Things we did in Ljubljana | Size matters. Ljubljana is small. And in this case, small is beautiful. We spent one day in Slovenia’s capital. And it was a rainy one. To make matters worse, the Preseren Square – Ljubljana’s central square – was under construction. Under normal circumstances, the pink Franciscan Church of the Annunciation would have dominated our photos or at least form the nice backdrop. We needed to look elsewhere – and found cool some surprisingly cool stuff …
Fany & Mary, Ljubljana
First of all we needed shelter. The rain was forcing us into one of the many pubs at Petkovskovo nabrezje: Fany & Mary. We did not regret our choice, settling between lot’s of young folks – most likely students – and some fellow tourists. Guess where the tourists came from: China? Almost! Hongkong and Thailand. We ate delicious pizzas and met staff with a sense of humor.
Things we did in Ljubljana
Luckily it stopped raining at some point after lunch. We began our city tour …
Ljubljana Old Town
Exploring Ljubljana’s Old Town took us approx. 4 hours. It included Triple Bridge and Dragon Bridge, some other fancy sites and the Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana. We found the Former Cooperative Bank Building, Slovenia Philharmonic Building, and stumbled into the Town Hall by accident. We climbed up to the Ljubljana Castle and we spent a good while at the Central Market (indoor and outdoor).
There is a skyscraper in walking distance from the Central Market: the ‘Neboticnik’. Its rooftop terrace offers a nice birds eye view over Ljubljana. Going up is free, but you can also lunch or dine at the restaurant up there. Now this might be important to mention: Don’t scan the horizon for some kind of Empire State-like skyscraper. The Neboticnik only counts 13 floors. Nevertheless it’s not an ugly one; Art Deco – completed in 1933.
We skipped that one, had enough green when climbing up to the Ljubljana Castle. Still we caught a glimpse of the park when parking our car at Parkirisce Tivoli I (60 Eurocent per hour = cheap). On a sunny day, Tivoli City Park would have gotten our attention. It’s the largest public park in Slovenia’s Capital.
Museum of Modern Art
The local Museum of Modern Art was a highlight for us. And this was predictable. MSUM or MOMA or SFMOMA – we love such stuff wherever we go. Admission was 5.00 Euros per Person. They offered us a combined ticket for MSUM and MG (Moderna Galerija) for 7.50 Euros. Just that our tight schedule did not allow us to visit both locations. MG is situated near the Tivoli Park. MSUM is near Ljubljana Main Train Station. We would have needed bicycles to accomplish such combined mission.
Once you are inside the MSUM, don’t forget to take a look into the MSUM Library. It is an eye catcher. Don’t go there on a Monday. The doors will not open.
Cycle thru Ljubljana
Another miss on our hit-and-miss list. But on a sunny day this would have been worth a serious thought: The Old Town is car free. You have no choice but to walk or cycle. Why not renting a bicycle? Then you’ll probably understand why Ljubljana is ranked 8th at copenhagenizeindex.eu (a profound bicycle-friendliness index). You can rent bikes from one of the many local bicycle shops (€15 per day) or right from the Tourist Information Centre on Krekov trg (€2 for up to two hours, €8 for the whole day).
Architecture wise Ljubljana has never been a locomotive. It was more or less following trends and styles of it’s bigger capital sisters elsewhere in Europe. The Vienna Secession style massively influenced the rebuilding of Ljubljana after an earthquake in 1895. For sure the Italian/Roman influence is also easy to spot. Just look at the churches. But some buildings even reminded us on New Orleans -> Krojaska ulica, east side. Up to a certain degree, Ljubljana echoes Prague with its pretty medieval streets. It also features the charm of Vienna with aisles of grand townhouses.