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Coordinates: 46°3′5″N 14°30′20″E / 46.05139°N 14.50556°E / 46.05139; 14.50556

Ljubljana skyline at sunset


Coat of arms
Municipal location in Slovenia
Coordinates: 46°3′5″N 14°30′20″E / 46.05139°N 14.50556°E / 46.05139; 14.50556
Country Slovenia Slovenia
First mention 1144
 - Mayor and governor Zoran Janković (Lista Zorana Jankovića)
 - City 275.0 km2 (106.2 sq mi)
Elevation 298 m (978 ft)
Population (2009)[1]
 - City 280,000
 Density 1,018.2/km2 (2,637.1/sq mi)
 Metro 550,000
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Area code(s) 01
Vehicle Registration LJ

Ljubljana (Ljubljana.ogg [lʲubˈlʲana] ; German: Laibach, lit. "tepid brook", Italian: Lubiana, Latin: Labacum, Prekmurian: Lüblana) is the capital of Slovenia and its largest city. It is located in the centre of the country in the Ljubljana Basin, and is a mid-sized city of some 280,000 inhabitants. Throughout its history, it has been influenced by its geographic position at the crossroads of Germanic, Latin and Slavic cultures.

For centuries, Ljubljana was the capital of the historical region of Carniola,[2] and in the 20th century it became the cultural, scientific, economic, political and administrative centre of Slovenia, independent since 1991. Its transport connections, concentration of industry, scientific and research institutions and cultural tradition are contributing factors to its leading position.


Etymology and symbol

Linguists disagree about the origins of the city's name. Some believe it derives from the name of the old Slavic water deity Laburus. Others think the word could have evolved from the Latin Aluviana, itself derived from the word eluvio, meaning an inundation. It may also come from the Old German Laubach ("a lukewarm creek").[3] The name is possibly related to the Slovenian word ljubljena ("beloved"), implying the city's name means "the beloved city."[3] There are other proposed explanations. However, none of them is universally accepted.[4]

The most likely scientifically acceptable hypothesis is that the city was named after the river Ljubljanica that flows through it. In the Middle Ages, both the river and the city were named solely Laibach. This name, derived from Old German, almost certainly means "a standing water causing floods". It was in official use until 1918.[5]

The city's symbol is the Ljubljana Dragon. It symbolises power, courage and greatness. It is depicted on the top of the tower of the Ljubljana Castle in the Ljubljana coat-of-arms and on the Ljubljanica-crossing Dragon Bridge (Zmajski most), often regarded as the most beautiful bridge produced by the Vienna Secession.[6]

There are several explanations on the origin of the Ljubljana Dragon. According to the celebrated Greek legend, the Argonauts on their return home after having taken the Golden Fleece found a large lake surrounded by a marsh between the present-day cities of Vrhnika and Ljubljana. It is there that Jason struck down a monster. This monster has become the dragon that today is present on the city's coat of arms and flag.[7]

It is historically more believable that the dragon was adopted from Saint George, the patron of the Ljubljana Castle chapel. In the legend of Saint George, the dragon represents the old ancestral paganism overcome by Christianity. In the Bronze Age, the Castle Hill was a holy place where the bearers of the Urnfield culture built their fortress and worshipped their gods. In the Middle Ages, when the foundations of the castle were raised, the builders also wished to symbolically overcome old paganistic faith so they dedicated the castle chapel to Saint George.

According to another explanation, related to the first, the dragon was at first only a decoration above the city coat of arms. In Baroque, it became part of the coat of arms and in the 19th and especially the 20th century, it outstripped the tower and other elements.


Ljubljana skyline, including Ljubljana Castle
The northern tip of Ljubljana's centre (foreground) and Bežigrad (background), beneath the Kamnik–Savinja Alps

Around 2,000 BC, the Ljubljana Marshes were settled by people living in pile dwellings. These lake-dwelling people lived through hunting, fishing and primitive agriculture. To get around the marshes, they used dugout canoes made by cutting out the inside of tree trunks. Later, the area remained a transit point for numerous tribes and peoples.[8] The land was first settled by the Veneti, followed by a mixed nation of Celts and Illyrians called the Iapydes and then in the 3rd century BC a Celtic tribe, the Taurisci.[8]

Around 50 BC, the Romans built a military encampment that later became a permanent settlement called Iulia Aemona (Emona).[9] This entrenched fort was occupied by the Legio XV Apollinaris.[10] In 452, it was destroyed by the Huns under Attila's orders,[9] and later by the Ostrogoths and the Lombards.[11] Emona housed 5,000–6,000 inhabitants and played an important role during numerous battles. Its plastered brick houses, painted in different colours, were already connected to a drainage system.[9] In the 6th century, the ancestors of the Slovenes moved in. In the 9th century, the Slovenes fell under Frankish domination, while experiencing frequent Magyar raids.[12]

The name of the city, Luwigana, appears for the first time in a document from 1144.[11] In the 13th century, the town was composed of three zones: the Old Square (Stari trg), the Town Square (Mestni trg) and the New Square (Novi trg).[12] In 1220, Ljubljana was granted city rights, including the right to coin its own money.[12]

In 1270, Carniola and in particular Ljubljana was conquered by King Ottokar II of Bohemia.[12] When he was in turn defeated by Rudolph of Habsburg,[11] the latter took the town in 1278.[12] Renamed Laibach, it would belong to the House of Habsburg until 1797.[11] The Diocese of Ljubljana was established in 1461 and the Church of St. Nicholas became a cathedral.[12]

In the 15th century, Ljubljana became recognised for its art. After an earthquake in 1511, it was rebuilt in Renaissance style and a new wall was built around it.[13] In the 16th century, the population numbered 5,000, 70% of whom spoke Slovene as their mother tongue, with most of the rest using German.[13] Soon after the first book written in Slovene was published in Germany (Primož Trubar's Catechism, Tübingen 1550) the pedagogue Adam Bohorič had his three Slovene-language books, "Elementale Labacense oder Abecedarium der lateinischen, deutschen und slowenischen Sprache", his "Nomenclatura trium liguarum" and his "Otroshia tabla", printed in the Carniolan capital by Hans Mannel (Slovene: Janž Mandelc). By that time, the Protestant Reformation had gained ground in the town. Several important Lutheran preachers lived and worked in Ljubljana, including Primož Trubar, Adam Bohorič and Jurij Dalmatin, whose Slovene bible, however, was printed in German Wittenberg. Around the same time, the first secondary school, public library and printing house opened in Ljubljana.[13] Ljubljana thus became the undisputed centre of Slovene culture, a position maintained thereafter. In 1597, the Jesuits arrived in the city and established a new secondary school that later became a college. Baroque architecture appeared at the end of the 17th century as foreign architects and sculptors came in.[13]

The Napoleonic interlude saw Ljubljana as "Laybach" become, from 1809 to 1813, the capital of the Illyrian Provinces.[11][14] In 1815, the city became Austrian again and from 1816 to 1849 was the administrative centre of the Kingdom of Illyria in the Austrian Empire. In 1821 it hosted the Congress of Laibach, which fixed European political borders for years to come.[15] The first train arrived in 1849 from Vienna and in 1857 the line was extended to Trieste.[14] Public electric lighting appeared in 1898.[14] In 1895, Ljubljana, then a city of 31,000, suffered a serious earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale. Some 10% of its 1,400 buildings were destroyed, although casualties were light. During the reconstruction that followed, a number of quarters were rebuilt in Art Nouveau style.[14]

