Otočec is only an hour's drive from the lively Slovene capital which is a popular tourist destination. Explore the main city sights for yourself, go shopping or stop in at one of its excellent restaurants. In summer, sit and enjoy refreshments in one of numerous bars by the river Ljubljanica, and feel the holiday spirit of the city that shines with a thousand lights in winter. Each season gives Ljubljana a new face. Come and get to know them all.
The unique Triple Bridge which connects the picturesque Prešeren Square to the old part of Ljubljana is the work of the famous architect Jože Plečnik. He added two bridges for pedestrians to the central stone bridge from the middle of the 19th century just before World War II. The renovated Triple Bridge, which is closed for traffic, together with the Prešeren Square, in the middle of which proudly stands the statue of the greatest Slovene poet France Prešeren, and the Franciscan Church are popular spots for various street performers and common meeting points.
If you go for a walk over the Triple Bridge you will feel the real spirit of Ljubljana in its old city centre. There you will find several centuries old houses with magnificent baroque and medieval façades situated between the Ljubljanica River and Castle Hill. The famous baroque Robba fountain of the Three Carniolan Rivers proudly stands in front of the Town Hall on Town Square. Have a refreshing drink in one of numerous bars and lunch in one of the restaurants or visit one of the boutiques.
The Ljubljana Central Market is more than just a lively and colourful market since it is also one of the masterpieces of the architect Jože Plečnik. It was built in 1944. A line of covered market buildings with a characteristic colonnade by the river is interrupted by the modern Butchers’ Bridge. It is a footbridge, designed by Plečnik and built much later in 2010, which connects the market to the Petkovšek Embankment. The market ends with Dragon Bridge, one of the best examples of the Vienna Secession style, which was built in 1901. Its impressive dragon statues are one of Ljubljana’s most photographed attractions.
You cannot miss out on visiting Ljubljana Castle, a mighty medieval fort which has been proudly reigning over the city for more than five centuries. Not only does it offer a wonderful view over the city underneath it from the lookout tower, but it also invites tourists with various exhibitions and rich restaurant and bar offer. You can ascend to Ljubljana Castle on foot, by funicular or by tourist train, children’s favourite choice. Enjoy a walk through time.
Galleries and museums
Fans of art and history will not be disappointed in Ljubljana. In the National Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art, only a few metres away from each other, you can see artwork from Gothic art to Impressionism as well as the works of Slovene artists of the 20th century. Not far, in Tivoli Park, there is the International Centre of Graphic Arts. You can see contemporary art in the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova. The City Museum displays the oldest wooden wheel with an axle among other things. In the Slovenian Museum of Natural History you can admire a mammoth skeleton and in the National Museum of Slovenia you can see an Egyptian mummy.
The home of the Ljubljana Zoo has been under Rožnik Hill since 1951. Today a modern zoo spreading out on an area of almost 20 hectares provides the most natural possible place for numerous animals, most of which are mammals and birds. Among 500 animals you can take a close look at the Indian python, California sea lion, Siberian tiger, Indian elephant, zebra, giraffe and even a representative of the endangered autochtonous species – the brown bear.
Dragon Carnival (Shrove Saturday, February)
Join the lively Shrovetide Carnival parade. The parade of traditional and other masks with a big green dragon leading it takes place in the streets of Ljubljana every year and it ends in Congress Square.
Druga godba (May)
Fans of ethnic music will be thrilled with one of the best European festivals that takes place on different locations in Ljubljana every year.
Ana Desetnica International Street Theatre Festival (June, July)
At the peak of the summer Ljubljana streets get filled with street artists, actors, dancers, circus performers and musicians from all over the world who invite you to join them in creating a true street performance.
Summer in the Old Town (June, August)
In the summer the sounds of live music resound in the lively city centre. Free concerts of classical music held at different venues will spice up your evening.
Ljubljana Festival (June - September)
The biggest, oldest and one of the most important festivals in Slovenia with a high quality programme which includes everything from concerts to ballet shows with famous names has filled the city with classical sounds every year since 1953.
Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts (September - November)
The International Centre of Graphic Arts is the place where the biggest and most notable graphical art event in the world has taken place every second year since 1955.
BIO - Ljubljana Biennial of Design (September, October)
Every even year in the Architectural Museum of Ljubljana there is an international exhibition where the most important design products from industrial and visual communication to overall graphic designs can be seen.
LIFFe – International Film Festival Ljubljana (November)
Each year the central temple of Slovene culture, Cankarjev dom, together with some other venues, hosts LIFFe, the festival at which you can see awarded films from all over the world.
December in Ljubljana (December)
In December, the city becomes alive and shines with a thousand lights. Wooden stalls by the river are full of treats and gifts. You can say goodbye to the old year to the sound of live music at different venues.