Ljubljana Castle (Ljubljanski grad)#3 in Best Things To Do in Ljubljana
Built in the Middle Ages on Castle Hill, Ljubljana Castle is a fixture on the city's skyline. The medieval castle boasts thick stone walls and houses a plethora of historical spaces, including a chapel, an open-air prison, a gunpowder room and a lookout tower. Additionally, the property offers modern amenities like two restaurants, a coffee shop, a gift shop, a jazz club, a museum about puppetry and an escape room.
Visitors heap praise on this old-world attraction, citing its top-notch restoration and jaw-dropping city vistas as highlights. Many also enjoyed riding the property's funicular from Krek Square to the top. Other ways to reach the castle include taking the Urban Train, riding the No. 32 bus to the Ljubljanski grad stop or biking or walking from the Ljubljana Old Town neighborhood, though several travelers caution that the steep trek is exhausting.
Ljubljana Castle sits just south of Ljubljana Cathedral and the Ljubljanica river. The castle is open daily from 9 or 10 a.m. until 8, 9, 10 or 11 p.m. (depending on the month), with reduced hours for most on-site facilities. Vacationers can visit the castle grounds and select facilities for free; however, charges apply for funicular rides, access to the castle's lookout tower, escape room games and items purchased at the property's eateries and gift shop.
Standard castle tickets – which cover entry to the castle's Viewing Tower, its Museum of Puppetry and an exhibit about Slovenian history – cost 10 euros (about $11) for adults and 7 euros (less than $7.75) for children 7 and older. Travelers with a Ljubljana Card and kids younger than 6 get in for free. Family passes for one or two adults and one or more children are also sold. Tickets that include round-trip funicular rides and audio guides or guided tours are available as well. Travelers who don't purchase upgraded tickets can buy single or return funicular tickets for 1.50 to 4 euros (roughly $2 to $4.50) each. Fees for most passes bought online are reduced by 10%. To buy tickets or learn more about the property, visit Ljubljana Castle's website.
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#1 Ljubljana Old Town (Staro mesto)
Ljubljana's past is hard to miss in its historical city center. Home to must-see sights like Prešeren Square, the Triple Bridge and Ljubljana Castle, the Ljubljana Old Town area features a mix of Gothic, Baroque and art nouveau architecture. Throughout the neighborhood, you'll find colorful buildings, pedestrian-only thoroughfares, ample shops and charming open-air cafes that overlook the Ljubljanica river. Plus, several of Slovenian architect Jože Plecnik's most iconic structures reside in this part of town. Don't miss the Plecnik-designed Central Market, which hosts a popular food market (Open Kitchen) every Friday from mid-March through October.
Travelers rave about the Ljubljana Old Town region, saying it offers a perfect blend of old and new. Though many suggest a summer visit so you can attend the weekly food market and people-watch while sipping a coffee outdoors, others highly recommend arriving in December to enjoy the city's festive Christmas decorations and holiday markets. No matter when you visit, vacationers say you'll discover well-maintained buildings, friendly locals and a great selection of eateries and watering holes.
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