See also the articles on Ljubljana in Wikivoyage, Hitchwiki and Wikipedia before asking any questions in Ljubljana CS group. Google is also very useful. Best professional writers that are able to help you with college papers are at https://writeanypapers.com/ - don't miss your chance to get a high grade!
There are plenty of links in this text, so please check the timetables before you rely on any information given here. There is also different information on different websites, I chose to rely on the bus companies operating the routes, rather than on the bus station. The information below will be from December 2012, prices quoted are for individual passengers, there might be significant discounts for groups.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Getting there and away
- 3 Getting around
- 4 What to See and Do
- 5 New Year's Eve events
- 6 CouchSurfing Advice
- 7 Clubs/Parties
- 8 Pubs, Cafés, ...
- 9 Eating
Ljubljana is the capital city of Slovenia. It lies almost exactly in the centre of the country, at the crossroads of the main motorways.
Getting there and away
- transport to/from Ljubljana airport by bus or taxi
- Ljubljana bus station
- Slovene railways: domestic lines, international trains from/to Slovenia
- trains in Europe and Italian railways (prices within Italy included; sometimes the cheapest tickets can be sold out earlier, but they can be bought also in Slovenia)
- Prevoz.org - most popular Slovene ride share/car pooling website. It's only in Slovene but so simple that you can easily find a ride without knowing the language. Otherwise use Google translate or ask a local to help, especially for additional info. There's no booking system, just call/text/email the driver and pay when you meet. To see phone numbers you have to register and log in. For rides abroad click on Mednarodni prevozi.
- Other ride sharing possibilities:
The only direct connection is by bus:
1) Veolia: Trieste 14:00 - Ljubljana 16:13, return Ljubljana 6:35 - Trieste 8:50am | €11.60 or €13.30? | daily Mon-Sat, except Italian public holidays (e.g. 1st Jan, May, Nov, 25-26th Dec - but it goes on 6th Jan and 2nd June)
2) Florentia, every day: Trieste 18:20 - Ljubljana 20:20, return Ljubljana 5:00 - Trieste 6:35am | €14.50 or €13?, students €12.50, return €25.50/23.50 | make a reservation in advance - this is part of the route Rome - Sofia (Bulgaria), so it can be already full in Trieste or Ljubljana; contact info on the website
If the bus times aren't convenient or you want to visit some other place before Ljubljana, here are the alternatives (Trieste train and bus stations are next to each other):
3) By bus via Sežana, change: from Trieste at 8:45, 11:45 and 18:45, from Sežana at 8:00, 11:00 and 16:30, Mon-Sat except public holidays in Italy and Slovenia. On Saturdays also at 7:30, 12:45, 14:00, 14:40 from Trieste and at 6:45, 8:20, 14:10 from Sežana. It takes 30 minutes and costs €2.00. From Sežana by train (14 daily Mon-Fri, 6-7 Sat-Sun | fast €8.46, local €6.86) or bus (2-3 daily | €8.30-8.70) to Ljubljana.
5) By bus via Koper (bottom of webpage, Mon-Sat except public holidays in Italy) for €3.00, luggage €1.30, then by train (5-6 daily | fast €10.11, local €8.51) or bus (2h20min, €10.70-11.10) to Ljubljana. Bus & train stations in all cities are next to each other.
6) On Sundays the only alternative to Florentia bus (see #2) is taxi to Sežana. From Trieste it costs about €25. You can also take the city bus or tram to Opicina, but I'm not sure there are taxis waiting in that place. It works in reverse direction though - there are taxis in Sežana near train station, you can take it only to Opicina for about €15 and then bus/tram to Trieste.
7) Hitchhiking: From Trieste take bus/tram to Opicina and start there, or bus to Sežana (see #4 above). From Ljubljana take city bus #6 to end station "Dolgi most" and stand with a sign for Sežana or KP (for Koper, get off at Kozina exit) at the motorway on ramp.
Trieste airport is about 40km by road from the city of Trieste, here is the timetable for buses to nearby cities in Italy and usual destinations in other countries. If you just want to get to Ljubljana, you have more choice if you take the bus to Gorizia (€2.90) and continue from there to Ljubljana (see below). If you want to visit also Trieste, take the bus there (€3.50) and then follow the points above.
Udine and Gorizia & Nova Gorica
From Udine you can take a bus or train to Gorizia Centrale, then walk 3 km / 40 min or hire a taxi or take Nova Gorica international city bus (€1.00) across the border to the train or bus station in Nova Gorica. Train station (10-12 daily Mon-Fri, 5-6 Sat-Sun, takes 3h-3h30min, fast €10.11, local €8.51) in Slovenia is actually right on the border at Piazza Transalpina, there are signs when you get close. There are 2 routes to Ljubljana for the same price and taking about the same time: you have to change either in Sežana or in Jesenice, the latter is a more scenic route. Bus station (13 daily on weekdays, 7 on weekends, 2h-2h30min | €10.30-10.70) is about 200 m away. For timetables see top of this page.
Another more expensive option from Udine is Austrian railways bus or train (5 daily) to Villach (nice place to stop) and from there train to Ljubljana (or Bled). See timetable at the top.