In 1918, following the end of World War I and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, the region joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.[11][16] In 1929, Ljubljana became the capital of Drava Banovina, a Yugoslav province.[17] In 1941, during World War II, Fascist Italy occupied the city, and on 3 May 1941 made "Lubiana" the capital of an Italian "Provincia di Lubiana" with the former Yugoslav general Leon Rupnik as mayor. After the Italian capitulation, Nazi Germany with SS-general Erwin Rösener and Friedrich Rainer took control in 1943[16] but formally the city remained the capital of an Italian province until 9 May 1945. In Ljubljana, the occupying forces established strongholds and command centres of Quisling organisations, the Anti-Communist Volunteer Militia under Italy and the Home Guard under German occupation. The city was surrounded by over 30 kilometres (19 mi) of barbed wire to prevent co-operation between the underground resistance movement (Liberation Front of the Slovenian People) within the city and the Yugoslav Partisans (Partizani) who operated outside the fence. Since 1985, a commemorative path has ringed the city where this iron fence once stood.[18]

After World War II, Ljubljana became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, part of Communist Yugoslavia, a status it retained until 1991, when Slovenia became independent. Ljubljana remained the capital of Slovenia, which entered the European Union in 2004.[16]

Geography and climate

Map of Ljubljana
Map of Ljubljana centre

The city, with an area of 275.0 square kilometres (106.2 sq mi), is situated in central Slovenia in the Ljubljana Basin. Its location between Austria, Hungary, the Venice region in Italy and Croatia has strongly influenced its history. Ljubljana is located some 140 kilometres (87 mi) west of Zagreb, 250 kilometres (160 mi) east of Venice, 350 kilometres (220 mi) southwest of Vienna and 400 kilometres (250 mi) southwest of Budapest.[19]


Topography and hydrography

The city is located at an altitude of 298 metres (978 ft) along the river Ljubljanica.[15] The Ljubljana castle, which sits atop the Castle Hill (Grajski grič) south of the city centre, is at 366 metres (1,201 ft) altitude while the city's highest point, called Janče Hill (Janški hrib), reaches 794 metres (2,605 ft).[20]

Ljubljana is near the confluence of the rivers Ljubljanica and Sava, at the foot of Castle Hill. The Sava, in turn, flows into the Danube at Belgrade before reaching the Black Sea.[21]


The city stretches out on an alluvial plain dating to the Quaternary era. The nearby, older mountainous regions date back to the Mesozoic (Triassic) or Paleozoic.[22]

A number of earthquakes have devastated Ljubljana, including in 1511 and 1895.[15] Slovenia is in a rather active seismic zone because of its position to the south of the Eurasian Plate.[23] Thus the country is at the junction of three important tectonic zones: the Alps to the north, the Dinaric Alps to the south and the Pannonian Basin to the east.[23] Scientists have been able to identify 60 destructive earthquakes in the past. Additionally, a network of seismic stations is active throughout the country.[23]


Ljubljana's climate is Oceanic (Köppen climate classification "Cfb"), bordering on a Humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen climate classification Cfa),[24] with continental characteristics such as warm summers and moderately cold winters. July and August are the warmest months with daily highs generally between 25 and 30 °C (77 and 86 °F), and January is the coldest month with the temperatures mostly oscillating around 0 °C (32 °F). The city experiences 90 days of frost per year, and 11 days with temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F). The precipitations are relatively evenly distributed through the seasons, although winter and spring tend to be somewhat drier than summer and autumn. Yearly precipitation is about 1,400 mm (55 in), making Ljubljana one of the wettest European capitals. Thunderstorms are very common from May to September and can occasionally be quite heavy. Snow is common from December to February; on average, there are 65 days with snow cover recorded each winter season. The city is known for its fog, which is recorded on average on 121 days per year, mostly in autumn and winter, and can be particularly persistent in conditions of temperature inversion.[25]

Climate data for Ljubljana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14
Average high °C (°F) 2
Average low °C (°F) -4
Record low °C (°F) -27
Precipitation mm (inches) 88
Avg. precipitation days 13 11 11 13 16 16 12 12 10 14 15 15 157
Source: BBC Weather 2010-01-20


Districts of Ljubljana

Ljubljana has 17 districts, listed below. It was formerly composed of five municipalities (Bežigrad, Center, Moste-Polje, Šiška and Vič-Rudnik) that still correspond to the main electoral constituencies of the city.

  1. Bežigrad
  2. Center
  3. Črnuče
  4. Dravlje
  5. Golovec
  6. Jarše
  7. Moste
  8. Polje
  9. Posavje
  1. Rožnik
  2. Rudnik
  3. Sostro
  4. Šentvid
  5. Šiška
  6. Šmarna gora
  7. Trnovo
  8. Vič

Main sights


Despite the appearance of large buildings, especially at the city's edge, Ljubljana's historic centre remains intact; there, Baroque and Art Nouveau styles mix. The city is strongly influenced by the Austrian fashion in the style of Graz and Salzburg.

The old city is made up of two districts: one includes Ljubljana town hall and the principal architectural works; the other, the neighbourhood of the Chevaliers de la Croix, features the Ursuline church, the philharmonic society building (1702) and the Cankar Hall.

After the 1511 earthquake, Ljubljana was rebuilt in a Baroque style following the model of a Renaissance town; after the 1895 quake, which severely damaged the city, it was once again rebuilt, this time in an Art Nouveau style.[14][15] The city's architecture is thus a mix of styles. The large sectors built after the Second World War often include a personal touch by the Slovene architect Jože Plečnik.

Ljubljana Castle dominates the hill over the river Ljubljanica. Built in the 12th century, the castle (like a castle at Kranj) was a residence of the Margraves, later the Dukes of Carniola.[26] Aside from the castle, the city's main architectural works are St. Nicholas Cathedral, St. Peter's Church, the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, the Triple Bridge and the Dragon Bridge.

Near the town hall, on Town Square, is a replica of the Robba fountain, in Baroque style. The original has been moved into the National Gallery in 2006. Resembling the fountain on Rome's Piazza Navona, Robba's fountain is decorated with an obelisk at the foot of which are three figures in white marble symbolising the three chief rivers of Carniola. It is the work of Francesco Robba, who designed numerous other Baroque statues in the city. Ljubljana's churches are equally marked by this style that gained currency following the 1511 earthquake.[27]

For its part, Art Nouveau features prominently on Prešeren Square and on the Dragon Bridge.[28] Among the important influences on the city was the architect Jože Plečnik, who designed several bridges, including the Triple Bridge, as well as the National Library.[29] Nebotičnik is a notable high-rise.

Ljubljana Castle

Ljubljana Castle (Ljubljanski grad) is a mediaeval castle located at the summit of the hill that dominates the city centre. The area surrounding today's castle has been continuously inhabited since 1200 BC.[30] The hill summit probably became a Roman army stronghold after fortifications were built in Illyrian and Celtic times.[30]

The castle was first mentioned in 1144 as the seat of the Duchy of Carniola. The fortress was destroyed when the duchy became part of the Habsburg domains in 1335.[31] Between 1485 and 1495, the present castle was built and furnished with towers. Its purpose was to defend the empire against Ottoman invasion as well as peasant revolt.[31] In the 17th and 18th centuries, the castle became an arsenal and a military hospital. It was damaged during the Napoleonic period and, once back in the Austrian Empire, became a prison, which it remained until 1905, resuming that function during World War II.[30][31] The castle's Outlook Tower dates to 1848; this was inhabited by a guard whose duty it was to fire cannons warning the city in case of fire or announcing important visitors or events.[30]

In 1905, the city of Ljubljana purchased the castle, which underwent a renovation in the 1960s. Today, it is a tourist attraction; cultural events also take place there.[32] Since 2006, a funicular has linked the city centre to the castle atop the hill (see Ljubljana tram system).[31]

Saint Nicholas Cathedral

Saint Nicholas Cathedral (Stolnica svetega Nikolaja) is the city's only cathedral. Easily identifiable due to its green dome and twin towers, it is located on Cyril Methodius Square by the nearby Ljubljana Central Market and the Ljubljana town hall.[33]

Originally, the site was occupied by a three-nave Romanesque church first mentioned in 1262.[33] After a fire in 1361 it was re-vaulted in Gothic style. The Diocese of Ljubljana was set up in 1461 and eight years later, a new fire presumably set by the Ottomans once again burnt down the building.[33]

Between 1701 and 1706, the Jesuit architect Andrea Pozzo designed a new Baroque church with two side chapels shaped in the form of a Latin cross.[33] The dome was built in the centre in 1841.[33] The interior is decorated with Baroque frescos painted by Giulio Quaglio between 1703–1706 and 1721-1723.[33]

Dragon Bridge

The Dragon Bridge (Zmajski most) was built between 1900 and 1901, when the city was part of Austria-Hungary. Designed by a Dalmatian architect who studied in Vienna and built by an Austrian engineer, the bridge is considered one of the finest works in the Vienna Secession Art Nouveau style.[6][34] Some residents nicknamed the bridge "mother-in-law" in reference to the fearsome dragons on its four corners.[35]

Tivoli Park

Tivoli Park is the largest park in Ljubljana. The park was designed in 1813 by a French engineer J. Blanchard and now covers approximately 5 km2. It has 3 main avenues, planted with chestnut-trees. Within the park, you can find different types of trees, flower gardens, several statues, and fountains.

