Discover the Best of Ljubljana in 3 Days: A Perfect Itinerary for First-Time Visitors
Are you planning a trip to Ljubljana and wondering how to make the most of your time there? Look no further! In this article, we have put together a comprehensive 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors to Ljubljana, tailored especially for solo female travelers. From exploring the charming Old Town to visiting iconic landmarks, trying local cuisine, and experiencing the vibrant nightlife, this itinerary covers all the must-see and must-do activities in the Slovenian capital. We’ll also provide insider tips to help you navigate the city like a pro and make the most of your trip. So grab your backpack and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Ljubljana!
Planning Your 3-Day Ljubljana Itinerary
Where to Stay
Best Tours & Experiences
The Perfect 3 Days in Ljubljana Itinerary
Ljubljana has a lot to offer, so I recommend spending at least 3 days here as it’ll give you an ample amount of time to do all the most exciting things without having to rush from place to place. Seeing Ljubljana in 3 days will allow you to fully relax and enjoy your experience here.
Day 1 in Ljubljana:
1. Visit Ljubljana Castle
Start your day by visiting the iconic Ljubljana Castle, a medieval castle perched atop a hill overlooking the city. Take the funicular to the top of the castle hill and enjoy stunning views of the city. It’s a great way to get your bearings and orient yourself in Ljubljana.
Ljubljana Castle stands as a symbol of the city’s rich history and gives you a glimpse into its past. Before you head to the castle, it’s important to know that there are several ways to reach the top. While some may prefer to take a leisurely stroll up the hill, I prefer the convenient funicular ride that departs from the Old Town. Once at the castle, be sure to take in the breathtaking panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscapes.
As you explore the castle grounds, you’ll find a variety of attractions and points of interest, including the Castle Museum, which gives insight into the castle’s history and the city’s development over the centuries. Additionally, don’t miss the chance to visit the Chapel of St. George and the Castle Tower, both of which provide unique perspectives on the castle’s architectural features and historical significance.
If you’re interested in cultural events and activities, Ljubljana Castle hosts a range of exhibitions, concerts, and performances throughout the year, so be sure to check the castle’s event calendar before your visit. Finally, to make the most of your experience, consider joining a guided tour or downloading a self-guided tour app to learn more about the castle’s fascinating history and hidden treasures. With its stunning views, rich history, and cultural offerings, Ljubljana Castle is a must-visit destination for any traveler exploring the charming city of Ljubljana.
2. Explore the Old Town
Next, head to the Old Town and explore the charming streets and architecture. Stop by the Town Hall and Triple Bridge for some great photo opportunities.
Exploring the Old Town of Ljubljana is like stepping back in time into a world of cobblestone streets, charming squares, and historic architecture. The Old Town is primarily pedestrian-friendly, making it perfect for leisurely strolls and exploration. As you wander through its narrow alleys and picturesque squares, you’ll uncover a treasure trove of cultural landmarks, including the iconic Triple Bridge, the colourful Central Market, and the majestic Town Hall. Be sure to keep an eye out for hidden gems like the Robba Fountain and the Church of St. Nicholas, each offering a glimpse into the city’s rich heritage.
When it comes to dining options, the Old Town boasts a plethora of cafes, restaurants, and bistros serving up a variety of culinary delights. For a taste of traditional Slovenian cuisine, head to Gostilna Sokol, where you can indulge in hearty dishes like žlikrofi (dumplings) and jota (bean soup). If you’re in the mood for something sweet, stop by Lolita for their mouthwatering desserts and specialty coffees. Additionally, don’t miss the chance to explore the quaint boutiques and artisan shops scattered throughout the Old Town, offering everything from handmade crafts to local souvenirs.
3. Try a local speciality for lunch
For lunch, try some traditional Slovenian cuisine at Klobasarna, a popular spot for sausage lovers. Specializing in traditional Slovenian sausages, Klobasarna has a delightful array of mouthwatering delicacies that showcase the rich flavours of Slovenian cuisine. Located just steps away from the iconic Triple Bridge in the bustling Old Town, this charming eatery attracts locals and tourists alike with its irresistible aroma and inviting ambiance.
From the classic Kranjska klobasa to innovative twists on traditional recipes, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Whether enjoyed as a quick snack on the go or as a hearty meal paired with mustard and bread, the sausages at Klobasarna are sure to plase.
