I recently had the chance to spend a few days in Ljubljana during my travels through Slovenia while living in Europe. My time there was well-spent, as I got to explore and experience the city in full over 3 days. I also got some valuable insights from other travellers I met who were unsure what to do in Ljubljana over their three day stay.
From these conversations, I have put together this 3 day itinerary for Ljubljana so that if you ever plan on visiting the city, you can make the most of its attractions. Ljubljana offers something for everyone with its unique blend of both old and modern architecture, cultural sites, natural scenery and local eateries.
Are you planning a trip to Slovenia’s largest and capital city, Ljubljana, but unsure what you want to do? In this 3 Day Itinerary for Ljubljana, we’ll share all the information you need before travelling to Ljubljana!
Ljubljana is a Baltic city that offers a blend of history and culture. It comprises dragons guarding historic bridges, medieval castle towers above red-roofed townhouses, old Roman ruins, riverfronts, and many medieval streets.
So whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just want a delightful European getaway, Ljubljana makes a great destination.
Aside from the city’s medieval and bohemian vibe, Ljubljana is also a city of culture. Here you can find numerous theatres and galleries, such as the oldest philharmonic orchestra in the world.
Other attractions in Ljubljana include the iconic Triple Bridge, Ljubljana Castle, and the beautifully ornate Franciscan Church of the Annunciation. You can also lose yourself in the labyrinthine streets of the Old Town or take a leisurely walk through the expansive Tivoli Park.
You can do these things in Ljubljana – it’s not even half of it! To enjoy your 3 days in Ljubljana, we highly suggest you visit from June to August. These months are the most popular season, but it’s still relatively uncrowded compared to other European destinations.
Meanwhile, when choosing the best area to stay in Ljubljana (especially for first-timers), the Old Town is famous due to its central location and proximity to major attractions, including the Dragon Bridge and Ljubljana Cathedral. But if you want to be near the tourist hot spots, restaurants and shops, we highly recommend you look for a hotel in Krakovo.
That said, we’re ready to share more information about what to see and things to do in Ljubljana in 3 days. Just keep reading!
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Overview of 3-Day Itinerary For Ljubljana
Here’s a glance at what you’ll see and do in three days in Ljubljana:
Day 1 in Ljubljana
- Breakfast at EK Bistro
- Walk around the Historic City Centre of Ljubljana
- Visit the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation
- Cross over the Triple Bridge
- Authentic Slovenian Food for Lunch
- Check out the Butcher’s and Dragon Bridge
- Explore the Old Town of Ljubljana
- Hike up the Ljubljana Castle
- Dinner at House under the Castle
Day 2 in Ljubljana
- Breakfast at Le Petit Cafe
- Drive to Lake Bled
- Visit the Predjama Castle
- Explore the Postonja Cave
- Lunch at Slovenska Hisa
- Visit the Remains of the Roman Wall
- Stroll around Tivoli Park
- Browse the Ljubljana Central Market
- Get dinner at Capriccio
Day 3 in Ljubljana
- Breakfast at Kavarna Zvezda
- Stroll around the Weekend Flea Market
- Admire Ljubljana’s Art Nouveau Architecture
- Climb the Ljubljana Skyscraper
- Lunch at the Neboticnik Cafe
- Discover Art at the Metelkova District
- Visit Hostel Celica
- Walk along the Ljubljanica River
Day 1 in Ljubljana
Breakfast at EK Bistro
As you arrive at Ljubljana, it’s essential to get your food fixed first before touring around the area; and the best place to do that is at one of Lbjubljana’s famous brunch cafes EK Bistro.
This cafe is known for its delectable breakfast options, including authentic Slovenian-style dishes like potica (traditional rolled pastry with various fillings) and struklji (rolled dumplings). Meanwhile, if you wish to stick with the eggs and toast for breakfast, they also make the best egg benedicts here!
Besides that, EK Bistro is also centrally located, making it easy to identify and find. The location overlooking the Ljubljanica River makes it a better brunch place.
Walk around the Historic City Centre of Ljubljana
What makes Ljubljana a great destination during a long weekend in Slovenia is because it’s a WIth the city’s delightful architecture, as well as the art nouveau and baroque design of the centre; lots of visitors find Ljubljana something to look forward to – all these are thanks to the famous architect Jože Plečnik.
Architect Jože Plečnik is one of the world’s most influential pioneers of modern architecture. His works have been recognised, and parts of the city have been placed as a world heritage site.
So, for your first stop in Ljubljana, it’s a must to head on to the historic city centre, where you can find the beautiful architecture, charming squares, and narrow streets designed by architect Jože.
Here you can find several shops, cafés, and cultural landmarks, including the Franciscan Church, the monument of France Preseren and the Triple Bridge.
Visit the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation
As you continue your tour around the historic centre, visit and see the famous pink facade of the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation.
This 17th-century church is situated at Prešeren Square and has been protected as a cultural monument of national significance in Slovenia since 2008.
Providing an attractive backdrop with its salmon pink facade, the church has been a famous tourist destination in Ljubljana, becoming the most photographed building in the city.
Initially, it was painted red to represent the colour of the Franciscan monastic order. Still, as it faded over time, the residents (and, of course, tourists) liked the colour of the building even more.
Cross over the Triple Bridge
Another famous landmark in the historic centre (also built by architect Jože) is the Triple Bridge. Initially, the centre of the three bridges has been in the area since 1842 to serve as a path to cross from one side to the other.
Later, Plečnik added stone bridges on both sides, intended for pedestrians, which became a unique architectural gem for Ljubljana. Right now, it serves as a famous crossing path for locals and tourists to go from the historical and medieval area of the city to the modern site of Ljubljana.
Authentic Slovenian Food for Lunch
Since you are already in Slovenia, you must get authentic Slovenian food at least once during your trip to Ljubljana. As a Slovenian capital, the city has much to offer regarding local delicacies.
You can head to any local market (such as Ljubljana’s Central Market) to experience genuine and authentic local fare. Stalls there are usually open till 10 PM. Here you can experience delights such as Premurska Gibanica, Kremma Rezina, Kranjska Klobasa and many more.
Check out the Butcher’s and Dragon Bridge
After having a feast of Slovenian cuisine, head to the two iconic bridges (aside from the Triple Bridge) near the Old Town of Ljubljana. Butcher’s Bridge and Dragon Bridge are famous landmarks for many city tourists.
The Butcher’s Bridge is known for the padlocks locked to its railings left by many visiting couples. So, if you’re coming with someone special, you can purchase a padlock nearby and lock it to the railings. This bridge was built a few years back (2010), but it was already planned out by the Plečnik decades ago.
Meanwhile, the Dragon Bridge is just on the other side of the Butcher’s Bridge. It is being “guarded” by the iconic symbol of Ljubljana, the green dragon.
Explore the Old Town of Ljubljana
After a busy walk from one place to another, you can now head to Ljubljana’s Old Town. If you’re staying here for the rest of your trip, you can skip this part of the itinerary.
We suggest you head here before going to your next destination. The Old Town of Ljubljana has many cafes and restaurants, so it would be a great chance to relax and sit down for a few minutes while enjoying a cup of coffee or a pastry.
Aside from this, this is also where the Ljubljana Cathedral is located. It’s also a famous landmark in the city, so you should take your time to see this Gothic Church, take a few pictures and look around before heading to your next stop.
Hike up the Ljubljana Castle
Ljubljana Castle is the main attraction of the city. It stands high above the town but can easily be reached by foot. This castle has been in the city for over 900 years already but now serves as a famous destination for tourists and events place for locals.
Ljubljana Castle has two museum collections, historical rooms, an events venue, and a gourmet dining restaurant – all of these you can access during your visit to the castle. Aside from this, you also get a great view over the orange and red-roofed houses of the city if you climb up its tower.
While hiking up to the castle is highly suggested, a funicular railway is also available if you want to ascend faster. This usually comes free if you book a guided tour around the castle.
Dinner at House under the Castle
House under the castle is a restaurant located right at the foot of Ljubljana’s Castle, thus explaining its name. It is an extension of an old bourgeois house boasting an atmosphere of history and comfortable dining.
