Adoration 4 Adventure’s 5-day budget itinerary for Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Ljubljana is known as one of Europe’s most green and livable cities. The city center is paved and has limited access to vehicles. This made it a great city to wander around by foot.
This was one of my favorite stops during my five-week backpacking trip around Europe. By the time I reached Ljubljana, I was pretty exhausted from my travels. I was looking forward to wandering this cute city at a leisurely pace.
My five-day Ljubljana backpacking itinerary could easily be condensed into three days, however, there are many other areas outside of the city center worth exploring. For instance, I did not visit the North East or South East of Slovenia at all on this trip.
Here is how my it all went down.
Day 1: Exploring the city center
I spent the morning walking around town and getting orientated in the city. It was so easy to get around and almost impossible to get lost (even for me!). The architecture is beautiful, the river is gorgeous, the city is clean and safe.
There are free walking tours of the city, daily at 11 am and 3 pm. I would highly recommend a Ljubljana day tours to anyone who visits. It covers all the “big” historic sites (except for the castle) and the guides were very knowledgeable.
Day 2: Predjama Castle, Skocjan Caves, Lipica, and Piran
I joined a tour in order to visit the Skocjan Caves. In addition to the Postojna Caves, these are two of the most famous underground caves in all of Europe. Both can be visited by the public (without a tour). They are a little tricky to get to via public transport.
On the way to the Skocjan Caves, we stopped at Predjama Castle, a picturesque castle with an interesting history.
Next, we arrived at the caves which was my main reason for going on the tour. I was not disappointed. We ventured 144 meters underground. We viewed the impressive stalagmites and stalactites and walked across a suspension bridge 50 meters above an underground river.
Following the cave visits, we stopped at Lipica which is home to the famous white horses of Vienna. The horses were gorgeous and curious – walking up to the fence when I put my hand out for a pat.
The last stop of the day was Piran. Piran is on the South West coast of Slovenia and close to the border with Italy. The Coastal town was full of Europeans taking a dip in the Adriatic Sea or laying out in the sun.
Day 3: Ljubljana Castle
The Castle sits on a hill above the city of Ljubljana. It’s easily walkable from the main square, Presernov Trig, in about fifteen to twenty minutes. There is a moderately steep gradient so for those who have health issues, there is a funicular that runs regularly.
It is a compact little castle. There were stunning views of Ljubljana from both outside the castle and inside from the top of the watch tower. At the time that I went there, they had numerous exhibits including a creepy exhibition of medieval torture devices.
Day 4: Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj
I had met a lovely Slovenian lady through couch surfing. She said she also wanted to visit Lake Bled as well as Lake Bohinj, in the north of Slovenia. We met in the morning outside of the main bus station in Ljubljana. It was ten minutes walk from the city center and got on one of the buses headed for Lake Bled.
After about an hours journey we arrived at the lake and I was immediately in awe of the stunning view. A walking track runs right around the perimeter of the lake and we took a leisurely stroll around it. In the middle of the lake, there is a small island with a church upon it. Tourists can visit via boat.
Lake Bohinj was the less “touristy” and more natural lake. The visitors there were mostly campers and hikers. Instead of a concrete walking path, there were dirt trails that disappeared into the thick woodland. We found a quiet, secluded spot to put down our towels and lay there soaking up the beautiful view.
Day 5: Check out and travel to Italy
My last day in Slovenia! I had a relaxed morning taking my time with breakfast and packing. On my way to the bus station, I stopped to look at an art installation. It had appeared in the main city square the day before. It was a “rain cloud” above just one spot in the square. Despite the fine weather, upon walking through the circle you would find water drops falling onto you. It was quite humorous to watch people’s reactions, especially if they did not notice it until they walked into it.
Budget breakdown: Ljubljana
All costs are quoted for one person and in the local currency (Euros). See below for the average daily spend per person including currency conversion to USD and AUD. I always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with my readers. If you know of a better deal, tell me about it in the comments below.
Food: Breakfast of coffee and sandwich at a bakery (€4), lunch from Spa supermarket (€4), kebab or dinner at a local pub (€5-10). Water refills from hostel into a pre-purchased water bottle.
Activities: City Walking Tour (Free), Roundabout Karst and Coast Mystery Tour (€49), Ljubljana Castle (€8).
Transport: Buses from Ljubljana to Lake Bled (€6.50, 1.25 hours), Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj (€3.60, 45 mins) and back to Ljubljana (€9 Euro).
Average daily spend*: €53.72 per day ($85.40 AUD / $61.74 USD as of 25 August 2015).
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