4. Stroll the Ljubljanica River
In the afternoon, take a stroll along the Ljubljanica River and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the city. Stop by the Central Market to sample some local produce.
Strolling along the Ljubljana River is a serene and enchanting experience that is a delightful blend of natural beauty and urban charm. As you wander along its picturesque banks, you’ll be captivated by the tranquil waters, lush greenery, and charming bridges that adorn the river’s path. The riverside promenades are lined with cute cafes, artisan shops, and lively street performers, creating a vibrant atmosphere that invites leisurely exploration and relaxation. Whether you’re enjoying a peaceful morning walk, sipping coffee at a riverside cafe, or admiring the city lights shimmering on the water at night, strolling along the Ljubljana River is an experience that embodies the essence of Slovenia’s capital city.
5. Wind Down on a Boat Tour
End the day with a relaxing boat tour on the river, and soak in the beauty of Ljubljana at night.
Taking an evening boat tour on the Ljubljana River is a magical experience that provides a unique perspective of Slovenia’s capital city. As the sun sets and the city lights illuminate the riverbanks, you’ll glide along the tranquil waters aboard a charming boat, soaking in the romantic ambiance and stunning views of the city’s iconic landmarks. With the gentle sway of the boat and the soft glow of the evening sky overhead, you’ll feel transported to a world of enchantment as you pass beneath the elegant bridges and historic architecture that line the river’s edge. Whether enjoyed as a romantic date night or a relaxing evening with friends, a boat tour on the Ljubljana River promises to be an unforgettable highlight of your visit to this vibrant European city.
Day 2 in Ljubljana:
1. Museum of Illusions
Start your day with a visit to the Museum of Illusions, a fun and interactive museum that will challenge your senses.
The Museum of Illusions in Ljubljana is a fun and interactive museum that gives visitors a mind-bending journey into the world of optical illusions and perceptual tricks. Located in the heart of the city, this unique museum features a variety of exhibits and installations designed to challenge the senses and stimulate the imagination. From rooms that defy gravity to holograms that appear to leap off the walls, visitors of all ages are sure to be amazed and entertained by the museum’s collection of mind-bending illusions. With its playful atmosphere and immersive experiences, the Museum of Illusions is a must-visit destination for your next Instagram moment.
2. Stroll through Tivoli Park
Next, head to Tivoli Park, the largest park in Ljubljana. Enjoy a peaceful walk through the park and visit the Tivoli Castle.
Visiting Tivoli Park in Ljubljana is an enchanting experience that’s a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Spanning over 5 square kilometers, this expansive park is a lush oasis of greenery, dotted with winding pathways, scenic ponds, and charming statues.
Tivoli Park is a favourite recreational spot for locals and tourists alike, offering opportunities for leisurely strolls, picnics, and outdoor activities. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes and bring along a camera to capture the park’s natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere. Additionally, consider visiting during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds and enjoy the park’s serene ambiance to the fullest.
Don’t miss the chance to explore Tivoli Castle and its surrounding gardens, as well as the various art installations and cultural events that take place throughout the year. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, outdoor adventure, or a scenic escape, Tivoli Park is sure to leave a lasting impression with its timeless charm and natural splendour.
3. Sample craft beer at lunch
For lunch, try some delicious burgers at Pop’s Burger Bar, a haven for burger enthusiasts and craft beer aficionados alike. With a menu featuring a mouthwatering array of gourmet burgers made from high-quality ingredients, Pop’s Burger Bar offers something for every taste and preference. Sink your teeth into juicy beef, chicken, or vegetarian burger options, all served with a side of crispy fries or onion rings. Pair your burger with one of their carefully curated craft beers, selected from a rotating list of local and international brews, to enhance the flavours and elevate your dining experience. Whether you’re craving a classic cheeseburger or a more adventurous creation, Pop’s Burger Bar promises a satisfying meal in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, making it a must-visit destination for burger lovers in Ljubljana.
4. See the city on two wheels
In the afternoon, take a guided bike tour to explore the hidden corners of the city. Join a 3.5-hour guided bicycle tour through Ljubljana’s top landmarks and hidden local gems. Pedal past Tivoli Park, the Ljubljanica river, and art exhibitions with a knowledgeable guide leading the way. Enjoy snacks and bottled water included while experiencing city attractions, breathtaking views, and natural wonders. Hosted by Klemen, an experienced cyclist and licensed tour guide, explore Ljubljana with the wind in your hair aboard our legendary Pony bicycle for an unforgettable experience.