At the edge of the Tivoli Park is a fish pond, dating back to 1880. On one side of the pond is a small botanic garden, on the other side is a children's playground. Between 1921 and 1939, Jože Plečnik designed a broad central promenade, called Jakopič promenade after the leading Slovene impressionist painter Rihard Jakopič.


In 1869, Ljubljana had just under 27,000 inhabitants,[36] a figure that grew to 80,000 by the mid-1930s.[16] Demographic growth remained fairly stable between 1999 and 2007, with a population of about 270,000.[1] Before 1996, the city's population surpassed 320,000 but the drop that year was mainly caused by a territorial reorganisation that saw certain peripheral districts attached to neighbouring municipalities.[20] At the 2002 census, 39.2% of Ljubljana residents were Roman Catholic; 30.4% were believers who did not belong to a religion, unknown or did not reply; 19.2% were atheist; 5.5% were Eastern Orthodox; 5.0% were Muslim; and the remaining 0.7% were Protestant or belonged to other religions.[37]

Demographic evolution[1][36]

1869 1880 1890 1900 1910 1931 1935 1948 1953 1961 1966 1970 1980 2001
26,879 32,265 36,878 45,017 56,844 79,391 85,000 98,914 113,666 135,806 154,690 180,714 265,000 270,032

Government and crime

Municipal elections take place every four years. Between 2002 and 2006, Danica Simšič was mayor.[20] Since the municipal elections of 22 October 2006, Zoran Janković, an influential businessman in Slovenia, has been the mayor of Ljubljana, having won 62.99% of the votes.[38] The majority on the city council (the mayor's own party) holds 23 of 45 seats.[38] Among other roles, the council drafts the municipal budget, and is assisted by various boards active in the fields of health, sports, finances, education, environmental protection and tourism.[39] The Ljubljana electoral zone is also composed of 17 districts that have local authorities working with the city council to make known citizens' suggestions and prepare activities in their districts.[40]

The jurisdiction of the Ljubljana police (Policija) covers an area of 3,807 square kilometres (1,470 sq mi), which represents 18.8% of the national territory.[41] There are 17 police stations employing 1,380 individuals, of whom 1,191 are police officers and 189 are civilians.[41] With around 45,000 criminal acts in 2007, the Ljubljana police district alone accounts for over 50% of the country's crimes.[42] Slovenia and in particular Ljubljana have a quiet and secure reputation.[43]


In 1981, Ljubljana's per capita GDP was 260% of the Yugoslav average.[44] By the late 2000s, Ljubljana produced about 25% of Slovenia's GDP.[15] In 2003, the level of active working population was 62%; 64% worked in the private sector and 36% in the public sector.[15] In January 2007, the unemployment rate was 6.5% (down from 7.7% a year earlier), compared with a national average of 8.7%.[45]

Industry remains the city's most important employer, notably in the pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and food processing.[15] Other fields include banking, finance, transport, construction, skilled trades and services and tourism. The public sector provides jobs in education, culture, health care and local administration.[15]

The Ljubljana Stock Exchange (Ljubljanska borza), purchased in 2008 by the Vienna Stock Exchange,[46] deals with large Slovenian companies. Some of these have their headquarters in the capital region: for example, the retail chain Mercator, the oil company Petrol d.d. and the telecommunications concern Telekom Slovenije.[47] Over 15,000 enterprises operate in the city, most of them in the tertiary sector.[48]


The main building of the University of Ljubljana, formerly the seat of the Carniolan Parliament

The Academy of the Industrious (Academia operosorum Labacensis) opened in 1693; it closed in 1801 but was a precursor to the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, founded in 1938. Today, students make up one-seventh of Ljubljana's population, giving the city a youthful character.[49] The University of Ljubljana, Slovenia's most important and Ljubljana's only university, was founded in 1919.[16] As of 2010, it has 23 faculties and three academies. These offer Slovene-language courses in (among other subjects) medicine, applied sciences, arts, law and administration.[50] The university has close to 64,000 students and some 3,500 teaching faculty.

In 2004, the National and University Library of Slovenia, located in Ljubljana, had 1,169,090 books in all.[20] In 2006, the 55 primary schools had 20,802 pupils and the 32 secondary schools had 25,797.[20]


Statue of France Prešeren, who lived in the city

Ljubljana has numerous art galleries and museums. In 2004, there were 15 museums, 41 art galleries, 11 theatres and four professional orchestras.[20] There is for example an architecture museum, a railway museum, a sports museum, a museum of modern art, a brewery museum, the Slovenian Museum of Natural History and the Slovene Ethnographic Museum.[51] The Ljubljana Zoo covers 19.6 hectares (48 acres) and has 152 animal species. An antique flea market takes place every Sunday in the old city.[51] In 2006, the museums received 264,470 visitors, the galleries 403,890 and the theatres 396,440.[20]

Each year over 10,000 cultural events take place in the city; among these are ten international festivals of theatre, music and art generally.[15] Numerous music festivals are held there, chiefly in European classical music and jazz, for instance the Ljubljana Summer Festival (Ljubljanski poletni festival). In the centre of the various Slovenian wine regions, Ljubljana is known for being a "city of wine and vine". Grapevines were already being planted on the slopes leading up to the Castle Hill by the Roman inhabitants of Emona.[15]

In 1701, present-day Slovenia's first philharmonic academy opened in Ljubljana, which spurred the development of musical production in the region.[15] Some of its honorary members would include Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms, as well as the violinist Niccolò Paganini.[15] Early in his career, Gustav Mahler served as conductor at the opera house, giving eighty-four complete performances between September 1881 and April 1882.[52]

The National Gallery (Narodna galerija), founded in 1918,[16] and the Museum of Modern Art (Moderna galerija), both in Ljubljana, exhibit the most influential Slovenian artists. On Metelkova street there is a social centre dedicated to alternative culture, set up in a renovated former Austro-Hungarian barracks.[53] This lively street has numerous clubs and concert halls that play various types of music, mainly alternative rock.[54] Another alternative culture centre is located in the former Rog factory. In the 1980s, Ljubljana became the centre of the Neue Slowenische Kunst, which among others included the music group Laibach and the painters of the IRWIN collective; the philosopher Slavoj Žižek was also associated with it.


Ljubljana's ice hockey clubs are HD HS Olimpija, ŠD Alfa, HK Slavija and HDD Olimpija Ljubljana. They all compete in the Slovenian Hockey League; HDD Olimpija Ljubljana also takes part in the Austrian Hockey League.[55] The basketball teams are KD Slovan, ŽKD Ježica Ljubljana and KK Union Olimpija. The latter, which has a green dragon as its mascot, hosts its matches in the 6,000-seat Hala Tivoli,[56] also the home rink of HDD Olimpija Ljubljana.

The city's football teams which play in the Slovenian PrvaLiga are Interblock Ljubljana[57] and NK Olimpija Ljubljana.

Each year since 1957, on 8–10 May, the traditional recreational March along the Path around Ljubljana has taken place to mark the liberation of Ljubljana on 9 May 1945.[58] The last Sunday in October, the Ljubljana Marathon is run on the city's streets. It attracts several thousand runners each year.[59]

The Tacen Whitewater Course, located on the Sava River, eight kilometers northwest of the city centre, hosts a major international canoe/kayak slalom competition almost every year, examples being the 2008 International Canoe Federation (ICF) Slalom World Cup and the 1991 and 2010 World Championships.[60]


Railway at Ljubljana central garage.

Ljubljana is at the centre of the Slovenian road network, which links the city to all parts of the country. Until July 2008, toll booths were used, but were replaced by a vignette system. The city, in central Slovenia, is linked to the southwest by A1-E70 to the Italian cities of Trieste and Venice and the Croatian port of Rijeka.[61] To the north, A1-E57 leads to Maribor, Graz and Vienna. To the east, A2-E70 links it with the Croatian capital Zagreb, from where one can go to Hungary or important cities of the former Yugoslavia, such as Belgrade.[61] To the northwest, A2-E61 goes to the Austrian cities of Klagenfurt and Salzburg, making it an important entry point for northern European tourists.[61]

The bus network, run by the city-owned Ljubljanski potniški promet, is Ljubljana's only current means of public transportation. Usually, the buses are called trole ("trolleys"), harking back to the 1951–71 days when Ljubljana had trolleybus (trolejbus) service (trole is used to refer only to Ljubljana's buses, and not those in other Slovenian cities). One can also rent bicycles in the city,[62] and there are numerous taxi companies.[63]

Ljubljana railway station is part of a railway network that links Germany to Croatia through the Munich-Salzburg-Ljubljana-Zagreb line. A second network is the Vienna-Graz-Maribor-Ljubljana one, which links Austria to Slovenia. A third is the Genoa-Venice-Ljubljana one, linking Ljubljana to Italy. Finally, a line goes to Budapest.[21]

Ljubljana Airport (IATA code LJU), located 26 kilometres (16 mi) north of the city, has flights to numerous European destinations. Among the companies that fly from there are Adria Airways, Air France, Brussels Airlines, EasyJet and Finnair.[64] Among the destinations served are Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Belgrade, Brussels, Budapest, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Istanbul, Kijev, London, Manchester, Moscow, Munich, Ohrid, Paris, Podgorica, Prague, Pristhina, Stockholm, Skopje, Vienna, Warsaw, Tirana, Tel Aviv and Zurich.[64]

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Ljubljana is twinned with:[65]

See also



  • Robin McKelvie, Jenny McKelvie (2005). The Bradt City Guide Ljubljana. Bradt Travel Guides. ISBN 978-1841621166. 
  • Fionn Davenport (2006). Lonely Planet Best of Ljubljana. Lonely Planet Publications. ISBN 978-1741048247. 
  • Thomas Cook Publishing (2008). Ljubljana. ISBN 978-1841579634. 


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  2. ^ Mehle Mihovec, Barbka (19 March 2008). "Kje so naše meje? [Where are our borders?]" (in Slovene). Gorenjski glas. Gorenjski glas. Retrieved 7 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Ljubljana pronunciation". Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  4. ^ "O izvoru ali etimologija imena Lublana (Ljubljana)". 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  5. ^ Avtor: "O Ljubljani - Novinarji - Visit Ljubljana". Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
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  11. ^ a b c d e f Daniel Mallinus, La Yougoslavie, Éd. Artis-Historia, Brussels, 1988, D/1988/0832/27, p. 37-39.
  12. ^ a b c d e f "Ljubljana in the Middle Ages". Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Renaissance and Baroque". Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  14. ^ a b c d e "Ljubljana in the 18th and 19th Centuries". Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Introducing Ljubljana". Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f "The Turbulent 20th Century". Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  17. ^ "Dans la Yougoslavie des Karageorgévitch" (in French). Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  18. ^ (Slovene) (English) "The Path of Remembrance and Comradeship". Archived from the original on 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  19. ^ Approximate road distances calculated through Google Earth.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g "Ljubljana in Numbers". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  21. ^ a b "Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  22. ^ "Geological Map of Slovenia". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  23. ^ a b c "Seismology". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "ARSO". Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  26. ^ Ljubljana Calling/Sightseeing/Ljubljana Castle
  27. ^ "Baroque Ljubljana". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  28. ^ "Art Nouveau sights". Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  29. ^ "Jože Plečnik (1872-1957)". Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  30. ^ a b c d "Ljubljanski grad / Ljubljana Castle". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  31. ^ a b c d "City castle in Ljubljana". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  32. ^ "Festival Ljubljana". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  33. ^ a b c d e f "Stolnica (Cerkev sv. Nikolaja) / The Cathedral (Church of St. Nicholas)". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  34. ^ "Zmajski most / Dragon Bridge". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  35. ^ Robin McKelvie, Jenny McKelvie (2005). Slovenia: The Bradt Travel Guide. Robin McKelvie. p. 84. ISBN 1841621196. 
  36. ^ a b Krajevni leksikon Slovenije (Ljubljana: DZS, 1995), p.297
  37. ^ "Population by religion, municipalities, Slovenia, Census 2002". Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  38. ^ a b "The Mayor of the City of Ljubljana". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  39. ^ "Boards of the City Council". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  40. ^ "District authorities". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  41. ^ a b "Police directorate Ljubljana". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  42. ^ "Annual Report on the Work of the Police 2007". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  43. ^ "Precautions to take" (in French). Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  44. ^ Radovinović, Radovan; Bertić, Ivan, eds (1984) (in Croatian). Atlas svijeta: Novi pogled na Zemlju (3rd ed.). Zagreb: Sveučilišna naklada Liber. 
  45. ^ "Registered unemployment rates (%) by regional offices in 2006 and 2007". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  46. ^ "Austrians Buy Ljubljana Stock Exchange". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  47. ^ "Ljubljanska borza d.d.". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  48. ^ "Ljubljana: economic center of Slovenia". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  49. ^ "UL history". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  50. ^ "Statutes of UL". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  51. ^ a b "Museums". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  52. ^ Raymond Holden (2005). The Virtuoso Conductors. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 65. ISBN 0300093268. 
  53. ^ "Metelkova mesto alternative culture centre". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  54. ^ "AKC Metelkova mesto". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  55. ^ "Hokejske Selekcije Olimpija" (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  56. ^ "Union Olimpija" (in Slovenian). Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  57. ^ "NK Interblock". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  58. ^ "Thousands Join Ljubljana Hike". Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  59. ^ "13th Ljubljana marathon – record participation!". Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  60. ^ "Tacen White Water Slalom Course". Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  61. ^ a b c Michelin, Slovénie, Croatie, Bosnie-Herzégovine, Serbie, Monténégro, Macédoine, Cartes et guides n°736, Michelin, Zellik, Belgium, 2007, ISBN 978-2-06-712627-5
  62. ^ "Ljubljana Bike". Archived from the original on 2007-12-30. Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  63. ^ "Taxi". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  64. ^ a b "Aerodrom Ljubljana, d.d.". Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  65. ^ "Pobratena mesta in članstvo v zvezah". Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  66. ^ "Bratislava City - Twin Towns". © 2003-2008 Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  67. ^ daenet d.o.o.. "Sarajevo Official Web Site: Sister cities". Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  68. ^ "Official portal of City of Skopje - Skopje Sister Cities". © 2006-2009 City of Skopje. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
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  70. ^ "Zagreb sister cities". Retrieved 2007-11-29. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Tromostovje and the Ljubljana Castle above
Tromostovje and the Ljubljana Castle above

Ljubljana [1], also known as Laibach, its German name, is the capital of Slovenia. As the legend goes, it was created by the Greek hero Jason who stole the golden fleece from king Aites and escaped with his friends the Argonauts through the Black sea and the Danube river to the Sava river and all the way to the Ljubljanica river where they dismantled their ship and carried it to the Adriatic sea. On their way to the sea they stopped by a big lake and a swamp. That swamp was the home of a big monster that Jason fought bravely and killed. That monster was Ljubljana's Dragon that symbolizes Ljubljana nowadays. It is said that Jason was also Ljubljana's first inhabitant.