Venice/Venezia and all other places in Italy
There are plenty of train connections from all over Italy to Venice. If you are not stopping there, you change trains at the station called Venezia-Mestre, this is also where you are picked up by the two buses listed below. Venice airport (Marco Polo) is easily reached from Mestre train station. From Venice-Treviso airport you can take a bus to Venezia-Mestre train station, but it's easier to take a city bus to Treviso and then a train to Gorizia (about 2h, €8). From some places in north-eastern Italy you don't need to go through Venice, check the Italian railways' website.
Direct links by train or bus:
1) There's only ONE direct train from Italy to Slovenia: Venice 21:20pm - Venezia-Mestre 21:32pm - Ljubljana 1:40am, return Ljubljana 2:28 - Venezia Mestre 7:04 - Venice 7:16 | €15 if purchased one week in advance, otherwise €25, U26 €20 (this train comes from/goes to Budapest through Croatia, in case you're thinking of skipping Ljubljana :-)
2) Florentia bus, every day: Florence/Firenze 13:30 - Bologna 15:00 - Venezia-Mestre 16:50 - Trieste 19:20 - Ljubljana 21:00, return LJ 5:10 - TS 7:05 - VE - 9:00 - BO 11:25 - FI 13:05 | Venice-Ljubljana one way €22, students €20, other prices in the link | make a reservation in advance - this is part of the route Florence/Firenze - Sofia (Bulgaria), so it can be already full in Venice or Ljubljana; contact info on the website
3) DRD bus, every day: Venezia-Mestre train station 11:30 - Ljubljana 15:00, return LJ 8:15 - VE 11:30 | €25, return €45 | reservation recommended; more details in notes below (1).
4) train via Austria: Austrian train (possibly railway bus?) between Venezia-Mestre and Villach, 2-hour layover there, train between Villach and Ljubljana. Venezia-Mestre 9:40/11.40/15:40 - Ljubljana 16:33/18:31/21:10, return LJ 7:27/9:27/11.27 - VE-Mestre 14:05/16:05/18:05, €39 one-way
5) Train from Venice to Trieste (2h-3h30min, €9-15) or Gorizia (2h-2h30min, €8-12), then follow instructions above.
6) Boat from Venice to Slovene coast, then bus or train to Ljubljana (see links on the top).
going from Italy to Bled and Bohinj
If you plan to visit also Lakes Bled and/or Bohinj, you can go first there via Gorizia. Take a train from Nova Gorica to Bohinjska Bistrica (which is still 6 km from the lake, but there are regular buses, or you can hitchhike) or Bled Jezero (which is on the other side of the lake, 3 km from town). From the lakes there are hourly buses to Ljubljana and also trains.
1) Seven trains daily each way, it takes around 2h20min and costs €13.40 one-way, €21.40 return.
2) Only one bus daily from 15th January 2011 till probably 30th June! From Zagreb 11:30, from Ljubljana 15:30
(Two buses daily, it takes 2h36min and costs €12: Zagreb 6:30/11:30 - Ljubljana 9:06/14:06, return LJ 15:30/19:45 - ZG 18:06/22:21.)
1) by train: Direct train from Hungary to Slovenia goes every day from Budapest Déli at 12:11 and arrives to Ljubljana at 21:23, returning at 8:50 and arriving to Budapest at 17:45, €29 one way, €39 return (it stops of course in some places on the way but the price is the same). The night train costs much more (€53.40 one way, €58.60 return) and goes through Croatia, which is a problem if you need their visa. Times: Budapest Keleti 17:05 - LJ 2:12, LJ 1:50 - BP Keleti 10:54 (this train comes from/goes to Venice, in case you're thinking of skipping Ljubljana :-)
2) by Eurolines bus (going to Montpellier/Madrid): Budapest Népliget (main bus station) 23:00 - Ljubljana 5:30 (Mon,Tue,Thu,Fri,Sat), LJ 21:30 - BP 6:00 (Mon Tue Fri Sun) | from HUF 3900 to 6900 (around €14.30 to €25.40), for return ticket add HUF 3000 to 4000. Buy early to get lower price, sold only online!, not at Ljubljana bus station - it doesn't even stop in Ljubljana if nobody's waiting. You can also get off in Maribor at 3:40 (or get on at 23:00 in BP direction) for the same price.
by train (no buses it seems) to Villach-Salzburg(Klagenfurt, Munich, Frankfurt) or to Graz-Vienna - it's quite easy to reach Graz airport and a bit more complicated but possible to get to Klagenfurt airport.
You can get around the centre on foot. Buses are the only public transport. Detailed explanation on tickets is in the link, in short: you cannot buy it on the bus (controls are quite often, not sure what they can do about foreigners other than kicking you off the bus :P), but you have to get Urbana card beforehand from a kiosk or "Urbanomat" - vending machine found at most bigger bus stops. It costs €2 for the card + whatever amount you want to have. One ride = €0.80 = 90 minutes regardless of changes. Every time you enter a bus (only at front door) you approach the card to the green validator and make sure it has registered the card, don't be too fast. If you are still within 90min, do the same but no money will be deducted. There are also monthly passes.