5. Relax in a thermal spa
End the day with a relaxing visit to one of Ljubljana’s thermal spas, such as Atlantis Water Park or Rimske Terme.
Visiting one of Ljubljana’s thermal spas is a rejuvenating escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Indulge in relaxation and wellness as you soak in soothing thermal waters renowned for their healing properties. Whether you’re seeking invigorating water slides and pools at Atlantis Water Park or a serene retreat surrounded by nature at Rimske Terme, both destinations promise a blissful experience for body and mind. Unwind in thermal pools, indulge in spa treatments, and immerse yourself in ultimate relaxation at these tranquil oases in Ljubljana.
Day 3 in Ljubljana:
1. Learn some history
Start your day with a visit to the National Museum of Slovenia, which houses an extensive collection of Slovenian history and culture.
Go on a fascinating journey through the country’s rich history, culture, and heritage in the heart of Ljubljana. The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts, artworks, and archaeological finds that span from prehistoric times to the present day. The museum is housed in a historic building, which adds to the charm and ambiance of the experience.
When visiting the National Museum, consider taking a guided tour or audio guide to gain deeper insights into the exhibits and their significance. Be sure to give yourself enough time to explore the museum’s various sections, including its impressive archaeological, historical, and ethnographic collections. Additionally, keep in mind that the museum often hosts temporary exhibitions and special events, so be sure to check the schedule ahead of time to see what’s on during your visit.
To make the most of your visit, consider visiting during off-peak hours to avoid crowds and enjoy a more leisurely experience. Don’t forget to bring along a camera to capture your favourite exhibits and moments, and be sure to check out the museum’s gift shop for unique souvenirs and gifts to take home. With its diverse and engaging displays, the National Museum of Slovenia promises an enriching and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
2. Learn some alternative history
Next, head to the Metelkova complex, an alternative cultural center with a vibrant art scene and interesting architecture.
This alternative culture center is a colourful and eclectic enclave filled with street art, graffiti, and quirky sculptures, creating an atmosphere that celebrates creativity and self-expression. Metelkova is a self-governing community known for its alternative lifestyle and countercultural activities. While it’s a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, it’s essential to approach the area with respect and an open mind.
When visiting Metelkova, be sure to take the time to explore its various galleries, clubs, and performance spaces, each offering a glimpse into the alternative arts scene of Ljubljana. Keep in mind that the area comes to life after dark, with concerts, art exhibitions, and other events often taking place late into the night. While Metelkova is generally safe, it’s wise to exercise caution and be mindful of your surroundings, especially if visiting late at night.
To fully appreciate the unique atmosphere of Metelkova, consider joining a guided tour or attending one of the many cultural events hosted in the area. Whether you’re interested in street art, live music, or simply soaking in the bohemian vibe, Metelkova promises an unforgettable and immersive experience for adventurous travelers seeking to explore Ljubljana’s alternative side.
3. Have a leisurely lunch
For lunch, head to Čompa. This charming eatery offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere with a focus on traditional Slovenian cuisine. Čompa’s menu features a variety of hearty dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, including homemade soups, hearty stews, and delicious grilled meats. Whether you’re craving a comforting bowl of jota (bean soup), a savoury plate of žganci (buckwheat dumplings), or a juicy grilled steak, Čompa has something to satisfy every appetite. With its convenient location near Metelkova and its authentic Slovenian flavors, Čompa is the perfect spot to refuel and relax after exploring the vibrant streets of Ljubljana.
4. Explore the city’s dragon connection
In the afternoon, take a leisurely walk along the Ljubljanica River and stop by the Dragon Bridge, one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
The Dragon Bridge is known for its striking design and ornate dragon sculptures. Completed in 1901, the bridge spans the Ljubljanica River and is adorned with four dragon statues at each corner, which have become a beloved emblem of Ljubljana’s identity. Visiting the Dragon Bridge during your trip to Ljubljana gives you a glimpse of the city’s rich architectural heritage.
As you stroll across the Dragon Bridge, take a moment to admire the intricate details of the dragon sculptures and soak in the picturesque views of the river and surrounding landmarks. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an architecture buff, or simply a curious traveler seeking to explore Ljubljana’s cultural landmarks, the Dragon Bridge is a must-visit destination that encapsulates the city’s charm and character. Plus, it’s conveniently located near other popular attractions in the city center, making it easy to incorporate into your itinerary.