This restaurant is the best place to end your first night in Ljubljana. Not only do you get to dine in a superb interior restaurant, but you also get to try traditional Slovenian dishes and pair them with their large selection of wine and desserts.
Day 2 in Ljubljana
Breakfast at Le Petit Cafe
Le Petit Cafe is a cosy, elegant bistro cafe in Ljubljana’s city centre. This is another must-try dining place in the city, so we’ve included it in this Ljubljana itinerary.
Since we’ve planned your second day to include day trips to neighbouring towns, you must fill your stomach with a hearty meal before driving around.
You can enjoy a quick breakfast meal here, order some French brunch or pastries or take your time and get a full meal. Plus, with the cafe’s excellent interior and location, your day will start great.
Day Trip to Lake Bled
As mentioned, your second day at Ljubljana will include day trips to neighbouring areas, including Lake Bled. Lake Bled is a famous tourist destination in Slovenia, and since it’s just a few minutes away from Ljubljana, it’s a must to visit.
One that makes Lake Bled particular is its island. This island is the only natural island in Slovenia, and even if it’s just an acre in size, it still houses several buildings, including a church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary.
With the romantic and surreal location of the island, Lake Bled offers a unique experience for visitors, allowing them to feel what it’s like to be in a land of the fairytale – hilltop castle, medieval church, glacial lake – all these you can find at Lake Bled.
Visit the Predjama Castle
Another quick day trip from Ljubljana is to visit the Predjama Castle. This is a castle constructed into the side of a mountain, intended to keep invaders at bay.
You can spend little time here, but if time permits, take great photos and explore the castle as you learn more about its historical significance.
You can visit the Predjama Castle easily if you book a guided tour that will take you to the place. Meanwhile, if you prefer travelling independently, it’s also easily accessible by bus.
Explore the Postonja Cave
If you have finished visiting Predjama Castle, head on to Postojna Cave. Usually, if you are on a group tour, you will automatically be led here. You will hop aboard a small train leading you underground; you can explore what the cave offers.
Inside the cave are stalactites, stalagmites and “white dragons”. Postonja Cave is also considered the second-largest cave system in the country, so it’s something to look forward to!
Note: You can either take a few smaller individual tours, like the one suggested above to Lake Bled or you can book a full day tour to cover Lake Bled, Postojna Cave & Predjama Castle:
Lunch at Slovenska Hisa
As you head back to the city, go straight to Slovenska Hisa, where you’ll have your lunch or if you’re on a day trip you can enjoy lunch on the road. This is a famous cafe restaurant that serves excellent breakfast and lunch dishes.
We highly suggest you get local delicacies when dining here because it’s what they are known for.
Slovenska Hisa is also centrally located so it will be near your next destination. Plus, with reasonable prices, great food and an excellent location, no wonder it’s one of the best in the city.
Visit the Remains of the Roman Wall
If you have decided not to take a tour then, after lunch, take a short detour going to the south area of the old town and see for yourself the remains of the Roman Wall. Not known to many, Ljubljana was just a tiny Roman city in the past.
These Roman walls you are about to visit are said to have been old from 14 to 15 AD, making them an important historical landmark in the city. Here you can see how the walls were built to make up the four main gates of the town. You can even see a few remains of the passageways and pillars intact in the area.
Stroll around Tivoli Park
Tivoli Park, also known as Tivoli City Park, is one of Ljubljana’s most significant green spaces. It connects the central part of the city and the forested slopes of Roznik Hill. Here at Tivoli Park, there are many notable structures and important artworks you can check out.
A French engineer designed this park and used two Ljubljana mansions as the basis of the park; he designed many of the tree-line lanes and flower gardens that later changed into a more modern landscape with architect Plecnik’s additional designs.
As you visit Tivoli Park, you can either take a leisurely walk around or, at the same time, enjoy a day sitting on the grass and having a quick picnic.
Browse the Ljubljana Central Market
Ljubljana Central Market is another must-visit during your three day trip to the city. Like any other European market, you can shop for local souvenirs and products here.
Aside from this, this is also a great place to meet locals and converse with them. The Central Market of Ljubljana is an open-air market between small food shops to get local delicacies here.
