Ljubljana is a true gem of a city, crowned by a hilltop castle and sitting on the banks of the emerald-green Ljubljanica River. The small capital is loaded with a wealth of activities, sights and culture, and nearly everything is within walking distance from the city center. Ljubljana is also the political and economic heart of Slovenia, giving the city an exciting atmosphere. The buzzing student community is an added bonus, and the combination of great galleries and museums, cafes and restaurants makes the Slovenian capital a wonderful place to visit.
Start your visit at the National Museum of Slovenia to get a good grasp of the country’s history and culture. House in an elegant late-19th-century building, the museum’s extensive collection highlights artifacts and artworks from prehistory through today. The most interesting pieces are the Roman jewelry and glass, a 6th-century BC pail and the statues of the Fates and Muses that adorn the stairway banisters.
Next, step back in time with a visit to Ljubljana Castle. The Castle Hill site has been the home of fortifications since the Celtic times, but the castle visitors explore today mostly dates from the 16th century. During the following 200 years, the castle was a royal residence before transforming into a barracks and prison during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The majority of the castle has recently been renovated, and today if often plays host to cultural activities, including concerts and weddings. The highlight of the castle is its Pentagonal Tower with a viewing platform that offers panoramic views of the city and the countryside. The Virtual Museum is housed at the tower’s base, taking visitors on a 3-D video tour of Ljubljana’s history, ending with the 1991 independence movement.
The city’s Old Town is dominated by the Cathedral of St. Nicholas. The twin-towered building was constructed in the early 18th century and is a palace of white stucco, golden gilt, pink marble and Baroque frescoes. The main alter is dazzlingly adorned with carved angels and an impressive organ, and two remarkable bronze doors were added in honor of Pop John Paul II’s visit in 1996. One door symbolizes Slovenia’s long history of Christianity, spanning over a century, while the other depicts six bishops and tells the story of the Ljubljana diocese.
Opposite the cathedral is one of the city’s best markets. The picturesque setting makes the market a perfect place for a stroll, but the stalls of fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, local handicrafts and spices are definitely tempting. Visitors can also sample many Slovenian delicacies at the market, including Karst prosciutto, horse pate, cheeses, oils, potica cake and other treats.
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city at Tivoli Park, the capital’s largest open green space. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the park, which features play grounds, sports facilities, fountains, art exhibitions and Baroque mansions.
For more family fun, visit the House of Experiments, one of Ljubljana’s most interesting and innovative sights. The center combines educational and entertainment activities, and every exhibit features a hands-on component that will delight both children and adults. Visitors can play with electronic insects, experiment with a giant bubble maker and make liquid dance, among other things.
Other notable sights in the Slovenian capital include the Krizanke monastery, the Town Square, the Dragon Bridge, the ruins of the Roman city walls, the beautiful Ljubljana Zoo, the National Gallery and the captivating Museum of Modern Art.
Ljubljana Geographical Location
Ljubljana is located in the center of Slovenia in the Ljubljana Basin.
It is the largest city in Slovenia and has a population of approximately 272,300.
Slovak is the official language of Slovenia and is spoken by the majority of Slovenians. Hungarian is the second most popular language spoken by approximately one tenth of the population.
Ljubljana Predominant Religion
- 69% Roman Catholic
- 13% None
- 11% Protestant
- 4% Greek Catholic
- 3% Other
Although many Slovenians do practice a form of Christianity, surveys suggest that approximately half of the population is religious on a personal level not necessarily in accordance with church doctrine.
The Euro is the official currency of Slovenia.
Ljubljana experiences warm and mild summers with cold winters. Precipitation is consistent throughout the year with snow common during the winter months.
Ljubljana Main Attractions
- Ljubljana Main Square
- Ljubljana Castle
- Triple Bridge
Other Attraction in Ljubljana
- Tivoli Park
- Cathedral of St Nicholas
- Franciscan Church
- Ljubljana Zoo