Slovenia is, arguably, the most scenic of the formerly socialist countries, and Ljubljana ("lyoob-lyAH-nah") is a great little city full of charm. It's pretty easy to have a good time here. It's full of galleries and museums and young artists. The population of the city is around 260,000.


The Ljubljanica river flows through the center of town, past Baroque buildings and under the ramparts of the ancient castle on the hill. The new city and modern-day commercial core lies to the west of the river, while the east side has Ljubljana's old city and the castle. Connecting the two are a number of bridges, the most famous of which is the Tromostovje (triple) bridge (architect Jože Plečnik).

Get in

By plane

Ljubljana's pint-sized Jože Pučnik Airport (also known as Brnik Airport or Aerodrom Ljubljana) [2], located 27 km north of the city, is the country's main international gateway and the hub of Slovenian national carrier Adria Airways [3]. If you are mentioning the airport, be sure to say "Brnik" or "airport", instead of "Jože Pučnik airport", since Ljubljana's locals aren't too fond of the newly-changed name. The airport is serviced by flights from many European countries. It is a destination of the low-cost carrier easyJet. The airport's facilities include parking, a bank, a post office, ATMs, an information desk, free WiFi Internet access in the terminal, a general store, duty-free stores, a money exchange office, a self-serve restaurant, and two or three bars and cafes. A two-stage renovation of the airport is under way. A rebuilt Terminal 1 was opened in 2007, and an entirely new Terminal 2 planned for 2010.

There are regular public buses (€4.10, 50 min) and minibuses (€5.00, 30 min) from the airport to the main Ljubljana bus and train station. The Ljubljana bus and train stations are located next to each other at Trg OF ("Trg" means square in Slovenian, and O.F. was a Slovenian WW2 anti-fascist organization). The two stations are in the city centre, and within walking distance to main city attractions. Alternatively, a metered taxi from the airport to the centre will cost about €30-40. Ordering a taxi in advance can be cheaper - for example, Tima Ekspres [4] does it for €20. A shared hotel transfer is less than €10, if you book it through Ljubljana Transfer [5] This minibus company has frequent low cost shuttles to all holiday, ski and spa destinations in Slovenia.

Direct international connections: Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Belgrade, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Istanbul, Kiev, London, Madrid, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Podgorica, Prague, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Stockholm, Tirana, Vienna, Warsaw, Zürich.

By train

Ljubljana is the hub of Slovenia's rail system. Local trains run throughout the country — no point in Slovenia is more than 3 hours away. The train station is at Trg Osvobodilne Fronte (OF) at the northern edge of downtown, at walking distance to most hotels. For Trieste, take a train to Villa Opicina and then the tram (Line 2) to Trieste.

Direct international connections: Zagreb (2 hours), Rijeka (3 hours), Graz (3 hours), Salzburg (4 hours), Pula (4 hours), Venice (5 hours), Vienna (6 hours), Munich (6 hours), Budapest (9 hours), Belgrade (9 hours), Frankfurt (10 hours), Zürich (11 hours).

By bus

Ljubljana bus station (avtobusna postaja [6]) is right next to the train station and has services throughout Slovenia, as well as to foreign countries. The station has several useful schedule search engines (also in English) for working out connections. Generally speaking, a bus can take you almost anywhere in Slovenia within at most a few hours.

Direct international connections: Trieste (2 hours), Venice (4 hours), Banja Luka (5 hours), Bihać (6 hours), Bologna (6 hours), Munich (7 hours), Florence (8 hours), Tuzla (8 hours), Zenica (8 hours), Belgrade (8 hours), Ulm (9 hours), Stuttgart (10 hours), Sarajevo (10 hours), Niš (12 hours), Karlsruhe (12 hours), Mannheim (13 hours), Frankfurt (14 hours), Skopje (15 hours), Tetovo (16 hours), Sofia (16 hours), Pristina (18 hours), Copenhagen (19 hours), Malmö (20 hours), Gothenburg (24 hours), Linköping (28 hours), Örebro (34 hours), Stockholm (36 hours).

By car

Renting a car is also an option, especially if you are visiting remote destinations outside of Ljubljana.

By thumb

Hitchhiking in and/or out of Ljubljana is possible, but take the usual precautions as always with hitchhiking, especially if you are a girl, because hitchiking rapes and abductions have been reported.

  • North towards Maribor, Austria - from the main street, West of the Train station (Dunajska Cesta) take buses 6, 8 or 11 in direction of North. Get off in the station "Smelt", 15 minutes later, when you see the "World Trade Center" building. Ahead of you, you will see the highway. On the first turn to the right, go into the highway entry and stand on the side with your sign.
  • South towards Koper, Rijeka, Italy - from the city center (Dunajska cesta, Kongresni trg) take bus number 6 in direction south, till the last station (Dolgi most). Get out, and on your left side you will side the entry lane into the highway. There will also be an entry to a parking of a small house, stand on the side there with your sign (you will see where everybody else stands...).
  • East towards Novo mesto, Zagreb, Croatia - from the city center (Dunajska cesta) take bus number 3 in direction south, till the last station (Rudnik). Get out, and walk 200 meters more along Dolenjska cesta until you get to the crossroad and the entry point to the highway (left turn, opposite to the railroad crossing). Stand on the side there with your sign (the are some hitchhikers but not all the time ...).

Get around

By foot

Ljubljana is small enough that you will be able to walk everywhere in the centre. You can pick up a free city map in one of the Tourist Information Offices either in the train station or in the city centre (Adamič-Lundrovo nabrežje 2). Navigating or finding a street can be a lot easier than expected because in Ljubjana city centre all big white street signs with clear letters are on poles. The train and bus station are within easy walking distance of the centre of town - which is roughly speaking the "Three bridges" area. From the station take any of the roads heading into town (in the general direction of the south) and this will lead you to this area.

By city bus

Ljubljana has a good bus network [7], lines operate from 5.00am, 6.00am on Sundays and public holidays to 10.30pm (some lines stop operating between 8.00 and 9.00pm), night lines operarate from 3.15am to 4.45am, 4.15am to 5.45am on Sundays and public holidays and from 10.30pm (some lines start at 9.00pm) to 0.00am.

The cost is €0.80 with a token (can't be bought anymore but are valid until 31.12.2009) or Urbana cards (similar to Oyster in London) which can be bought at Urbanomat, LPP sales sites, Tourist information centers and newspapers agents for €2 and need to be loaded with amount ranging from €1 to €50. A fee with Urbana card is €0,80 and is valid for 90 minutes from the first entry to the bus and for unlimited number of transfers.

Most lines operate at least once every 15 minutes (or more frequently), timetables [8] (in Slovene) only have departure times from first bus stop so you can use the webpage [9] to obtain predicted departure times for next three buses from every bus stop.

By taxi

Taxis are very cheap, and between two or three people they can be a convenient way to get back to the hotel if you're not staying in the centre. Taxi Laguna (tel. 080 11 17) and Taxi Metro (tel. 080 11 90) are considered the cheapest. These are free numbers (all numbers starting with 080 are free in Slovenia), so you can use a phone booth to make a free call. Note that not all taxis charge the same fare.

In recent years, some taxi companies began hiking their rates, and while taxis ordered by phone are still cheap, those waiting on the street will usually charge through the roof, and you can end up paying dozens of euros for a short ride! Unless you're in a hurry, always order a taxi by phone!

