Ljubljana is the true charmer of a city. Easily walkable, with striking historical heritage and vibrant outdoor eating and coffee culture. We’ve asked a couple of our local friends to sum up their favourite places they love spending time at. In this guide you will find the list they’ve come up with combined with selection of our own favourite addresses. Discover the city’s hippest hotels, coolest restaurants, most interesting cultural spaces and of course the best in local design – all utopiast approved!
Where to stay?
photo: Vander Urbani Resort
Vander Urbani Resort
Nestled in the traffic-free Old Town, on the banks of Ljubljanica river, Vander Urbani Resort is the first Slovenian member of Design Hotels. This unique boutique hotel is remarkable for its bold and interesting interior design and rooftop terrace with beautiful view of the historic quarter which can also be enjoyed from their infinity pool.
Phone number: +386 (0) 1 200 9000
Address: Krojaška ulica 6-8
photo: Hotel Cubo
Considered one of Ljubljana’s best hotels, the Hotel Cubo is situated in a beautiful 1930s residential building converted for use as a hotel in 2011. Their in-house restaurant has gained quite a following in Ljubljana with its delicate international cuisine and large selection of drinks offered at the bar.
Phone number: +386 (0) 1 425 60 00
Address: Slovenska cesta 15
What to eat…
… for brunch?
photo: Barbarella Arkade Bistro
Barbarella Arkade Bistro
Located by the Central Market in Plečnik’s arcade, the Barbarella Bistro is one of the few totally vegan restaurants in town. For a filling breakfast try one of their delicious sandwiches or opt for acai or oatmeal bowl, vegan croissant or banana bread, along with juice, smoothie, tea or coffee.
Phone number: +386 (01) 620 88 40
Address: Adamič-Lundrovo nabrežje 3
Located on Petkovškovo nabrežje near Ljubljanica river, Ek bistro offers brunch classics from Eggs Benedict and tasty french toast to shakshouka and granola. For a drink choose between Stow specialty coffee, our favourite matcha latte or order a cocktail for proper brunch experience. Word of warning: highly popular brunch spot fills up fast on weekends, so don’t forget to make a reservation.
Phone number: +386 (0)70 146 107
Address: Petkovškovo nabrežje 65
Brodo can be easily called Ljubljana’s trendiest sandwich shop and is a great option when you are on the go and looking for a fast, healthy meal that is easy on your wallet too. A short menu contains six different sandwiches and three kinds of salad containing premium local ingredients.
Phone number: +386 (0)40 549 440
Address: Dalmatinova 2
photo: Bazilika Bistro
Easily found on three locations in Ljubljana, the Bazilika Bistro offers a menu of vegetarian and vegan dishes containing fresh local ingredients. Apart from a daily changing menu of seasonal dishes, you will be able to choose among various soups, sandwiches, salads, smoothies and our favourite – super delicious savoury and sweet pies.
Phone number: +386 (0)41 883 488
Address: Prešernova cesta 15
… for lunch or dinner?
photo: Monstera Bistro
Another one of our favourites: Monstera Bistro, owned by Bine Volčič – one of the best-known chefs in Slovenia – offers great food, prepared with top quality ingredients at their seasonal best. The menu changes every few days and includes two appetizers, two main courses and two desserts to choose from, except at weekend nights when they offer 7-course tasting menu.
Phone number: +386 (0)40 431 123
Address: Gosposka ulica 9, 1000 Ljubljana
Unique, family owned restaurant, offers great culinary creations at affordable prices. Chefs Luka Nagode and Urška Dvoraček come up with new seasonal menu every week and craft amazingly innovative dishes highlighting premium local ingredients. The restaurant is opened Tuesday through Saturday. The tables fill up pretty fast, so don’t forget to make a reservation on their web page.
Phone number: +386 (0) 51 761 294
Address: Poljanska cesta 11
Ideal for date-night or business dinner, Atelje is a fairly new restaurant with a classy, understated feel. A short and often changing menu re-imagines classic dishes, all masterfully prepared and beautifully presented by the chef Jorg Zupan.
Phone number: +386 (0)1 308 1907
Address: Nazorjeva 2
photo: Gostilna Skaručna
Located in the village of the same name a bit north of Ljubljana, Gostilna Skaručna offers traditional Slovenian cuisine taken to an all new level. It is a family run place, with a one of a kind owner, you have been warned:) Signature dishes served are various meat specialities: roast meat, steaks, boiled bacon, and game dishes, made of fresh ingredients coming directly from the nearby fields and forests.
