LJUBLJANA FAQ'S

How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

Ljubljana Joze Pucnik Airport (IATA code LJU), located near the village of Brnik, 15 miles northwest of Ljubljana, is the main point of entry for tourists flying into Slovenia. It is the busiest airport in the country, with 1.4 million passengers served in 2016. It is the home airport for Slovenia`s flag carrier, Adria Airways.

Alpetour (www.alpetour.si/en) offers bus connections from Ljubljana Airport`s arrivals terminal to Ljubljana bus station (Avtobusna postaja Ljubljana), and from Ljubljana bus station to the departures terminal. Buses leave from the airport approximately every hour on the hour from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, starting at 7 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and subsequently departing every two hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The first bus leaves the city bus station at 5:20 a.m. weekdays (6:10 a.m. on weekends and holidays), and picks up every hour at ten after (6:10 a.m. to 8:10 p.m.). On weekends, the buses pick up every other hour at ten after beginning at 9:10 a.m. and ending at 7:10 p.m. The fare is about €5 and the ride takes just under an hour. Buses to and from the airport leave Ljubljana bus station at stop #28. If in doubt, look for signs for the airport (Letalisce). The bus station will most likely be called AP Ljubljana on some signage.

A taxi rank is located just outside the airport`s arrivals terminal. The taxis that service the airport are usually clean and courteous. Usually phoning ahead for a cab will save you money on the fare, but it won`t make a huge difference when taking the taxi from the airport. You will spend at least €30, if not €40, for the 30-minute ride into Ljubljana. Expect to pay a little more if you have excess baggage or need special assistance. There is also a taxi rank at that the Ljubljana bus and train stations share, if you choose to take the Alpetour bus into town, and the taxi will be able to take you directly to your hotel.

Tip: Phone ahead to your hotel before you arrive and inquire about shuttles; many Ljubljana hotels have shuttles that will take tourists to and from the airport and also to and from select sights.

Directions from Ljubljana Airport: Take the 104 road and turn left onto the E61/A2 road. This is one of the roads that helps comprise the ring road surrounding Ljubljana. This drive is straightforward and should take approximately 30 minutes. Note that this route has tolls, so have the correct currency available to you when leaving the airport.

How do I get from the train station to my hotel?

Slovenian Railways` hub station is Ljubljana station, located just to the north of the old town. Ljubljana railway station is the largest building on Trg Osvobodilne fronte, right next to the city bus station. The stations share a taxi rank, where cabs queue day and night. It should not be more than €15 to take a cab from the station to your hotel in central Ljubljana. The adjacent bus station will also take you to most places in Ljubljana for under €2 each way. For timetables, visit www.lpp.si/en.

How do I get around Ljubljana using public transport?

Bus service in Ljubljana is provided by Ljubljanski potniski promet (LPP, Ljubljana Passenger Transport in English). In Ljubljana and its environs, LPP operates 27 daily bus lines, eight nightly lines (running from 10:30 p.m. to 12:20 a.m., and then from 2:50 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.), and a few lines that run only on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or a combination of the three. City bus service typically begins at 6:30 a.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m. Fares begin at €1.50; to visit the sights inside Ljubljana`s ring road, no extra fee is charged. People using the Urbana smartcard will find that each ride includes bus transfers within 90 minutes of boarding the first bus. LPP also offers a special tourist Urbana card, which includes discounted admission to various Ljubljana museums and attractions. For more information, read the FAQ question regarding museums and museum passes.

Ljubljana bus station (Trg Osvobodilne fronte 4, dial 1991 from a Slovene telephone) is a hub for city and national transport. Bus lines 18, 18L, 51, 56, 60 and 78 take commuters to various sights around the old town and further afield. In addition, inter-city buses from the Ljubljana bus station will take you to Postojna (bus station at Titova cesta 2). The Nova Gorica bus to AP Ljubljana (3 mins.) takes people to Postojna Cave. Buses drop off at Postojna Cave three times daily (1:46 p.m., 4:13 p.m. and 6:13 p.m.)

LPP also operates an electric-powered people-mover vehicle called Kavalir (gentle helper). Kavalir vehicles traverse the normally-pedestrian-only old town, transporting visitors and those with mobility issues from place to place free of charge. Kavalirs can be hailed on the street or reserved via telephone (+386 (0) 31 666 331) between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily. Two Kavalirs operate with open windows between April and October, and closed Kavalir cars are heated for comfort in winter.

How do I call/hail a taxi?