Ljubljanica river with the Triple Bridge at night
Ljubljanica river with the Triple Bridge at night
  • Old Ljubljana is Ljubljana's historic part. It has the city hall, monuments, and well-preserved old buildings and churches. It also has local designer shops, and several popular cafes and restaurants. It is located immediately below the city castle and on the eastern side of Ljubljanica river, across the Triple Bridge. Cross the Triple Bridge and go straight ahead for 50 metres until you reach the Roba Fountain in front of the city hall. Old Ljubljana begins there. Turn right into the narrow street surrounded by medieval houses. You will discover interesting squares, lanes and buildings. The street is called Mestni trg, and later it changes to Gornji trg.
  • Triple Bridge ("Tromostovje" in Slovenian), Ljubljana's trademark central bridges designed by Jože Plečnik. Tromostovje consists of three separate picturesque bridges located next to one another. This is the central location of downtown Ljubljana. Here, you can see the statue of France Prešeren, Slovenia's greatest poet. You can also catch a tourist train taking you to the castle. Or cross Ljubjanica and turn left for Open Market and the Dragon Bridge, or go straight and then right for Old Ljubljana.
  • Zmajski Most (Dragon Bridge) - This is one of the main bridges in Ljubljana. It is guarded by four detailed dragon statues, which have become a symbol of the city. Look out for the dragon motif throughout the city. Be careful around the Dragon Bridge area, as it is on a major busy road and near misses (and worse) between inattentive tourists and traffic are common. The dragon bridge is located at the end of the Ljubljana Open Market, just a block or two down the river (north-east direction) from the Triple bridge.
  • Ljubljana Castle - You can catch the "tourist train" from the Triple Bridge to the castle, or walk up the (steep!) hill to the castle, or take the Funicular Railway (€3/2 (adult/concession), the lower station is at the top of the main Open market). Entrance to the Castle Courtyard, Chapel and Gift shop is free, but there is a charge for access to the tower. The tower has magnificent views all over the city. You can also see the Sava River and Kamnik Alps in the distance. Included is a 3D Movie of the history of Ljubljana from a pre-historic settlement to Roman Empire to modern times.
  • Square of the Republic - Where crowds gathered as Slovenia announced its independence from the Yugoslav Federation in 1991. The square has significant importance for Slovene history, as it was a place of important public gatherings (and demonstrations) in the past. Across the road is the Slovene Parliament. Its facade is decorated with artistic nude statues of Slovenes at work and leisure. The square also houses the International Business Centre.
  • Roman Ruins - a short walk west of the centre of town are the remains of the Roman City Walls, including a number of pillars from an entrance gate.
  • Krakovo - a village-like part of the city connecting the centre to the Trnovo suburb.
  • Metelkova City - is a self-declared autonomous culture place to gather for alternative artists, many subcultures and youth. What used to be a military barracks is now full of underground artists, bars and nightclubs. Metelkova can get crowded on Fridays and Saturdays. It is within 5 minute of walk from main Train Station, and it is home to a renowed hostel Celica.
  • The National Gallery , Prešernova 24, [10] is definitely worth visiting if you care about art. It exhibits two important permanent collections that include works of some of the best and most renowned slovenian (impressionist) painters (Jama, Grohar, Jakopic, Azbe). Since September 2008 you can also see there a restored original of the Robba Fountain, a monument of national cultural heritage.
  • Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana , Tomšiceva 14, [11] , for those who prefer contemporary art, houses the national collection of 20th century Slovene art (paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings as well as photography, video and electronic media collections), a collection of works from the former Yugoslavia, and the international collection Arteast 2000+. It is being currently restored.
  • Architecture Museum of Ljubljana: Plečnik Collection, Karunova 4, [12]. An annex of the Architecture Museum devoted to great Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik, who lived in this building from 1921 to 1957. The house contains rooms with the artist’s valuable original furniture and personal objects, an archive of his sketches and plans and a collection of clay, plaster and wooden models, a library, Plečnik’s correspondence, a photo archive, thesis projects of Plečnik’s students and an archive of the Academy of Architecture Collection. Access only by guided tour of not more than 7 people, booked at least five days in advance at tel. +386-1-2801600 or
  • Architecture Museum of Ljubljana, Pot na Fužine 2 (Fužine Castle), tel. +386-1-5409798, [13]. Hosts a permanent exhibition of Jože Plečnik's works. Open M-F 9 AM-3 PM, Sa 10 AM-6 PM, Su 10 AM-3 PM. Entry €1/2 student/adult, guided tour €2.50/4 student/adult.
  • National Museum, Prešernova 20, tel. +386-1-2414400, [14]. The permanent archeological collection displays objects from paleolithic to the early Middle Ages. It contains what is possibly the world's oldest music instrument, a 45,000 year old Neandertal flute from Divje Babe, although the question whether the bone fragment really formed a flute is still disputed among scholars. However, it needs a whole refurbishment. Open daily 10-18, Thursday 10-20, closed on public holidays. Entry €3/2.5 adult/concessions.
  • National Museum of Contemporary History. Celovška 23, tel. 01 300 96 10, fax 01 433 82 44, [15]. Slovenia's 20th-century history museum gives you a real sense of the country's roller-coaster ride through regime after regime. Its immersive exhibits include a walk-through WWI trench. The last exhibit shows the events around the Declaration of Independence from Yugoslavia and the Ten Day War with the Yugoslav Federal Army. All exhibits are translated to English and some to German too. You walk through the pleasant Tivoli park to get here.
  • Tivoli Gallery - International centre of Graphic Art. Pod turnom 3, tel. 01 241 38 00, [16]. Specialised in art shows, often in collaboration with international institutions. Open Tu-Sa 10.00 - 18.00, Su 12.00 - 18.00, Mo closed.
  • Slovenian Museum of Natural History. [17]
  • Cafes and restaurants Downtown Ljubljana is full of trendy cafes (outdoor seating in the summer!) and good-quality restaurants. You can find local Slovenian food, and restaurants with ethnic food from many places around the world. Pizza in Ljubljana is very good quality. Try a burger Slovene style with a horse burger at the Hot Horse! Cheap and good for returning from a night out.
  • Ljubljana Zoo (take bus 23 - only May to October) is one of the most beautiful Zoos of Europe - Tickets from €5 to €6.
  • Nightclubs Ljubljana has several good nightclubs (discotheques). The clubs hold special events, they will play a certain syle of music on certain nights, etc. Some will also impose a strict dress code and age limits.
  • Opera and theatre Shows are performed regularly throughout the year. The opera house is located just behind the Slovene Parliament. There are several theatres scattered all over the city centre.
  • Tivoli Park is the main city park. It is located at the western end of the city centre. You can sit down on a park bench and enjoy the sun. Mt. Rožnik (the hill overlooking Ljubljana from the west) is a short hike away through the woods. This is a popular weekend destination for the locals.
  • Water City of Atlantis, (take bus 27 (27K on Sundays)) [18]. A water park offering 14 pools, thermal baths, slides and saunas. Special section is dedicated for children. It is located within the BTC City Shopping District. Prices: from €6 to €14.
  • Laguna Fun & Spa, (take bus 27 (27K on Sundays)) [19]. Offers open-air pools during the day and themed parties at night. It is located within the Ljubljana Resort. Prices from €6 to €12. Laguna is only open from June to September.
  • Vodafone Live! Arena, (take bus 27 (27K on Sundays)) BTC City Shopping District. A great place to spend an evening. Main features include bowling, pool, laser games and a state-of-the-art 3D XpanD cinema theatre (the latter from €4.59 to €7.93).
  • Kolosej, The Colosseum BTC City Shopping District, (take bus 27 (27K on Sundays)) [20] is Ljubljana's main cinema multiplex. Unlike in many other countries, all movies are presented in the original audio language (typically English), and equipped with Slovenian subtitles. This does sometimes not apply to computer-rendered and animated movies, which are dubbed for the children. Prices: from €3.94 to €4.95. Special discounts on Tuesdays.
  • Club SubSub - is Ljubljana's underground urban culture club located in the Tivoli park, only 7minutes away from the strict center. Club SubSub was the first night club that was opened to the public in ex-Yugoslavia and specializes in underground urban music industry, everything from funk, soul, jazz to drum and bass, dubstep and nu-rave. The club is also a graphic and music urban center, in which the DJs and other artists hang out during the day, whether practicing or planning their events. Opened all summer long, it is a great place to hang out whether during the day or during the night. Special discounts on drinks.