Phone number: +386 (0)1 832 30 80
Address: Skaručna 20, 1217 Vodice
photo: Kavarna Moderna
If you appreciate exceptionally good coffee then you simply should drop by Kavarna Moderna, located in the Museum of Modern Art near Tivoli park. They will happily serve you your choice of coffee or espresso based drink (from coffee roasted in their own roastery), tea, matcha latte or the best plum pie around.
Phone number: 00 386 (0)41 336 927
Address: Cankarjeva cesta 15
photo: Tozd Bar
Our favourite place to hang out in Ljubljana, Tozd is a small bar with a great outdoor space stretching under a giant tree along a quieter part of the Ljubljanica river. We usually choose their gourmet coffee in the morning, and one of their healthy sandwich options and something from the impressive wine list later during the day. Looking for a souvenir? Tozd brews its own cold brew coffee called Ruster that also comes in a glass bottle ready to take home.
Phone number: +386 (0)40 727 362
Address: Gallusovo nabrežje 27
Unique and another one of our personal favourites, Magda is a refreshingly unpretentious place set in the premises of the local Covered Market (Pokrita Tržnica). Place is popular among local cool crowd for its selection of spirits ranging from Japanese and American rye whiskeys to craft gins and Macedonian rakija, that you simply need to accompany with the fresh oysters served on ice.
Phone number: +386 (01) 620 26 10
Address: Pogačarjev trg 1
photo: Vinoteka Movia
Great choice for all wine lovers, the Vinoteka Movia wine bar and shop offers wines made by one of the Slovenian and world’s best winemakers, Aleš Kristančič. Kristančič wines sold under the brands Movia and Vila Maria are among the most recognized and awarded South-Eastern European wines while their winery, set in the Slovenian wine region of Goriška Brda, was for the many consecutive years listed among the American Wine & Spirits magazine’s top 100 wineries in the world.
Phone number: +386 (0)51 304 590
Address: Mestni trg 2 1000 Ljubljana
First opened in 2014, Pritličje is a curious mixture of a cafeteria, a nightclub, a gallery, a comic book shop and a concert venue, but also an urban cultural centre that is politically aware and active in setting up lectures and roundtables on a wide range of issues. Come for a coffee, tea and a small meal during the day, for an evening glass of wine or beer accompanied by a lecture, round-table discussion or public debate or late night drink prolonged with a DJ night or concert.
Phone number: 0820 58742
Address: Mestni trg 2
photo: Kolibri Cocktail Bar
Kolibri Cocktail Bar
Newbie in town, Kolibri is an intimate cocktail bar located on one of Ljubljana’s signature cobbled streets, Židovska steza, and well worth your visit if you are longing for a well thought out cocktail. The one and only cocktail bar in town offers highly unique menu prepared by the skilled staff always happy to advise you and craft personalised cocktails or experiment with the mixology to meet your preferences.
Phone number: +386 (0)31 336 087
Address: Židovska steza 2
Meet the Local: Alenka Repič; Kaaita
We asked Alenka Repič, founder of Kaaita, to share with us her favourite places and things to do in Ljubjana. Here is her list…
Favourite thing about living in Ljubljana:
The city is full of life, culture and great coffee. Also, there are many trees and green spots here – they make even an ordinary morning walk to the workplace wonderful.
Favourite place(s) to eat:
Sushi mama to get a dose of Japanese minimalism or Špajza, to forget about time and remember the experience.
Address: Wolfova ulica 12
Address: Gornji trg 28
Favourite place to have a coffee/drink:
Moderna café, located in Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana City Center to enjoy a coffee roasted in their own roastery. And for a quick-guilt-free-fair-trade organic coffee, Barbarella is the right address.
Address: Cankarjeva cesta 15
Barbarella Arkade Bistro
Address: Adamič-Lundrovo nabrežje 3
Must do while in Ljubljana:
Observe Ljubljana from water perspective on a wooden boat trip on Ljubljanica, take a fanicular cabin to reach the Ljubljana Castle, visit Plečnik Muzeum, Museum of Architecture and Design, Vodnikova domačija and eat gelato at gelateria Romantica. Visit Dobra Vaga to get art “by kilo” and Tiporenesansa, a small letterpress studio, to find a unique notebook.
Galerija ŠKUC where you can visit an art exhibition or take home one-of-a-kind piece made by students of textile & fashion design. Črno zrno to buy a coffee that smells like coffee and Pekarna Osem across the street to get the bread that tastes like bread.
Address: Stari trg 21
Address: Gornji trg 17
Address: Gornji trg 10
Best souvenir to bring back home:
Dragomir Veliki, the funky Dragon of Ljubljana range of contemporary souvenirs, available at Trgovina Ika.
Address: Ciril-Metodov trg 13