Taxis in Ljubljana can be hailed from the street, but they will cost more than a cab reserved via telephone. To save money, when possible, have your hotel reserve a cab for you, or reserve it yourself. (Taxi Laguna, +386 (0)1 511 23 14, is staffed with multiple English-speaking operators.) Another option you can use to summon a taxi is the Hopin Taxi app. (Download by visiting www.hopintaxi.com/en.) The app (available in Slovene and English) allows customers to call for a taxi anywhere in Ljubljana using their smartphone or tablet.

Thirteen taxi companies service Ljubljana and the surrounding areas. If you are out and about, you can find taxi ranks near the train station, at the Ljubljana Tourist Information Center on Stritarjeva ulica, in front of the Grand Hotel Union, and around prime tourist sites. When hailing a cab from the street or taking one from a taxi rank, be sure to study the cabs closely and take the one that looks most legitimate. (For example, if a cab only has the word "TAXI" painted on it, a small light on the roof, and no other markers such as a telephone number, registration, etc., DO NOT take that cab. If you do, you may be overcharged.)

Keep in mind that there is no one set flagfall or price per mile that all Ljubljana taxis follow. You will find that the flagfall can be anything between €1 and €2, and the price per mile can vary between €1 and €3. If in doubt, ask your cab driver for the approximate fare price before proceeding. If you are traveling outside the city, calling ahead to a cab company can work in your favor as they may choose to offer you a discount. Inside the Ljubljana ring road, overall fares average between €5 and €20 depending on distance.

I will have a car in Ljubljana. Where can I park?

Parking a car can be tricky in Ljubljana. There are many metered parking spots around the city, but these spots are taken very quickly. Other parking lots fill up with workers who live outside the city and drive in each day. If you do find parking, you may have to pay a premium for the luxury of being close to the old town. There is a free parking garage on Pivovarniska ulica 5, but at just 30 spots, it`s really first-come, first-served. Otherwise, we recommend that if you do rent a car, you use it as little as possible while in Ljubljana. With a great public transport system and with many hotels offering shuttle service, it really isn`t needed unless you travel to Postojna, Mount Saint Mary, or even further afield.

Is Ljubljana a dangerous city? Are there any areas I should avoid?

Ljubljana is considered one of the safest capitals in Europe. It is safe to walk around day or night in most of the city. Outside the ring road, on the fringes of town, a few neighborhoods may be rougher, but this should not concern tourists as the sights recommended by TripMasters are well-removed from those areas. Remember to use common sense and take precautions when you visit Ljubljana or any unfamiliar city.

We would like to note two specific areas of concern. First, we have read many reports from tourists about groups of teenagers walking Tivoli Park at night. These teenagers are locals who have a penchant for going to the park to drink illegally. They may or may not cause trouble. We recommend that you either go to Tivoli Park with a large group at night, or go during the daytime through dusk.

Second, a rise in gay bashings have occurred in Ljubljana in recent years. While people under the age of 40 are typically LGBT-friendly, this is still a traditionally Catholic country, and it was not long ago that same-sex marriage was rejected via a national plebiscite. This is not to scare anyone into thinking that Slovenia or Ljubljana are anti-gay, but do not assume you can be totally comfortable with everyone. Analyze the situation briefly and proceed how you feel best.

Are there long lines at the museums? Does it make sense to buy a museum pass?

Lines are not usually an issue at sights in Ljubljana, with the possible exception of Ljubljana Castle. LPP also offers a special tourist Urbana card, which includes discounted admission to various Ljubljana museums and attractions. Front-of-the-line privileges vary, but obtaining the card is a good way to see sights on a budget while taking care of transportation expenses in the process. Prices vary from €25 to €40 for one to three days of sightseeing and bus rides. For more information, visit www.jhl.si/en/single-city-card-urbana/tourist-card.

Can I pay/tip in U.S. dollars?

The currency of Slovenia, like many European Union nations, is the Euro (symbolized as €). One Euro is broken up into 100 cents. Other currencies are not accepted anywhere in the country. Credit and debit cards are widely used in Slovenia and you will find most businesses accept them. U.S. dollars and travelers checks can be exchanged for Euros at banks and bureaux de change in Ljubljana, all other major cities, and most towns. Bank and currency bureau hours are usually 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, with an hour break for lunch typically taken at noon or 1 p.m. ATMs are widely available in Slovenia; many of them do not charge fees themselves, but note that your home banking institution may charge a fee for withdrawing money abroad.

I don't speak Slovene. Will many people speak English?

