Ljubljana in a glimpse
Ljubljana web has no world-famous attractions, which is just great: there's no need to hop from one place to another, taking photos and crossing the items on your checklist. You have all the time to stroll around and enjoy the city itself.
In the summer, its center hosts a number of city sponsored events, from children workshops and public playgrounds on the streets that get closed for traffic for the occasion, to Trnfest's off-beat street performances and musical events of all genres. In autumn it shows its academic face as it fills again by students of the state's largest university to whom the city owes much of its youthful character. Cold December days are warmed by thousand of lights, the new year's decoration conceived by local artists, and by food and drinks sold from street stands on the banks of Ljubljanica river. After surviving the boring gray remaining of winter, the city erupts again with spring flowers planted on its streets and crossroads.
Ljubljana ("lyoob-lyAH-nah") is a charming city full of artists, museums, and galleries. With a population of 300,000, it is one of the smallest capital cities in Europe.
The Ljubljanica river flows through the center of town, past Baroque buildings and under the ramparts of the ancient castle on the hill. The new city and modern-day commercial core lies to the west of the river, while the old city and the castle are located on the east side of the river. Many bridges cross the river, the most famous of which is Tromostovje (Triple Bridge), designed by architect Jože Plečnik.
The center of Ljubljana is small enough to cover by foot. You can pick up a free city map at a tourist information center or in the train station. Navigating or finding a street is easy as streets are clearly marked.
Bikes are available for rent at the Slovenian Tourist Information Center (beside the Central Market) as well as some of the hotels in the area (€1 for 2 hours, €5 for the whole day ending 7~9pm depending on season) web. There is also a system called "Bicikelj" where you can rent bikes for a week just for 1€. It has 300 bikes on 30 stations around the inner city part and you can subscribe with a credit card online. For more information go to this site: web
By City bus
The city's transportation authority LPP operates 26 bus lines, which are clean and run frequently (every 5-10 minutes, 15-30 minutes during the weekend and summer). Most bus routes operate 5am - 10.30pm (Sundays from 6am). Night lines are: N1 (10.30pm - 5am), 2, N3/N3B (9pm - 5am), N5 (9pm - 5am), 6 and 11B/N11 (9pm - 5am). Saturdays and Sundays no service on lines 11 (11B is Saturday and 20Z is Sunday replacement), 15, 22, 24, 28, 29 and 60. Sundays no service on lines 1 (1B/1S is replacement), 7L, 8 (1B/1S is replacement), 18, 20 (20Z is replacement), 21 and 27 (NS Rudnik - BTC - Letališka) does not operate on Sundays, it is replaced with a route 27K which goes from Bavarski dvor to Kolosej in BTC City and it's on service only on Sundays from 4PM onwards.
To ride the buses, you must first purchase an Urbana card (similar to an Oyster Card in London). These can be bought at self-service stations ("Urbanomat") found at the larger bus stops across the city, LPP sales sites, Tourist Information Centers and newspaper agents for €2 and need to be loaded with an amount ranging from €1 to €50. Upon entering the bus by the front door, you need to position the card next to the reader to pay for the route. The confirmation is a quiet beep and an illuminated green light, while a negative response is a louder beep and a red light. After that, you proceed to take your seat / stand.
The cost per journey is €1.20 and includes an unlimited number of free transfers within 90 minutes from the first entry to the bus. Although if you are a regular guest in Ljubljana and have a mobile with a Slovenian operator (for example Simobil, Mobitel, Izimobil, Debitel etc.) and you have a postpaid contract with them, you can pay the bus route with your mobile - you just dial 1899 at the entry of the bus and approach the Urbana device with your mobile and leave it there until the device approves the payment. It's a 'quite in handy' thing, but it costs €1,20 and you can use it only for the ride you're on (unlike Urbana card when you can have unlimited number of free transfers within 90 minutes from the first entry to the bus) - the amount will be charged from your number and viewable on your monthly payment.
Most lines operate at least once every 15 minutes. Timetables web (in Slovene) only have departure times from first bus stop so you can use the webpage web to obtain predicted departure times for next three buses from every bus stop.
Taxi Ljubljana web Taxi Laguna (tel. 080 11 17), Taxi Metro (tel. 080 11 90) and Intertours Taxi (tel: 031 311 311) are considered the cheapest taxi companies. These are free numbers (all numbers starting with 080 are free in Slovenia), so you can use a phone booth to make a free call. Note that not all taxis charge the same fare.
While taxis ordered by phone are cheap, those waiting on the street will usually charge through the roof, and you can end up paying €25 for a short ride! Unless you're in a hurry, always order a taxi by phone!
Ljubljana is possibly one of the safest capitals you'll ever visit. Remarkably safe during the day and night, as a tourist you should have no problems, provided you are not desperately looking for trouble.
Even the rougher parts of Ljubljana, located far from the city centre, are relatively safe, if you don't flash your valuables. These areas, not commonly frequented by tourists, include Fužine, Rakova Jelša, Štepanjsko naselje and parts of Šiška, Moste and Šentvid.
Tivoli Park is generally very safe and a very popular destination for picnics or taking an afternoon stroll for an average Ljubljanian, but just as anywhere in the world it is recommended that you don't put your guard down and avoid larger groups of teenagers hanging around in the park late at night, as thefts and sexual assaults have been reported.
Although Ljubljana is generally an open and tolerant city, there have been several gay-bashings reported recently, so you'll be better off keeping the nature of your sexual orientation down a bit. There have also been incidents involving racism (towards Indians) by skinhead men wearing 'White Power' t-shirts at the railway station so it is advisable for non-whites to be on their guard throughout.