People say Ljubljana is a hidden gem of Europe. It is a vibrant city that combines architecturally impressive historical buildings with wide green spaces. It should come as no surprise then that it has been awarded European best destination 2022. Moreover, it's been declared the European Best Green Capital and it is called a "green miracle"!
In recent years the city has undertaken many measures to make the city more bike-friendly and sustainable. As part of this continued effort, the city will host Velo-city this June and represents a perfect opportunity to discover the city's main attractions by bike. Fortunately, you can rent a BicikeLJ bike in any of the 83 stations and there are 830 public bicycles available around the city. So, what are you waiting for? Let's go!
Park Špica, which originally was an urban beach, is the ideal spot to start your tour. Its name means 'pointed tip' and refers to the Ljubljanica river embankment's pointed shape. Discover its green surroundings whilst cycling along the raised wooden cycle paths that meander through the area.
Following the river up north you will reach St James bridge. In just two minutes, you will arrive to one of the largest connected pedestrian zones in Europe - a 17 ha of refurbished open public space designated to pedestrians and cyclists, closed to motorised traffic. You can continue your tour from Gornji trg square located at the foot of the castle hill. More adventurous types can cycle up the slope and take in the breath-taking views of the city.
If you're looking for a bit more hustle and bustle, you can go straight to Stari trg, the heart of the old town. With its 19th-century wooden shopfronts, it will be one of the main attractions to photograph and it's also a great spot to have a snack and a drink in one of the cafés spread around the square.
Once you have recharged a bit, you can continue exploring old Ljubljana. For example, Mestni trg, one of the centres of the medieval city, where the town hall, with its Venetian influenced façada, can't fail to catch your attention. If you are into history and baroque architecture, you can book tickets for a guided visit inside. In the square you will also find the famous Robba fountain also known as the fountain of the Three Carniolan Rivers (the Sava, the Ljubljanica and the Krka) who are represented by three river gods.
Keep cycling a bit further and you can admire the baroque style cathedral. Right after you will arrive at the central market. Lock up your bike and have a walk around all the small food shops in the colonnade that extend along the Ljubljanica river. After filling some bags with delicious food, take your bike and cycle across the Dragon bridge, one of the most famous spots in all of Ljubljana. It represents a superb example of Art Nouveau architecture. Don't miss the chance to take a photo with one of the dragons, the symbol of the city of Ljubljana!
Continuing along the river and cross Butchers' Bridge whilst admiring some of its sculptures. If you are doing your cycling tour on a Friday, you can stop by the Open kitchen in Pogačarjev trg square, a unique food market where Slovenian chefs prepare all sorts of dishes from across the world.
After a delicious lunch, go to the triple bridge, another iconic spot in Ljubljana where you'll be greeted by the pink façade of the famous Franciscan church. A little further on and you will reach Kongresni trg square where you will find the University of Ljubljana, the Slovenian Philharmonic and the neoclassical Kazina building amongst other historical attractions.
Finally, you can finish off your tour in Slovenska ceska, one of Ljubljana's busiest streets, which was in 2015 closed to traffic. It has become a thriving high-quality public space that respects the principles of a common traffic space that is more friendly to pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users. You will find many shops and restaurants where you can buy some souvenirs and enjoy a drink after a wonderful day cycling around the city.
Ljubljana has a lot to offer and there isn't enough time to do everything in one day. There are many other activities to do, the options are endless! If you prefer enjoying its green spaces, follow one of the thematic cycling paths: waterside, forest, Plečnik and the gravel path, also known as the Path of Remembrance and Comradeship. If you are interested in doing a guided cycling tour, check out the ones that Ljubljana Tourism has on offer (Exploring Ljubljana by Bicycle, A Bicycle Tour through Plečnik's Ljubljana and the Moustache Tour, a unique insight into the city's rich cultural heritage).
Why not also visit some of the museums of the city? A wide variety of institutions invite you to take a dive into the cultural and historical heritage of Slovenia:
If you have the chance to stay longer in Slovenia, don't miss the cycling routes that crisscross the country. Find more information on EuroVelo's website.
We hope you enjoy your stay in beautiful Ljubljana, and we look forward to welcoming you to Velo-city 2022 this June!