Ljubljana, Slovenia – Compact, Charming Capital

I really did not know anything about Ljubljana before I got here. I had read a few tidbits here and there that were, generally, positive although there does not seem to be any advocates out there for this being a “don’t miss” attraction in the area. But, I found it to be another charming compact city with a decent amount of history, including a castle on the hill, a nice river running through Old Town, and an energetic, positive vibe on the streets.

Old Town with Castle Tower looming high above

Old Town with Castle Tower looming high above


I find myself saying just about the same thing for Bratislava, Zagreb, and Ljubljana. They are each quite lovely but there really isn’t much to do for more than a day and a half each. But, don’t get me wrong, I think Ljubljana is a real charmer. Now, if I were back in this area, I would certainly do a side trip into the countryside – maybe Bled.

Dragon Bridge, Ljubljana

Dragon Bridge, Ljubljana


After spending my first half day hiking to the hotel, visiting the Castle, and walking around Old Town, I rented a bicycle for the second day. The Tourist Information Center near the funicular rents bikes for two hours or all day but they were completely booked. However, there is a nearby hostel – H2OSTEL – that rents bikes for the day for 6 euros.


I didn’t really have a destination in mind by started following the river out of town based on a few thoughts. First, there were nice pedestrian and bike paths along the way that meandered along with the river. Second, I figured that they might go on for as long as I wanted to ride. Three, if I was right about the previous point, I figured I would eventually come to some small, quaint village.

The reality of it is that I ended up going through a somewhat industrial area before ended up in fields when the paths ended about 9 miles downriver. For the trip back, I crossed over and ended up cycling more on city streets before being deposited right back in Old Town. After a break for lunch, I huffed and puffed my way up to the top of the hill where the castle is situated for more gorgeous views of the area. After an hour or so of riding around town, that was enough and I returned the bike and enjoyed a gelato.

Huffing and puffing to Castle on single gear bike

Huffing and puffing to Castle on single gear bike


As for the hotel, we now know that the Four Points by Sheraton is nowhere near city center. But, it really is a nice hotel and the staff was great. They do have a contract with one of the local taxi companies to provide a flat rate to city center for 6 euros. It is a flat rate of 9 euros to the bus station. This was nice but did mean I ended up spending 24 euros over the course of visit for two round-trip visits to town. I was able to use 4,000 SPG points for my two nights but would have to consider whether this would be the best location for a visit to the city if I were to return.


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