5. Drinks with a view
End the day with a relaxing drink at a rooftop bar with stunning views of the city. One of the best rooftop bars in Ljubljana for evening drinks is Nebotičnik. Located atop the iconic Nebotičnik skyscraper in the city center, this rooftop bar offers breathtaking panoramic views of Ljubljana’s skyline and surrounding mountains. With its chic and sophisticated ambiance, Nebotičnik provides the perfect setting for enjoying cocktails, fine wines, and craft beers as the sun sets over the city. Whether you’re looking for a romantic spot for a date night or a stylish venue to unwind with friends, Nebotičnik makes for a memorable and unforgettable evening experience in Ljubljana.
3 Day Ljubljana Budget
The cost of a 3-day visit to Ljubljana can vary depending on your travel style and preferences. As a solo female traveler, you can expect to spend around 70-100 EUR per day on average, which includes accommodation, food, transportation, and activities.
Accommodation in Ljubljana ranges from budget hostels to luxury hotels, with prices starting from around 15 EUR per night for a dorm bed and 50-60 EUR per night for a mid-range hotel. Food can be affordable if you stick to local markets and street food, with meals costing around 10-15 EUR per person. Transportation in Ljubljana is quite affordable, with a single bus ticket costing around 1.50 EUR.
For activities, Ljubljana offers plenty of free options such as walking tours, visiting museums, and strolling through parks. However, some attractions such as the Ljubljana Castle and river cruises may require an admission fee. To be safe, you can budget an extra 30-50 EUR per day for activities and entrance fees.
In total, for a 3-day visit to Ljubljana, you can expect to spend around 200-300 EUR as a solo female traveler.
Where to Stay in Ljubljana for 3 Days
The best areas to stay in Ljubljana are the historic Old Town and the City Centre as they put you right in the middle of everything, within walking distance of pretty much all the attractions to see. Here are my top hotel recommendations.
Where I Stayed: B&B HOTEL Ljubljana Park (⭐ 8.6)
In 2016 Ljubljana, Slovenia was named Europe’s Green Capital. In the middle of the green capital, surrounded by parks, is the city’s greenest hotel. Some hotels say they’re environmentally friendly and sure, they may not wash your sheets and towels every day but they’ve got nothing on the B&B HOTEL Ljubljana Park.
I appreciated all of the eco-friendly touches like windows that open (no AC needed, though they have it), motion-activated hallway lights, and even beehives on the roof. You can even buy their honey in the lobby as a fun souvenir.
Other Great Accommodations in Ljubljana
Luxury Pick: Grand Hotel Union (⭐ 8.7)
This historic hotel is located in the heart of the city, just steps away from many of Ljubljana’s top attractions. It features elegant rooms, a fitness center, and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city.
InterContinental Ljubljana (⭐ 8.9)
This modern hotel is situated in the tallest building in Ljubljana, offering stunning views of the city skyline. It features spacious rooms, a spa, and a rooftop restaurant and bar.
Antiq Palace Hotel & Spa (⭐ 7.5)
This boutique hotel is housed in a restored 16th-century palace, offering a luxurious and unique experience for guests. It features elegant rooms, a spa, and a restaurant serving local and international cuisine.
Trendy Pick: Vander Urbani Resort (⭐ 8.0)
This trendy hotel is located in the historic city center, close to many of Ljubljana’s top attractions. It features stylish rooms, a rooftop pool, and a restaurant serving fusion cuisine.
Family Pick: Hotel Cubo (⭐ 9.3)
This design hotel is located in the heart of the city, offering easy access to Ljubljana’s top sights. It features modern rooms, a fitness center, and a restaurant serving gourmet cuisine.
When’s the Best Time to Visit Ljubljana
The best time to visit Ljubljana, Slovenia is during the spring and summer months from April to September. This is when the weather is the most pleasant, with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine, making it ideal for exploring the city’s outdoor attractions. Additionally, this is the peak tourist season, so there are more events and activities happening around the city.
If you’re looking for a quieter and more budget-friendly experience, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of March and October. During these months, the weather can still be pleasant, but there are fewer crowds, and prices for accommodation and activities are generally lower. However, keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable, and there may be some rainy or cooler days. Winter months can also be a good option if you’re interested in skiing and winter sports, but keep in mind that temperatures can be quite chilly.
