ljubbly jubbly Ljubljana

With such a wealth of books, brochures, opinions & literally armies of people writing website articles about lovely Ljubljana, you certainly don't need any more advice about one of the few capital cities in Europe that doesn't even have to treat its water supply, cos the water is so clean!

So maybe you will be surprised to hear, that the advice we give to our guests, except for non Europeans, is that if we only had 3 weeks to explore Slovenia, then we are not sure we could fit a whole day in Ljubljana onto the list!!

Shock, horror, how can this be?! Well simple.. if you only knew about all the other amazing natural wonders awaiting for you in Green Slovenia, then you would have a very long list indeed!

   ljub 3 bridges at xmas    ljubljana vista from tower     

Let's make it clear, for non Europeans, Ljubljana is the perfect example of a "fairy tale" European city and an absolute must for you to see here if you want to experience a wonderful European mini metropolis. But if you are not into cities or have been to other European gems, such as Prague, Bath or Helsinki already.. AND .. you knew beforehand that Green Slovenia was packed full of natural wonders, then how could you miss out on seeing another amazing waterfall, sparkling gorge or a stunning green valley?

It all depends on what our guests want to do of course, but generally, this is the honest "tuppence" worth of advice we give.     

For other European countries it really isn't fair! Not only does Green Slovenia have the most amazing green nature in Europe, it also has this stunning little capital city.. so cool, so relaxed.. (and green in parts). Some of our guests jump on the train at Postojna to Ljubljana and you can get off at Tivoli park (below) for a 10 minute walk to the centre de la ville!

We absolutely love Ljubljana, indeed it's almost impossible not to fall in love with Ljubljana at first sight. It's so tiny, you can see the city centre from the motorway ring road.. so it's easy to navigate your way around, especially as a beautiful river runs straight through the middle with the uberstunning "3 Bridges" right in the centre.

    tivoli train station very close to the centre of ljubljana    friday food market in ljubljana

There are beautiful buildings, cafes, restaurants and increasingly more relevant shops for you. There is even a lovely Victorian style park, Tivoli, on the edge of the city, just a 10 min walk from the centre. We even love the ugly, dark ex socialist towers and blocks on the skyline and sincerely hope some are kept to remind us all how it was.. things don't have to be beautiful to be beautiful!

BUT we stand by our advice, that if you want to even get a feel of what this amazing little country has to offer, then it might be better to stop off in Ljubljana for a coffee by the river on the way or way back from a green hike or castle or mountain, rather than lose one of your precious days.

And when you do get to Ljubljana, then here are a couple of extra little tips we give our guests to get a bit extra out of their visit.

    great vista from tower in ljubljana    amazing wooden spiral staircase in ljubljana

Tip 1: Slovenia is absolutely packed with castles, some broken, some restored, one hanging 70 metres up out of a 123 metre high cliff.. so if you are just going up to Ljubljana castle to get a view of the city, then why not save your cash and instead go to the "tower" (above) for a free view! Yes, there is a wonderful old tower, not far from the centre, where you can go up by lift to an amazing art deco café with a free 360 degree glass viewing platform and even look across to the castle!

The tower used to be the tallest building in old Yugoslavia, but don't go looking for a skyscraper, its a tiddler, but luxurious, once inside it feels like a mini Empire state building! There is marble everywhere and a really posh lift to go up, in fact you feel a bit like a trespasser when you go into the building, but please do!

At the top there is this great café that also has great cakes. You might not get a table outside, but can still go out for the vista and don't forget to explore down the stairs a little as the massive wooden spiral staircase is amazing!

    standing on the viewing platform in ljubljana    great local food restaurant in ljubljana

And we will not bother giving you the name of this tower as you won't be surprised to know it's difficult to say! So just go 5 mins uphill from the central square to the main street, (Slovenska cesta/Slovenian street) next to Ljubljana's only department store, (Nama).. just look up and you will see it! 

