We flew into Ljubljana airport, which is a little way out from the city, so we needed transport to get to our accommodation in the centre. There were a few options for how to get there, including taxi, shuttle bus, and public bus – we opted for the shuttle bus as it was the most convenient, however it was €12 per person for the 25-minute journey which was more expensive than the bus. We didn’t bring a car seat, but luckily we could pay an extra €5 to hire one for our journey. Getting around the city is pretty easy on foot because it’s small, but there are also options for electric scooters and bikes as well.
One error we did make whilst rushing around the city, is treating the place like the UK. I’ve heard a lot about ‘jaywalking’ but given we don’t seem to have any enforced rules around it back home, we didn’t give it much thought when we crossed a quiet road after the lights turned red for pedestrians. We were quickly followed down the street by police and had our details taken; apparently, we only just missed out on a €40 fine!!
What to do:
No matter what age you are, Tivoli Park makes a great day out. There is a huge amount of open grass space for picnics, sunbathing or letting the kids have a run-around. There are also plenty of paths and tracks, so it would be great to bring the bikes and cycle around as well. If the weather isn’t on your side, there’s a great café with a generous covered outdoor space, right next to a pond. It’s very peaceful, and what’s better is the café serves a selection of coffees, cakes, and most importantly – alcoholic drinks! The park has a selection of different sports facilities spread around, and a collection of museums nearby.
It’s worth noting that the whole of the city was constantly covered in pollen whilst we were there, the park being particularly bad. If you’re a hay-fever sufferer (like me), bring plenty of antihistamines!!
The central market, located in and around Pogačarjev trg, hosts a huge number of stalls running next to the Ljubjanica river. There are souvenirs, clothing and accessories, and a great selection of fresh food stalls too. We bought some fruit here for our daughter and there was so much choice and it all tasted so ‘homegrown’ and fresh!
The castle of Ljubljana sits on a hill in the city and offers some of the best views of the capital and surrounding areas. It’s a steep walk up to the top, and has a fair few steps involved (having said that, we managed with a 1 year old in a pushchair so it’s definitely do-able if you’re happy for the exercise). An alternative way up (and down) is to take the funicular which only costs €2.20pp each way. We didn’t actually enter the castle, but there are tours you can do and plenty to see inside. Even if you just go up and admire the views from the outside, it’s definitely worth the trip up!
The coach from Ljubljana to Bled costs only €12.60 per person and took just over an hour from the main bus station. You could go for a day trip, but we definitely recommend staying longer and seeing all of the things that this beautiful lake-side town has to offer. Take a look at another one of our blogs full of all the things to do in Bled.
Take a trip down the canal
Another way to explore the city is to take a trip down the canal. You get to see a completely different view and travel further out of the centre than you might otherwise. We took Adelaide and she loved it – we saw some wildlife (such a ducks and even an otter) and got to spend about 45 minutes calmly drifting down the water. It cost us around €10 each and was definitely worth the experience.
Where to eat:
If you’re looking to taste some of the ‘foods of the land’, the best place to go is Gostlino Sokol. There was a really wide range of food here from Slovenian cheese boards, roasted veal and traditional cheese rolls (no, not the same thing as a British ‘cheese roll’). For a great traditional breakfast, Slovenska Hisa offers herbal teas, fresh bread and incredible pork cracklings. Norma 23 is another good breakfast spot, especially if you have a sweet tooth. It’s a French inspired creperie – the first in Ljubljana in fact!
For an easy, family friendly vibe, restaurant Most has a great open area right next to the river and offers some lovely tasting food. The waiters were so friendly and helpful for us with our daughter and we felt completely relaxed and looked after. Another easy eat was Pops’ Burgers – again situated on the river and had a mixture of outdoor and indoor seats, but perhaps a slightly more bustling area – perfect if you like old school R&B playing in the background, not so perfect if you were looking for peace and quiet.
SISI is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the river-front, and offers fancy food with a casual dining vibe. The food was predominantly seafood but had a variety of pasta as risotto dishes if fish isn’t your thing. Scott had octopus here, and said It was the best he’s ever eaten!