A city of many bridges.
Museum of Illusions
National Museum of Slovenia
It might be Europe’s smallest capitals but it has a lot to offer, it was even voted the European Green Capital in 2016.
Ljubljana is over 2 000 years old, the ancient Roman city – Emona – was constructed along the Ljubljanica river bank. It is really pleasant to go for a stroll as most part of the city center is now a pedestrian precinct. We arrived in town during the Pivo & Burger Festival (beer and burger). Until today Indre still believes that it wasn’t a coincidence but a master plan for us to reach beer and burger heaven.
It’s a city most people probably miss out on during a Eurotrip. The flight tickets at least from Paris are relatively expensive if you consider the small distance you’ll have to cover.
Take our Slovenian trip for example : It was indeed easier and cheaper for us to drive from Italy and extend our road trip compared to the price of an air ticket.
The city can be visited in only a few days but if you do stay longer you will still find plenty of things to do. One great way for you to organize your visit and save some money is the Ljubljana Card.
With more than 20 attractions spread around the city and an access to the public transport, it might be your best inexpensive option to explore the city. We took the 48h (34€) one and are gonna list the différent visit we did before checking if we did or not save some money. You can purchase the Ljubljana card in almost any of the hotels or in the tourist information center. It will only be activated as soon as you use it in the first attraction.
National Museum of Slovenia & Slovenian Museum of Natural History : 8.5€ + 4€
We are not going to be listing all the artifact you will find in the National Museum. There is Egyptian one, Roman one, a whale skeleton, woolly mammoth etc… Almost everything is explained in English which makes the experience even more interesting.
Both the Natural History Museum and National Museum of Slovenian are within the same building (and both entries are included with the Ljubljana Card). Entrance is free on the 1st Sunday each month.
We at first went to the museum to see a particular thing. It is presumed to be the oldest musical instrument in the World (55 000 years old) made from a bone of a cave bear by Neanderthals. I really wonder after all this time how can anybody be so sure of the actual use of it.
Ljubljana Bike : 4€ (4 hours)
The best way to discover Ljubljana in our opinion since everything is so close together.
Which brings us to our next visit.
Metelkova district : free
The Metelkova district is a former army barracks transformed into an art squat since Yugoslavia has disappeared in the 1990s. Nowadays you can find a hostel located in a former prison and many bars open 7/7. It is a great place to spend an hour in the afternoon or to go for a drink at night fall. Don’t hesitate to speak to the locals to learn more anecdotes about this random place.
Museum of Illusions Ljubljana : 8€
A little more expensive than the other museums in town and will deserve to be bigger as it is mostly visited by school class and can get really crowded. With several optical illusions and brain teaser at the end of your visit, it is the perfect place to visit with kids.
Union Experience (Brewery): 14€
We had so many sunsets, apéritifs and memories made in Slovenia. One thing that was present in most of it was a Lasko or Union Beer. As much as we love cultural events and monuments it was refreshing to learn a little more about something else we loved – Beer.
Both brands are national treasures in Slovenia, a question of allegiance that divides beer drinkers. The country used every trick to keep Union in Slovenian hands, and even merge Lasko and Union in hope to avoid a larger European Beer Monopoly. They are now (unfortunately?) part of the Heineken group.
All the raw materials are presented as well as the various stages of the industrial production and the history of the brewery in the suburbs of Ljubljana. Not to mention the food they serve, not the most healthy one for sure but the ribs were so good !
Ljubljana Castle & The Castle Funicular (return): 7.5€ + 4€
The best view of the city, that is the only thing you need to know. Even if you are not a fan of history the Ljubljana Castle is one of the things in Slovenia you do not want to miss. From the bell tower, the sunset is just incredible but, if you cannot climb the stairs, the Funicular conveyed over 2 million people since its opening in 2006 to reach the base of the castle where the view is also nice (it should take you 15 minutes if you decide to walk instead).
For those who want to learn some more, the museum and the 3D video explain really well the evolution of the area and the people who lived there.
Our hotel was as good as the rest of our Slovenian Experience. Located right next to the pedestrian area and with a direct view of the castle from the balcony. Grand Union Hotel has a spa and an indoor swimming pool but we didn’t even a chance to enjoy it with so many things to do in Ljubljana.
In total, we spend 68€ for the 2 cards when it should have cost us 100€. But as you can see we only did some of the 20+ attractions the card grant you.
Our advice will be simple, whether you do want to purchase the card and save money or just go with the flow and visit Ljubljana as you wish you need to come in Slovenia and visit its capital anyway.
In a nutshell:
Ljubljana Card :
Grand Hotel Union :
Address : Miklošičeva cesta 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Telephone : +386 1 308 12 70
Email : [email protected]