Tips for Visiting Ljubljana
Wear comfortable shoes: Ljubljana is a walkable city, so you’ll want to make sure you have comfortable shoes to explore the city’s charming streets and historic landmarks.
Take a walking tour: A walking tour is a great way to get an introduction to the city’s history, culture, and landmarks. Many tours are available in English, and some are free.
Visit the Central Market: The Central Market is a great place to try local food and buy souvenirs. It’s open every day except Sundays, and the best time to go is in the morning when the market is at its liveliest.
Bring a reusable water bottle: The tap water in Ljubljana is safe to drink, so bring a reusable water bottle to fill up throughout the day.
Visit Ljubljana Castle: The castle offers stunning views of the city, and you can either hike up to the castle or take the funicular.
Try local cuisine: Ljubljana has a great food scene, so be sure to try local specialties like the traditional Slovenian dumplings called “idrijski žlikrofi” or the horse meat burgers.
Bring a jacket or umbrella: The weather in Ljubljana can be unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to bring a jacket or umbrella just in case it rains.
Explore the city at night: Ljubljana is known for its vibrant nightlife, so don’t be afraid to explore the city after dark. Many bars and restaurants stay open late, and the city is safe to walk around at night.
Is Ljubljana a Walkable City?
Yes, Ljubljana is a very walkable city. The city center is compact, with many pedestrian-only streets and charming alleys, making it easy to explore on foot. Additionally, the city has an excellent infrastructure for pedestrians, with plenty of wide sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian bridges over the Ljubljanica River. Furthermore, many of the top attractions, such as the Ljubljana Castle, the Central Market, and the Triple Bridge, are located within walking distance of each other. Overall, walking is one of the best ways to explore Ljubljana, as it allows visitors to soak up the city’s charm, atmosphere, and beauty at their own pace.
How Many Days in Ljubljana – Are 3 Days Enough?
To truly appreciate the history, artistic sights, and tasty experiences that Ljubljana has to offer, you should spend at least three days in the city. Three days are just enough to explore all the main attractions at a relaxing pace and absorb the vibrant local culture.
If you enjoy slow travel and exploring at a very leisurely pace, though, there is definitely enough to do in Ljubljana to keep you inspired for a whole week.
Ljubljana 3-Day Itinerary Overview
Here’s a summary of what to do in Ljubljana for 3 days, with all the activities mentioned in the itinerary above. This is the perfect trip plan for a long weekend in Ljubljana!
Day 1: Ljubljana Castle, Old Town, Klobasarna, Central Market, Boat tour on the Ljubljanica River
Day 2: Museum of Illusions, Tivoli Park, Pop’s Burger Bar, Bike tour, Thermal spa
Day 3: National Museum of Slovenia, Metelkova, Čompa, Dragon Bridge, Nebotičnik
3 Days Ljubljana Itinerary Map
Here’s a map of how to spend three days in Ljubljana including all the attractions and activities mentioned in this itinerary. You can click here to see it in full on Google Maps.
Travel Insurance for Slovenia
Having travel insurance gives me peace of mind, and I highly recommend getting it because let’s be real — the last thing we want on any trip is for accidents and mishaps to get in the way. I use a service called Safety Wing and can highly recommend them — they offer affordable prices, great coverage, and a reliable 24/7 on-call service.
Getting Around Ljubljana
Ljubljana is a very walkable city. The city center is compact, with many pedestrian-only streets and charming alleys, making it easy to explore on foot. Additionally, the city has an excellent infrastructure for pedestrians, with plenty of wide sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian bridges over the Ljubljanica River. Furthermore, many of the top attractions, such as the Ljubljana Castle, the Central Market, and the Triple Bridge, are located within walking distance of each other. Overall, walking is one of the best ways to explore Ljubljana, as it allows visitors to soak up the city’s charm, atmosphere, and beauty at their own pace.
Is Ljubljana Safe for Solo Female Travelers?
Ljubljana is generally considered a safe destination for travellers, including solo female travellers. Slovenia, in general, has a low crime rate compared to many other European countries. The city is known for its friendly atmosphere, and Slovenians are generally welcoming and helpful.
However, it’s always important to exercise standard safety precautions as you would in any destination.