It is common and usually cheaper to call a taxi rather than flag it down, though if you need it they're usually waiting outside popular clubs. There are some bad guys around, so be careful - nothing really dangerous though, "just" cheating you, esp. if you are foreigner, or not giving back stuff you forgot in taxi.
What to See and Do
Here's a list of cool things in random order:
- castle: walk up, check the chapel & view tower
- main meeting spot: Prešernov trg at Triple Bridge, with monument to France Prešeren, Slovenia's greatest poet
- baroque churches: cathedral and its doors (west and south), Ursuline church; seminary library can be visited only by appointment unfortunately
- Miklošičeva - main street of Art Nouveau: highlights are Hotel Union (pop into lobby), colourful building opposite (ex bank, now land register, but try to have a look inside anyway), Triglav insurance company at the upper end
- old town: walk from town hall and fountain in front halfway around the hill, then check
- architecture by Jože Plečnik: National and University Library, market, Triple Bridge, Križanke (ex monastery, now summer theatre) and many other big and small additions to the city; a bit out of the centre also Žale (main cemetery), and St Michael's church in the marshes
- concerts at the summer theatre - inside or outside, or climbing inside over the wall
- borovničke & medica; wine tasting, best @ www.vks.si
- river Ljubljanica: Dragon Bridge, Triple Bridge, "beach" (mostly) on the left bank with plenty of cafés, or relaxing on the steps under willow trees further downstream
- picnic in Tivoli Park
- try burek: 24h, but best at 4am after lots of drinks
- squats: Metelkova and Rog - great party places at night (till morning), excellent hostel at Metelkova (Celica), skate park at Rog, and lots of other stuff going on during the day; also about the only public places where people can (and do) smoke inside
New Year's Eve events
There are concerts in the streets, the main square hosts concerts every evening, on New Years Eve there are usually 3 stages (roughly: jazz/oldies - pop for adults - pop for kids/poprock), since 2008 also a 4th with alternative rock/punk, here is a detailed programme for December 2009. All Slovene bands (and some Croatian), but you will probably find something for your taste. The concerts normally last 9pm-2am, later there a few clubs open till morning. In 2007 and 2008 we have had CS meetings for NYE and we had great fun, 2009>2010 should be no different.
Smaller shops are not really into working on holidays, but large shopping malls are usually open till 4-6pm on 31st December, mostly closed on 1st January, but back to business already on 2nd. No problem to find an open supermarket.
No Burger King, 2 McDs in centre are open every day till 11pm, probably also around NY, but the "traditional" late night snack here is at a 24h burek-pizza-kebab joint around train station :) Other restaurants are open, not all, but you'll find something.
If CouchSurfing doesn't work out, here is the list of hostels - there is a map in the right column, just click "show on the map" for each hostel. In short, "Pod skalo" and "Zapolje" aren't actually in Ljubljana, Hostel Ljubljana is out of centre (though easily accessible by bus 4am-10.30pm), "Aladin Hostel" is a bit out of centre but still close enough (15-20 minutes of walking), everything else is downtown. BUT the ones called "Dijaški dom" are only open in summer, though you can check their websites to be sure. There is also a camping site.
- Metelkova mesto (cheap alternative place/squat)
- Tovarna Rog (cheap alternative place/squat)
- Top (expensive)
- Bachus (expensive)
- Cvetličarna (good place, but you will need a taxi)
Pubs, Cafés, ...
- Premier Pub
- Irish Pub
- Saloon Tombstone (in Trnovo part of LJ, walking distance from centre)
- KUD (in Trnovo part of LJ, walking distance from centre)
Some vegetarian places are Vegedrom (now Annapurna?), Govindas and Ajdovo zrno. They are vegetarian but not macrobiotic. None of them are fancy or anything, more like fast food, student lunches and some Indian food. List of some others here. Another option might be Namaste, a good Indian restaurant in the centre, though as most Europe-based Indian restaurants, they do serve meat.
Life in Ljubljana
For other areas of life less closely associated with travelling, check Nomadwiki.
- "We took the DRD d.o.o. bus from Venice to Ljubljana in September and had a very good experience – once we figured out how it works. DRD doesn’t have any apparent office or signage in Venice, nor could we find anyone who know anything about the bus service. But an hour before departure we found two 9 passenger vans labeled DRD across the street from the Venice Mestre mainland train station (not the Venice Santa Lucia station). There was also a man in a red shirt with the DRD logo standing in front of the station and he connected us up with one of the drivers. We left promptly at 11:30 and he drove us 3 blocks to an unmarked bus stop where other passengers, mostly Eastern European workers returning home, were already waiting. Then we got on a nice 50 passenger bus (after waiting half an hour for the drivers to clean the bus). The bus made two 15 minute stops enroute to Ljubljana at highway gas stations/restaurants. On arrival just outside Ljubljana we were transferred back to a 9 passenger bus and taken directly to our city center hotel, arriving about 2:30. The bus and most of the other passengers continued to additional destinations. This was much better for us than any of the alternatives we could find." (By portofino1 @ Lonely Planet Thorn Tree travel forum)