guida di lubiana

Guide to Ljubljana, the young capital of Slovenia

It is certainly not one metropolis and he knows. But it is like a charming woman who takes pleasure in her petite size, in her being one of her capital on a human scale, to be a city that lives and rides well by bicycle. And which, as if that weren’t enough, knows it is a place where nature respects itself: so much so that in 2016 it was awarded as green capital of Europe. This is Ljubljana (although it should be written Ljubljana), a city of 280,000 inhabitants that despite being the capital of a country that barely reaches the size of half of the Swiss (and that perhaps many would struggle to recognize for sure on the map) exudes a subtle charm of its own that derives from a long history and the fact that it has always been at the center of flows of peoples and events. And the proof lies in the facades of its houses where it mixes baroque architectureRenaissance and Liberty. Our guide to Ljubljana starts from an obvious fact: in recent years the city has increasingly become a comfortable destination for a weekend, especially for young people who like to travel to Europe, perhaps with low cost. This is especially true during the winter holidays when the Christmas market invades the streets of Ljubljanathe castle and the streets are well lit by the illuminations and the ski resort of Krvavec, just 35 minutes by car, it also offers the possibility of a break in the snow.

Ljubljana guide: long history and new life

We have said it and any guide to Ljubljana remembers it: the city is compact but boasts a myriad of architectural stylesa picturesque Old Town and a young population crowding the bars and restaurants with the energy of a much larger city. Unlike much of the rest of the Yugoslaviaafter 1991, the post-communist years of the Slovenia they passed relatively smoothly. Now the country is part of the EU and the economy travels quite well and this also makes a trip to Ljubljana more enjoyable where it is easy to discover how lifestyle mixes influences Central Europeans with those Mediterranean. That’s why it doesn’t sound strange here to eat an Italian ice cream after a large portion of Goulash Hungarian. This mixture also attracts many people who, like the locals, relax by spending time in the many outdoor cafe overlooking the cobbled streets. And in winter, no fear: the terraces of the premises are heated and the ritual remains valid. Lazy stops aside, the Ljubljana guide will also offer you a visit to some museums, galleries as well as a castle on the hill from which to enjoy the view as far as the horizon. In addition there are also the possibilities to spend some time on the river that crosses it, the Ljubljanicawhich is perfect for winter or afternoon walks boat trips.

guide of ljubljana

Guide to Ljubljana: the hand of the architect

The architecture is a mix of Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau, but during your visit you will feel that there is a name that keeps popping up. It is that of the architect Joze Plecnikborn in Ljubljana in 1872, educated in Grazin Austria, and then lived in Prague for 10 years where he helped renovate the Castle of Prague. Inspired by classical Greek and Roman architecture mixed with Byzantine, Islamic and even Ancient Egyptian influences Plecnik returned to his hometown and left his mark on many of his fundamental structures – the National and University Librarythe Central Marketthe banks of the Ljubljanicathe Triple Bridge and the Tivoli park to name but a few.


For our visit, following the simplest guide of Ljubljana, we start from one of the symbols of the city: the castle. This imposing landmark dominates the city, offering spectacular views of the Ljubljanica river and on the old town with the ever-exciting backdrop of Alps. A steep paved street winds its way from the old town to the fortress mecarnival which originally dates back to the 11th century. The castle complex includes a museum, two restaurants (i.e. Gostilna na gradu And Strelec) and the chapel, and access to the castle is guaranteed by one funicular overview. Visitors can admire the view from the imposing castle towerstroll through the peaceful gardens, learn about local history in one of the exhibits that cover the whole Slovenian history from the most ancient traces of human presence of about 200 thousand years ago. The castle hosts cultural events and in summer also an open-air cinema. For those who love the genre in the castle there is also the Puppet Museum run by the Lutkovno gledališče Ljubljana (the local Theater), which presents the tradition of puppets and puppets in this area.

guide of ljubljana

Continuing the walk through the pages of the guide of Ljubljana we must not forget the cathedral of St. Nicholasa Baroque cathedral, dedicated to the patron saint of fishermen, which dates back to the early 18th century but has been renovated and now boasts beautiful carved bronze portals added for the Pope’s visit in 1996. The doors depict the development of Christianity in Slovenia while the interior is richly decorated even if the point of greatest interest are the imposing dome and the frescoes of Giulio Quaglio.

guide of ljubljana

Guide to Ljubljana: the former barracks where music is made

Do you want something more modern? No problem, Ljubljana has what it is for you. We are talking about the former barracks of Metelkova. It is a center of alternative culture where various clubs and venues that offer musical evenings have found their headquarters and location, dj set and other events always tailored to the tastes of more alternative young people. Sometimes these spaces also host exhibitions and other not only musical events e festival. All in a former complex Austro-Hungarian barracks of the 19th century theoretically destined for demolition which have been occupied and given new life.

guide of ljubljana

After spending the evening here we can resume our wandering by taking some time to stroll along the river, through the pleasant old town, before going to see the house of Joze Plecnik which, we have already said, is largely responsible of the current appearance of the city where he was able to mix classic lines and very different influences. The house, which houses the original furniture, both inside and outside and the permanent exhibition of the museum dedicated to the architect, allows you to get to know Plečnik’s work and his professional career. Projects and drawings are exhibited as well as models of his creations such as la National and university library but also sketches of works that never became reality such as a new cathedral and a building for the Parliament.

Then we continue with a stop at the impressive National Museum of Slovenia which is located in a beautiful Neo-Renaissance style building and is the most interesting and popular of Ljubljana’s many museums. Alongside fascinating temporary exhibitions that rotate in its rooms, the permanent exhibition consists of various works of art and archaeological finds among which stand out, for example, a very rare example of a flute that belonged to a Neanderthal man lived 60,000 years ago but also ancient Paleolithic artifacts found within the many karst caves and finds from the time when the territory of Slovenia was part of the Roman Empire. Not surprisingly: the current city rises where over 2000 years ago there was the Roman city of Emona.

guide of ljubljana

Ljubljana guide: between dragons and markets

So our Ljubljana guide suggests an almost mandatory stop at the central market which is not just a place to buy food but a real meeting place. The central market is both outdoor and indoor, along the Ljubljanica river, and there are all the products including organic products that come directly from the farms in the area.

guide of ljubljana

So after admiring Prešernov square which already in the Middle Ages was an important hub of the city and now offers an elegant meeting point surrounded by bourgeois buildings aimed at the right place to give yourself a selfie to share with friends: the bridge of dragons. It is one of the symbolic places of the city, partly for its history and partly for the power of the dragons that adorn it. Born at the time of the Secession, at the beginning of 1900, it boasts several records: it was the first reinforced concrete building and the first to be asphalted as well as being one of the greatest examples of this type of bridge in Europe. It was to be dedicated to Francesco Giuseppe; pity, it went down in history for dragons. Even in Ljubljana, history often plays tricks on those who think they are powerful and immortal.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *