5 things to see in Ljubljana (including Lake Bled) ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ

Slovenia is a hidden gem of Europe and very easy to reach.  Just a couple of hours from the UK with Lufthansa (via Frankfurt) or British Airways directly in summer. Here are 5 things to see in Ljubljana, including Lake Bled.

Ljubljana itself is a small but very pretty capital city featuring beautiful buildings, lovely streets and gorgeous views (hence just 5 things) The sights can be seen in just a couple of hours but there are plenty of cafes and bars on either side of the Ljubljanica River that are perfect for soaking up the atmosphere and watching the world go by with a glass of Slovenian wine!

Ljubljana
Watching the world go by
Ljubljana

To See:

1.  Dragon Bridge

A unique bridge with 2 dragons on either side!  This is best viewed at sunrise or sunset but good views of it can be had during the day too. The bridge was built between the years of 1900-1901. It has the historic place in Slovenian history by being the first reinforced concrete structure and one of the largest bridges of this kind to be built in Europe.

Dragon Bridge, Ljubljana

2.  The view looking towards Triple Bridge

After the Dragon Bridge, walk in the direction of Triple bridge and then walk a bit further onto a plain bridge.  Look towards Triple Bridge and you have a lovely view of the bridge, the river and the pink church (The Franciscan Church of the Annunciation) in Preseren Square. The centre bridge has been around since 1842 and the two side bridges were built much later in 1929 and intended for just pedestrian use.

Triple Bridge, Ljubljana

3.  Preลกeren Square

This is a small square by Triple Bridge but very beautiful.  The main feature is the lovely pink church, The Franciscan Church of the Annunciation.  There is a fountain in front of it, a statue to the left and a couple of shops and cafes.  A nice place to relax and to see the locals going about their daily business. The statue in the square is of the poet named France Preลกeren making Ljubljana one of the few cities in the world to have a town square adorned with a statue of a poet rather than a military or political hero.

Preseren Square, Ljubljana

4. Faces of Locksmith Street (Kljucavnicarska Ulica)

This is a very unusual location and I have never seen anything like it anywhere else, but head over to Locksmith Street, just past the Triple Bridge and look down! The start of the lane is marked with a key, historically used to identify the street name for those who couldn’t read. There are 700 (or used to be) of these little bronze faces in a gully running through the centre of the alley. The faces were inspired by a piece of writing by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, which begins

“To think, for instance, that I have never been aware before how many faces there are. There are quantities of human beings, but there are many more faces, for each person has several.โ€

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1992, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, https://poets.org/poet/rainer-maria-rilke

All the faces are different, some are happy and some are sad, some are being rude and some are oddly distorted showing that people have several different faces.

Ljubljana
 Ljubljana

5.  Lake Bled (outside Ljubljana)

Last but certainly not least is Lake Bled, the reason I travelled to Slovenia.

This is easily reached by bus from Ljubljana.  The journey is about 45 minutes by bus and the cost of a return ticket is โ‚ฌ12 (approx ยฃ10.40).  This ticket has to be bought from inside the bus station with cash only.  The bus drops you in the little village of Bled, just a few minutes walk from the lake.

We decided to walk round the whole of the lake.  Its about a 4 mile walk over an easy and flat concrete path.  It is possible to hire bikes to cycle round it and there is a little train running round the lake, which you can hop on and off.

The views from all round the lake are beautiful but I think the best views are from the South side.  At the south side is a signpost number 6, close to Zeka Camping.  Here you can hike up to see the view of Lake Bled from above and what a stunning view that is.  It is very steep but only takes about 5 minutes.  There are 2 places on the signpost: Velika Osojnica and Ojstrica.  The view is from Ojstrica. 

Top Tip: Wear trainers and bring a bottle of water

Lake Bled
Lake Bled, Slovenia

We made the mistake of doing a very steep, 50 minute hike in 33 degree heat to Velika Osojnica only to find that all the trees are in the way and that there is no view! As we were winding our way back down the extremely rough and rocky path, we were very surprised to see a man pass us on a unicycle! I was pleased to see that he was wearing a helmet!

There are cafes and restaurants all around the lakeside, with delicious ice cream and staff who are happy to refill your water bottles.

Near Zeka Camping is a place where you can relax for the day.  There are sun beds to hire or you can bring your own and a dip in the lake is very refreshing on a hot day!

The little island in the middle of Lake Bled is home to the Church of the Mother of God and has a free standing bell tower.  People like to make their way to the island to ring the bell, which is a wishing bell!  If couples want to get married in the church, it is considered good luck for the groom to carry the bride up all of the 99 steps to the church!

Lake Bled in Slovenia

There are boats around the lake with boatmen, who for a small fee, are happy to take you across to the island.  It is also possible to hire kayaks if you prefer. Head over to my Handy Travel Apps page to download a weather app to make sure you don’t arrive at Lake Bled when it is pouring with rain!

Where and what to eat:

We just had 2 nights in Ljubljana and the restaurant on the first night was so good that we went there both nights.  Its name is Hisa Pod Gradom and situated in the city centre, it has a lovely outdoor terrace (recommended to book for there on summer weekends) and it very atmospheric inside.  The meals are very reasonably priced, the portions are large and the house Chardonnay which is priced at โ‚ฌ1.60 tastes very good!

This is also a hotel with lovely rooms and very friendly and efficient staff.

On the first night I had the pork loin wrapped in cheese and bacon and served with new potatoes.  This was superb!  On the second night I decided to try the traditional Slovenian sausage, which is known as Carniolan sausage or Kranjska Klobasa.  This was slightly tougher than UK sausages that I am used to but still tasted very good and the presentation of meals both nights was excellent.  To finish off we had the vanilla ice cream topped with hot berry sauce.  A perfect finishing touch!

Ljubljana, SLovenia
Pork Loin
Traditional Sausage, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Traditional Sausage
Ljubljana, SLovenia

C.King

Brit girl on a bummel. A solo female traveller accompanied by her camera, aiming to see as much of the world as possible and sharing what she's learnt along the way!

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