Backpacking Central Europe: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Travel Diary
Day 9-10:

We woke up in beautiful Bad Hofgastein, Austria and began our walk to the train station. There is a bus you can take, but it would have got us to the train station too early. We also prefer walking. 

We caught the train and had to make a transfer at the Austrian boarder to catch another train. We were a bit nervous as we only had 10 minutes to make our change. A few minutes before we were to make this change a guy came around to check tickets. He told us that we had to catch a coach from the train station the rest of the way to Ljubjana. This was news to us! We booked a train. 

We ran through the train station like a speeding bullet. Then got outside and ran towards the many coaches waiting outside the train station. We started going up to drivers flashing our tickets until one pointed us in the direction of the bus we needed. We hopped over to that bus and jumped on. Within seconds we were pulling out of the train station and on our way to Ljubjana. 

As we came into the city centre we spotted a Loving Hut. (This is a vegan chain restaurant) We were beyond thrilled as we were starving. 

We got off the coach and walked back in the direction of the Loving Hut. 
The buffet was delicious and really cheap. We decided to have a big lunch and skip dinner.


After lunch we walked into city centre to find our hotel.

We didn't do a lot of research on Ljubljana so we just walked around enjoying the architecture on the way to the hotel.

We stopped at a souvenir shop and bought a magnet of Slovenia to complete our collection of magnets.

We found the main square of Ljubljana were the church is, the river and the triple bridge.
We used google maps to guide ourselves to the hotel. We downloaded the offline map since we did not have a data plan for Slovenia.
The streets in this part of town were really nice with the cobble stone and beautiful architecture.

We found our hotel in the old city and checked in. They offered us a Slovenia wine and went to see our room.


We had a balcony and overlooked the courtyard. It was a lovely room.
After we dropped off our stuff we looked at the tourist map and weighed our options. We decided that since we only had one night in Ljubjana that we would head to the castle first.

The walk to the castle was pretty steep up a hill.
It looks like we were alone but there was lots of different paths up to the castle and there was other groups walking up there too.

We found the entrance!

The inside of the castle was really nice. They renovated. And the number one reason we love castles - VIEWS!

It was great being up on the hill in the castle as the sun was going down. Luckily we got some pictures while there was still a bit of light.

There were different exhibits in the castle like the one on puppetry which was apparently a big thing in Slovenia.

There was interactive displays where you could play with the puppets. Good fun.


There was another exhibit with some artwork like this Sydney Opera house made of sugar.

The sun set and we headed up the tower to check out the view of the Ljubljana skyline.


It was hard to get a good picture up there but the view was fantastic. It was very windy up there.

There was also a museum on the history of Slovenia which was interesting since we didn't know much about Slovenian history.

The castle was a great attraction. You can get audio guided tours as well for a bit more money and there is a restaurant inside the castle. I'm not sure what the vegan option would be in the restaurant though.

We headed back down the hill to the old town streets.

We had a vague idea of where some of the vegan places were but we weren't out looking for food since we were still pretty full from lunch.
We stumbled upon one of the places we thought about trying called OG. We had a chocolate pie there.
The inside was pretty unique and the staff were very nice.
We got a couple smoothies as we felt we should probably eat something but we weren't up for a full meal. Plus the smoothies looked delicious. One of them is a protein smoothie with banana, protein powder, and chocolate maybe. The other one was a green detox smoothie with green stuff and ginger, etc. All the good stuff.

We walked around in the dark some more and found the Dragon bridge.

The castle looked really cool with all the green lights. There is a funicular that you can ride up to the castle as well.
We headed back to the hotel for the night. 

There was a free breakfast at the hotel including toast, fruit and coffee. We only booked one night at the hotel, so we checked out to go exploring for the day before our evening bus to Zagreb.

We walked around checking out the sights. We saw most of the things we wanted to see in the old town but our plan was to wander over to the park.

There weather was not the greatest but we had an umbrella just in case.

All the public trash bins were sorted into recycling. Paper, cans and trash
There was a roman well in the park.
We took pictures of the nice buildings. There was the national gallery and the opera house.


We made it to the park and took a nice walk around.


It started to pour so we headed into the greenhouse in the park to hang out while the rain died down enough that our umbrella was effective.

We saw some nice swans. They followed us around the pond as we walked. 

The rain really started to come down so we went and got some coffee and a pastry from Backwerk.
We walked around a bit more in the city.
We went back to the dragon bridge to see it in the day light. Ljubjana isn't a huge city, so you can see most of it in a day. We would plan for an over night like we did, so you have time to check out the castle too,

We also made a short video to help give the feel that you were there. Check it out.

We went back to Loving Hut which was near the bus station where we were to catch our Flixbus to Zagreb,
Luckily it stopped raining while we waited for our bus.

By 430pm, we were on our way to Zagreb!

Continue reading.. "Backpacking Central Europe: Zagreb, Croatia"

What to take this trip?
Check out our Itinerary "13 Day Itinerary (Backpacking Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia)"

Comments

  1. I'll be completely honest and say for the life of me I cannot figure out how you would pronounce the name of your destination city! I like your priorities though--castles ought always to be visited first! :) The Roman Well sounds interesting, too!

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    1. We had a hard time saying it until we got there! Castles are amazing.

