The drive from Plitvice to Lake Bled takes 3.5 hours, so we decided to break up the drive with a long afternoon in Ljubljana.
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and happened to be right on the way to Lake Bled, so it felt like a no-brainer to check the city out before our 3 night stay in Lake Bled.
We didn’t really know what to expect from Ljubljana. All we knew is that a handful of other travelers we met INSISTED that we make time for it in our itinerary. There is nothing I trust more than a mid-trip recommendation from a seasoned traveler who’s just been somewhere they loved.
We ended up absolutely loving Ljubljana. The city was just as it was described to us: clean, charming, and a quintessential pastel Central European old town, rich in history and newly restored. If you’re considering a stop in Ljubljana on your central Europe itinerary, DO IT.
Ljubljana’s old town has undergone major restoration in recent years, giving the area a manicured feel that showcases its history and doesn’t feel, in my completely uneducated opinion, overly sterile.
We LOVED this area. There were so many cute shops and cafes to check out. I could have definitely spent a couple of days uncovering all that the area has to offer and felt like an afternoon was not nearly enough. Even through somewhat gloomy weather, this city managed to sparkle.
In today’s post, I’m sharing where we parked our car in Ljubljana’s old town area, how we spent our time, and where we ate lunch (and, perhaps most importantly, where we got coffee and ice cream).
We parked at this parking lot which was right outside the old town area, making our afternoon pit spot so easy. The parking lot is underground but was very simple to get in and out of.
First, coffee. Tyler’s number one priority is also coffee which, I suppose, is why our marriage has lasted this long. Črno Zrno Specialty Coffee was such a cute little spot, and the coffee was amazing.
If you only have one day in Ljubljana, you’ll want to make sure to hit the “must see” sights in the historic old town area. Don’t miss the Ljubljana Cathedral, the Mestni trg (this historic plaza has been around since the 12th century!), and the open air Central Market.
This funicular ride was a major hit with the girls. They got to learn how to say the word “funicular,” endured a physics lesson about counterweights from their dad, AND experienced a little thrill from the ride up the mountain. Then, we explored the castle on top of the hill. The views of the city from the top of the castle were well worth the ride up.
A round trip ride costs 6 euro per adult. It is free for children aged 7 and under (15 euro for a family ticket!).
We had lunch at Klobasarna, a small restaurant in old town that makes traditional Slovenian dishes. We ordered a couple of the sausage plates and, of course, one of the Štruklji rolled pastries. Everything was delicious and so satisfying on a cool, rainy day. The girls loved the sausage!
A few different people told us not to sleep on the ice cream scene in Ljubljana. Who are we to not take a crucial piece of advice like that? There were so many shops to choose from, but we ended up getting scoops for the girls at Cacao Ljubljana. This was such a cute little shop right on the river.
It’s a pre-weekend pick me up: just a little note with links to the latest blog posts, what I’m reading lately, and products I’m obsessed with. Think of it as a friend dropping off a surprise latte in the morning--you know?