Ljubljana, Slovenia, city trip with a toddler
From Graz, Austria, we took a GoOpti private bus to Ljubljana. Elodie slept a bit in the car which was perfect because a 2,5-hour drive would be too long for her otherwise.
Our Airbnb was in a designer building across the Union Hotel. The apartment is located in the heart of historic centre in one of Ljubljana’s most famous buildings, designed by the architect Ivan Vurnik, it is considered to be one of the finest examples of Slovenian national style architecture. A romantic apartment located on a lively pedestrian area on the 3rd floor. I need to mention that my husband was not too happy carrying our 70 kilos of luggage up and down because there was no elevator. As Elodie didn’t eat much Nutrini, the suitcases were all still very heavy. His arms were sore for quite a while!
Because it’s an old building we couldn’t take nice long hot showers or baths because we would run out of hot water very quickly. There was barely enough water to shower and wash my hair. But we could survive that for a couple of days. I wouldn’t be able to live with such short showers at home though. The only downside was the washing machine, the door was at the top. It was rather difficult to use, we broke it accidentally.
What to do
Travelling with an almost 2-year-old takes more effort, especially if she has an eating disorder as well. You need to decide what you really want to see, and you can’t cram to many activities into one day. Also, Elodie still takes long naps.
Many events happen in this space, it’s the place where the city meets up and celebrates.
Ushering you off Prešeren Square is a group of three bridges decorated with stone balustrades and lanterns.
This is Ljubljana’s most famous bridge. A whimsical bridge adorned with
decorative dragons, this is one of the city’s most photographed spots.
You can get there on foot, but there’s also a tourist train and a funicular railway. We took the latter. Elodie really liked it.
The main courtyard is free to enter, and has a café, nightclub, galleries and a restaurant.
You can buy a ticket if you want to ascend the watchtower to look over Ljubljana, and included in this is a “Time Machine” tour.
A lovely green park that pushes out for more than two kilometres. We came here daily to relax and to enjoy the scenery.
It has elegant gardens and avenues landscaped in 1813 and extends up the slope onto the wilder Rožnik Hill, which consist of nature trails.
The little birds would eat from your hand if you stand really still. This was amazing! You could see the chipmunks running around from tree to tree. Elodie loved chasing them.
It also hosts a tropical greenhouse managed by the city’s Botanical Gardens and sits beside a pond.
Another reason to come is to walk the Jakopič Promenade, an arrow-straight avenue up to the Neoclassical Tivoli Castle.
There is a playground with plenty of choice for the kids.
Where to eat
For a city so compact there are many nice restaurants where you can eat. Here is a list of the ones we have tried.
This fast food restaurant sells high quality burgers and chicken snacks for a very reasonable price. You can sit inside or on the terrace.
This café was our go to breakfast spot, they sell pastry and ice cream as well. Not to forget the cocktails. You will have a great view over the Ljubljana River.
This lovely dining restaurant in the castle Shooter Tower provides a grand view over Ljubljana. It was a great experience to dine here.
We have been here twice because the food was just too good. The staff was very friendly and even prepared food for our daughter. This fine dining restaurant is spacious which is ideal for kids to walk around a bit.
Nice restaurant with a bar, they focus on local ingredients and specialize in vegetarian dishes. The smoked butter was something we have never tried before.
This lovely pastry shop looks stunning with its pastel colours. There is a lot of choice. When the weather is good you can sit outside and have a nice view over Ljubljana’s three bridges.
We came here multiple times to buy the Chocolatino, a mix between chocolate cake and a brownie. It’s very tasty. There is a restaurant next to it which is perfect after a day of shopping.
Puffy ‘Lil Pancakes
This looks a bit like a food truck with nice little pancakes, or ‘poffertjes’ as we would say in the Netherlands. What makes it special is the variety of toppings.