The Slovenians are perhaps some of the most multilingual people in Europe. To graduate high school in Slovenia, one must pass a proficiency test in the mother language (Slovene), English, and another foreign language (before independence from Yugoslavia that language was usually Russian, now many younger people speak German). In addition, a number of Slovenians can speak and understand Italian. Melania Trump, First Lady of the United States, is said to speak five languages fluently. This may sound impressive to Americans, but this is typical of many Slovenians.

With that said, you will probably not run into any issues while on your trip. You should be understood just fine if you speak English to someone. It is still courteous to learn some phrases in Slovene, such as yes/no (da, ne), the numbers from 1-10, please (prosim), thank you (hvala vam), greetings like "Good morning/Good day" (Dobro jutro/Dober dan), and "Do you speak English?" (Govoris anglesko?)

Are there any basic Slovenian customs or etiquette tips I should be aware of before arriving in Ljubljana?

Slovenians are not typically direct communicators, but they are adaptable, so if they encounter someone from another country who might be more bombastic, they are good at adapting and altering their own behavior accordingly. This means you will probably make some fast friends in Ljubljana and all over the country. As far as customs or traditions are concerned, a gift is nice to give when entering someone`s home for the first time. Flowers or a bottle of wine are fine, the size of the gift or the color of the gift is immaterial, unlike in other Slavic nations. Be on time; Slovenians, like Germans and Austrians, are very prompt. Slovenians also like keeping business and pleasure separate, so don`t be offended if you are not on a first-name basis with some people right away or if you encounter a service industry worker who insists on being formal to you. (They want you to be formal with them as well.)

While Slovenia is still very much a Catholic nation, the number of people who do not go to church rises every year, and many people live secular lives. In many respects Slovenia is as socially easygoing as many other Western European nations, and far and away the most liberal of the former republics of Yugoslavia.

What time do Slovenians usually eat? Do I need to make reservations to fancy restaurants in advance?

Slovenians love to eat, and you`ll find them snacking on various goodies in addition to the main meals of the day. Breakfast is light for many people, like toast, an egg, and coffee. This is eaten around 7 or 8 in the morning, before the workday begins for most people. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day, and it`s eaten as close to noontime as possible. Many businesses will close for an hour at this time. Lunch is served with a starter and a larger main dish which is supposed to keep you satisfied until dinner. Dinner is eaten late, but not as late as in Italy, Greece or other nations. It is acceptable to make dinner reservations between the hours of 7 and 9 p.m. Eating later has one advantage, fewer crowds to beat out for a table somewhere.

Snack bars and taverns tend to be first-come, first-served without reservations, as are cafes and most restaurants. Some of the fanciest restaurants take reservations and it is important that you call to reserve a table, or else you may not be able to dine there! Specifically restaurants around Congress Square and Old Square may require reservations. Many restaurants will allow you to place your reservations online. For more information on the cream of Ljubljana`s culinary `crop`, visit www.visitljubljana.com/en/visitors/things-to-do/food-and-drink/article/ljubljana-quality-the-best-restaurants.

Note: Anti-smoking laws in Slovenia prohibit smoking in restaurants. In bars and nightclubs, if smoking is to be allowed at all, there must be a separate, ventilated `smoking chamber` on the premises.

What are the best areas for shopping?

The popular shopping areas in Ljubljana are Town Square, Old Square, and the streets of the old town between Slovenska cesta and the Ljubljanica River. In particular Wolfova ulica is a hidden gem for luxury goods and fashions. Slovenika (Gornji trg 4), located across the Ljubljanica, is perhaps the city`s premier handicrafted gift and souvenir source. If you want to buy Idrian lace or wooden jewelry, gifts that authentically Slovenian, this is the best place to go. There are also gift shops around Ljubljana Castle and the Ljubljana Tourist Information Centre.

There are four shopping malls in Ljubljana, with the largest being BTC City, a sprawling complex three miles northeast of Ljubljana`s old town. The complex includes over 400 stores, many of which are brand names you know in the U.S., such as Zara and H&M.

Where can I rent a bicycle in Ljubljana?

The City of Ljubljana oversees a bike-share program called Bicike(LJ). There are 38 bike-sharing stations across the city, including eight in the old town. At these stations, you can create a Bicike(LJ) account, which is paired with your credit card. A hold of €350 is placed on your account, so be sure to use this option only with a credit card. (The hold will be released in seven days, after your rides have been completed and it is verified that your bike is accounted for.) A weekly subscription (allowing you to ride whenever you want) costs €1, and individual rides range from no cost (for rides that take less than an hour) to €4 for every hour after hour three. For more information on Bicike(LJ), visit en.bicikelj.si.