University of Ljubljana [21] is the largest university in Slovenia, with 64,000 students enrolled in 2008. The different departments (faculties) are scattered all over the city. Sessions are held from October to May. During this time, you will notice an influx of young people on the streets of Ljubljana. Student life in Ljubljana is very active; there are many activities organized and they make for a pleasant atmosphere in the city.


The large majority of shops have moved from the centre to the BTC City Shopping District (take bus 27) , located at the north-eastern edge, and to the Rudnik Shopping District (take bus 27) in the south-eastern edge of the city. However, several department stores such as Maximarket, H&M, Müller, Nama, still persist in the city centre. Additionally, the Čopova street and the Old town probably have the densest collection of small shops in the centre.

  • Hot-Horse, Trubarjeva 31 (other outlets in Tivoli Park and BTC). A fast food joint with a difference: all the meat used is horse meat! The star of the menu is the horse burger, which is gigantic and costs €4.00.
  • Falafel, Trubarjeva 40, 041/752 977. This middle eastern dish, together with other meat and vegetables dishs is served in the small fast-food restaurant next to the Dragon bridge. The cost for a menu is around €3, including 2 dishes, tea and a sweet.
  • Nobel Burek, Miklošičeva 30 (You can't miss it - green and yellow sign, a lot of people standing in line). The place where young people go to get food late in the evening or at night. Different kinds of burek (a leafy dough pie, traditionally with mince meat or cheese filling) available. Considered to be the best burek in town.
  • Cafe Romeo. Stari trg 6, tel. 01 426 90 11. Along the river, to the south of the 3 bridges. Fusion between cocktail bar and mexican restaurant. Meal salads around €7,50. Burrito's / Quasadas around €5,- / €8,- (medium / big). Besides tourists, this place is also popular among the locals.
  • Gostilna Sokol. Ciril Metodov trg 18, tel. 01 439 68 55 [22]. This restaurant deals up authentic Slovenian cuisine, complete with all waiters and waitresses dressed up in traditional costume. The food is hearty and served in generous gut-busting portions and very good value for money. The fish cooked in a paper bag with vegetables is highly recommended. There is plenty of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes to choose from. The only downside was the house red, which is very sharp and quite cold, but this is a minor quibble.
  • Cantina Mexicana. Wolfova 4, tel. 01 426 93 25 [23]. Mexican restaurant set in a small yard together with another restaurant and a pub, just off the central square by the 3 bridges. Prices: Tex Mex ~ €13,- / Fajitas ~ €10,- / Salads ~ €8,-.
  • Pri Škofu. Rečna 8. In the Trnovo/Krakovo district, this restaurant is heavily promoted by tourist guides, but delivers an inconsistent experience (i.e. can be very good or simple adequate). Their biggest shortcoming is the lack of wine choice.
  • Stara Mačka[24]. Next to the Maček bar/lounge, this is one of the best deals in town if you are looking for an intimate steakhouse in the middile of the old town.
  • Julija. Stari trg 9. Right next to Luka’s, serving similar fare of Italian pasta and risotto dishes. Not quite a nice as Luka’s but still a good filling meal, and at a reasonable price. Pasta or risotto dishes are under €6.3
  • Jurman, Zaloška 151, tel. 051 358 358. Open daily from 11.00 to 23.00. Affordable prices and very diverse choices. They have themed rooms, such as castle room and fishing room. Children can play in a designated indoor and outdoor playgrounds. The staff is friendly and the service is fast; it usually never takes longer than 10 minutes for 2 or 3 people. You are advised to make a reservation in advance.
  • Luka Gourmet Lunch Cafe. Stari trg 11. One of a line of cafes on Stari Trg with outside seating. Serves up tasty, mainly pasta dishes with reasonable prices and friendly service. Most lunch dishes are about €6.
  • Gostilna Pod Rožnikom (formerly known as Gostilna Čad) specialises in grilled dishes from southeastern Europe. They are located near Ljubljana Zoo.
  • Zhong Hua, Trubarjeva 50, +386 1 230 1665. Decent Chinese restaurant near the Dragon bridge. The family-run place even has Beijing duck on their menu. Mains €6-10.  edit
  • Špajza. Gornji trg 28, tel. 01 425 30 94. Closed Sun. This restaurant is much larger than you first expect when you initially enter. You walk through several candlelit rooms before you reach the outside terrace. The waiters are initially quite attentive, serving you a nice little aperitif to get you started. The food is a mixture of Slovenian and European, and the menu is kept to a handful of choices for each course. Because of the service, surroundings and food this felt like an expensive restaurant, although by Western standards, it was quite reasonable. An average main dish is €10-15.
  • Manna, Eipprova 1A, tel 01 283 52 94 [25]. South from the main tourist area, this restaurant serves excellent traditional dishes for about €20-40 for a full dinner. It advertises "Slow food", but in effect the service is both helpful and fast. The restaurant has friendly and artistic atmosphere.
  • Krpan specializing mainly in seafood with an amazing grill experience. Located a bit out of center, close to the main hospital (Klinični center).
  • As, considered by many as Ljubljana's fanciest and most expensive, focusing on seafood and an extensive wine choice, located near the Triple Bridge.
  • Chez Eric, specializing in French cuisine, located next to the townhouse.
  • Cubo [26], modern International fare.
  • JB, modern International fare, closed on weekends, located close to the bus/train stations, can get unhygienically expensive by Slovenian standards.
  • Hana, off the beaten path near the Interspar hypermarket in the Vic district, fancy, but an excellent bargain considering the quality.


Most of Ljubljana’s bars tend to cluster on the streets running parallel to the river, radiating from Prešernov trg, which is the main square in Ljubljana. The more interesting bars tend to be on the backstreets, rather than directly facing the river. Part of the joy of this city is stumbling across these places, but these are few to start you off.

  • Juice Bar Babo. Krojaška 4. A juice and smoothie bar in the old city center with over 50 combinations of freshly prepared beverages to choose from. Layed-back atmosphere, interesting combination of urban and health freak culture. Good place to meet tourists and interesting locals of all ages.
  • Čajna Hisa. (The Tea House) Stari trg 3. This is a quirky little coffee and tea room, offering many variations on those warm beverages as well as basic breakfasts and lunches. The background music is impeccably cool, and the atmosphere is ideal for some elegant loafing. Linked to the café is a teashop selling drinking paraphernalia and loads of different fruity flavoured teas by the 100g.
  • Patrick's Irish Bar. Prečna 6. The ubiqutous Irish Pub with Guinness and Local Beers on tap, with a typical menu of Hearty Meals available. Also typical is the welcoming atmosphere that seems common to all Irish Pubs. Big Screen TVs show sporting events, (mainly football) but bar staff are happy to change a television to show other sports (Rugby Union, Rugby League, Cricket, AFL, NFL etc.) on request. Watch out for ex-pat and tour groups at popular sporting events from their 'home' country.
  • Vinoteka Movia. Mestni trg 2. Anyone with any interest in wine should visit here. The cosy, candlelit wine bar comes with knowledgeable barmen who can recommend a wine based on your tastes. The wine glasses are huge, so it’s hard to tell if they were being stingy or if it has simply spread out. Be careful about asking for ‘samples’, as they will charge you full price for the privilege. The prices can vary from modest to a remortgage.
  • Okrepčevalnica Makalonca. Hribarjevo nabrežje. The unenticing entrance leads down some steps into a small underground bar that sits level with the river. You can sit inside on stone steps (cushions provided) looking out at the water, or sit outside right by the river. It feels like your own little discovery.
  • BI-KO-FE. Židovska steza 2. A lively little bar that plays excellent jazz music (CD, not live). There is outside seating, but inside is where it seems to be happening. It looks like the place the youngish locals hangout to drink the night away.
  • Od Žmavca sosed pa ud brata prjatu (Žmavc's neighbor and my brother's pal aka Žmavc). The place to be for the creative urban type.
  • K4 [27] is a nice clubbing spot at 4, Kersnikova 4. National and international DJs play electronic music. Opens Tu-Sun, 10PM - 2.30/4AM.
  • 'Vinoteka Wine cellars of Slovenia'. Dunajska 18. The oldest and biggest wine shop and restaurant in Slovenia is available to anybody that want's to taste a larger variety of Slovenian wines. Located on the Fair ground of Gospodarsko razstavisce in Ljubljana, it houses over 300 slovenian wines from around 150 wine producers. The restaurant serves modern and traditional Slovenian cuisine. There are possibilities of wine tastings, by glass or a guided culinary tour of Slovenian food and wines. They also have great foreign wines, but only a smaller number of them. They also have on some nights live piano music in the background. The prices of wines vary due to the large selection of wines.



