The Municipality of Ljubljana has set up a bike project that enables everybody to explore the city by bike for free. The offer is limited to two hours and in summer 2004 a full refundable deposit of 1000 SIT had to be paid.
Bikes are available from staffed bike-stands at several locations in the city. The most central one is probably at the end of the Trubarjeva ulica street, just next to the Preseren Square.
As Ljubljana is one of the smallest capitals of Europe, it is best explored on foot. Most sights are in walking distance to the Preseren Square.
Even the steep castle hill can be climbed on foot. For the lazier travellers a tourists street train serves the route between the Preseren Square and the castle.
There is a cute little train that covers a 15-minute ride from the old town (Prešernov trg /Prešeren Square), through the picturesque city centre, taking in the Stritarjeva ulica, Poljanska ulica and Ulica Janeza Pavla II, and on up the green hill to the Castle.
The train runs once an hour, on the hour from the city centre and at 20 minutes past from the castle, between 9am and 8.20 pm. On nice days the sides of the train are open, enabling passengers to have some great photo opportunities. However when it is wet (like the day I was there) the sides are closed. In this case I’d advise you strongly to take a seat at the back of the last carriage, where you can watch the city pass you by, unhindered by translucent plastic windows.
In the winter the schedule of the train depends on the weather: you’d need to have a sunny day with temperatures above 8 degrees Celsius (46 Fahrenheit).
Price: 600 tolars for adults, 400 tolars for children.
Ljubljana is small city so you can reach everything on foot. You can also hire a bike to move around faster .
Address: Krekov trg 10, Ljubljana
Bicycles are available for hire daily from 8:00 to 19:00 in April, May and October, and daily from 8:00 to 21:00 in June and September.
During the summer and early autumn months, a fleet of bicycles are available for hire from Ljubljana's Slovenian Tourist Information Centre as part of the Ljubljana Bike project.
Hire charges are low: €1.00 for up to two-hours, €5.00 for full day hire.
We flew back to London on Easy Jet, one of the no frills inexpensive airlines that operates in Europe. Compared to the Ryan Air nightmare on the way from London to Venice, it was a dream, OK that might be overstating it but the flight was on time, we actually landed where we were supposed to, the baggage limit is 20 kg (5 kg more than Ryan Air), no limit on hand luggage within reason.
But it's still no frills, 7.50E per checked bag (15E if you don't prepay online), all drinks and snacks are extra cost, 7.50E for priority boarding. Even with one checked bag each, it was still only 45E ($60US) per person one way, I booked in January for our trip in May. Flights arrive at Stansted, you can book the Stansted Express at a 10% discount on their website.
Ljubljana's airport is VERY small, one terminal, a couple of snack shops and one duty free store so if you're looking to have a snack for the plane or buy souvenirs do it before you leave Ljubjlana. EasyJet checks in 2 hours before the flight and the desk closes 30 minutes before departure and I think they are pretty strict on that. 90 minutes should be more than enough time to check in, clear customs and walk to the gate.
From the Central Station is barely takes you 10 minutes to walk to the center. The Bus Stations is right next to the Central Station, so it's lucky for you! :)
If you're going there by a plane, Easyjet flies from London Stansted to Ljubljana's Brnik airport. Busses leaving from the Bus Station. Check out the airport site. There's a departure tax of 11 USD for passengers leaving by air, which is usually included in the ticket price, but check it out first! :)
If you're going to Ljubljana by train, you should know that there are many routes. These are the main ones: from Salzburg (5 hours away), Trieste (3 hours), Vienna (6 hours) & Zagreb (3 hours) in Croatia. Trains from Amsterdam take 18 hours.
If you're coming by car, there are dozens of international border crossings, but be careful, 'coz they tend to be pretty busy during high season.
I hadn't read about taking a boat trip along the Ljubljanica River but we saw several mostly empty boats pass by while we were walking through. The tourist guide we picked up at the tourism office says they go from April-September, last 1 hour and are narrated in Slovenian and English. The trip starts from the pier at Ribji Trg, near the Cankarjevo nabrezje embankment (on the other side of the river from the Triple Bridge and a little south) and goes to the Dragon Bridge, turns around and goes by the Triple Bridge, Cobblers' Bridge, St. James's Bridge to the Spica embankment, where it turns around. Cost is currently 7.50E, 4E for children under 12.
We easily saw all of that on foot but if you are looking to relax for an hour and get a different perspective plus a narrated tour this might be a nice thing to do.
Ljubljana is a great city for biking. You can rent a bike as soon as you exit the train! There are literally lanes for bikes around the WHOLE city! I just love cities like that! It's small, so you can get anywhere by bike, but the more important thing is that it's enabled! So, rent a bike, drive around & enjoy!