Stopping here will refresh you after going around for the whole day. This is also a great chance to immerse yourself in the local culture without stressing yourself in activities.
Get dinner at Capriccio
Capriccio is a famous Italian Restaurant in Ljubljana, and if you want to end your day with a bang, this place is your best bet. Located just at the city’s heart, you will be seated inside a cosy restaurant that offers traditional Italian architecture.
You can find top-quality Italian pizza, calzones and pasta at the restaurant. They also offer lovely salads and other appetisers, which will go great with a good glass of wine – an excellent way to end your second day at Ljubljana.
Day 3 in Ljubljana
Breakfast at Kavarna Zvezda
For your last day in Ljubljana, head to one of Ljubljana’s famous cafes, Kavarna Zvezda. At the cafe, you can treat yourself to cakes, pastries, coffee and other drinks to fuel your energy which is a must for the day.
The café offers a cosy and welcoming atmosphere, which adds to the early morning vibe of your city. Since the cafe premise is relatively tiny, visiting as early as it opens would be great. Plus, you can catch good seats and freshly baked biscuits and pastries!
Stroll around the Weekend Flea Market
After having your share of a hearty meal, head on to Ljubljana’s Flea market if you happen to be visiting during the weekend. Ljubljana’s Weekend Flea Market is a treasure trove for bargain hunters and vintage enthusiasts.
Every Saturday morning, the market comes alive with various stalls selling various goods. You can find everything from antiques, retro clothing, books, jewellery, and unique collectables, perfect gifts and souvenirs here. The market is located in the city’s centre to be easily reached.
Admire Ljubljana’s Art Nouveau Architecture
One of the things that Ljubljana boasts of is its art scene. To enjoy this, admire the city’s Ljubljana Art Nouveau architecture by going around the city from one building to another.
This experience is quite different from visiting average galleries and museums; instead, you will stroll through the centre and marvel at the intricate details of the buildings.
Ljubljana’s Art Nouveau architecture adds a touch of elegance and charm to the city’s streets. Some notable structures you can check out include the iconic Dragon Bridge, the Central Market, and the Cooperative Business Bank building.
Climb the Ljubljana Skyscraper
Now that you’ve explored the city on several walking tours, get ready to admire Ljubljana from above. You can head to the Ljubljana Skyscraper for a panoramic city view.
This iconic building stands tall in the city centre and offers a birds-eye perspective of the whole city and its neighbouring towns. As you arrive, you will take the elevator to the top floor, where you can step out onto the observation deck and soak in breathtaking city skyline vistas.
Some iconic spots you get to see include the majestic Ljubljana Castle, the lush Tivoli Park, and the winding Ljubljanica River.
Lunch at the Neboticnik Cafe
Since you’re already spending your time atop the Ljubljana Skyscraper, it would also be a great idea to eat your lunch on the top floor of the building. The Neboticnik Cafe is a fantastic spot to enjoy a delicious lunch with a view.
The café’s panoramic windows provide stunning vistas of Ljubljana, making it an ideal place to unwind and savour the culinary delights.
Their menu features a mix of local and international dishes prepared with fresh and seasonal ingredients so you can indulge in a leisurely lunch while relishing the spectacular sights surrounding you.
Discover Art at the Metelkova District
Another place art enthusiasts should not miss when visiting Ljubljana is a tour around the Metelkova District. Metelkova is a general urban cultural area and autonomous district in central Ljubljana that offers a vibrant and alternative neighbourhood for contemporary art and artistic expression.
You can discover various art galleries, studios, and clubs at this former military barracks. This area is also a great place to experience the city’s alternative arts and music scene as you see artists working in their studios, watching live music performances, and attending wide-ranging festivals.
Of course, you will mainly explore the colourful street art adorning the walls, immerse yourself in thought-provoking exhibitions, and engage with local artists and their works.
Visit Hostel Celica
Hostel Celica is different from your standard accommodation option. This one-of-a-kind hotel is a converted former prison serving as an artistic and cultural centre and accommodation.
Each cell of the former prison has been transformed by local artists into different rooms, creating an unconventional and captivating atmosphere.
