A panorama picture of Ljubljana overlooked by the Ljubljana Castle at sunset

Itineraries for Your Trip to Ljubljana

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3 Days in Ljubljana for First Timers

Curated by Zoë SmithZoë Smith is a British travel writer, editor, and digital content creator who has lived, worked, and traveled over six continents, and is currently based near Nantes, France. She has written for Rough Guides, CNN, and Culture Trip, and is digital editor at FrenchEntrée.

Ljubljana is ideally situated for exploring further afield in Slovenia and with three days, there’s time to take in all highlights, immerse yourself in local culture and cuisine, and enjoy a day trip out of the city. Here are some ideas for how to spend three days in Slovenia.

Day 1

Ljubljana is a city best explored on foot, so start your trip with a walking tour of the Old Town. Walking tours focus on a myriad of themes, allowing you to choose one that suits your interests; you can admire Art Nouveau architecture by local architect Jože Plečnik; taste Slovenian specialties on a food tour; or customize a personalized itinerary on a private tour.

Must-see landmarks include the Dragon Bridge, the Cathedral of St Nicholas, and the Central Market, where you can sample Slovene specialties such as struklji pastries, regional cheeses, and wines. After lunch, ride the funicular up to Ljubljana Castle to visit the Museum of Slovene History and admire the city from above. Book your tickets in advance to avoid the lines.

Spend the evening on a sightseeing cruise of the Ljubljanica River or opt for a traditional Slovenian show and dinner.

Day 2

Swap the city for the Slovenian countryside on a day trip from Ljubljana. To maximize your time, choose one that visits multiple destinations in one day and includes hotel pickup for a hassle-free experience.

A visit to the mountain town of Bled, popular for its fairy-tale castle and boat cruises around Lake Bled, can be combined with a hike through the Vintgar Gorge or Triglav National Park. ` Day trips often couple a tour of the clifftop Predjama Castle with an underground train ride through the Postojna Caves. Nearby, the UNESCO-listed Škocjan caves are one of the country’s most impressive natural wonders; tours tend to combine this with a visit to the seaside town of Piran, located on the Adriatic coast. For a complete change of pace, you could even hop over the border and spend the day in Venice.

Day 3

Spend the morning checking out some of Ljubljana’s many museums, which include the Slovene Ethnographic Museum and the Slovene Museum of Natural History. The Jože Plečnik exhibition at the Architecture Museum of Ljubljana showcases the works of the celebrated architect while the National Gallery has an array of works by distinguished local artists. For a fun alternative, the Museum of Illusions is a favorite with kids and provides plenty of Instagram-worthy photo ops; book your tickets in advance to save time.

Devote the afternoon to Tivoli Park, where you can check out the grand Tivoli Mansion and visit Ljubljana Zoo. Walkers can enjoy a network of short trails but the best way to get around is by hiring a bike.

Toast your final evening in Ljubljana by checking out the city’s nightlife on a pub crawl, which introduces you to the best bars, pubs, and nightclubs.

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