Ljubljana offers a couple of all-year hostels and several student's homes, that function as hostels in the summer.

  • Alibi Hostel, Cankarjevo nabrežje 27, [28]. A great location near the Triple Bridge. The rooms are clean and the internet is free. Dorm €17.  edit
  • Celica (The Cell), Metelkova 8 (400m from bus/railway station), [29]. A redecorated military prison within the former Austro-Hungarian and Yugoslav army base of Metelkova, which turned first into a squatter settlement and is now Ljubljana's burgeoning alternative cultural center. Some years ago, the cells of the former prison were assigned to several Slovenian artists, who designed every one of them individually. In 2006, Celica was declared to be the best hostel in the world by Lonely Planet, which means they've jacked up prices and it's often full. A bed in a cell (2-3 beds) or normal room (3-5) costs 20€, give or take a few euros depending on how many you're sharing with, including breakfast. Coin laundry, internet PCs, pleasant cafe-restaurant. Credit cards accepted.  edit
  • Dijaški dom Tabor (Youth hostel Tabor), Vidovdanska 7 (500m from bus/railway station), +386 (0)1 234 8840 (, fax: +386 (0)1 234 8855), [30]. Open during the summer, clean and modern student dorm. €10 per night for a bed in a 10-person dorm, breakfast is included. Free internet for 15min and a kitchen with dishes is available for cooking.  edit
  • Ljubljana Resort (formerly known as Avtokamp Ježica), Dunajska 270 (5 km north of the centre, take bus 6, 8 or 11), +386 (0)1 568 3913 (, fax: +386 (0)1 568 3912), [31]. Pleasant location near river Sava. You can pitch a tent or hire a bungalow. Swimming pool, sauna, fitness centre, badminton, volleyball, bowling, children's playground, restaurant, snack bar.  edit
  • Most Hostel, Petkovškovo nabrežje 41 (By the river, close to the Dragon Bridge), +386 31 282816. Cute, small, friendly and recently renovated hostel with a perfect location. There's also one PC with Internet connection for free. Bed in a dorm €21, double with shared bath €60.  edit
  • Park Hotel (Tabor 9), +386 (0)1 300 2500 (, fax: +386 (0)1 433 0546), [32]. This 3-star hotel in fact also a HI hostel and its accommodation is split between hotel and "hostel" rooms. The latter are cheaper but have only an outside bath and no TV. Staff may request to keep your passport at check in, so it might be useful to have a copy to hand in. Single €75.  edit


There are several medium to high-range hotels located in the city centre, and in the suburbs.

  • Hotel Slon, Slovenska 34, 1000 LJUBLJANA (located in center), +386 (0)1 470 11 00 (, fax: +386 (0)1 251 71 64), [33]. from €100.  edit
  • Hotel Lev, Vošnjakova 1, 1000 Ljubljana (located in wide center), +386 (0)1 433 21 55, [34]. from €100.  edit

Stay safe

Ljubljana is a remarkably safe city during day and night, provided you are not desperately looking for trouble.

Some locals might tell you to avoid some rougher parts of Ljubljana farther from the city center (such as Fužine, Rakova Jelša, and parts of Moste and Šiška) but they are all reasonably safe day and night and are fairly calm compared to bad neighborhoods in most other European capital cities. As a tourist you likely won't have any reason to go there to begin with, but if you do, you should be fine, provided you don't flash around a good watch or big wads of cash.



Internet cafes:

  • CyberCafe Xplore, Petkovškovo nabrežje 23, [35].  edit

Free internet access is available at:

  • Kiberpipa, Kersnikova 6, [36]. Closed in summer  edit
  • Faculty of Computer Sciences and Informatics and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Tržaska 25, [37].   edit
  • Simobil, Čopova (up towards the McDonalds from the Triple Bridge) - a Slovenian cell phone providers store, but the laptops upstairs have free internet access..  edit
  • Bled - the town from postcards from Slovenia. It has a scenic lake overlooked by a castle. Located about 1 hour north along the highway towards Jesenice and Austria. On the lake, there is the only island in Slovenia, with a famous church. There are 99 stairs leading to the church from the island shore. At the entrance to the church there is a bell. Ringing this bell supposedly brings good luck. The island is a popular place for weddings. You can get to the island by one of the many small boats that are launched from the north-eastern shore of the lake (near the town of Bled; you will have to pay the fare).
  • Postojna - home to the remarkably huge Postojna Caves and the Predjama Castle
  • Škocjan Caves - another set of remarkable caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Skiing - is Slovenia's national sport. There are several ski resorts all across the country. One very good one is the Krvavec ski resort [38] in the Kamnik Alps. It is located about 35 minutes north of Ljubljana.
  • Julian Alps - a hiker's paradise. Julian alps have an extensive network of mostly well-marked and maintained mountain trails. However, please be physically fit and well-equipped (proper mountain shoes, food, maps, spare clothes in case you get caught by bad weather). Know where you are going and how difficult your chosen trail is. The difficulties vary from an easy walk through the forests to "via-ferrata"s high in the mountains. These are real Alps with occasional steep paths and breathtaking views. In the winter, they get a lot of snow and are off-limits for most people. Book guides in English are available from many bookstores in Slovenia.
  • The Slovenian seaside - Visit one of the four coastal cities - Izola, Koper, Piran or Portorož and enjoy the scenery the coast has to offer. Do a little sailing or water sports or for those culturaly inspired visit the old city of Piran by foot. It is a delight.
  • The River Soča - One of the water jewels of Europe - it has a distinctive light blue colour and it is sorrounded by magnificent Alps, where you can hike around and enjoz the nature in it pristine form06:06, 22 July 2009 (EDT)
  • Kamnik - button-cute little town 45 min north of Ljubljana, just below the Kamnik Alps. It has a perfectly preserved medieval town center.
  • Crossing the border - Ljubljana has very good links with all neighboring countries. For example, there are regular trains running to Zagreb and Rijeka. Journey time is about 2.5 hours.
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

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  • (UK) IPA: /ˈlʊɑː.nə/, SAMPA: /"

Proper noun




  1. The capital city of Slovenia

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Proper noun


  1. Ljubljana



Proper noun


  1. Ljubljana

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right]] Ljubljana is capital city of Slovenia. It is also the largest city in that country. The city became the most important settlement in the area when Romans ruled Slovenia. There are many museums with things from that time in Ljubljana.

As of 2002, there are 265,881 people living in Ljubljana. University of Ljubljana is located in Ljubljana.

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