Even if you are not checked in at the hotel, you can still take a guided tour to learn about the prison’s history, explore the various art installations, and interact with the creative community that calls this place home.
But you want to experience staying here. In that case, consider booking this as your one-night accommodation and get a memorable experience that offers a different perspective on Ljubljana’s cultural landscape.
Walk along the Ljubljanica River
The Ljubljanica River is the lifeblood of Ljubljana, and taking a stroll along its banks is a must-do activity no matter how many days in Ljubljana you’re staying.
Ljubljanica River gracefully winds through the city, offering picturesque views and a serene ambience. As you cross the numerous bridges (such as the iconic Triple Bridge and Butcher’s Bridge) that span the river, you can slowly soak in the charming scenery while waiting for the sun to set.
Meanwhile, along the riverbanks, you’ll find charming cafes, restaurants, and shops where you can pause for a refreshing drink or indulge in local delicacies.
Also, enjoy the sight of colourful boats and kayaks gliding along the water, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even join a boat tour to explore the city from a different perspective.
Tours in Ljubljana
Get to know more of the city’s rich historical heritage and cultural traditions from a local’s perspective as you join a walking tour led by a local guide. You will be touring around the city at your own pace on the private walking tour, but at the same time, learn information that only locals know of.
Some attractions in this Ljubljana walking tour include the old town, Triple Bridge, Dragon Bridge and Preseren Square.
While the itinerary is already set, since this tour is private, you also have the chance to customise the time and see what you want to see within the city. At the end of the term, you will head to the Central Market and try local delicacies produced in different parts of Slovenia.
This culinary food walking tour is another tour you can book when visiting Ljubljana, especially if you have extra time to spare. This tour only consists of a small group a local guide will lead.
You will be walking through the streets of Ljubljana to discover and savour the city’s culinary scene by visiting different local eateries and restaurants.
During the tour, you will taste nine national specialities and some Slovenian Wine. Between bites, you will also admire the city’s fascinating architectural buildings, which will already be done within half a day or less.
FAQs About 3 days in ljubljana
What are the best attractions in Ljubljana?
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and is home to a number of interesting attractions. Examples are Ljubljana Castle, Triple Bridge, Old Town, Tivoli Park, and Dragon Bridge. There are also many other sights such as museums, galleries, and churches which make for great sightseeing opportunities.
How much time should I spend in Ljubljana?
Depending on your interests and budget, it is possible to explore Ljubljana within 3 days. This gives you enough time to experience all the main attractions that this city has to offer while still having a few free hours to check out any local bars or restaurants.
What kind of cuisine can I expect to find in Ljubljana?
The food scene in Ljubljana is vibrant and diverse; offering something for everyone no matter what their tastes may be.
From traditional Slovenian dishes like Jota (a stew made with beans, potatoes and sauerkraut) or Prekmurska Gibanica (a cheese-filled pastry), right through to international cuisines such as Italian or Indian food – you’ll never be short of options when it comes to eating out!
Final Thoughts: what to see in ljubljana in 3 days
So there you have it – a three-day itinerary for Ljubljana that will ensure you get to experience the best the city has to offer!
Whether it’s a romantic weekend getaway, a family holiday or just some time away from it all, Ljubljana is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.
So why not mix and match this itinerary to suit your needs and make your trip truly special. With so much to see and do, you won’t want to miss out on any of the amazing things Ljubljana has to offer.
Recommended tours in Ljubljana
- Slovenia in One Day: Small-Group Day Trip to Lake Bled, Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle from Ljubljana
- Pub Crawl Ljubljana
- Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle – Entrance Tickets Included
- 2-Hour Interactive Wine Tasting Experience in Ljubljana
- Ljubljana Stand-Up Paddle Boarding Lesson and Tour
- Ljubljana Small Group Food Walking Tour
- Traditional Slovenian Dinner and Show
- Full-Day Triglav National Park Tour from Ljubljana
- 10 of the Coolest Castles in Slovenia
- Where to stay in Ljubljana
- 20 Things to do in Ljubljana – That People Actually Do!
- The Ultimate Guide to Ljubljana
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