Ljubljana: The City You Can’t Help But Love

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Listen closely, because I'm about to share a secret with you.

But you have to promise not to tell too many other people.

The secret is about a place.

And the place is Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Actually, my secret isn't much of a secret if you've actually been to Ljubljana. Because, if you've been there, you'll already know that this city is beautiful, friendly, laid-back, and an amazing place to just BE in Europe. 

There's a reason that the word “love” is in Slovenia, I'm convinced.

Because my secret is that, if you go to Ljubljana, chances are you will never want to leave.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

I've fallen in love with quite a few capital cities on my travels — Wellington, Budapest, Reykjavik, and London, to name a few. And I now have to also add Ljubljana to that list.

As far as world capitals go, this little city of less than 300,000 isn't the trendiest or most modern. It isn't the most well-known or most connected to the rest of Europe. But damn, does it draw you in.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

With colorful buildings, wide streets, outdoor cafes, and willow-draped riverbanks, Ljubljana is easily one of the prettiest cities I have ever visited. Sure, it's not perfect. But it's that lack of complete perfection that makes it beautiful.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

I only spent a brief 3 nights in Ljubljana, but it's nevertheless a city I think back on often.

Things to love about Ljubljana

Here are just a few things I ended up loving about Ljubljana:

The Color

Ljubljana, like many of my favorite cities in the world, is very colorful. No, it's not quite as bright as, say, Sighisoara in Romania, but it has enough pops of pink and yellow to catch the eye.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
The Franciscan Church of the Annunciation
Ljubljana, Slovenia
A market outside St. Peter's Church

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Ljubljanica River

Cutting through the city in a canal-like fashion, the Ljubljanica River is one of my favorite parts of this city.

The river itself isn't very special, but it allows for a couple of amazing things to exist — like Ljubljana's great bridges, dozens of riverside cafes, and plenty of romantic-looking scenes with willows drooping over the riverbank.

This part of the city is super popular during the summer months – especially those riverside patios.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana's love lock bridge (officially known as Butcher's Bridge, ironically)

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia
The Dragon Bridge

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Friendliness

Ljubljana is friendly to just about everything, from tourists to cyclists to the environment.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Atmosphere

I visited Ljubljana in July — the height of tourist season. And, while the riverside cafes were usually busy, nothing felt as crowded or rushed there as in other parts of Europe.

It was such a laid-back and welcoming place that I could have easily spent a few blissed-out weeks there doing absolutely nothing.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Walking over the Triple Bridge
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Look at that empty square!

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana Castle on the hill

Ljubljana is still relatively undiscovered as a summer tourist destination. I doubt it will remain that way for long, but it certainly is the case now. Which is why it's a secret that I wanted to share with you.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Go to this place, and go now. Go before the rest of the world gets clued in to the fact that you can't go to Ljubljana and not fall in love with the place.

READ NEXT: Travel Bliss in Bled, Slovenia

Is Ljubljana on your must-visit list?

 

*Note: Big thanks to the Slovenia Tourist Board for hosting me in Ljubljana, and for Hotel Park for putting me up for a few nights. As always, though, opinions are my own.

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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66 Comments on “Ljubljana: The City You Can’t Help But Love

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  1. Why didn’t I come across this post earlier? This town looks lovely. I love the architecture.
    Maybe I should add it to my travel bucket list here.

    I moved to Ljubljana from a smaller town and I also adore it and feel very priviliged to live here. I am also amazed when I host my international friends and they are al amazed by Ljubljana. As I always say: the more I travel, more I am falling in love with my own city! How did I get so lucky to live here?! ?

    Wow, it looks beautiful! What are the vegetarian options like over there?

      I can’t say for sure since I’m not a vegetarian and I also visited Slovenia quite a few years ago – but Europe in general has plenty of vegetarian options, so I’m sure there would be some!

    sLOVEnia is the number one reason for wanting to visit Europe. Let me just be clear, I have at least 100 reasons but this beautiful country is at the tip top of the list.

    You’ve captured it beautifully and have made me even more excited to visit!

    In terms of things to do, are there any highlights you would recommend? Or is it just best to soak up the beauty and see how the experience unfolds organically?

    Either way, I can’t wait!

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Ljubljana is gorgeous! (As is all of Slovenia!) In Ljubljana I really enjoyed going up to the fortress (it has some great views), and then just wandering around. There are so many cute sidewalk cafes along the river.

      And as for the rest of Slovenia, I loved Lake Bled and and Triglav National Park! (Look up the Emerald River Adventure if you haven’t already!)

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