From the moment I was greeted in my hostel dorm by a group of Irish boys belting out “Down Under” for our Australian roommate, I knew Slovenia wasgoing to be a unique experience.
Ljubljana, Slovenia… Anyone who loves nature or outdoor activities needs to buy their plane ticket on the ASAP. But the city and its surroundings offer more than just stunning scenery, here are 10 things to do when you visit this underrated gem.
Party At A Former Military Barracks Turned Urban Squat
Head to the Metelkova Mesto and party with the locals at this former military barracks which is now an urban squat and the hottest party location in town. I don’t have photographs from the night-time because I can’t be trusted with nice things after 10pm, but if you look hard enough you’ll find snapchats of cool live reggae jams and crazy outdoor raves.
Take A Refreshing Dip In Paradise
Jump on a bus (approx 1 hour from the centre) and hop off at Bled. Swerve the tourist crowds and take a 4km hike to the Vintgar Gorge. For a mere 4 euro entrance fee you will be greeted with unbelievable waterfalls, and crystal clear water that shines bright blue and emerald green. But be warned: if you decide to go swimming, make sure you bring warm clothes to change into because the water’s icy cold.
Spend The Night At the World’s Friendliest Prison
Celica Art Hostel is a former prison turned hostel in the bohemian area of Metelkova. I won’t ruin the story, book yourself a stylish cell for the night and do the free tour to learn about the prison’s colourful history.
Eat Great Food And Support A Great Cause
According to my hostel dorm mates, this is one of the best things to do in Ljubljana. Unfortunately I never made it to Gostilna Dela for dinner, but I really wish I had – you can earn karma points just by tucking into their delicious and healthy food, as the profits from the café support vulnerable young people. Please order twice for me.
Chill Out On An Adult Swing
No, not that kind. Pod Skalco is a cool drinking spot that fills up with local students – especially on Tuesdays when drinks are even cheaper. The vibe is relaxed and the seats at the bar are swings. Novelty factor = high.
Get Sweaty On The Roznik Walk
One of the best ways to recover after a wild Ljubljana night is to head to the city’s Tivoli Park and take the tranquil Roznik walk – although personally I would classify this as more of a sweaty hike, especially in the summer. Follow the signposts for “Cankarjv Vrh” to reach the top and you’ll be rewarded with amazing views, day or night.
Visit The Jazz Club With A Stage Smaller Than A Normal Toilet
For live jazz music and lots of new friends, head down to the cosy Sax Pub. On their website they describe themselves as having “a stage smaller than a normal toilet”, so you know they don’t take themselves too seriously. The décor was left in the hands of a local street artist and you can sit among the colourful chairs and fairy lights out the front, or head inside for cosy pub vibes. If you are that guy that doesn’t like to go home, you can sleep in the Sax Hostel out the back.
Reconnect With Nature At Lake Bohinj
Lake Bled is beautiful but if you want to feel at one with nature and avoid the crowds, then look no further than Lake Bohinj – it’s located in a national park, and if you’re feeling really adventurous you can hike into the nearby Alps. It’ll take you just over an hour to get here from Ljubljana centre, so it’s perfect for a daytrip.
Chow Down On The Best Vegan Burger You’ve Ever Tasted
The tasty yet oh-so-healthy burgers at Zaziv will make you cry real tears of joy. And the generous portions make it the perfect spot for a post-hike feed when you visit Lake Bohinj and Bled. You’re welcome.
Dranks And Chill In Tivoli Park
Head to the oh-so-beautiful Čolnarna café by the lake in Park Tivoli and sunbake in lounge chairs while sipping on cocktails in jamjars for a chill afternoon. The perfect end to a long day exploring Ljubljana’s hidden delights.
Why are you still reading this?! Book your hostel in Ljubljana now and discover Europe’s most underrated city!
?? Got a hot tip for things to do in Ljubljana? Leave a comment below and help out your fellow travellers ??
About The Author
Alex Jones is a globe-trotting Sydney native currently exploring the wonders of Greece. Follow her adventures @a_lexandrajones
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