Ljubljana Airport Brnik is around 27 kms away from Ljubljana city center and is Slovenia's only international airport with scheduled services. Several well-known european carriers like Air France and Malev serve this airport as well some low-cost carriers like Easyjet and Wizz. The largest airline is Slovenian airline Adria Airways which serves a small network of european cities.
The airport has the basic facilities like ATM, bank, car rentals, a small shop and restaurants. I am told that there is an ATM in the arrival hall, but I really did not found it while the one in the adjacent departure hall was very easy to find. A viewing platform is open almost during the whole day (on the left hand side of the terminal building). A historical aircraft (Douglas DC-6B) is displayed at this airport, just behind a parking building in front of the terminal and some slovenian-made sailplanes can be seen in the departure hall.
To get from the airport to the city: The most expensive way is by taxi, then there are private buses and also public busers. A private bus company works together with Easyjet ensuirng that one of their buses is waiting for passengers upon arrival of their flights. Sometimes, these get even so full that you have to stand. The buses take around 30-35 minutes to Ljubljana city center.
The public buses are a little cheaper than that, but they take almost an hour from the airport to the city center. It is bus line number 28 runs every hour.
For information about flights to Ljubljana, please check out my transportation tip about low-cost flying to Ljubljana. To learn more about the historical aircraft at the airport, check out my "off the beaten path" tips.
At one time the tourist train was the only way to get up to Ljubljana Castle without having to work up a sweat, now there is a funicular that makes the trip in just a few minutes.
The tourist train is a 15 minute taped narrated ride that leaves Preseren Square every hour on the hour from 9am-9pm between May-September (October-April 10am-7pm on good weather days)and at 20 minutes after the hour on the way back down from Castle Hill. The cost is 3E for a round trip, 2E for children.
The funicular was 2E round trip, 1.50E if you decide to walk back down, the ride only takes a couple of minutes and I think they go up every 10-15 minutes. You can find the funicular near Krekov Trg.
The longer the distance from your start point to Ljubljana, the more likely it is that you should consider low-cost flying. Easyjet offers daily flights from London/Stansted and Berlin/Schoenefeld to Ljubljana for cheap prices, if booked in advance. I payed 54 Pounds for Stansted-Ljubljana-Stansted in April 2006 and I could even had it for a lower price if I had chosen other days.
Sometimes you may consider also flying to Trieste (Italy) with Ryanair and continuing your journey with buses or trains. I haven't tried out that way, but it is also a popular way to get to Ljubljana.
To find out how to get from Ljubljana Airport Brnik to Ljubljana, please check out my transportation tip about the airport.
An idea of travel times for various major cities around Europe to Ljubljana are :
Vienna (6 hours, $55), Trieste (3 hours, $20), Budapest(8-9 hours, $50), and Zagreb (2 hours, $12).
There are overnight services to Prague (12 hours), and daytime EC trains to Berlin (15 hours, $140).
Taxis in Ljubljana are pretty good value, as long as you don't get one from outside the train station, where they cost about twice as much. Calling a cab is the best way to get a good price, and you can phone them on any of ten numbers from 9700 to 9709. Picking up cabs in the street is easy, but can be risky as the prices seem to vary wildly. Ljubljana isn't a rip-off city by any means, but I have paid nearly double for the same journey when taking a taxi from the center, even at the same time of day. Generally the taxi drivers are pretty fair, and if they have been overcharging me it isn't by so much that I would notice, and only the matter of a few euros.
Ljubljana is such a small city that you can walk it through by foot in a couple of hours. Since this summer you have another option - renting a bike for FREE. So far there are three rent points - near department store MAXI on Trg republike, in fornt of the department store CENTROMERKUR located on the main Presern square (at the end of Trubarjeva street) in Ljubljana and on the main Train station in Ljubljana. You can recognize it by the name LJUBLJANA BIKE. There are 30 bikes to rent so far. The service is available during summer (until the end of October). The bikes are all the same, white-green coloured and you get a helmet too.
You have to present your personal document and give a 1000 SIT (app. 5 USD) deposti that will be returned to you when you bring back the bike.
There is a touristic train that takes you to Ljubljana Castle if you don't feel like walkinh up hill. The start point ot the train is Presern Square which ends at the top of the castle.
The ticket costs 550 SIT for adults and 350 SIT for children. The ride takes app. 15 minutes and you will see old part of the city centre. When on top, it is worth going up the stairs to Castle Tower to see a magnifican view of Ljubljana. There are always exhibitions at the Castle which makes a trip even more worthwile.
Train ride schedule.
APRIL, MAY: between 10 am and 4 pm every day.
JUNE, JULY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER: between 9 am and 21 am every day.
OCTOBER: between 9 am and 7 pm every day.
NOVEMBER: between 10 am and 5 pm every day.
DECEMBER: between 11 am and 3 pm every day.
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