If you do want a tip for a castle, then just go to our CASTLE section. We are doing our best to visit new castles every year and are constantly amazed at the variety, views and volume of them here! For a fraction of the price of Ljubljana castle, for example, you could have a tour at Sneznik castle on the fringe of the oldest forest in Europe. You might even be the only people on the tour, maybe combine this castle with a visit to the nearby largest disappearing lake in Europe, Cerknica or the uberamazing Krizna cave? Wow, what a day out!

    local black sausage dish in ljubljana    soup in a bread roll in ljubljana    

Tip 2: There are lots and lots of really lovely restaurants in the capital and on Fridays there is a food fair by the market! If you fancy fish, then there is a great fish market, kinda under the main market, down the steps at river level on the other side of the 3 bridges and they have a restaurant there. But you already know about that, so we will tell you about Sestica (Number 6), which is away from the river, but actually opposite this viewing tower. This is the restaurant we tip our guests to go to if they want to have a large choice of traditional Slovenian food in one of the oldest restaurants in Ljubljana. 

In fact the friendly waiter there showed us the part of the restaurant that used to be an Inn for coach travellers. We thoroughly recommend a look at the kitchen's local specials and then after the meal a trip over the road up the tower for a coffee and view of the city! We show you a photo of the entrance to the restaurant, (above) Sestica, which just means "Number 6", as it is quite typical for many Slovenian restaurants, that even when you stand outside you still can't be sure it is open.. but please go in.

Tip 3: Favourite cafes. You will soon notice that most of the restaurants tend to be on one side of the river from 3 Bridges and the majority of the cafes tend to be on the other side. (By the way, it's totally normal that many Slovenian cafes do not serve cakes with your coffee.. you might get a blob of ice cream, but rather annoyingly for cake lovers, Slovenians like to have a coffee and a natter and they ain't that bothered about a nice slice of Schwarzwaldkuchen)! 

    daktari is an excellent cafe in the centre of ljubljana    cultural disrtict in ljubljana

As said, we love the café in the tower, but there is another "art deco" style café on the way to the opera house, called "Oper". That's cool and another café we love is Daktari on the edge of the marketplace, right next to the where you catch the funicular thingy up to the castle.. (seriously, why would you take a funicular here when you could be taking a real cable car up to the scintillating 1,666m high Velika Planina (Heaven on Earth)!).. Anyway this café is the kinda place spies, intellectuals and political dissisdents would meet for a brew. We are none of those, but we really love to sit near to the front door and see when they lower the bucket down on a rope to the waiter, as the kitchen is upstairs! We loves it!

Tip 4: This will be mentioned in every guide book already, but it something so special to see and easy to miss.. In the very centre, next to the 3 Bridges and in front of the pink church, (by the way the church is really nice inside) look for a statue. He is a Slovenian writer or poet or something like that, but the point is he's looking for his forbidden love and if you follow his eyes you will see where another statue of his sweetheart is.. how romantic!

Tip 5: We do very much love Tivoli park, so worth a mention and also if you walk far enough along the river, direction dragon bridge and further, then look over the side of the river wall, down to the water, you might see little beaver like animals.. they're great and if they have young ones they are very cute!

    great place from which to see ljubljana    santa in ljubljana

Ljubljana is the city that sometimes sleeps, don't feel weird if you are walking down a side street and there is absolutely nobody around.. that's normal here!

Being just 30 mins from the Lodge, Ljubljana is a great place to stop off for an afternoon stroll or evening meal, but if you go the other direction then Trieste is the same distance away and if you prefer to see Venice, well, its just 2 hours away as well, so even the "which city to visit" question is a tricky one to answer and totally dependant on what YOU, the guest prefers to do and see.

Email: info@lipizzanerlodge.com

Address: Landol 17, Postojna 6230, Slovenia

Phone: +386 5620 3443
Mobile: +386 40 47 0239 or +386 40 37 8037