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  2. Loving to read about your day by day account of the trip. It's like reading a travelogue, but waiting for the next chapter to come up. Love it!

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    1. Thank you. It's the only way it makes sense for us to share a trip like this.

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  3. I loved going through your beautiful, picture intensive post..a great backpacking trip indeed

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    1. Thank you. We enjoy looking at photos, we enjoy taking them and enjoy sharing them. :)

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  4. Usually one is restrictive with the number of pictures in a blog, considering all the text that one is including. But sometimes, having a lot of pictures, like here, can be a good idea too.

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    1. When we read blog posts we prefer picture intensive posts. So we figured, why not share what we enjoy seeing.

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  5. Ljubljana seems like a really cool city - I'm really drawn to the architecture! I had NO idea Loving Hut was a chain - there is one in my city in South Korea too, but I haven't tried it yet. Do you like it?

    Thanks for all the photos, I'd really like to see the city someday :)

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    1. The architecture was amazing. We love Loving huts! Definitely get to the one near you.

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  6. What fun. Museums, castles and in general, the town itself. I think the best way to enjoy this place is to walk through for there is so much to enjoy. Glad you had a good time.

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    1. We love walking around and exploring new places. It's the best way to see everything.

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  7. Day by day your journey, that's good; I am reading many posts in these days but never like a diaries, wonderful idea! anyway you have got a busy days there, :-D thanks for sharing

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    1. Thank you. We thought a diary would be the most organised way to present our backpacking trip.

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  8. What a beautful place! The castle, especially the exhbits are delghtful. Also, seems like you diid a bit of jungle walk too. The fall colours of the tree are delightful.

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    1. Agreed. We were really impressed by the castle and the exhibits. We tried walking around as much as the weather permitted.

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  9. Voila...A picture oriented travel blog. I must say its a pleasant change considering i'am unable to post so many as you because of lack of space.Great effort.

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  10. European castles are so interesting and very different from our Indian palaces. There is always a mysterious aura around there. This one reminded me of the castle I visited in Vienna. Terrific captures.

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    1. I would love to see an Indian Palace. The look so beautiful in all the photo's I've seen. This castle was very nicely preserved.

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  11. Amazing place for backpacking. The architecture and castles are worth watching. Glad you had a great time.

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    1. What we love about Europe is all the amazing architecture and castles!

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  12. Ljubljana looks like a beautiful quaint city and the views from the castle - the red roofs looks amazing. Agree castles provide for some great panoramic vistas. Puppetry is a great thing in Slovenia? Now this is something really new to hear. Would love to check them out.

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    1. Yeah the castle had a puppetry museum showing the history of puppetry in Slovenia and showing how it was an important part of Slovenian culture. It was pretty cool.

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  13. The views from the castle are beautiful and I love the look of the old town. So European! Makes me realise there are so many places in Europe that I still have to visit! Although puppets tend to creep me out a bit 😳

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    1. There are tons of places in Europe that people overlook and we almost overlooking Ljubljana. Thankfully our friend advised us to stop there.

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  14. From all the cities I have visited in Europe, Ljubljana was definitely the one I went to without any expectations and the one who actually stole my heart. I couldn't get enough of its beauty. I love how small it is and that it's easy to get anywhere by just walking. I love the romantic feeling you get while walking along the river or even sail on it (I did that).

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    1. Awesome. We saw some people on a boat ride there and we wish we got a chance to go on one. The river is really nice there.

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  15. Ljubljana is such an amazing place to see :-) These old streets are so charming. Perfect for a romantic stroll. Thank you for an inspiration! :-)

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    1. Yes, it is a very romantic city. Lovely for a weekend getaway.

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  16. Wine when you check in! Yes please! I've been reading so much about Slovenia lately that I've put it on my list. I really enjoyed seeing you you spent your day as we like similar things. Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. Glad to hear you put Slovenia on your list. It really is a beautiful country.

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  17. Always a good sign when you see a Loving Hut! Hehehe. I haven't traveled a lot in Eastern Europe, I really need to do that. Heard so many wonderful things about Slovenia, your post included! Need to give it a shot!

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    1. We love Loving Huts! I wished we could have seen more of Slovenia. It is a beautiful country.

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  18. Ljubjana...sounds like a tongue twister to me :). A post full of pictures that shows you explore your maximum in a span of just one day. I always admire old appealing cobbled roads that put me in the imagination of bygone era of the place but here it seems so lonely, might be coz of less population.

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    1. It was fun learning how to pronounce! The cobble roads were amazing to walk on.

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  19. This refreshes my memory of our trip to Ljubljana! One day wasn't enough, but yet we had such a great experience. Also, the cafes had some great deserts and pizza!

    Parampara-Parichay
    http://awaradiaries.com
    India

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    1. It's definitely a nice romantic city for a long weekend stay.

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  20. Lovely post. I too enjoy long walks and I am a train enthusiast as well. I would love to walk on the streets of Europe someday. People have told me Europe's roads are pedestrian friendly.

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    1. You would love a trip around Europe then. Hope you get there one day!

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  21. This really brings back memories from our visit of Ljubljana a few years ago. Really loved the city as well as the country Slovenia. Did you have time to also see other parts of Slovenia? :)

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    1. We didn't have enough time to stop anywhere else. We drove from Austria to Ljubjana and then to Croatia. Wish we got to see more.

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