Basin - Balkan peninsula(Dinaric Alps))

Geographical position Ljubljana is on the border/divide of the Alps and Balkan peninsula (Dinaric Alps). Because of this, we could point out how the  Ljubljanica river and later the Sava river are the border between the Balkan peninsula and Central Europe. In practice, some are joking that when You cross the Ljubljana Triple Bridge and stand on the right river bank You enter to Balkan peninsula. Popular, contemporary group Dubioza Kolektiv from Bosnia and Herzegovina is calling the area Wild Wild East. This means that You could start to follow some stereotypes that are known for the Balkan region. For example: it is expected to be more here and now, wild, outgoing, living for the moment, food and beverages are the most important thing after love, etc. Once that you cross the Triple Bridge back to the left river bank you are back to Central Europe stereotypes environment. For example, It is expected from You to be more hardworking, future-oriented, a bit introvertive, polite, etc. Yes, this split/divide is visible in many details in our character and everyday life.

Visit Ljubljana Triple Bridge
Ljubljana Triple Bridge, the right river bank is Balkan peninsula side (more about it above in text)

Ljubljana is an important Traffic center of Slovenia and Europe.

Again, the positive side of the superb geographic position of Ljubljana. The easiest pass from North Italy towards the Middle East or from southern Germany towards the Middle East. These facts are helping Ljubljana to be important crossroad of European transport corridors. (roads and railway) Ljubljana is located more or less in the middle of Slovenia and therefore also at the crossroad of Slovenia highway cross. Close is the biggest Slovenian International Airport. The distances till major cities in the wider area are also worth to mention: Vienna - 380km, Venice - 240km, Trieste - 100km, Budapest - 460km, Zagreb - 146km, Munich - 405km, Belgrade - 536km.

All these facts are helping to Your visit of Ljubljana to be perfect stop or a starting point to explore Slovenia and Central, South-Central, South and South-Eastern Europe.

Cultural and nowadays Ljubljana visit experience.

You could visit some of the most important Slovenian cultural institutions because Ljubljana is a cultural and historic center of Slovenia. Museums, Galleries, Theaters, architecture from different periods and definitely unique works of impressive Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik.

Visit Ljubljana architecture diversity: Križanke Outdoor Theatre, Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity, National and University Library.
Visit Ljubljana architecture diversity: Križanke Outdoor Theatre, Ursuline Church of the Holy Trinity(behind Republic Square skyscraper, National and University Library.

Governmental and political center:

The seat of government, president, Slovenian parliament and most of the foreign embassies are located in Ljubljana.

Educational center:

The seat of Ljubljana University. Therefore, in Ljubljana, You could find three Academies and 23 different Faculties. Most of the Slovenian students get their degree on Ljubljana University. Thanks to students Ljubljana is much livelier and more dynamic.

Business center:

The seat of national and international companies contributes that standard of living and celeries are among the highest in Slovenia. This is noticeable while we are paying for our daily expenses.

Laisure Ljubljana visit experience

We do recommend you to “taste” Ljubljana and mingle with people while You are enjoying our city.

In the Further blogs You will be able to find a basic bike tour itinerary what to visit and to do for in Ljubljana by bike for newcomers who are visiting Ljubljana.